Daily Archives: July 10, 2013

Too many Diner 2013 guides in Portland?

The current issue of Willamette Week has reviews of seven Portland diners under the headline, Diner 2013. The Oregonian also has a Diner 2013 guide, and now it’s sicced its lawyers on the alt-weekly.

The Oregonian’s attorney continues:

The overlap in subject matter, and context, together with usage of the identical name DINER 2013 is not only likely to cause confusion, but will also dilute and diminish the goodwill in our client’s mark. …

We must demand that you immediately cease and desist from all further unauthorized use of our client’s trademark and provide us with your prompt written assurance that you will respect the Oregonian’s rights and make no further use of DINER or any confusingly similar name in a trademark manner.

Willamette Week’s response:

There was no intent to cause confusion in the Portland marketplace — or to compete with your client in any way. If you are aware of any instances of confusion among your readers, viewers or advertisers, please so inform us and we will take steps to immediately straighten them out.

The weekly’s editors tell readers: “To be clear: the seven reviews in our online guide represent a parody of The Oregonian’s 2013 Diner. Please do not confuse them with the real thing.”

* A letter from the Oregonian’s attorney regarding diner reviews (
* Willamette Week’s Diner 2013 | Oregonian’s Diner 13

Josh Perry

Josh Perry

A former Daily Texan staffer writes:
“Like many newspapers, the Daily Texan [at the University of Texas at Austin] is struggling financially and is facing some very difficult decisions. Sen. Ted Cruz’s New Media Director, Josh Perry, oddly seems to have no sympathy or respect for this situation. Which is weird, because most PR folks in Texas understand what the Texan means to the industry. Mr. Perry made some rude, and inaccurate, tweets that I thought [Romenesko readers] should know about.”

* Ted Cruz’s media director says “Well…bye” to The Daily Texan (
* NEW: Josh Perry riles Daily Texan supporters with his tweets.(


Bret Baier to his new colleague: “First of all, Howie, welcome to the team.”

* Howard Kurtz makes Fox News debut (

FOX NEWS/KURTZ FLASHBACK: A few days ago I was going through some files and found this 2003 email from the late John Higgins, sent about two weeks after I posted a long letter from a former Fox News producer who revealed that Fox employees get a daily executive memo “addressing what stories will be covered and, often suggesting how they should be covered.”

It appears Fox News PR tried to use Kurtz to go after me with a story about how “scurrilous” I am. He never wrote the piece; in fact, Kurtz has been very fair to me over the years.


By the way, the Obscure Store — mentioned in Higgins’ email — was a quirky-news website I ran for 13 years and launched while living in Minnesota.

UPDATE: “What’s next for me?” Paul West writes in response to my question. “Tackling a stack of long-deferred travel plans to places where there’s not an election coming up.”


Paul West, national political correspondent in Tribune’s Washington bureau, “has decided that now’s the time to stop” and “doesn’t want us to make a big fuss” about it, writes bureau chief David Lauter. His memo:

From: Lauter, David
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 12:22 PM
Subject: Paul West

The first time I traveled to New Hampshire to cover a presidential campaign event – back when no one had reason to refer to George H.W. Bush as “the elder one” – Paul West was already one of those reporters about whom editors would say, “watch how he does it, you could learn something.” I did.
In all the years since, as I’ve watched Paul’s work, first from a distance and for the last couple of years close up, I’ve admired his professionalism, knowledge and skill. Readers in Dallas, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere have been better informed and better able to cast their votes intelligently because of his diligent and creative coverage of American politics.

So it’s with a great deal of sadness that I pass along the news that Paul has decided that now’s the time to stop. Paul didn’t want us to make a big fuss, so I won’t. I’ll just say that he’s been a terrific colleague, a mentor, and an all-around mensch.

We’ll miss him.


Mike Jensen, publisher of the Sikeston Standard Democrat, is celebrating 50 years with the Missouri daily. (He was just 15 when he started his newspaper career there.) He tells readers how he’s seen the business change over the years, and explains why small dailies like his are better than “large urban papers.” He accuses them of “portraying opinion as news” and claims to have “ample evidence to prove our point.”

He goes on:

Mike Jensen

Mike Jensen

Opinion belongs on the opinion pages and news belongs on the news pages.

But tell that to The New York Times or The Washington Post.

And that stealth combination of news and opinion results in lost trust from the public when it comes to the newspaper industry.

I don’t mean to bite the hand that feeds me, but the public should view some newspapers’ coverage with a jaundiced eye.

I noticed that Jensen had pretty much the same message in his anniversary column from two years ago. “Today the lines are blurred between news coverage and editorial slant,” he wrote in 2011. “To argue otherwise is to ignore the obvious. The New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC, Fox and others carry their political bias into their ‘news’ reporting. Combine that concerning trend with the massive changes in technology and you have a recipe for a decline in trust and faith in the media. That cynicism is well earned and well deserved.”

I’ve asked Jensen to share examples of the Times and Post putting opinions into news stories.

* Mike Jensen: The newspaper business 50 years later (
* July 6, 2011: Challenge of keeping opinion out of news (

Michael Nagrant tweeted that on May 1, believing that he had written his last restaurant review for the Chicago Sun-Times.

“Sun-Times did end up offering me a weekly food column after cutting the Friday section,” he tells me this morning, “but, as you know when one door closes….”

He continues:

Lots of folks came out of the woodwork [after tweeting his availability] to discuss new options and I was really excited by what’s going on at Redeye. It feels really different. There’s a real energy there. So I decided to try something new. I’ll have at least one column weekly, mix of reviews, features and even some social video.

His first RedEye column ran today.

* May 1: “So this is what an ex-Chicago food critic looks like…” (@MichaelNagrant)
* October 2011: Michael Nagrant is named Sun-Times food critic (


* Twitter vs. MSM: Science proves which breaks news faster (
* Charlie Warzel: This is nothing more than “a rehashing of stale points” (@cwarzel)

“The story of newspapers — before women were invented.” (@GrahamRCarter)
* David Carr: “It’s good for people to know that newspapering as done by The New York Times doesn’t always involve a guy who looks like me — vaguely homeless with some pizza on his coat.” (
* Orange County Register will launch Long Beach Register on Aug. 19. For home delivery, it will be wrapped around the OC Register. ( | A reader points out that Register rival MediaNews Group has grabbed the domain.
* Warren Buffett’s Greensboro News & Record cuts 14 full-time jobs. ( | It’s the second round of cuts at the paper under Buffett’s ownership. (
* Freelance journalist: “The only job opportunity I have today is staying in Syria, where nobody else wants to stay.” (
* Is Charles Koch losing interest in newspapers? “We’re back at square one analyzing where is the most change, where are the best opportunities for new entrants to come in and add value? And so newspapers are one, but there are all sorts of others. There’s the Internet, there’s TV. There’s entertainment. And so we don’t know where we’ll end up on that.” (
* Italian magazine fails to realize that Andy Borowitz’s New Yorker column is satire. (
* Los Angeles Times reporter and photographer chase down an iPhone thief. (
* Barnes & Noble’s hidden weapon is the academic market. (
* 40 signs that you’re a BuzzFeed writer who’s run out of list ideas. (
* “A Fox News spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.” Is NYT now on Fox News PR’s blacklist? They were such good friends a short time ago.
* Surveillance video shows newspaper thieves in action at the University of North Florida. (

Tribune Co. announced Wednesday that it will spin its newspaper unit into a separate company called Tribune Publishing Co., a move that allows the company to focus on its television properties.
“Each will be a stronger company when separated from the other,” CEO Peter Liguori tells employees in a memo that’s posted below. “A company that is growing and succeeding on its own merits has a surer, clearer path forward, built on the ability to invest in and shape its own future.”

Los Angeles Times reporter Walter Hamilton says Tribune’s newspapers “still could be sold at any time and the idea of the spinoff abandoned” and “among the key questions to be answered: How much debt would the new company carry? And how much capital would it get as a financial underpinning?”

* Tribune to spin off its newspapers into a separate company ( | (

Here is Liguori’s memo to employees:

From: Peter Liguori
Sent: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 6:58 AM
Subject: Important announcement on Tribune’s future

Today we are making another important announcement regarding the future of Tribune and I want you to hear about it from me first. During the next several months, we intend to pursue the separation of our broadcasting and publishing businesses into two distinct companies —

* Tribune Publishing, which will be the home of our publishing assets, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Sun Sentinel (South Florida), Orlando Sentinel, Hartford Courant, Morning Call and Daily Press.

* Tribune Company, which will consist of our other principal businesses, including 42 local television stations (following the close of our acquisition of Local TV), WGN Radio, WGN America, Tribune Studios, Tribune Digital Ventures, Tribune Media Services, our equity interests in Classified Ventures, CareerBuilder, and the TV Food Network, and our valuable portfolio of real estate assets./CONTINUES Read More