Morning media roundup: Philadelphia layoff plans confirmed, TV reporter triggers censorship of student paper

Today in Philadelphia newspapering: The Daily News’ David Gambacorta snagged a letter of intent from a group of investors hoping to buy Philadelphia Media Network, confirming a WHYY report that management plans to cut 35 more jobs. That’s in addition to 45 layoffs and buyouts earlier this month. The letter also says that George Norcross and Lewis Katz now lead the group. Raymond Perelman is out. H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest doesn’t say whether he’s still in the Norcross-Katz group, but he does say he’s still interested in buying the papers.

“You would never adopt a family to rip it apart,” writes the Daily News’ Will Bunch of the planned cuts.

Update: “A source who has seen the letter of intent, dated March 20th and signed by local businessmen George Norcross and Lewis Katz, puts the purchase price at $60 million,” writes Steve Tawa.

Andrea McCarren is a television reporter in Washington who reported on underage drinking in February. People on got nasty on social media and mentioned her kids, so she dropped off the story. She even went on national television to discuss her concerns. But when the student newspaper at her children’s high school mentioned her reporting, she complained, and the principal responded by yanking some of its copies. “Ironic result: A journalist triggered a bit of temporary censorship,” writes the Post’s Paul Farhi. McCarren told the principal she was worried the article would lead to further harassment of her children. CORRECTED: Bill McCarren, the executive director of the National Press Club and husband to Andrea McCarren, phoned me to say it wasn’t all the paper’s copies that got yanked. From Farhi’s piece: “The order affected a handful of newspapers that teachers hadn’t yet given to students, said Jackson Fritz, the newspaper’s co-editor-in-chief. However, some students were asked to return copies in their possession, he said.”

• How Patch plans to cover elections: Look at how it covered the primaries. “The two absolute rainmakers for us are voting day or a hurricane coming to town,” Patch’s John Ness tells Street Fight’s Noah Davis. “We can’t schedule hurricanes, but what we always find — whether it’s a diehard state like Iowa or one that’s a little more relaxed about primaries — is that people love voting results.”
• New York Times-Guild negotiations update: Management made a new offer, but the Guild does not seem terribly impressed. “The Guild would like to reset the negotiations in hopes of making progress,” said its president, Bill O’Meara.

• The United States Supreme Court declined to review a $10.1 million libel verdict against the Poynter-owned Times Publishing Co., which publishes the Tampa Bay Times, “effectively ending the case in the company’s favor,” writes Jamal Thalji. A jury agreed with the plaintiff in a 2009 trial, but the company won subsequent appeals.

• The first issue of former Vice editor Jesse Pearson‘s new magazine, Exploded View, will sport a feature written by Ian Svenonius. “It’s a lit mag, but sort of an augmented lit-mag-plus; more general-interest in a way,” Pearson told Joe Pompeo. “It will be smart and funny, but also accessible.”

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  • John Harte

    So Bill McCarren, executive director of the National Press Club, supports the recall of a student newspaper, advocates censorship – uh, excuse me, “greater oversight” – of the student press, seems to think that he, and not the student editors of the B-CC “Tattler” should determine the news content of their newspaper, and makes the ridiculous, thoroughly worn and unoriginal statement that his family’s privacy had been violated. Sounds like the National Press Club needs a new executive director.