“Am I reading too much into LA Times’ link text?” asks Romenesko reader Peg McNichol.

The union representing Wall Street Journal and other Dow Jones employees is asking members if they want a new contract or extend the current contract, with a small raise. The memo:

From: IAPE TNG/CWA Local 1096
To: [Union members]
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 8:13 AM
Subject: ONE QUESTION: 2015 IAPE Contract Survey

IAPE members – this morning, we’re asking you to answer one question: would you rather have the Union engage in full negotiations for a new contract with Dow Jones, or agree to an extension for one more year? Weigh in here: [Survey link]
Late last month, Dow Jones negotiators approached IAPE representatives with an offer to extend our contract for another year, just as we did in 2014. The IAPE Board of Directors has been wrestling with the choice: take the extension and a guaranteed raise for all (knowing that the Company will have the same flexibility to modify healthcare as they did in January of this year) or demand negotiations for a new contract (knowing that anything we take from Dow Jones – in cost-cutting mode – will only be achieved by membership action and visible support in every workplace)./CONTINUES Read More

A Romenesko reader writes: “This is from the door to a [hospital] construction zone in DC. It was probably intended to be on the inside of the door – not the outside. Without attribution, please, as I’m not certain I am allowed to take pictures at my workplace.” I’ve left a message for Russ Laney.

* Read the comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers

Forum Communications, parent of the Fargo (ND) Forum and other newspapers and broadcast outlets in four states, recently set up an online bulletin board for employees to post concerns.forum I’m told that Forum journalists are using it to complain about the company’s insurance not covering birth control. My tipster writes:

It’s the most common question people are asking, and the company finally admitted it won’t cover birth control because “the board feels it is a moral issue.” There is obviously a lot of frustration, and for good reason. It seems The Forum doesn’t have to cover birth control as required by the Affordable Care Act because the company’s policy was grandfathered in.

One message from the company’s employee bulletin board:


The company’s response to these messages is that the matter “will be presented to our board and discussed.” Fargo Communications CEO Bill Marcil Jr. hasn’t returned my calls for comment.

New York Times: Wall Street Journal begins another round of job cuts.

From editor Gerard Baker’s memo:

We will be closing the Bahasa Indonesia website and a number of our bureaus in Europe and Asia will be reduced in size. wsjThe bureaus in Prague and Helsinki will be closed. We will reduce significantly the amount of output we do that generates relatively little traffic or subscribers. That means a sharp reduction in the number of non-core blogs we do.

In New York, we will be eliminating the small business group and the NY-based economics team to consolidate our US economics coverage in Washington DC. We will be scaling back significantly our personal finance team, though we will continue to provide high quality reporting and commentary on topics of personal financial interest to our readers.

The full memo is after the jump. Read More


gunCharleston Courier and Post publisher P.J. Browning was in a meeting this morning when I called to ask about the ad. An advertising department manager who didn’t want to be named said, “It was just unfortunate timing. The ad had already been scheduled.” My question, which she couldn’t answer, was: Why didn’t the ad person who knew the ad was scheduled to run alert the pressroom after hearing about the shootings? (This has happened before.)

Update — Here’s the newspaper’s statement: “The front-page sticky note that was attached to some home delivery newspapers on the same day as this tragedy is a deeply regrettable coincidence. We apologize to those who were offended.”

New: Read the comments about this from my Facebook friends and subscribers

– Via Greg Oberg and @ponumurray

A Romenesko reader tells me that Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory informed his editors earlier today that “special dispensation” is needed for stories over 1,000 words. I asked McGrory about this and he said that “it’s not an outright ban [on long stories], but a very strong dose of guidance.”



Any memo to share? “No memo, just word of mouth. I did write a sternly worded memo last August that offered the same guidance, and we got lengths down for a few months, only to see them float back up again.”

Were you inspired by Digital First Media editor-in-chief Dave Butler’s memo about story lengths and rethinking old news rules, which was posted here earlier this month?

“I somehow missed the Butler memo, so no, that didn’t inspire me. What inspired me was looking at the scroll bar on the right that never seemed to move fast enough, or turning to a jump page in print and seeing a massive block of type.”

* Earlier: “Do we really think every story must be 25 inches?” (jimromenesko.com)
* A commenter says “if you can’t say it in 300 words, don’t” (facebook.com)

- Gresham Outlook

– Gresham Outlook letters page, June 16, 2015

h/t Gresham (OR) Outlook reporter Jodi Weinberger

The Romenesko reader who forwarded this memo sent to Dallas Morning News staffers writes: “An announcement that the Dallas Morning News was selling the building might not have been more shocking. The word ‘institution’ gets tossed around a lot. This guy is the real deal.”

* From 2011: Sixty years, 7,543 business columns and still running strong (dallasnews.com)

To all,

Bob Miller, a pillar of our newsroom for almost 64 years, has decided to retire after decades of saying he’d never do it.

His last column will appear July 1.
Bob [left] started working here on Sept. 24, 1951. He worked as a City Desk editor (now Metro), as an assistant managing editor and he led an early effort into electronic news delivery.

It’s safe to say his tenure will never be matched. He was here for desegregation of schools, the assassination of President Kennedy and the economic and social transformation of Dallas.
On Nov. 22, 1963, Bob and his wife, Shirley, were among invited guests for lunch at the Dallas Market Center to hear a president who never arrived.

In 1985, Bob landed in Business, where he writes his daily column on philanthropy. He wrote six columns per week until a reduction in news hole four years ago required us to cut him back to five. At age 87, he was devastated. (The philanthropy column will continue to run in Business. Details to come.)

I’ve copied a story below [after the jump] that we ran 14 years ago, on his 50th work anniversary. It tells the Bob Miller story far better than I can.

We will hold a reception in Bob’s honor soon. In the meantime, join me in wishing Bob and Shirley the best.


The 50th anniversary story is after the jump. Read More

(Credit: Bob Scott)

(Credit: Bob Scott)

Seth D. Michael tweeted after seeing this in Thursday’s New York Times Bits section: “Extremely optimistic NYT illustration has a guy in a driverless car reading a print-edition newspaper.” Was it the artist’s idea, or Times editors’? I wondered. Did he consider a drawing a tablet instead of a newspaper? Here’s what illustrator Bob Scott tells Romenesko readers:

Yes, that was my idea. I thought the concept of having this driver in the future still reading a newspaper (no doubt the NY Times) was amusing, but had no idea it would get such a big reaction. [Over 4,000 retweets for Michaels, and check out the replies!]

I never seriously considered a tablet, or any other high tech device for this and was glad that the editors went along with it. In a small way it was also an homage to printed publications- with the hope that they will still be around in the future.

* Tipping point in transit (nytimes.com)