Cord Jefferson is leaving Gawker to write for LeBron James’s new Starz TV show. Editor John Cook’s memo also announces that Gawker has hired Jay Hathaway, Daily Dot news editor and one of “Twelve People Actually Worth Following On Twitter.”
From: John Cook
To: Gawker Writers
Date: Monday, February 3, 2014 at 5:22:08 PM
Subject: Comings and Goings
Hello. First the bad news:
Cord Jefferson is leaving us. This bums me out more than I can say. Cord has been a delightful colleague, a dedicated worker who’s been game for anything that needed doing, and most important, a thoughtful, curious, and artful voice on the site, whether he was writing about disgraced porn star/beauty queens or America’s never-ending struggle with race. He is by far the coolest and most handsome member of the Gawker staff, so it’s fitting that his next step takes him to Hollywood: Cord is not forsaking us for some other dank web shop. He will be a staff writer on a new Starz TV show executive produced by LeBron James. As distressed as I am to be losing him, I’m really happy that he landed a dream job, and you should be too. His boss is LeBron James now./CONTINUES Read More
USA Today staffers got this Monday afternoon memo from boss Larry Kramer:
From: USA TODAY Publisher
Sent: Monday, February 03, 2014 2:09 PM
I couldn’t wait to tell you some great news. In January, for the first time in our history, we served more than a billion page views across our digital platforms. Our total of 1.1 billion pages views over mobile, tablet and desktop was a 36.7% jump over last January and 17.6% over last month. This is a huge milestone on our journey to the top of the digital news and information world. Thank you for all the hard work you have all put in to keep us moving in the right direction.
“We’re getting reports of sell-outs at single-copy locations already,” Seattle Times senior vice president/business operations Michael Shepard tells me at 10:30 PST this morning.
The Times normally has 200,000 papers roll off the presses on Mondays; today it had 300,000 copies.
“We had a nice, thick paper today as well,” Shepard adds. Thirty of the 60 pages today are devoted to the Super Bowl and other sports stories.
Reporters and other Times employees are giving the circulation department a hand today, says Shepard. “We decided late last night to get volunteers from our staff and have them sell the paper on the streets.”
He says the Times employee who takes phone calls from the public got to work this morning and “there were 120 phone messages from people wanting today’s paper through the mail.”
At the Denver Post, “we cut our added draw in single copy down to 20,000 above a normal Monday after the Broncos lost,” circulation senior vice president Bill Reynolds tells Romenesko readers.
The Post’s plan if the team had won? “We had an add in for 50,000 [more copies] and would have printed more if needed.”
A couple of former Patch
higher-ups [one says she was just a “mid-level employee”] have recently commented on the goings-on at the recently acquired company.
Janine Iamunno was Patch’s communications director until resigning without explanation in August of 2012. Months before that, she claimed that one of my tipsters was wrong when he said there would be layoffs and a change in Patch editorial strategy. (He was right about both.) Iamunno said in early 2012:
“There are no layoffs planned. …we’re more confident than ever in our business model and in our editors’ ability to serve their communities with the content they care about most. We’re used to intense media scrutiny and speculation, more often inaccurate than not, but we remain focused on our mission, our employees, our users and our advertisers.”
On Saturday, Iamunno wrote on a Patch comments board (ninth comment):
It’s breaking my heart to see how this company now communicates – or, you know, *doesn’t.* Business decisions aside, there are ways to communicate with human beings. You should, I don’t know, read a book about that or something.
Paige Oliver Windsor was senior projects editor at Patch from late 2010 until February 2012. She recently joined the Patch Alumni group on Facebook and said that she hoped the “douchebags” who kept me posted on Patch doings “are struggling to find work.”
Her January 18 post from the private group:
* Only two staffers left to cover 45 Patch sites in Georgia (clatl.com)
* Earlier: AOL sells most of Patch to turnaround specialist Hale Global (jimromenesko.com)
* Ezra Klein received more than 600 résumés in three days from journalists wanting to work for his new venture. “Yesterday, we were getting fifteen to twenty an hour,” he tells New York magazine. (nymag.com)
* Michael Wolff: Klein and other brand names in news have great enthusiasm for their prospects in digital media … just as the value of digital media declines. (usatoday.com)
* Michael Hiltzik: Will these new ventures be able to support expensive and aggressive journalism? (latimes.com)
* BuzzFeed will be doing “classic” investigative journalism. (usatoday.com)
* In praise of “old-fashioned journalism.” (businessweek.com)
* “New media rises and falls much faster than old media.” (techcrunch.com)
* The front pages: Seattle Times | Denver Post (newseum.org)
* Former crime reporter Scott Moyers lost everything to meth. (stltoday.com)
* A surge in subpoenas for journalists around the country. (insidetechmedia.com)
* We’re not even close to reaching the tipping point of magazine cover outrage, says Jezebel’s Jessica Coen. (adweek.com)
* Wall Street Journal’s Ted Mann on the GWB fiasco: “This is still a big deal to the people it happened to and there is still a lot that hasn’t been explained about why this happened to them.” (capitalnewyork.com)
* Boston Globe’s new CEO calls editor Brian McGrory “the best major metro editor in the country.” (bizjournals.com)
* Plastic-bag haters return about 1,000 bags to the Tacoma News Tribune. (facebook.com)
* Names, please: “It’s so thoughtful when journalists respond to the death of a celebrity by linking to old tangentially-related articles they’ve written.” (@JulieBosman)
* A Sarasota TV reporter is carjacked while the camera rolls. (wtx.com)
* Often-mocked Radio Shack (aka The Shack) is called a big winner in the Super Bowl advertising contest. (wsj.com)
* Gizmodo asks: What print magazines do you subscribe to? (gizmodo.com)
* Gannett closes TucsonCitizen.com. (tucsonweekly.com)
* Refinancing reduces the interest rate of newspaper chain Lee Enterprise’s second lien debt to 12 percent from 15 percent. (finance.yahoo.com)
Of course, Seattle Times associate opinions editor/digital Sharon Chan is going to cheer for the Seahawks … so STFU!
Update: “I … don’t understand that she doesn’t seem fazed,” Glenn Nelson writes of Chan, who joked about this on Twitter. “I was thinking that I’d be scared to death of being fired. But that’s how much the landscape has changed.”
* Super conflicted: Glenn Nelson on journalists and selfies (gnbuzz.com)