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Daily Archives: November 16, 2012

Do you have a copy of the New York Daily News from Tuesday, October 30? The paper needs one for its archives.

From: Martin, Franz
Date: Fri, Nov 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM
Subject: Seeking A Daily News Issue

To:

As you know, during the days of/following Super Storm Sandy, the Daily News was printing from different facilities.

Wanted: Oct. 30 NYDN

We now find that we are missing one issue for our archives. If you have an intact copy of the October 30th issue that you are willing to part with, any edition, please bring it in for our Library staff. If you don’t know Victoria Luther or other members of the Library staff, I would be happy to accept the paper and get it to her. It would be very much appreciated.

Franz L. Martin
Human Resources | Employee Relations Manager
Daily News | U.S.News & World Report
Please note our new address:
125 Theodore Conrad Drive
Jersey City, NJ 07305
Ph: 212-210-2318 | Fax: 201-521-2742

UPDATE: A Romenesko reader comes through:

Here’s what the Hudson (NY) Register-Star staff wrote to their editor and publisher after reporter Tom Casey was fired for not wanting to mention in his story that an alderman declined to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, then removing his byline when it was added to the piece:

Tom Casey

Tom was fired for doing what any journalism professor would want him to do, stand up for the integrity of his own reporting. He was ordered by management to insert a paragraph about something he did not consider newsworthy and that was totally unrelated to the topic of his article, the city budget.

Because no public outcry had occurred to date over Alderman John Friedman’s decision not to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, there was no reason to include this in the story. Adding an unrelated paragraph without context at the end of a story looks questionable to readers and gives the appearance of bias.

Publisher Roger Coleman and executive editor Theresa Hyland responded this afternoon:

We just don’t understand why a reporter would want to hide this, seemingly protect a public official or censor the news. And to be frank, that is exactly what happened here. …

We didn’t ask for an opinion piece. We asked for the event to be included in a news story. And we didn’t dictate how it was to be written.

Hyland and Coleman

Claims that we (Roger F. Coleman or Theresa E. Hyland) wrote the paragraphs regarding the pledge and inserted them into the story are patently false. If we had, a request to remove a byline would be understandable. The request to remove a byline is not an everyday occurrence, but it does happen in our industry. The request never made it to either of us and the byline was removed without our knowledge.

* A statement from the publisher and editor (registerstar.com)
* Register-Star staff sends protest letter to bosses (sampratt.com)
* Earlier: Reporter fired after taking byline off story (jimromenesko.com)
* Earlier: City editor, two reporters quit to protest colleague’s dismissal (jimromenesko.com)

UPDATE: Late Thursday, I asked Casey and his former colleagues to tell my readers about their Register-Star departures. Their responses are after the jump. Read More

“Remember, I know where the bodiesttles are buried.”

That’s what Dow Jones editor and WSJ Law blogger Sam Favate tells colleagues in his farewell letter. (“One of the best ‘goodbye’ emails I’ve ever received,” says the journalist who forwarded it.)

More from Favate:

The heated discussions we’ve had gave this place vibrancy. (Oh, and if anyone was offended by anything I said in the wake of the 2000 election: Too bad! That election was stolen!) I’m sure you’re relieved that I will no longer maintain a pretense of political agnosticism. (Hah!)

“And do me a favor,” the lawyer/journalist writes in closing. “Don’t keep your desks so damn tidy. Keep it looking like a newsroom. You ought to be able to blow the dust off a book that’s been sitting out for a few years and find a nugget of wisdom when you need it.”

His farewell email is after the jump. Read More


Chicago Tribune media writer Robert Channick reports the new owners of Tribune Co. are expected to put Peter Liguori in the chief executive’s chair. Reuters broke the news in September that the 52-year-old TV exec was in “late-stage discussions” for the job.

Liguori is a former top TV executive at Fox and Discovery. The decision to name him CEO ends months of speculation and will usher in a new era for the 165-year-old media giant, which owns newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, and television stations.

* Sources: Peter Liguori to become CEO of Tribune Co. (chicagotribune.com)
* FCC grants Tribune Co. waivers, clears way to exit bankruptcy (chicagotribune.com)

— Michelle Johnson (video screengrab)

Michelle Johnson made a farewell video after being laid off this week from Warren Buffett’s Winston-Salem Journal. She writes in her intro on vimeo.com:

After 12 years, six job titles, five desks, two phone extensions and one system logon name, it was time for me to go.

I’m incredibly grateful to a place that gave me a home and a paycheck when I needed it most, and to a group of people who 1) loved me in spite of my considerable flaws, and 2) provided me infinite opportunities to become a better journalist and a better person.

In moments such as these, all I know to do is make something. So, my beloveds, this is for you.

* Goodbye, Newsroom (vimeo.com)

Both the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times have tributes today to former Tribune security guard Wendell Smothers, who worked at the newspaper “for more years than most of us can remember.” The 52-year-old man was found dead in his home, a North Side Chicago hotel room, earlier this week. The coroner blames heart disease.

Wendell Smothers (Photo: SunTimes.com)

“In March, in a round of layoffs, Wendell left the Tribune. The distress in the newsroom was as palpable as a pinched nerve,” writes Mary Schmich.

She tells of how Smothers kept a communal candy dish at his security post. One day the sweets were no longer there and a reporter asked why.

“It cost too much,” explained the guard, who worked at the Gap when he wasn’t at his newspaper job. Staffers didn’t know that Smothers — rather than bankrupt Tribune — was paying for their candy.

Schmich writes:

Every office has its fixtures, the people who seem like they’ve always been there and always will be, whose value, as a result, is fully appreciated only when they’re gone. That was Wendell Smothers.

I hope he knew that for a long time after he left, his blue cardigan hung on his abandoned chair, and that his desk was still called Wendell’s desk.

On Thursday, some of his old colleagues put fresh flowers on the desk, and the candy dish, once again, was full

I received two emails about the Smothers stories this morning. One pointed out the difference in the two papers’ references to Smothers’ Tribune exit; the second emailer wrote: “When Wendell was laid off after 21 years (I think I read that he’d started in 1991), did he lose his health coverage? To put it more bluntly, did the layoff basically rip away his safety net (and kill him)?”

I asked that question of the Tribune and was told I couldn’t get an answer because of privacy issues.

(Note: I hit a paywall with the chicagotribune.com link below, but was able to read the column by Googling the headline.)

* Wendell Smothers was a fixture of the Tribune newsroom (chicagotribune.com)
* Wendell Smothers, former Chicago Tribune security guard, dies at 52 (suntimes.com)

When Roger Ailes has something to say, he usually gets the message out through Howard Kurtz, so I was surprised to see Chris Ariens’s “lengthy interview” with the Fox News chief on TV Newser this morning.

I asked Ariens how it came about. Here’s what he tells Romenesko readers:

One of the publicists called me Tuesday afternoon and invited me to come and cover the Ailes Apprenticeship event. They didn’t ask for me specifically, but I said I’d be happy to cover it and I assumed some other reporters would be there, but I don’t think any were. They said I’d could probably get a few minutes with Ailes afterward.

After the event, I figured he’d come to the back of the studio and I’d get one or two questions and be on my way. Instead we walked to his office where we sat down for just shy of a half hour. I’d never met Ailes or interviewed him, so I was surprised at how much time he was giving me.

I asked Ariens about interview ground rules.

He didn’t decline to discuss anything. I was never told beforehand what he would or wouldn’t discuss. He never said anything was off the record and never gave me a no comment. It was a very casual conversation. So much information and so wide ranging that I’m breaking it up into several posts. I think that’s what TVNewser readers are used to anyway, the short bursts of news rather than a longer piece.

* Ailes on election night: “Rove was wrong. …Our guys were right.” (mediabistro.com)
* Earlier: Dealing with the Fox News PR machine (jimromenesko.com)

Overholser

Geneva Overholser, who has led the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism since 2008, is stepping down in June when her five-year term ends. A release says: “During the past four years, USC Annenberg’s journalism school has transformed its curriculum, strengthened its digital expertise and doubled the size of the public relations program faculty. Overall, 12 faculty members have been added to the Journalism School.”

Read the full release after the jump. Read More

A man who identifies himself as Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter and photographer Mike Clark has been asking teenage female athletes for interviews and photo sessions. High schools have been warned about him.

“We don’t contact high school kids directly,” says Journal Sentinel prep sports editor Mark Stewart. “So if some stranger calls you up and wants to set up a picture or interview at your home or wants to meet you somewhere, that’s a red flag.”

Stewart was tipped by a Wisconsin State Journal reporter, whose daughter — a high school golfer — received a call from the man claiming to be a Journal Sentinel reporter and was asked “odd questions,” like how tall she was. The next day a Milwaukee area athletic director called Stewart and reported that the guy had asked two girls for photo sessions. “An interview at the school was set up in the hopes of catching him, but he never showed up,” reports Georgia Pabst.

“We believe we might know who this individual is,” says a police chief.

* Fake reporter trying to lure female athletes (jsonline.com)
* Editor: “This person DOES NOT work for us and his actions have been shady, to say the least” (patch.com)