Daily Archives: August 16, 2012

Tuscaloosa News city editor Katherine Lee laughed when I told her that the story about Walter White being wanted for meth manufacturing was all over Facebook and Twitter.

Walter White (left and right)

Walter White (left and right)

Why didn’t your story mention “Breaking Bad” and its meth-making Walter White character? I asked. “It wasn’t [left out] on purpose,” she says; they just didn’t think it was a big deal — although Lee says she and her cops reporter laughed when they saw the police blotter item.

“We might add [a show reference] now,” says the editor.

You’re familiar with the show? I asked. “I just started watching it. My fiance and I are now on season two.”

UPDATE: Cops and courts reporter Stephanie Taylor, who wrote the Walter White post, says in an email: “My husband and I are huge ‘Breaking Bad’ fans. I thought it was hilarious when I saw the ‘most wanted’ [item]. I posted it and didn’t think a lot of people would get it, and that those who did would get the inside joke.”

* Walter White wanted for manufacturing meth (

A Time magazine spokesperson emails:

We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for TIME, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized. We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7.

“It’s been a crazy week at Paul Ryan’s hometown newspaper,” Janesville Gazette editor Scott Angus tells Romenesko readers. When staffers at the family-owned paper learned late Friday that Ryan was Mitt Romney’s running mate, they rushed an AP dispatch into Saturday morning’s paper and then gathered in the newsroom early Saturday to produce 12 pages of Ryan coverage for the Sunday paper.

Angus writes in an email:

The Gazette had begun planning for the possibility six weeks before but had slowed down the work after Ryan’s prospects seemed to dim a few weeks before the eventual announcement. Planning picked up again when the Wall Street Journal and Weekly Standard both heartily endorsed the seven-term congressman, but the paper had little more than a plan in place when the announcement came. Up to 20 staffers worked 12- to 16-hour days Saturday to produce Sunday’s coverage.

Gazette staffers have taken dozens of requests for information and interviews from media everywhere. “Reporters from the BBC to CBS Evening News to the Financial Times have been seeking information on Ryan’s background, his hometown, his relationship with the media and much more,” writes Angus. “The Gazette has accommodated most of the requests, and staffers have logged more air time on radio and TV than at any time in the paper’s history.”

I asked the editor if he’d share traffic and circulation stats:

Sales of Sunday’s historic edition were brisk, and the paper continues to sell. Preliminary circulation numbers show about an extra 1,000 copies had been sold as of Friday. Normal Sunday distribution is about 23,000. Traffic to The Gazette’s website,, during the four days after the announcement approached 600,000 page views, which is about a 5 percent increase from normal.

On Monday, Gazette reporter Greg Peck wrote about attending church on Sunday: “It’s also Ryan’s church. Though Ryan wasn’t there, several reporters were, including at least one using a video camera during the service. Those reporters were just doing their jobs, though I’m sure some parishioners thought prying cameras at a church service were an invasion of privacy.”

Joel Stein

“I thought the gig Herb Caen had was kind of what I wanted, more than his writing style,” says Time magazine columnist Joel Stein.

I think I realized that Dave Barry was funnier than I’ll ever be, and he made no attempt to make any actual points. He had a general libertarian point of view, but in general, he just liked to make jokes. As he later told me, he wished his stuff was on the comics page, because then people wouldn’t ask him what his point was.

* Interview with Joel Stein. (
* Sulzberger’s “Invest in the Times” growth strategy explained. (
* NYT Co.’s new CEO doesn’t have much to celebrate. (
* University of Georgia Red and Black board members are meeting today. (
* Alan Brake takes over as executive editor of The Architect’s Newspaper. (
* “Time to think outside of the honor box” in Philadelphia. (
* Al Roker suggests Matt Lauer threw Ann Curry under the bus. (
* Reality-show host Gen. Wesley Clark aims to have young people “see the military through the eyes of Nick Lachey.” (

Burl Osborne

Burl Osborne, who died on Wednesday, “reinvigorated The Dallas Morning News as its executive editor in the early 1980s and as publisher,” says A.H. Belo CEO Robert Decherd. “Burl charted The News’ emergence as one of America’s truly distinguished newspapers.

* Longtime Dallas Morning News exec Burl Osborne dies (

From: A. H. Belo Corporate Communications
Date: Thu, Aug 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Subject: Message from Bob Mong

To One and All:

I am saddened to announce the death of Burl Osborne, the great editor and publisher who led The Dallas Morning News for 21 years. His judgment and competitiveness were instrumental in shaping this newspaper and leading it to national prominence. For those of you who knew him, you learned and prospered from his guidance. For those of you who came later, you can stand assured this is a far better place because of Burl.

Bob Mong, editor

Shares of Lee Enterprises jumped 20% Wednesday on the news that Warren Buffett’s stake in the newspaper chain has grown to 6%, or 3.23 million shares. In June, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway held 1.7 million shares.

Warren Buffett

Newspaper industry analyst John Morton says Buffett likes the combination of low stock prices and respectable margins. (Lee’s profit margin is 14%; its stock price has gone from the $45 range in 2005 to $1.59 on Wednesday.)

The Post-Dispatch’s Jim Gallagher writes:

Would Buffett like to own Lee? “It wouldn’t surprise me,” said Morton.

Lee spokesman Dan Hayes says Buffett has not contacted management nor made a purchase offer.

“Warren Buffett is a very welcome investor,” he said.

Buffett’s stake in Lee stock is worth about $5.1 million, which is small potatoes to Buffett and his company. Last November, he bought $85 million of Lee debt, paying 65 cents on the dollar, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

* Warren Buffett increases stake in Lee Enterprises (
* “We can see why Buffett tried to keep Lee a secret” (
* Previous Romenesko coverage of Lee Enterprises and its execs

Ed Morales

UPDATE: The Red and Black board of directors issued a statement Thursday morning. It reads in part:

In an effort to provide a better product for our readers of print and digital news and to provide better training for our student journalists, The Red & Black recently decided to add additional professionals to both the editorial and business staff, half of whom are part time.

The Red & Black does not plan to have these professionals assume the role of our student Editor in Chief. The editorial director is a counselor, teacher, mentor, coordinator and manager. The editorial director is charged with helping students make smart content decisions prior to publication, particularly on stories, which involve issues of libel or standards of quality and ethics. It is not, nor has it ever been the intention of the board to censor student content.

* Red and Black board’s statement concerning the resignations of student editors

Ed Morales, who goes from editorial adviser to editorial director at University of Georgia’s student newspaper, says “he graduated from the University of Maryland too long ago to remember.”

Adviser to the Red and Black since 2006, Morales “has worked for six newspapers, accumulated hundreds of bylines, and covered hurricanes on both the football field and from the Atlantic Ocean,” according to his bio.

Morales has worked as a news editor (Palm Beach Post and Milledgeville Union-Recorder), sports copy desk chief (Tallahassee Democrat), sportswriter and designer (Centre Daily Times) and soccer columnist and agate clerk (Washington Times).

I’ve emailed Morales for comment on yesterday’s events.

University of Georgia vice president of public affairs Tom Jackson says in a statement:

We’re watching the developments at the Red & Black with interest, but as you know, it is an independent corporation with its own board of directors, made up of some very accomplished members, many of whom are UGA alumni. We trust they and the student staff will be able to work out their differences for the good of the Red & Black and the university.

* Morales in April: The making of a student media revolution (
* Red and Black staffers walk out after Morales named editorial director (
* Morales tells English class about submitting articles to the Red and Black (

Joel Mathis’s plan to save Philadelphia’s dailies:
— Turn the Philadelphia Inquirer into a digital-only subscription publication — except for Sundays when the paper would be delivered to homes.
— Take the Daily News offline and continue to it print six days a week.

* New York Times Co. has enough cash to go private. (
* What an Adweek writer thinks of HuffPost Live after watching it for three days: (
* University of Memphis paper struggles with budget cuts and a tight-lipped administration. (
* Media critic Eric Deggans urges struggling CNN to shake things up. (
* Confusion at the New York Magazine vs. New York Times Magazine softball game. (
* There’s a free hotline for journalists covering the political conventions. (
* Send news tips, links, memos and gossip to Romenesko at

Margalit Fox’s Helen Gurley Brown obituary “was detailed, chatty, and respectful,” writes Michael Miner. The New York Times writer’s line about parts of the Cosmo editor being younger than 90 — Brown’s age — “sounded like something Helen Gurley Brown would have written herself. …Good things can come when writers swing for the offenses.”

* Dubious taste – always correct (
* Earlier: Margalit Fox explains how she wrote “the most bad-ass obit ever” (