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Daily Archives: November 30, 2012

Anne Gordon

Former Philadelphia Inquirer managing editor Anne Gordon has been named Philadelphia Eagles senior vice president of media and communications, a new position.

From the release:

In her role, Gordon will have oversight of the organization’s various communications groups including football media services, community relations and all mobile, social media, internet and other new digital media platforms. She will begin active, daily management of the new department January 2nd.

Gordon joined the Inquirer in 1999 and was named managing editor in 2002. She left the paper in 2007. She’s currently chairman of the board of the Cadence Cycling Foundation.

* Eagles name Anne Gordon new senior VP (philadelphiaeagles.com)
* Ex-colleagues seem to be amused by the appointment (phillymag.com)

I was listening to “John Hein’s TV Show” on SiriusXM Satellite Radio yesterday when Hein and guest Alan Sepinwall — the HitFix writer and former Star-Ledger TV critic — started talking about “The Sopranos.”

Sepinwall (left) casually mentioned that “my boss at the Star-Ledger when ‘The Sopranos’ came on [the air] was James Gandolfini’s freshman roommate at Rutgers, and he put the dent in Gandolfini’s head.”

Is that a scoop? I wondered — then asked.

Sepinwall isn’t sure, and tells me that the former boss and Gandolfini classmate is Mark Di Ionno, now a Star-Ledger columnist and author of “The Last Newspaperman.”

I asked Di Ionno if he’s told the story before. He writes:

Mark Di Ionno

I have never written about the incident. It was during a dart gun fight. I kicked a metal door on him and it hit in the head. It knocked him out. And I had to take him to the ER to get stitched up. One correction: we weren’t roommates, but we lived on the same dorm floor. This was 35 years ago. Jim called himself Buck. His roommate, a New Jersey accountant named Stu Levine can verify. [He wasn’t in his office when I called Friday afternoon, but I trust you, Mark.]

But back to Sepinwall …. His book, “The Revolution was Televised,” recently came out, and I had a few questions about it.

How was the self-publishing experience?
Self-publishing has been an interesting but so far very positive experience. It helped that I had a friend (sitcom writer/baseball broadcaster/blogger Ken Levine) who had done it several times and could walk me through the process, and introduce me to a professional cover artist and a formatting company who would make sure that my book looked like a real book and not something I slapped together. And it helped that another friend, Sarah Bunting, is a professional editor (among her many jobs) whom I could hire to both spot typos and point out when I was going way off course in a given chapter.

So I wasn’t doing it alone, but I also wasn’t doing it as cheaply as you can with a self-published book. By going this route, I was not only foregoing a publisher’s advance, but paying money out of pocket just to get the book to look the way I wanted it to. (On the other hand, print-on-demand programs like the one I used with Amazon eliminate the overhead going forward.) I had to have faith that I had enough of a platform with my blog and my social media presence, plus relationships to writers and editors at other publications, that I could promote and sell enough copies to make it worth it.

How is the book doing?
So far, it’s been selling fairly well, and the reaction’s been almost universally positive, which is nice. By doing it this way, I was able to write the exact book I wanted to write, and also publish it exactly when I wanted. I finished the manuscript in late October, and it was on sale before Thanksgiving. Though it’s mostly a time capsule, there were references in the epilogue to what some of the creators were up to now, and in a few cases, something significant changed right as I was getting ready to publish, and I was able to change that almost instantly.

Challenges?
I’ve run into some obstacles here and there. Some major publications have policies against reviewing self-published books, for various reasons. (One editor told me it’s the only way to spare her from having to spend all day every day explaining to the various eccentrics who call in why the paper won’t be writing about their manifestos; another said the policy assumed that they could trust the publishing houses to help narrow down what was and wasn’t worth reading and writing about.) But I’m really happy with the book so far, and the response to it.

* James Poniewozik: Think of Sepinwall’s book as the ultimate DVD-set commentary (time.com)

A Cleveland Plain Dealer headline from Nov. 29, 2011, reported that “John Kasich says he doesn’t read Ohio’s newspapers.” The governor complained that “reading newspapers does not give you an uplifting experience.”

One year later, “the Ohio governor appears to have found quite an uplifting article,” notes the Ohio Newspaper Association.

Kasich tweeted this photo earlier today.

* Columbus Dispatch headline uplifts Gov. Kasich (ohionews.org)


Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group closed on its purchase of the Colorado Springs Gazette — formerly a Freedom Communications paper — and pledged to hire staff and increase the size of the paper.

“People in newsroom, especially people who’ve been here at the long time, remember a day when the newspaper was thicker, the reporting was better, and they’re going to be excited to get back to that,” says Gazette publisher Dan Steever.

* Philip Anschutz buys Colorado Springs Gazette (bizjournals.com) | (gazette.com)

Mandy Stadtmiller

xoJane.com’s Mandy Stadtmiller, a 1997 Medill grad, tells The Daily Northwestern that she advises journalism students “to not be afraid and to recognize the asset you have in your youth and your position as a college student.”

I got flown out to New York by Miramax to interview Gwyneth Paltrow, David Schwimmer and a ton of other stars in ‘96 just because I called and left a message. I called some movie company, looking to do an interview with some celebrity … and they were doing this junket and they called me and flew me out to New York.

She mentions that her 2006 New York Post feature about meeting Myspace users “was really huge” — Gawker called it “the story she was born to write” — and that it “was a really special article for me because I got more reactions from that article than many others.” (What about this memorable piece, Mandy?)

* Q-and-A with Mandy Stadtmiller, xoJane deputy editor and NU alum (dailynorthwestern.com)
* Lost in Myspace: Seven days spent with the People of the Year (nypost.com)
* Was it wrong for Stadtmiller to dish about Aaron Sorkin (villagevoice.com)
* Stadtmiller in 2004: I’m now writing about NU’s Medical Scientist Training Program (northwestern.edu)

Scott Sherman writes in his piece on the 114-day New York newspaper strike of 1962 and 1963:

If the strike hastened the decline of newspaper culture in New York, it also changed the landscape of literary journalism: the void created by the news blackout helped to launch and solidify the careers of Gay Talese, Nora Ephron, Pete Hamill, and Wolfe himself.

“The freedom that came with that strike,” says Talese, who was then a 30-year-old Timesman, “made me, for the first time, know what it was like to be a writer rather than a reporter whose life was owned by the Times.”

A half-century later, some New York journalists are still livid about what happened, reports Sherman. Tom Wolfe tells him: “This was an absolutely foolish strike.”

* How the 1962-63 newspaper strike crippled a newspaper town (vanityfair.com)

“It’s probably only a matter of time before this word is thought of as grammatically correct,” writes a Quora commenter.

Your thoughts on what’re? Let us know in comments.

* Is “what’re” a proper contraction? (quora.com)
* Today’s USA Today front page (newseum.org)

Michael Baron

* TheStreet.com’s Michael Baron is tied to a sophisticated insider-trading ring. The criminal complaint calls him a co-conspirator. (wsj.com)
* Why Marty Baron — Washington Post’s new executive editor — shouldn’t listen to David Carr. (jacklimpert.com)
* Paul Farhi: “This may be a Golden Age of non-facts, the Era of Error.” (ajr.org)
* Ed Sherman defends SportingNews.com columnist David Whitley after he’s called a racist. (shermanreport.com)
* Ex-NBC News chief predicts new CNN president Jeff Zucker will try to recruit Katie Couric. (thewrap.com)
* Zucker: “Our competition is anyone who produces nonfiction programming.” (adage.com)
* Former newspaper publisher Michael Gartner is not dead, The Weekly Standard notes in a correction. (weeklystandard.com)
* Michael Miner: “Mistakes can get spotted and fixed. Doesn’t mean they will be.” (chicagoreader.com)
* Esquire partners with digital publishing start-up Byliner. (nytimes.com)
* Martha Stewart may have found a buyer for Whole Living magazine. (nypost.com)
* Nashville suburb aims to ban street sales of newspapers. (tennessean.com)
* No more print edition of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee newspaper. (jsonline.com) | “The start of something big and exciting.” (uwmpost.com)