Monthly Archives: December 2015

A good percentage “Making a Murderer” tweets are about two attractive reporters who covered the Steven Avery/Brandon Dassey case and appear in the Netflix documentary. Some of the comments:

* Major crush on the female reporter with the horned rimmed glasses. Definitely a plant of the producers…but still. @tjstaffordmusic

Angenette Levy

Angenette Levy

* My favorite character on Making a Murderer is the brunette reporter with the glasses who isn’t buying anyone’s bullshit. @nlpaulhus

* Her skepticism is inspiring. @ADPotratz

* Hey prematurely silver haired news reporter from “Making a Murderer”. Just want to say that I think you’re terrific. @imnatecorddry

* That one handsome reporter in Making A Murderer is always just like “I have no idea what’s happening and I never should have moved here.” @LesleyScheu

* The biggest question I have watching #MakingAMurderer is who is that fine, grey-haired reporter? #silverfox @9_is_my_doctor

Aaron Keller

Aaron Keller

The “Silver Fox” is Aaron Keller, who worked at NBC26 in Green Bay from 2004 to 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile. After stops at other TV stations, he went on to get his law degree and he’s now an English/Communications professor at NHTI, Concord’s Community College in New Hampshire.

The no-BS journalist is Angenette Levy, who was a general assignment reporter at Green Bay’s WFRV-TV from 2004 to 2010. She’s been at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati since leaving Wisconsin.

I asked Levy about “Making a Murderer” and the attention she’s getting since the documentary debuted December 18. She responded in an email:

I finished episode 7 but it’s taken me more than a week to get to this point. I have been too busy with work to binge watch! The producers had tremendous access to the Avery family and to the defense attorneys. I am surprised at the number of people who have tweeted me, sent Facebook messages and emailed. It’s been very flattering. I didn’t know I would be featured in the documentary until I received a text a couple of weeks ago. I’ve tried to answer questions about the cases, and I hope that people realize that I attempted to ask a lot of questions as those cases were moving through the court system – questions that I believe people wanted answered. This story is a tragedy on so many levels.

Keller hasn’t responded to my email, but an admirer writes on Reddit:

Believe it or not, Aaron (Silver Fox) Keller was also only 25 years old at that time [of the trial]. Good looks aside — that guy also happened to have astrophysicist-esque intelligence. He had uncanny ability to interpret, digest and critically analyze any kind of complex academic/theoretic subject matter — before articulating his own profound responses in spitfire fashion.

Strikingly intriguing and, magnetic and annoyingly charming, (or charmingly annoying), is Smart as a whip and socially awkward articulating profound responses instantaneously being able to , and reflect on complex subject matter was superior command of the English language combined with uncanny uncanny articulate at articulating complex Almost as if he were the embodiment of a fictional film character — created of a stock character.

The comment after that post asks: “Are you his mother?”

* Angenette Levy on Facebook
* Aaron Keller on LinkedIn

Some of the fun we had this year…

* Readers pointed me to great accident-related headlines from the Brandon Sun (“Bread truck rolls over, hundreds of loaves toast”) and the Riverside Press-Enterprise (“CHiPS respond to hot sauce crash”).

* A Denver Post photojournalist baked an excellent farewell cake (“Fuck ESPN”) for a departing colleague. Labor reporter Steven Greenhouse also got a nice cake when he left the New York Times in March (“Walmart shares up 22%”). /CONTINUES Read More

I’m told that Tribune Publishing is going to have discussions with the bank that screwed up and make it clear it’s unhappy about the “Christmas Eve surprise.”

From: Tribune Publishing
Sent: Thursday, December 24, 2015 1:29 p.m.

Dear colleagues:

A processing error at our clearing bank is causing a delay in the direct deposit of some employee’s paychecks.

The bank notified our company this morning that some customers of major banks (like Chase, Bank of America and other national banking institutions) will begin receiving direct deposits today through Saturday. Customers of credit unions and regional banks will receive the direct deposits on Monday. If you normally receive your paycheck via regular mail, your payment is unaffected. The company will ensure that all employees who have been adversely affected through overdrafts or other bank fees will be reimbursed. We apologize for this unfortunate situation and plan to remedy fully.

Thank you for understanding.

N. Christian Anderson III resigned as Oregonian Media Group chairman in May to become editor and publisher of the family-owned Eugene (OR) Register-Guard. “Chris has the entrepreneurial instincts, business savvy, news background and digital know-how that make him uniquely qualified,” longtime R-G editor and publisher Tony Baker said last spring.

On Thursday, the paper’s staffers were told that Anderson (right) has left the building after not quite seven months. (Please email me if you have details about his departure. I’ll protect you, of course.)

To: [Register-Guard staff]
Sent: Thu, 17 Dec 2015 15:27:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Announcement


Dear Colleagues:

I’m writing to inform you that Chris Anderson is no longer Editor and Publisher of The Register-Guard./CONTINUES Read More

Seattle Times editor Kathy Best writes in her buyouts memo: “I don’t want to lose any of you and I know that doing so carries a price for our newsroom and for our readers. But we don’t have a choice if we want The Seattle Times to continue.”

Best sent this to her staff earlier this week:

As you know, 2016 is a tough budget year for The Seattle Times.

Thanks to your creativity, we were able to find tens of thousands of dollars in savings from expenses. But even after pulling all the change from all the seat cushions, we still need significant reductions in the newsroom budget.

That’s why we’re offering an opportunity for those of you already thinking of leaving the Times to do so with some extra cash in your pocket./CONTINUES Read More

On Tuesday, employees at TEGNA – the former Gannett broadcast division – learned that they’re getting a $400 bonus “for all that you’ve done throughout our fantastic first year” as a spun-off company. Earlier today, the journalists at Gannett’s newspapers learned that they’re not getting cash for the holiday, but they are getting an extra day off. Here’s Gannett CEO Bob Dickey’s memo:

Unwrap a day off!

You are the best gift we’ve had all year.

Happy Holidays! I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your efforts this year in our journey toward building our next generation media company. 2015 was a momentous year for the new Gannett and as it comes to a close, I want to personally say I appreciate all of your hard work. We’ve made significant progress in just a few months and there’s much to be proud of as we continue to leverage our combined strengths./CONTINUES Read More

Gracia Martore, CEO of TEGNA (formerly the Gannett digital/broadcast division), told her employees today that they’ll see an extra $400 in their checks or direct deposits this week. It’s a reward “for all that you’ve done throughout our fantastic first year.”

Dear Colleagues,

The end of the year is always a time for reflection. And as I look back at the past 12 months, I am incredibly proud of all that we achieved together and am thankful for all of your hard work and dedication. This has truly been a historic year for our company.

To celebrate our success and your efforts in making our company great, the leadership team and I wanted to say thank you for everything you’ve accomplished. All employees will receive a $400 (pre-tax) thank you gift for all that you’ve done throughout our fantastic first year. The gift will be distributed at the end of this week the same way you are paid, either through direct deposit or check./CONTINUES Read More

From Lee Enterprises’ Dec. 7 SEC filing:

Effective December 7, 2015, the Company’s Board of Directors approved amendments to the Amended and Restated Lee Enterprises, Incorporated 1990 Long-Term Incentive Plan … to modify its vesting provisions in the event of a change of control of the Company, along with certain immaterial changes and corrections.


Lee owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Wisconsin State Journal and 44 other newspapers. Its share price, at last look, was $1.54.

* Lee Enterprises’ Dec. 7 SEC filing (

UPDATE: Lee COO Kevin Mowbray replaces Mary Junck as CEO (

Gannett announced Monday that former Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor and ex-Conde Nast Portfolio editor Joanne Lipman has been named the newspaper chain’s chief content officer. Gannett also appointed Daniel Bernard as chief product officer. Here’s the CEO’s memo to staff:

From: A message from Bob Dickey
Date: December 7, 2015 at 7:58:29 AM EST
To: A message from Bob Dickey
Subject: Gannett Announces Two Key Appointments

Team – as we continue to build upon the outstanding leadership acumen of the company, today we named two people with tremendous experience to key positions.

I’m very happy to tell you we have appointed Joanne Lipman our first-ever chief content officer. Most recently she was principal of Surrey Lane Media and was formerly editor-in-chief of Conde Nast Portfolio and, and earlier deputy managing editor of The Wall Street Journal.

Our second key appointment is Daniel Bernard, who will be our chief product officer. He was previously head of product for Time, Fortune and Money Digital at Time, Inc.; formerly chief product officer for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network; and earlier general manager for The Wall Street Journal Online./CONTINUES Read More

No Bozeman (MT) TV news outlet covers the sheriff’s office as thoroughly, and fluffily, as KBZK and anchor/reporter Judy Slate.

Her reports have included Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin participating in a “cold water challenge”; attending a Washington D.C. conference (apparently with Slate); and giving a tour of a local high school.

The sheriff and the news anchor

The sheriff and the news anchor

What she’s never disclosed in her TV reports is that she’s dating the sheriff. On her Facebook page, though, Slate doesn’t bother trying to keep their relationship a secret. (I’m told that rival news outlets have known about it for at least 14 months.)

“Slate has changed her Facebook profile pic to one of herself and the sheriff, as she has posted photos of the two of them going to the Sturgis rally, as they’ve discussed their hot tubbing plans on social media, etc.,” a Bozeman journalist tells Romenesko readers.

Three weeks ago Slate did a story about county commissioners rejecting a dog leash law. After the piece aired, Slate noted on Facebook that “I got my dogs and my man in my story last night.”

Yes, the sheriff – her man – was in that news report, too.

“The TV station – the leading TV station here in Bozeman – has become a glorified PR desk for the sheriff,” says the journalist who alerted me to this conflict. “Slate gets to have her pick of time with the sheriff and her station gets notified of news that otherwise no one would have heard about, like remote traffic accidents in the middle of the night.
“Meanwhile, our newsroom and other TV stations go through the regular channels to try to get a word from Gootkin.”

People in the KBZK newsroom didn’t want to discuss the conflict of interest.

News director John Sherer never responded to questions that I sent on Monday and Wednesday – Slate and Gootkin also ignored my emails – so I called KBZK on Thursday morning. The switchboard operator sent me directly to Sherer, and he told me: “I’m in our morning meeting and I’m not going to talk to you about it anyway.” He hung up while was I asking a question.

“We figured it should be the responsibility of KBZK’s news director to talk to her about it and to coach her on the conflict of interest,” says the rival journalist. “However, the fact that the relationship has gone on so long with seemingly no ethical guidance from the news director seems to us that they approve at KBZK.”

* KBZK News