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Daily Archives: December 13, 2012

“Allentown is our kind of place,” Warren Buffett said when asked if he might buy Tribune’s Morning Call. “We haven’t heard anything from the Tribune Co., but if the phone rings I’ll answer.” A Morning Call reporter asked Buffett what he sees in the paper. “Let’s just wait until I get a call [from Tribune],” he said.

Newspaper analyst John Morton tells the Allentown paper’s Sam Kennedy:

The only reason Buffett has been interested in newspapers is that they got so cheap so quickly. When you get the prices as low as they are now, newspapers in the smaller communities have enough cash flow to make it an interesting investment. He has become convinced of that.

In Baltimore, businessman David S. Cordish is considering buying Tribune Co.’s Sun. Cordish, owner of entertainment and real estate development firm Cordish Cos., says he’s a newspaper guy who reads at least five a day.

“The paper very much needs to be in the hands of local ownership,” he writes in an email to Sun reporter Jamie Smith Hopkins. “We would be interested. … The City and Region MUST have a strong vibrant paper of its own.” (Here’s the Sun’s past coverage of Cordish Cos.)

The Sun says its calls to Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway weren’t returned on Wednesday and Thursday.

* Warren Buffett expresses interest in Morning Call (mcall.com)
* Possibility of Sun sale brings interest from potential buyers (baltimoresun.com)


* ABCnews.com’s story about Oates biting Hall credits the mug shot photo (above) to “Eerie County Sherriff,” rather than Erie County Sheriff. (ABCNews.com) | (eriecounty.oh.gov)
* Rep. Steve LaTourette won’t miss the “snarky stupid comments” on Cleveland.com. (cleveland.com)
* “All I’ve ever wanted was to have some influence,” says retiring New York Post editorial page editor. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Mike Doyle compares Joe Allbritton obits from Politico and the Washington Post. (mcclatchydc.com)
* NYT public editor asks Andrew Ross Sorkin about his “chummy” DealBook conference, which Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan checked out. (nytimes.com) | (gawker.com)
* Former Chicago Tribune rock critic Lynne Matre — an “important pioneer” — wanted her death to go unnoticed. (chicagoreader.com)
* Steve Buttry’s tired of the paywall debate. (stevebuttry.com)
* Seth Rosenfeld and his three-decade struggle to get FBI documents. (ajr.org)
* Even cable subscribers who don’t give a damn about sports are giving $5 to ESPN every month. (sportsonearth.com)

The Orange County Register is hiring 26 people for its trainee program. The job posting (I’ve added the boldface) says: “The training positions are temporary, full time positions for six months. They pay $10 an hour and include housing. We have secured multiple-bedroom apartments for trainees.”

“Interesting hiring tactic,” wrote the Romenesko reader who forwarded the ad.

I asked the people at America’s most optimistic newspaper about it.

OC Register owner Aaron Kushner on the cover of this week’s OC Weekly

“Part of the reason we included housing was because of the high cost of housing in Orange County,” deputy editor Rob Curley tells Romenesko readers, “but another was that we wanted to make sure we got the best applicants, not just the ones whose parents could afford to send them here for a year.”

He says Register owner Aaron Kushner “wanted a world-class internship program to complement whatever we did.”

Because we wanted the program to involve folks for a year, it segued from an internship program to a training program. For the second half of the program, the trainees are even eligible for benefits.

The members of this program are spread throughout our news operation, including reporters, photographers, page designers and copy editors.

What’s interesting is that many aspects of this program — like the housing benefit — are being offered to even some of our three-month summer interns.

The paper has received hundreds of applications, says Curley. “Interest in the program has been far beyond what we could have expected. …I’ve been working with paid interns dating back to my time in Lawrence, but I’ve never seen a program like this. It’s a real commitment by the Register to help young journalists play an extremely active role in what has become one of the most interesting newspapers in the country.”

* Orange County Register journalism trainee program (sportsshooter.com)
* Is OC Register’s Aaron Kushner the pied piper of print? (ocweekly.com)

UPDATES: Here are more housing-provided internships, courtesy of my Facebook friends and subscribers. | The Associated Press just tweeted a link to information about its summer 2013 internships.

Today’s Metro Weekly piece on Associated Press intern Armando Montano, whose body was found in an elevator shaft in Mexico City nearly six months ago, had me wondering about the status of the death investigation. One early report said it was “an accident,” but that account was quickly disputed.

AP spokesman Paul Colford told me this morning: “All I can say is that it’s still an active investigation and we remain in touch with Mexico City authorities.”

* Remembering Armando Montano (metroweekly.com)
* Earlier: Hundreds attend memorial service for intern (huffingtonpost.com)

While working as a reporter for the Sentinel in Carlisle, Pa., Stacy Brown was affiliated with concert promoter RTJP events and, according to the paper, wrote blog posts and stories to promote at least one of his events. Brown was fired Tuesday after a hotel manager complained to the district attorney’s office about the reporter using his position to collect money.

“It is categorically untrue what [the hotel manager] said,” Brown tells the Sentinel. “I could care less about [him], he has no leg to stand on. I want to protect my interests with regard to my journalism career.”

* Reporter fired over conflicts of interest (cumberlink.com)

“Look. Foodie is not a word,” New York Times national editor Sam Sifton tweeted a few months ago. Kyle Cherek, who writes a Milwaukee magazine online column and hosts a PBS show called “Wisconsin Foodie,” was bothered by that.

Sifton (left) and Cherek

What troubled me was not the latently New York-centric, snobbish subtext, which I have come to expect from Sifton, but that the comment was aimed and fired, like an unexpected spit ball in a high school hallway, at people like me.

Sifton left the Times food critic post in 2011, so why now? What gives? I checked with a few New York food media friends, and confirmed my suspicions. Sam Sifton just needs a hug.

Cherek concedes that “foodie” is a little too cute, but “what then could stand in its place to evince a more serious tone? Gastronome is too heady and way too French. Enthusiastic eater? Who isn’t? Edible epicurean? I love a double-entendre as much as the next guy, but… Sustenance geek? Conscientious calorie consumer? You get my point.”

* In defense of “foodie” (milwaukeemag.com)

Also…
* Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen says the New York Times should kill its print edition “as soon as possible.” (reuters.com)
* “We’re very high on the [newspaper] industry,” says the head of Warren Buffett’s newspaper empire. (bloomberg.com)
* University of Michigan social media director resigns after she’s accused of lying about having a journalism degree. (michigandaily.com)
* “Nightly Business Report” cuts jobs and closes its Chicago bureau. (timeoutchicago.com)
* Just-launched Symbolia magazine aims to “strengthen the bond between the words of journalism and comics.” (latimes.com)
* NPR ombud investigates a claim that there’s “an excessive number of Republican voices” in the network’s fiscal cliff coverage. (npr.org)
* Politico asks: Has Stephen Colbert run his course? (politico.com)
* What NYT’s Mark Leibovich learned from reading the Economist’s “World in 2013″ issue. (nytimes.com)
* Ryan Chittum vs. Steve Buttry on paywalls. (cjr.org)
* A report about an incident involving Birmingham’s ex-mayor should be public, but town officials refuse to give it to the Press-Register. (al.com)