Daily Archives: February 19, 2015

Tweet from the late-night editor at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze:

“The Fox News host has said he was in a ‘war zone’ that apparently no American correspondent reached.” — David Corn and Daniel Schulman

* Bill O’Reilly has his own Brian Williams problem (

The Buffalo News spends about 5% of its news budget on the AP, and “given the changes in the marketplace, it makes sense to use that money differently,” the Warren Buffett-owned paper is telling readers this Sunday.

“In place of the AP, we are publishing more from the large news organizations that have long been part of our national and international report, chiefly the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News.”

Here’s an excerpt of a column that’s running this weekend:

After more than 121 years, The Buffalo News is no longer a member of the Associated Press.

It is a bittersweet parting. The AP is one of the world’s largest news organizations and a fierce defender of press freedom. For decades, it has been the backbone of our national and foreign report. If it moves, the AP covers it.
But the news marketplace is changing. Thanks to the explosion of the Internet and smartphones and social media, the daily newspaper must fast become something different. What happened yesterday – the bread and butter of the Associated Press report – is old news by the time the newspaper lands on your doorstep. The newspaper of the 21st century must have more perspective, more behind-the-scenes reports, more stories that knit a dozen disparate elements into a bigger picture.

The economics of the news business are also changing. Thanks to the rapid growth of, The News reaches more people than ever. But the cost of publishing the newspaper and building a new digital business means we must make choices. The AP has historically been nearly 5 percent of The News’ news budget. Given the changes in the marketplace, it makes sense to use that money differently.

The Associated Press sends this statement from Kate Butler, vice president for membership and local markets:

We are sorry to see The Buffalo News leave The Associated Press news cooperative. The news marketplace is indeed changing and AP is working with our members and customers to meet their needs across all platforms. AP is at the forefront of digital newsgathering and delivery, creating content to serve a wide variety of publishers across platforms. We are innovating in content for mobile, across social media and especially in video services to deliver breaking news, as well as context and analysis.

We also are mindful of the financial pressures many publishers face, which is why we introduced new service options for AP members this year that offer more flexibility to choose the content and cost options that work best for their markets.

We have enjoyed working with The Buffalo News and hope they will see their way to returning to AP.”

New: Reactions from my Facebook friends and subscribers


* Hershey switches to easy-to-understand ingredients (

Have you written other candy stories? I asked Candy Woodall.

“Yes I have,” she replied. Previously, I worked as a business reporter for The York Dispatch and wrote these two candy/chocolate-related stories among others: [Story #1] and #2.

Earlier: Scott Gold on gold and more fun with bylines (

– h/t David Farre

Bill Donohue, president of the conservative Catholic League for Religious & Civil Rights, doesn’t have to worry about his “one-man operation” sinking anytime soon. He apparently has plenty of rich friends willing to bankroll his anti-media campaign. (It should be noted, too, that there is a Catholic League vice president. Bernadette Brady apparently works behind the scenes, but she’s also well compensated. Her total pay for 2013 was $251,207.)

In an email, Tablet editor-at-large Mark Oppenheimer writes of Donohue: “He is part (over-)sensitive anti-discrimination crusader, part right-wing ideologue, and part free-speech skeptic (see his comments about Charlie Hebdo). I don’t think he speaks for much of a constituency, and it would not occur to me to quote him as an expert on anything. It’s striking to me how little impact on policy or the public dialogue the Catholic League has, given its $30 million endowment and Donahue’s $400,000+ annual salary.”

Total Compensation for BILL DONOHUE (Source: Form 990s via Guidestar)
2013 …………….. $474,876
2012 …………….. $475,688
2011 …………….. $429,178
2010 …………….. $408,100
2009 …………….. $399,156
2008 …………….. $372,501
2007 …………….. $354,420

2013 ………….. $35,416,580
2012 ………….. $31,683,957
2011 ………….. $29,386,673
2010 ………….. $28,689,103
2009 ………….. $26,201,824
2008 ………….. $22,713,508
2007 ………….. $26,098,207

I asked Religion News Service national reporter David Gibson for his take on Donohue and he replied:

Funny, just as you wrote I saw the latest blast from Bill blow through the digital transom, his rip at Obama and Islam. And not for the first time I thought, “What does this have to do with anti-Catholicism?” Or the Catholic Church at all.

Donohue’s mission seems to have expanded along with his compensation, so that he sounds more like a standard-issue conservative culture warrior more than anything specifically Catholic. And he often seems to fall prey to the same “vices” he finds in his opponents, namely an intense focus on gay issues, of whatever sort.

The thing I appreciate about Bill — and he’s a great guy in the pub — is that he appreciates the value of publicity and he always gets back to you. If you become a target of his ire, he never seems to make it a grudge match, at least he hasn’t with me. He won’t run and hide, and he won’t hide behind a press release. He’ll come out and engage you.

Gibson adds in his email: “His compensation (about which he is also admirably unapologetic, a refreshing change in this era of dissembling public figures) and his rhetoric and content seems out of place in the church of Pope Francis. Like many Catholic conservatives, Bill tries to claim Francis’ mantle and claims that everyone else (that’d be liberals and the media) are getting Francis wrong.”

The best Donohue profile I’ve seen was written by Jacob Bernstein in 2007. (Thanks to WWD for sending the PDF.) Bernstein wrote: “For talk show bookers and reporters on deadline, he’s a never-ending sideshow who comes ever ready to hurl expressions of indignation and opprobrium at anyone who might have offended him.”

He noted that Donohue called Bill O’Reilly “a phony” for taking credit for the “war on Christmas” campaign. The Catholic League president said, “I don’t like people who are dishonest and steal my work.”

* Former lights of the Catholic right – like Bill Donohue – have seen their clout dissipate almost overnight (
* Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights Form 990s ( | (

New: Bill Donohue: Catholic League’s attack dog (WWD from 2007)

Now that’s blazin’!

* Councilman fulfills election promise and sets himself on fire (
* Storefront medical marijuana dispensary opens (

Letter to Romenesko
From SEAN FITZPATRICK: Up until about 4PM yesterday, the ESPN machine was putting a minimum wage, middle aged, husky fellow from New Hampshire through their 24-hour news cycle meat grinder.
That is, until it all fell apart when another ESPN reporter undercut that story entirely, exonerating the innocent person.

What does ESPN owe to Jim McNally and his family given what they did to him? ESPN still hasn’t pulled the original story off the internet and the reporter has shut off her twitter account and gone underground. [Her tweets are now “protected.”]

Should ESPN “out” the anonymous sources within the NFL that planted the fake story with Outside the Lines?

It is one thing if ESPN wants to go after millionaire players, but leave the sideline guys alone.

* The post is #2 on ESPN’s “Most Sent” list (@thoughtsnprayer)

* Welcome to the Lownes Family Funeral Home (

New: Read the comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers

* “Love how the headline was treated for this story,” tweets WSJ’s Brian Fitzgerald. (@BryFitz) | “Print is awesome sometimes.” (@andrewlavallee)
* New York Times memo: “We’re retiring our system of pitching stories for the print Page 1.” (
* The Red Cross complains and demands corrections, but ProPublica says “our stories have been scrupulously fair” to the organization. (
* New York Times Magazine editors wanted their redesigned product to be “unusual, surprising and original but not wholly unfamiliar.” ( | ( | (
* Allison Williams says her anchor-father “has so much integrity. He cares so much about journalism.” (
* David Remnick wishes The New Yorker had done a better job investigating the “nonsense” WMD story. (
* Apple and Google top Fortune’s just-released list of “Most Admired Companies.” (
* Columbia journalism students let us know what they see on Russian-backed news channel RT. (
* J-student: “I have said a few times that [David] Carr is my idol, but he was more than that. He was inspiration and motivation.” (
* One of the largest Vietnamese newspapers in the U.S. retracts a fabricated quote attributed to a mayor. (
* JOBS: The Sun Herald (Biloxi-Gulfport) is looking for a web producer/reporter. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Willamette Week’s Nigel Jaquiss says some of his biggest scoops have been “really obvious, or stories others have passed on.” (
* Scott Carney: “Writers need to take a page from Hollywood and start fighting for better pay and stronger copyright.” (
* Notes from 1995: “Roger Ailes is not most popular.” (@TVMoJoe)
* Former New York Daily News gossip columnist George Rush is now doing comedy. (
* Get your job ad noticed – not buried, as on other sites – for just $25 a week on Contact Tom Kwas at for information. (He’ll take care of your Sponsored Post, too.)
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