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Daily Archives: July 27, 2012

@andrewmjones: “I present you with the best AP wire of all time”:
via @koblin

Autoweek’s Rory Carroll

* An Autoweek writer admits to bidding on neon signs and other Ford memorabilia on behalf of Edsel Ford II. Rory Carroll tells the people he met at a June auction: “I might not have been entirely forthright about who I was or what I was doing in New Hampshire buying old signs. In fact, I might have concocted an unnecessarily complex backstory just for you. But it’s never too late to tell the truth, so here it goes.” (Autoweek.com)
* Salt Lake City police flooded with calls after Drudge links to stabbing rampage story from April. (IBTimes.com)
* Reporter’s zeal to get a quote from Rep. David Dreier leads her to the men’s room off the House floor. (Washington Post)
* CNN president Jim Walton to step down at the end of the year. (New York Times)
* Newsman who was fired by Cincy Enquirer for stealing Chiquita voice messages has been working as a weekly editor. (MLive.com)
* FT digital subscriptions surpass print circulation globally. (FT.com)
* New York Times is now primarily supported by readers, not advertisers. (New York)
* Freelance photographers find certain parts of new New York Daily News contract to be onerous. (Capital New York)
* Columbus Dispatch previews smaller format that’s coming in September. (FormattedForLife.com) | Dispatch exec defends paywall. (BizJournals.com)
* Miami Herald paywall coming later this year. (New Times)

The Indianapolis Star has put its downtown headquarters up for sale. “We need space that inspires us to be creative and digitally focused as we continue to pursue great journalism that makes an impact and is a positive force on our community,” says the publisher’s memo to staff.

From: Crotchfelt, Karen
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 2:31 PM
To: Messages to INI
Subject: Important Announcement about the Penn St. building

Indianapolis Star building

As part of the strategic transformation of our company we have decided, after 104 years, to put our downtown building on North Pennsylvania Street up for sale. The Penn building has been a wonderful part of our history, but it no longer suits the size or needs of our staff. We need space that inspires us to be creative and digitally focused as we continue to pursue great journalism that makes an impact and is a positive force on our community.

We are committed that Star employees will relocate to a new location downtown still to be determined. We hope to find space that inspires our future and welcomes our community to be a partner in the conversation. We have no timeline for a sale or for a move. Now that the announcement has been made, we will begin to define our needs for a move and consider all options.

CBRE has been retained to represent us in the sale and to help us determine our relocation plans. Jeff Luebker [Jeff.Luebker@cbre.com] is our contact at CBRE.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Karen

On Wednesday, Lee Enterprises disclosed in an SEC filing that it awarded CEO Mary Junck 500,000 shares of company stock, valued at $655,000.

Today, Lee explains why the newspaper chain’s compensation committee, which gave Junck a $500,000 bonus in the spring, believes the CEO deserves the stock award.

After review of CEO compensation of other publicly-traded newspaper companies, the ECC concluded that Ms. Junck’s compensation, including equity-based compensation, is substantially below that of her peers in the newspaper industry. …The ECC believes that the Company’s stockholders will benefit from linking Ms. Junck’s compensation to appreciation in the value of the Company’s common stock.

Just hours after Junck received her latest bonus, she and her associates laid off four editors at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the journalists finished their Thursday shifts.

Front-page editor and deputy managing editor/news Steve Parker, who had been with the paper for 31 years, was the top manager to get laid off last night. Photography director Larry Coyne, food editor Judy Evans and asst. metro editor Tim Bross also lost their jobs.

Meanwhile, Lee shares are down on an up day on Wall Street.

* Lee 8-K: Report of unscheduled material events or corporate (Lee.net)
* Post-Dispatch lays off four newsroom managers (JimRomenesko.com)
* Junck made $1.5 million in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 (Post-Dispatch)

Here’s what Lee’s SEC filing states:

On July 23, 2012, the Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (the “Company”) Board of Directors’ Executive Compensation Committee (“ECC”) approved a discretionary grant of non-incentive restricted shares of the Company’s common stock (“Restricted Common Stock”) for Mary E. Junck, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, in the amount of 500,000 shares, pursuant to the Company’s 1990 Long-Term Incentive Plan, as from time to time amended and restated (“LTIP”). On the grant date, the closing price on the NYSE of the Company’s common stock was $1.31 per share. After review of CEO compensation of other publicly-traded newspaper companies, the ECC concluded that Ms. Junck’s compensation, including equity-based compensation, is substantially below that of her peers in the newspaper industry. This Restricted Common Stock grant, which is the first grant of restricted common stock awarded to her since December 2007, aligns a significant portion of Ms. Junck’s compensation with the performance of the Company’s common stock over the next three years. The ECC believes that the Company’s stockholders will benefit from linking Ms. Junck’s compensation to appreciation in the value of the Company’s common stock. Participants currently do not pay any purchase price for Restricted Common Stock awarded under the LTIP.

* She was a lifelong Mets fan, but that’s not what killed her (h/t Brian Amaral)
* There are more quirky obits (and other things) on Romenesko’s Pinterest page


The University of New Orleans and its NPR affiliate are announcing today the formation of NewOrleansReporter.org, a nonprofit news operation run by 10 to 20 news producers and funded by up to $2 million in annual memberships.

NPR chief content officer Kinsey Wilson says newspapers’ “weakening and sometimes collapse is leaving communities with a real information deficit. In broad terms, we have seen this as being an opportunity for public radio to be one of the emerging players, as the news business is rebuilt.”

The Wall Street Journal reports:

NewOrleansReporter.org will be operated by WWNO, a local NPR affiliate owned by the University of New Orleans, a state university. NPR plans to provide technical and journalistic expertise for the new operation—part of a broader national effort by NPR to build up affiliate news operations. WWNO already switched to a heavier news format Monday.

The news outlet — it will focus on local government, economic development, education, crime and other civic issues — hopes to be up and running by the end of the year.

* New Orleans news organization to be created by NPR, University of New Orleans (WSJ.com)
* WWNO-FM and NPR to announce partnership with NewOrleansReporter.org (Gambit)

UPDATE: The press release is after the jump. Read More

Lee-owned St. Louis Post-Dispatch laid off four news managers late Thursday and, a tipster reports, “we have intel that the total layoffs could grow to a final number of 20+ people on Friday.” (A second tipster says the four were called at home with the news after working their night shifts.)

The layoffs came one day after Lee CEO Mary Junck acquired 500,000 shares of the newspaper chain’s stock for the grand total of zero dollars. (Lee shares closed at $1.30 on Thursday.)

Post-Dispatch and other Lee employees: please send me updates at Jim@JimRomenesko.com.

* Post-Dispatch lays off 4 managers, more layoffs expected (Storify.com)
* Christmas comes early for Lee CEO Mary Junck (JimRomenesko.com)