Daily Archives: May 6, 2013

This morning’s post about the Washington Post winning a Pulitzer for its Watergate coverage 40 years ago this week brought this Facebook wall comment from Tim Hays:

When I got into the literary agent biz, in 1990, I met, and made friends with, a wonderfully charming former FBI agent by the name of Mark Felt. He wanted me to shop his novel. I demurred: it wasn’t poignant enough. But I kept up our relationship.

In 1992, I asked him if he was, in fact, Deep Throat. He denied it, in a signed letter to me.

Thirteen years later, Felt admitted he was Deep Throat.

Hays shares his correspondence with Romenesko readers.



UPDATE: Hays asked me to redact the first paragraph of his letter.

* Here’s the 1992 Atlantic article that Felt references (

Wall Street Journal staffers who appear on “WSJ Live” are reminded that “you should take into consideration your appearance both in terms of journalistic content and on-air presentation” and that “a quick visit to our resident makeup artist on the 6th floor is encouraged before each appearance for both men and women – even for just a quick dash of powder.”

From: Murray, Matt
Sent: Monday, May 06, 2013 2:32 PM
To: WSJ All News Staff
Subject: Video Values


Video continues to become a bigger, more vital part of how we deliver news to our audience, and we continue to refine our video offerings in what is increasingly a highly competitive environment.

“WSJ Live,” as we call our video output, generates programming for 30 different platforms including and from Apple TV to Xbox. Monthly video views hit 35 million in 2012.

Many of you have embraced our video revolution, and as this tremendous growth continues, we anticipate an ever-larger number of reporters and editors will be called on to deliver news this way, just as we do on other platforms.

In that light, we want to remind those appearing on camera that you should take into consideration your appearance both in terms of journalistic content and on-air presentation./CONTINUES Read More


On April 6th, a Wisconsin magician/mentalist predicted that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s April 20 lead front page headline would be “Got them. Suspects in custody.” (The headline guess was sealed in two Altoids tins, then baked into a cake.”) The actual headline: “Got him. 2nd suspect in custody; Boston cheers.”

* Magician’s hed prediction eerily close to Boston bombing case ( | (

A San Jose Mercury News staffer writes: “Here’s the Merc News memo on new Amex cards. Clearly reporters should forget about reporting and writing and shift their efforts to expense accounts….”

If you are receiving this email, it’s because you have an American Express company charge card (or are in the process of getting one).

The billing cyle closed on the 29th of the month, so it’s time to go in and approve your expenses.
Moreover, effective immediately, we are adopting a department-wide protocol with regard to expense reporting and filing. For some of you, the methods described below are familiar. For others, it’s an entirely new way of doing business. Read through the steps, use the attachments for visual aid, and let me know if you have questions. Until further notice, I will be overseeing all Sports expenses.

Here is new Standard Operating Procedure, step by step.

1) Go to

2) Approve each expense, and include a detailed explanation for each expense. You will see what I want by opening the attachment. For hotels and rental car, I want to know how many days rental/nights lodging. For meals, I want to know breakfast, lunch, or dinner. For airfare, tell me where you’re going/where you went. Every expense needs an explanation./CONTINUES Read More

Twitter is seeking a Head of News and Journalism — a person “responsible for devising and executing the strategies that make Twitter indispensable to newsrooms and journalists,twitter as well as an essential part of the operations and strategy of news organizations and TV news networks.”

Michael Wolff calls this “a bigger news job than Jeff Zucker’s job running CNN.” He adds: “Given the choice between being the executive editor of the New York Times or being the first Twitter news chief, you’d be well advised to think twice.” Here’s his advice to Twitter:

You really don’t want an entertainment-media complex agent type, nor a former newspaper or TV executive, nor a talk-the-talk nerd. You want someone who is seasoned enough to have worked for an actual news organization, but astute enough to have migrated into the new news space – Politico, the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, DNAinfo, or the major legacy news sites, CNN, the New York Times, NBC (formally MSNBC), might do.

A question from Politico’s Alex Burns: Why do job-seekers need a “minimum of 15 years in news in editorial or journalism” to be considered for the position?

* Twitter’s ready to be a true news organization ( | The ad (

The Daily Beast explains why: “This weekend we posted an item here on Gov. Rick Perry and the University of Texas. The author [Jeb Golinkin] has accepted a position as a law clerk, and on reflection decided that the expression of such political opinions was inconsistent with his work commitments. The article has been removed.”

You can still read it here, though.

(Thanks @laurachapin)

— h/t Bill Cooke

The Washington Post won the Public Service award for its Watergate reporting. Other winners in 1973: Max Frankel of the New Times, the Washington Post’s David Broder, and Clark Hoyt of Knight Newspapers. Ron Powers of the Chicago Sun-Times won the Criticism prize — the first TV critic to win a Pulitzer.
* May 8, 1973: Watergate probe nets Pulitzer for Washington Post (
* Where were you when the Post won its prize? (I was at Marquette) (

buffettAt Saturday’s Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Warren Buffett whether profits from the company’s newspapers measure up to profits by its other divisions. Buffett said he expects the newspapers to return about 10% after-tax profit each year and bring Berkshire about $100 million annually. That’s a “decent return,” noted Buffett. (
* David Folkenflik says it was “an exquisite challenge to question [Howard Kurtz] on his own network, in his own studio, on his own show.” (
* “I have long admired Howie,” writes Sharon Waxman, “and I hope to do so again.” (
* The median pay for the top 20 media executives rose 10% in 2012 — “not bad for a legacy industry that is supposedly under sustained attack from insurgents and secular challenges.” (
* Al Jazeera America will have bureaus in 12 U.S. cities. (
* Last November, Roger Ailes ordered Geraldo Rivera’s microphone be cut off for defending Obama. (
* Jacob Osterhout is fired by “an awful manager, a poor editor and a vile individual” at the New York Daily News. (
reddit* Simon Dumenco suggests Reddit’s tagline be “The crib sheet for weary bloggers who need to hit page-view quotas.” (
* BuzzFeed is looking for a foreign editor “to build a new kind of national security and world news coverage.” (
* Jalopnik editor: “This is the first time we’ve taken someone out of the pool of Kinja bloggers and hired them.” (
* Rush Limbaugh considers leaving Cumulus. “It’s a very serious discussion,” a source tells Dyan Byers. (
* The Knight Ridder sign — an icon of San Jose’s downtown skyline — is going down. (
* Short-and-sweet job ad: “If you’re a reporter who asks ‘Why?’ more often than a 5-year-old, get in touch with me right away.” (
* The American Society of News Editors will no longer host school newspapers at (