March 17: Gannett gives CEO Gracia Martore a $4.5 million boost in total compensation; her 2014 package was $12.4 million. (jimromenesko.com)
March 18: Gannett’s USA Today offers buyouts to about 90 staffers in “its latest effort to cut costs.” The paper aims to get rid of mature journalists. (usatoday.com)
USA Today publisher Larry Kramer writes in a memo:
Regardless of the acceptance level of the Early Retirement Opportunity Program, we cannot rule out other actions that we may need to take in the future because of economic and business conditions.
To remain highly competitive and aggressively keep in front of shifting consumer trends, we need to continue to ensure that our resources are best applied across the organization. While we’ve accomplished much already to transition the business, more remains to be done and we need to continue to ensure that staffing meets our current needs.
Just after announcing his intention to cut staff, Kramer touted the importance of reporting:
* USA Today offers buyouts to veteran staffers (usatoday.com)
– Photo from the Rochester (Michigan) High School Talon
At Rochester (Michigan) High School…
“A story discussing the school’s sexual education program, which emphasizes abstinence … prompted school administrators to demand the issue be pulled from the paper’s website after parents complained about its content. …Now, each edition must be submitted – prior to publication – to interim school principal Neil DeLuca.”
* Photos prompt prior review debate at Michigan high school (splc.org)
* Paper faces school review after hookah, condom photos run (theoaklandpress.com)
* “The Sex Talk” and more from The Talon (amazonaws.com/PDF)
In late February, Poynter’s Tampa Bay Times announced that it had signed a three-year deal to become the only print media company to sponsor both athletic and academic events at the University of South Florida (USF).
The newspaper did not disclose the terms of the deal, but I’ve received a copy of the contract and it shows that the Times is paying the university $30,000 a year. (The contract was drawn up by IMG College, which handles marketing for USF.)
Any marketing experts care to comment on the deal? Post in comments or send me an email, please.
* Times Publishing Company-University of South Florida contract (Google Drive)
* Tampa Bay Times and USF sign sponsorship agreement (tampabay.com)
* Colorado Springs man facing code violations (gazette.com)
– h/t Bryce Crawford
New: A reader who didn’t want to be named writes: “Horrible front page for girls’ basketball.” It reads, “Girls, they just wanna ball.”
A Denver Post photojournalist is so upset about assistant managing editor/photo-multimedia Tim Rasmussen leaving the paper to become digital photo editor at the nation’s largest sports media outlet that he presented the boss with a “FUCK ESPN” goodbye cake. The cake on the right was presented to copy editors laid off by the Denver paper in 2012.
Update — Rasmussen tells Romenesko readers: “Here [above] is the cake picture. It was given with love by [Post photojournalist] RJ Sangosti, who was extremely upset by my leaving. I had said in our staff meeting, I did not want cake in the newsroom, I’ve seen way too many cakes in the newsroom over the past 15 years, so this cake was in my office the next morning.”
New — Michael Parnell writes: “The misspelled cake is a staple for departing editors [at the Fermandina Beach News-Leader]. Attached is one we gave colleague Sian Perry, who left earlier this month as assistant editor of the News-Leader in Fernandina Beach, Fla., for a copy editor’s job with the Virgin Islands Daily News. Note the newspaper in the beach chair.” | Here’s the cake.
* A “Fuck ESPN” cake for departing Post staffer Tim Rasmussen (westword.com)
* 2012: Rasmussen’s drive for excellence results in Pulitzers (wired.com)
* 2012: No copy editors had a hand in decorating this cake (jimromenesko.com)
Just in: A nicely decorated cake for a departing police reporter
* Tucker Carlson won’t let Daily Caller writers criticize Fox News. Mickey Kaus, who quit over the policy, writes: It’s a larger problem on the right: Everybody is scared of Fox.” (politico.com) | (talkingpointsmemo.com)
* Los Angeles Times no longer tells readers how many pages are in the paper. (laobserved.com)
* The Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) building was evacuated Wednesday morning after five pieces of “suspicious” mail with powder or dust were found. (dailyherald.com)
* A plea for news sites to put live captioning on streams. “It’s stunning how little they seem to care” for the hearing impaired. (time.com)
* [RIGHT] How Schock’s resignation played in Peoria. (newseum.org) | Hometown paper’s editorial: “For once we really are shocked.” (pjstar.com) | Schock’s Instagram account is now private. (chicagobusiness.com)
* After the government’s pursuit of James Risen,”reporters and editors are looking over their shoulders more warily than ever before. That is because they need to.” (vanityfair.com)
* How events can change between editions. (@davemagerwbz)
* AP’s Robert Durst/Limp Bizkit blooper was shared 12,000 times. (muckrack.com)
* New York Daily News photo chief Alexander Hitchen quits after three years and heads to Bauer Publishing. (nypost.com) | (capitalnewyork.com)
* Work in Hawaii: Civil Beat is looking for an investigative editor. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Tech journalist Molly Wood leaves the New York Times for Marketplace. (americanpublicmedia.org)
* Vacationing in Washington D.C. this summer? Kids get into the Newseum for free July 1 through September 7. (newseum.org)