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Daily Archives: December 3, 2013


The answer is yes, Rachel. One of my readers asked yesterday, “If local TV stations don’t take what they do seriously, how can we?” I passed that question along to KX News news director Tom Gerhardt. His response: “I would encourage you to contact General Manager/Owner Tim Reiten. This article also addresses that question.” I loved that the words “integrity of the newscast” appeared in a story about Ron Burgundy as co-anchor. I’ve emailed Reiten for comment but haven’t heard back.
* Anchorman Ron Burgundy visits KX in Bismarck, ND (kxnet.com)

* “Too good to check” used to be a warning to newspaper editors not to jump on bullshit stories; now it’s a business model. (daveweigel.com)
* Speaking of BS …. Politico CEO Jim VandeHei says Erik Wemple’s Mike Allen expose “was nonsense, which is why we didn’t play ball with him.” (nymag.com)
dorothy* Our newspaper opinion columnists are pretty old. (WSJ’s Dorothy Rabinowitz at left.) (gawker.com)
* Yes, this is from 2013 – not 2003! Users can now comment on Albany Times Union stories. (timesunion.com)
* The plug apparently has been pulled on The Daily Download, a Howard Kurtz/Lauren Ashburn production. (buzzfeed.com) | (slate.com)
* The Guardian has published just 1 percent of the material it’s received from Edward Snowden. (npr.org)
* New York Post in the clear on discrimination suits. (capitalnewyork.com)
* It appears that Rock from Backlinks.us doesn’t know much about “the Gawker.” (gawker.com)
* BuzzFeed forecasts revenue of as much as $120 million in 2014. (businessweek.com)
* Garry Howard departs as Sporting News editor-in-chief. (mije.org)
* St. Louis Post-Dispatch customer service rep goes off script and blabs about a paywall. (bizjournals.com)


On November 11, St. Louis Post-Dispatch parent Lee Enterprises reported a $1.71 per share loss and 9 percent revenue decline for the quarter. Lee’s stock fell 5.2 percent on the news.

On November 27 — Thanksgiving Eve — Lee execs were treated to stock bonuses. Here’s what they got:

dollarChief executive officer Mary Junck — 200,000 shares
Chief financial officer Carl Schmidt — 50,000 shares
Chief operating officer Kevin Mowbray — 50,000 shares
Vice president of sales and marketing Michael R. Gulledge — 22,000 shares
Vice president of interactive Gregory Schermer — 16,000 shares
Vice president of publishing Greg Veon — 10,000 shares

* Lee Enterprises 4Q loss widens on non-cash charge (AP via yahoo.com)
* Previously reported Lee executive bonuses and raises (jimromenesko.com)


The Chicago Sun-Times has agreed to hire back four fired photographers and pay $2,000 to each of the photographers who were let go earlier in the year.sun They get the lump-sum payment only if they agree not to sue the company over their dismissals.

The four rehired photographers can be assigned to any of the Sun-Times’ five newspaper units, according to the deal negotiated by the Chicago Newspaper Guild.

The Sun-Times closed its 28-person photo department in May. Since then, the paper has been using wire and file photos, along with pictures taken by reporters.

* Sun-Times rehires four fired photographers (chicagotribune.com)
* Two Chicago Guild units ratify contract (chicagonewsguild.org)

Longtime Chicago Reader media critic Michael Miner has liver disease and needs a transplant.miner “The doctors have made it clear to us that he will need a Living Donor because his name will never come up on the National Liver Donor list in time,” his wife writes. “All the Donor’s expenses for the operation in which part of the Living Donor’s liver is transferred to Michael are paid for by insurance.”

The donor must be under 55 and have Type O blood.

More information is after the jump. Read More

In late November, Aaron Kushner’s Freedom Communications bought the Riverside Press-Enterprise from A.H. Belo. The new owner on Monday dismissed P-E editor Nels Jensen, who tells his Facebook friends that “I understand his decision” and “I am oddly at peace with this.” Mike Coronado, an Orange County Register editor and former P-E reporter, replaces Jensen.

layoff

* Read the reaction to Jensen’s Facebook post (facebook.com)

The Charleston Gazette posted this note on Facebook after I asked the executive editor and photographer about the missing TV station logo in a front page photo:

A Gazette photographer went outside the boundaries of our standards when he obscured the name of a television station on a microphone in today’s front-page photo. Other than the photographer, no one at the Gazette was aware of what had taken place with the photo. Our photographers know that it is unacceptable to alter reality in news photos. The photographer believed his action helped direct the focus of the photo to the subject. He was wrong to do so. This is a singular incident. Disciplinary action will be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

gazette

* “Photographer went outside the boundaries of our standards” (facebook.com)


Gawker Media employees got this memo from the boss this morning:

From: Nick Denton
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Subject: November’s race
To: All Staff

The bad news… We got overtaken by Buzzfeed in November. They surged to 133m global uniques. Damn. That’s impressive. And Upworthy — even smarmier than Buzzfeed — is nipping at our heels.
memo3
They’ll likely stay ahead until Kinja comes into its own next year. The race is on.

The good news: even with Kinja still under construction, Gawker & Co surpassed previous levels, with 106m global uniques in November.

That’s a great foundation for expansion, one that most media companies would kill for, even if they’re more likely to die for it.

The Gawker Media network ranks at 21 in the US as measured by Quantcast, the highest rank we’ve seen. And this is cool: among mobile users, Gawker, Gizmodo, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Jezebel and Jalopnik were all among Quantcast’s top 100 sites.

Buzzfeed and Upworthy may be the most shameless, but we’re ourselves not completely averse to crowd-pleasing.

Neetzan’s media technique — ethical viral engineering, I call it — received some deserved recognition in the Wall Street Journal today. And Jesus and Casey at Sploid already added more than 4m US uniques to Gizmodo in November.
gawker
Kinja — which enlists readers as contributors to listicles as well as other collaborative editorial projects — will take us the next level up.

And ultimately — as Deadspin demonstrated with the story of Manti Teo’s girlfriend — the crowd will eventually choose the juicy truth over a heartwarming hoax.

See you at next week’s all-hands and the holiday party if not before!

Nick


* Jeff Zucker: “I think ESPN owns sports, I think the Weather Channel owns weather, and I want CNN to own news and information in the global digital video space.” (capitalnewyork.com)
mark* NYT’s Mark Leibovich (left) chats with Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith. (klru.org) | Leibovich wonders when “BOOM!” became a thing – and gets some answers. (@MarkLeibovich)
* As New York magazine cuts print issues, The Week adds a few. (adage.com)
* Sarah Green: “Media critics should leave their sad trombones at home” when covering the print-to-digital transition. (hbr.org)
* A tech writer prefers reading books in print – not on his iPad – when at home. (nytimes.com)
* A journalism professor explains why he stopped reading Patch. (ipadreporter.com)
* Rem Rieder blasts Charlie Rose’s “gentle, starstruck handling” of Jeff Bezos on “60 Minutes.” (usatoday.com)
* Ezra Klein: “Writing (or, to be more new media about it, ‘creating content’) for social media is an actual skill that people can learn.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Ratings sink for CNBC and other cable channels covering business. (wsj.com)
* Washington Post covers all sides of the healthcare.gov story in today’s paper. (jacklimpert.com)