Monthly Archives: September 2013

volleyballRebound? Basketball? Nope. “It was human error,” Fort Bliss public affairs specialist Virginia Reza tells Romenesko readers. Will the Fort Bliss Bugle — a 20,000-circulation weekly for soldiers and their families — run a correction? No, she says, “we’re going to let this go by and let people have their fun with it.” And they are – especially on the U.S. Army W.T.F! Facebook page.

* Photo and cutline in the Fort Bliss Bugle ( | U.S. Army W.T.F! (

In mid-August, the Chicago Tribune announced that it was partnering with longtime media columnist Robert Feder. “Editorially speaking, he’ll do whatever he wants,” said Tribune digital czar Bill Adee.

Weitman (left) and Feder

Weitman (left) and Feder

And he is — to the dismay of Tribune’s spokesman, who calls Feder’s post about Tribune newspaper budget cuts “grossly inaccurate.” Gary Weitman is also unhappy with Feder for not calling for comment before reporting that CEO Peter Liguori ordered $100 million in cuts.

Feder wrote: “The cuts will start to be put into effect Dec. 1, sources said, and are expected to affect all areas of operation, including the newsrooms.”

Here’s what spokesman Weitman says:

The original [Feder] blog post (on which the L.A. Times story is based) is grossly inaccurate. No targets for expense reductions have been set. No deadlines have been set.

We’re in the process, as we are every year at this time, of conducting budget reviews at all of our businesses. Everything is on the table, as it is every year. We’re always trying to improve our business model in ways that allow us to operate as efficiently as possible, while at the same time directing as many resources as we can to producing great content for our readers, viewers and digital users.

We’re trying to determine how to put our publishing businesses on the best possible footing for the long term, to make them a strong as possible. This is the normal budget process that we go through annually.

By the way, Mr. Feder never bothered to call or email me for comment before writing his original blog post. I thought that was standard operating procedure for most journalists.

Feder tells Romenesko readers:

I stand by my sources who were present at the meeting when the budget goals were announced. This is not the first time a Tribune Co. spokesman has questioned my reporting on the company. Once again we’ll see who’s right. I’m confident that my track record speaks for itself.

* Feder: Tribune Co. boss orders $100M in cuts (
* August 16: Feder partners with Chicago Tribune (

GateHouse Media has filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy. CEO Michael Reed says in a memo that “with the challenges facing our industry and the impending maturity of our secured debt next year, we needed to be proactive in exploring options to restructure our debt, recapitalize and position ourselves for future growth.”

He adds: “Our prepackaged plan provides for full payment of our obligations to employees, customers, and vendors. Essentially, from an operational standpoint, it’s business as usual.

Reed tells employees: “We don’t believe you will notice any change in day-to-day operations.” GateHouse publishes about 100 dailies and 200 weeklies.

* GateHouse Media files prepackaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy (

Read Reed’s memo after the jump. Read More

Tribune Co. confirms it’s started a budget review process, but says a report that CEO Peter Liguori has ordered $100 million in cuts is incorrect.tribcuts “No targets for expense reduction have been issued,” says spokesman Gary Weitman. “We’re in the process, as we are every year at this time, of looking at the budgets for all of our businesses. Everything is on the table. We’re looking at how to put our publishing businesses on the best possible footing for the long term.”
* Tribune newspapers prepare for cost-cutting (
* Tribune boss orders $100 million in cuts (

Also this morning:
* Star-Ledger reaches a tentative deal with its unions and avoids a shutdown. ( | Earlier: Star-Ledger publisher again threatens to close the paper. (
* Dean Starkman: Bonuses for newspaper company execs are not only irresponsible, they’re a strategic mistake. (
* A Baltimore City Paper reporter testifies against a man he’s covered for seven years. “I was very surprised to get a call from a federal prosecutor and not at all happy about it,” says Edward Ericson Jr. (
* Seymour Hersh: “Get rid of 90 percent of the editors that now exist.” (
* Texas Tribune expects to bring in $1.2 million this year from conferences and events – up from $800,000 in 2012. (
* CNN: Newt Gingrich isn’t violating network rules by failing to disclose his PAC’s financial relationship with politicians discussed on “Crossfire.” (
* New York Times Co. projects a 3 percent decline in print and digital advertising revenue in Q3, but says overall revenue will be up because of stronger circulation. (
* The NSA listened in on Washington Post humor columnist Art Buchwald. (
* Toledo Blade parent sues to get the names of Toledo Free Press investors. (
* “It’s either mad or genius to start a print publication in 2013.” (
* Long-form sports journalism is hot, says an SB Nation editor. (

* Editors’ Note, September 27, 2013 (last correction) | The obit (

* “[Insert name here], call your office!” Elon Green’s guide to the people Chris Cillizza has commanded to call their offices. (
* Former SF Bay Guardian editor Tim Redmond launches San Francisco Progressive Media Center, a news/arts/culture nonprofit. (
* Why so few mean book reviews? (
* Timothy B. Lee: “The unprofitability of the news business is a self-correcting problem.” (

Mascot kidnapped!

Mascot kidnapped!

* Baltimore City Paper mascot Besty(TM) has been kidnapped. (
* “Sport is a bigger part of me than being gay,” says a BBC broadcaster who will be covering the Winter Games in Sochi. (
* BuzzFeed is the top publisher on Facebook; Huffington Post is No. 2. (
* Union: NLRB rejects NBC Universal’s attempt to cut journalists’ pay and benefits by reclassifying them as “content producers.” (
* CNN boss Jeff Zucker dips his toe into social media. (
* Allen West is booted from Pajamas Media after calling a staffer a “Jewish American princess.” (
* Manny Garcia leaves Miami Herald Media after 23 years to become Naples (Fla.) Daily News editor. (
* Israeli online publication editor: “Every tweet or Facebook post that I do is a story. It must be well-written, factual, checked in advance and commented on before I put it up.” (
* Rogers Media is launching a “Netflix for magazines.” (
* Another round of layoffs at the Durham Herald-Sun. (

From a story about New York Times media columnist David Carr’s talk at Boston University:
“Drawing from decades of experience, Carr artfully crafted a presentation full of advice, history, and information for the up-and-coming generation of journalists. He imbued the room with an anticipatory buzz, as if those in attendance were standing at the precipice of the future.”

* The Future of Journalism: A Lecture by David Carr (


Google chief economist Hal Varian said at Wednesday’s Italian journalism award ceremony:

A few weeks ago Jeff Bezos signed onto his Amazon account. The message he saw said “Based on your recent purchases, we recommend the New York Times, The LA Times and the Chicago Tribune.” How long do you think it will be before all Post subscribers get a Kindle? I would say less than a year. (Note: the Kindles now sell for under $100 and the cost of a yearly subscription to the paper version of the Washington Post is $350 per year.)

* Hal Varian on the economics of newspaper publishing (

Reuters staffers have to do without print newspapers today. I’m told the carrier — when not ill — drops off the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, and the three New York dailies.

From: Blackwood, Oswald (Oz) (Reuters)
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 9:50 AM
To: US-NY-3xS-News
Cc: Baum, Richard (Reuters)
Subject: No Newspaper Delivery Today

G’morning all,

sickUnfortunately, there will be no newspaper delivery for editorial, 3xSq, today due to the illness of our delivery person. We will try to figure out an alternate plan for tomorrow in case he is still sick.

He sends his apology for the inconvenience.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.


Alternate plan suggestion: Check the online editions.


Update: I asked about the cover and got this email from Presentation & Planning editor Dave Elsesser:

Brady Jones, one of our 1A designers, is the brain behind our front page today.

Some members of our Living crew (reporter Kevin Coffey, designer Theresa Berens, editor Jeff Reece) worked together on a fun little timeline/charticle on the 50th anniversary of the cassette tape.
It was one of those things that was too good not to tell our readers about. (Who doesn’t remember wearing out their favorite cassette?) … So, on a bit of a slow news day, we wanted to be bold in calling attention to our Living cover.

Brady Jones, our 1A designer last night, handled the rest. The mix-tape cassette treatment – complete with our handwritten OWH flag – was Brady’s idea and execution. Other than some minor tweaking throughout the editing process, there wasn’t a lot of discussion. Executive Editor Mike Reilly and Managing Editor Melissa Matczak liked the concept and signed off on it quickly.

It seems to have been well received. More importantly, I think it achieved the goal of sending readers to Theresa and Kevin’s fun little spread on the Living cover.

* PDF of today’s Omaha World-Herald front page (
* Famous musicians share memories of the cassette tape (