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Daily Archives: December 11, 2012

Will Leitch: “I’ve been the front-of-the-book columnist for Sporting News for more than four years now and I don’t personally know a single person who knows that fact, outside my family and my editors there.

Leitch in Sporting News

“The only people I’ve ever met who knew I was the columnist were people who personally emailed the address next to the column itself. Many of them people were in prison or currently, that second, in the dentist office.” (leitch.tumblr.com)
* Sporting News prints its final magazine after 126 years. (shermanreport.com)
* The most-viewed online stories of 2012 (Frank Rich takes the crown at New York). (wplucey.com)
* Guild members at the Cleveland Plain Dealer approve a new contract. (newsnet5.com)
* Parents of missing journalist Austin Tice know next to nothing about their son’s status. (csmonitor.com)
* McKay Coppins goes from political reporter to political editor at BuzzFeed. (buzzfeed.com)
* Why the BuzzFeed vs. The Oatmeal fight actually matters. (hypervocal.com)
* “You don’t mess with The Oatmeal.” (cjr.org)
* Marijuana activist says Denver’s Fox 31 rigged its stoned driving story. (westword.com)
* Fox News contributor roughed up at Michigan union protest. (washingtonpost.com)
* Why did the Society of Environmental Journalists let “a polluting company” (Koch Industries) sponsor its conference? (texasobserver.com)
* Gannett CEO Gracia Martore sells $1.3 million of Gannett stock. (gannettblog.com)
* Bose headphones and USA Today in the same league? (@ajkeen via @dankennedy_nu)
* Second-graders from KW News cover President Obama’s speech in Michigan. (deadlinedetroit.com)
* Sure, I remember “The Wilton North Report” — “The Daily Show” of the 1980s. (splitsider.com)

I asked Bob McManus a few questions in an email this morning after hearing that he’s retiring as New York Post editorial page editor after many decades at the paper. He replied:

I took a part-time copyboy job in 1967 because the GI Bill back then didn’t cover beer and cigarette money and here it is 45 years later.

McManus

The rest is all detail — except for my continuing astonishment that for a brief while I contributed to the political and policy debates in the greatest city in the world.

Only one regret: attempting to outsmart the computer the night of the Aaron Boone home run game by preparing “yankees win” and “red sox win” editorials and you can guess which one they put in the paper in the middle of the night.

* Oct. 17, 2003: NY Post made a colossal error on its editorial page (thesmokinggun.com)

– Thanks, TheSmokingGun.com

An auditors’ report released today says a California Department of Education employee posted about 4,900 comments on sacbee.com between December 2010 and December 2011. The man posted 195 days of the 208 days he was at work, and averaged about 25 comments per day. (One day he found time to post 70 comments.)

From the report:

On his most active day, the employee steadily posted comments starting at 10 a.m. until the end of his workday at 4:30 p.m. The figure does not include the time the employee spent to read each of the articles and draft his comments for posting.

The man claimed he only visited Sacramento Bee’s comment section during breaks, but investigators had evidence that he posted when he was supposed to be working, too.

“Then the employee said his commenting activity fulfilled his job obligation to follow educational technology news,” reports the Bee. “Auditors knocked that down, too.”

Finally, the serial commenter said that for most of 2011 he had a lot of time on his hands because he didn’t have any work to do, despite asking for more.

Federal government changes had indeed lightened the employee’s workload, a supervisor confirmed, but management “had been able to find other projects to fill approximately 80 percent of the employee’s time.

“Informal action” was taken against the serial commenter, but he continued to post on the newspaper’s site. (The same man, they note, “also misused statetime and equipment during this period to perform work for his second job.)

Auditors suggested that the man be prohibited from visiting sacbee.com “for a specified period” and that his Internet use be monitored.

UPDATE: I asked the Bee about their “super commenter” and got this reply from managing editor Tom Negrete:

“The state report does not mention the person’s name or the handle he uses on sacbee.com, so we’re not sure of his identity though there are some folks here who monitor the comments that could make a good guess.

“As commenters go, he would not make our top 20 commenters, who each average 1,000 comments a month or more. We’ve spoken to most of those on the top 20 list, and they are mostly retired folks … so impressive to have a day job and still post about 600 comments a month.”

* State employee posts nearly 5,000 comments on sacbee.com (sacbee.com)

Tribune is interviewing bankers to advise the bankrupt company on the sale of at least some of its newspapers, reports Bloomberg News.

Selling some of Tribune Co.’s papers would bring an influx of cash to the company after four years of bankruptcy. The new owners may hold onto the larger newspapers, such as the ones in Los Angeles and Chicago, and look to sell the smaller titles more immediately, said Reed Phillips, managing partner of investment bank DeSilva & Phillips LLC.

* Tribune said to seek bankers for newspaper sale (bloomberg.com)

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch asks his followers:

How do you react when a PR person insists on monitoring an in-person or phone interview with a subject?

Some of the responses:

One PR guy taped my iview with a player. Asked why and he said: “We don’t want you to misquote him.” Good start

It’s so common now I’ve come to expect it. They usually just check their phones tho. They never say anything

It’s vexing, esp. if it’s a phone interview & I don’t know it’s happening. Which brings up an ethics question.

As a PR guy, I hate hovering. But sometimes my boss wants me there.

If a PR flak insists on being around/censoring, then your story is probably already compromised.

On rare occasions when it happened, I felt compelled to be tougher with subject, to control the room

I don’t care if they’re just monitoring things, but if they do so they’re potentially part of the story.

Your thoughts?

Bob McManus‘s last day at the Post is Jan. 10, I’m told. I’ve sent him a few questions — he wasn’t at the paper when I called this morning — and will post what he sends back. (The person who took my call at the paper said McManus’s successor has been picked, but not publicly announced.)

McManus joined the Post in 1984 as chief editorial writer and became editorial page editor in 2000.

UPDATE: Capital New York’s Azi Paybarah is also reporting that McManus will retire and be succeeded by a Wall Street Journal columnist William McGurn. We’re still waiting for a name.

– — From the Dec. 10 Greensboro News & Record

The Greensboro News & Record reports on Dec. 10 that “Cliff” Moore died on Dec. 12. (Today is the 11th.) (obituaries.news-record.com)
* New Pew report reinforces the importance of mobile to the future of journalism. (niemanlab.org) | The study: Demographics of mobile news. (journalism.org)
* Karl Rove returns to Fox News after 27-day absence. (politico.com)
* After 126 years, The Sporting News prints its last edition. (It will continue online.) (shermanreport.com)
* Felix Salmon: Why we won’t have tablet-native journalism. (reuters.com)
* The first AOL TV commercial of CEO Tim Armstrong’s reign has been postponed. (adage.com)
* Jon Stewart almost quit “The Daily Show” over “asshole” co-workers. (third-beat.com)
* Financial Times offers new subscribers a free Nexus 7. (@zseward)
* “I don’t drink the liberal coolaid [sic],” says Baltimore meteorologist and climate change skeptic Mike Masco. (citypaper.com)
* New York Post hears CNN might move Piers Morgan’s show from 9 p.m. ET slot to 10 p.m. (nypost.com)
* Irene Hughes, newspaper columnist and “America’s most accurate psychic,” dies at 92. She predicted Oprah’s move to Chicago. (suntimes.com)

Savage

* It got better for editor and columnist Dan Savage: he tied the knot in Seattle after getting married in Canada in 2005. (altweeklies.com)
* Noted: Colons and dashes can cause problems if used carelessly. (nytimes.com)
* A woman is banned from a Boston shoe store because of her son’s Yelp review. (consumerist.com)