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Daily Archives: August 6, 2013

bobjob
* The Onion: Bob Woodward is reportedly now a junior warehouse associate at an Amazon.com warehouse. (theonion.com)
* “I was aware for some time that there were [sale] discussions,” says Woodward. (time.com) | The Guild welcomes Jeff Bezos. (newsguild.org)
* Simon Dumenco’s prediction: Bezos’ Post will do things that are wonderful for the Post, but terrible for journalism as a business. (adage.com)
* J. Max Robins’ prediction: Bezos’s Post will provide the blueprint for how a legacy media company can reinvent itself. (techonomy.com)
* How Bezos could Amazon-ify the Post. (slate.com)
* WaPo editor Marty Baron: Bezos is a risk-taker and a long term thinker, which is good for the paper. (hereandnow.wbur.org)
* Which newspapers should tech billionaires buy? (Mark Zuckerberg scoop up The Onion?) (theweek.com)
* John Kelly on Don Graham: “There is no more decent guy in Washington. I think he loves this town (not ‘this town’) as much as he loves this paper.” (washingtonpost.com)
* WaPo publisher Katharine Weymouth says New York Times reporter Sheryl Stolberg is getting unfairly criticized for her Sunday profile. (huffingtonpost.com)
* New Yorker and New York magazines sold well on the newsstands the first half of the year. (capitalnewyork.com) | Gun titles do well, too. (adweek.com)
* AP reporters in Montana get threats after asking for names of people who have concealed carry permits. (missoulian.com)
* A veteran Philadelphia Inquirer reporter nearly quit after her story failed to get posted on philly.com. (citypaper.net)
* Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff are named PBS “NewsHour” co-anchors. (nytimes.com)
* Google search results will now include 3 “in-depth” articles. (gigaom.com)
* Denver Post gets a little smaller. (westword.com)
* Michael Hastings “always had at least five hot stories going,” says his widow. (cnn.com)
* Media consulting firm says Boston Globe sale price “seems low.” (phelpscutler.com)
* Ex-LATer Geoff Boucher leaves Entertainment Weekly after less than a year. (thewrap.com)
* Time adds Callie Schweitzer (from Vox Media), Ryan Sager (WSJ) and Chris Wilson (Yahoo). (mediabistro.com)
* Providence Journal loses investigative reporter Mike Stanton to academia. (ripr.org)
* Greeley Tribune sportswriter “overcame more obstacles in a week than most people do in a lifetime.” Matt Schuman is dead at 49. (greeleytribune.com)

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes today:
ezra

Those darn newspaper names! A New York Times reporter had this correction in 2006:
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kayJack Shafer reported in 2007 that the Post has spelled Katharine Graham’s first name “Katherine” dozens of times in the past 30 years and “in 1986, the Post goofed so badly that it published an ‘Outlook’ section piece under the byline ‘Katherine Graham.’”

Iowa City radio station KCJJ reported Monday that the Iowa City Press-Citizen will stop covering University of Iowa Hawkeye sports and run stories from Des Moines Register sports reporters. (Both papers are owned by Gannett.) The Press-Citizen’s Pat Harty, who has covered the Hawkeyes for decades, will be reassigned to prep sports, according to the station’s report.
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I called the Press-Citizen and was told by a newsroom leader who didn’t want to be identified — by name or title — that the paper will neither confirm nor deny the report.

KCJJ owner Steve Soboroff says the paper wants his report retracted, “but we have multiple sources confirming this.” (Harty also does work for the station, but he isn’t named as a source of the information.)

“If the paper ends up not doing this [outsourcing the coverage], it will only be because of the reaction to our report on Twitter and Facebook,” says Soboroff. “This is a Big Ten town! I think we’d be the only Big Ten town that doesn’t have the local newspaper covering college sports.”

I’ve also asked Des Moines Register sports editor Chad Leistikow about the radio station’s report.

* Report: Press-Citizen will no longer have its reporters cover Hawkeye sports, will use Des Moines Register copy instead (facebook.com)


Terry Taylor, who has been Associated Press sports editor for 21 years, is retiring on Nov. 15.

Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor

AP managing editor Lou Ferrara writes in his memo: “As many of you know, Terry has worked tirelessly to build AP Sports into what it is today — the leading breaking sports news operation on the planet for everything from the NFL to the Olympics and the World Cup.”

A job posting will go up soon, and “we will be looking for a leader to continue to take the department into exciting new digital opportunities and directions.”

Read the full memo after the jump. Read More

Tweeted on Monday:

Yup, it’s happening (tweeted this morning):
orlando

justasking
Paul Farhi, who wrote today’s Post story about Jeff Bezos buying the paper, was on vacation in the Dominican Republic last Thursday when executive editor Marty Baron called. (“I was in the lobby of this beautiful resort.”)

Where are you? Baron asked. You have to come back to cover an important story, he said. “He didn’t tell me what it was, but he sounded very concerned.”

Farhi and wife Lisa immediately started guessing he news. A big management change? An executive was seriously ill?

Paul Farhi

Paul Farhi

“I had a bit of anxiety because this seemed to be something internal, and that puts it on another level where it affects you. We thought of the sale of the paper, but you just dismiss that out of hand because it’s so hard to imagine.”

Farhi left the Dominican Republic on Friday — his planned departure date — and talked to Baron again on Sunday morning for about 45 minutes.

“The Washington Post is going to be sold to Jeff Bezos,” the editor said.

Farhi recalls being speechless. “I thought, Oh my god. It’s the same reaction a lot of people around here had” when they learned the news on Monday.

“He said, keep it under your hat, and here’s how we’re going to get it reported and published.”

Farhi worked on his story for most of Sunday and didn’t finish it until 1 p.m. Monday.

“I wrote it in a Word document at home and emailed the file [to Baron]. We never went into our content management system.”

He got to the newsroom at 3 p.m. — about 90 minutes before his colleagues learned about the sale.

“There was a long period in the afternoon where I sat around, really nervous that the story would leak out.”

At the same time, “I really wanted to tell somebody. I was itching to, but I couldn’t.”

Finally, the news broke at a 4:30 company meeting. “People were crying at the announcement,” says Farhi, noting that “most of us really love working here” and are loyal to the Graham family.

The staff’s view of Bezos as the new boss?

“I think people trust he’s going to carry on the legacy, and he’s not some monster coming in to undo this institution. He seems to be saying all the right things.”

* WaPo columnist Gene Weingarten’s open letter to Jeff Bezos (washingtonpost.com)

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* Former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. tells David Remnick: “Don [Graham] hated all the cutting and he just didn’t want to cut anymore. His hope is that Jeff Bezos will invest.” (newyorker.com)
* Ken Doctor’s nine questions about the Post sale. (niemanlab.org)
* Ex-WaPo media writer Frank Ahrens says that “for the first time in many years, I am not pessimistic about The Post’s future. … In order for The Post to have a future, it must be owned by someone like Bezos, a masterful Internet businessman.” (facebook.com/frank.ahrens)
* WaPo’s Erik Wemple says Bezos “has the look of an energetic newspaper owner who’ll write clever and spot-on memos.” (washingtonpost.com) || Will he keep the air conditioning running? (newrepublic.com)
* David Carr on the deal: “More evidence that the power center in the media world has turned away from the East Coast.” (nytimes.com)
* This isn’t a business deal, says Emily Bell; it’s a cultural statement. (theguardian.com) | Bezos probably thinks owning the paper will be “fun, interesting and cool.” (businessinsider.com)
* Three reasons Bezos might be the leader that journalism needs now. (meyersonstrategy.com)
* NYT reporters point out that “Bezos will now have a microphone as powerful as anyone in Washington and outside the West Wing.” (nytimes.com) | A list of the media properties that Bezos is about to own: (theatlantic.com)
* Ryan Chittum: “Expect the Post’s paywall to fall quickly after Bezos takes over.” (cjr.org)
* Dan Mitchell: It seems a safe bet that Bezos going to invest in the paper rather than simply wring it for profits by cutting costs. (fortune.com)
* “How disappointing would it be if free Kindles was the biggest innovation out of this deal?” (linkedin.com)
* How the Washington Times played the news on its front page. (Look hard!) (newseum.org)
shooting* Pocono Record reporter Chris Reber (at left) was covering his first Ross Township meeting when shots broke out. (poconorecord.com) || Reber: “I crawled out to a hallway and then got outside. …All I could think was: It wasn’t happening to me.” (poconorecord.com)
* After Chicago Tribune bought the Cubs, “we almost bent over backwards to give the Sox better play over the Cubs at times,” writes a former Trib sports editor. (shermanreport.com)
* Veteran NYT journalist Claudia Payne joins Curbing Cars as a senior editor. (kickstarter.com)
* Gannett’s Journal News in Westchester lays off 11% of its workforce. (gannettblog.blogspot.com)
* Cornell Sun is at the top of Princeton Review’s Best College Newspapers list. (collegemediamatters.com)