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The publisher of the Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News, St. Paul Pioneer Press and other newspapers says it’s hired UBS Securities to “evaluate and consider strategic alternatives,” including sellingdecide all of Digital First Media, just some of its newspapers or doing nothing.

In a statement the company said there are no assurances that the process will result in a transaction or transactions or on the timing of any decisions. The company also said that it will not disclose developments in the process until the board decides how it will proceed.

Digital First is controlled by hedge fund Alden Global Capital.

Earlier this week, the Newspaper Guild asked “local, community-minded” types to consider buying the Digital First newspaper in their area.

* Digital First Media will consider sale (siliconvalley.com)

Update: Paton’s memo to employees is after the jump. Read More

The Houston Chronicle’s Alison Cook received the Best Restaurant Criticism award at last night’s Association of Food Journalists awards dinner.ribbon The Best Newspaper Food Coverage prize for large-circulation papers went to the Tampa Bay Times. (The San Antonio Express-News and Raleigh News & Observer also won the award in their circulation categories.)

Steve Hoffman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune won for Best Food Essay. MotherJones.com’s Food for Thought was named Best Food Blog, while the Best Food Column award went to Kathleen Purvis of the Charlotte Observer.

* 2014 Association of Food Journalists contest winners (afjonline.com)

UPDATE: Digital First Media will “evaluate and consider strategic alternatives” that could lead to the sale of all or some of its newspapers.
* Denver Post, San Jose Mercury News and other Digital First Media papers officially on the block today? That’s what I’m hearing. There’s a conference call with management of local papers scheduled for late this morning. Watch for a company announcement after that. I’ve sent DFM chief exec John Paton a DM on Twitter and an email about this report, but haven’t received a response yet. | Earlier: Newspaper Guild seeks new owners for Digital First papers.
* Tribune Publishing and Warren Buffett‘s BH Media are said to be interested in Parade magazine. (thestreet.com)
coffee* Yup: Journalists drink more coffee than any other group of professionals. (theguardian.com)
* Financial Times debuts its new look on Monday. (capitalnewyork.com)
* Reddit/r/UpliftingNews bans Huffington Post stories. “Huffington Post Good News Editors have been sourcing stories from this subreddit for quite a while without any attribution to r/UpliftingNews.” (reddit.com)
* What Reddit should do with the money it made off celebrity nudes. (dailydot.com)
* Steve Capus: “I’m so sick of seeing articles written about how these [network nightly news] broadcasts are going to die off.” (mediabistro.com)
* “The perks were amazing,” a college student says of her Redbook internship. “The amount of freebies I accumulated over the summer borders on hoarding.” (theslateonline.com)
* Mic (formerly PolicyMic) co-founder: “We understand smart millennials, we can help reach them on a deeper level.” (observer.com)
* “The reality for women in [newsroom leadership] jobs is that you can’t win,” says former newsroom leader Janet Coats. (niemanreports.org)
* Will Bunch has been blogging for ten years now, and “I’m going to keep yelling.” (philly.com)lena
* Jill Abramson wore a “Pushy” necklace during her Re/code interview. The full video is now online. (recode.net)
* JOBS: The Weather Channel is looking for a business/legal affairs director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* A punk band shows its love for NY1 journalists. (animalnewyork.com)
* Facebook now wants to know why you’re hiding ads. We’ll see: “The change is likely to improve the quality of ads on Facebook.” (digiday.com)
* How New York Times Magazine turned Lena Dunham into a statue. (nytimes.com)

flesh

Fleshlight hasn’t responded to the Post-Dispatch, according to P-D online content coordinator Beth O’Malley.

* Fleshlight still hasn’t given photo credit to the Post-Dispatch (@Fleshlight)
* Here’s J.B. Forbes’ flag display photo from September 11, 2011 (stltoday.com)


Status Labs Image Management to a CNBC.com freelancer:
“…I would be asking you to include our clients in stories you’re working on (assuming there’s a natural fit) or pitch your editors on new stories that include discussion of our clients. We’re not looking for you to promote or shill for anything. Just include discussion of our clients in a natural, organic way.

“What we’re paying varies wildly depending on quality of the secured hit. We’ve paid up to a dollar per word for great placement. What payment structure would you be comfortable with?”

How about …. none?

* PR pitch: We’ll pay you to mention our clients (cnbc.com)

Earlier JimRomenesko.com posts:
* PR man proposes writing story and putting reporter’s byline on it
* Journalists don’t want PR people telling them how to write their stories

startle

Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy tweets: “@UTArlington students are still taking lots of newspapers – too many, it seems.”

Actually, this sign was put up because of outsiders, I’m told. University of Texas at Arlington Department of Communication support specialist Ashley Bustillo tells me that the warning was put up because non-students would come into the building and take coupons from the Sunday newspapers. (The “news center” is near the front door.) There are no cameras watching the newspaper box, she says; it’s faculty and staff eyes doing the “surveillance.” Bustillo says the Sunday papers are generally gone – or may not have been delivered – when she gets to Communication building on Mondays, so she doesn’t know if the warning worked.

* Earlier: Dollar Tree tells customers they can’t buy more than three Sunday Star-Telegrams (jimromenesko.com)

Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read sent this memo to his staff this morning:

Please add to the below list of banned words and phrases (which you should revisit if you’ve forgotten!!) the following:

Headlines that start with “Sorry,” “No,” “Yes,” or otherwise appear to be written as the first line of a commenter response. This is, maybe, the worst headline I’ve ever read in my life, and I want to make sure that nothing like it ever appears on Gawker.com.
GAWKER
These headlines are among the worst symptoms of a general digital-media problem: Headline writers and editors around the internet trying to write headlines that sound like what they think their Facebook or Twitter audiences will be fooled into clicking or sharing. Usually this takes the form of a terrifying social media uncanny valley: Headlines that sound like mutant, overwritten fake status updates; headlines that sound like lines of dialogue from Markov bots; headlines in conversation with invisible interlocutors; headlines that express opinions or reactions that no normal human would ever actually have. (I’m not quite ready to ban “Watch this…” or “Read the…” or “This is…” or “Here’s the…” headlines. But I’m close!)

Not only are the uncanny-valley headlines awkward and stilted and clearly ridiculous, they’re exactly what everyone else online is doing. Which is a good hint that we should go in the other direction: When you can’t tell a Gawker headline from a Slate headline from a Vox headline from a Buzzfeed headline from an Upworthy headline, there’s something wrong.

We should be always be careful that we’re not writing for social media only–even though it’s how many of us spend the majority of our time on the internet, it only represents about a third of our inbound traffic. Our shit is pretty good. We don’t need to pander to one (let’s admit it, particularly stupid) audience.

All this being said: Let’s also not revert to boring Times-y headlines. Be clear, be direct, be interesting, be loud, be funny, be smart. If you need help on headlines, don’t hesitate to come to me or another editor. If you need inspiration, Ken Layne-era Sploid had the best headlines of any site on the internet, ever.