Jim Romenesko

From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.


Saul Hansell quits AOL to ‘seek my fortune as an inventor’ of news products

Saul Hansell’s Blog | All Things D
Saul Hansell surprised many when he quit the New York Times after 17 years to join AOL. That was less than two years ago. He’s now leaving AOL to become entrepreneur-in-residence at New York venture firm Betaworks. “I have been watching people go start things for a long time and now I want to go start things,” says Hansell, founding editor of New York Times’ Bits blog. (Here’s a 2009 post on AOL’s “ambition and failure” that he wrote shortly before joining the company.) Is he now jumping off a sinking ship?

I know my friends in the technology press well enough to suspect some of them will see my move as part of a broader trend at AOL. I’m not sure the easy take is the right one. Based on my experience, I am more bullish on Tim Armstrong’s clear vision of a company built from the ground up for online journalism and the potential of AOL’s many assets to achieve that vision.

Hansell says it’s too soon to say much about his plans, “but I think there is a lot left to invent around both how to present news to people that takes advantage of the technology available today.” Read more

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College editor defends running uncensored streaker photos

WNCT.com | The East Carolinian
On Tuesday, the student newspaper at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. ran photos of the streaker who ran across the field Read more


GateHouse Media CEO: ‘We need to become more than a newspaper company’

Romenesko+ Memos
GateHouse Media CEO Mike Reed unveiled Project Apple in September — an initiative with the goal of “a turnaround just as impressive as Apple’s.” (The newspaper chain recently reported a $5 million net loss for the third quarter.) On Tuesday, Reed gave his employees a Project Apple update. “We are already seeing progress in several areas,” he writes in a memo. “But even so, the simple fact is that the way we are working today is not in line with the way our business is moving. Over the next few months, we’re going to continue to introduce initiatives that will assist us in meeting the challenges and demands of the business.”

We need to recognize that newspapers may be a product in declining popularity and readership, but content is not and never will be. In fact, the content our publications produce is more valuable and necessary than ever before. No one creates it better than we do and we need to deliver it in many different ways. We need to become more than a newspaper company — we must become a content company. That is what will drive the changes in the coming months.

Reed’s full memo is after the jump. Read more


Chicago Tribune says Mayor Emanuel refuses its public records request

Chicago Tribune
The Tribune says Mayor Rahm Emanuel refused its requests for his emails, government cellphone bills and his interoffice communications with top aides, arguing it would be too much work to cross out information the government is allowed to keep private. After lengthy negotiations to narrow its request for two months of these records, the paper was told that almost all of the emails had been deleted. The Tribune notes that Richard M. Daley repeatedly denied similar requests when he was mayor, “but it’s not the practice in major cities across the nation.” The paper reports:

The [Emanuel] administration provided cellphone records that did not include a single telephone number for either incoming or outgoing calls, making it impossible to discern how the phones might be used to conduct city business. The city said it would be “extremely burdensome” to determine which numbers were public under the law and which were not.

Emanuel doesn’t have a city-issued phone and uses an aide’s phone to make city-related calls, [spokeswoman Jenny] Hoyle said. The Tribune requested the records for that phone, among others.

The paper found that the kinds of records it wants from Emanuel are routinely available — in many cases with a phone call or an email request– in Atlanta, Boston, Hartford, Houston, Miami, Milwaukee, Phoenix and Seattle. | Chicago Reader (July 21, 2011): “In his first months in office, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has been sending and resending the message that he wants his administration to be a model of transparency and openness.” Read more


Student gets ‘trip of a lifetime’ for giving @kirkmorrison to Bills linebacker

Kirk Morrison the football player made this deal with University of Regina student Kirk Morrison: Hand over @kirkmorrison and in exchange you get an all-expense-paid trip for two and sideline passes. The 20-year-old Canadian agreed — he’s now @kirkmorrison91 — and attended last Sunday’s Bills game with his brother. “I know Buffalo maybe has a bad rep, but the people in that city treated us so well everywhere we went,” he says. “They took us under their wing, so to speak, and they showed us a great time.” He also got to spend some time with the veteran linebacker formerly known as @kirkmorrison55. “He is such a great guy. He was super nice and friendly with us and happy to see us,” says the student. “We had such a great time, met so many amazing people and made a new friend in (Kirk Morrison).” | Earlier: Twitter sets up a meeting of Morrisons at a Bills game. Read more


Tyrangiel strives to make Businessweek relevant again

Josh Tyrangiel has yet another positive profile for his scrapbook. In the latest, Dylan Byers says the Bloomberg Businessweek editor has turned his product into “the most exciting business magazine out there.” Ad pages are up 21 percent year-on-year for January through July, and subscriptions are up 12 percent. Businessweek now loses between $20 million to $30 million a year, reports Byers — down from $63 million a year when Bloomberg LLC bought it in 2009. He also points out that the magazine “is still not really a must-read for most people,” as newsstand sales fell 34 percent in the first half of 2011.

“Josh took an 80-year-old magazine, a significant part of the American media landscape, and in a really short period of time, updated it to make it a must-read in the increasingly digital world that we are part of,” says Bloomberg News editor-in-chief Matt Winkler, the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News. Time managing editor Rick Stengel adds: “He has a very good design sensibility and aesthetic, which is reflected in the magazine.”

“I fully concede I woke up on third base in some cases,” Tyrangiel says of the Bloomberg resources he has his disposal. “This magazine has advantages that other magazines did not, and I’m grateful for them every day.” Read more


Hotel owner considers buying San Diego Union-Tribune

Voice of San Diego
Politically active San Diego developer Doug Manchester says “there’s lots of people interested in that asset” — the paper owns 13 acres of prime real estate — and that “we’re looking at it.” (Platinum Equity, the paper’s owner since 2009, announced in July that it hired an investment adviser “to help the company explore alternatives for its future.”) Manchester, whose holdings include the Manchester Grand Hyatt and a nearby Marriott, faced a hotel boycott after donating more than $100,000 to Proposition 8, the initiative that banned same-sex unions in California. | Earlier from San Diego City Beat: Protector of traditional marriage Doug Manchester leaves wife of 43 years. Read more


Patriot-News runs full-page A1 editorial calling for Penn State resignations

Charles Apple | Harrisburg Patriot-News
The Harrisburg Patriot-News says in a front-page editorial that Penn State University President Graham Spanier “did not do what is right — for his school or, more importantly, for the alleged victims of coaching legend Jerry Sandusky” and that he needs to resign. “By doing the absolute minimum when hearing potentially serious allegations, by doing more to protect the school’s reputation than to protect children, Spanier has lost [his] moral authority,” says the editorial board. It’s also calling for Coach Joe Paterno to leave the field after this season.

Some people will argue that Joe should step down immediately as well. Given what we know now, we don’t agree. Paterno should be allowed to finish out the year and retire with the honor and admiration he has earned since taking over as head coach in 1966.

Editor David Newhouse tells Charles Apple that the page one presentation is “a rework of the inspired 9-11 front from our sister paper, The Star-Ledger” and that “if front page designs had credits, we would have loved to have said that.” Newhouse says publisher John Kirkpatrick needed to be sold on the front-page placement, “but he asked what all the top editors thought and everyone was unanimous. In the end, he felt it was a gamble (in terms of community reaction, not design) but trusted his staff’s instincts and okayed it.”

By the way, we expected a deluge of calls and emails this morning angry that we turned our front page over to our own opinion. Instead, nearly all the feedback has been positive, some extremely so.

Penn State paper: “The moral failure of every single person involved is appalling” Read more


Tribune bankruptcy ruling could benefit Sam Zell

Chicago Tribune
Michael Oneal reports Judge Kevin J. Carey surprised everyone in the Tribune bankruptcy case when he said in his Oct. 31 opinion that holders of a deeply subordinated class of notes known as PHONES were being treated unfairly and should be able to recover at least a slice of a claim with an original value of more than $1 billion. Sources tell Oneal that the judge’s PHONES ruling provides an opening for Zell’s lawyers to argue that he, too, should be eligible to collect a partial return — one that could run into the tens of millions of dollars. Oneal writes:

The emergence of Zell as a potential in-the-money creditor is likely to stir controversy, as he’s become the target of legal charges related to claims that the Tribune buyout was a fraudulent conveyance, meaning it left the company insolvent from the start.

Read more
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Why Boston Globe is seeing Sunday circulation gains

Mass. Market
Jon Chesto points out that unlike nearly every other paper in Massachusetts, the Sunday Boston Globe actually gained circulation during the past six months. He suspects one reason for this is the Globe’s paywall pricing structure: The Globe told readers they’d need to start paying a $4 weekly fee to join BostonGlobe.com.

This digital subscription is being made available for free to all Globe print subscribers – even those who just subscribe to the Sunday paper. And guess what? That $3.50 weekly charge for Sunday-only delivery, plus online access, (or $1.75 for a few weeks if you take advantage of the paper’s new subscriber promotion) is actually less than the $4 weekly cost for online access to BostonGlobe.com alone.

My guess is that there were a number of readers who still wanted full online access and figured it made sense to subscribe to the Sunday Globe to continue that access – and get the Sunday paper on top of it.

Chesto predicts the Globe’s Sunday print circulation will continue to rise — “probably even stronger than in the past six months … but at some point, it’s likely this growth will level off after most of the loyal readers currently making the transition to a paying digital model are done with the switch.” || Earlier: NYT circulation grows after it starts charging for web access. || Chicago Tribune Sunday circulation grows, thanks in part to Groupon deal. Read more


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