Daily Archives: June 19, 2014


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has launched an immigration interactive called “Odysseys.” Social media editor Mila Sanina tells Romenesko readers: “In the course of the next few months, we hope to find Pittsburgh immigrants who came to the Steel City from each of the 193 countries in the United Nations. Our readers will hear new voices, see new faces and meet new people as they share stories of how they have become part of Pittsburgh and how Pittsburgh has become part of them. …’Odysseys’ is an adventure for us and our readers and an experiment too, we have not seen anything like that done before!”

* Odysseys: People from around the globe have made their way to Pittsburgh (

Where the heck did that come from? I asked after seeing this @SlowSlownews tweet earlier today. It didn’t take long to discover it came from Baltimore City Paper. “That’s the one that ran in the 6/11 paper,” editor Evan Serpick tells Romenesko readers. “[‘How’s it Goin’?”] started in 2002 under Joe MacLeod. We stopped doing it for a while and brought it back about a year and a half ago with photographer Noah Scialom.”


* “How’s It Goin’?” columns from the early 2000s (

The name-calling: Trump calls Pulitzer-winning Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin “a lightweight.”

The error: “In his op-ed, Trump says I never brought up the Tribune Tower sign,” Kamin writes in an email. “That is inaccurate. From my June 5 story about the sign:

The big letters [of Trump’s sign] loom over the beaux arts Michigan Avenue Bridge and the great skyscrapers, from the wedding cake of the Wrigley Building to the corncobs of Marina City, that are visible from the span. To be sure, the nearby Tribune Tower has a prominently displayed sign, but it’s on an attached structure, not the neo-Gothic skyscraper itself. The Trump sign, by comparison, is a poke in the eye.

Members of Trump’s “Lightweight Club”
* “Lightweight reporter Alex Pareene…” (@realDonaldTrump)
* New York’s Attorney General “is a total lightweight.” (
* “I can’t resist hitting lightweight Danny Zuker…” (@realDonaldTrump)
* Huffington Post’s Jason Linkins is “a lightweight dope.” (
* “Mark Cuban is a lightweight…” (
* “Jerry [Nadler] is a guy who is a lightweight.” (
* Trump says “lightweight” Karl Rove is “so full of crap.” (

* Trump: I love Chicago … and my sign! (
* Earlier: “Today” corrects Trump’s comments about Blair Kamin (

From Advance Local president Randy Siegel’s mid-year update, sent to employees Thursday afternoon:

Our digital audience growth has been extraordinary. Advance Local sites grew 43 percent year-over-year in our comScore audience in April and 37 percent in May — and now rank #9 nationally among comScore’s General News sites (which include Yahoo News, NBC News and CNN). achieved 40 percent year-over-year audience growth in May.local And broke 100 million page views in May for the fifth straight month, according to Adobe. …

Nearly all of our local markets are generating significant year-over-year growth in digital revenue, meeting the complex needs of advertisers like never before. Leading the way is the PA Media Group, which has grown digital revenues by 66 percent over 2013. Our team in Harrisburg is seeing digital revenue growth in all categories including automotive (50 percent over budget), real estate (102 percent over budget) and retail (36 percent over budget). …

Also breaking new ground is the Syracuse Media Group, which has increased digital revenues by 36 percent this year – including 68 percent in automotive. The MLive Media Group and NJ Advance Media are seeing double-digit digital revenue gains as well. In fact, the MLive Media Group, which was our first market to implement a digitally focused strategy, has grown its digital revenues by 190 percent since 2011.

Passage from San Jose Mercury News’s profile of mayoral candidate Dave Cortese:


The Cortese camp turned that into a Merc endorsement:


“It’s misleading, and deliberately so,” says Mercury News managing editor/content Bert Robinson. “Cortese copied the headline accurately. But removed from the context of the article it accompanied, it makes it look like we’re the ones who are saying he’s ‘not afraid to say no.’ In fact, it’s Cortese who says that — as the article makes clear, it’s his quote. He’s used our headline in a way that obscures that fact. … A former reporter at our paper used to talk about politicians ‘lying with the facts.’ This is a good example.”

I asked Robinson if the paper issued a cease and desist order. “We did not. It was discussed briefly but by the time we became aware of the mailer it was a day or two before the election, and there seemed to be no point.” (It’s Cortese vs. Sam Liccardo in November.)

* Dave Cortese mailer “lying with the facts,” says Merc (

IHOP asks Carroll County (Ill.) Review’s publisher for free publicity:

Hi Jon,

As IHOP prepares to celebrate its 56th birthday anniversary, we wanted to reach out and let you know that participating restaurants plan to give away a 56 cent short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes on July 8th. The original cost of an IHOP short stack when the restaurant was founded in 1958 was 60 cents!

We are contacting you in hopes that you will help spread the birthday love to your readers, and let them know of this awesome promotion! If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Thanks so much,

Kelsey Harrington
Associate Account Executive
Wills Communications, Inc.
Los Angeles Office: 310-376-6600

Publisher Jon Whitney’s response: “I cannot believe you have the gall to ask us for free publicity.”

From: Carroll County Review
Subject: Re: IHOP’s 56th Birthday
Date: June 18, 2014 at 7:27:41 PM EDT

Dear Kelsey,

Ain’t that nice! We’re celebrating our 151st year! We have had numerous restaurants over the years advertise their specials, including pancakes, with us. We help them survive and they help us survive by interacting with our subscribers. I’m sure you have a great promotion, but IHOP has never spent a penny with our newspaper.

For the life of me, I cannot believe you have the gall to ask us for free publicity. I guess corporations like yours simply have no shame and certainly no sense of community beyond taking the dollar bills from them.


Jon Whitney

Jonathan Whitney
The Carroll County Review
P.O. Box 369
Thomson, IL 61285

The publisher of the 2,000-circulation weekly tells me has hasn’t heard back from IHOP’s publicist.

“I don’t even know if there’s an IHOP around here,” says Whitney. I ask if he’s ever been in the restaurant formerly called the International House of Pancakes.

“My wife and I were in one in Florida years and years ago. It was the worst restaurant experience of our life – service was terrible, the food was terrible. It was a total disaster.”

Did that have something to do with his angry response? Perhaps, the publisher says.

— via ISWNE listserv

Update: There’s a lively discussion about this on my Facebook page.

* St. Louis Post-Dispatch drops George Will and apologizes for running his “offensive” rape column. (
* Seattle Times bans the word “Redskins.” Sports editor Don Shelton writes: “We’ll probably receive scathing emails, letters, phone calls and reader comments telling me we’re too PC.” ( | Earlier: Some papers stopped using “Redskins” in the 1990s. (
* (At right) The New York Times reporter apparently didn’t arrange to get a “reference email” for John Bolton. (
* Washington Post, New York Times and Mozilla team up for a new comment system funded with a $3.89 million Knight Foundation grant. ( | (
* Youth-aimed PolicyMic changes its name to Mic. (
* Digital First CEO John Paton doesn’t like newspaper conferences. (
* Former Los Angeles Times editor Russ Stanton leaves public radio station KPCC. He’s replaced by former Sacramento Bee editor Melanie Sill. (
* Timesify app takes “embarrassing” articles from sites like BuzzFeed and HuffPo and makes them look like New York Times pieces. (
* A veteran journalist with “Peter Pan tendencies” starts a weekly newspaper. ( | Print still matters, says Ken Doctor. (
allen* Mark Leibovich on why his Mike Allen profile was so much work: “I had to explain to readers of The New York Times who this guy was, what Politico was, why you’re reading about them, why the media environment is different now, why you should care about it, and how it affects what you watch on cable, what you read in the newspaper and on the blogs, and how it sort of ripples down into our politics.” (
* Mail Online’s publisher is accused of stealing a rival journalist’s iPad. There was some beer poured over heads in an altercation, too. (
* The Association of Alternative Newsmedia announces its contest finalists. (