Daily Archives: December 5, 2013

An excerpt from “Daily Show” correspondent Samantha Bee’s Wednesday report:

BEE: What Blackstone did was clearly a huge story, but apparently the business networks’ eager young reporters and crazy old codgers had better things to explain. I went to the New York Times — the paper of record – to find out why all those TV assholes wouldn’t cover it.
GRETCHEN MORGENSON: This is a very complex story and it takes a lot to unpack it. There’s sort of a rule that if you can’t describe it in 10 seconds, it’s not something that they want to cover.

BEE: All right, I’ll take that as a challenge. [She pulls out a stopwatch] Ten seconds, go!

MORGENSON: Blackstone loaned money to a Spanish gambling parlor company. They also bought insurance —

BEE [interrupts]: Times up. OK, that was terrible. Let me try: Rich assholes want all the money for themselves. Oh, I’ve got seven seconds left!

* Samantha Bee investigates coverage of Blackstone ( interview at 2:40)

- Some of the heds that were on Slate's home page this morning

– Some of the heds that were on Slate’s home page this morning

A Romenesko reader who requests anonymity writes: “I thought you and maybe your readers might find it interesting that Slate’s teaser headlines on its home page seem to be increasingly relying on question marks in the headlines to try to get people to click. At 12:30 AM ET today, I copied all the headlines that I saw that had question marks and came up with a grand total of at least 24! Why can’t Slate be more creative in their headline-style choice, instead of constantly relying on questions in headlines?”

Does Slate’s testing show that stories with question heds get more clicks?

Editor David Plotz writes in an email: “No tests! In fact, if we had that many questions, it was probably a mistake on our part. In general we are moving away—not quickly—from question mark headlines.”

The headlines copied by the reader are after the jump. Read More

American Copy Editors Society (ACES) executive board member Brady Jones sent this memo to his colleagues last night.

From: Brady Jones
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 10:13 PM
To: Executive Committee
Subject: Disconcerting news from Lee Enterprises

Patrick Smith just informed me that our friends at the Journal Star in Lincoln are facing a rather tough time. The Journal Star has been the design hub for some of the Lee papers for about a year now (I think?), and I guess the copy desk was told that they’re basically going to eliminate the copy desk completely,aces and the editors have the option of moving over to the design hub stuff or taking a buyout. Apparently the copy editing will be left to the assignment/city editors now?

Meanwhile, the Lee CEO Mary Junck just received a $700,000+ holiday bonus (by way of 200,000 shares of Lee stock).

I contacted a friend and fellow ACES member xxxxx for confirmation, and she said that about summed it up. She also offered more details if we wanted them. [The name was redacted to protect the person’s job.]

Is this something we should feel compelled to address in some way or …?

Update — Editor Dave Bundy says of Jones’ memo: “That’s part of the story. The rest of it is that a number of newsroom positions were reorganized to improve our ability to respond to breaking news in print and online while maintaining at least two reads on all local copy. All staffers have been retained at their current salaries, and we are adding staff to the city desk. The result of all of these moves is a net increase in our newsroom staff.”

* Lee hands out executive bonuses just after reporting a revenue decline (


* Read the full story from the Buford (GA) Weekly Illustrated (

* “The Seattle Times did not authorize use of this photograph on Fox News.” (
* Any advertising that’s in the new print edition Newsweek will be “icing,” says editor Jim Impoco. “Basically, we’ll charge consumers more than it costs us to produce it.” (The price hasn’t been set yet.) (
gibbs* At Time, “we need to be much more nimble and entrepreneurial,” says managing editor Nancy Gibbs (left). (
* Does Capital New York face being TBD’d? “Within 18 months we’ll know whether or not this is on a trajectory to being successful and scalable,” says Jim VandeHei. (
* American Journalism Review relaunches “as a new digital platform that is fearless in its quest to create something special.” (
* Sarah Palin praises the media’s coverage of the Martin Bashir flap. (
* Joe Biden says the United States has “profound disagreements” with China’s treatment of American journalists. (
* Maria Bartiromo’s move to Fox News is a win for everyone. (
* Another New York Observer redesign is coming early next year. (
* Fortune: Michael Bloomberg’s role at Bloomberg LP “has been deeper than understood, extending to strategy sessions with leaders of company initiatives.” (
* Bob Guccione Jr. says he’ll be CEO of the soon-to-be-sold Maxim magazine. (
* Voice of San Diego asks readers how it should deal with an annoying commenter. (

McClatchy’s Charlotte Observer has purchased the Dow Jones printing plant in Charlotte — a deal that publisher Ann Caulkins says “sends a clear message that we’re here to stay and we’re investing, and we have the money to invest.”

Ann Caulkins

Ann Caulkins

She adds in a memo to staff that “relocating printing could potentially also allow us to consider better use of The Charlotte Observer building in the future, including selling and relocating to a space more suitable to our needs.”

The newspaper’s current office space “was set up for the old school newspaper,” the publisher says. “We’re a digital company now, and our next offices will reflect what we need to be – the digital company of the future.”

After the deal closes, the Observer will print the Carolinas editions of The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s.

The bad news: “Unfortunately not every Observer production employee can be guaranteed a job.”

* Charlotte Observer buys Dow Jones printing facility (

Read the publisher’s memo to employees after the jump. Read More