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Updated 5:25 p.m. ET Tuesday


Jim Romenesko's MediaNews

Posted Tuesday, December 5, 2000

  • Memo to Drudge: You have to enter the contest to win
    Shortly after the Online Journalism Awards winners were announced last Friday, awards administrator Sreenath Sreenivasan got a call from Matt Drudge, who wanted to know why he didn't win. Dakota Smith reports that Drudge threatened to post Sreenivasan's cell phone number on his site, presumably so his worshipping fans could also file their complaints. Sreenivasan explained that one had to enter the contest to win -- and Drudge never sent the paperwork.

    Media Moves: NYDN drama critic returning to the Irish Times
    Fintan O'Toole, the New York Daily News drama critic for the past three years, is returning to his post as political columnist for the Irish Times. "I've loved my time at the Daily News and, who knows, maybe I'll be back again," he says in a release. The paper hasn't named his replacement.

    New Yorker's "My Fake Job" author had a fake massage, too
    Rodney Rothman, who wrote a New Yorker piece about infiltrating a NYC dot-com firm and posing as an employee for a few weeks, failed to note that his mother worked for the company, according to an Editor's Note in this week's issue. Rothman also fabricated a desk massage scene in his story, the magazine says. (Sixth item) UPDATE: New Yorker Editor David Remnick tells AP: "The hell of it is that this could easily have been fixed in the editing and by being straight with the reader in print so that an otherwise accomplished piece of writing could also have been honest with the reader."

  • Brill's: Ruth Shalit's sources say she invented quotes

    You can't comfort afflicted when you're pandering to wealth
    The New York Times Magazine notes that Hollywood swimming pools are different from pools in the rest of America, while the Wall Street Journal profiles families that are so wealthy that mom doesn't have to work. Alex Beam wonders: "Who are these people? They're not Americans, not in any meaningful sense." But they're the kind of Americans that advertisers like. Beam writes: "So here is the new mission of the modern journalist: licking the boots of the ruling class."

    Rather likes coffee "strong enough to float horseshoes"
    While drinking his seventh cup of morning coffee, the CBS anchor tells the Philly Inquirer's Gail Shister that he doesn't have any retirement plans. "I intend to be here tomorrow and the day after that," he says. "That's about as far as anybody can see. I don't have any plans to retire as long as I feel as good as I feel now.. . . At this stage of my life, I don't feel I have a lot to prove to anybody but myself." As for his Danisms, Rather says he picked them up as a youngster. "My father used to say, 'His chances were slim to none, and slim just left town.'"

  • In Letters: It's time for Rather to retire, says Damschroder

    Disgraced ex-SacBee scribe: "Learn from what I have done"
    Former Sacramento Bee political writer Dennis Love -- fired last month for plagiarism and fabrications -- tells Orange County Register ombud Dennis Foley that he did honest work during his two years at the Register. Love said last week: "What I did was totally unique to my work at the Bee on the presidential campaign. I just deeply apologize. I understand the implications of this to the reputation and integrity of the newspapers I worked for. ...I hope that anyone who is cutting a corner will learn from what I have done and realize that we owe the people we cover and the readers every bit of our skill, honesty and integrity. I realize that what I did degrades that image."

    NBC staffer: I'm planning my wedding while in Tallahassee
    NBC audio technician Mishael Porembski, who is getting married Dec. 17 in Atlanta, was forced to buy her wedding dress while on the election beat in Tallahassee. "I left home Nov. 7 to go on a one-day shoot and it's snowballed," she tells the Tallahassee Democrat's Mary Ann Lindley. "I'll always love this dress because I just feel gorgeous in it, but also because I bought it in Tallahassee during this incredibly historic event. This dress will always have a story, one I'll be telling my grandchildren about."

  • Morgan: "CNN is complaining about the cold weather a lot"

    Seattle Times says it's cutting jobs to cope with strike
    Times President H. Mason Sizemore tells AP: "There will be downsizing to react to the damage that's already occurred. Clearly, the scope of our business has to be adjusted to reflect the new economic realities brought upon by the strike." Meanwhile, the federal mediator says it doesn't make sense to bring the two sides together now. "Neither side's indicated any willingness to modify their positions," he notes.

  • P-I publisher: No immediate plans for job cuts
  • Journo-granny: Arrogant bosses are usually behind strikes

    PLUS:

  • Utah jury awards $4 million to doc in KTVX defamation suit
  • Press-Enterprise exec editor Rodrique to run Belo's D.C. bureau
  • Salt Lake Tribune adds Singleton's firm as lawsuit defendant
  • Cotts: Webb scooped NYT with Esky racial profiling story
  • Times-Union photog Tara McParland's final chapter (1966-2000)
  • Olbermann forgets a full disclosure on a Contentville review
  • St. Petersburg Times sues to get Clearwater workers' e-mails
  • Inside Mag gives writers "another platform to strut their stuff"
  • Media bosses brace for leaner times in 2001
  • Former Wired publisher launches One, a design magazine
  • Samuel A. Desick, throwback to "Front Page" era, is dead at 86
  • Send NEWS TIPS, memos, etc. to Romenesko via this link

    Posted Monday, December 4, 2000

    "Dapper" Oreskes to head NYT's PBS news venture
    NYT Washington Bureau Chief Mike Oreskes heads to the news set, while Jill Abramson lands his old job. "The photogenic Oreskes, who's quite a dapper dresser, would definitely provide some leavening for Jim Lehrer," reports NY Mag's "Intelligencer" column.

  • Report: NYT may expand its partnership with ABC
  • Read NYT Exec Editor Lelyveld's memo on the appointments

    Here's the big Graydon Carter profile you've been waiting for!
    It was so hot that New York Magazine editor Caroline Miller had to put a bogus slug on it (second item) so staffers wouldn't slip it to Tina Brown or Kurt Andersen. NEW YORK POST's teaser on the Vanity Fair editor's profile: "Friends say Carter has created his own image." The Post's "ON THE NEWSSTAND" column gives the Carter issue two-and-a-half stars.

  • New Yorkers can't stop talking about Carter's incredible hair

    KnightRidder. com fires 68 -- 16% of workforce -- in reorganization
    President Dan Finnegan broke the restructuring news on Monday morning. A KR.com press release says "this plan will propel the company to reach its goal of run-rate profitability by year-end 2002." While the company is pink-slipping 16 percent of the current workforce, Finnegan says 34 new positions will be created and filled.

    Reader to ombud: Why write about "unsafe balcony sex"?
    Boston Globe ombudsman Jack Thomas digs through another batch of letters from mostly unhappy readers. In the mail: Why doesn't Santa get better play in the Globe?

    UPDATED: Medill questions student's stories for news service
    Editors at the Medill News Service, run out of Northwestern University, say they're unable to prove the veracity of two stories written by Eric Drudis, a 21-year-old Medill student. One suspect article was about a 9-year-old boy with more than 70 arrests, and the other described how a 15-year-old girl punched a prom date after he rebuffed her sexual advances. Drudis says he didn't make up the articles' sources. NEW: In a memo to staff and students, Medill Dean Ken Bode says: "Let us make lemonade out of this situation by redoubling our commitments to ethical, truthful and fair journalism."

  • SacBee ombud: Plagiarism firing happened during standards debate

    Ironminds hacked after posting "inside scoop" on Novix Media
    Last week, Will Leitch wrote a list of "secrets" about Novix Media -- onetime owner of Ironminds -- for guest editor Greg Lindsay. On Saturday, somebody hacked the Ironminds site and "placed a few select additions to my master list of 100 juicy tidbits," reports Leitch. "It seems editor-in-chief Andy Wang was just dumb enough to give the site password to someone at Novix months back, and even dumber not to change it."

  • Earlier: Novix Media scraps Ironminds

    Gannett's Honolulu problem: It doesn't know how to compete
    That's NewsInc. publisher David Cole's take on the nation's largest newspaper chain, which owns the Honolulu Advertiser. He says new Star-Bulletin owner David Black could be a headache for Gannett. "In essence, the problem is going to be for Gannett that Mr. Black knows how to compete and the (JOA) that's been owned and operated by Gannett for 29 years has completely lost the internal knowledge of how to compete." Baloney, says the Advertiser's publisher.

    Manchester Union Leader byline strike ends after deals struck
    After long talks, management agreed to withdraw a plan to reduce the Manchester Sunday News staff by 40 percent. Other management "hard line stances" were taken back, too, the union reports.

    WashPost scribe to ombud: "Style" should be catty
    Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler believes "Style" section fashion writer Robin Givhan unfairly slammed Katherine Harris (official photo at left) in a Nov. 18 profile. ("Her skin had been plastered and powdered to the texture of pre-war walls. ..") Getler issued his beef two weeks ago, then revisited the matter on Sunday and let "Style" staffers defend the piece. Writer Gene Weingarten tells the ombud that the section "must be able to be snide, catty, to look at newsmakers with a degree of robust cynicism that might well be inappropriate elsewhere. Readers know what to expect in this section."

    ProfNet: You should see the media requests we're getting!
    Dan Forbush, president of the Web-based service that finds sources for reporters, says Profnet has been humming since the election. Among the source requests filed with the service: Neurologists to explain how human brain function allows people recounting ballots by hand to actually see them differently, and cardiologists to speculate whether post-election stress could have triggered Dick Cheney's heart attack.

  • Tumulty: Has any ex-Supreme Court clerk not been on TV?

    Salon editor: The micropayment model is appealing, but....
    Salon Managing Editor Scott Rosenberg tells the Boston Globe he finds micropayments -- fees as little as a penny to read an online article -- "an intriguing idea," but recognizes that traffic "will go way down" if the site levies even the smallest charge. He adds: "But the idea is appealing. And things have changed: Until April of this year, everyone was focused on growing market share, building the brand. Now everyone is focused on immediate revenue. And we would be a good guinea pig for micropayments ... But to get from here to there, that will be the challenge."

  • Earlier: Micropayments are a Web inevitability, says Ebert
  • Deathwatch claim: Salon's "death date" is January 14, 2001
  • Read Salon's response to the Deathwatch prediction

    Newspaper Guild calls for boycott of Seattle Times, P-I
    The Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild is asking readers and advertisers to stop doing business with the papers until the labor dispute is settled. Times president H. Mason Sizemore calls the move "unfortunate," and tells his paper: "That's a change from the Guild's earlier announced position that they were not going to do that. That could possibly damage the viability of our business going forward, even after the strike."

  • Union Record wants to pad strike fund with ad revenue
  • Sizemore: "We continue to operate with strong union support"
  • Seattle Times editor: There are ironies everywhere in this dispute
  • Guild: 90-percent of membership has respected picket line
  • Report: P-I staffers are considering separate talks

    St. Louis P-D ombud: It's for this paper to hire an editor
    Cole Campbell left the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor's chair last spring, went to Poynter, finished his Poynter stint, and the P-D still hasn't hired his replacement -- nearly 8 months later. "At first, most readers who commented about the editorless newsroom said they saw improvements," notes ombud Carolyn Kingcade. "Now, readers are hardly commenting at all. Still, readers' concerns about the quality of the paper are directly related to the rudderless newsroom." She says the paper sorely needs a boss to say, "The buck stops here."

    James Cramer quits hedge fund to focus on media ventures
    He'll get more involved in TheStreet.com, write a book, and pursue his television career, reports Howard Kurtz. "I can't take it anymore; I want to be squeaky-clean," James Cramer says. "I have tried to lead my life with maximum disclosure and it's still not enough to satisfy everyone. I don't want to defend myself 100 times a day."

  • Cramer: Kurtz's book helped with the decision

    Salt Lake Trib editor: "This is a dark hour for the Tribune"
    AT&T's announced sale of The Salt Lake Tribune to Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group for a reported $185 million is "troubling for any Utahn who embraces independent reporting and comment," says Tribune editor James E. "Jay" Shelledy. In a letter to readers, he says be assured that Singleton's involvement "came at the encouragement of the owners and officers of the (Mormon-owned) Deseret News." Shelledy insists, though, "we will prevail."

  • Tribune managers sue AT&T to block newspaper sale
  • Singleton: Nobody has ever accused me of being a Mormon

    PLUS:

  • Ted Rall: "I have no business being in Fortune magazine"
  • Jim Baltzelle named editor of St. Augustine Record
  • Brit journos could face penalities for not disclosing interests
  • Maria Bartiromo has replaced kick-boxing with a StairMaster
  • Variety editor: Inside.com's writing "exhibits a certain flatulence"
  • Kelly: Wintour tried to get Brown to kill Talk's Bryan profile
  • Lohse: New Economy magazines shrink as dot-coms fold
  • Stalker jailed after calling Oakland TV anchor his "Druid Empress"

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    |2000 by Jim Romenesko | Send e-mail | 312/399-6285|

  •  Poynter Dailies

    New for December 5, 2000

    Online News in Permanent Flux
    Highlights from the first conference of the Online News Association.
    Below the Belt with Dr. Ink
    Unraveling the mysteries.

    Age Bias Suit Has Heart
    Doctor will use award for heart transplant.

    Links to the News
    Preparing for the Holidays.

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