Daily Archives: June 12, 2013

wsjA Romenesko reader writes:

“I’m a reporter at the WSJ. Just got a call from deputy bureau chief offering a buyout – said the offer is going to all employees. No details on payout formula. Offer is good until June 20. This dovetails with Robert Thomson’s ‘cost cutting’ comment during investor day.”

Here’s what Thomson, CEO of News Corp.’s publishing unit, told analysts and investors on June 4:

We’re certainly not naive about the challenges facing some of our newspapers and the headwinds commercially and economically in some countries. …Costs are being confronted and cut, and the markets are being reoriented. That transformation will take longer than a couple of quarters.

UPDATE — Wall Street Journal’s spokesperson sent me this statement: “As ever, we are focused on maintaining the Journal’s high standard of excellence while also operating efficiently and profitably. We continue to ensure we have the right reporting and editing resources for the task. Buyouts have long been an option for staff.”

UPDATE 2 — Tim Martell of the Wall Street Journal’s newsroom union (IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096) emails: “I have just, and I do mean *just,* confirmed with DJ that there is no across the board buyout offer to WSJ or Newswires employees. I do know that managers have circled back to employees who have previously expressed some interest in a buyout, but that’s really not much different than we have seen as fiscal years past have neared an end. …No idea yet how many [buyouts were offered] — or how many have said ‘yes.'”

UPDATE 3 — Here’s the union’s memo to members:

From: “Your Union: IAPE 1096” Read More

Six days ago, journalist Rick Polito disclosed in an email to me that he’s been writing $10 jokes for George Takei’s Facebook page — a revelation that stunned (and disappointed) some Mr. Sulu fans.

George Takei

George Takei

“Was it naive of me to think that George Takei was actually writing all this stuff?” wrote one BuzzFeed commenter. “I feel duped and sad, and also silly.”

Wired got Takei to comment on Polito’s “shocker”: “What is this hoo-ha about my FB posts? I have Brad, my husband, to help me and interns to assist. What is important is the reliability of my posts being there to greet my fans with a smile or a giggle every morning.”

Polito tells Romenesko readers today: “I wrote an apology to George and Brad and their guy said he’d pass it on. I just said that I’d been looking for any mention of my book I could get and that I hadn’t meant to expose anything.”

He adds: “I don’t update his page. I’ve had no direct contact with George. I’ve sent him some memes, as have other comedian types and I was happy for the exposure.”

Rick Polito

Rick Polito

Polito did unintentionally benefit from the brouhaha: “I got a couple hundred new Facebook fans after the BuzzFeed story and some of them are reacting enthusiastically to the book. It’s rated five stars in the Kindle store.”

Polito, who has been looking for fulltime writing work for a long time, adds: “The other update is that no job offers are flying into my inbox.” Have something for him? His email is

* Author of quirky “Oz” summary is still looking for work (
* Takei says that’s not always him on Facebook (
* Meet one of the guys who writes for Takei’s Facebook (


From the Washington Post release announcing this week’s rollout of Post TV:

PostTV is home to all Washington Post video, offering smart and passionate journalism in a new form. As The Post does in print and online, we provide a better understanding of what’s going on, with an unconventional look at Washington.

Post TV launches four years after “two dudes and a webcam” uploaded their Post TV parody to YouTube.

* Introducing Post TV (
* We’ve seen WaPo’s future: two dudes and a webcam (

Blame this Joel Achenbach post from today? (“Cue the…” in the third graf.)

* Words and phrases WaPo’s Outlook section avoids (

- photo supplied by Bill Steigerwald

– photo supplied by Bill Steigerwald

“This is one important reason Pittsburghers, Buffalonians and Clevelanders read newspapers at a such a high rate — older folks like my sainted mother Kay Steigerwald, now 95, but still reading two papers a day, the Post-Gazette and the Trib, and watching all the TV cable chatter she can stand,” writes Bill Steigerwald.

“She’s a former Pitt English major (on a journalism track) from the late 1930s who ended up dropping out of college in her senior year and mothering five kids — Bill, John, Paul, Mary, Dan — each of whom ended up in some form of media or another, print/tv/radio/magazines/books or rock ‘n’ roll record albums.”
My parents, in their mid-80s, also read two dailies — the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Janesville Gazette. That’s down from the four papers they subscribed to when I was living with them as a kid: the Beloit Daily News, Janesville Gazette, Milwaukee Journal, and Rockford Register-Star.

* The best (Pittsburgh) and worst (Atlanta) cities for newspapers (
* Earlier: Washington Post Style section reader is just two years old (

Dear Graydon, Hugo, Adam, Scott, Jim, and Josh…

“Were you aware of the premise for the cover?” Ruth Franklin writes to the editors who posed for the current issue of Port magazine. “When you arrived for the photo shoot, did you notice there were no women in the room? Did anyone suggest asking a few women to participate?”

You know why I’m upset? It’s not just because there are so few women at the highest levels of magazine publishing — after all,cover I just reminded you that some of us have broken through that old glass ceiling. It’s because your magazines owe their success to the labor of women as well as men. Come on — we know you have at least a few women as your deputies, your managing editors, your copy chiefs, your assistants. Not to mention your writers! It’s not okay to ignore them and act like you deserve all the credit. (There might even be a few people of color somewhere in the mix, too.)

* An open letter to a few good magazine editors (
* Earlier: Just a bunch of white male editors standing around (

readers* The best and worst cities for newspapers. (Pittsburgh has the highest readership, Atlanta the lowest.) (
* Washington Post’s new “Sponsored Views” ads let groups respond to Opinion section pieces. (
* Meet Ryan Germick, the chief doodler at Google. (
* “PBS NewsHour” closes offices in San Francisco and Denver to deal with declining support from corporate sponsors. (
* Viv Bernstein disagrees with LZ Granderson’s stance on covering gay athletes’ off-field lives. (
* Enough with #NotTheOnion! (
* There’s another rally for Sun-Times photographers at noon tomorrow. (
* Report: Scott Pelley’s furious about the State Department sex scandal story breaking on “This Morning” and not his newscast. (
* Salt Lake Tribune gives scholarships to 15 high school students interested in journalism. One winner says: “I love having the excuse to talk to people who have interesting stories.” (
* Man is jailed on fraud charges after creating “fake newspaper” in Gainesville. (
* Two middle-aged women are posing as OC Weekly restaurant critics. (“They were really drunk — stumbling and slurring their words — and ranting about having ‘so many stories to write’ for the OC Weekly.”) (
* Ten journalists you don’t want to fight on Twitter. (