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Daily Archives: May 21, 2015

Bob Dickey, who has been named CEO of Gannett’s spun-off newspaper publishing unit, tells employees that execs are “planning some important and significant changes to our org structure” and that “we will unlock the full strength and impact of being the nation’s largest newsgathering force.”

His full memo:

Subject: Update on the New Gannett
From: A message from Bob Dickey
Date: May 21, 2015, 4:05 PM

Dear friends and colleagues,

On a hot and hazy Tuesday last August, when we announced the split of our business, you heard about a new publishing company that would have the freedom to carve its own future.

Now that future is almost upon us, and I know you have questions. What is our vision for the future? What are our plans for growth? How might our news business evolve? You might be asking, “How will this affect me?”

My leadership team and I promise to answer these questions in the weeks ahead—particularly on launch day. But in the meantime, I’d like to get started by sharing a few updates and painting an early picture of the new Gannett./CONTINUES Read More

This memo from Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner was just sent to employees of the San Diego Union-Tribune, formerly known as U-T San Diego:

Colleagues,

The Los Angeles Times’ parent company has completed its acquisition of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

This is exciting news for all of us as we bring together two outstanding institutions with a singular commitment to excellence in journalism.

As we move forward, we will reestablish the name of this historic publication, The San Diego Union-Tribune, which has long been synonymous with quality journalism and public service.

The team at The San Diego Union-Tribune will be led on a day-to-day basis by Russ Newton, the new President and Chief Operating Officer. He will report to me in my role as Publisher and Chief Executive Officer.

Russ will work closely with Editor Jeff Light, Managing Editor Lora Cicalo, and Bill Osborne, Editorial and Opinion Director.

What won’t change is The San Diego Union-Tribune’s place as an independent voice of the San Diego community, devoted to informing, engaging and serving its readers.

I look forward to working with all of you.

Austin

* January 2012: San Diego Union-Tribune becomes U-T San Diego (jimromenesko.com)

Call from Oklahoma: I don’t know what’s going on in this world right now. Obama’s a Muslim and that’s all I’ve got to say.
C-SPAN’s Steve Scully: Obama is not a Muslim, but thank you for making your comment.

Call from Michigan: We need to get rid of every Muslim out of the country [sic], because they are sent here to kill us.
Scully: OK, we’ll leave it at that.

HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” has a running segment titled “The Most Patient Man on Television Endures the American Public,” which features clip after clip of C-SPAN host Steve Scully taking unscreened calls from racists, foul-mouthed viewers and other nuts.

The first time C-SPAN vice president of programming Terry Murphy watched the collection of offensive calls – most of them abruptly ended by Scully – he rolled his eyes. “My second reaction was to laugh,” he tells me.

One “Most Patient Man” viewer asks in the YouTube comments: “Does he even have a call screener?”

Murphy says: “We do talk to the callers before they’re let on the air” to find out what they want to discuss, but “we don’t use a delay. We have talked about it but we’ve always wanted to keep [the call-in show] as open as possible.”

The number of profane and racist calls hasn’t increased over the years, the programming chief contends. “More people are highlighting them,” he notes, “but it’s a very small percentage.”

Murphy says he knows Oliver’s segment could encourage others to make prank calls to C-SPAN, “but so be it.”

I was hoping to get Scully’s reaction to “The Most Patient Man,” but C-SPAN wouldn’t make him available. Its spokesperson writes in an email:

Steve is one of several WJ [Washington Journal] hosts, and we actually don’t put our hosts forward to talk about it. Simple reason: as you probably know, C-SPAN has a long tradition of “no celebrities” baked into our DNA. From our perspective, it’s not about any individual host, but about the broader program… it’s about the content and information, and callers. So we just don’t offer up any individual host.

Like it or not, C-SPAN, Oliver has made Scully a celebrity of sorts. I wish I could have gotten the host’s reaction to this comment from a “Most Patient Man” viewer: “I know it’s strange…but I am starting to develop a crush on this man. At first I just felt sorry for him but I know now it’s more than that..wish I could get his number!”

“Last Week Tonight” executive producer Tim Carvell says of the Scully segment:

That was a lucky discovery by a producer named Matt Passet, [made] while working on our piece on infrastructure. He found that guy hosting a daylong call-in show, and we were all so enamored with him that Matt and one of our editors, Anthony Miale, started assembling montages of him.

Oliver & Co. have aired two “Most Patient Man” segments so far, but regular C-SPAN viewers know there’s material for many, many more.

* “The Most Patient Man on Television” for April 20, 2015 | May 10 segment
* “Tell me more about The Most Patient Man on Television” (reddit.com)




missingcat

The Portsmouth Police Department has a strange habit of blacking out names of missing pets. In February, the cops redacted a dog’s name – I called and learned her name is Amber – and this week the department shielded the name of a missing cat. I’ve asked Sgt. Chris Roth to explain why.

* Another missing pet’s name redacted from Portsmouth police log (@DinanElizabeth)
* February 2015: Police department hides name of missing dog (jimromenesko.com)

New: Read the cracks from my Facebook commenters




* Boston Herald newsroom union members reject a no-raise contract by a 32-26 vote. (dankennedy.net)
* Ombudsman: NPR shouldn’t be promoting a host’s book on his or her own program – and no longer will be. (npr.org)
* Ken Doctor: “News companies should buy Yelp and use it as the foundation of the next generation of local news and information sites and apps.” (niemanlab.org)
* WordRates – a sort of Yelp for journalists – has a successful Kickstarter campaign. (cjr.org)
* Fox news: The animals are stealing a couple’s papers. (washingtonpost.com)
* MailOnline’s growth slows, despite its push into the U.S. (ft.com)
* Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian‘s detention “is not just our loss, but Iran’s, too.” (pri.org)
* The Ohio Supreme Court sides with a former college paper news editor in a public records dispute. (dispatch.com)
* Jake Tapper‘s upcoming gig is erased from the Clinton Foundation website. CNN says he was improperly listed as a speaker. (usatoday.com)
* San Francisco Public Press: Our work clearly influenced the San Francisco Chronicle’s “Is Desegregation Dead?” series. (sfpublicpress.org)
* IN JOBS: Apply for the Associated Press‐NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Journalism Fellowship Program. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Dan Froomkin: “Why do smart, elite journalists quote people who they know are lying, or being moronically stupid, but not call what they say lies and stupidities?” (firstlook.org)
* Hillary Clinton joins the rest of us who get a LinkedIn account, then never (or rarely) return to the site. (fortune.com)
* Raju Narisetti on David Letterman‘s big last-show ratings: “Just like in newspapers, where the collectibles issues always do just great. Sigh.” (@raju) | Highest since 2005. (variety.com)
* Charlie Gasparino (pictured): “Sometimes people at Fox think I have a little Trotskyite mustache. They think I’m a little too liberal.” (playboy.com)
* There’s apparently a “job-hopping crisis,” which one young woman dismisses: “People who stay put in one place for too long are spineless losers afraid of change.” (digiday.com)
* A.J. Daulerio lays off most of staff at Ratter, and plans a “pivot.” (No more feces photos?) (gawker.com)
* Send anonymous news tips, link suggestions, memos, and typo alerts to jim@jimromenesko.com
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