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INDUSTRY NEWS • Dec. 7, 2016
Officials: Potential for violence from fake news troubling
The bizarre rumors began with a leaked email referencing Hillary Clinton and sinister interpretations of references to pizza parties. It morphed into fake online news stories about a child sex trafficking ring run by prominent Democrats operating out of a Washington, D.C., pizza joint. On Sunday, Dec. 4, it culminated in violence when police say a North Carolina man fired an assault rifle inside the Comet Ping Pong restaurant as he attempted to "self-investigate" the conspiracy theory known in the Twitterverse as "Pizzagate." No one was hurt and the man was arrested. But the shooting alarmed those from neighboring businesses all the way to the White House about the real life dangers of fake news on the internet. One of those people posting on the conspiracy theory is the son of President-elect Donald Trump's proposed national security adviser.
Tech companies move to target terrorist propaganda online
Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube are joining forces to more quickly identify the worst terrorist propaganda and prevent it from spreading online. The new program announced Monday would create a database of unique digital "fingerprints" to help automatically identify videos or images the companies could remove. The move by the technology companies, which is expected to begin in early 2017, aims to assuage government concerns — and derail proposed new federal legislation — over social media content that is seen as increasingly driving terrorist recruitment and radicalization, while also balancing free-speech issues. Technical details were being worked out, but Microsoft pioneered similar technology to detect, report and remove child pornography through such a database in 2009.
Emory library acquires papers of civil rights journalist
A library at Emory University in Atlanta has acquired the papers of a civil rights journalist. The Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is now home to the papers of Pulitzer Prize winner Eugene Patterson. The school says Patterson who was an editor for The Atlanta Constitution and The Washington Post and "a significant voice for civil rights in the 1960s." Emory says the papers include correspondence, photographs, subject files and six scrapbooks of Patterson's daily columns. Patterson's column "A Flower for the Graves" about the bombing of a Birmingham, Alabama, church that killed four young girls in September 1963 got national attention. Patterson was invited to read it aloud on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. Patterson died in 2013 at age 89.
Imprisoned former CIA officer fights conviction over leak
Once an employee of the powerful CIA, Jeffrey Sterling now sits behind bars at a federal prison in Colorado. He bides his time by reading and writing and working at the facility's recreational center. Nearly two years after Sterling was found guilty of leaking government secrets to a reporter, the 49-year-old maintains that he is innocent. Sterling is now pinning his hopes for an early release on a federal appeals court, which will soon consider whether to reverse his convictions. Sterling is serving a 3 1/2-year prison sentence at an all-male prison that also houses former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and ex-Subway spokesman Jared Fogle. A jury convicted Sterling on all counts last year after he was charged under the Espionage Act for leaking details of a CIA mission to New York Times journalist James Risen. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in Sterling's case on Tuesday.
Police use 'fake news' in sting aimed at California gang
Police investigating a notorious gang in a city on California's central coast issued a fake press release that the chief credited with saving two men by deceiving gang members who wanted to kill them, but the ruse was criticized by news organizations who reported it as fact. Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin defended the rare tactic last week when it came to light, saying he had never done such a thing in his 43-year career, but he wouldn't rule out doing it again. "It was a moral and ethical decision, and I stand by it," Martin said Friday. "I am keenly aware and sensitive to the community and the media. I also had 21 bodies lying in the city in the last 15 months." The phony announcement issued in February was discovered in court documents and only reported this week by the Santa Maria Sun, a weekly newspaper in the city 140 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Judge expects to rule soon in case pitting UK, newspaper
A judge says he expects to rule this month in the University of Kentucky's open records lawsuit against the student newspaper on campus. The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2gzTC2j ) reports lawyers for UK and the Kentucky Kernel argued in court Friday, Dec. 2, about whether university investigations of alleged sexual harassment and assault of students should be considered public records.
Fayette Circuit Judge Thomas Clark says he'll rule by the end of the month, if not sooner. The university is suing the Kernel, which sought documents relating to a sexual assault investigation involving a former professor. UK refused to release the documents, and when the Kentucky Attorney General's Office ruled in favor of the Kernel, the university sued the independent student newspaper in an attempt to overturn the attorney general's decision.
Media outlets release tax arrangements made by top players
Lewis appointed publisher of Register-News, Times-Leader in Illinois
Darrell K. Lewis, a veteran Illinois newspaper executive, has been appointed publisher of the Mt. Vernon Register-News and the McLeansboro Times-Leader, the newspapers announced Dec. 2. Lewis currently serves as publisher of the Effingham Daily News and the Shelbyville Daily Union in Southern Illinois. He will continue in that role under his expanded regional responsibilities at the Register-News and Times-Leader. Robyn McCloskey, senior vice president of operations for Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc., parent company of the newspapers, said Lewis has the experience and the knowledge to move the Register-News and Times-Leader and their websites forward in the digital era. Lewis’ newspaper career includes several years with the Gannett Company as a marketing executive in Springfield, Mo.; Greenville, S.C., and Ashville, N.C., before joining CNHI in Effingham in May. He’s also been a senior marketing director for the Kroger Company and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Northern Kentucky University.
Breitbart urges Kellogg's boycott over pulled ads
Breitbart is encouraging a boycott of Kellogg's products after the cereal maker said it would no longer advertise on the news and opinion website, formerly run by President-elect Donald Trump aide Steve Bannon. The Kellogg Company cited company "values" in explaining its decision; a spokeswoman said Thursday, Dec.1, it has "nothing to do with politics." Breitbart has been condemned for featuring racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content. Breitbart said Kellogg's decision amounted to "economic censorship of mainstream conservative political discourse" and "as un-American as it gets." It launched a #DumpKelloggs petition Wednesday calling for a boycott of Kellogg's. Breitbart said Kellogg's decision represents "an escalation in the war by leftist companies like Target and Allstate against conservative customers" and their values. Target and Allstate also have reportedly pulled ads from the site. Traditionally, news organizations maintain a separation between their editorial and advertising operations in order to avoid potential conflicts.
Retired Dallas Police Chief hired as contributor by ABC News
Retired Dallas Police Chief David Brown, who stepped into the national spotlight after a sniper killed five law enforcement officers at a July protest, will step back into the spotlight as a contributor for ABC News. A news release posted on ABC News' website Wednesday, Nov. 30, quotes a note to staff sent by company President James Goldston announcing Brown's hiring. The note says Brown will start Jan. 1 as a contributor on topics such as economic inequality, gun violence, race relations, policing and social justice. A network spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for more information. Brown announced his retirement after 33 years on the force about two months after the attack. He officially retired on Oct. 4.
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ends 24-year print edition run
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper printed its last edition and has laid off 106 workers as it transitions into an online-only publication. The Wednesday, Nov. 30, edition ends a 24-year run that began when the late billionaire publisher Richard Mellon Scaife established the paper to compete with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which remains the only printed daily newspaper in the city. Trib Total Media will continue publishing two daily print editions for the suburbs, the Greensburg-based Westmoreland edition of the Tribune-Review and the Tarentum-based Valley News Dispatch edition, as well as 11 of the other 14 weeklies owned by Trib Total Media. The company announced in September that it was discontinuing the Pittsburgh daily, which had a daily circulation of just under 33,500 and 40,000 on Sundays.
Reporter becomes Canada's first hijab-clad news anchor
BBC, Voice of America reporters detained in southeast Turkey
Turkish authorities detained two reporters working for foreign news organizations in southeast Turkey, the latest journalists taken into custody as part of the government's sweeping crackdown following a failed coup in July. BBC Turkish correspondent Hatice Kamer was detained Saturday, Nov. 26, in the town of Sirvan while covering a recent copper mine collapse that killed at least 11 workers, the broadcaster said. Voice of America said its freelance reporter, Khajijan Farqin, was detained the same day in Diyarbakir. Kamer was released on Sunday, BBC Turkish said. She told German broadcaster WDR by phone after being freed that she was told she would face charges of having supported the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, through her reporting. Kamer said there was no evidence for that. Turkish authorities have not commented on the detentions. Dozens of Turkish journalists have been detained and hundreds of media outlets shut down in Turkey as part of the government's post-coup clampdown on suspected dissidents.
Times reporters tweet news of Trump meeting as it happens
UK school cancels talk by Breitbart editor Yiannopoulos
A British school has canceled a talk by an editor of the U.S. right-wing website Breitbart News, citing safety concerns and the threat of demonstrations at the school. Milo Yiannopoulos was due to address students at his former school, Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in southern England, on Tuesday, Nov. 22. The school said it pulled the talk after it was contacted by the Department of Education's counter-terrorism officials. Yiannopoulos was banned by Twitter in July for abusive comments. He is a senior editor of Breitbart, an "alt-right" website backing Donald Trump. The alt-right is a loose group espousing a provocative and reactionary strain of conservatism. The school said many of its students and parents supported its attempt to bring in controversial speakers, and that it remained committed to free speech.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 16, 2016
Editor: Breitbart plans to be 'best place for news on Trump'
Google also gets fooled by fake election news
Trump on Twitter: Restrained or an unvarnished White House?
GateHouse to acquire Harris newspapers
A division of newspaper company GateHouse Media will acquire the newspapers and most other assets of Kansas-based Harris Enterprises Inc. The Salina Journal (http://bit.ly/2eTsrej ) reports that the two companies made the announcement Monday. The new owner takes over Dec. 1. In Kansas, Harris owns the Salina paper as well as The Hutchinson News, The Garden City Telegram, The Hays Daily News and The Ottawa Herald. Harris also owns The Burlington Hawk Eye in Iowa. GateHouse owns newspapers in 36 states. In Kansas, they're in cities that include Newton and Pittsburg. In Iowa, GateHouse has papers in Ames and other cities. Harris president Bruce Buchanan says GateHouse has a "broad footprint and can compete on a national level." No layoffs are planned, although Buchanan and Harris' chief financial officer won't stay.
Widow sues to prevent release of husband's jail death video
The wife of an inmate who died in custody at the Greenwood County jail in South Carolina has sued the local newspaper, sheriff and coroner to prevent officials from releasing video footage of the last hour of his life. Demetric Cowan died in custody on March 13, about six hours after he was arrested and charged with drug possession and resisting arrest. Cowan died from a drug overdose, and officers at the jail were not charged, according to a report from the State Law Enforcement Division, obtained by The Index-Journal of Greenwood (http://bit.ly/2fwhHUG ). The newspaper requested jail surveillance video under the Freedom of Information Act shortly after Cowan died. They were given video, but not footage that covered most of the final hour of Cowan's life.
Megyn Kelly: Trump tried to influence coverage with gifts
Newspaper columnist reports fighting off thief in hotel room
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof fought with and restrained a burglary suspect he found in his Philadelphia hotel room who tried to steal his wife's purse.
Kristof said on Twitter there had been "big excitement" when he "interrupted an intruder" in his room Saturday morning at the Franklin Hotel near Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. The suspect was restrained after a chase and a fight. A police spokesman said the 58-year-old suspect threatened to stab Kristof but the columnist chased him to the lobby level and he and a witness were able to detain him until officers arrived. Kristof said in another message that he had a wrenched thumb from the fight but was "otherwise OK." He said "fortunately, he was a wimpish thief."
NC legislator's email: 'Trump forces black family from home'
Some North Carolina Republicans are criticizing a legislative colleague who emailed them fake newspaper headline that said "Trump forces black family from home" and showed a picture of the White House. The News & Observer of Raleigh obtained the emails, which it reported (http://bit.ly/2fHl7EM) were sent to House Republican caucus members by Rep. George Cleveland of Onslow County. Two legislators rebuked Cleveland. House Rules Chairman David Lewis of Harnett County wrote in response that legislators "must be smart enough to know our words and actions matter." Rep. Bob Steinburg of Chowan County responded that it was a poor and tasteless attempt at humor. Cleveland defended the mail Friday, saying it "was a bit of humor that I thought was a good jab at the media."
Lego won't advertise in Britain's Daily Mail anymore
Zuckerberg: 'Crazy' to say Facebook influenced election
Trump bucks protocol on press access
Lawyers for teen charged in shooting push to close hearings
Lawyers for a 14-year-old Utah boy accused of shooting another teen twice in the head want to close the court hearings from the public, but a coalition of media outlets opposed the request Thursday, Nov. 10. Defense attorney Sophia Moore asked a judge to close to the public all court hearings in the case. The teen is facing attempted murder and weapons charges and prosecutors want to move the case to adult court. The Associated Press is not naming the boy because it does not normally name juvenile defendants. Juvenile Judge Tupakk Renteria will hear arguments Nov. 17 on whether to close the boy's first court appearance, the Deseret News reported (http://bit.ly/2fhDXnY). In Utah, many juvenile court hearings are open to the public, but some court hearings and documents in cases against underage defendants are not publicly available.
Trump blocks journalists from traveling with him
President-elect Donald Trump refused to let journalists travel with him to cover his first meeting with President Barack Obama. The move broke from protocol intended to ensure that the public has a watchful eye on the nation's leader. Trump flew from New York to Washington on his private jet without the so-called "pool" of reporters, photographers and television cameras that travel with presidents and presidents-elect. Trump's meeting with Obama on Thursday, Nov. 10, was due to be reported by the pool of White House journalists who cover the president. News organizations had tried for weeks to coordinate a pool of journalists who could travel with Trump immediately after Election Day if he won the election. But his campaign did not cooperate and his senior advisers refused Wednesday to discuss any such arrangements.
NY college paper headline: 'MAKING AMERIKKA GREAT AGAIN'
The post-Election Day headline in a New York state college's student newspaper is making headlines for linking president-elect Donald Trump with a white supremacist group. The Wednesday, Nov. 9, edition of Buffalo State College's The Record featured the headline "MAKING AMERIKKKA GREAT AGAIN" over a page-one, above-the-fold story on Republican Trump's victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's election. The C in "America" was replaced with three K's, a reference to the Ku Klux Klan, which supported Trump's candidacy. Buffalo State President Katherine Conway Turner said in a statement that school officials "recognize that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affords all citizens the right to free speech and protects the freedom of the press." Turner said those rights extend to the content and opinions published by the college's student newspapers.
Election night narrowly misses a TV ratings record
The Trump victory proved a surprise to both viewers and the networks themselves, which clearly anticipated a victory by Democrat Hillary Clinton based upon her consistent lead in pre-election polls. The aftermath is sure to lead to a serious look at the quality of opinion polls and whether journalists relied on them too much for their coverage.
Election coverage an unexpected thrill ride on TV
Syrian media activist wins Reporters Without Borders award
Syrian media activist Hadi Abdallah has won a prestigious international reporting award for covering his country's war from its shattered, opposition-held areas. Chinese news website 64Tianwang and citizen journalists Lu Yuyhu and Li Tingyu are also being honored by the international advocacy group Reporters Without Borders, the organization said Sunday, Nov. 6. Abdallah, who publishes on social media networks such as Facebook and Telegram, is known for his harrowing, on-the-spot reporting about government airstrikes and artillery attacks. He is often at the scene before the dust settles, despite the threat of so-called "double tap" attacks — follow-up strikes that target the rescuers responding to the initial attacks. Dozens of media activists have died covering Syria's war.
INDUSTRY NEWS • Nov. 8, 2016
Mark Cuban: Dispute with ESPN rooted in automated content
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban says his decision to revoke the credentials of two ESPN writers who cover his team was driven partly by concern that automated game reports could eventually replace human-generated content. Cuban said Monday Nov. 8, that he banned Marc Stein and Tim MacMahon from Mavericks home games to bring attention to the issue of companies using automation in sports coverage. The Associated Press, in a partnership with Automated Insights, produces automated stories on minor league baseball but does not use the technology for most of its sports coverage. The AP has at least one reporter at all games in the four major professional sports and most major college football and basketball games.
Newby named new publisher of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, Daily Press
John Newby, publisher of the Muskogee (Oklahoma) Phoenix, has also been appointed the publisher of The Tahlequah (Oklahoma) Daily Press. Both newspapers are owned by Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. Newby is a veteran newspaper executive. He began his career as a circulation district manager at the Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska, and moved up the management ladder at newspapers in Iowa, Utah and Illinois before becoming publisher of the Muskogee Phoenix in January. Newby and his wife, Kathy, have 9 grown children and 22 grandchildren. He is a former U.S. Air Force certified weather forecaster and coached youth sports for many years.
WikiLeaks show CNN reaching out to Dems for Trump questions
News Corp. reports 1Q loss
News Corp. (NWSA) reported Monday, Nov. 7, a fiscal first-quarter loss of $15 million, after reporting a profit in the same period a year earlier. The New York-based company said it had a loss of 3 cents per share. Losses, adjusted for non-recurring costs, were 1 cent per share. The results met Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was also for a loss of 1 cent per share. The publishing company whose flagship is The Wall Street Journal posted revenue of $1.97 billion in the period, falling short of Street forecasts. Three analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $1.98 billion. News Corp. shares have decreased 8.5 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has increased slightly more than 4 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Monday, shares hit $12.22, a decline of 20 percent in the last 12 months.
ABC rally makes evening news race competitive
Anchors David Muir and Lester Holt are in the midst of a spirited competition for first place in television's evening news ratings. After several years in second, ABC's "World News Tonight" with Muir has lately pulled even with NBC's "Nightly News" and some weeks a relative handful of viewers separate the shows. Morning may be where the money is for broadcast news divisions, but the evening newscasts have long been an important measure of strength. Even while some regard them as relics of a different media age, the ABC, NBC and CBS evening newscasts are durable institutions that collectively reach around 24 million viewers each weeknight.
Since the season began in late September, the ABC telecast has averaged 8.25 million viewers a night to NBC's 8.12 million, the Nielsen company said.
Print newspapers are dead? Not after historic elections
Harvard men's soccer team apologizes for sexual comments
The Harvard men's soccer team has apologized for sexual comments made about members of the women's soccer team that led the Ivy League school to suspend the men's team for the rest of the season. The apology was posted Friday, Nov. 4, on the website of The Harvard Crimson student newspaper. Team members said their behavior was inexcusable and no woman deserves to be treated in that manner.
The newspaper last month uncovered a 2012 document that rated the attractiveness of women's team recruits and included lewd comments about them. The men's team called the document its "scouting report" and circulated it online.
Jury: Rolling Stone's rape story defamed university official
Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher and a reporter defamed a University of Virginia administrator who sued them for $7.5 million over a discredited story about a gang rape at a fraternity house, a federal jury said Friday, Nov. 4. The 10-member jury in Charlottesville sided with administrator Nicole Eramo, who claimed the article portrayed her as a villain. Jurors found that journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely was responsible for libel, with actual malice, and that Rolling Stone and its publisher were also responsible for defaming Eramo. Eramo claimed the November 2014 article falsely said she discouraged the woman identified only as Jackie from reporting the incident to police. A police investigation found no evidence to back up Jackie's claims about being raped.
ABC investigates producer for doctored live shot
ABC News says it is investigating one of its producers after seeing evidence that a live camera shot on "Good Morning America" Friday , Nov. 4, was enhanced by falsely stringing police tape in the background. Reporter Linsey Davis was reporting from a field in Woodruff, South Carolina, about a woman allegedly held captive in a storage container by a registered sex offender. Behind her was a yellow police tape with the words, "Sheriff's Line Do Not Cross." Yet a wide photograph of the scene shows the police tape was actually tied to pieces of ABC's camera equipment. The incident was first reported by CNN. ABC spokeswoman Julie Townsend said the doctored shot was "completely unacceptable." The report's producer has been called back as ABC investigates the incident.
Tucker Carlson to launch weeknight Fox News program Nov. 14
Fox News Channel says Tucker Carlson is claiming the weeknight host slot recently vacated by Greta Van Susteren. He will take over the 7 p.m. Eastern hour on Nov. 14, the network said Thursday, Nov. 3. The name of the new program was not announced. Carlson, who joined Fox News as a contributor in 2009, is a co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekends" and regularly appears on the network's other shows. Before joining Fox News, he was a host on both CNN and MSNBC. Carlson, 47, also is the editor-in-chief and a founder of the conservative news site, "The Daily Caller." "On The Record," the show Van Susteren hosted, has been temporarily hosted by Brit Hume since her abrupt exit from the network in September after 14 years.
Quebec inquiry into police surveillance of journalists
"Not only is freedom of the press important, it's one of the foundational safeguards of a free democracy, of a free society," the Liberal leader said Thursday during a news conference.
The New York Times' Paul Volpe to join Politico
The deputy politics editor and deputy Washington bureau chief for digital of The New York Times is joining Politico as executive editor. Paul Volpe joined the Times in 2011 and has been guiding coverage of the 2016 presidential campaign. Before joining the Times, he helped launch local news startup TBD in the Washington area and served as deputy political editor at The Washington Post. Politico made the announcement Thursday. Volpe will join Politico next month. He succeeds Peter Canellos, who will become editor-at-large.
Wall Street Journal to debut new version of print edition
The Wall Street Journal plans to combine several sections and reduce some coverage areas in its print edition as it faces a decline in print advertising. "All newspapers face structural challenges and we must move to create a print edition that can stand on a sound financial footing for the foreseeable future while our digital horizons continue to expand," Editor-in-chief Gerard Baker said in a memo announcing the changes Wednesday, Nov. 2. The new version, which will debut on Nov. 14, will have fewer pages with less space for arts, culture and New York news.
Oregon newspaper executive named head of Reno newspaper
The president of an Oregon newspaper has been named the new head of the Reno Gazette-Journal's digital and print publications, RGJ Media. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports (http://on.rgj.com/2eVCq6T ) Ryan Kedzierski, the president of the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon, was named last week as president of RGJ Media. Kedzierski already serves as the head of sales for RGJ Media. He'll continue in his role leading the Oregon newspaper and the Kitsap Sun newspaper in Bremerton, Washington. The Washington, Oregon and Reno papers are owned by Gannett Corp.
Kedzierski previously worked as a digital sales leader at The Arizona Republic and for Freedom Communications.
Use of campaign surrogates puts CNN on the defensive
At a time CNN should be riding high, the network is facing the biggest threat to its reputation since Jeff Zucker took over as top executive because of its liberal use of campaign surrogates like Donna Brazile and Corey Lewandowski. CNN announced on Monday, Oct. 31, that Brazile, the acting head of the Democratic National Committee, had quit as a contributor two weeks ago. Brazile, who had been suspended at CNN upon taking the DNC job this summer, was exposed in documents released by WikiLeaks as feeding Hillary Clinton's campaign questions in advance of primary debates. The presence of Lewandowski, Donald Trump's former campaign manager, has also raised questions about whether political insiders hired as contributors are more loyal to the politicians they once worked for than a network and its viewers. Besides, said a former CNN chief executive, it makes for lousy television.
Justice Department goes to bat for beleaguered Dodgers fans
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing AT&T because its DirecTV unit allegedly orchestrated a backroom deal with competitors to not carry the sole channel that broadcasts Dodgers baseball in Los Angeles. The civil antitrust lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles federal court accuses DirecTV of swapping information with cable companies Cox Communications Inc., Charter Communications Inc. and AT&T — before it acquired DirecTV — during negotiations to carry SportsNet LA, the network owned by the Dodgers. The complaint says the companies made the agreements to prevent competitors from offering the channel to lure customers. Dodger fans were bitter they could only watch games through Time Warner Cable — now owned by Charter — the past three seasons.
Oklahoma lawmaker writes 'firing squad' on Clinton post
A Republican state lawmaker from Oklahoma is walking back his remarks after he posted a news story on Facebook critical of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and added the comment, "2 words ... firing squad." State Rep. John Bennett, of Sallisaw, told The Associated Press that he posted the comment late Tuesday, Nov. 1, along with a link to a December 2015 article about Clinton's response to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Bennett on Wednesday described the comments as "sarcasm," and said he wouldn't wish death upon anyone or encourage violence toward any candidate. But he also says he believes Clinton's action in response to the Benghazi attacks "is nothing short of treason." A retired U.S. Marine, Bennett has faced criticism for recent remarks calling local Muslim leaders "terrorists."
Gawker's shell settles with Hulk Hogan for $31 million
The invasion-of-privacy case, which revolved around a sex tape posted on Gawker.com, resulted in a $140 million verdict won by the former professional wrestler in a Florida court. It became even more notorious when it emerged that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel had secretly bankrolled the suit. Thiel was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website in 2007.
NYT revenue tumbles as digital transformation progresses
The New York Times Co. reported Wednesday, Nov. 2, sharply lower revenue from advertising, particularly in print, but third-quarter profit beat most expectations as the paper continues its rapid shift to digital subscriptions. Shares rose almost 2 percent in midday trading with the company reporting rising circulation revenue as it pushes digital operations aggressively. "This quarter proved yet again that The New York Times has a very compelling digital revenue story to tell," said CEO Mark Thompson. "We saw exceptional gains in our digital consumer business, with a net increase of 116,000 subscriptions to our news products, more than twice as many as the same quarter last year and far more than any quarter since the pay model launched in 2011." But the shift is costing the company in the near term.
Trump camp calls KKK newspaper 'repulsive' after praise
Donald Trump's campaign is firmly rejecting the embrace of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated newspaper. The latest issue of The Crusader used Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan as its headline for an editorial praising the catchphrase and the Republican presidential candidate. The newspaper bills itself as "The Premier Voice of the White Resistance." The newspaper didn't specifically call for readers to vote for Trump. In a statement, the Trump campaign calls the newspaper "repulsive." It said its "views do not represent the tens of millions of Americans who are uniting behind our campaign." Trump had been criticized earlier in the campaign for failing to immediately denounce the endorsement of David Duke, a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Newspaper deal falls apart as Gannett gives up on Tronc
USA Today publisher Gannett walked away Tuesday, Nov. 1, from its attempted takeover of Tronc, the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other major dailies. Gannett's target was elusive from the beginning, with a publicly contentious back-and-forth between the two companies. Tronc, formerly known as Tribune Publishing, had rejected at least two bids from Gannett since April, saying it preferred to go it alone and focus on tech-driven initiatives involving artificial intelligence and global expansion in entertainment news and video. After the stock market's close, Tronc reported third-quarter results showing its revenue declined in both its traditional and digital businesses. But it kept its sales guidance for the year and raised a profit forecast.
Thomson Reuters to cut 2,000 jobs, spares newsroom
Thomas Reuters said Tuesday, Nov. 1, that it plans to cut 2,000 jobs and take a charge of up to $250 million as the news and financial information company seeks to streamline its business. The job cuts will affect its financial and risk unit, as well as its enterprise, technology and operations group, but won't affect the company's newsroom. The cuts were first reported by Reuters, the company's news service, and were confirmed by a Thomson Reuters spokesman. The announcement of the cuts came on the same day the company reported a slight drop in profit and revenue in its third quarter, although its adjusted earnings beat expectations.
INDUSTRY NEWS NOV. 1, 2016
US Sen. Burr bans newspaper from notice of campaign events
U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's re-election campaign is refusing to provide one of North Carolina's largest newspapers with details of his upcoming campaign events. The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday, Oct. 31, that Burr spokesman Jesse Hunt says the decision was made after the campaign raised objections to the newspaper's coverage of Burr's re-election contest with Democrat Deborah Ross. The News & Observer says Burr's campaign voiced concerns about an article last week involving a 2010 campaign fundraiser that conflicted with a Senate committee hearing on a costly military aircraft. In an email to The Associated Press, Hunt says the Burr campaign has not identified other media organizations with which it will not share information about upcoming campaign events, though notice of Burr appearances has been sparse this month.
La Presse says Montreal police tracked journalist's iPhone
A Montreal journalist whose iPhone was monitored by police for months said Monday, Oct. 31, he was outraged to discover he'd been "spied on" as part of what he calls an effort to identify his sources. The French-language newspaper said it learned at least 24 surveillance warrants were issued for columnist Patrick Lagace's phone this year at the request of Montreal's police's special investigations unit. That section is responsible for looking into crime within the police force. Three of those warrants reportedly authorized police to get the phone numbers for all Lagace's incoming and outgoing texts and calls, while another allowed them to track the phone's location via its GPS chip.
City, media argue in court over Orlando club 911 calls
An Orlando, Florida, judge will consider whether more 911 calls made during the Pulse nightclub shooting should be made public. Circuit Judge Margaret Schreiber will listen to arguments from attorneys for the city of Orlando, The Associated Press and over two dozen other news outlets. She also has invited family members of the 49 victims who died to testify at the hearing. The city and the news outlets have been fighting over the release of all the 911 calls about the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. City officials have released two-thirds of the calls. They have refused to release over 200 calls placed to and from the nightclub during the three-hour massacre on June 12.
Rolling Stone publisher disagreed with rape story retraction
Rolling Stone magazine publisher and co-founder Jann Wenner said in a video deposition that he disagreed with a top editor's decision to retract an entire article about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity after the story was discredited. In a video played for jurors Friday, Oct. 28, in the defamation trial against Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner said that although the account given by the woman known only as "Jackie" turned out not to be accurate, the bulk of the 2014 story, "A Rape on Campus," is still valid, The Daily Progress reports (http://bit.ly/2dQ8RnM ). The article described in harrowing detail the alleged gang rape of the woman. A police investigation found no evidence to back up Jackie's claims and the magazine officially retracted the article in April 2015.
Newspaper fighting order blocking reporting of document
A New Jersey newspaper is fighting a judge's order preventing it from reporting on a child services complaint it obtained. The complaint pertains to the case of a 5-year-old boy found with drugs at school twice. An attorney for the Trentonian said Friday, Oct. 28, that Judge Craig Corson's order this week barring it from reporting on the document violates the newspaper's First Amendment rights. Lawyers for New Jersey sought the injunction against the newspaper, saying the document must be kept confidential under state law. The newspaper says it obtained the document lawfully. The Trentonian reported Wednesday that the boy was placed into foster care after he was found with crack cocaine this week. His father and another woman were charged last month after the boy was found with 30 packets of heroin.
Goodwill Omaha CEO resigns following newspaper investigation
The CEO of Goodwill Omaha has resigned in the wake of an Omaha World-Herald investigation showing the charity's top executives being paid more than Goodwills nationwide — a practice that drastically ate into funds for its job programs for the needy and disabled. The Omaha World-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/2dPRofc ) that 64-year-old Frank McGree announced Friday, Oct. 28, his resignation and plan to take early retirement. McGree had led the Omaha charity for 30 years. Goodwill's board accepted his resignation Friday. The newspaper's investigation showed McGree received total compensation of $933,444 in 2014. Also, 13 of the nonprofit's executives were paid more than $100,000 in 2014, so a significant portion of the $4 million generated from Goodwill's stores in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa went to administrative costs instead of its job-training programs.
University blames newspaper for fewer sex assault reports
University of Kentucky officials claim that a student newspaper's stories about alleged sexual harassment by a professor are to blame for a drop in sexual assault reports on campus. University officials said in court filings that the number of sexual assault reports to the university's Violence Intervention and Prevention Center fell to 38 this fall, The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/2fkBFoR) reported. The number was 59 between July and October 2015. Center intervention program coordinator Ashley Rouster said that after the Kentucky Kernel published the articles, students who visited the center feared their stories could appear in the paper.
Trump says NBC broke law by releasing audio
Donald Trump now says NBC broke the law when it released a recording of him making lewd comments about how he felt entitled to grope women aboard an "Access Hollywood" bus. Trump tells Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" that "the microphone was not supposed to be on." He's also claiming it was an "illegal act" for NBC to record his conversation, even though he was in the midst of recording a television episode. Trump says, "you know that was a private dressing room - yeah that was certainly illegal, no question about it." California law makes it a crime to record private conversations unless all parties consent — as long as the participants have an objectively reasonable expectation that no one is listening. Trump is also suggesting he might consider taking legal action against NBC after the election. He has rarely followed through with such threats.
USA Today publisher Gannett posts loss as print ads sink
USA Today publisher Gannett, suffering from the ongoing print-ad declines that have hurt the broader newspaper industry, is cutting jobs as it reported a loss in its latest quarter. The company said it is cutting 2 percent of its staff. Gannett had nearly 19,000 employees at the end of 2015, suggesting more than 300 jobs were lost. Gannett spokeswoman Amber Allman did not reply to a question asking how many employees are losing their jobs. CEO Robert Dickey said on a call with analysts Thursday, Oct. 27, that layoffs "touched across all areas" of the company and will mean $10 million a year in savings. He said that the company is trying not to cut reporters to keep up the quality of its journalism.
Fox boss: We want to keep Megyn Kelly
Fox News boss Rupert Murdoch says he wants to keep anchor Megyn Kelly at the network, but if she decides to leave "we have a deep bench of talent, many of whom would give their right arm for her spot." Murdoch, in an interview published in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Oct. 27, also said that Fox News Channel hopes to keep Bill O'Reilly on the air in prime-time and that he doesn't foresee major changes in the network's direction after the Nov. 8 election. Murdoch speaking publicly at this stage of negotiations to keep Kelly at Fox News was perhaps more startling than what he actually said. Murdoch has been chief executive at Fox following Roger Ailes' departure this summer amid sexual harassment allegations, and is vice chairman of its parent company 21st Century Fox.
Citizen journalists covering Islamic State win courage prize
A citizen journalist group that reports secretly from the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa is being honored with a $50,000 prize for courage. The New York-based Train Foundation announced Thursday, Oct. 27, that this year's Civil Courage Prize will go to the group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently. The group was formed in 2014 after Islamic State militants took over the Syrian city of Raqqa and declared it to be their capital. The citizen journalists work anonymously to publicize lashings, beheadings and other abuses by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently says its members have been abducted, tortured and killed in retaliation for their work. The Civil Courage Prize was founded in 2000 and recognizes "resistance to evil at great personal risk."
Group: Somalia least likely to punish media murders
For the second year in a row, Somalia topped the list of countries where the killing of journalists is most likely to go unpunished, a prominent media watchdog said. The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report issuedThursday, Oct. 27, that al-Shabab militants were responsible for the majority of media killings in Somalia. In Iraq and Syria, the countries that ranked second and third for impunity in media killings, the Islamic State group was responsible for most of the deaths. "Impunity in the murders of journalists emboldens would-be killers and forces the media to operate in a climate of fear, which in turn restricts information available to the public," said Elisabeth Witchel, author of the report and CPJ's consultant for the Global Campaign Against Impunity. "
The Trump-Clinton Twitter war: Bludgeon vs. stiletto
Back in June, when Donald Trump slammed President Barack Obama's endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Twitter, the Democrat's campaign was quick to tweet back a chilly three-word response: "Delete your account." It was a telling exchange, and not just because it set the stage for what has become the country's first nationwide Twitter election. It also highlighted the striking, and very different, ways both presidential hopefuls have used the service to hone their messages, hurl accusations at one another and speak directly to voters — in effect, bypassing traditional media while also relying on it to amplify their retorts. So entrenched has Twitter become in the 2016 election that it can be difficult to remember just how new it is in this context. Four years ago, candidates Obama and Mitt Romney were just testing the waters with social media. This year, it's a major source of information — political and otherwise — for a huge number of Americans.
Rising star: YouTube playing key role in Google's success
YouTube has emerged as a break-out star in Google's cast of services as the online video site upstages cable television for a younger generation of viewers looking for amusement, news and music on their smartphones. The trend is contributing to an advertising shift away from traditional network television programming to the more eclectic and diversified mix of clips ranging from cute cat videos to sobering shots of street violence found on YouTube. As more advertising dollars flow to YouTube, it's making the already hugely profitable Google even more prosperous. In a third-quarter report released Thursday, Oct. 27, Google's corporate parent, Alphabet Inc., said it earned $5.1 billion, or $7.25 per share, a 27 percent increase from the same time last year.
2 studies point to lack of campaign substance on newscasts
Two studies of U.S. news coverage suggest that this is a presidential campaign with little substance — unless groping women, tax returns and email servers are your idea of major issues. ADT Research, which monitors content of the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, said Wednesday, Oct. 26, that with two weeks before Election Day, there has been less issues coverage than for any presidential campaign the company has monitored, going back through 1988. The conservative watchdog Media Research Center also counted the campaign topics that have taken up the most time on the newscasts since the end of the conventions. Of the 15 topics with the most attention, arguably only two — Donald Trump's position on immigration and questions about his attitudes toward Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin — could be considered traditional policy issues.
Sept. 12 newspaper page signed by 5 presidents nets $11,000
A front page of The New York Times from Sept. 12, 2001, showing the burning World Trade Center and autographed by five U.S. presidents sold for $11,000 on Wednesday at an auction of presidential papers. The page was signed by Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush when they were attending a national day of remembrance and prayer event for Sept. 11 victims at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., days after the attacks. Its headline above a photograph of the burning twin towers says: "U.S. Attacked: Hijacked Jets Destroy Twin Towers and Hit Pentagon in Day of Terror." The front page's presale estimate was $6,000 to $8,000. The auction house will donate all of its commission from the proceeds of the sale of the page to the Sept. 11 charity Tuesday's Children.
Fox's Megyn Kelly to guest-host 'Live' day after election
She may be a little bleary-eyed, but Fox News' Megyn Kelly is booked to co-host the morning talk show "Live" with Kelly Ripa on the day after the election. The show said it will be Kelly's first time as a co-host. "Live" has been looking for a partner for Ripa since last spring, when Michael Strahan left to join "Good Morning America." It's an intriguing booking. Although Fox is anxious to keep her, Kelly will soon become a free agent able to look for other broadcasting jobs. Kelly has been one of the most high-profile TV journalists of the presidential campaign, the target of barbs from Donald Trump and, on Tuesday night, from Newt Gingrich.
Despite ratings drop, Olympics boosts Comcast in 3Q
Comcast's profit rose 12 percent in the July-September quarter thanks to the Olympics and the first third-quarter gains in video subscribers in a decade. NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke has said that the company made over $250 million in Rio as ad sales rose, even though Olympics ratings fell 16 percent in prime time on NBC from the London Olympics. Ratings were down 9 percent if viewers watching on NBCUniversal's cable channels and digital were added. The cable giant has been winning back video subscribers despite an overall drop in the number of people who pay for traditional TV. There has also been a trend toward smaller audiences, even for big sporting events like NFL football and the Olympics.
Trump: No interest in Trump TV
Donald Trump says he has no interest in a "Trump TV" media venture if he loses the election. It's an idea that has persisted this week, after his Facebook page began featuring an alternative to network nightly news programs called "Live From Trump Tower." It's a joint effort by the campaign and a company that has been streaming Trump's rallies online. The program directly competed yesterday with the national network newscasts and their increasingly gloomy assessments of the Republican's chances of winning the upcoming election. It's expected to air eight more times before the election. But when asked about "Trump TV," the candidate told a Cincinnati radio station (WLW) that he doesn't have "any interest in that." He says his only interest is winning on November 8th.
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 25, 2016
LSU's student newspaper to end daily publications
The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University’s more than 120-year-old student newspaper, will end its daily print publication beginning next semester. The newspaper will scale back to a weekly print edition. The Daily Reveille's student editors announced the change in a post on the newspaper's website early Thursday, Oct, 20. The post says because of a loss in the newspaper's advertising revenue, the Office of Student Media was in danger of depleting its financial reserves within two academic years. Copies of the newspaper are free on campus. Printing costs about $108,000 per year, and the paper is subsidized by student fees. The announcement says the reduction in print expenses will allow them to redistribute funds to increase circulation, upgrade equipment and software and improve the digital footprint on LSUNow.com.
Anti-Trump column pulled from Liberty U student newspaper
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. had a student's sports column pulled from the school's newspaper because it focused on vulgar comments made by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the notion of "locker room talk." Falwell, a stalwart Trump supporter, said the evangelical school's newspaper was already publishing a medical student's pro-Hillary Clinton letter to the editor on the Opinion page, making Schmieg's column "redundant." "After going back and forth, I decided we didn't need two saying the same thing, using up valuable space," Falwell said. Liberty junior Joel Schmieg, who writes a weekly column for The Liberty Champion, calls it censorship.
British reporter 'Fake Sheikh' jailed for 15 months
A judge sentenced a British journalist who often posed as a Middle Eastern tycoon in sting operations to 15 months in prison on Friday, Oct, 21, after the tabloid reporter was convicted of perverting the course of justice in an effort to get scoops. Mazher Mahmood, a tabloid reporter nicknamed the "Fake Sheikh," was found guilty earlier this month of tampering with evidence in the collapsed drug trial of pop star and actress Tulisa Contostavlos. The case against Contostavlos originally was based on interviews Mahmood, 53, conducted for the Sun newspaper. The Crown Prosecution Service is reviewing another 25 convictions linked to Mahmood's work and has dropped active criminal cases in which Mahmood was to be a witness.
Ex-newscaster settles suit against station, former co-anchor
A lawsuit filed by an ex-Philadelphia newscaster against the local CBS station and her former co-anchor has been settled. Alycia Lane filed the suit in 2008, claiming KYW-TV was negligent and failed to stop her former co-anchor Larry Mendte from hacking into her email and giving her personal information and photos to gossip columnists. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports (http://bit.ly/2eOFC5I ) a lawyer for KYW-TV could only say the case has been resolved. The deal was reached last week; terms are confidential. Mendte and Lane shared co-anchor duties until December 2007, when Lane was arrested after allegedly hitting a New York police officer during a traffic stop. She was fired a month later and entered a diversion program. The charge was dismissed. Mendte was then fired after he was charged with hacking her emails. He admitted to the hacking and was sentenced to house arrest in November 2008.
Hungary deflects US concerns about declining media freedoms
A spokesman's for Hungary's foreign ministry says U.S. concerns about press freedoms and media diversity after the suspension of an opposition newspaper are "without any foundation" and cannot be based on trustworthy information. Tamas Mencer, head of the foreign ministry's press department, said Friday, Oct. 21, that Hungarian media represent a wide range of views and that press freedoms were not at risk in the country. On Thursday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the United States was "following closely" the closure of the Nepszabadsag newspaper and news website 444.hu's banishment from Parliament after its reporters broke rules restricting camera access to lawmakers. Mencer echoed the newspaper publisher's statement that finances prompted the publication's closure. He said, "We are curious whether the U.S. government interferes in the decisions of media owners."
Group wants charges against 3 documentary filmmakers dropped
A media watchdog is calling on prosecutors in North Dakota and Washington state to drop charges against three documentary filmmakers arrested while filming protests against oil pipelines. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday, Oct. 20, the filmmakers were arrested Oct. 11 as participants in a multistate protest and were charged with a range of felonies. CPJ deputy executive director Robert Mahoney says recording civil disobedience and arrests is news-gathering, not conspiracy. He says prosecuting filmmakers for covering protests sends a chilling message. He says he wants authorities to "stop interfering with journalists doing their jobs." The arrests came shortly after another journalist filming protests against a North Dakota pipeline project was charged with trespassing. North Dakota prosecutors have no comment. Washington prosecutors haven't responded to a request for comment.
Newspaper ordered to pay SBI agent $6 million in libel case
The News & Observer of Raleigh has been ordered to pay about $6 million to a State Bureau of Investigation agent who won a libel lawsuit against the newspaper. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2en4fGK ) that a jury said Wednesday, Oct. 19, the money should go to Beth Desmond regarding a 2010 story about her work as a forensic firearms analyst for the agency. The newspaper had published statements from firearms experts questioning her analysis. The jury earlier said the newspaper owed $1.5 million for Desmond's suffering, humiliation, lost wages and medical expenses. State law limits punitive damages to three times the actual damages, meaning the newspaper owes Desmond a total of about $6 million. The newspaper has defended its story and said it will appeal. Desmond would not talk about the case after the verdict.
Authorities: Journalists harassed at pipeline encampment
North Dakota authorities are investigating a confrontation between journalists and protesters of the four-state Dakota Access oil pipeline. The Morton County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday, Oct. 19, that filmmaker Phelim McAleer and two colleagues were in the protest camp Tuesday near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation when people they were interviewing "got offended by a line of questioning." McAleer made the documentary "FrackNation," a 2013 rebuttal of anti-fracking film "Gasland," about the process of shooting liquid under high pressure below ground to free energy from rock. One person grabbed a reporter's microphone, dragging him several feet, and the journalists' car was blocked from leaving until law enforcement arrived. The camp is home to protests against Energy Transfer Partners' $3.8 billion pipeline. Demonstrators believe the pipeline threatens sacred sites and the Missouri River.
Video of Rolling Stone reporter discussing errors debated
A federal judge was considering on Wednesday, Oct. 19, whether the jury in a University of Virginia administrator's defamation suit against Rolling Stone should be able to watch a video in which the reporter who wrote a now-discredited story about a gang rape on campus discusses reporting mistakes she made while in college. Attorneys for former Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo wanted to admit as evidence a video of Sabrina Rubin Erdely discussing an article about folk singer Michelle Shocked that earned her a college journalism award from Rolling Stone. In the video, Erdely acknowledged that "just about everything in the story was wrong." Erdely said she missed most of the press conference where Shocked spoke and then "borrowed whatever facts" she could find in media publications at the time to write the article.
UVa administrator: Rolling Stone apologies weren't enough
A University of Virginia administrator who sued Rolling Stone magazine over its portrayal of her in a now-discredited story about a gang rape said Wednesday, Oct. 19, that the magazine's apologies for its journalistic failures didn't go far enough. Former Associate Dean of Students Nicole Eramo took the stand for the second day in her $7.85 million defamation trial. Eramo says the article portrayed her as indifferent to the assault of the woman identified only as "Jackie." Elizabeth McNamara, an attorney for Rolling Stone, noted that the magazine issued an apology in December 2014 and another one the following April when it officially retracted the article. She said that apology was specifically extended to school administrators.
New York Times positions publisher's son as his successor
The New York Times has named Arthur Gregg "A.G." Sulzberger as deputy publisher, setting him up to take over for his father, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. If made publisher, the 36-year-old Sulzberger would be the latest in a long line of family overseers. A.G. Sulzberger's great-great-grandfather took over The Times in 1896, and the family controls the influential paper through a special class of shares. The change comes as the newspaper industry is struggling to adapt to readers' migration online, which has caused print ad revenue to crater. The New York Times has tried to counter that decline by focusing on growing its digital-only subscriptions. The younger Sulzberger, who joined The Times in 2009 after working for Rhode Island and Oregon newspapers, has worked on the editorial side of the paper as a reporter and editor and has also led a team that studied how to tackle the digital transformation.
Magazines now eligible for all journalism Pulitzer Prizes
Print and online magazines are now eligible for Pulitzer Prizes in all journalism categories. The Pulitzer Prize Board announced Wednesday, Oct. 19, that entries of work done in 2016 will be accepted beginning in December for the 2017 prizes. The board says it made its decision after two years of experimentation. New entry guidelines are posted at Pulitzer.org . The Pulitzers are considered one of American journalism's most prestigious awards. They recognize various categories of reporting, photography and opinion writing, as well as editorial cartooning. The prizes also honor drama, music and fiction and nonfiction books. The Pulitzers are administered by Columbia University. The 2016 Pulitzers marked the centennial of the awards being handed out.
AP Photographer Rodrigo Abd receives Cabot Prize
Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism honored five veteran journalists for distinguished coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Rodrigo Abd, an Associated Press photographer who has spent years documenting social problems in Latin America, was one of four who received the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, considered the oldest in international journalism. The other winners were Rosental C. Alves of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas; Margarita Martinez, a Colombian filmmaker; and Oscar Martinez of the digital newspaper El Faro in El Salvador. A special citation was awarded to Marina Walker Guevara of the Panama Papers reporting team at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.
Newspaper office being sold, set to become doughnut factory
A New Jersey newspaper's headquarters may soon become a doughnut factory. The Trentonian newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2eOBHoF ) its Trenton headquarters is being sold to a company that makes products for local Dunkin' Donuts stores. Central Jersey CML was granted $18.9 million in tax credits over 10 years to move to Trenton and create 171 jobs. The new Dunkin' Donuts factory would be right next door to the Trenton police department's headquarters. Trentonian editor John Berry says the sales process has begun and the company expects it to be done by the end of the year if it's finalized. The Trentonian is owned by Digital First Media. The Trentonian moved to the building in 1965, but its staff now only takes up about a quarter of the building.
US denies telling Ecuador to cut off Assange's internet
The State Department is denying a claim by WikiLeaks that the U.S. government was involved in cutting off internet access for the group's founder, Julian Assange. He has said his hosts at Ecuador's embassy in London cut him off from the internet over the weekend as he was releasing a series of damaging disclosures about Hillary Clinton. The group claims that Secretary of State John Kerry had personally intervened to get Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing documents about Clinton. The State Department says that's "simply untrue."
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 18, 2016
NBC News fires Billy Bush after lewd Donald Trump tape airs
NBC News on Monday fired "Today" show host Billy Bush, who was caught on tape in a vulgar conversation about women with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump before an "Access Hollywood" appearance. Bush was suspended at the morning show two days after contents of the 2005 tape were reported on Oct. 7. Once it became clear he wouldn't be back, NBC and Bush's representatives had been negotiating terms of his exit. On the tape, Bush is heard laughing as Trump talks about fame enabling him to grope and try to have sex with women not his wife. Trump has denied groping women, and Bush later said he was "embarrassed and ashamed" by what was caught on tape.
Newspaper publisher abandons essay contest to find new owner
The owner and publisher of a weekly Vermont newspaper has abandoned his plan for an essay contest to find a new owner for it because he failed to get enough entries. Ross Connelly said Monday, Oct. 17, that he had received 140 essays since the $175-per-entry contest started in June — much lower than his goal of 700 entries. He extended the essay deadline twice. He says he's now hoping to sell The Hardwick Gazette to one of the essayists. The 71-year-old says he is returning contestants' entry fees and has notified them that the newspaper is for sale. He isn't publicly disclosing the price he is seeking. He came up with the idea of the essay contest when previous attempts to sell it failed.
Judge drops charge against 'Democracy Now' reporter
"Democracy Now!" reporter Amy Goodman won't face a riot charge stemming from her coverage of a protest against construction of the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota, with a judge saying Monday, Oct. 17, that there was no cause for it. Judge John Grinsteiner refused to sign off on the misdemeanor riot charge, which Prosecutor Ladd Erickson had pursued after dismissing a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge against the journalist on Friday. However, authorities would not rule out the possibility Goodman could face other charges. Erickson has said Goodman was acting like a protester when she reported on a clash between protesters and pipeline security last month. Her attorney, Tom Dickson, maintains Goodman was doing her job.
Memo: Inmate transferred for writing letter to newspaper
A Department of Corrections memo shows an inmate was transferred to a separate unit inside the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman for writing a newspaper letter that criticized Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher. The Greenwood Commonwealth reported (http://bit.ly/2e4JlII) that it published a letter Sept. 27 from Tim Turner, 52, who's serving a 20-year sentence for a 2012 drug conviction in Itawamba County. Turner's letter said Fisher excessively uses lockdowns and revokes inmates' privileges to try to curb violence and contraband.
Putin to Kremlin journalists: US is watching you
Russian President Vladimir Putin has told journalists in the Russian press corps that they are possibly being watched by American intelligence agencies. Putin made the comments Sunday in Benaulim, India, where he was attending the summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies. Putin told journalists covering his visit that "the United States listens to everything and looks at everything. All of you are objects of exploitation for the special services." Putin said that "you are in the presidential pool and you may hear something or see it, talk with somebody, you freely chat on the telephone on open connections," according to the RIA Novosti news agency. Putin's warning comes as tensions with Washington over Syria and other issues have escalated.
NYT says no libel, no retraction, no apology for Trump story
The New York Times on Thursday, Oct. 13, rejected Donald Trump's claim the newspaper had libeled the Republican presidential nominee, saying its story about two women who said he sexually assaulted them was "newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern." In a letter Thursday, Times attorney David McCraw said Trump "has bragged about his non-consensual sexual touching of women" and that multiple women had already come forward. "Nothing in our article has had the slightest effect on the reputation that Mr. Trump, through his own words and actions, has already created for himself," he wrote.
Longtime Daily Banner Publisher Stephen Crass to retire
Longtime Cleveland (Tennessee) Daily Banner Publisher and Editor Stephen Crass says he plans to retire in January after leading the paper for 16 years. The Banner (http://bit.ly/2e8nDSB ) reported Wednesday, Oct. 12, that Crass' newspaper career spans 40 years at seven different newspapers in Tennessee, Georgia and Missouri. He worked in every newspaper department, beginning as a staff writer following college. Crass said staffing at the Banner increased over the 16 years he ran the paper and the newspaper, unlike most papers, has not reduced its personnel, a fact of which he said he is most proud. He said the paper's employees are dedicated and take pride in the work they produce. Crass was raised in Harriman, Tennessee, and is a graduate of Roane State Community College and Middle Tennessee State University. He also attended graduate school at MTSU and the University of Tennessee. A successor has not been named.
Brian Williams and Billy Bush: 2 scandals, 2 approaches
Two scandals, two approaches. NBC News gave Brian Williams a second chance after he was caught lying about his role in stories, while Billy Bush apparently won't get the same opportunity following his profane conversation with Donald Trump. NBC wasn't talking publicly about Bush's future on Wednesday, Oct. 12. But the network is privately negotiating the "Today" show host's exit, according to an executive with knowledge of the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is a personnel matter. When Bush was suspended Sunday, "Today" chief executive Noah Oppenheim said there was "simply no excuse" for Bush's language and behavior on the 2005 tape revealed Friday. The sins of Williams and Bush were different, but in both cases NBC executives needed to weigh whether it was worth rehabilitating them.
Newspaper or politicking? FEC gets complaint on Proft paper
One of several startup newspapers tied to a conservative Illinois activist is being challenged as political campaign material in a complaint before the Federal Election Commission. Darien Democrat Kim Savage says the DuPage Policy Journal is a Republican mouthpiece for GOP congressional candidate Tonia Khouri against incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster and costs should be reported as political contributions. The paper is one of 14 that businessman and talk-show host Dan Proft started last spring. Savage's complaint was filed last week. It says the newspapers are not independent but controlled by Proft's political action committee. Proft says the newspapers are owned and distributed by a private company and are legitimate policy forums. He calls the complaint "factually incorrect in every possible way." Foster's campaign declined comment.
Kim Kardashian West sues online media outlet for libel
Kim Kardashian West sued an online media outlet for libel Tuesday, Oct. 11, saying she was wrongly portrayed as a liar and thief after she was attacked in Paris. The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages from MediaTakeOut.com. It said Kardashian West, traumatized by the Oct. 3 armed robbery, was victimized a second time when the website reported hours afterward that she faked the robbery and lied about the assault. The website's owner, Fred Mwangaguhunga, didn't answer his phone when comment was sought Tuesday. A message left with the website wasn't immediately returned. Police said armed robbers forced their way into a private residence where the reality TV star was staying, tied her up and stole $10 million worth of jewelry. She was in Paris for fashion week. No arrests have been made.
UVa administrator barred from showing leaked video at trial
A federal judge has delivered a setback to a University of Virginia official suing Rolling Stone and one of its writers for $7.8 million, alleging she was defamed in their discredited article about campus rapes. The judge says Nicole Eramo's lawyers can't show jurors any video from a deposition by the writer, Sabrina Erdely, because they leaked the tape to ABC News for a "20/20" television special Friday. Eramo's lawyer, Libby Locke, said they didn't believe the tapes were confidential because written transcripts were already introduced into the court's record. What's not clear from the initial reporting in Roanoke by Newsplex (http://bit.ly/2dT0O6H ) and other local media, is whether the judge's order applies only to the video format, or to any and all evidence from the deposition.
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 11, 2016
Vice debuts its nightly newscast on HBO
Vice Media launched a daily newscast Monday, Oct. 10, designed to appeal to younger viewers with colorful graphics, a light musical soundtrack, no on-camera newsreader and reports on topics ranging from the second presidential debate to a strike by prison inmates in Alabama. The debut of "Vice News Tonight" featured a correspondent in a nose ring who tied Hurricane Matthew to climate change. Vice, an upstart media company known for its in-your-face international reporting, is looking to shake up television's daily news diet. Its newscast is airing weeknights on HBO at 7:30 p.m. ET. That's after the more traditional newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC, which have been on the air for decades and attract primarily an older audience.
Media mogul Ted Turner is endorsing Hillary Clinton for president. In an email Monday, Oct. 10, Turner lauded Clinton's leadership skills and says the former secretary of state is the most qualified to become the 45th president. Clinton, a democrat, is in a race for president against republican nominee Donald Trump. Turner says he admires Clinton for her effort to improve health care, education, immigration reform and crusade for equal rights. The television pioneer says he places Clinton at the top of the list as one of the "smartest and powerful people" in the world. Turner is the founder of CNN. He also founded the Cable News Network, the first 24-hour, all news TV network. Turner sold his Turner Broadcasting to Time Warner Inc. in 1996.
Unlike first, second debate doesn't set viewership record
An estimated 66.5 million people watched the second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, down from the record-setting audience who saw their first match but on par with the Obama-Romney contests four years ago. The first debate reached a total of 84 million viewers, more than for any other presidential debate on record, the Nielsen company said on Monday. The previous record of 80.6 million had been set for the only debate between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in 1980. In 2012, an estimated 65.6 million people watched the second debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, after 67.2 million saw their first debate.
Ohio newspaper breaks tradition, endorses Democrat Clinton
The daily newspaper in Ohio's capital has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, breaking a century-long tradition of backing Republicans for the White House. The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2e1pZE5 ) on Sunday, Oct. 9, called Republican Donald Trump "unfit to be president of the United States." The newspaper's editorial board said Clinton "despite her flaws, is well-equipped for the job." The editorial notes the paper's history of supporting GOP candidates but says "Trump does not espouse or support traditional Republican values." The newspaper says Clinton practices the art of compromise, is well-known to foreign leaders, and understands the role of the United States as a stabilizing force in the world. The Dispatch last endorsed a Democrat for president in 1916, when it supported Woodrow Wilson.
Fox News' Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity are friends again
Fox News Channel colleagues Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly are friends again. Kelly tweeted a picture of her and Hannity together on the set of Kelly's show Thursday, Oct. 6, with a note, "We're Irish. It's complicated. #friends." She also ended her program, which leads into Hannity's, by saying, "Up next: Live, Sean Hannity. My friend." The amends come a day after Kelly called out GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for seeking out friendly media interviews with Hannity. Hannity responded with a tweet calling Kelly a supporter of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Hannity also appeared to bury the hatchet on Twitter , saying "2 friends just worked out a MINOR disagreement."
NY press group protests prosecutor barring journalists
An organization of New York newspapers and broadcasters has protested a prosecutor's decision to exclude some journalists from a news conference following the acquittal of a former soccer coach charged with murder. The New York State Associated Press Association said in a letter Monday, Oct. 3, to St. Lawrence County District Attorney Mary Rain that she violated the 1st Amendment right of the press to cover public officials when she barred Watertown Daily Times reporter William Eckert and photographer Jason Hunter. The association said that decision "denied some citizens the right to equal access to information" about the verdict in favor of Oral "Nick" Hillary on Sept. 28.
Study shows Trump airtime advantage on cable
The three biggest cable news networks spent more time covering live Donald Trump rallies than they did for Hillary Clinton in September, with the widest disparity at Fox News Channel. A study released by the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America said Fox aired 7 hours, 32 minutes of coverage from Republican Trump events, compared with 3 hours, 25 minutes for Clinton, the Democratic candidate. It was much closer at CNN (5:18 Trump, 5:04 Clinton) and MSNBC (5:48 Trump, 5:14 Clinton). Stretch back further, from the beginning of June through the end of September and Media Matters said Thursday the three networks have beamed 65 hours, 3 minutes of Trump rallies, compared with 49 hours, 47 minutes of Clinton.
Police tracking social media during protests stirs concerns
Increasingly common tools that allow police to conduct real-time social media surveillance during protests are drawing criticism from civil liberties advocates, who oppose the way some departments have quietly unrolled the technology without community input and little public explanation. Police say services such as Geofeedia, which map, collect and store information from social media posts, are a powerful way to help find crime witnesses, spot brewing problems during large gatherings and gauge community sentiment. Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union say the software can be easily used to collect information on peaceful protesters or target certain groups. The programs let police gather and record all online posts within specific geographic boundaries, and some allow users to do keyword searches for certain words or hashtags.
Activists blast 'O'Reilly Factor' Chinatown piece as racist
Watchdog and activist groups are condemning a segment on "The O'Reilly Factor" as racist and demeaning to Asian Americans. The piece by political humorist Jesse Watters aired Monday, Oct. 3, on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Channel show. In it, Watters visited New York City's Chinatown neighborhood to interview people on the street about the presidential election. He also asked for demonstrations of karate and how people in China dance. Groups including the Asian American Journalists Association called the segment offensive and full of stereotypes. On Twitter, Watters said Wednesday that the interviews he does are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek, adding that he regretted if anyone "found offense."
Lawsuit challenges Michigan's ban on photographing ballots
A man who says he has a constitutional right to take a photo of himself as he votes, otherwise known as a ballot selfie, has challenged Michigan's long-standing ban on photographing ballots. Joel Crookston, 32, of Portage sued in Grand Rapids federal court last month, arguing his First Amendment right to free speech was unconstitutionally limited by state law and policies designed to discourage voter intimidation, The Detroit News reported (http://detne.ws/2dIZwdQ ). "State law and orders from the Secretary of State threaten Crookston and all Michigan voters with forfeiting their votes, fines and even imprisonment for this simple, effective act of political speech," attorney Stephen Klein wrote in a request for a preliminary injunction.
Source: Anderson Cooper staying with CNN with new contract
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is sticking with the cable news network. Cooper signed a long-term deal to stay with CNN, a person with knowledge of the situation said Tuesday, Oct. 4. The person, who is not authorized to talk publicly about contracts, spoke on condition of anonymity. Cooper's decision may put an end to the possibility he'll join Kelly Ripa as co-host of ABC's talk show "Live." She reportedly favored him to replace Michael Strahan, who jumped to ABC's "Good Morning America." Cooper has served as a guest co-host on "Live," a sharp contrast to the high-profile campaign work he's doing on CNN — which includes joining with ABC's Martha Raddatz to moderate the second Donald Trump-Hillary Clinton debate on Sunday. CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Report: Yahoo gave US intel agencies access to email
Yahoo scanned hundreds of millions of incoming emails at the behest of U.S. intelligence or law enforcement, according to a report published Tuesday, Oct. 4. The internet company conducted the surveillance last year after receiving a classified demand from the National Security Agency or the FBI, Reuters said in its story. The report cited three former Yahoo employees and another unidentified person familiar with the matter. Those individuals told Reuters that the government pushed Yahoo to search for a string of letters, numbers or other characters. That meant the fishing expedition could have involved finding a specific phrase or code in the text of an email or an attachment.
New publisher named for Coeur d'Alene Press
Larry Riley has been named the new publisher of the Coeur d'Alene Press, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The northern Idaho newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/2dYrQvY ) that the Hagadone Corporation announced the new hire on Monday, Oct. 3. The 56-year-old Riley was the publisher of the Herald-Journal in Spartanburg, South Carolina, for the past two years. He replaces Jim Thompson, who retired from his 22-year career with the Coeur d'Alene Press earlier this year. Riley has worked as a publisher of the Appeal-Democrat in northern California and publisher of a Spanish-language weekly for three years. He also served as circulation director for the Los Angeles Times. Riley grew up in San Diego. He graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor's degree in applied arts and sciences, as well as business administration and management.
INDUSTRY NEWS OCT. 5, 2016
1976 lynching photo both a dark mark and blind spot for Thais
A battered body hangs from a tree as a man swings a folding chair over his head, preparing to smash it into the corpse. Spectators watch intently at a slight distance, some smiling, as if watching a Punch and Judy show. A photo of that moment immortalizes the bloody events of Oct. 6, 1976, when heavily armed security forces shot up Bangkok's Thammasat University campus and killed scores of students, while right-wing vigilantes captured and lynched would-be escapees. Even so, what happened there, and why, is to some degree forgotten in Thailand. No one in that Pulitzer Prize-winning photo — the victim, the attacker or any of the dozens of spectators — has been identified in the 40 years since Associated Press photographer Neal Ulevich shot it.
A look at Chicago's Tribune Tower as it changes hands
A 36-story Chicago landmark, the Tribune Tower, has been sold — gargoyles, flying buttresses and all. Tribune Media Co. announced Wednesday, Sept. 28, that it closed the sale of the tower and two other properties this week. The company has received $430 million in gross proceeds for the assets, and may receive up to an additional $45 million in contingent payments. The Tribune Tower, purchased by CIM Group, sits on three acres along Chicago's Michigan Avenue.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper plans to stop its print edition Nov. 30 and offer an online-only publication in a reorganization that will also require 106 layoffs, its publisher announced Wednesday, Sept. 28. The moves mean Pittsburghers will again have only one daily print newspaper, something the Trib's former owner, the late billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, sought to avoid. Trib Total Media will continue publishing two daily print editions for the suburbs, the Greensburg-based Westmoreland edition of the Tribune-Review and the Tarentum-based Valley News Dispatch edition.
Newspaper dispensers become Little Free Library stations
Bob Shipley, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, dislikes illiteracy and enjoys repurposing things. So, fashioning a couple of used newspaper vending machines into libraries seemed like a natural thing to do. The now-retired educator, bicycle shop owner and engineer had been volunteering as a mentor in an adult literacy program, knowing that "reading proficiency in this state is abominable," he said. Wanting to do something else to combat the problem, he set up the Little Free Library stations in front of his home on the 6900 block of Barber Place NE. The idea behind the Little Free Library is pretty simple: Create some type of receptacle that can hold books and set it in a public place where people can grab a title with the understanding that they later return it or leave another book.
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 27, 2016
Associated Press buys British Movietone film archive
The Associated Press has purchased the film archive of British Movietone, bolstering the news cooperative's collection with historic video from World War II, the Beatles' conquest of America and the romance between King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. The newsreels, acquired from Newsreel Archive, were originally shown in movie theaters twice a week and were the first to have sound and color. The archive includes the first recorded speeches of personalities such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and George Bernard Shaw, as well as the only footage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer's wedding filmed in high definition on 35mm film.
Jane Pauley replacing Osgood at 'Sunday Morning'
Jane Pauley is becoming a morning television host again — this time at a much more relaxed pace. CBS said Sunday she will replace Charles Osgood as anchor of the "Sunday Morning" telecast. The bow-tied Osgood told viewers at the end of his last telecast after 22 years that Pauley would replace him. She's been a contributor to the show since 2014. Pauley will be only the third host of the program since its 1979 start with Charles Kuralt. "Sunday Morning" averages nearly six million viewers a week, the most popular morning news program on the weekend, heavy on features and a quiet, cultured vibe. Osgood leaves on a high note; ratings have increased for four straight years and this past season was his most-watched ever as host.
Charge against reporter arrested outside Trump event dropped
A trespassing charge has been dropped against a Vice News reporter arrested outside a Donald Trump campaign event at a Houston hotel. In a statement, Vice News said the Harris County District Attorney's Office dropped the case Friday, Sept. 23, against reporter Alex Thompson. Police arrested the 27-year-old reporter on Sept. 17 after Thompson returned to the Omni Houston at Westside lobby after leaving at the hotel management's request. Vice News said Thompson was arrested while awaiting a response to his request for access to Trump's appearance. Trump was appearing at a nonprofit advocate for families of those killed by immigrants in the country illegally. District attorney's spokesman Jeff McShan said hotel officials chose not to pursue the complaint. The Trump campaign denied any involvement in Thompson's arrest.
Poll: Quarter of Americans believe media too easy on Trump
An estimated 27 percent of Americans believe the news media has been too easy on Donald Trump. The Pew Research Center said Thursday, Sept. 22, that more people feel that way than they did about the coverage for republicans Mitt Romney and John McCain the last two elections. Romney was at 20 percent and McCain 15 percent. The increase is primarily driven by democrats. Twice as many democrats feel the media has gone soft for Trump as felt that way about McCain. Meanwhile, 33 percent of people said the media has been too easy on Hillary Clinton. That percentage is roughly on par with what people thought about coverage of President Barack Obama the last two elections.
British programs win International Emmys for News, Current Affairs
Britain's Sky News has won the International Emmy for News for "Migration Crisis" describing the perilous journey of a group of migrants from Turkey to Greece as well as clashes between riot police and refugees on the Hungary-Serbia border. The International Emmy for Current Affairs went to Britain's ITN Productions and its collaborators for "Dispatches-Escape From Isis" which exposed the harsh treatment of women living under the control of the Islamic State group and the efforts of an underground network trying to rescue women and children enslaved by the extremist group. The awards were announced Wednesday, Sept. 21, in conjunction with the U.S. News Emmys during a ceremony at Lincoln Center in New York. Bruce L. Paisner, president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, says the awards reflect how "extraordinary and disheartening events in the Middle East have set a new bar for courageous journalism."
Orange County Register to move after 111 years in Santa Ana
After 111 years in Santa Ana, the Orange County Register is relocating its headquarters about 10 miles north to Anaheim. The California newspaper said Wednesday, Sept. 21, (http://bit.ly/2db65K5 ) that its newsroom and business staff will move in March 2017. The paper's Santa Ana-based printing operations will also eventually move to Riverside and Anaheim. Publisher Ron Hasse says the new facilities will be more modern, with technological improvements to encourage innovation. The Register is owned by the Southern California News Group. Two other papers owned by the news group have relocated in the last year.
Fox News: Sean Hannity won't appear in any more Trump videos
Fox News says Sean Hannity won't be appearing in any more campaign videos for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Hannity touts what he sees as the benefits of a Trump presidency in a video titled "#HEARTLAND4TRUMP" posted on the candidate's YouTube channel Sunday, Sept. 18. Hannity's appears in about 30 seconds of the eight-minute long video. In a statement, Fox News said Hannity "will not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season." Fox said it did not know in advance that Hannity would be making the appearance.
North Carolina governor campaign planted questions at event
Immersed in an intense re-election campaign and besieged for a law about transgender people and restrooms, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory answered questions last week before Charlotte's small business community. The written questions were supposedly from audience members and a newspaper. "Anything you like. No filter here," McCrory told the event moderator at the start of the Q-and-A, according to The Charlotte Observer. Turns out, the three questions identified as from the Observer actually came from McCrory's campaign. The planted questions generally were favorable to the Republican incumbent. Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten attended the event and said Tuesday, Sept. 20, after hearing the first question, "I knew that hadn't come from me." When Batten did try to ask a question, McCrory responded: "We've got three Observer questions answered already. I think you guys dominate the news enough."
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 20, 2016
Effort to preserve radio history starts in Missouri
Missouri will host the pilot project for an initiative to make radio history available through a national archive. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2d3tgVy ) reports that the Radio Preservation Task Force, overseen by the Library of Congress, is collecting and cataloging radio recordings. Missouri is the pilot in part because of preservation efforts already made in St. Louis and Kansas City. Task force director Josh Sheppard says there has never previously been a concerted effort by one federal institution to trace old recordings. "We realized pretty quickly that at least 75 percent of recorded radio has been discarded or destroyed," he said. The group is hoping to have 1.8 million to 2.5 million recordings identified by 2020. Digitizing efforts will follow, as money and time allow.
Florida journalists form union at Herald-Tribune newspaper
Journalists at the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Florida, have voted to unionize. Newsroom employees voted 22-16 to affiliate with The NewsGuild-CWA on Thursday, Sept. 15. The guild will represent them in bargaining for their first labor contract with the paper's parent company, GateHouse Media. The Herald-Tribune becomes the second newspaper newsroom in Florida to organize in as many months. Staff of The Ledger in Lakeland, another GateHouse paper, voted 22-3 on Aug. 11 to join the Guild. The Herald-Tribune has a daily circulation of 73,700 and a Sunday circulation of 94,800. The NewsGuild, formerly known as The Newspaper Guild, will represent approximately 40 people in the newsroom. The News Media Guild represents Associated Press editorial employees in the U.S.
Trump criticized for bait and switch on 'birther' statement
Donald Trump's renouncement of birtherism came with some media gamesmanship that compelled television news networks to air 20 minutes of endorsements by retired military men before the candidate briefly got to the point. "We all got Rick-rolled," said CNN's Jake Tapper, a reference to the Internet prank of replacing an expected link with a video of singer Rick Astley's 1987 hit, "Never Gonna Give You Up." The bad blood continued after the Friday, Sept. 16, morning event when the Trump campaign barred text reporters and a television producer from joining him on a tour of the new Trump International Hotel in Washington. In response, cable and broadcast networks refused to use any video of the tour.
Blogger claims restraining order violates his rights
A Minnesota blogger who has written about two Lakeville sisters who went missing claims his constitutional rights are being violated after he was served with a restraining order. The girls' mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, got the restraining order against Michael Brodkorb because she claimed he was harassing her and she feared her safety due to "slanderous misinformation" that she said damaged her reputation. Brodkorb, who writes about the case for his Missing in Minnesota blog, calls his work journalism and says the restraining order violates his First Amendment rights and ability to cover Grazzini-Rucki's sentencing.
AP, other media sue FBI for details on iPhone hacking tool
The Associated Press and two other news organizations sued the FBI on Friday, Sept. 16, to learn who the government paid and how much it spent to hack into an iPhone in its investigation into last year's San Bernardino, California, massacre. The lawsuit seeks records about the FBI's contract with an unidentified vendor who provided a tool to unlock the phone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, who with his wife killed 14 people at a holiday gathering of county workers in December 2015. Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, and Vice Media LLC joined the complaint with the AP, seeking to learn more about the mysterious transaction that cut short a legal dispute in which the government sought to force Apple Inc. to unlock the phone.
The Citizen of Laconia, New Hampshire, to stop publishing Sept. 30
The Citizen newspaper of Laconia, New Hampshire, says it will stop publishing Sept. 30, after 90 years of serving readers in the state's Lakes Region. The paper reports (http://bit.ly/2cLsGLJ) Sample News Group CEO George Sample says the company has tried for several months to sell the paper, without success. Sample says in its six years of ownership, The Citizen became the No. 1 source for online news, but the advertising needed to sustain that effort, plus the high cost of printing and distributing newspapers, hasn't followed. Sample said the company will focus its energy on other New Hampshire newspapers, including The Eagle Times of Claremont, The Argus-Champion, Weekly Flea and Message For the Week, all part of Eagle Printing and Publishing Co.
FBI tightens its policies for impersonating journalists
The FBI has imposed new restrictions on its agents' ability to masquerade as reporters following an uproar over the impersonation of an Associated Press journalist, but the agency has stopped short of ruling out the practice as news organizations had wanted. An inspector general report released Thursday, Sept. 15, said the FBI recently instituted new policies requiring top-level approval before agents can pose as journalists, calling the changes an "important improvement" over past practices. But it also said the impersonation was permissible under policies in place at the time and suggested that there may still be undercover operations in which the tactic could be appropriate to use. The AP and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press sued the FBI last year after it emerged that the bureau had impersonated an AP journalist to send a bogus news article that was booby-trapped with surveillance software. The ruse, in 2007, resulted in the trial and conviction of a teenage bomb hoaxer in Washington State.
Journalism faculty ask UK president to apologize, drop suit
Fifteen journalism and media faculty members from the University of Kentucky are asking university President Eli Capilouto to apologize and drop the university's open records lawsuit against the student paper. Al Cross, who signed the letter, said it was delivered to Capilouto on Thursday afternoon. The university is suing the Kentucky Kernel, which sought documents relating to a sexual assault investigation involving a former professor. The letter to Capilouto said his remark last week to the board of trustees that the newspaper published "salacious details to attract readers" challenged the paper's reputation and that of its editor and "cast aspersions on journalism faculty." University spokesman Jay Blanton said while the concerns are appreciated, the disagreement is about the privacy of victims and is rightly being determined in court.
Wynton Marsalis leads CBS tribute to Morley Safer
CBS News paid tribute to late "60 Minutes" reporter Morley Safer on Thursday with some New Orleans jazz from Wynton Marsalis, a letter from the prime minister of his native Canada and a few hearty laughs. Safer died May 19 at age 84, eight days after CBS announced his retirement and four days after "60 Minutes" aired a special about his work during more than 50 years at CBS, most on the newsmagazine he joined in 1970 in only its third season. "I believe he held onto life until that broadcast aired," said Jeff Fager, "60 Minutes" executive producer and once one of Safer's story producers, at a Manhattan memorial attended by broadcast luminaries like Tom Brokaw, Ted Koppel and Charlie Rose. CBS has become sadly adept at organizing these memorials as a generation of stars from the "60 Minutes" golden years died, including Ed Bradley, Mike Wallace, Bob Simon, Andy Rooney and founding executive Don Hewitt.
Iowa city scraps its news site that some saw as propaganda
The city of Davenport, Iowa, has pulled the plug on its taxpayer-funded news website, which faced a backlash from critics who called it propaganda but also won praise for its innovative approach to communications. DavenportToday was credited with improving the city's online presence during its two-year run. But it was attacked by critics as an inappropriate jump into the media by government and a misuse of taxpayer money that could be better spent fighting fires and fixing potholes. Davenport has recently taken down the site, which served as a public relations tool for the city of 100,000 residents at a cost of $178,000 annually. Two employees who produced stories and photos were laid off.
UK lawmakers slam 2 Murdoch execs for phone hacking evidence
British lawmakers say two former executives of the defunct News of the World misled Parliament by claiming that phone hacking was restricted to a single rogue reporter at the tabloid. The House of Commons Committee of Privileges on Wednesday, Sept. 14, found former editor Colin Myler and legal manager Tom Crone in contempt of Parliament for testimony they gave legislators investigating the hacking scandal in 2009 and 2011. It said Parliament should "formally admonish" the pair. Myler and Crone denied misleading lawmakers. Owner Rupert Murdoch shut down the 168-year-old tabloid in 2011 after the revelation that it had eavesdropped on the mobile-phone voicemails of people in the public eye, including a 13-year-old murder victim. Several journalists were later convicted, and Murdoch's company has paid out millions in compensation to hacking victims.
Gannett laying off more than 100 at New Jersey news group
Gannett is laying off more than 100 employees at a New Jersey media company it recently purchased. A company executive said Wednesday, Sept. 14, the layoffs are needed to improve the financial sustainability of the North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record, NorthJersey.com and other newspapers. The McLean, Virginia-based Gannett purchased the news organization in July. Tom Donovan, northeast regional president of Gannett East Group, said layoff notices will go out to 426 of the company's employees this week. Among these, he said, more than 200 newsroom employees and about 60 in sales will remain with the company. Donovan declined to say how many people the company employs.
Facebook chooses New Mexico for new data center over Utah
Facebook has chosen a village on the edge of New Mexico's largest metropolitan area as the location for its new data center, an announcement that spread quickly Wednesday, Sept. 14, as elected officials celebrated a hard-fought win that could have ripple effects for the state's struggling economy. News of the social media giant's decision to build in Los Lunas, just south of Albuquerque, comes after a roller-coaster contest between New Mexico and Utah to attract the facility.
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 13, 2016
Poynter: ASNE to stop newsroom job tallies
After a decade of documenting job losses for journalists totaling more than 20,000 since 2006, the American Society of News Editors has abandoned the effort, Poynter reports. The annual ASNE census (renamed the ASNE Diversity Survey) was released on the eve of the group's yearly convention. For the first time in its nearly 40-year history, the survey included no estimate of the total of full-time professional jobs in the newsrooms of newspaper organizations. A press release explained the decision by saying "the structure of modern newsrooms makes it impractical and error-prone to try to estimate" a total.
New mass media center at Southeast Missouri State receives new name
Southeast Missouri State University's new media center has a new name and a bustle of activity. The Rust Center for Media was officially named in a closed executive session of the Southeast Board of Regents. The center is named in honor of Gary W. Rust, an entrepreneur who built a small weekly newspaper into a network of media -- newspapers, digital sources and radio stations -- throughout nine states. This network includes the Southeast Missourian. A seven-figure gift to the university from Gary and Wendy Rust's sons Rex, Jon, and Gary, Jr.,and their respective spouses Sherry, Victoria and Suzuyo enabled the naming. Jon K. Rust is publisher of the Southeast Missourian and co-President of Rust Communications.
Rutland Herald, Time Argus sale nearly complete
The sale of two Vermont newspapers to a pair of business people from Maine and New Hampshire is expected to be completed this week. Rob Mitchell, editor and chief of the Rutland Herald and Times Argus, told employees in an email that they would find out more about the future from the new owners next week. The company simultaneously announced the retirement of Publisher and CEO Catherine Nelson. The papers announced in August they were being sold to Reade Brower of Maine and Chip Harris of New Hampshire, both of whom have extensive experience in publishing in northern New England.
INDUSTRY NEWS SEPT. 6, 2016
Los Angeles developer buys iconic Tribune Tower in Chicago
The iconic Tribune Tower on Chicago's Michigan Avenue will have a new owner. Los Angeles-based CIM Group has agreed to buy the tower for up to $240 million. Chicago-based Tribune Media announced the deal. It's expected to close by September's end. Officials didn't specify development plans for the 1925 neo-Gothic tower. Tribune announced last year that it had hired a real estate investment banker to explore a sale or partnership for redevelopment. The Chicago Tribune reports Tribune Media employees were told "operational headquarters" will remain in Chicago. Staff will be moved to a new space likely in the second quarter of 2017. The deal is part of Tribune Media's ongoing efforts to sell its entire $1 billion real estate portfolio. The tower was named a city landmark in 1989.
New York Times: Newspaper Association of America dropping “paper” from name
The Newspaper Association of America, the trade group that has represented the interests of major newspaper publishers in one form or another since 1887, is going to drop from its name the very word that defined it: “Newspaper.” The group will be known as the News Media Alliance. The New York Times says there is one obvious reason behind the change: The number of newspapers continues to drop, which has a way of depressing the association’s membership. (It has fallen to about 2,000 from roughly 2,700 in 2008, executives there say.) But the bigger issue, the group’s chief executive, David Chavern, said, was that the word “newspaper” has become meaningless in reference to many of the group’s members, including The Washington Post, The New York Times and Dow Jones. They may have newspapers, but they get large percentages of their readers online. Actually, you can’t even refer exclusively to “readers” these days when so many millions are “viewers” of online news video. Then there are all those digital news organizations that until now could not join the association because they did not have print editions — like BuzzFeed or the Independent Journal Review.
Tennessee's Jones Media bought by Minneapolis company
A fourth-generation family-owned media company with newspapers in Tennessee and North Carolina has been purchased by a Minneapolis company. According to a joint news release from The Adams Publishing Group and Greeneville, Tennessee-based Jones Media, the transaction has been closed for an undisclosed amount. Tennessee newspapers that are part of the sale include The Greeneville Sun, The Daily Post-Athenian, The Daily Times, The Newport Plain Talk, The Rogersville Review, the News-Herald, The Connection, The Advocate & Democrat, and The Herald-News. North Carolina papers include the Watauga Democrat, The Mountain Times, Ashe Mountain Times, The Avery Journal-Times, and The Blowing Rocket. Gregg Jones will continue as president and CEO of Jones Media and will succeed his late father, John M. Jones III, as publisher of The Greeneville Sun.
Nebraska journalism school releases manual on drone operation
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's journalism school is releasing a free manual to give newsrooms direction on how to operate drones for newsgathering. The Drone Journalism Lab created the manual with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. It was produced by Matt Waite, professor of practice in UNL's College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The manual that covers everything from pre-flight checklists to ethical considerations. In June, the FAA released new laws governing the flight of drones in the U.S. The first step to legally fly drones is passing an FAA test, which includes questions about safety protocols and reading an airspace map and an aviation weather report. Waite says drones will become a commonplace tool in newsrooms. The manual is available at http://www.dronejournalismlab.org/manual.
Blade newspaper in Toledo appoints new president
Block Communications Inc. has named a new president for The Blade newspaper in Toledo. The media company said (http://bit.ly/2bTiWew ) that William Southern will be the newspaper's president and general manager as well as vice president of newspaper operations for Block Communications. Block Communications owns both The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspapers along with several television stations and internet and cable TV providers. Southern has been The Blade's director of finance since 2009 and later began overseeing its information technology. He's been in the newspaper industry more than 25 years. Southern takes over for Joseph Zerbey, who is retiring but will stay on as a consultant for the company.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 30, 2016
Official: FBI probing attempted cyber breach of NY Times
The FBI is investigating attempted cyber intrusions targeting reporters of The New York Times and is looking into whether Russian intelligence agencies are responsible for the acts, a U.S. official said. The Times reported that the attempted cyber attack targeted the newspaper's Moscow bureau, and that there was no evidence that it was successful. "We are constantly monitoring our systems with the latest available intelligence and tools," Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said in a statement. "We have seen no evidence that any of our internal systems, including our systems in the Moscow bureau, have been breached or compromised." CNN first reported the FBI's investigation. A U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that an investigation was underway. The news comes as federal authorities continue to investigate a breach of the Democratic National Committee that outside cybersecurity experts have attributed to Russian intelligence agencies and that led to the posting of embarrassing internal emails.
Mother of slain journalist James Foley fights for press safety, freedom
The mother of a photojournalist killed by the Islamic State is fighting for press freedoms and services for families of hostages two years after her son's death. Diane Foley, of Rochester, New Hampshire, tells the Portsmouth Herald (http://bit.ly/2brGcoV ) she thinks many Americans take press freedoms for granted. Foley created the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation to advocate for the release of American hostages and help keep journalists reporting in conflict zones safe. James Foley was killed on Aug. 19, 2014, after being held hostage by the Islamic State for several months. Diane Foley says she wants people to realize the vulnerability of journalists who shoot the photos that bring the world's conflicts to light. The foundation collaborates with major news organizations on reporter safety and training.
Missouri journalism school pushes diversity recruitment
University of Missouri's journalism school is starting a new program to recruit diverse high school students. Dean David Kurpius announced recruitment efforts to reporters and students in a cross-cultural journalism class at the Columbia campus. Kurpius said the goal is to partner with alumni working at media and strategic communication outlets to mentor high school students in big cities. He said the school will offer summer programs and other recruitment events on campus. Mizzou set aside $959,000 over three years for the program. Mizzou Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advancement Ron Kelley will step down to lead the program Sept. 12.
Gannett names 2 executives to lead New Jersey news company
Gannett has named two executives to lead a New Jersey media company it recently purchased. Nancy Meyer was named president of North Jersey Media Group, and Rick Green was named vice president for news and editor. Meyer is the former publisher and chief executive of the Orlando Sentinel Media Group. Green is president and publisher of the Gannett-owned Enquirer Media in Cincinnati, Ohio. The McLean, Virginia-based Gannett purchased the New Jersey news organization last month
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 23, 2016
The Tennessean to sell longtime Nashville offices
The Tennessean is putting its longtime offices in downtown Nashville up for sale. The newspaper reports (http://tnne.ws/2bODpVH ) that no price has been named for the 10-acre property located in the Gulch neighborhood. Laura Hollingsworth, president of The Tennessean and USA Today Network -Tennessee, says the Gannett-owned newspaper plans to move news, business and sales operations to a new space in Nashville that has yet to be identified.
VMS publisher heading to El Paso
After nearly four years as publisher of the Valley Morning Star in Harlingen, Texas, Lilia Castillo Jones will be moving to another Texas town. Early next month, Jones will head to work for Gannett/USA Today Network as President of the El Paso Times & Texas/New Mexico Partnership, overseeing the company’s paper in El Paso and other properties in New Mexico.
New Tribune owner says Huntsman Sr. will have role at paper
The wealthy new owner of The Salt Lake Tribune says his father, Utah billionaire and industrialist Jon Huntsman Sr., will serve in a role at the newspaper as chairman emeritus. Deputy editor Tim Fitzpatrick says Tribune publisher Paul Huntsman made the announcement with his father during a meeting with the newspaper's staff and new editor, Jennifer Napier-Pearce. After purchasing the paper in May, Huntsman made his first major editorial staffing change last month by replacing longtime editor Terry Orme.
Provo newspaper Daily Herald sold to West Virginia company
The Daily Herald newspaper in Provo, Utah, has been sold to a West Virginia company that owns 40 newspapers across 14 states. Newspaper chain Lee Enterprises, Inc., announced that it was selling the Provo newspaper and its digital media operations to Ogden Newspapers of Utah, LLC. The company is part of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., out of Wheeling, West Virginia. The Provo newspaper has a daily circulation of about 20,000 people. Lee had owned The Daily Herald since 2005.
Rochester, Minnesota, management to split duties
Randy Chapman, who has been publisher of the Post-Bulletin in Rochester, Minnesota, since 2007, has been named publisher emeritus, it was announced. His new role will include chairing the P-B's editorial page and community advisory boards, continuing his weekly column and other writing, representing the company in community leadership and advising top management, according to Post-Bulletin President Len R. Small, who will assume additional duties as publisher. Small and his brother, Tom, have managed the newspaper and its holding company, Small Newspaper Group, for decades.
Gawker's Nick Denton out of the 'news and gossip business'
Gawker.com, a nearly 14-year-old blog being shut down following the sale of its parent company to Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, has stopped posting. In a memo to its staff, Gawker founder Nick Denton, the acerbic, outspoken former financial journalist, said he's also getting out of the news business. The blog's parent, Gawker Media, was sold following a $140 million judgment against it in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan over a sex tape. It was later revealed Hogan's lawsuit was backed by Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
More cuts are coming to newspapers owned by GateHouse Media, Poynter reports.
Poynter says that several GateHouse Media papers, including the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, the Rockford (Illinois) Register Star and the Providence (Rhode Island) Journal are undergoing a round of buyouts as the newspapers' parent company seeks to offset revenue declines. The offer, from GateHouse Media CEO Kirk Davis, cites "ongoing efforts across our organization to reduce costs" as the primary motive for the cuts. GateHouse Media owns 125 daily newspapers across the United States.
Tampa Bay Times sells Highlands Today to owners of Sun Coast Media Group
The Tampa Bay Times is selling the Highlands Today newspaper to the owners of Sun Coast Media Group. The Times assumed ownership of Highlands Today in May when it purchased the Tampa Tribune. The Times sells about 9,000 newspapers in Highlands County. Sun Coast Media Group is owned by the Dunn-Rankin family.
West Yellowstone News to stop publishing in September
Big Sky Publishing's president says The West Yellowstone (Montana) News will shut down its newspaper and website in September unless a new owner is found. Stephanie Pressly says advertising revenue has been in decline since the 2008 economic downturn, and the company can no longer afford to keep producing the weekly newspaper. A story in the West Yellowstone News (http://bit.ly/2b6Qkk4 ) announcing the closure says the owners considered a digital-only edition, but concluded it would still lose money. Big Sky Publishing also publishes the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and the Belgrade News. Another Big Sky newspaper, The Lone Peak Lookout, closed in 2015.
New York Times shuts down NYT Now smartphone app
The New York Times is shutting down its NYT Now smartphone app because the company says it hasn’t lived up to its hopes in the two years since it was launched in an effort to reach a younger audience. NYT Now offers morning and evening news briefings and a curated list of articles in a mobile friendly format. It was launched in 2014 with a subscription fee of $8 a month but was transitioned last year to a free model. The Times says it had 334,000 unique users at its peak in May of last year. That number had fallen to an average of 257,000 per month over the past three months. The Times says many NYT Now features are being incorporated into the main New York Times app.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 16, 2016
Adams Publishing Group to buy ECM Publishers
A family-owned media company in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, intends to purchase one of the country's largest publishers of weekly newspapers. Adams Publishing Group announced it is purchasing ECM Publishers Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Adams Publishing Group has multiple publications, including 63 community newspapers, 18 shoppers, 20 specialty publications and 81 websites. The company's website says it serves communities in Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maryland, Idaho, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, D.C. ECM has 50 publications and reaches more than 600,000 households in central Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Its holdings include several of the weekly "Sun" newspapers in the Twin Cities metro area. Coon Rapids-based ECM was founded by former Minnesota Gov. Elmer Andersen in 1976.
Arianna Huffington signs off at The Huffington Post
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post's editor-in-chief, announced that she's leaving The Huffington Post to head a new health, wellbeing and productivity startup. "I thought HuffPost would be my last act," Huffington said in a tweet. "But I've decided to step down as HuffPost's editor-in-chief to run my new venture, Thrive Global." The one-time conservative commentator oversaw explosive growth at the liberal online news and blog site that she co-founded in 2005, which went on to win a Pulitzer in less than a decade. The site is known for its celebrity and newsmaker blogs and was a pioneer in the "aggregation" model in online news, posting stories that relied on articles and information from different news organizations as well as its own contributors. Aside from its U.S. edition, The Huffington Post has 14 international editions in multiple languages.
Will Bourne leaving The Village Voice
Will Bourne, the editor in chief of The Village Voice, is leaving the newspaper after less than a year at the helm of the free weekly, Poynter reports. News of Bourne's departure came via an announcement from the The Village Voice noting that the newspaper was undergoing preparations for "an extensive relaunch." The Village Voice is undertaking preparations and planning leading up to an extensive relaunch next year. Under the direction of CEO Peter Barbey, we've engaged Pentagram, the world's largest independent design consultancy, to spearhead a redesign of the newsprint weekly. We've also tapped leading digital product shop Postlight to head the build out of an entirely new website for the brand. As part of these changes, Will Bourne has stepped down as Editor in Chief. Managing editor Meave Gallagher will assume editorial responsibilities in the interim pending formal announcement of The Village Voice's next Editor in Chief.
Vermont dailies sold to owner of Portland Press Herald
The family that owns the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus in Vermont says it's selling the newspapers to a company that owns several publications in Maine, including the Portland Press Herald. In selling to a company run by Maine-based publishing entrepreneur Reade Brower and printing and marketing executive Chip Harris, the Mitchell family said in the Rutland Herald that they had found owners with the entrepreneurial spirit, community focus and commitment to journalism. The Mitchell family has owned the Rutland Herald since 1947 and the Times Argus since 1964. Together, the newspapers have 80 full and part-time employees.
Florida journalists form union at The Ledger newspaper
Journalists at The Ledger in central Florida have voted to unionize. Newsroom employees voted 22-3 on Thursday to have The News Guild represent them in bargaining for their first labor contract with the Polk County newspaper's parent company, GateHouse Media. Ledger Media Group publisher Kevin Drake said in a statement that the vote was disappointing but the newspaper remained committed to producing quality journalism. GateHouse Media acquired The Ledger and other Florida newspapers from Halifax Media in 2015. The Pittsford, New York, company is a subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc. According to a News Guild statement, over 20 Ledger newsroom employees have been laid off since the acquisition. The News Guild said The Ledger is the only Florida newspaper with a unionized newsroom. The News Media Guild represents Associated Press editorial employees in the U.S.
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 9, 2016
Nevada media company president to head Oregonian Media Group
John F. Maher, the president of Nevada company RGJ Media, has accepted a position at the helm of Oregonian Media Group, the parent company of The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon. He replaces Steve Moss, who is moving to senior adviser at Advance Local, parent company of Oregonian Media Group. The job move was reported by the Reno-Gazette Journal (http://on.rgj.com/2aW9HhE ). RGJ Media owns the Reno Gazette-Journal, RGJ.com and Reno.com. Maher has been its president since 2011. Maher previously served as publisher of the Lincoln Journal Star in Nebraska and in leadership positions at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kansas City Star.
Group honors journalists for Las Vegas newspaper sale story
A team of journalists that broke the story that Nevada's largest newspaper had been purchased by the family of billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson is receiving a national ethics award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Former Las Vegas Review-Journal reporters James DeHaven, Eric Hartley, Jennifer Robison and Howard Stutz, former editors Mike Hengel and James G. Wright, former columnist John L. Smith, and the newspaper's current managing editor, Glenn Cook, were named for the honor. Steve Majerus-Collins, a former reporter at the Bristol Press in Connecticut, was honored with them. The Bristol Press was linked to the Review-Journal through a company set up during the Adelson purchase. The society said the team "didn't waver in their exposé and related coverage" despite "obfuscation and obstacles from their new bosses."
Parent company of Aberdeen newspaper to buy Public Opinion
The parent company of the Aberdeen (South Dakota) American News and Farm Forum has agreed to buy the Watertown Public Opinion. The American News reports (http://bit.ly/2aOkSX8) that Public Opinion publisher Mark Roby will be regional publisher for both the Watertown and Aberdeen properties after the sale is finalized. The American News and Farm Forum are owned by Schurz Communications Inc. of Mishawaka, Indiana. The Public Opinion is owned by United Communications Corp. of Kenosha, Wisconsin. Roby would replace Aberdeen publisher Cory Bollinger, who is taking on regional publisher duties for the Schurz Indiana newspaper group. Bollinger, who has been Aberdeen publisher since 2010, will continue leading Schurz print operations as the company's vice president-publishing.
Eugene Jackson named Democrat News publisher
Lee Enterprises has announced that Eugene Jackson has been named publisher of the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri. He succeeds Gary Berblinger, who retired earlier this year. “Jackson is a rising leader in our industry, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Lee Enterprises and the Daily Journal,” said Lee group publisher Ron Peterson. “Eugene has a passion for local news and local communities, and I look forward to what he brings to his new role.” Jackson will also serve as publisher of the Farmington Press and Democrat News, Peterson said. Jackson, 36, most recently served as director of advertising for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. His career also includes 10 years with The Roanoke Times.
Ron Fournier to become associate publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business
Ron Fournier, a former White House correspondent for The Associated Press, is leaving Washington for Detroit, according to Poynter. Fournier, best known for covering the Clintons and aggressively morphing into an edgy online columnist for The National Journal and The Atlantic, revealed that he'll return to Detroit as associate publisher of Crain's Detroit Business. He returns often to Michigan, has a cottage in the northern woods and now has a daughter, who was born in Arkansas and raised in the Washington area, living in Detroit. Another daughter is a law student at Michigan State University. Tyler, a son who has Asperger's Syndrome and is centerpiece of Fournier's best-selling "Love That Boy," simply "misses his sisters and extended family in Michigan."
INDUSTRY NEWS AUG. 2, 2016
Fayetteville Observer sold to GateHouse Media
The Fayetteville Publishing Company announced that it is selling the Fayetteville Observer to GateHouse Media LLC, one of the largest publishing companies in the U.S. The sale also includes other Fayetteville Publishing businesses and will end 93 years of local ownership of the company, the paper said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Fayetteville Observer is North Carolina's oldest newspaper, celebrating its 200th anniversary, and it has been the largest independent newspaper in North Carolina and one of the largest family-owned papers in the country. Publisher Charles Broadwell, who followed in the footsteps of his uncle and grandfather in leading the newspaper, said he has been working on the deal for about a year as the paper faced dwindling circulation and was forced to downsize. The newspaper has about 350 employees, down about 100 from its peak. GateHouse later named Robert J. Gruber as publisher of the Observer. Gruber has served as publisher of The Wilmington Star News, another GateHouse property, since October 2005.
Gatehouse announces changes at several Arkansas papers
Two publishers for Gatehouse Media in Arkansas have been replaced by a former executive at USA Weekend. Arkansas Business reported (http://bit.ly/2ajQ7tY ) that Ed Graves will replace veteran Pine Bluff Commercial publisher and editor Byron Tate and senior group publisher Shane Allen, who was based in Heber Springs. The Arkansas Press Association said Graves is the first African-American publisher of a daily newspaper in the state. Several weekly papers have had African-American publishers. Gatehouse is headquartered in Rochester, New York, and also owns the Southwest Times-Record in Fort Smith, the Daily Siftings Herald in Arkadelphia, the Hope Star and the Stuttgart Daily Leader, along with several weekly newspapers in Arkansas.
Arkansas newspapers announce merger
Another chapter in community journalism is being written in Nashville, Arkansas, with the purchase and merger of the Nashville Leader and the Nashville News. The newspaper now goes by the name The Nashville News-Leader. The Texarkana Gazette (http://bit.ly/2axuqqF ) reports that after nearly two months, the community has had little problem adjusting to a new owner_John Robert Schirmer of Nashville_since he is a local teacher and helped launch the Nashville Leader with Louie Graves in 2003. "A key desire on our part in selling the newspapers was passing ownership to someone who lives in the local area rather than having community newspapers owned by out-of-state interests who only care about the bottom line," said former Graves Publishing Co. CEO Michael Graves of Nashville. The sale of the Graves Publishing Co. was concluded May 31 and included The Nashville News, Murfreesboro Diamond, Glenwood Herald and Montgomery County News. The press, commercial printing operation and building in Nashville were also included.
Poynter: Kyle Pope to head Columbia Journalism Review
Kyle Pope's journalism career hasn't been a straightforward exercise in ladder-climbing, Poynter reports. He's been an editor at a daily newspaper (The Wall Street Journal), a weekly (the New York Observer), a glossy magazine (the short-lived Condé Nast Portfolio), and, most recently, a chain of eight hyperlocal weeklies in Manhattan. So he's jumped around a lot. It's a career that Pope, 52, says has prepared him for his latest gig, editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review. "I've had a long career, and the hyperlocal stuff is the last three years of it," Pope said Friday. "I will miss it. But this is an entirely different thing. In a way, I view this as the coming-together of everything that I've done." In September, Pope will take over at CJR for Liz Spayd, who was recently appointed as public editor of The New York Times.
Ralph Martin named an executive at Steinman Communications
Ralph Martin, a former top executive at Trib Total Media in Pittsburgh, has been named executive vice president of Steinman Communications. Steinman's businesses include LNP newspaper in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the Delmarva Broadcasting Company, which operates radio stations in Maryland, Delaware and southern New Jersey. Steinman CEO Robert Krasne said that the 62-year-old Martin will help drive strategic initiatives across its radio, newspaper and digital operations. Martin was president and chief executive of Trib Total Media, publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, before being named CEO of Davidson, North Carolina-based Civitas Media in 2015. He stepped down from that job last month.
Eugene Jackson named Daily Journal publisher
Lee Enterprises has announced that Eugene Jackson has been named publisher of the Daily Journal in Park Hills, Missouri. He succeeds Gary Berblinger, who retired earlier this year. “Jackson is a rising leader in our industry, and we’re delighted to welcome him to Lee Enterprises and the Daily Journal,” said Lee group publisher Ron Peterson. Jackson, 36, most recently served as director of advertising for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group. His career also includes 10 years with The Roanoke Times, where he held a number of positions including advertising sales development manager.
INDUSTRY NEWS JULY 26, 2016
W.K. Kellogg Foundation awards grant for criminal justice reporting project
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) a $400,000 grant to partially fund a new criminal justice reporting project. This three-year special reporting series will focus on producing multimedia content on criminal and juvenile justice issues affecting communities of color. The project is scheduled to launch first in the state of New Mexico. AAJA will partner with the National Council on Crime & Delinquency (NCCD) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) to train journalists, with an emphasis on journalists of color, in strong investigative skills and increased knowledge of criminal and juvenile justice issues. The project also hopes to partner with local media to enhance current state coverage of juvenile and criminal justice issues.
Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune has new leader
A Nebraska native with strong background in the newspaper industry is the new publisher of the Fremont (Nebraska) Tribune and The Plattsmouth Journal. Gary Loftus began serving as publisher on July 13. His career in the newspaper industry spans more than four decades, with more than 30 years in management and more than a decade of newspaper publishing experience. Ava Thomas, regional president and publisher, Lee Enterprises, Nebraska newspapers group, believes Loftus will be an asset to the communities and the corporation.
Trib Total Media offers more buyouts to workforce
Trib Total Media, a Pittsburgh-based publisher, says it will offer buyouts to further reduce its workforce. The publisher of the Tribune-Review newspaper and other publications said about 400 of the company’s 585 full-time employees will be eligible for the buyout. The company said it expects about 100 workers to accept it. Specific terms of the buyout were not disclosed but employees across the company with five years or more of full-time service are eligible, said Lindsay Berdell Bock, executive director of marketing. “As the habits of our readers continue to change, it is imperative that we adjust our expenses in line with the changes to our revenue,” said Jennifer Bertetto, president and chief executive of the publishing company.
INDUSTRY NEWS JULY 19, 2016
Pew Research: Digital technology continues to upend the news industry
Facebook, Snapchat, and other social platforms have dominated conversations around journalism over the past year. While publishers have flocked to tools like Facebook Live, Instant Articles, and Snapchat Discover to reach new audiences, they’ve also worried about changing revenue models and the threats platforms pose to their businesses. The Pew Research Center has released its annual State of the News Media report, which examines these trends and shows that digital technology continues to upend the news industry. Nearly half of American adults now get news from Facebook, Pew found. Daily newspaper circulation fell 7 percent from 2014 to 2015, and newspaper ad revenue fell 8 percent over the same period. Spending on mobile advertising grew by 65 percent between 2014 and 2015, Pew said. In 2015, $31.6 billion, or 53 percent of total digital advertising, was spent on mobile ads. “While that is a steep climb for mobile, the rate of growth is down from recent years, when growth rates were in the triple digits,” the report’s authors write. Still, mobile accounted for 17 percent of the $183 billion that was spent in media advertising on all platforms in 2015. Video advertising spending climbed 46 percent to $7.7 billion in 2015, accounting for 29 percent of display advertising.
Boston Globe reaches agreement to sell headquarters
The Boston Globe has agreed to sell its longtime headquarters in Dorchester. The newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/29KgjuGP) that Boston Globe Media Partners chief executive Mike Sheehan confirmed the company has signed a purchase-and-sale agreement for the 16.5-acre property and 815,000-square-foot Globe building along Interstate 93. Sheehan has declined to identify the buyer or detail the terms of the deal. The Globe previously announced that its editorial and business departments will move to an office complex in Boston near the city's political and business centers. Printing and delivery operations will be done from a new facility in Taunton, about 40 miles south of Boston. The plant will print the Globe and also the Boston Herald, The New York Times and USA Today for delivery to their local subscribers.
Brian Priester to lead Michigan.com, Detroit Free Press
A Gannett veteran was named as the new leader of Michigan.com and The Detroit Free Press, after both organizations' former head Joyce Jenereaux in May announced her upcoming retirement. Brian Priester will serve as president of Michigan.com and the Detroit Free Press, effective August 1, according to Gannett officials and a statement by Jenereaux. Priester currently works as president of Gannett in the mid-Michigan region and leads the Lansing State Journal. He spent more than 20 years as a marketing and media executive with Gannett, which owns the Free Press and has part-ownership of Michigan.com.
Jones named publisher of Newnan Times-Herald
Walter C. Jones, an experienced Georgia journalist, has been named publisher of the Newnan (Georgia) Times-Herald. Jones has been director of news services for Morris News Service/Augusta Chronicle since January 1997. He worked for the Griffin Daily News as a staff writer and has held consulting and management positions with Square Service, Inc. and Phillips Publishing, Inc. For two years, he was executive assistant to U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich. In that role, Jones collaborated on a treatise on national security, coordinated special projects and drafted legislation.
La Crosse man creates kites fashioned from local newspaper
Greg Remen would like you to go fly a kite — and he's got just the deal for you: a free kite fashioned from a La Crosse Tribune if you've been featured in a story or photo. You might have seen samples of Remen's work dangling from kite-eating trees in Copeland Park and other parks in La Crosse, the La Crosse Tribune (http://bit.ly/29SKRMk ) reported. "I like to take them up to the Cass Street Bridge and let two or three fly, then come down to Riverside Park and watch them," the La Crosse man said during an interview in the park Tuesday as he pointed to one tethered to the bridge. The 61-year-old Remen's lifelong love of kites is just one of his motivations for crafting 300-plus kites from newspapers during the past year. Just as important, perhaps, is his view of them as a novel way to preserve history.
Wisconsin to weigh moving to online public notices
Wisconsin legislators are again weighing whether to allow local governments and school boards to post more legal notices online in lieu of printing in newspapers. The issue has surfaced every few years, leading to some revisions in the state's existing laws, which require publication of ordinances, meeting notices, school board minutes, alcohol license applications and other notices. A legislative study committee now plans to take up the issue more comprehensively at a meeting on July 26. "There's no question that the internet has dramatically changed the way people get information," said Sen. Mark Miller, a Monona Democrat and vice-chair of the committee. "We want to try to make use of that capacity to improve public notices." Many school boards and local governments favor moving toward more online notices because it has the potential to reach people more easily and saves them money. But the Wisconsin Newspaper Association has opposed previous legislative efforts, saying many people still rely on newspapers for information.
INDUSTRY NEWS JULY 5, 2016
New York Times: Facebook to change news feed to focus on friends, family
For years, Facebook has courted publishers of all sizes, asking them to depend more and more on the social media giant to expand their audiences. Now, Facebook has a new message for publishers: Tamp down your expectations. Facebook announced recently that it planned to make a series of changes to its news feed algorithm so that it will more favorably promote content posted by the friends and family of users. The side effect of those changes, the company said, is that content posted by publishers will show up less prominently in news feeds, resulting in significantly less traffic to the hundreds of news media sites that have come to rely on Facebook. The move underscores the never-ending algorithm-tweaking that Facebook undertakes to maintain interest in its news feed, the company’s marquee feature that is seen by more than 1.65 billion users every month. It is also a reminder that while Facebook is vastly important to the long-term growth of news media companies, from older outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post to upstarts like BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox Media, publishers rank lower on Facebook’s list of priorities.
New York Times: Pillars of black media fight to survive
For the black community in Chicago and elsewhere, Johnson Publishing Company represented a certain kind of hope. The company’s magazines, most notably Ebony and Jet, gained prominence during the struggle for civil rights — Jet published graphic photos of the murdered black teenager Emmett Till that helped intensify the movement — and made it their mission to chronicle African-American life. At a time when much of the media was ignoring black people, or showing them primarily in the context of poverty or crime, Ebony and Jet celebrated their success, featuring stars like Muhammad Ali and Aretha Franklin on their covers. When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, the first print publication he granted an interview to was Ebony. So when Johnson Publishing, which is based in Chicago, announced a little more than two weeks ago that it had sold Ebony and Jet to a private equity firm in Texas, there was a sense of loss. “It was a very heartbreaking day,” said Melody Spann-Cooper, the chairwoman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation, which owns a Chicago radio station, WVON, aimed at a black audience. “Ebony gave to African-Americans what Life didn’t.” Ms. Spann-Cooper’s reaction underscored a deeper concern: As racial issues have once again become a prominent topic in the national conversation, the influence of black-owned media companies on black culture is diminishing.
Gordon McLeod stepping down as publisher of NY's Newsday
Gordon McLeod, the publisher of Newsday Media Group, is stepping down from his post. Newsday reports (http://nwsdy.li/29qGnLH ) that McLeod emailed employees saying that his decision was "personal" and that he had found his work "an incredibly rewarding experience." A Newsday spokesman declined to comment. McLeod was hired in March 2014 and was responsible for leading all of the Newsday Media Group's outlets. That includes Newsday, Newsday.com, amNewYork, amny.com, exploreLI.com and a large group of weekly shopper publications. Prior to joining Newsday, McLeod served as president of Krux, a technology company. From 2006 to 2010, he worked at News Corp.'s Dow Jones & Company as president of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.
Publisher Frank Wood to retire, West Virginia native Randy Mooney to succeed him
Publisher Frank D. Wood is retiring after more than 40 years in the newspaper business and 17 years at the helm of The Register-Herald in Beckley, West Virginia, as well as The Montgomery Herald and The Fayette Tribune. He will be succeeded by Randy Mooney, publisher of the neighboring Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Mooney is a native of St. Albans, West Virginia. Wood began his newspaper career in 1969. He returned to Beckley as publisher of The Register-Herald and its companion papers in 1999, expanding them into the digital era with electronic replica editions, websites and mobile platforms.
E. Mayer Maloney Jr. retires in Indiana
E. Mayer Maloney Jr. has retired as publisher of The Herald-Times in Bloomington, Indiana, and its sister news organizations in Bedford, Martinsville and Mooresville. He spent 14 years at the Herald-Times. He graduated from University School in Bloomington and Indiana University, and often recalled his childhood years delivering The Herald-Telephone around his eastside neighborhood. He still can list off many of the families who lived along his paper route.
Tony Bernados promoted to publisher of The St. Augustine Record
Tony Bernados, vice president of revenue for the Savannah Morning News, has been named publisher of The St. Augustine Record in St. Augustine, Florida. The announcement was made by William S. Morris IV, president and CEO of Morris Communications Co. Bernados will report to Mark Nusbaum, president of The Florida Times-Union and group publisher for the Morris Florida Division.
Paper in Kerrville, Texas, welcomes new publisher
The Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, Texas, welcomed a new publisher and editor Neice Bell, who takes over from retiring publisher Mike Graxiola. Bell previously was publisher of The Lufkin News and before that was publisher of The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, both sister papers of The Times. Bell, a San Antonio native, lived in Kerrville for 27 years and worked at The Times as Neice Wienecke, before she was married. Graxiola retired Thursday after 40 years in the newspaper business.
San Francisco media execute week of coverage on homeless crisis
More than 70 media organizations in San Francisco planned to saturate online, TV and print publications with news stories about an issue that has stumped politicians and residents for decades: The city's homeless. Homelessness has defined San Francisco for generations, with panhandlers and urine-stained sidewalks as much a part of the scenery as the Golden Gate Bridge or Victorian homes on a hillside. But with thousands of newcomers and tensions exacerbated by a shortage of affordable housing, complaints about those who live on the streets are growing. Media outlets planned stories through the week in a push to inform residents and spur action. The San Francisco Chronicle, one of the city's two daily newspapers, has lined up a week of coverage capped by a front-page editorial. "We have expertise, and we have resources," said Audrey Cooper, the Chronicle's editor-in-chief who created the idea for the "SF Homeless Project." ''We want things to get better, too, and we want people to make smarter decisions."
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 28, 2016
Poynter Institute to grow 'News University' platform with Knight Foundation funding
The Poynter Institute said it will remake its "News University" platform with $758,000 in new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to build a mobile-friendly platform more responsive to the needs of its audiences. Poynter owns Times Publishing Co., the parent company of the Tampa Bay Times. The redesigned site will offer on-demand and mobile-tailored courses that will include the use of games, interactive hands-on practice and video. Poynter said it will also explore ways to integrate its News University with its news site, poynter.org. And Poynter plans to expand its teaching to non-journalists interested in learning more about writing, communication, leadership, critical thinking, audience development, social media and more.
Herald-Leader moving printing operation to Louisville
The Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader has announced it will move its printing and packaging operations to Louisville and will put the newspaper office and production and packaging facilities on the market. The McClatchy-owned newspaper (http://bit.ly/2934jbH ) published a statement from President and Publisher Rufus M. Friday that said the change will affect 25 full-time and four part-time jobs in Lexington. The statement said the newspaper is transferring printing and packaging to Gannett Publishing Services LLC in Louisville and said the move "will focus the Herald-Leader's resources on its rapidly growing digital news, information and advertising operations." Friday said the newspaper would look for "new space in downtown Lexington that better meets the needs of a 21st century media company." The statement said Gannett prints The Courier-Journal, The State Journal of Frankfort, LEO Weekly, USA Today and various printing for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Daily News publisher named group publisher
Daily News Publisher Ken Harty has been named group publisher for Wick Communications, based in Sierra Vista, Arizona. A second-generation newspaperman, Harty joined Wick in October 1992. He has worked in several departments of the Daily News in Wahpeton, North Dakota, and Breckenridge, Minnesota, including a five-year stint in the pressroom. "Ken Harty's talents and experience position him to do well with his added responsibilities," said Francis Wick, president and CEO of Wick Communications.
San Francisco's oldest LGBT newspaper turns 45, looks forward
The year San Francisco's oldest surviving LGBT newspaper printed its first issue, sodomy laws were abundant throughout the country, San Francisco public employees could be fired over their sexual orientation, and police harassment of gay, lesbian and bisexual people was just starting to abate. AIDS hadn't yet hit. Legendary gay rights activist and former San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk was still alive. And the idea that gay and lesbian couples would someday be able to legally marry - let alone print wedding announcements in the Bay Area Reporter - would have seemed preposterous. "It was a totally different time," said Terry Beswick, the executive director of the GLBT Historical Society who worked as an assistant editor at the Reporter in the 1990s. "[The newspaper] validated us and our community at a time when not much else did. It helped us speak amongst ourselves, but also proved that we're here, we exist. ... If you took the BAR out of the gay community, I don't know that it would function the same way. It's become like our coral reef." The Bay Area Reporter, which began as a community and culture publication, published its first issue on April 1, 1971. In the 45 years since, it has evolved to become an enduring local news source and advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. One of the oldest LGBT newspapers in the nation, the Bay Area Reporter outlasted many that came after it.
Miranda Spivack coming to DPU as Pulliam Visiting Journalism Professor
Award-winning journalist, Miranda S. Spivack, who spent nearly 20 years at the Washington Post as an editor and reporter, is coming to DePauw University to serve as Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism for the 2016-17 academic year. Spivack has been a working journalist for four decades and has spent much of her career writing accountability stories about state and local governments. She is currently working on a journalism project about state and local government transparency and secrecy, which is being funded by the Fund for Investigative Journalism, CUNYs Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program and Marquette University's O'Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism.
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 21, 2016
Pew Research: Newspaper declines accelerate
The 13th annual Pew Research State of the News Media Report documents another year of alarming declines for newspapers — the worst since the 2008-2009 recession, Poynter reports. Other sectors did much better, with revenues actually growing robustly both for cable channels (up 10 percent) and network news (up 6 percent for evening shows and 14 percent for mornings). Cobbling together newspaper data that is less current and available than it once was, Pew estimates that the industry lost 7 percent of daily circulation in 2015 and 8 percent of ad revenues. More up-to-date surveys of readership provide further cause for discouragement. Pew research in January 2016 found nearly everyone is following news of the presidential race. But only 5 percent said print newspaper coverage in the last week was their "most helpful" source (3 percent local papers and 2 percent national) — by far the lowest among available channels.
Johnson Publishing announces sale of Jet, Ebony magazines
Ebony and Jet magazines, which have chronicled African-American life for the past 71 years, have been sold to an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm. Johnson Publishing Co. in Chicago announced that Ebony and digital-only Jet were sold to Clear View Group. The sale of the magazines was closed in May, and no sale price was disclosed. Johnson Publishing will retain its Fashion Fair Cosmetics business and Ebony photo archive, which is for sale, according to The Chicago Tribune (http://trib.in/1VYkBDc). Ebony magazine was founded by John Johnson in 1945, but had been affected by declining circulation and revenues in recent years as it tried to evolve from print to digital platforms.
Simons family selling Journal-World to Ogden Newspapers, Inc.
Nearly 125 years of Lawrence newspaper history will end later this year when the Simons family, owner of the Journal-World, completes the paper’s sale to Ogden Newspapers Inc., a family-owned company based in Wheeling, West Virginia. The pending transaction was announced to Journal-World department leaders by Dolph C. Simons Jr., editor of the Journal-World and chairman of The World Company, which owns the newspaper. His sons, Dan, president of World’s digital division, and Dolph III, president of its newspapers division, took part in the session, after which the three leaders met with all staff members to tell them of the company’s plan.
Aspen Times owner acquires papers in Craig and Steamboat
Colorado Mountain News Media Co, a subsidiary of Swift Communications Inc, the owner of The Aspen Times, will acquire the Steamboat Pilot & Today and Craig Daily Press from WorldWest LLC. The deal, whose terms were not disclosed by the privately held companies, is expected to be complete Aug. 1. The 131-year-old paid weekly Steamboat Pilot & Today publishes Sundays and is complemented by the free daily Steamboat Today, online news site SteamboatToday.com and a number of glossy magazines. The Craig Daily Press has a paid circulation of 1,700 and publishes four days a week.
Harris Enterprises puts newspapers up for sale
Harris Enterprises has announced plans to sell its six newspapers. John Montgomery, vice president of Harris Enterprises and publisher of The Hutchinson News (http://j.mp/1W46Z9t ), announced that the company's newspapers are up for sale. The Hutchinson, Kansas-based company said it has hired a firm to sell the chain. Bruce Buchanan, president of Harris Enterprises, said in a release that the owners hope to sell all six newspapers as a group, but that it may be necessary to deal with more than one buyer. Harris family involvement in the newspaper business began in 1907 when Ralph Harris bought The Ottawa Herald. In addition to the Herald and The Hutchinson News, the family-owned company also owns the Salina Journal, The Garden City Telegram, The Hays Daily News and The Burlington, Iowa, Hawk Eye.
It's official: LA Times owner Tribune changes name to Tronc
Don't call it Tribune anymore: The newspaper company has officially changed its name to Tronc. The company behind the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune is shedding its name to rebrand as a high-tech journalism company as it tries to avoid being bought by USA Today owner Gannett Co. Tronc stands for Tribune online content, the company says. The Chicago-based publisher will also get a new stock symbol. Tronc Inc. began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange Monday under the ticker symbol "TRNC." Previously, Tribune Publishing Co. was traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "TPUB."
2 Vermont newspapers cutting days of printed editions
The Vermont-based Rutland Herald and its sister newspaper, the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus are eliminating print publication on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Rutland Herald reports (http://bit.ly/28KD0lS ) the company will continue publishing an online edition seven days a week. But it's moving to a four-day-a-week schedule for print editions. The reduced printing schedule will result in expanded newsprint editions on Thursday through Sunday. News, sports, opinion, comics and obituaries will be part of the online editions.
New publisher announced for The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa
Lee Enterprises announced Roy D. Biondi has been named publisher of The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa, and The Globe Gazette in Mason City. He succeeds David Braton, who became publisher of The Bismarck Tribune in March. Biondi, 54, is currently vice president and group publisher for Consumer NewServices and ThisWeek Community News in central Ohio. He begins his new role July 5.
David Magee named publisher of The Oxford (Mississippi) Eagle
Oxford, Mississippi, native David Magee has been named publisher of The Oxford Eagle and president of Oxford Newsmedia LLC. The newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1XqPa5s) that Magee, 50, is a former city council member and business owner. He got his journalism start at The Eagle while a student at the University of Mississippi. Magee is currently publisher of Birmingham magazine and vice president at Alabama Media Group, which owns websites and newspapers including AL.com, The Birmingham News, The Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times. Before joining Alabama Media Group, Magee was managing editor of The International Business Times.
New group publisher to lead The Daily Astorian in Oregon
Northwest newspaper executive David Pero has been named group publisher of The Daily Astorian and its companion publications on the Oregon Coast. He succeeds Steve Forrester, who is retiring as publisher after 28 years in Astoria. Pero, 59, will serve as editor and publisher of The Daily Astorian. As group publisher, he will oversee all operations on the coast for the Astorian, Seaside Signal, Cannon Beach Gazette, Coast River Business Journal and Chinook Observer. Pero most recently was chief operating officer for the Register-Guard in Eugene.
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 14, 2016
Vermont newspaper publisher holds essay contest to find new owner
As he approaches his 71st birthday, Ross Connelly is ready to retire as editor and publisher of the 127-year-old community newspaper in Vermont he and his late wife bought three decades ago. He was unsuccessful at selling the weekly Hardwick Gazette, so he came up with a novel way to find a new owner: an essay contest that kicks off on his birthday. If he gets at least 700 essays, he'll pick a winner from among them. He's looking for someone who can show they can handle the responsibility of providing strong local coverage at a time when people are increasingly relying on the internet and social media for their news. The newspaper is based in Hardwick, a community of about 3,000 residents in northern Vermont. The new owner also must be committed to the community.
AP on why it called delegate race for Clinton: 'That is news'
After being criticized for calling the Democratic nomination for Hillary Clinton hours before polls opened in the nation's most populous state, the Associated Press fired back, with a top official saying, "That is the news, and reporting the news is what we do." Kathleen Carroll, AP senior vice president and executive editor, said in a statement on the news service’s corporate blog that "AP concluded that Hillary Clinton had enough delegates to clinch the nomination after a painstaking but very straightforward exercise: We counted." By Monday evening, Carroll said, 571 superdelegates had "told us unequivocally that they intend to vote for Clinton at the convention. Adding that number to the delegates awarded to Clinton in the primary and caucus voting to date gave her the number needed to be the presumptive nominee. That is the news and reporting the news is what we do.” The blog post, quoted by the San Francisco Tribune, said Carroll emphasized that nothing in the report “discourages or prevents voters in six states from exercise their right to go to the polls.”
AP journalist Tom Kent appointed Radio Free Europe president
Associated Press journalist Tom Kent has been appointed president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Kent worked for the AP for more than four decades, serving as Moscow bureau chief, international editor, deputy managing editor and most recently as standards editor. In announcing the appointment, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty board chairman Jeff Shell praised Kent's "track record in digital news expansion and his collaborative leadership style." Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is one of the five U.S.-funded broadcasters under the Broadcasting Board of Governors, whose mission is to support democracy and free speech around the world. It broadcasts in 26 languages to 23 countries.
Bob Hansen named publisher of Courier-Times in Indiana
Bob Hansen, a 35-year veteran of the newspaper business, has been named publisher at The Courier-Times in New Castle, Indiana. David Holgate, Indiana-Michigan Group President for Paxton Media Group, made the announcement. “I am very happy to announce Bob Hansen as the new publisher of The Courier-Times,” Holgate said. “Bob has been a valued member of our management team and is absolutely the right person to lead our team in New Castle.” He came to The Courier-Times after serving three years as editor of The News-Examiner in Connersville, Indiana.
RG Media Company hires new publisher
Logan Molen, formerly senior vice president and chief operating officer of The Bakersfield Californian, has been named publisher and chief executive officer of RG Media Company, based in Eugene, Oregon. In 28 years at the Californian, a 35,000-circulation daily about 100 miles north of Los Angeles, Molen held several executive and management positions, including assistant city editor; general manager of the company’s website, Bakersfield.com; managing editor; and vice president of interactive media before being named senior vice president and chief operating officer in 2009. Molen, 54, will assume duties at RG Media Company from interim Publisher and CEO Tony Baker. Baker, who served as editor and publisher and CEO for 28 years before retiring in 2015, returned to lead the company after the resignation of Editor and Publisher N. Christian Anderson III last December.
Gawker files for bankruptcy, to sell itself to Ziff Davis
Gawker Media is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and putting itself up for sale, strained by a jury's verdict that that it must pay $140 million to pro wrestler Hulk Hogan in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit. The filing by the 14-year-old website follows the revelation in May that Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hogan's lawsuit as what he called a "deterrent" to Gawker's no-holds-barred and sometimes gonzo style of journalism. Thiel's secret role sparked anxiety over the possibility that more wealthy individuals might cow publications by covertly funding lawsuits against them. Gawker says it plans to sell itself to publishing company Ziff Davis, although other bidders could emerge during the bankruptcy court auction. The sale will help it fund its appeal against the Hogan judgment in a Florida state court.
John Temple named managing editor at Berkeley program
The Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism has named veteran journalist John Temple as its new managing editor. In his role, Temple will oversee all editorial projects at the IRP, which produces in-depth documentaries and investigative stories for major media outlets that include The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Mother Jones, Univision and PBS Frontline. Temple will also teach courses in investigative reporting at the Journalism School. Temple will report to Lowell Bergman, the IRP’s longtime director and the Reva & David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism. Temple was president of audience and products at First Look Media from 2014 to 2015. Before that, he was a senior fellow in the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University. He has also served as managing editor of The Washington Post and editor and general manager of Honolulu Civil Beat, a news service launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. In addition, Temple was editor, president and publisher of the award-winning Rocky Mountain News and vice president of news of the newspaper division of the E.W. Scripps Co. before it closed the Denver paper in 2009.
The Oklahoman to close printing facility, lay off 130
The Oklahoman has announced plans to close its printing and packaging operations in Oklahoma City and lay off a total of 130 employees. Chris Reen, the publisher of The Oklahoman and the president of The Oklahoma Media Group, said printing and packaging operations will be outsourced to the Tulsa World starting in September. The newspaper said, with other manufacturing changes, the layoffs will include 65 full-time and 65 part-time jobs.
INDUSTRY NEWS JUNE 7, 2016
NPR journalist David Gilkey, translator killed on assignment
David Gilkey, a veteran news photographer and video editor for National Public Radio, and an Afghan translator, Zabihullah Tamanna, were killed while on assignment in southern Afghanistan, the network says. Gilkey and Tamanna were traveling with an Afghan army unit near Marjah in Helmand province when the convoy came under fire and their vehicle was struck, the network's spokeswoman, Isabel Lara, said in a statement. Two other NPR journalists, Tom Bowman and producer Monika Evstatieva, were traveling with them and were not hurt. Gilkey had covered conflict and war in Iraq and Afghanistan since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on Washington and New York and was committed to helping the public see the wars and the people caught up in them, NPR's senior vice president of news and editorial director, Michael Oreskes, said in a statement. Oreskes formerly worked as a vice president and senior managing editor for AP. "As a man and as a photojournalist, David brought out the humanity of all those around him. He let us see the world and each other through his eyes," Oreskes said. Tamanna, 37, was a freelancer who often worked for NPR.
Poet Elizabeth Alexander elected to Pulitzer Prize Board
Poet Elizabeth Alexander has been elected to the Pulitzer Prize Board, which selects the winners of the awards recognizing excellence in journalism, books, drama and music. New York's Columbia University made the announcement. Alexander has written six books of poetry, including one that was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2005. She also wrote a memoir that was a Pulitzer finalist this year. Alexander recited one of her works at Democratic President Barack Obama's first inauguration. She also has taught at Yale University, New York University and the University of Chicago. She currently works at the Ford Foundation. She has been elected to a three-year term on the 19-member board. Columbia University manages the prizes, which are announced in April.
Venture capitalist new chair of Inquirer, Daily News parent
A cofounder of a venture capital firm has been named board chairman of the company that operates the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and their joint website, Philly.com. Josh Kopelman succeeds philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest as chair of Philadelphia Media Network. Lenfest bought the media company two years ago. But late last year he donated it to a nonprofit journalism institute, which can accept outside donations and help underwrite Philadelphia Media's operations. The 45-year-old Kopelman joined Philadelphia Media's board last year. He is cofounder of First Round Capital, which since 2004 has invested in over 300 technology startups.
Tribune renames itself 'Tronc' while Gannett weighs its bid
It is unclear if USA Today owner Gannett will continue its $864 million bid for Tribune Publishing, but it is clear that no one will have Tribune to kick around anymore. That's because it's changing its corporate name — to Tronc Inc., standing for "Tribune online content." It's also the former name of Tribune's new "content curation and monetization" technology, which it now calls TroncX. That's the backbone of Tribune's plan to squeeze more money out of digital ads and customize news articles for readers. Tribune Chairman Michael Ferro said the rebranding reflects the way the company will "pool our technology and content resources to execute on our strategy." The renaming is so far the only tangible change following a shareholder vote that ratified Tribune's slate of directors, although the company hasn't yet released official results. Gannett seized on the symbolic vote as a way for shareholders to signify approval for its takeover bid, hoping that a lackluster result could pressure Ferro into a deal.
New York Times: Jeff Bezos defends decision to buy Washington Post
Jeff Bezos built Amazon into an e-commerce and computing powerhouse. Now his ambitions are more sprawling as he takes on ever larger civic and business challenges. Those diverse interests were on display recently when Mr. Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, spoke onstage at the Code technology conference here, where he commented on an array of topics, including workplace culture, privacy and his decision to buy The Washington Post in 2013. Mr. Bezos said he bought the newspaper because he wanted to make it into a more powerful national — and even global — publication, and that The Post was well situated to be a watchdog over the leaders of the world’s most powerful country.
Bellevue Gazette newspaper closes after almost 149 years
A small northwestern Ohio newspaper has announced it is closing after nearly 149 years. The Bellevue Gazette, owned by Civitas Media-owned property, had been publishing only twice a week after switching from daily last fall. Its circulation was about 1,000, after peaking at about 4,300 in the 1970s. The statement on its website says recent cost-cutting measures weren't enough to keep the newspaper financially viable in the changing media landscape. The newspaper was founded in October 1867 and was owned by the Callaghan family until 2007. Jim Lawitz, Civitas' vice president of editorial, says a company-owned weekly newspaper in nearby Clyde also was shuttered.
Miniseries based on journalist David Carr's memoir planned
A TV miniseries based on the late journalist David Carr's best-selling memoir is in development. AMC and Sony Pictures Television said that "Better Call Saul" star Bob Odenkirk is set to play Carr. Carr, who was a media columnist for The New York Times, died last year. His 2008 memoir, "The Night of the Gun," details his path from drug addiction to respected journalist. The six-part miniseries will be written by Shawn Ryan, whose credits include "The Shield." The AMC debut date for the project was not announced.
Coalition of Asian organizations to host presidential town hall
The Asian American Journalists Association and Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote have announced a partnership with over 30 professional and community organizations to host a Town Hall event with the invited 2016 presidential candidates, taking place during the 2016 AAJA National Convention August 10 - 13 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. This gathering will be the largest of its kind, with Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander professionals and community leaders from across the nation converging in Las Vegas this summer.