Daily Archives: March 25, 2013

How did this piece come about? The Yale Daily News had planned on doing an interview with Will Portman, says editor-in chief Tapley Stephenson, “but then he came to us.”

Will Portman

Will Portman

The son of Ohio Senator Rob Portman contacted the Daily News opinion editor late last week and offered to submit his account of coming out and what it’s like “to have my personal life in the headlines.” (It’s “strange,” the Yale junior writes.)

Stephenson says what Portman submitted to the opinion editor didn’t need much editing; the only question was the length. Opinion pages piece usually run about 700 words, “but we decided it was worth running as a double column.”

With 107 comments as of 7:30 p.m. ET, “it’s one of our more discussed columns,” says the editor.

* Will Portman: “In many ways it’s been a privilege to come out so publicly” (

firstApril Fools’ Day is just a week away. What, if anything, does your news organization plan to do to “celebrate”? (Post in comments or send me an email, please). Editors at papers whose jokes fell flat last year tell us what they’re going to do next Monday.

LAST YEAR: The top two editors at the University of Missouri’s Maneater resigned over the April 1 Carpeteater edition. carpet “I truly did not know that ‘carpet eater’ is a derogatory term used for a lesbian,” the managing editor told her readers. “Had I known, I would never have even considered using it.”
THIS YEAR: “There will be no April Fool’s edition of The Maneater,” says editor-in-chief Kelly Olejnik. “With the support of the editorial board, the decision was made during Spring semester 2012 to cut any and all plans for an April Fool’s issue from the 2012-2013 academic year.”

LAST YEAR: The Fordham University Ram apologized for an article headlined, “Jesuits Gone Jewish.” The Jesuit school’s president called it directly insulting to Jews, and offensive to every member of the University community.”
THIS YEAR: “Because of the way our printing schedule coincides with Easter break, The Ram will not be running an April Fools issue this year,” says editor-in-chief Connor Ryan. “The staff understands the way the schedule works and they have been completely supportive. Despite the longstanding tradition that is the April Fools issue, I am confident Fordham’s student body will understand where we are coming from this year.”

LAST YEAR: Boston University’s Daily Free Press published the “Disney Free Press,” which had Cinderella caught up in a prostitution ring. The newspaper’s board demanded that the editor-in-chief resign over the “incredibly harmful, tasteless” issue.
THIS YEAR: Editor-in-chief Emily Overholt did not respond to my email or tweet.

* Should college papers continue their April Fools’ editions? (
* Paper’s Disney-buys-bike-trail April Fools’ report has Wisconsin in an uproar (

After Harvard pulled an upset over No. 3 New Mexico on Thursday, longtime Lobos beat writer Dennis Latta announced on that “I’ve had it.”


“I’ve been to my last Lobo basketball game after covering the team for much of the last 33 years,” he wrote. “Good-bye Lobo basketball.”

“Pretty harsh,” said Deadspin advised the sportswriter to get a f-ing grip.

The Albuquerque Journal reported that its former sports editor’s column “went viral, mainly from other bloggers in disbelief that a writer, even for a fan website, would react so melodramatically.”

I wasn’t able to get in touch with Latta — he’s not on social media and doesn’t post his email address — so I contacted one of his former colleagues and asked if this was just “Dennis being Dennis.”

The Journal’s Rick Wright responded:

Yes, I would say it’s a Latta thing to do.



Bearing in mind that he was writing for a fan site, it didn’t particularly surprise me that he reacted like a (disgruntled) fan. I would say Dennis (with whom I worked at the Journal for some 24 years) is well liked but also viewed as something of a curmudgeon.

One thing he neglected to mention in his farewell to the Lobos column is that he’s planning to move to Florida, which will make it much easier to avoid UNM basketball in the future.

No word on whether he’s planning to cover Florida Gulf Coast from now on.

Latta’s column appears to have been deleted by, but you can read it here.

Dow Jones sales executive Daniel Hayter loves the new chandelier in the Wall Street Journal seventh-floor reception area, but I’m hearing grumblings from the editorial side: “Horrifically gaudy and expensive … Causing a bit of amazement amid our own austerity. Sends a weird message to staff.” Another employee says: “Most people say they were just surprised to see it when going up there to get free snacks, which are housed there too.” Free snacks?

UPDATE: “It’s from a rather low hanging ceiling, so the bottom would be about chest level of a six-foot tall man. It really looks out of place or like a floor model of furniture store sale.”

I’ve invited comment from Dow Jones.

UPDATE: Watch your heads! My tipster writes: “Respective heights: 5’9, and 5’4. Word is, there will be a red-velvet carpet beneath it, too. Unclear if this was a serious suggestion.”


Oh my, Florida Gulf Coast University!

* Fox Sports wins the headline battle with OMFG-CU! (
* Florida Gulf Coast University’s student newspaper also used it (

* UPDATE: Duke’s student paper should get credit for this hed, one of my Facebook friends says.

Sandor M. Polster, who worked in print and broadcast journalism, died last week after a nearly three-year battle with gastric cancer. He was 71.

Sandor Polster

Sandor Polster

“A scribe to the end, the former newsman wrote his own obituary to be released to his friends and associates upon his death,” reports the Brunswick (Maine) Times Record. “Upon receiving the three-page, 1,438-word piece late Thursday, one former colleague reacted by commenting, ‘The man wrote his own appreciation. How ‘Polster’ is that?'”

Polster, who worked for Walter Cronkite and then was fired by Dan Rather, was also an editor at the Times Record for eight months. His paper reports that he “is remembered to have brought a larger-market expectation and intensity to the small daily’s newsroom, to the delight of some and to the chagrin of others.”

* Sandy Polster, former Times Record managing editor, dies (

Polster’s obituary — written by Polster – is after the jump.

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-- Just another morning for Matt Lauer

— Business as usual for Matt Lauer

* From Joe Hagan’s New York cover story: Matt Lauer refused to give Brian Stelter an interview, believing he was working hand in glove with ABC’s Ben Sherwood to tear him down in the press, which the New York Times reporter denies. (
* Michael Wolff on Columbia picking Steve Coll to run its j-school: “Hiring another New Yorker writer, one who, of note, has never tweeted in his life, is yet quite an audacious statement about news values and direction.” (
* Phil Griffin’s plan for MSNBC: it’ll become much more like a general-interest brand than a left-wing clubhouse. (
* Shepard Smith: “I am a fan” of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart. “I think they’re both geniuses.” Also: “Global warming is real,” says the Fox News anchor. (
* Rupert Murdoch wants the Los Angeles Times, but he’ll need an FCC waiver to get it. (
* The 140 best Twitter feeds of 2013, according to Time magazine. ( | Single-page view: (
* Retiree likes drawing the guests on C-SPAN because on other networks “they’re moving around and you only get a couple of seconds at it.” (
* Washington Post defends spiking Greg Mitchell’s op-ed on Iraq war coverage. (
* Gannett CEO Gracia Martore’s total compensation for 2012 was $8.5 million vs. $4.7 million in 2011. (
* Washington Post has a new and improved iPad app. (
* “Last week, I made one of the more spectacular errors of my career,” writes Portland Tribune reporter. (
* Michigan unions are encouraging a boycott of Journal Register newspapers. (
* NY media family tree: “NYT is the father. The New Yorker is the mother. The Post is the racist grandfather.” (@daweiner)
* International New York Times will be distributed alongside the Japan Times, starting in October. (
* St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Weatherbird still reigns as the longest continuously running comic strip in U.S. newspapers. (
* Bay Area News Group’s The Daily News cuts its print schedule to three days a week. (