Daily Archives: May 22, 2015

NPR “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross tells Marc Maron in a recent interview in front of a live audience at the BAM Opera House in Brooklyn:

There was a period when I didn’t want to be photographed. It was a short period, but I declined to be photographed because I thought radio listeners want you to be who they think you are visually. I’d meet people and they’d go, “Oh! really?” There’s this thing, like, when you’re on radio and you feel [?] the speaker, people assume, So she’s tall. And really, I’m so short. And so I’d always feel like people would meet me and they’d feel like – they’d hide their disappointment. Like – “Oh, she’s kind of short. she’s not really very glamorous.” So I thought, let me be whoever they want me to be visually.

Mom to Terry: Don’t tell them anything about us!

I grew up in a family that thought that we shouldn’t share things about the family. You keep that inside. And so there was an article about me that was written for Philadelphia magazine years ago, and the gist of the article was: People don’t know much about her, they don’t know who she really is. One of the people on my staff was quoted as saying, “She’s really great, I really like working with her. I don’t know a thing about her.”

So my mother took the article and said, “You shouldn’t have told them all of this!” She said something like, “I don’t even want this in my house!” And I was like, “Mom, the article was about how nobody knows anything about me!” So it’s kind of ironic that what I do for a living is help people share things about themselves that might be of value to other people.

New: Gross is referring to a Philadelphia article from September of 1992, “Terry Gross Hears Voices,” by Bob Huber. It’s not online, but editors Joel Mathis and Timothy Haas were kind enough to dig it up and send this clip.

* Marc Maron interviews Terry Gross (unedited, 90 minutes) ( | Shorter edited NPR version (

University of Montana j-school dean and former NPR reporter Larry Abramson was one of the first to tweet the news Thursday about Lee Enterprises closing its Montana state bureau, which serves newspapers in Billings, Missoula, Helena, Butte and Hamilton. I’m told the Billings Gazette newsroom learned of the bureau closing through Abramson and that staffers were called into an all-hands meeting five minutes after his tweet was posted.

The announcement is so big in the state that it’s on the front page of today’s Gannett-owned Great Falls Tribune. Its editor, Jim Strauss, says “the loss of the Lee Bureau is a hit to the watchdog role of Montana media.”

My sources say veteran Lee political reporters Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison were told by Billings Gazette editor Darrell Ehrlick that they had a choice of a 40% pay cut or a buyout. The men chose the latter. (I’ve asked Ehrlick to comment.)

Ehrlick told a Montana Television Network reporter that Lee is changing the way it does state coverage, and that instead of focusing on state government and politicians, it will look at news on an “issue and regional level.”

A Montana journalist writes me in an email: “Utterly pissed about this and concerned about what this means for political coverage in a state where they [Johnson and Dennison] were essentially the only ones reporting.”

My regular readers know about Lee CEO Mary Junck and her executive team taking big bonuses after cutting newsroom staffs. On May 10, the University of North Carolina gave Junck an honorary degree.

* Lee closes its Montana state bureau ( | (

* WTF! A Texas school district is claiming ownership of a student’s portfolio of 4,000+ photos. (
* Two bids for the New York Daily News. (
* Business Insider’s business plans “absolutely calls for significant unprofitability this year,” says its president. (
* The Star-Ledger catches Chris Christie telling another “big lie.” (
* Michel du Cille, the late Washington Post photographer, wins two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. (
* Boca Raton Tribune suspends a contributor and investigates his alleged plagiarism. (
* Friends of “On Writing Well” author William Zinsser are gathering today to celebrate his life. (
* A Bloomberg News freelancer has photographed every Harvard graduation ceremony since 1981. (
* St. Paul Pioneer Press puts its longtime headquarters up for sale. (
* Yes, we all know about the declining value of newspapers. (
* Capital Gazette’s Steve Gunn is named editor of the Virginian-Pilot. ( | Rick Hutzell is promoted at the Capital Gazette. (
* IN JOBS: Apply for the Associated Press‐NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Journalism Fellowship Program. (Romenesko Jobs)
* “Wimpy Kid” author Jeff Kinney is opening a bookstore in Plainville, Mass. (
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