Chicago Tribune

Lesson of Simmons-ESPN divorce: Nothing new for famous journalists and why it will happen again

Bill Simmons (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

Bill Simmons (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

The divorce of sports journalist Bill Simmons and ESPN may have been inevitable. It personifies an inherent friction between a high-profile star employee and employer — and one that will get more frequent as self-branding by journalists is more frequent and even encouraged by their bosses.

Indeed, the whole subject of self-promotion packed a large room recently when the Society of Business Editors and Writers convened in Chicago.

There, several hundred journalists, publicists and marketers sought counsel from a trio: New York Times “Your Money” columnist Ron Lieber, advice columnist-author Amy Dickinson and Ilyce Glink, a former TV reporter-turned-financial writer and strategic consultant.

“There is this tension,” Dickinson said about building yourself up but a company not wanting you to get too big. Read more

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At cable convention, news is not a focus

The NBCUniversal booth at the Internet & Television Expo. (Photo by James Warren)

The NBCUniversal booth at the Internet & Television Expo. (Photo by James Warren)

A Tribune Publishing official was explaining Tuesday why quality journalism will win out and make money online, especially when one has “authority” and a close relationship to your community.

When finished, Joyce Winnecke, who oversees Tribune Content Agency, the company’s syndication arm, asked the panel moderator, “Does that make sense?”

“I don’t believe you,” said Dan Miller, a longtime Chicago business reporter who now runs an annual awards program that recognizes Chicago business innovation.

If Miller was unconvinced, at least he, the long-ago reporter Winnecke and two other news executives were mentioning the word “journalism.”

That is decidedly rare at the Internet & Television Expo, a giant media gathering held by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) in Chicago. Read more

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sharp-100

Reporting on rumors and the personal lives of athletes

Normally, it would have been a routine post-practice session on Sunday, March 1 for the Chicago Blackhawks. It wasn’t.

In the locker room, Patrick Sharp, one of the team’s top players, strongly denied salacious allegations that he had an affair with a teammate’s wife and other women.

Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Chicago Blackhawks center Patrick Sharp. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

“When people delve into your personal life and make up rumors and things that are completely false and untrue, it takes a toll on you,” Sharp said.

The rumors about Sharp had been floating around town for weeks. There had been rampant chatter on message boards and strong innuendo that something was up with Sharp on sports talk radio. Finally, a Chicago site called SportsMockery, reported it had “confirmed” the story on Feb. Read more

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Career Beat: Clark Gilbert leaves Deseret News

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Clark Gilbert will be president of BYU-Idaho. Previously, he was CEO of Deseret News and Deseret Digital Media. (Poynter)
  • Peter Kendall will be managing editor at the Chicago Tribune. Previously, he was deputy managing editor there. Colin McMahon will be associate editor at the Chicago Tribune. Previously, he was cross media editor there. Joycelyn Winnecke will be president of Tribune Content Agency. Previously, she was associate editor of the Chicago Tribune. (Poynter)
  • Tanzina Vega will be the Bronx courthouse reporter at The New York Times. Previously, she was a race reporter there. (Poynter)
  • John Reiss is now executive producer at “Meet the Press.” Previously, he was acting executive producer there.
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Tribune Publishing makes senior leadership changes

Chicago Tribune | Capital New York | Tribune Publishing

Tribune Publishing announced several high-level job moves Wednesday, shaking up the leadership ranks of The Chicago Tribune and Tribune Content Agency.

Joycelyn Winnecke, who was previously associate editor of The Tribune, will become president of Tribune Content Agency, the content syndication business that absorbed McClatchy-Tribune Information Services in May.

The Tribune, which lost managing editor Jane Hirt in November, made a series of appointments to fill out the masthead:

  • Peter Kendall, formerly deputy managing editor at The Tribune, will be managing editor there.
  • Colin McMahon, formerly cross media editor at The Tribune, will be associate editor there.
  • Marcia Lythcott has been named commentary editor at The Tribune.
  • Margaret Holt has joined the masthead to “recognize her role as standards editor for the newspaper,” according to The Tribune.
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Career Beat: Sandra Martin named interim CFO at Tribune Publishing

Good morning! Here are some career updates from the journalism community:

  • Sandra Martin will be interim chief financial officer at Tribune Publishing. Previously, she was senior vice president of corporate finance there. (Chicago Tribune)
  • Liz Carter is now president and CEO at The Scripps Howard Foundation. Previously, she was executive director of Cincinnati’s St. Vincent de Paul. (Scripps Howard)
  • David Pierce will be a senior writer at Wired. Previously, he was deputy editor at The Verge. Robert Capps will be head of editorial for Wired. Previously, he was deputy editor there. Mark McClusky will be head of operations at Wired. Previously, he was editor of Wired.com. Mark Robinson will be an executive editor at Wired. Previously, he was features editor there. Joe Brown will be an executive editor at Wired.
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Why NYT journalists are essentially stuck in China

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Why New York Times journalists can’t leave China

    The country's visa backlog puts people currently stationed there "in an unenviable professional position: Should they leave their posts, they can be pretty sure at this point that their editor won’t be able to replace them." (WP) | "At a news conference in Beijing alongside President Obama, China’s leader, Xi Jinping, appeared to draw a link between unfavorable coverage and access for reporters, saying that the visa problems of news organizations were of their own making." (NYT) | NYT editorial: "A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism." (NYT)

  2. Washington Post appends multiple editor's notes to Zakaria columns

    David Folkenflik noticed they were up.

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Jane Hirt steps down as Chicago Tribune managing editor

Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune Managing Editor Jane Hirt will leave “to pursue personal interests,” Robert Channick reports in the Tribune.

“I’m grateful to the Chicago Tribune for so many years of opportunities. Never a dull moment,” Hirt tweeted Wednesday.

Hirt began her career at the Tribune as an intern. She was named managing editor in 2008. She helped launch the paper’s free paper RedEye and guided the Tribune’s transition toward digital newsgathering and publishing. She plans to “take an extended break from the daily grind of journalism, with relaxing, travel, volunteer work and perhaps learning a new language on her relatively short to-do list,” Channick writes.

“Jane Hirt is an accomplished managing editor, newsroom mentor, and exceptional leader whose 25 years of contributions to Chicago Tribune are well documented,” a Chicago Tribune Media Group spokesperson told Poynter in an email. Read more

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Truth&Trust

Crime coverage in Chicago may be too good

Chicago is widely known as “Chiraq” or the “murder capital” even though its murder rate is much lower than in past years and in many other cities. Ironically this may be a function of local media’s attempts to do a better job reporting on homicides and crime

There was a time when reporters just didn’t cover many crime – or other — stories in the city’s low income, Black and Latino neighborhoods, noted veteran reporters at Poynter’s “Truth & Trust in the 21st Century” forum in Chicago Thursday. Now the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, DNAinfo and other media outlets make it a point to cover every murder in the city. But that means a lot of negative coverage about the city’s South and West sides, even as there are still relatively few other stories being reported on in these neighborhoods. Read more

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James Foley

U.S. tried to rescue James Foley

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. The U.S. tried to rescue James Foley, and it declined to pay ransom: Islamic State “pressed the United States to provide a multimillion-dollar ransom for his release,” Rukmini Callimachi reports. Unlike many European countries, the U.S. and Britain will not pay ransoms for hostages. The terror group holds other Americans, including Time freelancer Steven J. Sotloff. (NYT) | David Rohde: “The divergent U.S. and European approach to abductions fails to deter captors or consistently safeguard victims.” (Reuters) | Administration officials yesterday confirmed that U.S. Special Operations forces tried to rescue Foley, but the op “was not ultimately successful because the hostages were not present . . . at the site of the operation.” (WP) | Media blackouts “don’t necessarily end with the release of hostages,” James Harkin writes.
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