Daily Archives: September 5, 2014

In a memo sent late Friday afternoon, NBC News president Deborah Turness tells her employees: “You make the impossible happen and make personal sacrifices in the name of this great organization. As my second year here begins, I am so proud of what we have accomplished together already, and am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

From: Deborah Turness (NBCUniversal)
Date: September 5, 2014 at 4:46:38 PM EDT
To: @NBC Uni NBC News All
Subject: A Note of Thanks

Dear All,

It’s been a great week at NBC News and a great way to start the “new term.” Brian and the Nightly News team scored a decisive win both in total viewers and in the demo on Tuesday night.nbc The broadcast featured Matt Lauer’s powerful exclusive interview with Dr. Kent Brantly and his wife Amber. The next morning on TODAY, Matt broadcast from inside the isolation unit where Dr. Brantly was treated. This was yet another shining example of the great journalism, tenacious booking and creative thinking that sets NBC News apart. It’s also a wonderful example of collaboration across TODAY, Nightly and that will culminate in a network special tonight at 10pm ET, “Saving Dr. Brantly: The Inside Story of a Medical Miracle,” produced by the NBC News primetime team who worked through the night to make deadline. Congratulations to Lexi Rudolph, who invested so much to secure the interview, to Matt Zimmerman and to Matt Lauer.

Within 24 hours Richard Engel delivered another exclusive — an interview with an American citizen with a quest to join ISIS. Thanks to his team who worked for months to secure the interviews and to deliver a powerful piece of original journalism./CONTINUES Read More

A journalist at a Fresno weekly tipped me off to what “truly must be the world’s longest news blog post,” published by Fresno Bee reporter George Hostetter.

“Hostetter’s posts can sometimes be on the lengthier side, but I have never seen anything book-length like this,” writes the journalist who asks not to be named. “I dragged and copied all the text (took about 2 or 3 minutes to scroll) and dropped it into a word doc. 105,004 words.”

He’s close with the word count, Hostetter tells me over the phone.

“I wrote the last two words yesterday, and that was 105,001. …I’ve been working on it since December in my spare time – on weekends, holidays and vacations.”

Did he know from the start that “The 1968 Fresno City College-College of the Sequoias football feud” would be a massive project?

“I didn’t know it would be 105,000 words, but I thought it might be 75,000.”

Hostetter says assistant managing editor/news John Rich was supportive, and that his editors’ main concern was that he’d “break the computer” when he did a copy-and-paste or some other task with the huge file.

Any reaction to the piece?

“Just one,” says the reporter, “and it was the one I needed. My wife called me this morning and said, ‘OK, it was worth the effort.'”

* The 1968 Fresno City College-College of the Sequoias football feud (

Chuck Todd, the new moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” did a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) today and told his audience:

* “I think the country is ‘ready’ now” for an openly gay presidential candidate.

* “I hate the fact that I have two ONE syllable names actually. So I’ve made sure both my kids have multiple syllable first nameschuck so they aren’t burdened with everyone always deciding they have to say both names together in a fast way. I’ve been “ChuckTodd” with every coach or teacher during my childhood.”

* “I think you can’t dismiss all anonymous sources… I try to be careful and only use them when it’s about enhancing report that’s important to share on a larger issue.”

* “I see first hand how hard Luke [Russert] works on the toughest but most fruitful political beat in the country – Capitol Hill. Judge him by his work not by what others claim to think or say.”

* “I think the next presidential election is likely to have both nominees end up supporting decriminalizing and it’s going to take voters to decide whether they want those candidates to pledge to declassify marijuana from a schedule 1 controlled substance if they win. I don’t think this administration is ready to do that (maybe I’m wrong) but if the candidates running in 2016 are asked to pledge on it, I wouldn’t be surprised if most agree or come close to agreeing.”

After the AMA, I got this email from Marijuana Majority chairman Tom Angell: “It says a lot that an obsessive political observer like Chuck Todd sees which way the wind is blowing [regarding marijuana decriminalization]. It’s only a matter of time before more politicians catch up, and his prediction about 2016 candidates endorsing reform seems right on.”

* I’m Chuck Todd, the 12th moderator of “Meet the Press” (

This panel discussion was canceled today. The editor explains why.

This morning I received this email from a reader: “I am an Ohio journalist, and this sure looks to me like the Columbus Dispatch is helping raise money for the Franklin County GOP. …It’s also worth noting that Dispatch publisher John Wolfe and his wife are maxed-out donors to Republican Gov. John Kaisch’s re-elect campaign.”

I sent the note to Dispatch editor Ben Marrison and he responded:

As of this morning, we are not participating in the panel.

For context, The Dispatch like most newspapers has a long history of speaking to various organizations in the community as a way of putting our staff in front of various audiences — neighborhood groups, non-profit and philanthropic organizations, educational organizations, etc. Some of those events generate a small amount of money for the host organizations. One of the events editors have spoken to is the Franklin County Republican Party luncheon, which draws about 60 people.

In this case, we were unaware that this was a profit-making luncheon. We didn’t ask enough questions about the net financial benefit until we received and reviewed the flyer late yesterday (it appears there is a small financial benefit to the hosts once expenses are deducted). … Because both we and the party’s leadership were uncomfortable with the appearance of an impropriety, the panel was canceled this morning.

* What’s next for the fired New York Times executive editor: “Doing the kind of Jill Abramson work of investigating and telling important stories,” preferably “at the highest quality kind of magazine.” (
* Queens University athletics department punishes the student newspaper for honest reporting. Without press credentials, photographers now have to shoot from the bleachers. ( | (
* Hearing a voice actor read one of your stories “is a special kind of torture,” writes Rebecca Greenfield. (
* Ken Doctor on Jeff Bezos hiring Fred Ryan as Washington Post publisher: “This looks like a case of a disruptor being hired to run a legacy operation, and — hopefully — bring some of that thinking, and mojo, to it.” (
* [Right] Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey: “Okay Facebook, targeted ads have gone too far.” (@caitlindewey)
* Joe Scarborough is joining “Meet the Press” as a senior political analyst. (
* “I did not come back to bleed Time Inc.,” says CEO Joe Ripp. (
* Do we really need impartial journalism anymore? (
* “Plagiarism has arrived at NPR,” an reader claims. Not quite, says the radio network’s ombudsman. (
* Tribune Media, currently an over-the-counter stock, hopes to move to a major stock exchange. (
* Bring back personal blogs – but not the term “blogosphere.” (
* Michael Bloomberg tells Bloomberg LP employees: “Unsurprisingly, the most frequent question I’ve gotten this morning is ‘how are things going to change?’ The simple, honest answer is that they mostly won’t.” (
* Poynter points out an error in New York Times’ Joan Rivers obit,times but take a look at this Rivers headline screw-up on the front page of Poynter’s newspaper. ( | Tampa Bay Times page one: ( | Earlier: Tampa Bay Times copy desk hit hard in latest round of layoffs. (
* Is 24-year-old Daniel Lippman the next Mike Allen? (
* Laid off Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr delivers his farewell over the radio. (
* Noted: Nikki Finke‘s career began on Capitol Hill. (