- Don't miss Seth Borenstein's comment on the right

– Don’t miss Seth Borenstein’s comment to the right of the hed

* “Tom Cruise: The new breadbox,” and other comments from my Facebook wall

– h/t Kevin Hoffman

Tim Ryan, who was named publisher of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune on Tuesday, will receive an annual base salary of $625,000, according to Tribune Publishing’s 8-K SEC filing. It adds:

He will also be entitled to receive an annual cash bonus with a target of 100% of base salary. The Company will pay Mr. Ryan $75,000 for relocation expenses, all or half of which will be subject to repayment if Mr. Ryan’s employment is terminated for cause or he resigns without good reason prior to the one- or two-year anniversary of the employment agreement, respectively.

Tim Ryan

Tim Ryan

Mr. Ryan will receive a housing allowance of $175,000 by September 30, 2015, and $87,000 on September 30, 2016. In addition, the Company will provide Mr. Ryan with temporary housing and a rental car for up to four months.

Mr. Ryan’s employment agreement also provides that for 2016, 2017 and 2018, subject to his continued employment, he 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.

Footnoted‘s Michelle Leder, who tipped me off to the 8-K filing, tells Romenesko readers that Ryan’s base salary is $50,000 lower than former Times publisher Austin Beutner’s – he was fired on Tuesday – but the $337,000 in housing/moving perks for Ryan “seem a bit generous for a company that’s supposedly concerned about expenses.”

Ryan joins the Los Angeles Times from Tribune’s Baltimore Sun, where he’s been publisher since 2007.

Update – An emailer writes: “Did you notice that Tim Ryan gets an unusual two years of severance if the LA Times changes hands and he gets fired?”

* Tribune Publishing Company Form 8-K (sec.gov)
* Beutner abruptly fired as LAT publisher, Ryan steps in (latimes.com)
* Los Angeles civic leaders protest Beutner’s dismissal (laobserved.com)

Earlier on JimRomenesko.com:
* Tribune discloses $625,000 base salary for digital chief Denise Warren

Letter to Romenesko
From JAY JOCHNOWITZ, editorial page editor, Albany Times Union: I never encountered this in the seven years I’ve been on the opinion side: being offered money to place a commentary.images I’m told this may not be so uncommon in certain countries, but I can’t imagine a respectable publication here doing it. Maybe this is more common in the blogosphere that I might have thought.

In any case, here’s the pitch that came to me the other day:

From: Jessica Robertson (jessica.robertson@letsgetwise.co.uk)
Date: Wednesday, September 2, 2015 at 12:58 PM
To: Jay Jochnowitz
Subject: Editorial

Hi Jay,

We would be interested in contributing a relevant and original article to your site, blog.timesunion.com.

The piece will include a few contextual references to our client. We’ll also pay $100 per article for your time and effort.

Please email me back if this is something that you might consider, Jay. We’ll then start working on the draft and send it over for your final review and approval.

Thanks and here’s hoping I hear back from you soon!

Jessica Robertson

I was curious she worked for and who the client was; she responded:

Hi Jay,

Thanks for your email and I’m glad that you are interested in our proposal. The article we aim to contribute is written according to the topics on your website, with a few references to our client, a leading oil and gas company. [My boldface] The article is not promotional in nature and will be subject to your review. You will have no obligation to publish it if you think it does not meet your requirements.

Please let me know if you wish to see the draft and I’ll send it through. You may also let me know if you have specific topics that you wish for us to to write about or topics that we should avoid. Our aim is to contribute an article that is both entertaining and something that your readers may find useful.

You may also find more information about us here.


Earlier on JimRomenesko.com:
* PR man: I’ll write the stories; you put your byline on them
* Press release advises reporters “how to tell this story”

- From Hulu's "Difficult People," Season 1, Episode 6

– From Hulu’s “Difficult People,” Season 1, Episode 6

On this week’s episode of Hulu’s “Difficult People,” Billy Epstein and Julie Kessler (played by Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner) stop by a drug store and end up at the magazine rack. Billy makes a shocking discovery:

BILLY: Oh my God! The Huffington Post print edition? Are you kidding me? This is a joke? No! This is real! Everything you liked about The Huffington Post without any of the convenience!

JULIE: And who says print is dead?

BILLY: Somebody at a party I would never want to talk to. Look at this – how do they afford all of this ink? Every known person in the universe is a columnist here. …I must buy this!

* “Difficult People” (Hulu/subscription required)

Robyn Tomlin, Pew Research Center vice president/digital and communications, is joining the Dallas Morning News as managing editor. The editor’s memo:

From: Wilson, Mike
Date: Thu, Sep 3, 2015 at 3:00 PM
Subject: Robyn Tomlin named managing editor of TDMN
To: TDMN-Newsroom


I’m delighted to announce that Robyn Tomlin will become managing editor of the Dallas Morning News on Sept. 21.

Robyn Tomlin

Robyn Tomlin

Robyn’s experience, skills and sensibility are a great fit for our newsroom and our community. She has a strong record of covering local news, as evidenced by the watchdog work she did as editor in chief of New York Times papers in Alabama, Florida and North Carolina. She describes herself as a community journalist, passionate about holding the powerful to account and enriching the lives of readers.

She also has a national reputation for leadership as a digital journalist. Robyn honed her digital skills at senior positions in the New York Times Regional Media Group, then served as founding editor of Digital First Media’s Project Thunderdome, a national digital news hub. Based in New York, Thunderdome provided innovative content to more than 75 daily news organizations./CONTINUES Read More

Monterey County Weekly editor Mary Duan sent me an email Wednesday about Gannett’s Salinas Californian going to a thrice-weekly print schedule and announcing that “we’re going all in on digital.”

Mary Duan

Mary Duan

In our message exchange, Duan mentioned that “my husband won $2.7m in the California lottery in May.”

Whoa! Why are you still working? Have you written about this? I asked. She responded:

“Here’s a piece my managing editor did while I was on vacay, absorbing the news. Here’s the piece I did when I came back.” Duan wrote:

I told [publisher Erik] Cushman about the win and maybe not-so-gently suggested he start shopping for my replacement while I was on vacation.

To keep a long story short, they [the publisher and the CEO] talked me out of it. I’m still here. And I think some new and exciting things are going to be happening.

What Duan and husband Chuck Messenger, both 47, are going to do with money:

Pay for our kids’ college. [They have two sons, 17 and 21.] Finish the flooring and put baseboards in the big stupid Victorian we’ve been working on for the past five years. Replace that damn piece of tile in the kitchen that’s been broken for about six months.

Give to a few local charities we like, ones that focus on feeding the poor and giving shelter to the homeless. Give to our old church in Berkeley, which provides sanctuary to political refugees from Central America … But we’re going to bank most of it, because it means we can both retire someday.

Duan tells Romenesko readers that “most everyone’s been really cool about it. When they say ‘It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy,’ in reference to my husband, it’s true. He’s the most fundamentally decent person most of us know. Me? I’m kind of an asshole.”

* Duan: Thoughts about winning the lottery (montereycountyweekly.com)
* Salinas man wins $27M in lottery before Las Vegas trip (montereyherald.com)

New: Is $2.7M quit-work money or retirement nest-egg money? (facebook.com)


Fargo (ND) Forum reporter Adrian Glass-Moore wrote to Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders co-coach and appearance coordinator Theresa Baugus and requested an interview with a rookie cheerleader from North Dakota who is making an appearance in Fargo.

“Pretty simple story,” Glass-Moore tells Romenesko readers. “Then the coach gave me some absurd ‘stipulations’ and that was the end of that story.”

From: Baugus, Theresa
Date: Fri, Aug 28, 2015 at 9:47 PM
Subject: RE: Interview request from Fargo Forum
To: Adrian Glass-Moore

Hi Adrian-

Thank you for contacting me in regards to interviewing Jordan.

Yes, we would love for you to write an article about her in the Fargo Forum. We just have a few stipulations, however. If you agree to the following, then we are good to go!

-Article will be positive promotion of Jordan, the MVC and the Vikings organization
-No use of last name
-a copy of the article or link so we can promote on facebook

Please let me know and I can let her know to expect you at her appearance.

Thank you!

Theresa Baugus
Co-Coach and Appearance Coordinator – Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders
Minnesota Vikings Football, LLC
9520 Viking Drive | Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344

* Read the comments about Baugus’s email on my Facebook page


Norman W. Larson, a retired University of St. Thomas professor and former staffer at the Minneapolis Tribune (it merged with the Star in 1982), posts on Facebook (friends-only setting):

My son sent me this photo along with a message that this is his “neighbor’s attemptdeliverhere to get his newspaper delivery contract fulfilled according to its original terms.” We get both the Minneapolis and St. Paul papers, and delivery significantly deteriorated when “service” was consolidated into one carrier about a month ago. The carrier also delivers the Wall Street Journal since we received that one morning. I think the carrier also delivers other papers, such as the New York Times and USA Today.

Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Kevin Duchschere writes in Larson’s comments section: “Service has been so bad that it’s not unheard of for Star Tribune reporters to drop their subscriptions for a while — including me. It’s maddening since we’re working so hard to bring more people to the print edition, not drive them away.”

* June 2015: Strib, PiPress get cozier with combined home delivery (mprnews.org)

UPDATE — Star Tribune chief marketing officer Steve Yaeger writes in an email:

“It’s true we’re experiencing some bumpy delivery in a few areas as we’re dealing with a shortage of carriers./CONTINUES Read More

Gannett CEO Bob Dickey sent this letter to employees Thursday morning:

Good Morning,

I wanted to let you know that today we are offering eligible, long-term Gannett employees within certain business segments and departments of our company the opportunity to take advantage of an early retirement program.

The employees who are receiving the offer all satisfy the criteria of being 55 years of age or older with at least 15 years of service as of October 12, 2015.Unknown This program provides an incentive for employees who voluntarily want to take advantage of retiring at this point in their career. This offer is completely voluntary and it is solely up to those eligible employees as to whether they wish to accept it. As with any retirement decision, we are encouraging eligible employees to speak with family and trusted advisers before accepting to assess their financial and lifestyle needs. We will finalize acceptances after the 45-day consideration period has closed, which ends Oct. 12, 2015./CONTINUES Read More

David Sze, who works for Arianna Huffington, sent this note to veteran journalist Lauren Lipton last week:

Subject: Inquiry from Arianna Huffington’s office:

Hi Lauren,
I’m David, a Research Editor from Arianna Huffington’s office. Arianna is currently working on a book about the importance of sleep in our lives. In our research, we came across your piece on hotel beds.arianna In that article, you mentioned that: “According to a 2014 Gallup survey, more than half of guests who stay in the highest-priced properties said they would pay more for an improved bed. Among all respondents, a comfortable bed was most often named as the most important feature of a hotel room”.

We were wondering if you have access to the Gallup research you mentioned in the article? We would like to cite it in Arianna’s book.

Thank you!


Lipton’s response:

Hi, David:

I know you’re just doing your job. So what I am about to say has nothing at all to do with you. It is solely for your boss, and I do hope you pass it along to her.
I have worked my entire career as a professional journalist. I have a masters degree in journalism from the USC Annenberg School and developed my skills as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal and other A-list newspapers and magazines. These days you can find my byline in the New York Times, the WSJ, Allure and Town & Country, as well as numerous additional print and online publications.

I am very, very good at what I do.

Unfortunately, your boss’s predatory business practices have deeply undercut the ability of all reporters, writers and editors to make any kind of living wage. The rapacious Ms. Huffington seems to believe that journalism skills are worth nothing, and that my beleaguered colleagues and I should be thrilled to help her make hundreds of millions of dollars in return for “exposure.”

If Ms. Huffington would like to know how I uncovered that particular statistic, she is free to hire me and pay me for my time and expertise.

If she doesn’t wish to do so, she is welcome to track it down herself.


Earlier on JimRomenesko.com:
* National Writers Union blasts Huffington for not paying masseuses
* Huffington received $21 million when her website was sold to AOL