NBC News president Deborah Turness sent this memo to her staff on Friday afternoon:
This has been a difficult few days for all of us at NBC News.
Yesterday, Brian and I spoke to the Nightly News team. And this morning at the Editorial Exchange, we both addressed the wider group. Brian apologized once again, and specifically expressed how sorry he is for the impact this has had on all of you and on this proud organization.
As you would expect, we have a team dedicated to gathering the facts to help us make sense of all that has transpired. We’re working on what the best next steps are – and when we have something to communicate we will of course share it with you.
Since joining NBC News, I’ve seen great strength and resilience. We are a close-knit family, and your response this week has made that even clearer.
As a relentless news agenda marches on, thank you again for continuing to do what we do best – bring the most important stories of the day to our audience.
Today, McClatchy shares are at $2.70 and “business conditions continue to be difficult,” according to CEO Patrick Talamantes.
But tough times can’t stop McClatchy from giving a nice six-figure retirement gift to operations vice-president Robert Weil.
Karen Dillon, a journalist who once worked at McClatchy’s Kansas City Star, writes:
Weil is in line to receive much more than a wrist watch and a firm handshake upon his departure. According to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Jan. 15, Weil could receive two lump sum payments totaling nearly $750,000. …
But the company won’t be totally without Weil’s acumen. Weil will be a paid consultant [up to $60,000 a year] to McClatchy for a time after he retires.
I called McClatchy headquarters in Sacramento for a comment, and was told that someone will call me back. [Update: They never got around to that.]
* Chicago Tribune, February 2, 2015: “In a monthslong examination of Emanuel’s fundraising machine, the Tribune documented his connections to investment house executives, corporate CEOs and Washington insiders who sustain him with cash even though their interests lie far beyond the policy decisions issued from the mayor’s fifth-floor office at City Hall. Emanuel declined to be interviewed for this story.”
* Chicago Tribune, December 19, 2014: “[A] state-of-the-art study commissioned by the Tribune concluded [red-light] cameras do not reduce injury-related crashes overall — undercutting Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s primary defense of a program beset by mismanagement, malfunction and a $2 million bribery scandal. …Emanuel declined interview requests.”
Today’s Tribune endorsementdoes note: “Emanuel’s first term has been frustrating, even infuriating, at times. … His administration has repeatedly resisted efforts by reporters to gain access to public records. … Team Emanuel is more about controlling information than sharing it with the public. We have the legal bills to prove it.”
* Brian Williams “has the whole support of NBC,” says a network executive. (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” finally addressed the matter on Friday morning after ignoring it Thursday.) (washingtonpost.com)
* Williams’ years-old remarks about Hurricane Katrina and floating bodies are now being scrutinized. (theneworleansadvocate.com) | (nola.com)
* Jack Shafer: “Perhaps Williams thought it was okay for him to embellish because he was off the clock.” (politico.com)
* Williams simply “came to believe what he wanted to believe.” (jacklimpert.com)
* Williams’ apology, says Ken Auletta, “sounded like a statement crafted by a P.R. team intent on damage control.” (newyorker.com)
* Is this a case of a news anchor with a “contaminated” memory? (post-gazette.com)
* “It’s amazing how many public apologies are such bloodless, over-calculated nothingburgers that they do more harm than good,” writes Andrew Wallenstein. (variety.com)
* Brian Stelter: The pilot I interviewed on Thursday is changing his story so I’m revising mine. (cnn.com)
* NBC says New York Post’s report about Tom Brokaw calling for Williams’ resignation is b.s. (thewrap.com)
* [Left] Williams gets the Conan treatment. (teamcoco.com)
* NYT: The NBC anchor’s real problems started after his apology. (nytimes.com) –> In other news….
* News organizations, which rely on leakers, really hate it when their employees leak. (gawker.com)
* Gene Weingarten‘s disappointed – but not surprised – by the York publisher’s no-cussing rule. (washingtonpost.com)
* Wall Street Journal touts a 2% ad increase in the latest quarter vs. NYT’s 2% decline. (capitalnewyork.com)
* InStyle insists it didn’t digitally lighten Kerry Washington‘s skin. (nypost.com)
* Very brave journalism: A writer used ALL CAPS for a week and lived to post this piece: (fusion.net)
* REMINDER: The Michael Kelly Award entry deadline is today. (kellyaward.com)
* Under new owners, Patch is “holding its own.” (digiday.com)
* Ken Doctor takes a look at the email newsletter boom. (niemanlab.org)