Monthly Archives: September 2013

A sobered-up Lyden writes:

* Reporter’s tweets go from slightly saucy to full-blown crunked (

Beetle Bailey: No longer in the weekday Stripes.

Beetle Bailey: No longer in the weekday Stripes.

Star and Stripes announced today that several columns and features, including “Dear Abby” and “Click and Clack Talk Cars,” are being dropped as the print edition goes from 40 pages to 32.

The comics in the weekday paper go from three pages to one, while the Sunday funnies are cut in half – to eight pages. (“Beetle Bailey” is one of the strips that’s getting the hook on weekdays.) Also, Stripes says it will no longer use the Scripps-Howard News Service.

“People are less engaged in our print product, but more engaged than ever in our digital product,” says publisher Max Lederer said. “Consequently, we’ll allocate fewer assets to print and more and more to digital.”

* Challenging times lead to changes at Stars and Stripes (

Virginia “Jersey Ginny” Hicks, who died at 90, doesn’t want people making a big deal out of her passing.
“There will be no viewing, no funeral services,” the former waitress writes in the obituary she left behind. “You should have all visited me with kind attention when I needed you to put a smile on my face and love in my heart.”

That’s telling ’em, Ginny!

* Atco woman writes own obituary (
* “Jersey Ginny” Hicks was a wonderful neighbor (

“This is a post about my decision to stop trying to be a journalist. I’ve figured it out. For the past 6 years I’ve been a writer trapped in journalist’s body” — Marina Shifrin

University of Missouri School of Journalism grad Marina Shifrin quit her Next Media Animation job in a dance video that’s gone viral. She writes on her blog: “I spent hours in the office perfecting my headlines, my voice overs, my stories. But as the workload increased, I found I could no longer keep up. I tried. I came in earlier, I stayed later, I worked on weekends. Scared I wasn’t pulling my weight, I went to my boss and told him how I felt. ‘Make deadlines, not art,’ was his response.”

* Mizzou grad quits her job in a blaze of glory (
* Journalism is Dead (To Me) (
* Read her tweets about the video and reactions to it (@marinavstweets)

From Missouri School of Journalism:
* Two j-students create a “100 Ages” multimedia exhibit (

Letter to Romenesko
“Disappointed UCF grad” writes: “Thought I should bring this to your attention. …The University of Central Florida’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter has a public Facebook group. A UCF professor made a post in the group trashingflorida the student newspaper (The Central Florida Future) and a journalism student. The thread then escalated into a total sh*tstorm, with professors personally attacking students (former/current) and even a fellow professor.

“I want this to be brought to your attention because I feel that professors who belittle their students in a public forum shouldn’t be professors. If something is a reoccurring problem, then why should they blame the students? Shouldn’t the professors do a better job teaching? Everyone needs to step their game up, but the UCF professors seem to think they do a good enough job and that it’s okay to sh*t on their students in a public forum. It’s not right.”

The prof’s post:


Brunson wrote on Sunday that he regrets the hard feelings caused by this “digital schoolyard brawl between alums and faculty.” He adds: “I will continue to vigorously praise, encourage and criticize whenever I believe it’s warranted, helpful and constructive. But I will do so in my classes, during my office hours and on my own personal social media channels” — and not on the UCF Society of Professional Journalists Facebook page.

* “This is the worst lead I’ve read on a speech story in a long time” (
* “I’ve been reflecting this weekend on Thursday’s rant-turned-rumble (

* Update: “When you write for publication, just as when you sing, act, or play a musical instrument publicly, you open yourself to public criticism,” and other comments from my Facebook wall. (

* Update 2: Brunson has let me know that he criticized the lede to a news story about the school president’s speech and not the op-ed piece about the speech, which I had linked. “Also, it appears that the story in question has since been updated and revised with a new lead, so it won’t help to link to the ‘offending’ story because the problem in question appears to have been resolved,” he writes.

A reader sent the original lede:

* Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger: “With a rigid pay wall, you end up with a small, elite audience, with restricted access for everyone else. We want a large audience and international influence, and not just with elites.” (
* D.C.-based Brazilian reporter Claudia Trevisan is arrested and jailed by Yale police while trying to cover a seminar. (
hughes* New Republic owner Chris Hughes (left) says it’s “very important for me to be able to work on both sides [editorial and advertising] of the organization.” (
* “Breaking Bad” finale on Albuquerque Journal’s page one: ( | The story: (
* CNN Films cancels its Hillary Clinton documentary. (
* Former Creative Loafing editor and Miami Herald staffer John Sugg is now editing the Scientologists’ Freedom magazine. (
* David Carr: “A low point in a long campaign to rein in reporters and chill their sources may turn out to be a very big blessing in disguise.” (
* Business Insider invests in longform journalism. (
* The Minneapolis Star Tribune could go on the block as early as 2014. (
* Bleacher Report describes its copyediting process. (
* Bozeman Daily Chronicle kills its Monday print edition. (
killing* Bill O’Reilly says the Holy Spirit summoned him to write “Killing Jesus.” (
* New York Sun published its final print edition five years ago today. (
* Washington Post reveals that Robert Allbritton, Michael Bloomberg, and Eric Schmidt were among those approached about buying the paper. (
* Michael Wolff: Don’t blame salespeople for the print advertising decline. (
* San Francisco Chronicle’s David Steinberg is named UNITY president. (
* Frédéric Filloux: The old “trusted news brand” notion is going away. (
* Jeff Bezos and Newspaper Characters. (

Bud Rosenthal, the new CEO of AOL’s Patch, told employees in a memo sent at 6:14 p.m.patch ET Friday that “we have believed strongly in the value of a connected local community. However this commitment has not translated into success in every town we serve; therefore, regretfully, a number of Patches will have to be closed. …A handful of sites will close on Oct. 7.”

One of my tipsters writes: “We don’t know which sites will have an Oct. 7 blackout date.”

Rosenthal‘s memo:

All – as promised, we’d like to provide you with an update as we head into the coming weeks.

We have had – and continue to have — many productive conversations with potential partners who have positive feedback about Patch. In addition, we have made great strides in strengthening the product, including:

* Enhanced navigation design
* Social sharing features
* Enhanced publishing tools
* Updated news consumption layouts; and
* Increased content production, accelerated blogger recruitment and a significant growth in user contributions in our higher performing DMAs.



While product improvements and partnership discussions continue, we also need to move forward with the other components of our previously announced plans.

As you all know, since day one, we have believed strongly in the value of a connected local community. However this commitment has not translated into success in every town we serve; therefore, regretfully, a number of Patches will have to be closed. The following is an overview of the changes we’ll be making in order to direct our resources to other towns, so that we can continue to develop a better platform and meet our goals for profitability.

A handful of sites will close on Oct. 7 to optimize our closing procedures. We are continuing to develop our strategy for handling additional sites in the lower performing DMAs that might need to be closed in the near future per our previous conversations. Patches that are closed will still be available to our employees behind a firewall, but unavailable to the general public and former employees. People who try to access their town’s homepage will be redirected to a page explaining the changes. Our users in these affected towns will be notified a week in advance of the closures via an email (for registered users) and an article on the site (for all users).

Thanks to everyone for their diligence and patience as we work on restructuring our model. AOL remains committed to local and committed to Patch, and we are confident that the changes being made will enhance the user experience and value of Patch in the local communities it serves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thx.


* From August: Staffers will be laid off and Patch sites closed over the next 7 days (

David Pogue: “My life is complete. I have wound up in an Onion headline!” (@pogue) | Onion story

ALSO IN THE ONION: Student reporter hits it out of the park with five accurate sentences (

* Earlier: Nate Silver can die in peace now that he’s been in “Doonesbury” (

USA Today’s newsstand price goes from a buck to $2 on Monday. Here’s publisher Larry Kramer’s memo:

From: USA TODAY Publisher
Date: Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 2:33 PM
Subject: USA TODAY Price Increase – effective Monday 9/30/13

Dear Colleagues,

We have always strived to keep the cover price of USA TODAY low. Since 2008, despite rising costs and other national newspapers raising their prices, USA TODAY has remained at $1.00, providing our readers exceptional value. However, effective Monday, September 30, 2013, the cover price for USA TODAY will be $2.00.
This change will allow us to continue to invest in the resources necessary to deliver USA TODAY’s award winning content. This increase still positions USA TODAY as a value to readers and we will be priced competitively with other national newspapers.

We anticipate this price increase will bring a minimal drop in print sales, as we continue to evolve how we distribute USA TODAY. As consumers habits have shifted, we have gradually been decreasing the number of racks on the street, while giving consumers additional options to purchase our print edition. In the last quarter alone, we have added more than 1,000 retail sales locations.

Thanks to the hard work from all of you, our total audience is bigger than ever and we expect those numbers to continue to rise in the future.



Eleanor Clift writes in her farewell column:

“I pride myself on being a survivor, and in the 50 years since I first wandered into Newsweek, I’ve seen a lot of change and made a lot of adjustments. The magazine that I knew is long since gone. But while I lament what has been lost, I recognize that not to change is to die, and that Newsweek, a storied brand, has another life to live, this one without me.”

* Eleanor Clift on her 50 years at Newsweek (