Employees at the Antelope Valley Press — a family-owned daily in Palmdale, California — were called into a meeting on Thursday and told by vice president and general manager Cherie Bryant (at right) that there would be big changes at the paper: Everyone on copy desk – I’m told there are 4 or 5 people on it – will be put on a 39-hour work week, she said, and they will no longer get benefits. Also, a news reporter and a sportswriter were put on “part-time” and lost their benefits.
I have left messages for Bryant and publisher William Markham, whose family owns the 35-employee newspaper. MONDAY UPDATE: They never called back.
Fred Meyer, the grocery chain, invited job-hunting copywriters to “show your crazy copy skills” and come up with an ad for “your best chance to land an interview for this opening.”
New Orleans ad man Carter Hooper decided to go for it.
“A ridiculous amount of work just to be considered for an interview,” he writes, “but spent a couple days — on vacation — designing an ad, an eblast and writing a radio script.” Here’s his ad:
Hooper waited to hear back from the Fred Meyer people. “It’s been four weeks and I haven’t heard a peep out of them.” He went back to work and came up with another ad.
This is what he sent to the supermarket giant’s marketing team:
Hooper tells me he still hasn’t heard about his ads. (Have a comment or job offer for him? He’s at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Thursday, news and satire site Pocho.com wrote about “sketchy substances” other than lead found in El Pato hot sauce – things like “microscopic flecks of Carribbean flotsam and jetsam, including sunken Cuban boat people’s rafts.”
That brought in a complaint from the hot sauce-maker’s lawyer: “We recognize that the article is more ‘satire’ than news.’ However, Pocho’s statement that ‘El Pato Salsa Picante has been withdrawn from the American market because tests found it was contaminated with lead’ is false, misleading and extremely damaging.”
The paper says it’s “decided to defy these dastardly demands” to change the post.
* Luke Russert-hating is a bit of a Washington bloodsport. (newrepublic.com)
Charlie Pierce writes on my Facebook wall: “Dear New Republic – There’s nothing newsworthy about that story. Do better the next time.”
Max Cacas adds:
I ran against Luke Russert for a seat on the Radio-TV Congressional Correspondents Association a few years ago. Neither of us won at the time, but he got more votes than me. We had a chance to chat, and I found him to be very engaging, and a nice young guy. Smart and a quick study. And he is learning the ropes. Not nearly as “larger than life” as his late dad, who I thought the world of as a journalist and human being, but the elements are all there for him to be great on his own terms one day.
Also this morning:
* Sen. Elizabeth Warren breaks tradition and refuses to chat with reporters in the Senate hallway. (bostonglobe.com)
* A journalist gets a rejection letter from the NSA. (andymboyle.com)
* A Seattle Stranger editor is threatened with arrest for taking photos of police. Cop: “I’m going to come into The Stranger and bother you while you’re at work.” (geekwire.com)
* The Nation interns will be paid minimum wage starting this fall. (They’ve been getting a $150/week stipend.) (@nationinstitute)
* Washington Post Co. reports a 14% decline in earnings for the second quarter, but higher profits at its Kaplan division. (washingtonpost.com)
* Steve Almond: “Anyone with a functioning conscience and intellect can outfox Fox News.” (wbur.org)
* How New York Times picks comments to highlight. (nytimes.com)
* Audio books are a rare bright spot in the publishing industry. (online.wsj.com)
* Andrew Sullivan: “We’re now at $736k toward our original goal of $900k by next February 1.” (andrewsullivan.com)
* “I don’t know anyone who watches Nascar,” writes a veteran sports journalist. (shermanreport.com)
* People mag expects to sell 1.4 million copies of the royal baby issue on newsstands – 400K more than average-issue sales. (nypost.com)
* Brian Williams will be off “NBC Nightly News” for a few weeks while he recovers from knee surgery. (mediabistro.com)