Monthly Archives: October 2012

The AP and other news outlets on Monday reported that the A was blown off USA Today’s headquarters sign in McLean, Va., but spokesperson Heidi Zimmerman tells Romenesko readers this afternoon:

Letter down!

It was actually both the D and the A in TODAY off of the USA TODAY sign that faces the front of our building on Jones Branch Drive. The letters are approximately 5′ by 3.5′. What fell is the plastic covering over the electrical part of the letter. So — if you drove by right now during the day — you could still read it but you’d definitely know those two letters look “different” because their cover is missing.

* Hurricane Sandy rips the A off USA Today’s headquarters sign (

The two meteorologists

This has to be one of the low points of local news broadcasting….

On Monday’s 6ABC (Philadelphia) 6 p.m. newscast, meteorologist Adam Joseph began his report without his microphone on. You can clearly hear the second meteorologist, Cecily Tynan, react to that by calling Joseph a “moron,” although she claims she said “more on.”

Viewers jumped on Twitter to report the name-calling, which prompted news anchor Jim Gardner to explain at the close of the newscast:

There comes a point where we have to sort of figure out how closely we should respond to what you folks have to say on social media — on Twitter, for instance — and maybe I shouldn’t even acknowledge this, but I think it’s important that the folks who thought that Cecily called Adam an untoward name when Adam was having trouble with his microphone. That’s not at all true.

I really shouldn’t even say the word — it begins with an M and ends with an N, and then there’s an O and an R and an O in there somewhere. What Cecily was saying was, Do you want mine on — my microphone on? And then Adam had the chance to fix his microphone before that even became an issue.

So if you thought that Cecily called Adam an untoward name, that’s not the case at all. We don’t do that here. We are a family. We love each other. [The anchor then turns to a colleague off camera and jokingly says] You’re acting like a moron!

The link below has audio of Tynan’s “moron” remark and anchor Gardner’s denial.

* 6ABC’s Cecily Tynan calls colleague Adam Joseph a ‘moron’ on the air (

— Graphic credit: Texas Tribune

“Newspaper endorsements are at best meaningless anachronisms, and at worst damaging to the newspapers themselves,” writes Edward Morrissey. “Maybe they’d be better to stick with reporting, and let voters figure it out for themselves.”

* Why newspaper endorsements don’t matter (
* 2012 presidential endorsements ( | (

Letter to Romenesko

From DAWN KETTINGER, communications director, Michigan Nurses Association: We’ve been watching from afar in Michigan, seeing all the horror our fellow human beings are facing, and also stories like nurses heroically saving lives by evacuating hospitals last night in NYC, literally keeping vent-dependent babies alive by manually bagging them as they walked them down flights of stairs. Then we see media doing things like this [the Detroit News retweeting the “Count Stormula” crack].

People are hungry for information and connection right now. Moments of misjudgment are understandable, but perhaps it is worth another discussion of how media use their resources and power.

Joe Nocera (left) and Arthur Sulzberger Jr.

New York Times columnist Joe Nocera writes in his column about incoming New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson:

Arthur Sulzberger is in a difficult spot. He believes strongly that he’s got the executive he needs to lead The Times to the promised land of healthy profits again.Although he declined to be interviewed for this column, he appears to have accepted Thompson’s insistence that he knew nothing about the explosive allegations that became public literally 50 days after he accepted the Times job. Sulzberger is backing his man unreservedly.

* Is Mark Thompson the right man for the job? (

* Audit Bureau of Circulations releases its report for the six months ending Sept. 30. (
* New York Times’ weekday circulation jumps 40%, thanks to digital subscribers. (
* FYI: and are free again today; is free for “the duration of the storm.” (
* Huffington Post: Our website is experiencing technical difficulties. (
* “Congrats to Gothamist and Eater, winners of the last Existing NYC Website contest. (The Awl gets a bronze but toppled last night.)” (@choire)
* How college newspapers covered Hurricane Sandy. (
* Village Voice sues Yelp for using “Best of.” (
* Why is boycotting L.A. Press Club’s awards contest. (
* Amateur photographers have the right to shoot in public places, too. (


* Did he really say that? “I majored in the campus newspaper with a minor in recreational substances,” NYT’s Bill Keller told a college audience, according to a student paper. (
* AP corrects poll that found many Americans believe Obama is Jewish. ( | (
* Denver Post ex-columnist Chuck Murphy leaves the paper to work for a nonprofit. (Insert newspaper=nonprofit joke here.) (
* As long as there are politicians, there will be fodder for MAD Magazine. (

Credit: Eliot Caroom, The Star-Ledger

Star-Ledger reporter Tomas Dinges (right) works on a Hurricane Sandy story from a newsroom without power.

The New York Daily News reported earlier this evening that it was without power — along with 1.6 million New Yorkers — and had three feet of water in its lobby.

* Everyone from Star-Ledger to PSE&G employees have lost power (
* New Canaan News still has power, but no Internet; preps for all-nighter (@Woods_NCNews)
* Gawker, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, other sites go down (

— image via @machfowler

Before the fall

* A in USA Today sign blown off Gannett building (
* “All part of our redesign,” jokes USA Today DC bureau chief Susan Page (@SusanPage)

In August, the Charleston Gazette and reporter Ken Ward Jr. were sued by Murray Energy for a July 18 blog post that implied the company and CEO Bob Murray are criminals. (Read “Mitt Romney, Murray Energy and coal criminals.”)

Over the weekend, the Gazette made that lawsuit go away by publishing an op-ed about CEO Murray and his company headlined, “A Great Man For Coal Miners and Their Families.”

Bob Murray

The piece — signed by “Senior Management Employees of Murray Energy Corporation and Subsidiary Companies” — claims the Gazette and its reporter “have become totally discredited by your demonizing the responsible Americans who have created and maintained our important industry and the jobs and families that depend on it. You have chosen to falsely assail our Company and founder using second-hand information or by just creating mistruths.”

Gazette publisher Elizabeth Chilton tells WFPL public radio that the paper’s settlement “contains no admission by the newspaper that anything it published was incorrect, libelous or defamatory.”

Under the settlement, the Gazette agreed to publish a commentary by Mr. Murray responding to the Coal Tattoo blog post that prompted Mr. Murray’s suit.

Our newspaper also has a long history of providing space to allow readers and subjects of our stories to respond to what we publish. The ability to question our reporting or disagree with our commentary is available to anyone.

Meanwhile, Ward continues to post to his Coal Tattoo blog.

* Coal company, Charleston Gazette reach settlement in libel case (
* Murray was probably very pleasantly surprised when he opened his paper and saw the op-ed (
* Earlier: Murray Energy sues Charleston Gazette and reporter Ken Ward Jr. (

Ohman self-portrait via

Oregonian editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman announced on his Facebook page today that he’s leaving the Newhouse paper after 29 years and will reveal his plans later this week. “The decision to leave was mine and mine alone,” he writes. “They will always be in my heart, and I don’t want anyone to worry.” (The Oregonian also has a brief post about the departure.)

Also, Willamette Week reports that Michelle Cole, the Oregonian’s state capitol bureau reporter, is leaving the paper to join a lobbying firm. She’s been at the daily since 1999.

* Editorial cartoonist Jack Ohman leaves Oregonian ( | (
* Oregonian’s Michelle Cole takes job with lobbying firm (