Daily Archives: November 12, 2013

* Barry Diller says Tina Brown’s Daily Beast departure was “healthy” for both sides. (
* Washington Post’s Richard Cohen: “It’s just not fair; it’s just not right” to call him a racist. ( | A “horribly racist column.” (
* A couple of decades ago at UW-Madison, “The Onion was a campus-wide inside joke.” (
writers* Journalists lead the lonely-hearts list in China. ( * Why are writers…? (@bmorrissey)
* “Watch ethanol interests go after AP reporter Matt Apuzzo on Reddit” in an AMA (ask me anything). Q for Apuzzo: “How much did the API [American Petroleum Institute] pay you to publish your latest report?” A: “We had no contact whatsoever with API.” (@toddneeley)
* Newsroom gossips mention Sam Sifton or Bruce Headlam as the next New York Times Magazine editor. (
* Ball State journalism students traveling to Russia in February will stay on cruise ships near the Olympic grounds. (
* Ezra Klein on why journalists prefer Twitter over Facebook: “Twitter is simply more useful for our jobs.” (
* The redesigned $15 million CNN website won’t debut until 2014; it was supposed to be unveiled this fall. (
* Noted: “The @wsj has a long history of mustache journalism.” (#WSJmustache)
* “Crate and Farrow” and other show-name suggestions for Ronan Farrow and MSNBC. (
* The Australian: “Those reporters who inhabit Twitter … rather than getting out into the suburbs of our great cities and towns invariably get the pulse of the nation completely wrong. It’s a path to ruin.” (
* Send anonymous news tips, memos, and typo/comment-spam alerts to | Romenesko on Facebook | Romenesko on Twitter
* For sponsored post or display ad information, contact Tom Kwas at

E.W. Scripps announced this afternoon that its newspaper-focused Washington bureau “will be reconfigured to be a leading investigative storyteller on all the Scripps-owned media platforms — television, digital and print.”

The release adds: “Scripps will no longer offer syndication services and will close its wire service at the end of the year. …Related to these changes at the Washington bureau, the organization is creating 10 new positions to help build the bureau’s investigative work and bring in skills and expertise to reach audiences across all platforms.”

E.W. Scripps also announced that it’s acquired public radio show and podcast DecodeDC, which “focuses on Washington’s dysfunction, corruption, and negligence of the issues that affect American citizens every day.” It was launched in 2012 with a $100,000 Kickstarter campaign.

Read the release after the jump. Read More

Hugo Lindgren, who was named New York Times Magazine editor in 2010, “choked up” when he told his staff today that he’s leaving the newspaper at the end of the year.

* New York Times has lost a lot of big names this year (

bs2New York Times in 2006: “[Brian] Stelter originally started the blog under the name CableNewser. He concealed his identity so that his growing audience would take him seriously. ‘People thought I was a bald, disgruntled 40-something executive,’ he said. ‘I think I’m balding, but that’s it.'”

From a decade-old CableNewser blog post:

* From 2004: “Teen media nerds are the future! We salute you, young Brian Stelter” (
* From 2006: The kid with all the news about the TV news (
* Today: CNN hires Stelter to host “Reliable Sources,” cover media (
* Stelter’s CableNewser for January 1, 2004 (

Update: Lee Enterprises loses $77 million in fiscal 2013 (

We believe that Lee Enterprises has been burning its furniture to stay alive by aggressively cutting costs in order to service its crushing debt load,” writes a contributor to Seeking Alpha, a financial news/commentary site.

He points out: burn
* Lee has laid off 26 percent of its workforce since 2010.
* In that same time, the chain’s newsprint consumption has declined by 30 percent.
* The newsprint produced per subscriber has decline by 14 percent since 2010. (“Each of Lee’s subscribers is reading a smaller newspaper.”)

The Seeking Alpha writer’s conclusion:

Lee Enterprises has embarked on an unsustainable business model of destroying its product while raising prices in an effort to sustain its financial performance. …

Lee’s short-minded strategy of gutting its workforce (and therefore its product) while simultaneously increasing prices is doomed to fail. We believe the stock is worth at most $2.85 per share and is likely ultimately worthless based on industry average multiples and the high likelihood that LEE’s financial performance will begin to deteriorate once consumers catch on to the much weaker product and the company runs out of cost cutting measures. We are short the stock and suggest shorting the stock.

While Lee may be burning the newsroom furniture, its top executives are probably buying high-end leather sofas for themselves with their six-figure bonuses.

Lee owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and dozens of other smaller newspapers.

* When a company burns the furniture, investors should short the stock (

Earlier on
* Earlier: Lee cuts 10% of Provo Daily Herald’s staff, including the top editor
* Layoffs at Lee newspapers as CEO Mary Junck gets a $500,000 bonus

The memo from the Herald’s executive editor:

From: Marques, Mindy
Date: Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 9:32 AM
Subject: Note to the Newsroom
To: MIA Newsroom

Today we are offering a limited Voluntary Separation Program.

This voluntary program is limited to full-time employees in three groups – photo, the copy desk and columnists/critics. All eligible employees will be contacted by their supervisors this morning.

There will be no involuntary separations as part of this program.

We’ll meet with the photo staff at 2 p.m. and with copy editors at 4 p.m. in the Everglades conference room.

I’ll host a general staff Q&A at 5 p.m. today in the Gene Miller conference room.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your supervisor or see Dave Wilson, Rick Hirsch or me.

Mindy Marques

* Brian Stelter is leaving the New York Times for CNN. He’ll host “Reliable Sources” and cover the media beat for ( brian| Stelter says in the release: “CNN is reimagining media coverage at what is the best time ever to be covering media, and I’m very happy to be a part of it.” (
* Stelter colleague David Carr’s reaction: “Thrilled for Brian, sad for us. A great reporter, classy colleague and true friend.” (@carr2n) | “No successor yet,” says the Times’ media editor. (
* New York Times Magazine’s Matt Bai is named Yahoo News national political columnist. ( | (
* Miami Herald’s Jim Wyss writes about his ordeal in Venezuela: “I was handed over to ‘The Inspector,’ who put me into an armored car with doors that didn’t open from the inside (I checked).” (
* Photographers represent the category of newsroom staffers hit hardest by newspaper job cuts. (
vice* Vice Media is more than doubling the size of its news operation. It’s hired more than 60 journalists in recent months and plans to spend around $50 million over the next three years to beef up its newsroom. (
* Who should be the next New York Times Magazine editor? Here’s Choire Sicha’s favorites list: (
* The story behind AP’s ethanol investigation: (
* Media reporter Sara Morrison quits The Wrap for The Atlantic Wire. (
* High school editors want to stop using “Redskins,” but administrators say that’s not the students’ call. (
* NYT standards editor: “We’ve dropped the admonition against ad as a short version of advertisement; it is ubiquitous and no longer seems especially colloquial.” Also, perk is now acceptable. (
* Joe Strupp on news organizations – not CBS! – that dealt with their mistakes the right way. (
* The Kiplinger Letter about President Kennedy that was never published — until now. (
* David Perlman, the San Francisco Chronicle’s 94-year-old science editor, profiles a 100-year-old doctor. (
* Newton TAB editors call police after getting a threatening voice mail from a reader. Editor-in-chief Jesse Floyd tells Romenesko readers:

One of our readers was upset with some information we published; she left an irate message on the voice mail of our editor, threatening retaliation. After consulting with our legal counsel and publisher, we decided it was prudent to notify authorities based on the threatening tone and content of the message. It’s the first time I can remember taking this step and it’s one we took with reluctance.

Betsy Rothstein, who recently left Mediabistro’s Fishbowl DC media gossip/news blog, is launching The Mirror for The Daily Caller — “the idea being that I will hold up a mirror to Washington, D.C.’s political and media worlds and write what I see and what people tell me about the self-obsessed city in which we live.”



She says her new blog “will be informative, fun, provocative and real.”

Rothstein adds in her letter to friends: “On a sentimental note, my time in the fishbowl was a big messy mix of turbulence, fun and humor. I’ve forged many alliances and I’ve been heartened by the many people who trusted me, helped me do my job and told me things that could land them in a well of hot water. To them, thank you a million times over.”

Her announcement is after the jump. Read More