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Daily Archives: October 4, 2012

Employees of Military Times, Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and other Gannett Government Media publications were told today to take a five-day furlough before the end of the year.

From the memo:

Q. Is this part of a wider Gannett furlough plan?
A. Other Gannett units, as well as members of corporate staff, have already taken furloughs this year to meet their budget obligations. We did not enter the year anticipating such a need. But when we fell short of our targets, furloughs became necessary.

Q. Will there be another furlough in Quarter 1 of 2013?
A. Our hope is that future furloughs will not be necessary but business conditions combined with economic trends will be the major factors as we continue to assess this market. No decision on this can be made at this time.

The memo — it has a “Fourth Quarter, 2013″ typo — is after the jump.

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Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell believes print revenue will rise .5% next year, with smaller papers seeing the greatest improvement.

“Mid-sized papers, those in the 50,000 to 100,000 circulation range, are expected to see mixed results, with revenue staying mostly flat,” reports Eric J. Smith.

Borrell predicts large metro papers will continue to see declines in the 4% to 6% range.

Borrell predicted that most markets will see local online ad revenue rise 30% in 2013. Targeted banner ads — those related to content readers care about — and video will be the primary drivers behind the rise, increasing 105% and 43% respectively.

* Borrell: Newspaper revenue to rise in 2013 (netnewscheck.com)

I’m told that the note below from Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson — sent out shortly after noon today — is being described in the newsroom as “the layoffs memo.” In it, Thomson writes:

We must now begin a new phase of integration, creating a single newsroom that does away with duplication and puts extra emphasis on scoops, thoughtful analysis and deeper reporting. The aim is to fashion an editorial engine that will drive content for all of our platforms, from the print Journal to a real real-time news service and customized digital feeds for specialist readers. For that strategy to be successful, total integration must be our imperative, not to cut costs (though spending, like imbibing, should always be done in moderation), but to make the most of our peerless journalism.

THE MEMO:

From: Thomson, Robert
Sent: Thursday, October 04, 2012 12:09 PM
To: Newswires_USERS; WSJ All News Staff
Subject: editorial epoch

Dear All,

We have journeyed far together over the past few years, having become the best-selling newspaper in the US, created a global digital platform with more than 60 million different readers each month, and revived Newswires with DJFX Trader, among many, many other accomplishments. Journal and Newswire journalists now frequently share a common space, architecturally and culturally, and have a far clearer sense of shared purpose in an era in which many news organizations are dazed and confused.

Robert Thomson

Our journey is far from over and we must now begin a new phase of integration, creating a single newsroom that does away with duplication and puts extra emphasis on scoops, thoughtful analysis and deeper reporting. The aim is to fashion an editorial engine that will drive content for all of our platforms, from the print Journal to a real real-time news service and customized digital feeds for specialist readers. For that strategy to be successful, total integration must be our imperative, not to cut costs (though spending, like imbibing, should always be done in moderation), but to make the most of our peerless journalism.

We will be mobilizing joint journalistic teams around particular subjects with a view to dominating those areas, generating more scoops, moving more markets and providing extra time for textured reporting. A team of senior editors will be reaching out to many of you in coming days to solicit opinions and elicit ideas. We will then distil your wisdom (and discard my preconceptions) and move quickly to form new reporting and editing teams to take advantage of the manifold opportunities that await the world’s classiest journalists and the globe’s pre-eminent news organization.

Robert.

@FiredBigBird gets the hook from Twitter. The account is suspended.

* @FiredBigBird now homeless too after Twitter suspends account (thenewcivilrightsmovement.com)
* Romney’s Big Bird statement sparks @FiredBigBird account (huffingtonpost.com)
* The account had 26,000+ followers within 12 hours (ajc.com)
* @SadBigBird is still up-and-running, though (twitter.com)

UPDATE:

UPDATE II:

Big Bird’s email: “I got re-instated… apparently twitter needed to confirm I was not spam…”

For nine months now, Dominion Virginia Power has said “no comment” to every inquiry from the Virginian-Pilot. The utility is unhappy with the paper’s coverage on a host of issues, reports Roger Chesley.

They include Dominion’s role in supplying 1.5 million tons of fly ash to sculpt a Chesapeake golf course, the perverse rate structure that allows Dominion to refund only 60 percent of excess profits to customers, and Dominion’s attempt to corner the emerging wind-energy market off the Atlantic coast.

When Pilot editors sat down with Dominion officials to discuss their differences, they were presented with catalogued “evidence” of unfair coverage:

Utility officials noted that on April 1, 2009, The Pilot ran an above-the-fold, front-page package on a proposal to boost electric rates. When Dominion later agreed to lower rates and give refunds, the placement Nov. 6 was below the fold on the front page.

The utility did comment for today’s column about its no-comment policy. Its rep told Chesley: “Following a long history of inaccurate, biased and unfair news coverage and opinion pieces, and numerous conversations with Virginian-Pilot management and staff regarding that unfair coverage, we decided it serves no reasonable purpose to respond to inquiries from the Pilot.”

* Utility’s policy of “no comment” hardly useful to customers (hamptonroads.com)

A survey by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab found that 51.4% of current Times-Picayune subscribers plan to buy the Baton Rouge Advocate’s New Orleans edition, and 28.2% of those who don’t subscribe to the Times-Picayune plan to buy the Advocate. (The Advocate reports today that so many New Orleans area residents called the Advocate to subscribe that they overwhelmed paper’s circulation department phone system.)

Other findings from LSU’s “The State of Newspapers in New Orleans” survey:

* 41% of respondents said they were very interested in receiving local news in print on a daily basis.
* 34.3% of area residents report that they have a paid subscription to the Times-Picayune
* Only 11% of area respondents said they would pay for online news.
* 82% were aware of the Times-Picayune’s plans to move to 3 days a week.
* Television is the main source of local news for respondents, with 45% of residents turning to it. Local newspapers and the Internet come in second and third with 23% and 19% respectively.

A summary of the survey results is after the jump.

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* Sarah Palin blows a post-debate prediction: “Ninety percent of the liberal media — the lamestream media — they’re going to say, of course, that Barack Obama won the debate.” (washingtonpost.com)
* The press watches the debate from the worst seats in the country. (buzzfeed.com)
* Patton Oswald and other Twitter celebrities rip Obama’s debate performance. (westword.com)
* Murdoch’s newspapers — and the Times of London especially — are caught in a perfect storm. (Reuters via nytimes.com)
* Demand for Baton Rouge Advocate’s New Orleans edition is so great that the phone system can’t handle it. (theadvocate.com)
* New York Times, USA Today and two North Carolina papers win Barlett & Steele Awards for Investigative Business Journalism. (businessjournalism.org)
* Census.IRE.org will add more data using $450,000 in Knight funds. (Niemanlab.org)
* KitchenAid apologizes for offensive tweet about Obama’s dead grandmother. (adweek.com)
* Jon Stewart isn’t impressed with Tucker Carlson’s race-baiting. (theatlanticwire.com)
* A response to former San Antonio editor Bob Rivard’s “Without Apology” column. (plazadearmast.com)
* Olive Garden reviewer Marilyn Hagerty picks up her Al Neuharth Award today. (npr.org)