Daily Archives: November 19, 2013

* Mike Wilson resigns as managing editor of Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times to join Nate Silver’s 538. (
return* From a collection of “crazy newsroom freebies” stories: “A certain furniture company once sent a recliner to the WSJ SF office. The writer made them pay to have it mailed back, if I recall correctly. The cost of that was probably the same as the recliner!” (
* Ben Wrobel: I love Slate, but its Facebook feed is testing my patience. (
* Some of the best content marketers today are former journalists, says Chris Seper. (
* St. Petersburg political/media blogger offers to remove negative content in exchange for money. (
* ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas leaves rehab. “I am so much better and taking it one day at a time,” she tweets. (
* “Journalists have to begin taking some responsibility for the revenue side of things that pays their salaries,” says ex-Tribune and Chicago News Cooperative editor James O’Shea. “And that involves, you know, trying things, and maybe trying things that you might even be a little uncomfortable with.” (
* New York Post manufactures a “stupid” Jets controversy. (
* Erik Wemple has some questions about the New York Post’s jobs report story. (
single* The Rupert Murdoch-Wendy Deng divorce is said to be almost final. (
* Maria Bartiromo will fit right in at Fox Business. (
* WSJ senior graphics editor is named Innovator in Residence at West Virginia University’s j-school. (
* Uncertainty at Bloomberg TV is one reason staffers are jumping ship. (
* Tribune Publishing’s chief operating officer is stepping down. (

Most of Patricia Sellers’ interview with Ted Turner is behind Fortune’s paywall, but the magazine sent highlights of the Q & A for posting:

(Photo: Ben Baker)

(Photo: Ben Baker)

Twenty years ago you were saying that print is dead.
That’s true. Standalone print is dead. But print in conjunction with audio and video, I believe, has a future. …I think that having the best print media to complement the video of the networks gives you the strongest chance of being successful into the future. And I think in spinning off Time Inc., Time Warner is spinning off the future — a lot of the future — because I don’t think that the magazine business is going to get significantly worse than it is today as a standalone.

Have you softened on Rupert Murdoch? He was never your best pal.
Well, I was disappointed in the scandal in Britain where they were wiretapping people against the law.

You know what you said to me about six times 10 years ago when we talked: “Rupert Murdoch is the most dangerous man in the world.”
I still think that. But he’s getting too old.

Why do you think he’s the most dangerous man in the world?
He’s got the most power. And he bought the Wall Street Journal. I don’t know how he’s doing with it financially, but it’s a better paper with him running it than it was before, in my opinion. And you know, you don’t see Time Warner acquire anything. All they’ve done is spin things off.
What was the high point of your career?
I’d say being named Time’s Man of the Year. That shows how screwed up Time Warner is. I’m the only Time Man of the Year who worked for them. …

And the other thing you’re proudest of, CNN?
All of Turner Broadcasting, really, because the Cartoon Network has higher ratings than CNN on most days.

Did you ever imagine that?

We like to laugh. If you get people laughing, there’s a good chance you’ll win them over. Very seldom do people kill somebody when they’re laughing. And there’s plenty of killing going on now.

* Ted Turner’s biggest regret | How CNN got its name (

resultsLast week, Stephen Davies complained to Marty Baron about a newspaper box being empty for several days. The Washington Post executive editor promised that “the right person” would take care of it. I asked Davies this morning if the box now has newspapers.

His reply: “Yes indeedy, there are, and have been since the muck was raked. I got a call from a Post circulation guy the same afternoon I heard from Baron’s office, and since then there have been papers in the box.”

* Thank you, Washington Post and Marty Baron (
* Washington Post customer service in the Bezos era (

I found former San Francisco Chronicle editor-turned-media critic William German’s 13-year-old piece about media criticism while searching for something in the Internet Archive Wayback Machine today:

Criticism of the media, by the media, and for the media is running amok.wayback The critic business is suddenly one of our fastest-growing national growth industries. The critics themselves have become media superstars, via print, television and cyberspace. …

And now, having achieved stardom, they have also become targets of their own targets. It serves them right.

German’s example of a “target” is Howard Kurtz, the subject of a 1999 New Republic cover story. The magazine complained that Kurtz — “probably the most important media reporter in America” — docks reporters for technicalities and “casts small complaints as large insinuations.”

* From 2000: Media looks in the mirror and sees… ( via Wayback Machine)
* From 2002: Chronicle editor emeritus Bill German is retiring today (

“Today’s toon is my first clearly autobiographical editorial cartoon,” writes Philadelphia Daily News cartoonist Signe Wilkinson. “Held up at gunpoint on Sunday evening at 7 PM in my nice, safe neighborhood, the little perp made off with my ‘purse’ which was a canvas bag filled with pens, paper, and sketches for my comic strip, ‘Family Tree.’ It put my schedule back but warmed my heart that I’ve given him the tools that could change his life. Of course, learning to use the pens takes longer than learning to shoot a gun.”

-- Signe Wilkinson

— Signe Wilkinson

* Read the reactions to Wilkinson’s cartoon on her Facebook page (

* Penske Media launches arbitration against Nikki Finke to “enforce its covenants not to compete and to obtain monetary damages.” (
* A.H. Belo was unable close on its deal to sell the Riverside Press-Enterprise to Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner. ( | A.H. Belo considers “pursuing legal action against Freedom to enforce the terms of the APA and exploring an alternative transaction with other interested parties.” (
* Mike Forsythe, who was suspended by Bloomberg News for allegedly talking to the New York Times, says he’s no longer with the news outlet. (@PekingMike) | A troubling suspension. (
excellent* Paywall critic John Paton is putting up paywalls at his Digital First Media newspapers. ( | John Paton, the Gorbachev of paywalls. ( | An act of desperation or a reality check? (
* The “generaly exellant” Valley Vanguard wins a Michigan Press Association award. ( | h/t Michael Westendorf
* New York Times photo of a distraught Palestinian mother “was a poor choice,” says the public editor. (
* The Atlantic Wire is now just The Wire. (
* “People are hungrier than ever for thoughtful long-form journalism and sources they can trust to filter out the noise,” says Eric Bates, who left Rolling Stone for Pierre Omidyar’s venture. (
* Online Journalism Review’s sad slide. (“OJR was perhaps the best online chronicler of the changes coming to journalism online.”) (
* Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt: “Challenging is an accurate word for our situation [at the AP], but…” (
* New York Times reporters can’t accept items of significant value, but is it OK to pass them along to relatives? (
* People say they’re interested in buying Forbes? Slate’s Jacob Weisberg doesn’t believe it. (@jacobwe)
* Maria Bartiromo, who quit CNBC for Fox Business, will be reuniting with many former colleagues. (
* Howard Kurtz: “Why on earth does [MSNBC] tolerate [Martin] Bashir’s brand of bile?” (
* Salon issues an upbeat report for the latest quarter and six months. (It’s still losing money, though.) ( | (Salon press release)
* Nancy Meyer is promoted to publisher at Tribune’s Hartford Courant. (