Daily Archives: May 16, 2013

Greg Gittrich

Gregory Gittrich

The Romenesko reader who forwarded this memo from executive editor Gregory Gittrich writes: “I’m not sure why this edict was issued, but here it is. Apparently NBC has decided not to report on this. NBC did report on the allegations against [Sen. Robert] Menendez. Why not report on the investigation of planting of false allegations?”

Here’s part of the Post’s story (with my boldface): “An agent in the FBI’s Miami field office who specializes in sex trafficking began corresponding with a tipster who gave his name as ‘Pete Williams’ in late summer of 2012. But the FBI could not get the tipster to meet with investigators, according to copies of the agent’s correspondence.”

I’ve asked Gittrich about his memo. UPDATE — He tweets: “Standard internal guidance on stories where we don’t have our own sourcing.”

From: Gittrich, Gregory (NBCUniversal)
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2013 9:14 PM
To: MSNBCi News Editors; Vaughn Ververs; Frey, Hillary; Belsky, Dick (NBCUniversal); Friedman, Danielle (NBCUniversal); Patrick Garrity; Friedman, Megan; Andrew Mach; Jason Cumming (NBC); Gittens, Hasani (NBC Universal); Stokes Young; Julia Sommerfeld; Rique, Rachel (NBCUniversal)
Subject: WashPo story

Washington Post just published a story about Sen. Robert Menendez that we should NOT report in any way even if wires pick up. If it develops and any editor needs guidance at any hour, call my cell. 917XXXXXXX. Make sure this is very clear in all shift handoffs.

Gregory Gittrich
Vice President, News & Product Executive Editor,
[phone numbers redacted]
Twitter: @gittrich

* FBI seeks source of prostitution, corruption allegations against Sen. Robert Menendez (

Miami Herald obituary writer Elinor J. Brecher shared this tribute to One Herald Plaza with friends and colleagues as they moved out of the building and headed to new offices.


One Herald Plaza, the bayfront behemoth from which generations of journalists fanned out across South Florida — and at times the world — to cover the news, passed into history on Thursday after succumbing to a real estate deal.
… She was 50.
Thought squat and ugly by some, a shining temple of truth by others, she was born on March 23, 1963.

She steadfastly weathered assaults by killer hurricanes and furious protesters. A gunshot suicide soaked her lobby in blood, and at a corner of her parking garage, a man chewed someone’s face off.

Within the walls of her fifth-floor newsroom, reporters and photographers pursued stories that won The Miami Herald 19 Pulitzer Prizes.

One Herald Plaza is survived by a proud tradition of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, to be carried on in a new Herald building in Doral.

One Herald will be buried under a pile of rubble. Donations in her memory should be story-tip calls to the newsroom in Doral.

* The final days of One Herald Plaza (
* Last news meeting in the Herald newsroom at One Herald Plaza (
* Editor: Our building will come down to make way for a resort planned by the new owner (

Nicholas Jackson plans to launch his Feature Well in early June.

It’s sort of TBD. But the short version is that I want this to grow to be a smarter version of MediaBistro, without all of the angry and sarcastic Betsy Rothsteins of the world.

Rothstein tells Romenesko readers: “I’ve never met, or even heard of Rick [sic] Jackson, but I wish him the best. If his business sense is as finely tuned as his charm, I’m sure he’ll be a smashing success. His idea to recreate’s Robert Allbritton’s TBD is brilliant. It lasted less than a year. And hey, Rick, if you’re ever in D.C. look me up, let’s have lunch!”


* Nicholas Jackson plans “a smarter version of MediaBistro” (

Glenn Frankel and his latest book

Glenn Frankel and his latest book

Glenn Frankel, who has been director of the journalism school at the University of Texas at Austin since 2010, is leaving UT after the 2013-14 academic school year to pursue his “cherished dream” of writing books full-time.

“I’ve written three and I’ve got several more in mind,” he says. “It just seems to me the success of my newest book has given me the opportunity to do that.”

Frankel’s “The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend” came out in February.

The Pulitzer-winning former Washington Post newsman plans to return to Arlington, Va.

* School of Journalism director Glenn Frankel to leave UT (

The people behind the campaign to get the public to buy Tribune’s newspapers and keep them away from the Koch brothers know that “some might say we’re tilting at corporate windmills — but someone’s got to do it.” They add that “we need to get the conversation on media ownership started.”

And what if by some freak miracle we do begin to approach the ridiculous sum of $660 Million? (That would be weird, but weirder things have happened – trust us.) What if we really do change the game of Billionaires vs. The Rest Of Us? It can’t hurt to try, can it?

At last check, over $12,000 has been raised.

* Free the press, buy the Tribune Company (
* “This is going to be a people’s peaceful takeover” (

Howard Stern joked on his radio show Tuesday that Randy Jackson, after leaving “American Idol,” will be selling Grit door to door.

“Do they still have Grit?” Stern asked. “When I was a kid I’d open up a comic book, and it said ‘You can sell Grit door-to-door.’ It was some sort of newspaper. They were always trying to recruit children to sell it.”

Yes, Howard, Grit is still published – but it’s not what you remember as a kid.

The old Grit was a home-delivered, weekly good-news newspaper that advertised for carriers in Boys’ Life and other youth-aimed publications.

Today’s Grit is a glossy features magazine put out just six times a year from offices in Topeka, Kansas; it’s targeted to rural Americans as well as “dreamers” — city-dwellers who aspire to country living. (And kids no longer deliver it.)

Hank Will, 56, who has edited Grit since 2007, says the publication has made money for three straight years after a long period of losses.

“At its high point, Grit sold roughly a million copies a week, but it was steadily declining. When I came along, it was shy of 200,000. The principal issue with it was that the readership was literally dying. The median age was maybe as high as 70” when he started at the magazine.

Will’s goal was to bring the median age down to the mid-40s, and he’s getting there.

“We’re in the high 40s now,” he says. “We’ve really ramped up our gardening content. And I can tell you that chickens on the cover sell. Chickens are all the rage right now. Gardening is in almost every issue, and about 10 to 12 percent of our pages are devoted to food from scratch.”

Will didn’t set out to edit a magazine. When he attended the University of Chicago in the 1970s, he was interested in chemistry and botany. “I wanted to be a college professor.”

He got his PhD, taught biology for 13 years, farmed and wrote books about tractors.

“I have no formal journalism training, and no formal editing training. The only training I had was from writing scientific articles when I was in graduate school.” (He got the Grit job after freelancing for Farm Collector and Mother Earth News; all three titles are owned by Ogden Publications.)

Will oversees an editorial staff of six, including web editor Natalie Gould. She’s a 2012 Medill master’s graduate from Portland who considers Grit the ideal job.

“When I was at Medill, I pretty much wrote most of my stories with an agricultural angle. I wanted to be in magazines, but I didn’t want to look for a job in L.A. or New York. After being in Chicago, I was ready for a slower pace of life.” (She lives in Lawrence, which is about 25 miles from Grit’s Topeka offices.)

She adds: “I was familiar with the Grit brand. I had seen old copies, but I didn’t know if it was still up and running.”

She found a copy at Evanston’s Chicago Main Newsstand, applied for a job and was hired before graduating last June.

“I was ecstatic,” she says.

What did her Medill friends think about her job?

“Most people were like, What is Grit? My friends didn’t know what it was.”

* About 40 parties have expressed interest in acquiring some or all of Tribune Co.’s newspapers. (
* Study finds that hate-tweets come in larger proportions from people living in the eastern half of the U.S. (
apos* The Board on Geographic Names has scrubbed an estimated 250,000 apostrophes from federal maps. (
* Tech journalists get a nice parting gift from Google. (
* Meet the 76th class of Nieman Fellows: (
* El Paso media may end up dealing with a mayor who’s also one of their biggest advertisers. (
* Publisher in India threatens to sue U.S. blogger for $1 billion. (
* Reporters chase Sacramento Kings co-owner George Maloof into a closet. ( | (
* National Review’s Kevin Williamson is kicked out of a theater for tossing a woman’s phone; charges might follow. (
* Young sportswriter who’s written three books can’t find a job. (“I only found sparse freelance work that was rarely consistent or rewarding.”) (
* Ken Doctor on what went wrong with NewsRight. (
* McClatchy’s Bradenton Herald is selling its building and moving downtown. (
* Update: Chicago Tribune’s weekly ad flier shows up at Michael Miner’s house again. (