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Daily Archives: June 12, 2012

“Time to take down their ‘story,'” writes the Romenesko reader who points out that the image below is still on the Birmingham News website.

“The Alabama Media Group [newspapers] will will be home-delivered and sold in stores and other outlets on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays only.”

* Newhouse cuts 400 employees at three Alabama papers (weldbham.com) | AP’s story
* “We regret that we will not be able to offer employment to all of our current staffs” (AL.com)
* AJR scolds Newhouse for burying layoffs story on website (AJR.org) || Related links from today

Auburn University journalism professor John Carvalho writes about his “seven hours of guiding The Plainsman staff through the reporting of a high-profile story, laden with ethical challenges, shifting information, and students learning by doing.”

* As shooting story unfolds, student journalists face the challenge (War Eagle Reader)
* Read the Auburn Plainsman’s coverage of Saturday’s shooting

Detroit Free Press editor Paul Anger said at a newsroom meeting today that the cuts “won’t be tiny.” It was also announced today that Jeff Taylor, one of the paper’s Pulitzer winners, has been named Indianapolis Star editor.

UPDATED: Union rep says the paper hasn’t given the required 30 days notice (Crain’s)

* Detroit Free Press to reduce reporting staff (Motor City Muckraker)
* Jeff Taylor leaves Detroit Free Press to become Indy Star editor (Freep.com)
* Taylor: “Watchdog is going to be a critical component of what we do” (IndyStar.com)

-- Photoshopped cover (with commas removed) on the left; the real cover is on the right

“Witness the power of the missing comma!” Poynter contributor and former NPR ombudsman Lisa Shepard writes above the Tails magazine cover she posted on her Facebook wall.

More accurately: Witness the power of Photoshop and social media.

What Shepard and thousands of others have posted on Facebook and elsewhere is an altered Tails cover from October of 2010. (The commas were taken out of the subhed on the left cover; the real cover is on the right.)

“They should do their research,” Tails founder Janice Brown says of the journalists who are circulating the bogus cover and questioning her staff’s copy-editing abilities.

Brown says in a phone interview that the doctored cover first appeared on Funny or Die’s site nearly two years ago. “We let it go for a bit — it’s funny and all that — but when people started attacking our professionalism, saying we didn’t do copy editing and proofing, we set the record straight.”

Tails — a 150,000-circulation monthly that was founded in 2000 — has a half-dozen staffers, including a copy editor, says Brown.

Now that journalists have joined pranksters in posting the bogus cover, the Tails founder plans to give her “setting it straight” post from 2011 greater prominence on the magazine’s website.

* Photoshopped Rachael Ray cover goes viral (Tails)


UPDATE: Give the new organization a chance, says editor Amoss (WWLTV.com)
* Read the latest Times-Picayune developments on The Gambit’s Twitter feed

The Times-Picayune reports:

In the news operation alone, eighty-four of the 169 people currently employed in the Times-Picayune newsroom were notified Tuesday that they will lose their jobs and be given severance packages. Employees who were not laid off were offered new jobs beginning this fall with Nola Media Group, the new company that will oversee news coverage for The Times-Picayune beginning this fall.

Once Nola Media Group launches in the fall, it will employ 464 individuals, 397 of whom received employment offers on Tuesday. Another 67 positions will be filled before the launch.

From WWLTV.com:

By 10:30 a.m., Friends of the Times-Picayune Facebook page had a list of several of those leaving the paper, including James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic Brett Anderson and long-time sports columnist Peter Finney. Also leaving are news reporter Danny Monteverde, Cathy Hughes, Patricia Gonzalez, Barri Bronston and Katy Reckdahl along with Dennis Persica.

* Times-Picayune lays off nearly one-third of its staff (nola.com)
* High-profile journalists among those leaving the paper (WWLTV.com)
* Award-winning restaurant critic Brett Anderson is let go (NOLA Eater)
* Profits aren’t the only consideration for newspapers (Fortune)

Bob Hall

Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News publisher Bob Hall put out a memo today about Teamsters Local 628 president John Laigaie “verbally criticizing me for not caring about our people or this company.” He tells employees that “those of you who know me would believe just the opposite.”

No one likes dealing with job losses and the impact it has on peoples’ lives, but sometimes in the current economic climate it cannot be avoided. We are prepared to make the best out of a difficult situation. ..

As many of you know, the company lost a considerable amount last year and continues to operate at a serious deficit. Advertising and circulation revenue continue to decline. The new ownership team are committed to establishing stability and are hopeful of a substantial turnaround. The new owners do not get paid for their services; there are no management fees, dividends or salaries paid to them and, no members of their families are employees. Instead, their commitment is shown by, and through, the time they spend working tirelessly to improve the company’s fiscal outlook.

Hall’s full memo is after the jump.
Read More

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is buying the 20,000-circulation Bryan-College Station (Texas) Eagle newspaper from the Evening Post Publishing Co. of Charleston, S.C. for an undisclosed price. The deal closes June 30.

“[The area's] got all the elements of a great community newspaper market that we look for,” including Texas A & M University, a strong medical community and a great business environment, says Terry Kroeger, CEO of Buffett’s World-Herald. “We think it’s a terrific market, and it was available at a reasonable price.”

* Warren Buffett buys Texas newspaper (omaha.com)
* It’s the eighth sale in The Eage’s 123-year history (theeagle.com)

Washington City Paper’s Will Sommer reports this morning:

According to an SEC filing made last week by the Post, [publisher Katharine] Weymouth stands to receive as many as 42,500 shares in restricted stock awards by 2018 if she meets [performance] goals. If the Post stays around its current stock price, at $363.51 when the market closed yesterday, that would be worth around $15.4 million.

* Post’s Weymouth could make millions in stock awards (City Paper)

UPDATE: I’m told that half the Times-Picayune news staff is being let go.

At meetings that started early this morning, Times-Picayune staffers learn whether they’ve lost their jobs or will be offered new positions. “Two sources have told Gambit that severance for fired employees will be calculated at 1.5 weeks for every year of service, capped at one year’s compensation,” writes Kevin Allman. “At least three very familiar newsroom names, including award winners, have said they intend to take severance and/or don’t expect to be invited to join NOLA Media Group.”

* The axe prepares to fall at the Times-Picayune (The Gambit)
* Birmingham News employees to learn if they have a future with the paper (weldbham.com)
* New Orleans clamors for its newspaper (wsj.com)
* Gail Shister: “I think of New Orleans often, always with deep affection.” (phillymag.com)
* Rolling the dice at the Times-Picayune (The Nation)

On Monday night, “a who’s who of politics and media met once again in the midst of the [Watergate] building’s renovation, a week before the event’s 40th anniversary, to share with hundreds the stories of the events that ultimately led to the resignation of a president,” writes the Post’s Robert Samuels.

* Watergate scandal’s players tell their stories at forum (Washington Post)
* Howard Kurtz: Monday’s event celebrated a brief moment when newspapering was hailed as a noble profession (Daily Beast)

Washington Post photo