– h/t Louis Diamond
* Mark “Copyranter” Duffy didn’t LOL when he was fired from BuzzFeed — “a place that basically fires nobody.” (gawker.com)
* Coca-Cola’s goal is to reduce press releases by half this year and get rid of them entirely by 2015. “I’m on a mission,” says Coke communications exec Ashley Brown. “What I want to do is kill the press release.” (ragan.com)
* Swatting at a storm of public relations spam. (nytimes.com)
* “There are no rules right now” at Yahoo, says Katie Couric. “We are going to try things.” (capitalnewyork.com) | What is Couric doing at Yahoo? (gawker.com)
* The stats that prove cable TV is dying. (businessinsider.com)
* Hey, WISN-TV in Milwaukee, this amount of snow isn’t newsworthy in your city: (@BennyHutch) | Denver anchor: No more snow-covered patio photos! (newscastic.com)
* Controversial New York Times photo of a Palestinian mother is staying because “we very rarely change or delete published content.” (nytimes.com)
* Did the Baltimore Sun deserve mention in the Washington Post’s foreclosure scams probe? (medillwatchdog.com)
* Lessons from a journalism school’s “Media Mingle.” (chroniclevitae.com)
* Columbus Dispatch’s bike blogger doesn’t remember a thing about his near-fatal bike accident on Nov. 3. (dispatch.com)
* Peter Lattman is named New York Times media editor. (@peterlattman) | Former Gawker writer Richard Lawson is VanityFair.com’s new Hollywood columnist. (vanityfair.com)
* MSNBC’s Martin Bashir is on a “pre-planned vacation” after apologizing to Sarah Palin. (washingtonpost.com) | (mediabistro.com)
Tanya Rivera, an anchor at Gannett’s WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC, recently interviewed police officer Eric Rasecke for a 5:30 p.m. newscast. To make sure there were no surprises, the journalist scripted her “interview” and submitted it to the officer and the Greensboro police PR man for approval. (Rivera’s station bio says she “has a passion for helping people.”)
“Please email me back your answers so we can make sure we are on the right track,” Rivera told the officer.
WFMY news director Bob Clinkingbeard tells me: “We don’t send scripts out in advance. What you see written here came from the police officer” in a pre-interview. “We were trying to streamline the process to make sure he hit the key points” that were presented in graphics that went with the report.
He pinned her to the floor and molested her, then he asked a question that's still seared on her mind http://t.co/LUwgi0YLTn
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 25, 2013
* “The world awaits the inevitable apology with baited [sic] breath” (slate.com)
* “Tweet is brutal, but effective. Illustrates horror of the crime” (@ktampone)
* Don’t miss the comments below the tweet (@washingtonpost.com)
Shaw Media, which owns dailies and weeklies in Illinois and Iowa, is moving all employees to a 37.5 hour workweek.
“The company continues to battle a challenging revenue environment, and we face increased costs in healthcare,” Shaw Media president John Rung tells employees. “The standardization of the workweek will provide a temporary reduction in expenses as we strive to improve our financial performance. This move will also allow us to save jobs across the company while continuing to find ways to better serve our customers. It is our intention to adjust wages as our performance improves.”
Read Rung’s memo after the jump. Read More
Letter to Romenesko
From MIKE BRICE: I thought I would share a story about why I think newspapers are struggling. It doesn’t have to do with Twitter, Facebook or the availability of online news. It is about basic business practices and customer service.
I recently moved to Pittsburgh and decided to subscribe to one of the two daily papers. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was offering a special – 16 weeks of the Sunday paper along with the daily, digital edition delivered via email. The rate ($2) was too tempting. I subscribed, and within a couple of days the daily email with the link to the e-edition was being sent every morning.
The first Sunday passed with no paper. I thought perhaps the “start” had not made it to the carrier. As a carrier for the Des Moines Register for three years, I understood that new starts were not always an exact science. /CONTINUES Read More
“Did the Los Angeles Times unwittingly use an air-brushed photo with its obituary on famed choreographer Marc Breaux Thursday?” asks a Romenesko reader.
In a photo of Breaux rehearsing with Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews for “Mary Poppins,” he is clearly holding a cigarette in his right hand. In another version of the very same photo — poof — no cig.
The smoking photo came from a Breaux photo album on the University of Northern Iowa website, which apparently maintains an archive on the dancer. The apparently altered photo is on the LA Times website, credited as Walt Disney Archives.
So was this a regular thing at Disney, sending less than wholesome images down the memory hole?
To be sure, I can’t see how the LA Times is at any fault here, but what does the paper have to say?
I’ve asked the Times and they’re looking into it. | Update: “I am having morning editors check on this, but we would never photoshop the cigarette out,” says Calvin Hom, a Times photo editor. | Update 2: “The photo came that way from Disney,” writes Hom.
Update 3: David Jefferson, Disney’s corporate communications director, tells me that Walt Disney — in the 1950s or early 1960s — ordered that cigarettes be removed from all publicity shots. “Walt [at right] was a smoker himself,” says Jefferson, “but he didn’t want to set a bad example.”
* “Unpaid internships typically provide people who already have a leg up a way to get the other leg up,” writes David Carr, who notes that his daughter had an unpaid Cosmo internship. (nytimes.com)
* Nikki Finke: “I know when I’ve been an asshole” and will later apologize. Could she ever mend fences with Jay Penske? “Never say never. It’s entirely possible that Jay and I make up, and he runs nikkifinke.com. Anything is possible.” (vulture.com)
* New York Times media desk editor Bruce Headlam is named video content editor. (nytimes.com)
* Of course! Former Time managing editor Rick Stengel got a big bonus while laying off staff. (washingtontimes.com)
* Is the commenter correct? Does this “dispute” involve Boston Herald and Globe photographers? (deadspin.com) | More chatter about this scuffle. (sportsshooter.com)
* Some Chicago Sun-Times photographers could be rehired under the new Guild contract. (robertfeder.com) | (nppa.org)
* Journalists make up about 15 percent of Bloomberg L.P.’s 15,580 employees and bring in just 4 percent of the company’s total revenue. (nytimes.com)
* Michael Wolff: No buyers for Business Insider, which is asking for $100 million in cash. | Felix Salmon on Wolff’s “weird column”: (felixsalmon.tumblr.com)
* “If you are a woman who works in sports media, you will encounter sexism during your career,” says NFL writer Jenny Vrentas. (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
* Aaron Edwards: “An editor told me at 16 that because I was black people wouldn’t take me as seriously in news. This is a reality, folks.” (@aaronmedwards)
* Time magazine and Twitter strike a Person of the Year partnership. (time.com)* McMansions are over! (Never mind, McMansions are back.) (@heyfeifer)
* No surprise: There are millions of fake accounts on Twitter. (wsj.com)
* A Medill student tries living free on campus for five days. (“I realize I haven’t eaten dinner. I find a bag of nuts on the side of the street – unopened, thank goodness. I leave no nut uneaten.”) (northbynorthwestern.com)
* Daily Kansan columnist resigns after lifting key points from the Guardian. (kansascity.com)
* Las Vegas newspaper CEO “steps down.” (4thst8.wordpress.com) | (reviewjournal.com)