Daily Archives: April 23, 2014

Longtime NPR correspondent Larry Abramson has been selected to lead the University of Montana School of Journalism. (He left the network in December.) The provost’s memo:

Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:58 PM
Subject: Announcement of new dean of the School of Journalism

To all UM Faculty, Administrators and Staff:

Larry Abramson

Larry Abramson

I am pleased to announce that Larry Abramson, National Security Correspondent for National Public Radio, has accepted the position of Dean of the School of Journalism at the University of Montana. Mr. Abramson has held a number of positions at National Public Radio since 1990, including Education Correspondent (2006-2011). He earned a B.A. and an M.A. in Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, and attended Free University in Berlin and Trinity College in Dublin.

Mr. Abramson will join us full time on July 1, 2014. Given his range of experience in journalism, I am confident that he will successfully lead UM’s J-School into the future. I would like to recognize the excellent work of Denise Dowling, who has served as interim dean for almost two years and will continue to do so until Mr. Abramson’s arrival. I also extend my thanks to the search committee, led by Dean Stephen Kalm, for its outstanding work.

Perry Brown
Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs

* At the Washington Post, “we’re investing again and building a digital future for news,” says publisher Katharine Weymouth. (
* Celebrity wedding news breaks in an Auburn journalism classroom and the professor is left with “a sinking feeling.” (
* At Bloomberg, “people are perplexed about how they let [design guru Richard Turley] get away.” (
* McClatchy loses $5.9 million in the first quarter. The CEO says the chain’s revenue decline of 2.7% – an improvement over 2013’s 4% decline – is “a meaningful result.” (
phil* Can philanthropy save journalism? Or will it only distract the press from independent oversight of the public interest? (
* Felix Salmon explains why he’s joining Fusion. (
* Reports that John Henry might sell the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to Halifax Media are “alarming.” (
* Hillman Prize winners include the Palm Beach Post, The New Republic, and CNN. (
* Garrett Graff is out as Washingtonian editor. (
* Claim: “You CAN write a gossip column with integrity.” (
* Cops in Bainbridge Island, Washington, gut their police blotter. (Sue ’em!) (
* OK, I won’t: “Please do not apply if you are not ok with the rate of 1 cent per word (maximum).” (

Ad for Gannett’s Springfield (MO) News-Leader:prettyface
I asked News-Leader executive editor David Stoeffler how the staff reacted to this ad, and if they knew what they were posing for. He responds:

I have not heard any specific reaction from the staff. People laughed when it was displayed at a staff meeting today.

They knew they were posing for a “fun” promotion ad. Just one of many we are doing.

Are you a News-Leader journalist? Please email me your reaction.

* “Pretty-face marketing team idea?” asks Craig Pittman (
* Add this to the “Local People With Their Arms Crossed” page (

State names, which are currently abbreviated in Associated Press stories, will be spelled out starting May 1. Datelines will still be abbreviated.

The advisory:


Effective May 1, the AP will spell out state names in the body of stories. Datelines will continue to use abbreviations.
Currently, most state names are abbreviated in stories.

The change is being made to be consistent in our style for domestic and international stories. International stories have long spelled out state names in the body of stories.

State abbreviations will continue to be used in lists, agate, tabular material, nonpublishable editor’s notes and credit lines. They will also be used in short-form identification of political party affiliation. Photo captions will continue to use abbreviations, too.

This change will improve consistency and efficiency for domestic and international stories, eliminating the need to spell out all state names in international copy, and to abbreviate them in domestic copy./CONTINUED Read More

On April 7, I reported that Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck received a $700,000 bonus for simply refinancing the newspaper chain’s debt.

The news disgusted longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch carpenter Scott Bujnak.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he says.

Bujnak, 56, went into publisher Ray Farris‘s office last Wednesday and quit after 18 years at the Lee-owned daily.

Columnist Bill McClellan writes:

He told his boss he was through and explained why. What’s the point of saving nickels and dimes when the big boss gets a $700,000 bonus? Word spread quickly. “He did what?” “Wow.”

How many people at how many companies have daydreamed about doing the same thing?

Bujnak apparently doesn’t regret quitting, even without another job lined up. “I have a smile on my face you can’t wipe off,” he tells McClellan.

The columnist points out:

Workers have suffered while the big bosses have prospered. Pensions were long ago frozen. Mandatory unpaid furloughs were introduced. Layoffs were the worst. Families were ravaged. Yet, it was the small things that got to Bujnak. Mixing paints, cannibalizing chairs. He started resenting saving the company money.

Especially when people like CEO Junck were regularly getting big bonuses. (She also got a bonus of $500,000 in March of 2012 – again for simply refinancing Lee’s debt.)

I called McClellan to see if he had difficulty getting a column critical of the Big Boss into the paper.

Bill McClellan

Bill McClellan

“I didn’t have any problems,” he says. “The only thing I did out of the ordinary is turn it in at one [instead of the usual 5 p.m.] in case there were any questions.”

There was one, he says.

“I got one call about mixing the paint, and that’s all.” (He makes reference to Bujnak’s recycling paint to save money.)

McClellan guesses this column “probably went up the ladder” higher than usual for approval, but he’s not certain. (In an email and voicemail, I’ve asked metro editor Marcia Koenig about that.)

McClellan says today’s piece only helps the Post-Dispatch.

“It makes us look good when we criticize ourselves.”

I’ve asked Lee spokesman Dan Hayes if he’s seen the column. Since he’s never returned my calls, I suspect we won’t find out.

* A carpenter has the making of a folk hero (
* April 2014: Lee CEO Mary Junck gets $700,000 bonus for refinancing debt (
* March 2012: Lee CEO Junck gets $500,000 bonus for refinancing debt (

Meanwhile, at another Lee-owned newspaper…. The Montana Standard is looking for local columnists who will write for free.

The paper says: “We might be able to round up some Standard swag if a coffee cup or pen would make it worth your while. The exposure to almost 30,000 readers a day is usually gratifying, and just think how your voice could help shape public discourse and make our communities better places.”

* WSJ’s take: Gannett 1Q profit slides 43%. ( | USA Today’s take: “This was a terrific first quarter,” says the CEO. (
star* From “Dimming Star” cover story: Kansas City Star editor Mike Fannin “reprimanded [his reporter] for responding to [an email from] Romenesko” about the “Hunger Games” scenario at the McClatchy-owned paper. (
* How are all of the new explainer sites going to make money? ( | “Who, exactly, is the audience? People who like being explained to?” (
* Wall Street Journal is talking to Quartz’s Christopher Mims about the tech columnist job. (
* “Around the Internet, password fatigue is setting in.” (I have one notebook with nothing but passwords.) (
* Anchorage Daily News columnist Julia O’Malley wins the 2014 Mike Berger Award. (
* How the evening newscasts covered the Aereo case. (NBC’s Brian Williams: “Full disclosure right up top…”) (
* Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger adds a title: editorial director for Popular Mechanics. (
* The University of Missouri-St. Louis is forgiving its student newspaper’s $40,000 debt. (
* Will the last person to leave Poynter please turn out the lights? (
* Question of the Day: “I’m openly gay and quite left-leaning, would working for Fox be awful considering this?” (
* Recruiters’ tips for writing a journalism job resume. (