Daily Archives: March 14, 2013

UPDATE: Read the salary list introduction and editor/publisher comments.


The Record of Montezuma, Iowa, on Thursday published the salaries of University of Iowa employees and noted that “the relatively high numbers of employees with names from Asia and the Near East is interesting. While there are SMiths [sic] and Jones, there are eleven Ahmeds to only 30 Browns.” The weekly paper also said that “hyphenated, unspellable, and oriental names may get you the big bucks.”


Matt Denner writes: “Editor-in-chief Chuck Dunham owes an apology to not only people of color at the University of Iowa, but to the people of Montezuma and all of Iowa whose tolerant reputation he has besmirched. Mr. Dunham, it’s time to apologize for your paper’s racist and disgusting remarks.”

I’ve emailed and phoned Dunham for comment.

UPDATE 2: Dunham returned my call on Friday morning. He said he was unaware of the controversy because he doesn’t go online. (“I only deal with what’s on paper.”) The editor said he’s received only one call about the salaries list and that was from a state legislator “who was very pleased to see the four pages of names.”

Dunham said his comment about university employees with “hyphenated, unspellable and oriental names” getting large salaries “is a clue to what’s to be found there” in the list. He didn’t see a problem with it.

I started to tell him about the online petition demanding that he apologize, but he interrupted and said, “If they want to write me a letter, that’s fine; I only deal with what’s on paper. Thank you for calling.” He then hung up.

* Apologize for your paper’s racist comments, Chuck Dunham ( |

* Reuters deputy social media editor Matthew Keys is accused of working with “Anonymous” to hack into a Tribune Co. website. ( | (
* ESPN pulls Bill Simmons off Twitter for three days over his “First Take” criticism. (
* Nick Denton: “I don’t think I’ve ever knowingly read a full Pando[Daily] post.” (
images* Facebook is working to incorporate the hashtag into its service (
* “60 Minutes” is profiling Twitter creator Jack Dorsey on Sunday. (
* Over-60 set reacts to NPR ombudsman’s column about using “elderly” in stories and headlines. (
* Chris Hayes to take over the 8 p.m. ET slot on MSNBC (
* Now that Google’s killed Reader, can we count on the Internet giant to continue other services we’ve come to need? (
* Good news! Digg is building a Reader. ( | Why did Google reader die? (
* How Meredith has managed to maintain steady profits and reliable margins. (
* The curtain is going down at (
* Murrey Marder, who covered the Washington Post’s “Red Beat” during the Joe McCarthy era, dies at 93. (
* “That really should be on Romenesko!” Send letters, anonymous news tips, memos, gossip, and typo alerts to| Follow Romenesko on Twitter | Romenesko on Facebook | Romenesko on Pinterest | Letters to Romenesko

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From an Atlantic story published in 2010:


I wondered how often he reads it now.

* Greed is Groupon: Can anyone save the company from itself? (
* No one outside the company understands what it is anymore (

The Boston Globe has an updated story that says the paper’s closing will put 50 people out of work. Executive editor Peter Kadzis tells Joseph P. Kahn that the general reaction among Phoenix staffers is “shell-shocked.”

There had been widespread apprehension about a shutdown on Wednesday, when the meeting was announced, Kadzis said, and staffers in Portland and Providence feared they might also get let go.

“Keeping the Phoenix afloat was costing Stephen more than $1 million a year,” Kadzis calculated. “He’s performed an incredible service to the community, and I don’t think most of the employees here realize how committed he’s been to keeping the paper going.”

Boston’s alt-weekly, founded in 1966, is closing immediately,

Publisher Stephen Mindich’s memo:

To: PM/CG Staff
From: SMM

I can state with certainty that this is the single most difficult communication I’ve ever had to deliver and there’s no other way to state it than straightforwardly –

As of now the Boston Phoenix has ceased publishing and will not continue as it is.

As everyone knows, between the economic crisis beginning in 2007 and the simultaneous radical changes in the media business, particularly as it has affected print media advertising, these have been extremely difficult times for our Company and despite the valiant effort by many, many past and current staff to attempt to stabilize and, in fact, reverse our significant financial losses, we have been unable to do so and they are no longer sustainable.

Because of their smaller scale of operations and because we believe that they remain meaningful publications to their communities, with some necessary changes to each, it is our intent to keep the Providence and Portland Phoenixes operating and to do so for as long as they remain financially viable. The same is true for Mass Web Printing Co.
I cannot find the words to express how sad a moment this is for me, and I know, for you as well, so I won’t try.

What I can and will say is I am extremely proud, as all of you should be, of the highest standards of journalism we have set and maintained throughout the decades in all of our areas of coverage and the important role we have played in driving political and socially progressive and responsible agendas; in covering the worlds of arts and entertainment, food and fashion – always with a critical view, while at the same time promoting their enormous importance in maintaining a healthy society; and in advocating for the recognition and acceptance of a wide range of lifestyles that are so valuable for a vibrant society.

And finally, at least for this moment, I want to thank all of you – and the literally thousands of women and men before you, for lending your talents to our mission over the past 47 years – as I have always said – our staff has been our soul.

And obviously as well, my sincere gratitude to our millions of readers and tens of thousands of advertisers without whom none of what we did accomplish could have been possible or meaningful.

So, that’s it. We have had an extraordinary run.

Stephen M.Mindich
Phoenix Media/Communications Group

The release is after the jump.
Read More


This “Wanted” poster with the mug of Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record reporter John Sullivan is in the window of Washingtonville (NY) Mayor Kevin Hudson’s campaign offices. It reads:

This is the Times Herald Record reporter
This man sneaks around our Village
Without his ID shown and smears
Your Mayor and Village!
Call if you have a recent sighting of this man
You will be entered into a contest
for a $50 gift card
Drawing to be held on 3/19/2013 @ 12 noon

Pocono Record executive editor Chris Mele, who tipped me off to this, writes: “As John’s former editor at the Times Herald-Record, I can tell you he’s a stand-up, gutsy guy who quietly, diligently goes about doing his job. Since we are the THR’s sister paper, I’ve been following John’s coverage from afar, and it’s been arrow-straight.”

I’ve asked Sullivan if he wants to discuss his “Wanted” status. UPDATE — The reporter says in an email: “The policy of the paper is to keep reporter out of the news. It’s one I agree with.”

* Say what, Mr. Mayor? (editorial and “Wanted” poster) (

UPDATE: One of my Facebook wall commenters writes: “Apparently Sullivan’s crimes include reporting that the mayor gave himself a $4,000 [raise] and gave thousands in overtime to his cronies.” | Here’s the story.

A Romenesko reader writes: “Fox station in Connecticut shows video of women’s breasts – and only breasts – in story about a Women’s History Month celebration. Appalling. Remember, this doesn’t happen by accident. I worked in TV News for 27 years. An editor and/or a producer had to select the video to cut, queue up and play for that story.”


THE STATION HAS APOLOGIZED: “The video should never have aired. FOX CT will publicly apologize on today’s newscasts, as well as through our social media platforms. We are also implementing procedures to keep this from happening in the future.” (Here’s their Twitter apology.)

What they’re saying on Fox CT’s Facebook wall: “Someone had better be losing a job over this. Outrageous and juvenile and might I also add, typical of Fox networks.” …”You should be ashamed. Not only did you do it ONCE you did it AGAIN for the news update an HOUR later.”

I’ve asked news director Coleen Marren if anyone was disciplined for the report. I’ll post her response when/if she gets back to me.

UPDATE: The news director sends this email:

As we said yesterday, we sincerely apologize for this unfortunate mistake. An employee, using an automated system,coleen made an error in attaching the file footage from a computer-based system. It was extremely unfortunate but it was the result of human error. We have taken disciplinary action and are implementing training to avoid any errors like this in the future.

FOX CT is extremely sensitive to women’s issues. We are meeting with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women early next week and will work together to promote the organization’s worthy and valuable mission.

* Fox CT apologizes for inappropriate Women’s Day story ( | Watch the Fox CT report (

* Joe Biden’s press office apologizes for demanding that a reporter delete photos taken at a public event. Reporter Jeremy Barr’s editor in the Washington bureau of Capital News Service calls the incident a “clear violation of the First Amendment …. uncalled for and completely wrong.” ( | (
* The new Time magazine company is expected to start with $500 million to $1 billion in debt. (
* Rem Rieder: Not all’s bleak for magazines despite Time’s plan. (
Unknown-1* Google, don’t turn off Reader. Signed, The Internet. (
* Google Reader is going away; here are five good alternatives. (
* Laura Hazard Owen: I need Google Reader to do my job. (
* “Mr. Magazine” and Robert Sacks spar over print vs. digital. (
* Detroit journalists debate fairness of Charlie LeDuff brawling/urinating coverage. (
* A “journalism junkie” and “New York nerd” critiques the Tom Hanks Broadway journalism play. (
* Paul Lukas’s tweets will appear in the next Madden game. (EA Sports says he can help write them.) (
* Anna Wintour’s said to be “restless” and has a “desire for a new adventure.” (
* ABC News faces libel lawsuit over Orange County Internet-dating story. (
* Ed Schultz surprises MSNBC viewers by announcing that tonight’s “The Ed Show” will be the last. (
* No sweat, Chef Jose; I see people steal newspapers at Starbucks all the time. (@chefjoseandres)
* Letters: Roy Harris sees Murdoch in a pope photo; Ex-Philly Inquirer music critic is willing to write for free, if… (Romenesko Letters)
* Accuracy in Media says it doesn’t agree with Cliff Kincaid’s assertion that it’s impossible to be both gay and conservative. (