Oh, that explains it

* “I take it he didn’t put up a fight,” and more snark from commenters (

- h/t Luke T. Bush

Activist investor Carl Icahn is seeking two seats on Gannett’s board and wants to prevent the company – he owns about 6.6% of it – from installing defenses against potential takeover bids. Gannett CEO Gracia Martore sent this letter to employees after the news came out Thursday morning:

From: A message from Gracia Martore
Date: January 22, 2015 at 8:54:17 AM EST
To: Gannett Communications
Subject: Gannett Responds to Icahn Actions

Dear Colleagues,

Today, investor Carl Icahn, who with affiliates owns approximately 6.6% of Gannett shares, disclosed that he has nominated two candidates for election to Gannett’s Board of Directors at our 2015 Annual Shareholders’ Meeting.gan Mr. Icahn also proposed certain non-binding corporate governance provisions at both Gannett and at our Publishing company following its upcoming spin off.

While we welcome constructive input from our shareholders, our Board strongly opposes Icahn’s overreaching agenda and will not be deterred from continuing to serve the best interests of our employees, our customers, and all of our shareholders. The press release Gannett has issued in response to Icahn’s actions is attached for your reference.

While we don’t know how Mr. Icahn will conduct himself, there is likely to be press coverage of his comments about Gannett in the weeks and months ahead. I urge you not to be distracted by whatever he chooses to say about our company. Gannett is in a very strong position, and the best thing we can all do is to stay focused on our business and our day-to-day responsibilities. As always, any media inquiries should be directed to Jeremy Gaines at (703) 854-6049.

Thanks to your hard work and unflagging dedication, we have successfully reshaped and revitalized our company to better compete in today’s multi-platform media landscape. We look forward to further enhancing the competitive positioning of our Publishing company and our Broadcasting/Digital company following completion of the separation later this year.

We deeply appreciate the great work you do every day for Gannett.

Gracia Martore

* Activist investor Carl Icahn wants two seats on Gannett’s board.( | Icahn’s letter to Gannett CEO Gracia Martore (

* ESPN sues Notre Dame over police records involving athletes and campus crimes. ( irish| ( | (
* China is harassing and jailing its citizens who assist foreign news outlets. (
* A struggling newspaper in Montpelier is hoping to get money from Vermont’s capital city. (
* Bill Gates is guest-editing The Verge in February. Editor-in-chief Nilay Patel writes: “Bill is difficult to engage in small talk, but he’s eager and willing to engage in difficult issues like income inequality and regulatory challenges in developing countries.” (
* “Not every good or successful tweet requires an embedded photo,” and other things the New York Times social media desk learned in 2014. (
* Times columnist Tom Friedman says he’s “never been a fan of global conferences to solve problems.” He attends a lot of them, though. (
* Jay Rosen‘s “full stack” newsroom would be populated by anti-Halperins. (Mark Halperin’s stock-in-trade, says Rosen, “is conventional wisdom, packaged for easy consumption.” (
eat* Today’s journalists are too busy for a sit-down lunch. (Standing at a food truck does the job.) (
* “I guess tumors of the head are a thing for film critics: Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel … and me,” writes Christopher Lloyd. “Not that I would ever compare myself to those giants. Except tumor-wise.” (Captain Critic)
* The blogger who broke the news about Steve Scalise speaking at a white nationalist conference is “pretty freaked out” after discovering that his home Internet line was cut. (
* Newsman Dave McConnell started at WTOP radio 50 years ago this week; he has no retirement plans. (
* Daily Dot’s 17-year-old tech reporter “is kind of mature beyond his years.” (
* College students on what’s difficult about being a journalist on campus. (
* Larry Wilmore‘s new Comedy Central show “might get a lot more people thinking differently. But not in the way Colbert chose.” (
* A Chicagoan who shoots videos of half-naked women on El platforms compares himself to Hugh Hefner. (
* Of course, BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith wants the Dems to meet in Brooklyn. (He lives there.) (

Columbia Journalism Review in 1963:

In 2015, Vox tells readers that it’s been rerunning stuff it posted over two months ago.

* Seattle Times

* Seattle Crimes

For Martin Luther King Day, the Seattle Black Lives Matter group created a Seattle Crimes website and newspaper, and put copies of the print edition into Seattle Times boxes. (One Crimes story refers to the Times as “our sister-paper.”)

The Crimes weather blurb predicted showers and gloom, but noted that there was “a chance of change.” | Drop me a line if you know more about Seattle Crimes.

Seattle Times public affairs vice president Jill Mackie tells Romenesko readers:

The issues covered and addressed by the Black Lives Matter group are serious – both in our community and across the country. We support efforts to call attention to these issues in a manner that peacefully advances the just treatment of all people in our society.

At the same time, we certainly don’t support any group for any reason interfering with The Seattle Times relationship with customers/readers, including the use of a look-alike brand in print or digital and the manipulation of newspapers at distribution outlets.

* Seattle Crimes, a newspaper dedicated to black lives (


* Missed connection: “You’re a reporter – m4w” (@EvanMcSan)

Some Carson (CA) officials want the city to cancel its subscriptions to the Daily Breeze and encourage residents to boycott the paper. They complain that its stories “over-report the negatives and under report the positives.”
A draft resolution also states that stories about murders and other crimes have been reported as “misleadingly located ‘near Carson.'”

The councilman who proposed that the city punish the Torrance-based paper has agreed to meet with Daily Breeze executive editor Michael Anastasi before a vote is taken.

Anastasi tells city officials that “while it is unfortunate that Carson may cease being a business client of the Daily Breeze, we will not bow to financial pressure. …I also can tell you that the news is not for sale.”

He adds in a letter:

At no time have I ever received a phone call from Mayor Dear or City Manager Nelson Hernandez or any other official representing Carson expressing any concerns about our coverage. My telephone number is published daily in the Daily Breeze and on our website.

* Carson lawmakers delay vote over boycotting newspaper (

The executive editor’s letter is after the jump. Read More

Parade magazine, January 18, 2015; USA Weekend, October 26, 2014

Jim Lenahan, who edited the now defunct USA Weekend, tweets: “Hi @ParadeMagazine – thanks for the @usaweekend ‘tribute.'”

Parade editorial director Lisa Delaney writes in an email:

Fear is in the air these days, and there have been various reports and studies that could have inspired us both. And illustrating the concept with a comic treatment would be a natural way to go. These things do happen. We miss our competitor, but we’re not copycats! Consciously, anyway…

* The Parade cover | The USA Weekend cover

* Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly cooperates for a New York Times Magazine story – Roger Ailes talked, too – and it pays off for the network (see the cover below). The Times’ Jim Rutenberg notes that Kelly is “winning praise from the very elites whose disdain Fox has always welcomed.” ( | Earlier: “We have a solid relationship with the New York Times,” says Fox News PR chief. (
* Photographers protest $100 fee to shoot in Fairfax County parks. (
* Sinclair Broadcast Group gets behind Dr. Ben Carson, saying the possible presidential contender “offers a unique, fresh perspective on the issues.” (
* Readers can pay whatever they want to download the SF Bay Guardian commemorative issue. (
* Charlie Hebdo quickly sells out in New York City. (
* “Long before there was Internet snark, there was [AP reporter] Hal Boyle, circa 1967.” (
* Eric Zorn recalls being admonished by an editor for noting that his story subject is a “grandmother.” (
* A history of The Sun’s “Page 3.” (
* Three former Vox Media video producers are hired by Mic. (
* Suburban Chicago Daily Herald Blackhawks reporter Mike Spellman dies of a heart attack the day before his 51st birthday. (
rat* Ratter isn’t your typical local news site. (
* Breaking News! Rochester TV anchor uses her Twitter feed to promote retailers. (@MobiliaJennifer)
* The Durham (NC) Herald-Sun is now in a bank building. (