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Romenesko

From a Washington Post “On Leadership” blog post:

Mary Hadar, former editor of The Post’s Style section, held on to a reply that Bradlee sent more than two decades ago to a pestering flack. As Hadar recalls, someone was retiring from the circus — a lion tamer? — and the circus’s press agent wrote to Bradlee to complain when the Style section wouldn’t run a profile.

letter

* A classic Ben Bradlee letter to ‘flacks’ (washingtonpost.com) | “We should do this more often” (@AnupKaphle)
* Katharine, not Katherine: “Memo from Ben Bradlee that made my day” (@migold)
* Jack Shafer: Bradlee was all the things his obituarists and essayists claim today” (reuters.com)
* During a job interview, Bradlee asked Peter Baker if he was a Moonie (nytimes.com)
* David Folkenflik: “Major regional newspapers mimicked the format he devised for the Post” (wbur.org)
* “By today’s standards, Ben was a lousy manager but a great leader” (washingtonpost.com)
* Bradlee’s WaPo obit was “a labor of love” that Robert Kaiser started working on 15 years ago (@RobertGKaiser)

From Dave McKinney’s letter to Sun-Times owner Michael Ferro:

resign

daveThe former Sun-Times reporter (at right) says in his letter that “I was told to go on leave [after the Republican gubernatorial candidate's campaign questioned his ethics], a kind of house arrest that lasted almost a week. It was pure hell. [Editor Jim] Kirk told me that his bosses were considering taking me away permanently from the political and Springfield beats. He offered up other potential jobs at the paper, all of which I considered demotions. Because of my unexplained absence from my beat, colleagues started calling, asking if I had been suspended. Or fired.”

McKinney worked at the Sun-Times for 19 years.

* Why I left the Sun-Times (Dave McKinney)
* McKinney’s big news crashed the Capitol Fax site (chicagomag.com)
* Sun-Times editor says the owners “have never quashed a story” (chicagobusiness.com)

Earlier:
* McKinney pulled off political beat after Rauner camp complains (chicagobusiness.com)
* GOPer tried to retaliate against reporter over negative story (talkingpointsmemo.com)
* Sun-Times owner’s wife gave money to Rauner’s campaign (republicannewswatch.com)

- From The Watch, Telluride, CO

– From The Watch, Telluride, CO

A ROMENESKO READER writes: As campaign season heats up and more and more people are trying to get their letters to the editor published, one local paper [The Watch in Telluride, Colorado] has started charging people to get their letters published. [$25 for first 250 words, then $10 for each additional 250 words.] If you don’t pay, your letter will be published at the discretion of the editor – after all the paid letters, of course.

To me this seems ridiculous. Obviously there are times when not all letters will fit, particularly in election season, but having people pay for priority DOES NOT seem like the right way to address this. Thoughts?

Post them in comments or send me an email and I’ll post for you if you’re not on Facebook.

Update – The Watch editor Gus Jarvis tells Romenesko readers:

We only do paid letters in the month or so leading up to the regular November election and the main reason we do this is because of our limited space in print. We cover a region of three counties, each with various races and ballot issues within them.

A few years ago, we simply ran out of space to handle all of our letters. So now, we charge a very modest fee for those who really want their letter to be published and with that fee we are able to open more spacep/add more pages to publish them.

I wouldn’t say it’s a good way to monetize our operation, but rather a way to deal with a huge influx of election letters we receive at one time. After the election, we will go back to our normal policy of publishing letters at no fee.

* PDF edition of The Telluride (CO) Watch

The Daily Northwestern aims to collect $1 million from 500 donors in its first-ever fundraising effort. north The paper says the money will be used to replenish reserves, provide scholarships and do technology upgrades. Sports journalists and Daily alums Christine Brennan and Michael Wilbon are campaign co-chairs. (Watch video appeals from Brennan and Wilbon.)

Campaign spokesman and former Daily editor Jeremy Mullman writes:

With a history going back to 1881 as the only daily news source for both NU and the city of Evanston, The Daily is generally regarded as one of America’s best campus papers. The history of excellence has continued despite a tough climate for campus papers, as The Daily has won seven Pacemakers (the top award in campus journalism) in the last 10 years.

The press release is after the jump. Read More

* McClatchy’s Raleigh News & Observer and Charlotte Observer pull out of a debate they sponsoredchair over an empty chair on the set. “We wanted to have a serious discussion … about the issues without any gimmicks,” says N&O’s editor.
(newsobserver.com)
* New York Times columnist Ross Douthat speaks at an anti-gay group’s Texas fundraiser. (towleroad.com)
* Over 300 at the New York Times have asked to take a look at the buyout offer, according to the Guild. (nypost.com)
* What journalists worry about at night. (“I worry that there won’t be jobs for people over 50.”) (ajr.org)
* Medill junior Lucas Matney blasts news outlets for “just feeding the public whatever it desires.” (dailynorthwestern.com)
* Wonder why: “More than a dozen other current [Thought Catalog] employees contacted for this story either declined to comment or didn’t respond. The site’s co-publisher, Gorrell, also didn’t respond to requests for comment.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Phillip Alder‘s bridge column in the New York Times is safe – at least for now. (observer.com)
* Business Insider veteran Joseph Weisenthal joins Bloomberg to host a TV show and develop a markets website. (cnn.com)
* Charles Apple leaves the struggling OC Register to become managing editor for visuals at the Victoria (TX) Advocate. (facebook.com)
* “The Walking Dead” star Steven Yeun‘s morning habit is lurking on Reddit. (adweek.com)
lvad

postfront

* Ben Bradlee, legendary Washington Post editor, dies at 93 (washingtonpost.com) | (nytimes.com)
* Don Graham: Why we loved Ben Bradlee so much (washingtonpost.com)
* Editorial: How Bradlee transformed the Post (washingtonpost.com)
* Tributes to the late editor (washingtonpost.com) | (dailynewsgems.com) || Staff memories (twitter.com)
* David Carr says Bradlee “was completely hypnotized by the chase of a good story”
* “The most charismatic and consequential newspaper editor of postwar America” (newyorker.com)
* “There was nothing fake about Ben,” writes Tom Shales (thedailybeast.com)
* The Post editor struggled with racial issues, says Richard Prince (mije.org)
* Jill Abramson: “One of the sadnesses of my career is that I never worked for him” (time.com) | Al Hunt has the same regret (bloombergview.com)
* Rem Rieder got “the full Ben treatment” during a job interview (usatoday.com)
* Joe Strupp: “Bradlee was both courteous and direct” when called for comment (blogstrupp.blogspot.com)
* Photo: Bradlee’s last day in the Post newsroom (@JulieATate)
* Wednesday’s Washington Post front page (newseum.org/PDF)

These newspaper racks were emptied … because of this issue
college

Update: The county clerk reversed her decision after getting national publicity and a media lawyer’s cease-and-desist letter.

———

Today’s Rocky Mountain Collegian – Colorado State University’s student paper – has a page one piece on U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, who is running for re-election. Larimar County Clerk Angela Myers had them removed from student center racks because, she said, they violated electioneering laws.

She cited a Colorado statute that says “no electioneering may take place within a 100-foot limit of any polling location” and added that “when you have a paper that has a candidate on the very front like it does, we will need that to be displayed outside the 100-foot limit.”

Executive editor Kate Winkle says the clerk’s actions are “clearly a violation of the First Amendment.”

The Collegian was covering an event, we are not campaigning for Mark Udall and we would have had the same coverage had Cory Gardner or any politician affected by this election come to campus. I hope that the Larimer County Clerk’s office continues to respect the freedom of the press and I look forward to working with them further through the duration of the election season.

The county clerk is a registered Republican and Udall is a Democrat.

* County clerk removes newspapers from student center racks (collegian.com)
* Sen. Udall visits Colorado State University (collegian.com)
* Update: Collegian back in racks after electioneering flap (coloradoan.com)


Yes, there appears to be a communications problem at the Sun-Times. Employees there found out about the sale of the Sun-Times’ suburban papers to Tribune Publishing by reading media bloggers’ tweets. Eventually, they received this note – my source calls it a “say-nothing memo” – from Sun-Times CEO Tim Knight.

Dear Colleagues:

I know you’ve seen the speculation about the sale of some Sun-Times Media titles.

We don’t comment on rumors but I want to assure you that everything we do is to strengthen the company.

Tim Knight

Tim Knight

At present, our parent, Wrapports, LLC, is evaluating a variety of investments to continue to execute our digital strategy and grow the Chicago Sun-Times, one of the country’s great newspapers.

What I know for sure is that we are entering one of the busiest seasons of our year. I appreciate all of your hard work and continued focus on our readers, advertisers and partners.

Best regards,

Tim Knight

Hey, Tim, instead of mentioning “speculation” and “rumors,” why don’t you tell your employees what’s going on? Are you still in talks with Tribune Publishing? Or have you wrapped it up and just waiting for a press release to be written? Why not treat your journalists like partners?

* Tribune Publishing is buying Sun-Times’ suburban papers (robertfeder.com) | (chicagotribune.com)

wbur
David Carr talked with Jill Abramson at a WBUR event last night. I’m listening to the conversation now and posting excerpts.

On the Ebola coverage

Jill Abramson: It’s been, I think, disgraceful in many respects. I have to roll my eyes when, like today, I’m reading all these stories about “the panic.” Well, who helped cause the panic? I mean, please!

David Carr: When you say that, are you saying there is an overreaction, or there should be an overreaction?

JA: No, there is an overreaction.

DC: But people are scared.

JA: People are scared in part because of the ceaseless, ominous cable and other coverage, which stokes their fears. Two people are sick and one person has died. That’s what’s happened – in the United States. Obviously I’m not talking about coverage of the disease in West Africa. ….I’m talking about the coverage about, IT’S COMING HERE!

Our unreliable government

DC: We’ve come to believe that our government doesn’t know what it’s doing almost never, and we don’t trust them – we don’t trust them to handle it. The president has a really bold grand plan to insure everybody and the thing rolls out and … it doesn’t work./CONTINUES Read More