Four weeks ago, USA Today handicapper Danny Sheridan had 11,000 Twitter followers.
“Then, starting on the first of June, something crazy happened,” writes John Koblin. “His follower count started to skyrocket. Between June 1 and today, his Twitter follower count went from some 11,000 to nearly 400,000. For the last month, he has been picking up thousands and thousands of followers a day.”
WHAT SHERIDAN SAYS: “I have never, ever spent a penny to buy followers on Twitter.”
He emails Koblin:
the people responsible for this (claiming I’ve bought twiter names) appear to run criminal outfits, according to the DOJ & our country laws, and are only doing this to raise awareness to their name (by using my name & usatody’s name, as no one has ever heard of them including you). I intend to contact the DOJ about them, & my guess is they will then crawl under the rock they’ve always been. I’ve not broken any laws, let’s see if they can say the same thing if and when the DOJ contacts them
* Is USA Today’s veteran gambling guy buying Twitter followers? (USA Today)
* Join the hundreds of thousands following Sheridan on Twitter
Go ahead and read this while you’re finishing your eggs and hash browns.
A story in today’s Wall Street Journal says Rupert Murdoch “has long eyed titles such as the Los Angeles Times, whose parent company, Tribune Co., is due to emerge from bankruptcy in coming months.” But Murdoch tells his paper that an LAT deal would have to be looked at “closely” because of regulatory restrictions, among other things.
He also told CNBC’s David Faber that he might change the Wall Street Journal’s name to simply WSJ. (The Journal’s Charles Forelle tweeted the news and got this reaction from followers: “Say it isn’t so!” and “I don’t get it.”)
In the New York Times, Amy Chozik writes:
When asked by analysts about his papers’ future, Mr. Murdoch replied: “The answer is one word: digital.” He said the new company would double down on its digital efforts and that news was “the most valuable commodity in the world” even if “people are buying fewer papers printed on crushed wood.”
Murdoch also said on CNBC that “I’ll head the [News Corp.] board until they bury me.” The 81-year-old media mogul added: “I’m not saying that day is any time soon. I’m in great shape, and, obviously, if I’m lucky enough to live a long time, a very long time, there will be a time when I’ll slow down mentally, and I’ll have to get out.”
* Inside Murdoch’s decision (Wall Street Journal)
* Murdoch praises News Corp.’s newspapers (New York Times)
* Murdoch says News Corp. split will unlock value (Los Angeles Times)
* Watch Murdoch being interviewed by David Faber (CNBC)
This was posted Wednesday on the Friends of The Times-Picayune Editorial Staff Facebook page:
I asked Times-Picayune editorial page editor Terri Troncale about holding Pitts’ column. She wrote back:
I still have the column for possible use. As usual, it is beautifully written. There are some nuances that are missing in the Katrina description, so I set it aside to think about it more.
In a follow-up email she wrote:
There is a lot condensed into the lead, and it doesn’t distinguish between reporters and editors who stayed in the city vs. those who left in the trucks to work elsewhere. After looking at it again, those things probably don’t matter to readers. They jumped out at me because I was in the group that stayed in the city. But that may just be me being too picky.
My plan is to run the column this weekend. I think readers will like reading it.
Here is Times-Picayune photographer John McCusker’s problem with the column:
Martha Kegel also wrote on Facebook: “I do hope that Pitts’ column — perhaps edited or footnoted if this really amounts to an inaccuracy — is published in the Times-Picayune because its core points contribute a vital perspective to the discussion of whether Newhouse is doing right by New Orleans — a perspective that in my view the readership of the TP is entitled to see.”
“Agreed,” wrote McCusker. “I just did not like the insinuation, intended or otherwise, that we at any point abandoned the city. We had people here throughout and forgive me if I am a tad defensive on that point.”
* The case for journalists and why every citizen can’t be one (Leonard Pitts)
On Wednesday, a Patch local editor questioned another Patch writer’s claim that there were advertorials on the AOL-owned sites.
A Romenesko reader sends this link to a Patch advertorial and a discussion about it on Patch’s employee message board. “Not everyone goes on the system, so that might explain why that editor didn’t know about [the advertorial],” writes my tipster.
Screen grabs from the Patch employee message board:
* Checking in with Meb Keflezighi (Patch sponsored content)
On the day this feature ran, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette executive editor David Shribman told his staff they could no longer use the word “jagoff.” His memo:
From: David Shribman
Subject: On jagoffs.
To the staff:
Yes, I know I didn’t grow up here; and yes, I know it doesn’t mean what some people think it means; and yes, I know this email will be circulated and ridiculed; but, still…
The word “jagoff” has no place in the Post-Gazette or on post-gazette.com.
Some people doubt whether Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. You now have conclusive proof that David Shribman was born in the Puritan stronghold of Salem, Massachusetts. (You could look it up.)
Even so, the ruling stands. No jagoffs in the newsroom, none in the paper and none online, please.
That said, let me add: Have fun making fun of this.
Chris Potter writes: “As Shribman’s email suggests, many people assume the word is a corruption of ‘jack off.’ …. In fact, jagoff has its roots in the northern British Isles, “where most of the original English-speaking settlers in this area came from,” says Carnegie Mellon University professor Barbara Johnstone, the foremost expert on local speech patterns. There, the verb “to jag” meant “to prick or poke” — which is why thorn bushes are called “jaggerbushes” hereabouts. A jagoff, similarly, is simply an annoyance.”
* Let us now praise famous jagoffs (Pittsburgh City Paper)
* Ex-Pittsburghers are hungry for Pittsburgh food (Post-Gazette)
A Bloomberg News PR person writes:
Just wanted to reach out about your post about the coverage of today’s Supreme Court health care ruling. You reference an email that notes that the AP first reported the decision — by our records, Bloomberg moved the story first at 10:07:31; the AP moved the story at 10:07:55. I’ve attached screen shots of both headlines with timestamps for your reference.
An Associated Press editor tells staff that taunting other news outlets is “not the impression we want to reflect as an organization. Let our reporting take the lead.”
* Earlier: AP employee tells Romenesko readers: “Win AP. Big Fail CNN”
From: Scott, David T.
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:51 AM
To: News – Central Editorial Staff
Subject: Twitter/Health Care
Please, immediately, stop taunting on social networks about CNN and others’ SCOTUS ruling mistake and the AP getting it right.
That’s not the impression we want to reflect as an organization. Let our reporting take the lead.
Region Editor/Central U.S.
The Associated Press
* Bloomberg News says it moved health care ruling 24 seconds before the AP
An AP reporter writes in email:
CNN fails badly on SCOTUS health care decision. AP first. Scotusblog saying complicated. CNN says overturned. Win AP. Big Fail CNN. Perhaps they shouldn’t have dropped AP to save money. Accuracy counts.
* CNN gets health care mandate wrong (GlobalPost.com)
* Fox News, CNN blow it on Supreme Court ruling (Politico)
* NEW CNN: We made a correction and apologized for the error (CNN.com)
AP legal affairs reporter Mark Sherman: High court upholds key part of Obama health law
AP MEMO CONGRATULATING MARK SHERMAN
From: “Buzbee, Sally”
Date: June 28, 2012 10:28:30 AM EDT
To: “Sherman, Mark”, News – WDC-Editorial
Your colleagues are proud of you. You have made this newsroom happy _ sincerely, deeply happy.
There were cheers, I’m not kidding.
Washington Bureau Chief
The Associated Press
1100 13th St. NW
Washington DC 20005
202 641 9402