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Daily Archives: October 2, 2012

A memo to Philly.com, Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News employees notes that labor contracts expire next Monday, and that “everyone at the table fully recognizes that changes are essential if our company is to survive.”

Publisher Bob Hall’s memo adds: “We are still not profitable and we have a great deal of work to accomplish, but the road forward provides great promise. …If we can improve our efficiency and reduce costs, we will then be operating our business in a manner that will provide a bright and profitable future.”

Read the full memo after the jump. Read More

“Your Critic’s Notebook column about the overuse of the term ‘Really?’ was so deeply vacuous that I couldn’t help but feel that you have stepped into my area of expertise,” Jerry Seinfeld writes in a letter to the New York Times. “Really, Neil [Genzlinger]? Really? You’re upset about too many people saying, ‘Really?’? I mean, really. …”

So, here’s the bottom line.

If you’re a writer, fine, don’t use it. But in conversation it is fun to say.

* Jerry Seinfeld (really) riffs about … something (nytimes.com)
* Read Seinfeld’s 1999 letter to the Times about the Upper West Side (nytimes.com)


* County wants mayor’s text messages back after they’re accidentally released (orlandoweekly.com)
* “These secret texts have pulled back the curtain on an ugly puppet show” (orlandosentinel.com)

More Tuesday links:
* TPM Prime members pay $50 a year for longform journalism and other extras from Talking Points Memo. (niemanlab.org)
* Barbara Slavin: In fact, I did interview Ahmadinejad last week. (al-monitor.com)
* Claim: Advance Media Group has been unfairly vilified for cutting print publishing days. (al.com)
* Syracuse Post-Standard says 89 full-timers and 26 part-timers were offered “generous severance.” (syracuse.com) | Harrisburg Patriot-News cuts 70. (cumberlink.com)
* Philadelphia Inquirer staffers believe the paper is trying to force its older staffers to quit. (phillymag.com)
* LAT’s Scott Kraft says journalism remains an “incredibly satisfying” endeavor. (ajr.org)
* Black NYT alums remember Sulzberger. (mije.org) | Sulzberger and gays. (mpetrelis.blogspot.com)
* “We could not be more baffled by Emory’s recent decision to eliminate its Journalism Program.” (emorywheel.com)
* Fourteen media groups ask NYPD for a meeting on police-press relations. (nppa.org)

— Original 1976 cover on the left, next to Mad’s version

* Apple Maps wreaks havoc with New Yorker cover (madmagazine.com)
* Mad celebrates 60th anniversary by continuing to question authority (scpr.org)
* Buy the 1976 New Yorker cover for $125 from the Conde Nast Store

Jennifer Livingston, a TV anchor/reporter in La Crosse, Wisconsin, received this letter from a male viewer:

It’s unusual that I see your morning show, but I did so for a very short time today. I was surprised indeed to witness that your physical condition hasn’t improved for many years.

Sure you don’t consider yourself a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular. Obesity is one of the worst choices a person can make and one of the most dangerous habits to maintain. I leave you this note hoping that you’ll reconsider your responsibility as a local public personality to present and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Livingston responded to the man in a segment that ran over 4 minutes. An excerpt:

“While I tried my best to laugh off this very hurtful attack on my appearance, my colleagues could not do the same, especially my husband, our 6 and 10 anchor Mike Thompson. Mike posted this email on his WKBT Facebook page and what happened next has been truly inspiring. Hundreds and hundreds of people have taken the time out of their day to not only lift my spirits, but take a stance that attacks like this are not okay.

Jennifer Livingston (WKBT promo shot)

“The truth is, I am overweight. You can call me fat — and yes, even obese on a doctor’s chart. But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don’t see? …Now I am a grown woman, and luckily for me I have a very thick skin, literally — as that email pointed out — and otherwise. That man’s words mean nothing to me, but really angers me about this is is there are children who don’t know better — who get emails as critical as the one I received or in many cases, even worse, each and every day. …

“I leave you with this: To all of the children out there who feel lost, who are struggling with your weight, with the color of your skin, your sexual preference, your disability, even the acne on your face, listen to me right now. do not let your self-worth be defined by bullies. Learn from my experience — that the cruel words of one are nothing compared to the shouts of many.”

* Watch Jennifer Livingston’s full response to the viewer (news8000.com)

Romenesko reader Carol Flowers wrote late yesterday: “I’ve just learned that our favorite Patch editor has been fired here in Lamorinda, California – apparently for daring to try to moderate the Patch message boards. He has been fighting for more transparency on the site. We liked him because he was always digging and asked tough questions and covered controversial stories no one else would. And he was funny.”

J.D. O’Connor, the fired editor, was dismissed by Patch on Monday — right after his never-take-a-vacation column was posted on the Lamorinda site. I asked O’Connor to tell Romenesko readers what happened.

He sends this dispatch:

Kind of a nutty end to a nutty relationship with AOL Patch. Wish ‘em the best and all but, man, do they have some strange ideas.

Cutting to chase: Yep, I’m fired. No, it didn’t come as a surprise as I guess I challenged their directives too often and, yep, it’s tough but it may be for the good ’cause I don’t work the way they want you to work.

We have a smart, engaged readership here and we’re in a political year, of course, and things got nutty. I castigated the leader of the local Democratic club and others for harpooning rival candidates without saying who she/they represented and was beefed and “management” bought it. I warned that taking no action against spammers/trolls/fifth columnists would open the doors to others and it did. That little admonition earned me a “formal warning” of dismissal and stipulation that I not delete comments without checking with an assistant regional editor [ARE] — who lives in Sacramento. Of course the site was quickly overrun by dirty tricksters.

So editorial control reverted to the ARE, who has no idea of what’s happening in my area, I was handcuffed and unable to moderate my own site, and I had the sword of Damocles hanging over my head if I took any action. Pretty much the Old Catch 22. The ARE said I “ignored his warning and defied his instructions” as he handed me my last check. I still haven’t the foggiest idea what he meant.

Lamorinda Patch was always at the top or near the top in things that matter most to Patch (UVs and sales) and it was fun building that community but my involvement has been brought to an end.

The rest of it would require a fireplace, bottle of scotch, and time to explain but, yep, Patch and me are no more.

* AOL CEO: “Patch has probably done more for local communities than any other online entity” (adweek.com)

* Denver Post caption error even cracks up Prince Charles (westword.com)
* June 2012: Farewell, Denver Post copy editors! (jimromenesko.com)

* Photographer wants hundreds of news outlets and bloggers to pay for using her Trayvon Martin photo. (miamiherald.com)
* Marcus Brauchli on his WaPo tenure: “I would very much like to be here a long time.” (bethesdamagazine.com) | Is Brauchli soon to be out at WaPo? (washingtonian.com)
* Bill O’Reilly lashes out at “dumb and corrupt” St. Louis Post-Dispatch. (riverfronttimes.com) | (stltoday.com)
* New York Times launches “experimental” HTML5 Web app for the iPad. (finance.yahoo.com)
* AOL CEO: “Patch has probably done more for local communities than any other online entity.” (adweek.com)
* New York Times columnist David Brooks calls Michelle Malkin “a loon.” (politico.com)
* Roger Hodge has big plans for the Oxford American. (ajr.org)
* Chris Lee is back at the Los Angeles Times after quitting in 2011 to join NewsBeast. (laobserved.com)
* Modern Luxury, publisher of 40 titles, adds Aspen Magazine to its portfolio. (aspentimes.com)