* The tragic story of Cole Waddell: “Four days after Cole’s first magazine essay made it through the final stage of [Charlotte Magazine’s] editing process, he popped another Oreo into his mouth. … The Oreo went down the wrong pipe. Cole died the next day, on March 13, a Friday.” (charlottemagazine.com)
* Debra Tice says her journalist son, Austin, is alive in Syria. (@clarissaward)
* Florida Gov. Rick Scott tells elementary school administrators: I won’t show up if you tell the press about my talk to fourth-graders. (bradenton.com)
george* Rem Rieder: “George Stephanopoulos of all people should not be giving money to anything having to do with [the Clintons]. What was he thinking?” (usatoday.com) | The $105 Million Man. (pagesix.com) | Editorial: Stephanopoulos should no longer be the face of ABC’s news division. (northjersey.com)
* Anderson Cooper apparently isn’t very familiar with ClickHole. (salon.com)
* JOBS: Cedar Rapids Gazette is looking for a news editor. An education news website seeks a video director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Jay Rosen advises political reporters to figure out what the voters want candidates to talk about, then ask about those issues. (pressthink.org)
* NYT’s Dean Baquet tells high school students that powerful people “are not, for the most part, any more interesting than anyone else”; they’re just dressed better. (theneworleansadvocate.com)
* The current issue of New Mexico Law Review is devoted to “Breaking Bad.” (wsj.com)
* ABC’s “World News Tonight” was last week’s ratings winner, but not by much. (adweek.com)
* Ken Doctor: “There’s little way to measure newspapers’ valuable contribution to their communities and their citizens. Their financial value decline, though, is easy to mark.” (capitalnewyork.com)
stelter* Highlights from last night’s Webby Awards ceremony, including a few 5-word speeches: (webbyawards.com) | Watch Brian Stelter‘s Webby Awards tribute to David Carr. (youtube.com)
* National Society of Newspaper Columnists announces its contest finalists. (columnists.com)

Waco Tribune-Herald editor Steve Boggs is busy directing his BH Media-owned paper’s shootout coverage, so I appreciate he took time to answer a few questions:

The number of Tribune-Herald journalists who were on the story Sunday?

4 reps [reporters] (3 on day off)
2 editors
2 photo
Others called in to see if we needed anyone.
no stringers

How the shootout was reported:

Day 1 coverage had main story, and sidebar on reaction around that part of town. Main story pretty comprehensive. Would have liked to develop various aspects into sidebars, but very little information to support them was forthcoming from the police department. So we stuck with single story on day 1.

Branching out into separate stories today and moving forward.


Getting a crash course in the difference between motorcycle clubs, and outlaw biker gangs. Probably our biggest challenge is developing sources in a hurry into the biker sub-culture, and determining the identify of two of the five gangs present, and if they were outlaw or just regular mc’s.

On-site reporter, Olivia Messer, did outstanding work, as did assistant city editor Tim Woods in organizing and updating the information.

Felt good about print product. We tend to publish to web first on most stories every day. Online traffic was big, as you’d expect.

* Latest shootout coverage from wacotrib.com

Noted: New York Times had six reporters on the story, according to @CMurphyDenver


“I always appreciated the ‘watchdog’ work at the San Diego UT,” writes Romenesko reader Jonathan Volzke, “but I never noticed the phone number” until now.

I don’t recall if the St. Paul Pioneer Press, one of my former employers, had a clever watchdog-team phone number, but it did have what was sort of an investigative reporting mascot. “Rollie” (I’m pretty sure that was its name) was a life-sized rolled-up newspaper that, I guess, was supposed to swat bad guys. Is that correct, PiPress staffers and alums?

The Newspaper Guild of Philadelphia tells its members at the Inquirer and Daily News:

“In the very week that the company announced a board of directors, three years of positive cash flow and the launch of a new business section for what was described as a ‘reborn’ Inquirer,inky the Guild hoped [last Friday’s] session would carry the positive momentum forward. The company, however, only wanted to engage in more expensive time-wasting by offering not one single idea or proposal in three hours.”

A contract extension expires on Sunday, and “at this time the Guild bargaining committee has told the company we do not want another extension. We want to start bargaining.”

The union memo is after the jump: Read More

* Nikki Finke is launching Hollywood Dementia in June – a site with short stories, novellas and novel excerptscoming “written by Hollywood insiders like myself [who will] expose the hard truths and gritty reality of showbiz through creative writing.” She’s going to charge $1 per post. (nikkifinke.com)
* Why would someone buy the New York Daily News? “Maybe I want to be Walter Cronkite when I grow up,” says the one man who has expressed interest in the tabloid. (He’s 66.) (nytimes.com)
* New York Times Pulitzer-winner Gretchen Morgenson puts journalism in two categories: accountability, where journalists speak truth to power; and access, where reporters tell the story from their source. (minnpost.com)
* Atlanta Journal-Constitution podcast is inspired by NPR’s “Serial.” (apple.com)
* No selfies at crime or disaster scenes, please. (syracuse.com)
* An Orlando Sentinel column about George Zimmerman is pulled without explanation. (cadenhead.org)
* George Stephanopoulos is more like Bill O’Reilly than Brian Williams. (washingtonpost.com)
dave* Hank Stuever explains David Letterman: His show “was counterinstinctive art disguised as harmless filler.” (washingtonpost.com) | By the way, the cakes [right] were “devoured” in the WaPo newsroom. (@hankstuever)
* Seymour Hersh: “It’s not my fault I have fucking sources most reporters don’t have.” (washingtonpost.com)
* Publishers are now fine with Facebook Instant Articles? (digiday.com) | Another report: They see it as a “tricky” experiment. (washingtonpost.com)
* AOL’s Tim Armstrong is hardly Mr. Humble. (ft.com)
* Belo will never live down the CueCat. (adage.com) | Earlier: CueCat memories. (jimromenesko.com)
* “We don’t have a journalism problem,” says Dallas Morning News editor (and ex-FiveThirtyEight managing editor) Mike Wilson. “We have a business problem.” (keranews.org)
* BillyPenn.com founder Jim Brady sees curating as linking out, and “not rewriting another news org’s story and stealing a link.” (ajr.org)
* Brooke Gladstone, Jon Stewart, and 15 more people who should be considered for the New York Times media columnist job. (observer.com)
barney* A journalist’s plea to get rid of purple: (uni-watch.com)
* Today’s Wall Street Journal A1 is written by women. (@davidenrich)
* JOBS: Cedar Rapids Gazette is looking for a news editor. An education news website seeks a video director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Send anonymous news tips, link suggestions, memos, reports of comment spam, and typo alerts to jim@jimromenesko.com
* Romenesko on Facebook | Romenesko on Twitter | Romenesko on Instagram | Romenesko on Pinterest

- From Friday's USA Today

– From USA Today, May 1

The farewell toast is Periscoped

The farewell toast is Periscoped

John Waggoner, who wrote the crack above two weeks ago, is one of 50 or so USA Today employees who accepted the paper’s buyout and were toasted by colleagues yesterday. He tells readers today:

This is my last column for USA TODAY. My company has offered a generous buyout package for those of us who started writing when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, and I’ve taken it. But I haven’t retired, and will be writing elsewhere.

Where will you be writing, John? I asked.

“Right now, I’m going to be decompressing and taking lots of walks with my dog,” he writes in an email. “After that, I’m going to try my hand at freelancing and see how that works out.”

* John Waggoner writes his final USA Today investment column (usatoday.com)
* Claudia Puig writes her final USA Today film review (adweek.com)
* Earlier: Good advice from USA Today’s money guy (jimromenesko.com)

New: USA Today Money desk is hit hard by buyouts (talkingbiznews.com)

Matt Bodkin tells Romenesko readers: “I thought I was kidding when my Newsday editorial cartoon was published last week. Someone, someplace thought it was a good idea.”

Newsday, May 9

Newsday, May 14

* “Someone owes me a cut, or a few bottles of ‘ice'” (mattersnot.com)

Today’s most popular headline: “The Thrill is Gone”thrillgone

* “The Thrill is Gone” – thousands of times. (@jameskarst)
* Report: New York Times media columnist candidates include Times reporter Jonathan Mahler, NPR’s David Folkenflik, and Vanity Fair contributor Sarah Ellison. (variety.com)
* Jack Shafer and Jonathan Chait on George Stephanopoulos‘ dumb donation. | Why isn’t the New York Post interested in the story? (@gabrielsherman)
* A memo distributed on Thursday said Digital First Media has had “a strong year.” Still, the newspaper chain laid off even more journalists this week. (timesunion.com)
* James Risen on President Obama: “As I’ve said before, he is the greatest enemy of press freedom we’ve had since Richard Nixon.” (dailynorthwestern.edu)
* University of Pennsylvania administrators are unhappy with the student newspaper’s coverage of campus suicides. (billypenn.com)
* No Verizon deal celebration for AOL editorial staffers. (digiday.com)
* Gannett CEO Gracia Martore sells 123,560 shares of her company’s stock and pockets $4,312,244. (Yes, everything is awesome!) (americanbankingnews.com)
* “NPR’s podcast ad income from the first five months of this fiscal year has outstripped its take in all of fiscal year 2014.” (current.org)
* JOBS: Cedar Rapids Gazette is looking for a news editor. An education news website seeks a video director. (Romenesko Jobs)
* Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory: “I just want our journalism to be read, and I don’t care if it’s on paper or on a desktop screen or on an iPhone or Android screen.” (bizjournals.com)
* The Globe says a FactCheckArmenia.com ad meets its standards. (bostonmagazine.com)
* Three parties are bidding for the New York Daily News. (nypost.com)
* Meet the 78th class of Nieman Fellows. (harvard.edu)
* Albany Business Review sues Capital Business Review over its name. (dailygazette.com)
* Gerald Loeb Award finalists have been announced. (businesswire.com)

- via @jesselwilson

– via @jesselwilson

This Friday Florida Times-Union front page, with a gun show sticker ad, is circulating on social media this morning. I asked the newspaper about it and got this statement from vice president of audience Kurt Caywood:

All of us at The Florida Times-Union know that gun violence is one of the most emotionally charged and pressing issues facing our community. The tragedy that occurred on a Duval County school bus Thursday was as societally significant as it was frightening. As such, a team of reporters, editors and photographers approached this story with great sensitivity and professionalism, and we stand proudly by their report on page 1A of Friday’s newspaper.

The appearance of a gun-related front-page sticky note on the same day was an incredibly regrettable coincidence. It was born of the purposeful separation between our news and advertising departments, an approach we take because we value nothing more than the objectivity of our journalism. That said, this clearly was an oversight. We’re aggressively reviewing our procedures and will implement steps to prevent such a situation in the future.

Earlier: Stamford Advocate runs gun show ad next to Sandy Hook story (jimromenesko.com)

It was announced Wednesday that former New York Times executive Denise Warren (below) will lead the digital side of Tribune Publishing and oversee its six East Coast newspapers. An SEC filing discloses her Tribune compensation:

Ms. Warren will receive an annual base salary of $625,000, subject to increase as determined by the Company.warren She will also be entitled to receive an annual cash bonus with a target of 100% of base salary and her bonus for 2015 shall be no less than 75% of her target bonus prorated based on the period of employment during 2015.

Ms. Warren’s employment agreement provides that for 2015, 2016 and 2017, subject to her continued employment, she will receive annual equity grants having an aggregate fair market value of $550,000 on the grant date, of which half of the value of the award will be stock options and half restricted stock units.

* Tribune Publishing taps ex-NYT exec Denise Warren (wsj.com)
* Tribune Publishing discloses Warren’s pay in an SEC filing (sec.gov)
* October 2014: Warren leaves New York Times after 26 years (nytimes.com)

– h/t Michelle Leder