Daily Archives: May 17, 2013


The piece was written by The Truth About Cars editor-in-chief Bertel Schmitt. He ends his piece this way:

PS: Before you start to tar and feather me for Detroit bashing LGBT discrimination, please be notified that according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the term “dyke” originated “as a derogatory label for a masculine woman, and this usage still exists.” Shame on them. “However, some persons attempt to use it in a manner that they see as positive, or as a neutral synonym for lesbian,” and those persons include the Schmitts.

Lang says in an email that “the resignation was furnished to the Content Director of Verticalscope, which is the parent company of TTAC, after I was told by the Managing Editor that there would be no consequences for the article. Now I contribute articles to Yahoo! and Jalopnik.”

I’ve asked Schmitt to comment.

UPDATE: “The PR nightmare is already happening,” writes Lang.

* “I have officially resigned my editor position…” (
* Small SUV Crashopalooza: Detroit loses, dykes win (

A cartoonist at a major daily paper on Thursday sent his contacts (including me) a link to a Dawson v. Cagle Cartoons, Inc. lawsuit that was filed in late March.

“This is interesting,” he wrote. “I can’t ad [sic] much more to this. The person filing is his marketing person.”

Cari Dawson Bartley (credit: @cariwho)

Cari Dawson Bartley (credit: @cariwho)

The Fair Labor Standards Act suit against Cagle Cartoons Inc. and Daryl Cagle was filed by Cari Dawson Bartley. (Her Twitter bio says she’s Cagle’s executive editor and marketing director.) The suit says she was “intentionally misclassified as salary exempt employee and not paid overtime and minimum wages as required by law.”

I asked Bartley about the case and she emailed: “On advice of counsel, I don’t have any comment on the specifics. The lawsuit is public record and it speaks for itself. I continue to be employed by Cagle Cartoons Inc., as I have been since January 2002.”

Some passages from the lawsuit:

When Plaintiff began her employment with Defendants, she was paid on an hourly basis. Over the past four (4) years, Plaintiff was paid a salary of approximately $1751.70 twiceper month, which equaled $42,040.80 per year. Plaintiff’s change to a salary position was not a result of taking on more managerial type duties. In fact, as her employment progressed, Plaintiff was expected to, and did, perform more and more basic customer service, reception, and bookkeeper duties on behalf of the company.

Over the past four (4) years, Plaintiff was not paid overtime for working over eight (8) hours in a day or forty (40) hours in a week, including weekends and holidays. Plaintiff worked long hours, approximately sixty (60) to sixty-five (65) hours per week. She began receiving calls early in the morning, sometimes as early as 5:00 a.m. Plaintiff also regularly worked late into the evenings, which would be as late as 11:00 p.m. or later.

I’ve invited Cagle to comment.

* Dawson vs. Cagle Cartoons (

Here’s part of an email I received Thursday afternoon: “It would appear that your take on AOL Patch over the past couple of years was spot-on. You might want to keep your eye out for a blood-letting. Substantial layoffs appear to have started at the manager level in many states and may accelerate tomorrow.”

An email I received Friday afternoon from another person: “Layoffs at Patch. Not sure of the scope or who is affected but Tim Armstrong just emailed all of us about eliminating some positions. There is a company-wide conference call for 6pm tonight to learn more. If you’d like, let me know your email and I can forward you Armstrong’s memo.”

And the reader did….

From: Armstrong, Tim
Date: Fri, May 17, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Subject: Patch’s Long-Term Future
Cc: AOLCorpStaff


Since the day Jon, Warren, and I founded Patch, we have had one mission in mind – improve the lives of people in local communities by 25 percent. Patch has become an important brand in the hundreds of towns we serve, and it is a staple of our communities. With the average Patch just over two years old, we are well on the way toward our goal of improving peoples’ lives and building a sustainable business in the process.
Over the past year, Patch has made an enormous impact in our communities. The coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings, the lifeline that Patch provided residents during the Sandy Hook school shootings and Superstorm Sandy, and the exclusive Sanford-Colbert Busch debate in South Carolina stand out as powerful examples. The new Patch platform that is rolling out now will only increase Patch’s ability to instantly improve communities.

As we have made a commitment to improve our Patch towns and communities, we made a similar commitment to make Patch profitable in 2013 and a commitment to continue to improve our business model. Just as we have rolled out new products and services to Patch, we are announcing today the rollout of the recently tested town structures, which will help us serve communities in a more local way and move Patch meaningfully toward profitability.

The changes have two main goals:

1. Improve and increase our hyper-local programming and deepen our user engagement through the Patch 2.0 platform; and

2. Implement a structure that unlocks the path to profitability.

To accomplish these goals we are taking the following steps, effective immediately:

* We are combining the East, Central and West editorial zones to create a simpler structure that will enable faster decision-making and a more coordinated editorial effort across Patch. Anthony Duignan-Cabrera has been promoted to VP, Editorial Director, overseeing day-to-day editorial field operations, and will continue to report into Rachel in her role as Chief Content Officer. /CONTINUES Read More

The news director at St. Louis’s KMOV says “we just all thought it made sense” for anchor Larry Conners to take a few days off while the station looks into allegations that the newsman was was targeted by the IRS after he interviewed President Obama.

Conners wrote on Facebook earlier this week:

The Obama interview caught fire and got wide-spread attention because I questioned his spending.

I said some viewers expressed concern, saying they think he’s “out of touch” because of his personal and family trips in the midst of our economic crisis.
The President’s face clearly showed his anger; afterwards, his staff which had been so polite … suddenly went cold.

That’s to be expected, and I can deal with that just as I did with President George H. Bush’s staff when he didn’t like my questions.

Journalistic integrity is of the utmost importance to me. My job is to ask the hard questions, because I believe viewers have a right to be well-informed. I cannot and will not promote anyone’s agenda – political or otherwise – at the expense of the reporting the truth.

What I don’t like to even consider … is that because of the Obama interview … the IRS put a target on me.

Can I prove it? At this time, no.

But it is a fact that since that April 2012 interview … the IRS has been pressuring me.

The Post-Dispatch reports that a federal tax lien has been placed on the anchor’s property, and that the lien claims Conners and his wife owe more than $85,000 in “small business/self employed” taxes.

Later from Conners: “To be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview [with Obama] by several years.”

* KMOV’s Conners off the air until further notice after IRS flap (
* Conners: “Almost immediately after the interview, the IRS started hammering me” (

* ‘Bloodbath’ day at Village Voice: Musto, Sietsema, Feingold out (
* Restaurant critic Robert Sietsema: I’ve been “unceremoniously shit canned!” (

- Michael Musto (via

– Michael Musto (via

* Koch brothers protests: A dozen people gathered outside of the Morning Call in Allentown on Thursday. ( | About 40 were at the Orlando Sentinel. (
* Martha’s Vineyard Gazette kills its profitable Tuesday edition because of “the toll it took on staff … to produce.” (
* New York Post offers buyouts to several of its highest-paid veteran journalists. (
* Fox News spent one minute covering marriage equality victories in three states. (

Unfortunate ad wrap placement.

Unfortunate ad wrap placement.

* Gawker’s Tom Scocca chides the Toronto Star for sitting on the Mayor Rob Ford crack story. (@tomscocca) | Gawker’s story | The Star’s story.
* “Get fired up for the weekend!” (Don’t take that the wrong way, Mayor Ford!) (@sladurantaye)
* Time Inc. Sports Group editor: “It means a lot to us that Jason [Collins] trusted us to present his story in a responsible and meaningful way.” (
* Yahoo, which paid $3.6 billion for “cool” GeoCities (remember that?) in 1999, wants to be cool again by owning Tumblr. (
* Politico has some problems with its “I am a politico” promo. (
* High school kills student newspaper op-ed that criticized school board for not renewing lacrosse coach’s contract. (
* I’m terrible in math, too: “For the reeling Rockies, who are 3-8 over their past 10 games…” (fourth graf) (