Morning media roundup: The Philadelphia story, Whitney Houston’s funeral, David Carr as Wilt Chamberlain

Around dinnertime last night, the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia provided reporters a memo saying management wanted to cut 37 jobs through buyouts or layoffs: “The company’s decision to decimate our already-shrunken ranks is hard to comprehend given the ever-competitive 24/7 nature of today’s media landscape,” Guild president Dan Gross and executive director Bill Ross wrote.

>>””This is a difficult situation for our newsroom, but our work continues. I can assure you that we’ll continue to become more efficient, more innovative, and more competitive through this process,” Inquirer editor Stan Wischnowski said.

>>Amy Chozick and David Carr wrote about the Philadelphia Media Network’s likely sale to a group of prominent local Democrats, and the allegations of editorial tampering that have accompanied it, including a purported meeting with publisher Greg Osberg in which he supposedly told editors that he wanted editorial oversight. Osberg denied the meeting Wednesday morning, then confirmed it that night, but disputes the editors’ accounts.

>>RELATED: “Is Greg Osberg at least a good business manager?

>>Bart Blastein, a spurned suitor for the paper, has said he might start his own newspaper, a statement that will surely haunt his heirs. (Here’s a great profile of Blatstein from 2004.)

>>Buzz Bissinger on the plutocrats and swells who hope to own Philadelphia’s newspapers: “As the owners of The Inquirer and The Daily News and the Web site Philly.com, they will have successfully toppled the last enemy.”

• Midway through this article about how the press will be able to cover Whitney Houston’s funeral is a fascinating reminder of the power of relationships. The sole camera inside New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday will belong to the Associated Press, an organization with which Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, had an excellent history.

That’s how The Associated Press ended up breaking the news of Houston’s death on Saturday in the first place. For a crucial window before the rest of the media had piled on to the story, the wire was the first and only outlet to have a published report containing an official confirmation.

“Our music editor, Nekesa Mumbi Moody, was contacted by Whitney Houston’s rep about the death after many years of building a relationship with Ms. Houston and her team,” said Lou Ferrara, the A.P.’s managing editor for sports, entertainment and multimedia, through a spokesperson. “There was a desire to have it accurately distributed by the AP, which was one of two outlets that Ms. Houston did interviews with when she promoted her last album.”

• The political evolution of Dave Mustaine.

CNN and Larry King have formally changed their Facebook status from “It’s complicated.”

• Portland, Ore., is getting two new gay papers.

• Holy cow, the San Francisco Examiner made fun of Republicans.

• Incoming New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Jodi Rudoren says in an interview: “It’s wildly premature to assess my biases.” Also, she wants to speak to a lot of people.

• Not sure I agree with the mechanism by which Ben Joravsky gets there, but the hell if I’m not gonna link an article that declares David Carr the Wilt Chamberlain of Twitter.

• Are you feeling weird? Maybe it’s because you haven’t read an “Is Patch doomed?” story for a while. Here, this will make you feel better. Freelance Washington, D.C., media critic Ted Leonsis, on the other hand, really likes Patch.

Get ready to sigh: “The owner of The Atlantic Media is paying to send 20 senior executives and editors to St. Bart’s, a posh French Caribbean destination.”

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