Articles about "Patch"

Cuba may have planted a story in The Daily Caller, WSJ turns 125

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories. From Kristen Hare, world media news. From Sam Kirkland, your digital day.

  1. Did Cuba plant a story in The Daily Caller? The CIA has “credible evidence” that Matthew Boyle‘s November 2012 Daily Caller story “Women: Sen. Bob Menendez paid us for sex in the Dominican Republic” may have been part of a Cuban plot to smear Menendez, a Castro critic. (The Washington Post) | Daily Caller EIC Tucker Carlson: “we’re making calls right now to see what we can dig up.” (Business Insider) | In February 2013, Erik Wemple looked at how Boyle’s story spread from The Daily Caller to mainstream outlets. (The Washington Post) | Alex Seitz-Wald in November 2012: “My conspiracy theory: @mboyle1′s source is Cuban Intelligence.” (@aseitzwald)
  2. Guardian releases financial results: Digital revenue was up 24 percent in a fiscal year that ended in March, print revenue was flat and total revenue was up about 7 percent. The company’s take from the sale of its stake in AutoTrader means the trust that supports it now has about $1.4 billion USD. Over all Guardian News & Media lost about $52 million, roughly the same amount as it did last year. (The Guardian)
  3. The Wall Street Journal turns 125 today: Its plans for coverage (Capital) | Its online interactive. (WSJ) | WSJ articles by Mark Zuckerberg and Taylor Swift. | Punctuation at the end of the paper’s name goes back to first front page and “was common in the era, to connote sophistication. We’ve stuck with it.” (WSJ) | The paper will continue to draw from its archives after the anniversary passes. (Nieman)
  4. The president gets a byline: Peace “is possible,” President Obama writes. (Haaretz)
  5. How BuzzFeed is like Toyota: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti tells Harvard Business School professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee that when Japanese autos appeared, “People made fun of them, and they laughed, ‘Look at these crappy cars.’ But a lot of young people said, ‘Awesome, I can own a car for the first time, and it gets me around.’” (Forbes)
  6. Man charged in attack on reporter: West Virginia State Police say Howard Lilly attacked WCHS-TV reporter Bob Aaron while he reported a story Monday. (WCHS)
  7. Laid-off Patch editor starts site in Tim Armstrong’s town: “Our numbers are soaring and will soon eclipse Greenwich Patch’s,” Leslie Yager says. “Their editor is busy putting content on a dozen other Connecticut Patch sites. Their local coverage is skimpy.” (Street Fight)
  8. Fortune newsletter aims at powerful women: “The Broadsheet” is edited by Caroline Fairchild, who says, “When I read newsletters, I like to feel like I’m connecting with them.” (Capital)
  9. The history of the “honey shot”: Former ABC director Andy Sidaris invented the sports-broadcasting trope when a camera peers into the stands, looking for an attractive woman. (Slate) | Marginally related: Fan sues MLB, ESPN and the Yankees after cameras catch him napping. (NYT) | The New York Post: “SNORE LOSER.” (Newseum)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Jon Frosch and Bryan Bishop have moved to The Hollywood Reporter. Frosch will be reviews editor, and Bishop will be news director of (THR) | Thabie Sibanda will be a general assignment reporter at KOKH in Oklahoma City. She was previously a reporter at WJCL in Savannah, Georgia. (TVSpy) | Lucas Shaw will move to Bloomberg News as a TV and music industry reporter. He was a film and media reporter at (FishbowlNY) | Robert Salladay will become editorial director for the Center for Investigative Reporting, replacing Mark Katches, who left to become editor of The Oregonian. (CIR) | Send Ben your job moves:

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me:

Correction: This post originally called Andrew R. Rector, who filed the lawsuit referenced above, a Red Sox fan. He is a Yankees fan, according to several reports. Read more


Local reporting is suffering from a ‘gradual erosion’

The Washington Post | Association of Alternative Newsmedia

Local reporting is suffering from a “gradual erosion,” Paul Farhi writes in a piece bouncing off Pew’s new State of the News Media report. The economics of digital publishing are especially brutal to local news, Farhi writes:

In drawing readers and viewers from a relatively small pond, local news outlets struggle to attract enough traffic to generate ad dollars sufficient to support the cost of gathering the news in the first place. Conversely, sites that report and comment on national and international events draw from a worldwide audience, making it relatively easier to aggregate a large audience and the ad dollars that come with it.

Publishers that cover national and international news account for 60 percent of new jobs in digital publishing, Farhi writes, while newspapers continue to cut jobs, usually from their local staffs. Small operations and nonprofits can fill the gap — Scott Brodbeck’s Local News Now in the Washington, D.C., area, employs three journalists and sales director and is profitable — but many are “financially precarious.” And, of course, there’s the Patch saga.

But you don’t have to go back to Watergate, or even 2012, to find examples of local stories piercing the veil that separates them from national news. The Bergen Record pushed “Bridgegate” into the lights after a traffic reporter, John Cichowski, and a reporter who covers the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Shawn Boburg, connected the dots on an epic traffic jam in Fort Lee, N.J. Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia was touted as a possible 2016 presidential candidate (and reportedly made Mitt Romney’s shortlist for veep) before Washington Post reporters unreeled the story of his ties to a wealthy donor. And West Virginia reporters rode point on the story of a chemical spill that affected 300,000 people’s drinking water.

Unfortunately, local news lacks the cachet of long-form or investigative journalism, both of which successful digital operations like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post have been able to subsidize as part of their overall bundles. The latter has “always been high-cost content that produced a very low — if any — return in increased circulation and advertising revenue,” Jack Shafer wrote in February in a column about the “new Medicis” funding journalism as a public good — Pierre Omidyar, Farhi’s boss Jeff Bezos, Neil Barsky of the Marshall Project (which just announced the hire of The Guardian’s Gabriel Dance). Read more


How laid-off journalists can stay afloat while the industry moves ‘to new moorings’

When Patch laid me off along with many other editors last May, I remember thinking I should have left sooner.

I received a severance but then faced tough competition from dozens of downsized journalists, all chasing after what seemed at the time like precious few journalism jobs.

Economic conditions have improved since last year. I see more listings on Poynter, JournalismJobs, Mediabistro, Gorkana and other job boards. Still, the number of opportunities won’t match the hundreds of Patch and Time Inc. workers laid off lately.

Journalists who have not sought employment recently may be shocked at how drastically the jobs landscape has changed. The market they are walking into won’t be the one that greeted them when they first got their J-school degrees.

Digital skills these long-timers told themselves they’d get around to learning are often what employers are seeking today. Beyond writing for the Web, video editing, and social media knowledge, employers want those with high level technical skills like programming, data visualization, mapping and other abilities that require concentrated study to acquire.

Patch employees accustomed to the daily demands of multimedia reporting might have an advantage in today’s job market. But I suspect they, too, may want to pick up skills that are more in demand now than even three short years ago.

Lars Schmidt, a former NPR recruiter who in December started his own firm, Amplify Talent, said while the contraction in the news industry has hit print more than any other sector, the disruptions in media distribution and consumption have enveloped everyone.

So what’s a laid-off journalist to do? “I think it is important that in addition to being great writers, journalists have a comfort level and curiosity around digital platforms,” Schmidt said by phone. He advises journalists to focus on displaying their digital skills in their portfolios.  Strengths in that area are important as consumers migrate away from print toward Web and mobile.

“For me personally, social media is an important tool,” he said. He advises job-seekers to follow great journalists on Twitter and tap into groups like the Online News Association. Resources like Robert Hernandez’ #wjchat can help jobseekers keep up with digital tools and trends.

While it may all be new for some among the recently laid-off, creating a solid LinkedIn profile, learning to connect with hiring mangers, building a website for clips and other work, and networking online as well as in real life are all part of today’s job search. Schmidt offers other tips for job hunters on his company’s website.

Writing and editing skills are still valuable, even if programming is not in your skill set. News organizations may not be hiring in the numbers to absorb everyone, but corporations and nonprofits need good writers and editors, too. Get past the notion that it’s journalism or nothing and more opportunities will open up to you.

Moving from news to a corporation takes an adjustment, but Poynter’s senior faculty Butch Ward said it proved easy for him. Many of the skills that journalists possess — writing well, asking tough questions, and thinking analytically — are highly desired by businesses, he said in a PoynterVision interview.

Salary levels may also surprise job-seekers. Employers have discovered they can get talent for less money. So negotiate hard for top dollar, but be prepared if the job offer comes in far lower than expected.

Warren Watson, the executive director of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, made a similar point in a recent Poynter live chat. Watson interviewed journalists who, because of downsizing and other circumstances, stepped out of the business. In all cases, Watson said, “people have moved in the direction where they’re making less money.”

Because they now may be able to get health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, journalists can opt out of full-time employment and instead build “portfolio” careers, cobbling together writing and editing, teaching and consulting jobs, for instance.

But should you even stick it out in journalism? The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is not encouraging. It estimates that between 2012 and 2022, employment for reporters, correspondents and broadcast analysts will decline an estimated 13 percent. In its latest report on job outlook for journalists, the bureau also notes:

Declining revenue will force news organizations to downsize and employ fewer journalists. Increasing demand for online news and podcasts (audio or video digital media files that can often be downloaded from a website) may offset some of the downsizing. However, because online and mobile ad revenue is typically less than print revenue, the growth in digital advertising may not offset the decline in print advertising, circulation, and readership.

Perspective about the recent layoffs can help, said Joe Grimm, a journalism professor at Michigan State University as well as the leader of Poynter’s jobs chats (and a one-time Patch recruiter).

Reductions have been sweeping the industry for half a dozen years and those for Patch and Time Inc. won’t be the last. “There will certainly be more waves of layoffs at other companies as journalism continues moving to new moorings,” Grimm said by email., a search engine that collects listings on employment boards, has a tool that shows trends in words and phrases in job postings, he said. “Social media,” for example, rose from about zero in January 2008 to about 1 percent of postings in the spring 2013, declining slightly since then. HTML5 has climbed while Flash waned; Android is up, iPhone down.

These keywords reflect the changing needs of employers and the skills they are seeking. “All journalists, not just those trying to recover from a recent layoff, have to pay continuous attention to where media are going,” Grimm said.

Looking down the road is an important point. Ice hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s much-attributed quote may be overused, but it’s appropriate here as many journalists step back into the job rink: Skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been.

Best of luck in the days ahead. Read more

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Through Facebook, current and former Patch employees stay connected

Hank Kalet shared this shot of Patch merch on Facebook. Photo by Hank Kalet.

Jim Romenesko | Business Insider

Two years ago, Hank Kalet found out he no longer worked for Patch at a New Jersey coffee shop with his supervisor and someone from HR. Today, he learned that hundreds more Patch employees were laid off through a former editor on Facebook.

Not too long ago, Kalet joined the Patch alumni group, a closed page on Facebook. That page currently has 452 members, former Patch editor Anthony Leone told Poynter via phone.

“And I wouldn’t be surprised if that grows by the end of the day,” he said. Read more


Tim Armstrong: AOL will keep ‘meaningful minority interest’ in Patch

AOL | Business Insider

AOL announced Wednesday that it has given up its majority ownership of Patch. In an email to staffers, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said the new majority owner, a company called Hale Global, will be responsible for Patch’s “pivot.”

That means the network of sites “isn’t AOL CEO Tim Armstrong’s problem anymore,” Nicholas Carlson writes.

Patch employees will have a call this afternoon to discuss what this all means. In an email to Patch folks, Patch CEO Bud Rosenthal said anyone who has questions should “please feel free to speak to your HR representative anytime.”
Full memo: Read more


David Carr reported Sunday in The New York Times on the future of Patch and the vision that’s kept it alive so far. In a phone interview with Carr, Tim Armstrong, AOL’s CEO, continued defending the project he first envisioned.

At the end of the day, could Patch have been run better? We don’t know,” he said. “We were doing this while we navigated turning around the rest of the company. Patch was one of the big bets that we made, among others, and I still believe local will be a big opportunity whether it is Patch or someone else.”

David Carr


Patch co-founder leaves AOL

All Things D |

Jon Brod, co-founder of AOL Ventures and Patch, is leaving AOL, Peter Kafka reported Monday in All Things D.

The news isn’t a huge shock, as AOL Ventures has been in a bit of limbo for a while, and Brod was moved there last spring after his second run heading Patch, CEO Tim Armstrong’s big and troubled bet on local news.

Read more

Ad revenue rises at AOL, but Patch weighs on results

Reuters | Forbes

AOL announced its third quarter earnings Tuesday. Ad revenue grew at the company, but expenses related to Patch weighed on results.

Ad revenue grew 14 percent over the third quarter of 2012 and, as Reuters reports, “the digital media and entertainment company said on Tuesday it took a pre-tax restructuring charge of $19 million and an impairment charge of $25 million, both related to Patch, sending operating income down 61 percent to $16.7 million.”

“AOL’s Q3 results are another step forward in our long-term plan,” Tim Armstrong, AOL Chairman and CEO, said in a news release. “The Q3 results highlight the strength of AOL’s strategy and the consistent execution of our team in delivering great consumer experiences and successful customer results.”

Read more


Content will vanish from shuttered Patch sites

In a post on Facebook, Mark Maley says all content on Milwaukee-area Patch sites will get zapped when the sites close. “That includes our outstanding political coverage of the Wisconsin recall and presidential elections, our top-notch coverage of the Sikh temple shooting and other breaking news, hard-hitting investigative stories about the suburbs and thousands of wonderful feature stories about the people who live here,” Maley writes.

“For the sites that are closing, editors have been instructed to archive for themselves content they wish to save, AOL director of corporate communications Doug Serton says in an email to Poynter. “There are not plans to make content publicly available after sites close.”

Maley wrote Aug. 16 that he was one of the Patch editors who lost their jobs in the company’s reorganization. In a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, new Patch CEO Bud Rosenthal said a “handful of sites will close on Oct. 7 to optimize our closing procedures.”

“It’s just sad when I think about all the hard work the editors put into this — and how it’s all going to vanish soon,” Maley writes.

Related: I wrote in July about a former employer deleting all the content from a site I used to work for (Medium) Read more

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Patch reporter ordered to reveal source or face jail, fines

Chicago Sun-Times

Patch reporter Joseph Hosey must give up the source of police reports about a grisly murder he covered or face jail, Will County Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kinney ruled Friday.

SouthtownStar/Sun-Times reporter Casey Toner reported on Twitter that one of the attorneys pressing for this ruling told the court “he didn’t think ‘any legitimate journalist should fear the outcome of this.’” Read more