Daily Archives: August 1, 2013

Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn

“I was working on a scoop on [musician] Jack White’s divorce when The Tennessean laid me off,” courts reporter Bobby Allyn tells Romenesko readers. “As soon as I got the court filing, the paper’s secretary called. ‘You’re wanted in HR in 10 minutes.’

“After they canned me, I walked the scoop across the street.”

Here it is in Nashville City Paper, which is putting out its final issue next week.

UPDATE: “As a student of irony it’s notable that I have the #1 story on the Tennessean right now!” adds Allyn. He joined the Tennessean in May of 2011, after working at The Oregonian and interning at the New York Times, Washington City Paper and other news outlets.

Allyn, 25, says his editor “stressed” the layoff wasn’t performance-related, and “she even said she’d write me a recommendation. No severance package at all, by the way. Zilch. It’s the new Gannett norm.”

He adds: “At first, the editor said I can keep my Gannett iPhone for the week and return it when I’m back from vacation” — he’s headed to San Francisco today — “but after the Jack White story broke, HR emailed me to say I have to drop off my phone today before my flight.”

* Gannett lays off journalists at newspapers around the country (

You really didn’t have to do that, WCTI News Channel 12dumb

TV news shop: “We have covered up the two letters that some say form an acronym for a vulgar phrase aimed toward rival school, D.H. Conley.” Just guessing here: Are they F and U? (

* New York Times is running faster — but still in place — under CEO Mark Thompson, says Ken Doctor. (
* Eric Deggans leaves Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times to become NPR’s first TV critic. (
* Brooke Gladstone not available? It’s time for CNN to put a female critic in the “Reliable Sources” host chair. (
* St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer gets his “best photo request ever.” (@bengarvin)
* NYT’s Mark Leibovich writes at Reddit: “A great journalism career requires some luck — but it’s also a very meritocratic field. It’s hard to hide incompetence. If you can’t write/report, you’ll be exposed soon enough.” (
* Tara Murtha accuses her Philadelphia Weekly of gender discrimination. She wants $150,000 in damages from her employer. ( | A satirical response: (
* Who will be the face of MSNBC if it has to cover another terrorist attack? (
* Sally Quinn shows you her really nice home. (
* Advice for newspapers: Don’t use the Fox’s “fair and balanced” slogan when you’re trying to convince readers that you’re objective. ( | Earlier: (
* Milwaukee Magazine editor Christina Daglas is named D Magazine editor. (

John Georges, who bought the Baton Rouge Advocate in May, is caught fibbing about meeting chairman Steve Newhouse and being personally told that the Times-Picayune isn’t for sale.

Baton Rouge Advocate, July 1, 2013:

John Georges

John Georges

….With the help of former U.S. Sen. John Breaux, [Advocate owner John] Georges arranged a meeting with the Newhouse family to see if they were interested in selling The Times-Picayune.

“I thought I got a warm reception, but when I talked to Steve Newhouse (the chairman of Advance) he told me ‘Not no, but hell no,’ ” Georges said.

Greater Baton Rouge Business Report, August 1, 2013:

Newhouse told Daily Report he never met with Georges or spoke to him.

“I’ve never talked to him on the phone or anywhere else, and I certainly have never met him,” Newhouse said. “Although I am 56 years old, I still remember who I talk to.”

In a text message response this morning, Georges said, “Steven is correct. We have never met or spoken. What I said [at the Press Club] was what my lawyers told me he had told them.”

* John Georges tells press club about his Steve Newhouse meeting (theadvocate)
* Georges admits now that he’s never met Newhouse (


Joe Heller, the editorial cartoonist at Gannett’s Green Bay Press-Gazette since 1985, has been laid off. “Wisconsin now has no staff editorial cartoonists left,” it’s noted on Twitter. Press-Gazette readers asking on Facebook about Heller’s departure get a cold “the Press-Gazette does not comment on personnel matters” reply. That’s a nice send-off for a 28-year local newspaper legend.

Here are the layoff reports I’m getting from Gannett papers:

* Lansing State Journal — The executive editor has been laid off in “a restructuring of the top roles in our news department.”
* Burlington (VT) Free Press — At least five newsroom employees were cut, reports 7 Days. Two were just hired last month.
* Arizona Republic — “A pretty substantial round of layoffs.” A 55-year-old staffer says she cleaned out her desk as soon as she heard about this morning’s meeting, figuring – correctly – she’d be laid off.
* Kentucky Enquirer, an edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
* “Gannett papers in Mississippi in the middle of layoffs today. Friend at the Hattiesburg American canned along with others.”
* Indianapolis Star.
* “Just heard that some layoffs happened at Florida Today today.”
* “Gannett supposedly cut a dozen people at the Asbury Park Press this morning, and has scheduled meetings with staff at the Courier News and Home News Tribune (based in Somerville, NJ) at 2 p.m. today.”
* Springfield News-Leader. One of those laid off writes: “I worked at this paper for a little more than a year and it was my first job out of college. I’m feeling a little naive right now, because I honestly thought knowing the coding/development side as well as being a trained journalist would keep me employed. I was wrong.”

UPDATE: Gannett Blog counts over 100 layoffs.

(Let me know what’s going on at your Gannett paper.)

Here’s what I asked Gannett PR: “I’m getting reports of layoffs at Gannett papers across the country. Could you let me know how many positions are being cut this week and at how many publications?”

Here’s the full response from Jeremy Gaines: “Some USCP [U.S. Community Publishing] sites are making cuts to align their business plans with local market conditions.”

* Gannett CEO on July 22: “We are accelerating our transformation into the ‘New Gannett’ every day”

Denver Post’s Linda Shapley: “There are some times, in the process of putting out a newspaper, an unfortunate placement of newspaper content creates hilarity — or embarrassment. The front page from Wednesday, I think, falls into the first category.”shit

* An unintentional ad juxtaposition in Wednesday’s Denver Post (
* Denver Post admits to setting new s*it record (

Drew Johnson

Drew Johnson

The Chattanooga Times Free Press says Drew Johnson’s “Take Your Jobs Plan and Shove It, Mr. President” headline “was inappropriate for this newspaper” and wasn’t the hed originally approved for the editorial. The editor has been dismissed after just 14 months on the job.

The paper says:

Johnson violated the normal editing process when he changed the headline. The newspaper’s decision to terminate Johnson had nothing to do with the content of the editorial, which criticized the president’s job creation ideas and Chattanooga’s Smart Grid. The Free Press page has often printed editorials critical of the president and his policies.

* Chattanooga paper fires editorial page editor for changing headline (
* The headline was “rude,” says an Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist (
* Earlier: New editorial page editor Drew Johnson is a victim of fake tweets (

Matthew Wolfe writes to Romenesko: “I wrote an article for the Daily Beast about veterans in the criminal justice system. It came to my attention that the Department of Defense had reposted the article, in full, on its website. Apparently, the DOD re-posts a lot of articles, in full, on their website, which is available to the public and Google-able.earlybird Isn’t this copyright infringement? Maybe they have some agreement with all these sources, but I certainly wasn’t told about it.”

I asked the Department of Defense about this and heard back from news service chief Taft Phoebus:

The DOD Early Bird has been distributed to an internal Pentagon audience for more than 50 years, with no agreement ever being entered into with any publication permitting us to include their articles. This is because the Early Bird is strictly an internal DOD management tool, with on-line access limited to active-duty U.S. military personnel and DOD civilians. (We also provide an e-mail copy to media members upon request.) It isn’t available to the general public, and articles on our restricted site are removed after two weeks.

The Early Bird is designed solely as a quick-morning read to inform Pentagon managers how their department is being covered in the U.S. media. Its main website page states the following: “The Early Bird is an internal management tool intended to serve the informational needs of senior DoD officials in the continuing assessment of defense policies, programs and actions. Further reproduction or redistribution for private use or gain is subject to original copyright restrictions.”

Also, if the writer doesn’t want his clips included in our internal DOD news clipping package, he can let us know that and we won’t use them.

* Here is the Early Bird for August 1 | July 31 | July 30 and July 29 (

* New Haven Register “did not intend to compare Fox News specifically to the KKK” in a Monday editorial. ( | The editorial
* New York Times Co. swings to a profit in the second quarter. Circulation revenue was up, while ad revenue was down. ( | Boston Herald on NYT Co.’s Globe sale: (
* “I suck at math, but how does an 88-year-old magazine stuff 125 years of material into its archive?” (A New Yorker spokeswoman says the error was made by Conde Nast consumer marketing.) (@toddpruzan)
mystery* Chicago Sun-Times cancels its long-term printing and distribution agreement with the Chicago Tribune. (
* Cleveland Plain Dealer staffers met at the Market Garden Brewery last night for an Irish wake. (
* UCLA student: “I entered journalism as a result of my ambition to tell stories. The son of classics and art history professors, I was raised on a diet of Odysseus and Achilles. Personal expression was always part of my career checklist.” (
* GateHouse Media complains about an incomplete docket in the Boston bombing case. (
* Senate presses ahead with media shield law. ( | (
* Rolling Stone’s “The Bomber” issue is a newsstand hit. (
* A Newsday crossword error leaves readers puzzled. Stan Newman believes it’s his first mistake so far in 2013. (
* Recent Northwestern grad Robinson Meyer tweeted his way to a job at The Atlantic. (
* Gannett quietly lays off newspaper staffers. (
* A soap opera unfolding in the Las Vegas Review-Journal newsroom? (
* Freelance writer Michael Luongo has been named Journalist of the Year by the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association. (
* Rush Limbaugh on NYT’s Brian Stelter: “I think he’s 16. I’m kidding. But he’s a very young man.” (He turns 28 next month.) ( | Howard Kurtz is 60 today. (@charlesapple)