Last August, photojournalist Will Steacy raised just over $26,000 on Kickstarter for his “Deadline” project, documenting the decline of the newspaper industry. On Thursday evening he sent this email to friends:

It’s been a long journey, but I am thrilled to announce that the Deadline newspaper is finally done. The 80-page, five-section newspaper is available for purchase here.

From 2009 to 2013 I photographed with unrestricted access the newsroom and printing plant of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Last week’s newsroom census report confirmed that newspapers have lost more than 40% of their workforce in the last decade and with a double digit decline in newsroom staff from the year before this crisis appears to be far from over. Deadline provides an open door into a world rarely seen as it documents The Inquirer’s efforts to prevail despite shrinking advertising revenue, falling circulation, lay-offs, buy-outs and bankruptcy and reveals the harsh realities confronting the newspaper industry today. …./CONTINUES Read More

Kevin Dale, who has been Denver Post’s news director since 2009 and editor Greg Moore’s “trusted deputy,” is joining Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He’ll be executive editor of Cronkite News at Arizona PBS.

Moore’s memo:


I am sorry to have to announce that the inestimable Kevin Dale, our news director and my trusted deputy, is leaving The Post for a great opportunity at the Cronkite School at Arizona State University.

Kevin Dale

Kevin Dale

I don’t need to tell you how important he has been to The Post or how much he will be missed. Kevin has broad shoulders and handled every major story that came down the pike, collaborated with and mentored our department heads, was a key strategist as we navigated transformation and led our digital operation to stellar heights.

Kevin was a terrific sports editor and managed his department creatively and supremely. It was that leadership that really caught my attention. Soon he was in running the Sunday newspaper and in a stroke of genius I put him in charge of planning for the 2008 DNC. He developed and executed an excellent plan, putting together an interdepartmental team that did us proud during those five days in August./CONTINUES Read More

UPDATE: The outbreak was caused by norovirus G1. See the second memo below.

SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) San Diego reports at least 55 of the 170 people who attended last Wednesday’s annual banquet fell ill, and several had to be treated at hospitals.images “One person who got sick (and whose spouse did not) ate only salmon and caesar salad and guesses the salad may be the culprit,” says Matt Hall, the organization’s president. His memo:

From: SPJ San Diego
Date: Sun, Aug 2, 2015 at 9:37 AM
Subject: Update: Food-poisoning symptoms from SPJ banquet


Here is an update on the foodborne illness investigation at the Bali Hai.

As many of you know, there have been more than 55 reported cases of food poisoning out of 170 attendees at our annual banquet Wednesday night. The county Department of Environmental Health is investigating and interviewing those of us who fell ill as well as others who did not in an attempt to isolate the problem. It intended to inspect the Bali Hai on Friday. You’ll find the county’s two-page questionnaire attached; if you attended the banquet and haven’t filled it out or haven’t already been interviewed by the county, please consider sharing your information with them. The completed questionnaires may be returned to the attention of Azarnoush Maroufi via fax at [redacted] or e-mail. To be interviewed by phone, call her…during normal business hours next week.

Here’s what’s new this morning:

1) KGTV had a report on the Bali Hai last night toward the top of its broadcast. No one went on camera. They quoted “organizers” (me, I’m assuming) as saying more than 50 people had food poisoning symptoms at an SPJ banquet. They said the restaurant said people shouldn’t be worried about eating there. They didn’t specify a cause./CONTINUES Read More


Who gets credit for this headline in the Welland Tribune? Would the story have run had the dead deer been found in another lot? Who tipped off the paper? Reporter Allan Benner tells Romenesko readers:

I suggested “Dead deer at dead Deere plant”; the word “discovered” was added by layout to fit the space for the print version. My preference was “found” but it wasn’t long enough.

We noticed the picture posted on Facebook, and went out to investigate. The deer has been laying there rotting for at least a week. That alone would probably be enough to warrant a story if it was in a public location such as a schoolyard or park. But the deer/Deere connection certainly added to the story.

* Dead deer discovered at dead Deere plant (
* Earlier: Molson beer sales will drop now that Bill Eves is gone (

New: “Fawn-ing headline writers!” and other comments on Facebook

#Throwback Thursday: From The National Observer in 1970

- National Observer, 1970

– National Observer, 1970

Alfred M. Lewis, Inc. sued after selling frozen foods and groceries worth $61,587.43 to TeleMart on credit.

The Boston Globe and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette are offering more buyouts. “I think the following line is on the save/get key of every editor in America: This may be the last buyout we offer,” writes Globe editor Brian McGrory. “At some point, good or bad, that statement will be true.”
The upbeat part of his memo: “The company has no debt. We have no pension obligations, which were left with the New York Times. We don’t have an owner looking to ratchet up margins. We have an innovative spirit. We have a deep, deep reservoir of talent and ambition. We’re simply looking to turn a modest profit, which the ownership will then invest in the enterprise.”

The Post-Gazette union’s memo follows McGrory’s.

From: “McGrory, Brian”
Date: July 29, 2015 at 1:39:06 PM EDT
To: [Boston Globe staff]
Subject: Buyouts

Dear colleagues,

In the worst kept secrets category, the Globe is launching another buyout program next week, this one specific to the newsroom. Similar to last year’s, we’ll use it as an opportunity to direct more resources to digital, a vital undertaking. Different than last year, it will also help us cut costs as we continue our transformation into a predominantly digital, subscriber-based news operation that will thrive for many years to come. If we fail in our savings goal through buyouts, we’ll be faced with the difficult prospect of layoffs in September.

Everyone in the newsroom will receive a buyout letter as early as next week. There’ll be nothing terribly fancy about the math. It’s two weeks for every year of service – the same as severance. I think the following line is on the save/get key of every editor in America: This may be the last buyout we offer. At some point, good or bad, that statement will be true./CONTINUES Read More

Michael Kupinski, a Noble Financial Group analyst, told McClatchy executives during Friday’s earnings call:

“I wanted to check to see, to what extent has the Company used freelance writers at this point?Unknown Could there be an expanded use that could significantly reduce costs on the editorial side, or do you have some issues regarding the editorial side of the business?”

McClatchy CEO Pat Talamantes let operations vice president Mark Zieman respond. He told the analyst:

Well, we do use freelance writers now. We’re not using them as extensively as some of our peers, and we haven’t gone to use vendors, as the AP and others have, who sort of do automated writing on stories. We continue to look at all the options available to us, and our Vice President for News, Anders Gyllenhaal, has talked to several of those vendors.

So as the technology develops and the opportunities arise, we’ll continue to go down that road. But for local news coverage, which, of course, what we focus on, is make part of the business, it’s a little harder to use freelancers versus some of the uses that they are being employed for now with our peers.

McClatchy shares closed Monday at 85 cents, down 15% from Friday’s close. The newspaper chain last week reported 2Q earnings of $98,000.

* Transcript of McClatchy’s earnings call with analysts (Yahoo Finance)

New: Read comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers

- Ezra Klein on the NYT Now app

– Ezra Klein on the NYT Now app

* @CraigMod: Best NYT Now summary ever | NYT’s @jswatz reacts
* Ezra Klein: Is the media becoming a wire service? (

Letter to Romenesko
From DENNIS WILEN: In April 2011, I was the editor of AOL’s Brentwood Patch in Los Angeles. (That May I was fired for alleged racism; you covered it.)

In April 2011, Donald Trump was making “birther” noises and I remembered that he had been in my class at the University of Pennsylvania. I looked for him in our college yearbook, but he wasn’t there.

Trump (but not his Penn yearbook photo)

Donald Trump (but not his Penn yearbook photo)

Although the story was popular, it never got as big as I had hoped. And I got fired a few weeks later.

Flash forward.

Earlier this week, Trump was bragging about his success at Penn’s Wharton School, contrasting it with Senator John McCain’s Annapolis performance.

Nancy Dillon, LA Bureau Chief for the NY Daily News, found my old story and called for comments:

TUESDAY: New York Daily News

Talk show hosts Roe Conn and Anna Davlantes of WGN in Chicago were next:

WEDNESDAY: “Donald Trump was my college classmate”

And last night I was on “Access Hollywood,” thumbing through the Penn yearbook looking for Donald:

THURSDAY: “Access Hollywood” (I start @ 1:55)

What have I learned?

* It’s possible to be briefly famous in 2015 for NOT KNOWING SOMEONE in 1967-68
* I was right about that story. And it outlasted Brentwood Patch. ;-)