* Ezra Klein‘s threat to leave the Washington Post will be first test of Post owner Jeff Bezos’s stewardship. (huffingtonpost.com)
* “We are seeking a private auction of the company,” write the majority owners of Philadelphia’s dailies, “with its assets sold to either the majority owners (Norcross, Hankowsky and Buckelew), or minority owners (Katz and Lenfest).” (newsworks.org) | Read the letter to employees.
* SeaWorld is caught stuffing Orlando Business Journal’s ballot box. (bizjournals.com)
* Wesley Lowery leaves the Boston Globe to cover Congress for the Washington Post. (washpostpr.tumblr.com) | (facebook.com)
* Gawker loses “viral content mastermind” Neetzan Zimmerman to a startup. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Andrew Sullivan feels pretty good about bringing in $875,000 in revenue in 2013. (gigaom.com)
* The Associated Press is looking for someone to cover Chris Christie. (capitalnewyork.com)
* “We don’t have a healthcare writer,” says the reporter who wrote Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s “doomed” Obamacare story. “I cover about 15 other topics.” (healthinsurance.org)
* Report: Henry Blodget turned down a $100 million-plus offer for Business Insider. (foxbusiness.com)
* Update: The journalist who was looking for $900 to pay rent has now raised over $7,000. (rt.com)
* A Dunkin’ Donuts owner bans Maine alt-weeklies at his five stores. (@mmehlsak) | (theforecaster.net/low in story)
The letter to Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com employees is after the jump. Read More
The memo below was sent to E.W. Scripps department/publication heads on Thursday. (Ellington is the content management system used by all Scripps publications.)
Over the past couple days, there was a security breach of an Ellington admin system. Basically, hackers were able to create an account with super user access and then redirect some urls to their spam site. This was caught and fixed fairly quickly and disruptions were minor. Right now the product team is taking several steps:
* An extra layer of security has been added to our admin sites. This takes the form of an extra login when accessing any of our Ellington admins. The username and password for this extra login has been distributed to site directors and editors. Since circ sellers also access our admins to assist customers with activations and digital subscriptions, the info has been passed on to them as well. The team is working to only require this extra login when the admins are accessed from outside our network, but that work is not yet complete.
· The ability to create new admin users/super users has been temporarily suspended. If anyone needs to create or change any user access, please let Glenn Franxman know.
· The list of admin super users is currently under review to ensure only current staff have access. While this was breach was not related to former employees gaining access, it’s an excellent reminder to site staff to make sure they maintain their list of admin users.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
Sr. Director, Digital Operations
“Patch employees this week have been fretting over AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s failure to mention Patch in an end-of-year e-mail he sent out to the entire company’s staff on New Year’s Eve,” writes a Romenesko reader. “In short, it was mainly corporate-speak mixed with a few thank-yous and motivational words for what should be accomplished in 2014 – in every division but Patch, it seems.
“To date, employees (including managers in the field) have not heard any details about the impending partnerships, nor do we know if our jobs will be in jeopardy in the coming weeks.”
Tue, Dec 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM
From: Armstrong, Tim
To: All AOLers
2013 is ending with our first full year of growth in more than eight years – an accomplishment few thought possible and many thought impossible. Our brands are connecting global communities and our platforms are connecting global marketplaces. AOL has serious talent doing meaningful work and the teams across the globe delivered in 2013 – 2013 is a big stepping stone in the long-term vision of building the best media technology company for the digital age.
Many of our brands and platforms had major growth milestones this year. We expanded The Huffington Post to five continents with a list of significant partners and held the first 3rd Metric conferences in the US and England./CONTINUES Read More
Johnson City (Tenn.) Press doesn’t want readers seeing a tree’s 4-inch knob.
Update — A staffer at the paper tells Romenesko readers: “To say this story is a laughingstock among the newsroom is The Biggest Understatement of 2013.” The editor responsible for it, he says, “basically judges things on whether they’ll get on Fark or not, which is a heck of a barometer for news in the 21st Century. So you’ve indirectly helped him there, and he’ll take it, even if it’s not the type of attention he desires. It’s still attention. And Web hits.
“The managing editor was on vacation that week and was none too pleased when he came back and saw the ‘story,’ but nothing will happen. Meanwhile, we’ve been singing ‘Oh, Penis Tree, Oh Penis Tree, how lovely is your penis’ in the newsroom since Christmas.”
* Johnson City man’s tree quite the conversation piece (johnsoncitypress.com)
* Report: Ezra Klein is leaving the Washington Post after failing to win support for his website proposal. (nytimes.com)
* Rhode Island “Political Notebook” panelists are heard on live mic speculating about politicians’ sexual orientations. (golocalprov.com)
* Denver Post memo: “If you are uncomfortable or against pot usage,” feel free to ignore the previous memo about “liking” the Post’s Cannabist page. (drthurstone.com) | David Brooks recalls his pot-smoking days and “feeling like a total loser.” (gawker.com) | “I smoked pot with David Brooks.” (garygreenbergonline.com)
* Jack Shafer: Of course, New York Times is urging leniency for its source, Edward Snowden. “If that doesn’t define enlightened self-interest, nothing does.” (reuters.com) | (usatoday.com)
* Chasing clicks vs. storms: Weather Channel’s website “now feels less like a public utility … and more like another media site you waste time on once you’ve arrived at work.” (newrepublic.com)
* Re/code co-founder Walt Mossberg: “We are in the process of hiring a half dozen new editorial people, editors, reporters.” (thewrap.com)
* Michael Miner: “The New York Times challenge is to create online advertising as attractive as it is obnoxious. A tall order.” (chicagoreader.com)
* “Either Yahoo News speaks Klingon, or that’s a typo.” (@zachary_cohen)
* Will Blythe: Why I didn’t agree to Byliner’s nondisparagement clause. (nytimes.com)
* Top chefs are raising money for former Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Max Jacobson, who was hit by a car and critically injured Dec. 23. (laobserved.com)
* A Los Angeles Times photographer was shoved by Woody Hayes at the Rose Bowl 40 years ago. (newspaperalum.com)
* North Adams Transcript is merging with the Berkshire Eagle. (thetranscript.com)