The present cold weather, the high price of cotton used for quilts and “comforters,” and the recent increased cost of wool adapted for blankets, all suggest to us to remind the readers of the American Agriculturist that common newspapers make a very good addition to the bed covering.

Several papers can be pasted at the edges to form a large single sheet, to spread on the outside of a bed or even under the outside cover. The paper itself is a good non-conductor, and aids to retain much of the heat that would otherwise escape.

A much more effective covering is made by placing two of the large pasted sheets together, and fastening them at the edges, and at a few other points. The thin space of air between the sheets is an admirable non-conductor. A cover of this kind is quite as effective as a closely woven woolen blanket. We have heard of an over-coat lined with paper stitched to the inside. Those who have not tried it will be surprised at the effectiveness of these bed coverings, which can be prepared in a few minutes from newspapers that would otherside go to waste. (Of course no one would think of spoiling the Agriculturist by using it thus.)

– Thanks to Pete Selkowe for sending this #ThrowbackThursday item


JULY 23: Mary Junck, CEO of the Lee newspaper chain, gets rid of 192,501 LEE shares at $3.09/share for $594,828.

AUGUST 6: Junck announces fiscal 3Q earnings – revenue is down – and the stock begins falling.

AUGUST 17: LEE shares are at $2.40. (Junck’s shares, if she’d kept them, would be worth $462,002.)

* Read comments from my Facebook friends and subscribers

A Romenesko reader and Cleveland Plain Dealer staffer sends this email: “[In a memo to staff], Editor George Rodrigue summarizes the number of seconds readers spent on online posts on average, broken down by type of story. Note that Watchdog stories ranked highest — two minutes. Sports remain popular.
“The big picture here is this: when are advertisers going to start caring more about these numbers – seconds per story – rather than just clicks? As [a PD journalist] who has listened to all of management’s demands about quotas, etc. during the last two years, I would argue that they’ve dug their own grave. [Rodrigue became PD editor in January.] The editors focused on the quantity of posts with sometimes sensational headlines, but not much on substance. They’re currently pushing everyone to increase their number of posts and page views by 25% compared with last year.”

From: George Rodrigue
Sent: Monday, August 03, 2015 11:10 AM
To: pdeditorial
Subject: This week’s digital report


I did an unusual thing with last week’s Omniture report. I measured time spent reading, then sorted the list according to that. I’ve posted that list on the door to Thom’s old office. [He’s referring to former M.E. Thom Fladung.]

These measurements are not perfect. People can wander away from their computer or leave a window open, and it looks like they’re still reading. On the other hand, they’re all we have, and they might teach us a few lessons. For instance, the headline’s what gets readers to spend their first few seconds with one of our articles. The content’s what keeps them around. Time spent reading is a good index of engagement with our material, and engagement is what produces loyalty./CONTINUES Read More


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