Milwaukee media writer Erik Gunn read “Out of the News,” a book about journalists “who found themselves forced by conscience or circumstance to leave the profession,” and decided to track down some local journalists who changed careers, including Anne E. Schwartz, the first reporter inside of Jeffrey Dahmer‘s apartment after his arrest.
Schwartz, who left the police beat to become the police department’s spokeswoman, says her reporting background “helped me predict how certain issues would be covered and helped me design a response strategy” and gave her the skills “to analyze the problem without emotion and to provide strategic solutions.” (Her job was defunded effective Tuesday.)
At The Awl, Bethlehem Shoals tells how he decided last year “to give up freelance writing for an honest job in the world of advertising” after becoming a father.
It’s not like I surrendered my soul for a cubicle in the nearest accounting firm. I still get to think up weird shit for a living and the place I work is hardly a button-down police state. Plus, I was never an ace with reporting and frankly, coming up with laudatory campaigns for athletes is probably closer to my strengths than that all-elusive “features writer” status was.
* Bye, bye byline (milwaukeemagazine.com)
* I broke up with writing (and it feels OK) (theawl.com)
Brian Stelter reports Al Jazeera
“is putting the final touches” on a deal to take over Al Gore’s Current TV. UPDATE: The deal is done. Stelter has updated his piece and has some tidbits on Twitter.
Current will provide the pan-Arab news giant with something it has sought for years: a pathway into American living rooms. Current is available in about 60 million of the 100 million homes in the United States with cable or satellite service.
I quickly checked to see what ex-Current anchor Keith Olbermann had to say about this; nothing as of 7:35 p.m. ET.
* Al Jazeera is said to be acquiring Current TV (nytimes.com)
C-SPAN says it was not hacked (I wondered yesterday if someone there was enjoying a little too much holiday bubbly), but that “our policy of using current nonfiction book titles verbatim in our schedule led to the unfortunate posting of content some might find offensive on C-SPAN.org. We apologize for that and are taking steps to prevent it from happening again.”
D.L. Hughley’s “I Want You to Shut the F#ck Up” — seen on the left image — came out last July, and Kevin Mattson’s Richard Nixon book, “Just Plain Dick,” was published in September.
* C-SPAN schedule not hacked (c-spanvideo.org)
* C-SPAN apologizes for racy show titles (politico.com)
The Boston Newspaper Guild has confirmed this New Year’s Eve email from a Romenesko reader: “The Boston Globe will close its New York City sales office on Jan. 2, 2013, and lay off its three Guild-represented staff members. The Globe office was on the fifth floor of The New York Times Building.”
A union rep says the employees have been offered jobs in Boston, but
they haven’t said if they’ll accept them. ( I’m waiting to hear back from a Globe spokesperson for more on the office closing.)
UPDATE: Globe spokesperson Ellen Clegg sends this email:
The Boston Globe has moved its New York sales office to Boston, including three New York-based sales positions. The three New York sales representatives were offered jobs in Boston, but none chose to move. Their last day is today. In addition, two jobs were eliminated as part of the office consolidation, and those employees were laid off. We do not expect this to have an impact on our ability to serve advertisers.
…and FYI: Former Globe editor Marty Baron announced on Twitter that today’s his first day at the Washington Post. Here’s the tweet from his last day at the Globe.
* There are some great comments about Sullivan’s move on @sullydish (twitter.com)
* What blogs would you pay $19.99 a year to read? asks @jorcohen (twitter.com)
UPDATE: Andy Wang writes on Twitter: “Hey @romenesko: Just remembered there’s decade-long proof that at least some people will pay for @sullydish.” He attaches a link to his 2001 story, headlined, “If You Like This Story, Click Here to Pay Me.” From the piece:
Perhaps the best-known Honor System participant is Andrewsullivan.com, the commentary site-Web log of the writer Andrew Sullivan. Visitors have the option of contributing through the Honor System or through the mail. Since it signed up with Amazon in March [three months earlier], the site has raised more than $7,000 through the Honor System and several thousand dollars through the mail, Mr. Sullivan said. (Mr. Sullivan is also a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.)
“I really didn’t know what to expect, but the enthusiasm from my reader e-mails suggested we’d do well,” Mr. Sullivan said. “The sums we raised gave us leverage to redesign the site and upgrade it — so that we can now go to advertisers. I’m determined not to lose money on this thing.”
* If you like this story, click here to pay me (nytimes.com)
There were 30 front page New York Times obituaries in 2012 versus 14 the year before. Why? One reason is that managing editor Dean Baquet believes that a well-written obituary belongs on Page One. They “are really terrific feature stories” and “they fly onto the front page,” says Baquet. He points to the work of Margalit Fox, author of what one journalist called “the most bad-ass obit ever.”
“If you look at Margalit’s oeuvre for the year,” says the editor, “what you’ll see is a group of elegant, perfect stories.”
The front page obit count: 2012 – 30; 2011 – 14; 2010 – 11; 2009 – 13; 2008 – 11; 2007 – 14; 2006 – 11; 2005 – 13; 2004 – 10; 2003 – 13; 2002 – 13; 2001 – 9; and 2000 – 9.
* Why front-page obituaries more than doubled in 2012 (nytimes.com)
Saturday Evening Post hopes it will “be part of the national conversation” now that it’s putting celebrities on the cover. (Look out, People magazine!) “I want to hear people saying: ‘Did you read that article in The Saturday Evening Post?’ ” says associate publisher Steven Slon. “We’re entering a long phase of celebrities, either on the cover or at least interviews inside.” (He sees the magazine as “Vanity Fair meets Smithsonian.”)
Slon’s cover wish list: Alan Alda, David Letterman, Jay Leno, the original “Saturday Night Live” cast, Dick Van Dyke, Roseanne Barr, the Smothers brothers, Goldie Hawn. (Think TV Guide from a few decades ago.)
Media consultant Lorraine Shanley isn’t blown away by Saturday Evening Post’s latest cover. “Shirley MacLaine? Sounds like AARP.” (The Post’s Slon is a former AARP The Magazine editor.)
The magazine has been owned by the SerVaas family and based in Indianapolis since 1970. Its small editorial staff is moving to Philadelphia, where the magazine was founded; the business operations will remain in Indy.
* Saturday Evening Post publisher aims for a dramatic turnaround (indystar.com)
* Saturday Evening Post is leaving Indianapolis and returning to Philly (philly.com)