A Romenesko reader writes: “In what has become a common occurrence for The Arizona Republic, another year has gone by and the company has shed another round of talented journalists. This time we lost them to Gannett’s early retirement buyouts. I just wanted to share this FANTASTIC letter written by an old editor of mine commemorating his 32 years in journalism.” (Martin Dolan took the buyout and cleaned out his desk on Friday.)

From: Dolan, Martin
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2015 2:40 PM
To: [Arizona Republic staff]
Subject: What’s a pica pole?

Martin Dolan

Martin Dolan

I write this fully aware that three-quarters of you have no idea who I am. Such is life, even when you’ve been around a place for nearly 32 years (trust me, that was never my goal; I just kept finding more things to keep me interested).

I started here as a copy editor — for the unaware, those are the folks who used to be a writer’s best friend, because they’re the heart and soul of a news organization — in 1984, in that low-slung slab across the street. I later was night editor (NOT coach; no whistles or polyester Sansabelt shorts were involved), assistant city editor, weekend editor, rewrite (look it up), copy editor again, “print finisher” and, finally, online producer./CONTINUES Read More


Sorry, but everything’s happening in the streets – not in the sheets.

From today’s Daily Hickory Record, Hickory, NC

New: Read comments about the hed from my Facebook friends and followers

Toledo Blade staffers received this notice on Monday:

No printed edition on most holidays
In an effort to encourage more traffic to our online products – and the eBlade – we are making an adjustment in our print-publication schedule.

There will be no printed version of The Blade on the following holidays: Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Labor Day. We will have a print edition on Thanksgiving.Newspaper If any holiday falls on a Sunday, there will be a printed newspaper. The change will begin on Dec. 25 of this year.

So what does this mean for you? The Web desk will still be staffed as usual. And the news staffs will still need to gather news and take photographs And the copy desk will still need to create a newspaper, but it will be used to create the eBlade rather than a printed newspaper. The eBlade will also be our archived material for that day’s publication. And the eBlade will have that day’s advertising. Ads will continue to appear on as they do now.

In terms of deadlines or staffing levels, we are still working on those issues, but we will communicate more when things are firmer./CONTINUES Read More


The editors at SUNY Plattsburgh’s Cardinal Points student newspaper write:

It has come to our attention that the graphic in question [published last Friday] not only has a disconnect to the article it was created to work with, but it also unintentionally features offensive and stereotypical elements that misrepresent African ­American students.

To be frank, we deeply regret the use of this graphic and any offense or harm it may have caused our friends and peers. As SUNY Plattsburgh students and editors of the newspaper, we are constantly trying to represent the campus community in the best possible way, and in this case, we did not do so.

The school’s president points out that “the student newspaper is produced independent of any editorial control by the college, [but] it still purports to represent us as it is distributed in the community and around campus. As such, we are all included in the eyes of some who will look upon us collectively in what we think and say about this.”

* A message from Cardinal Points editors (
* President Ettling Speaks Out on Cardinal Points Illustration (
* Controversial cartoon a hot topic on campus (
* Minority admission rates examined (with graphic) (Google cache)

John Hillkirk, who has been with USA Today since its 1982 launch, is leaving the paper at the end of the month. “He plans to remain in journalism and to write books, but not until an urgent investigation of Mexican beaches is completed over the holidays,” USA Today editor-in-chief David Callaway tells colleagues.

From: Callaway, David
Date: October 20, 2015 at 11:00:17 AM EDT
To: USAT ED Newsgroup


I’m sad to report that John Hillkirk will depart USA Today at the end of next month after a 37-year career at Gannett. John was one of the original founders of USA Today in 1982, starting in the Money section and rising to Money editor, Executive Editor and finally, Editor-in-Chief, before deciding to devote himself full-time to our investigative coverage about five years ago. His career is studded with journalism awards, reporting campaigns that led to change that made our country better, and the legacy of hundreds of journalists who sought his advice and counsel over the years, including me.

There will be plenty of time to fete John over coming weeks, and we can expect a cast of thousands will be involved. But this will only be another (major) step in John’s distinguished journalism career. He said he plans to remain in journalism and to write books, but not until an urgent investigation of Mexican beaches is completed over the holidays.

While John can never be replaced, we will use the opportunity to take another step toward our goal of one Gannett newsroom by placing our crack USA Today investigative and data team of Brad Heath, Alison Young, Jody Upton, and Tom Frank under John Kelly. John is a former managing editor of Florida Today, who has distinguished himself in the last few years by coordinating our network investigative coverage, working with the editors in all our markets, and his team of Steve Reilly and Nick Penzenstadler. John Kelly will continue to report to Beryl Love on the network news desk, and will be part of efforts to create an even bigger investigative strategy, company-wide, in coming weeks.

Please join me in congratulating John Hillkirk on a spectacular career at Gannett, and for helping create and make USA Today what it is, and John Kelly for all the new Gannett opportunities ahead.

Cheers. Dave

* Hillkirk to leave USA Today after 33-year tenure (


* Mari Negro hired as northern Wisconsin city’s part-time assessor (Eagle Herald)
* “Which editor saw that headline and said, ‘Yep, looks good’?” (
* How should this newspaper headline have been handled? (

John Cook, who was named Gawker Media executive editor on Tuesday, tells his staff he wants to “expand our influence; professionalize; [and] expand the spectrum of editorial offerings.” His memo:

From: John Cook
Date: Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 4:24 PM
Subject: OK So Here We Go
To: Edit

Well, yesterday’s announcement didn’t quite go as planned, owing to the leaky ship upon which we sail together. Unknown-1We’ll be having an edit all-hands on Thursday at 4 p.m. where I will talk a bit about what I have in mind going forward, and take your questions — including anonymously submitted ones.

But for now I will say this about what I want to do:

Expand our influence. What we say matters. We are already good at focusing the attention of our peers and of the world on the things we care about—witness today’s New York Times, which cites Bobby Finger’s reporting by name in an op-ed on Texas’ educational standards, and finally, at long last, and clearly against its will, weighs in on the effective end of accused child abuser Kevin Johnson’s political career at the hands of Deadspin’s Dave McKenna. We are good at this. But we can be better. I want to encourage and help launch set-piece posts—stories and arguments and jokes and images and videos that lodge in the public consciousness, and change the way people think or behave. Not just scoops. Arguments, opinions, critiques, observations, reviews—oh hell, even memes—that make a splash. Sometimes, like Scocca on smarm, they take months of labor, and sometimes, like Scocca on Cosby, they are dashed off in a huff. But they matter. I want us to matter even more./CONTINUES Read More

From longtime Michigan State University journalism professor Bonnie Bucqueroux’s obituary:

* Journalism professor Bonnie Bucqueroux dies at 71 (
* “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” (

Lee Enterprises closed its Regional Design Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, last week. I’m told by multiple sources that 36 jobs were lost. One tipster writes in an email: “Those who don’t transfer will receive severance pay. I’ve been with Lee for several years, and my golden parachute is a whopping $6,000. Others were offered far less.”

From: Doug Ranes
Sent: Wednesday, October 14, 2015 6:49 PM
To: #Newspaper Editors; #Publishers_Corporate Directors_and_CEO Team; LEE-RDC-Leadership
Subject: News Design Center consolidation

We are announcing today the realignment of Lee Design Centers as part of our continuing focus on compelling newspaper content and design.Unknown The changes in the Lee Design Centers will provide our local newsrooms with more time and resources to gather and produce meaningful and engaging local content.

Over the next several months, newspapers designed in the Lincoln design center will be reassigned to our centers in Madison and Munster. With this transition, our newspapers will become more aligned with our future design strategies, and it also creates opportunity to simplify a number of production processes and become more efficient.

Staff in Lincoln will be given an opportunity to apply for positions in Madison. Those displaced by the transition will receive severance.

If you have any questions on timing or operational issues, please call myself or Ben Cunningham.

Douglas L. Ranes
Director of Production
Lee Enterprises Inc.

In other Lee news, St. Louis Post-Dispatch carriers are accusing the newspaper chain of violating their operating agreement. The lawsuit’s claims include: Carriers aren’t being compensated properly for Sunday and weekend papers; and subscribers are being charged for papers that aren’t delivered when the subscriber is on vacation.

* St. Louis Post-Dispatch carriers sue Lee Enterprises ( | (