Philadelphia Inquirer

Interstate General Media to close

Philadelphia Magazine and, standalone websites for two newspapers owned by Interstate General Media, will soon close, Philadelphia Magazine reported Thursday.

According to a memo obtained by Philadelphia Magazine, the two sites, which feature content from The Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News, will be “folded into” one site,

What this means is that the standalone newspaper-branded sites will no longer exist and will instead redirect readers to, where users will find Inquirer and Daily News journalism featured more prominently and have access to branded Inquirer and Daily News section fronts that represent the editorial voice and judgment of the newspapers.

The decision marks an end of an experiment began in April 2013, when both newspapers unveiled the subscription-based sites. The sites were designed to “reflect the papers’ personalities”

A few newspapers have released parallel free and subscription-based sites, including The San Francisco Chronicle (which maintains free of charge and for subscribers) and The Boston Globe (which offers for free and with a metered paywall system) Read more


Here are the media’s best 404 pages

Bloomberg Politics got some attention Monday after an enterprising reporter noticed that navigating to a broken page on the site reveals this animation of Joe Biden shooting lightning at a revolving “404″ symbol:

That got me thinking: how do other news organizations handle the dreaded error message? To find out, I went to a lot of sites and broke a lot of links. Here’s what I found:

Bloomberg Business

The recently launched Bloomberg Business website has a colorful error page, like several other sites throughout the company. This one features a polygonal businessman a laptop off a table in frustration, then collapsing into his constituent parts.


Billy Penn

If for some reason you stray across a broken page at local news startup Billy Penn, you’re greeted by an oil painting of William Penn, the site’s namesake, who delivers a gentle admonishment: “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”


The Chicago Tribune

Break a link at The Chicago Tribune and a dapper fellow named “Colonel Tribune” appears and introduces himself as the “Web ambassador for” He suggests you search the site’s topics pages before bidding you a fond farewell.


Stars and Stripes

When you visit a broken page at the Stars and Stripes website, you get a mock-up of the newspaper’s front page, complete with “404″ paratroopers repelling down to fix the problem. There’s all sorts of little jokes buried on this page, too — look at the flag and the story to the right.



The Boston Globe’s recently launched Catholic vertical features St. Anthony, the patron saint of the lost things. His prayer? “Grant that I may find the webpage which has been lost.”


San Diego Union-Tribune

What a pastoral scene. Here, a copy of the San Diego U-T sits awash on a beach somewhere like a castaway, clearly lost.


USA Today

USA Today’s “Entertain This” section features a picture of pop star Lionel Richie who sweet talks wayward viewers.


The Huffington Post

HuffPost attempts to soothe our anger at arriving at a broken page by showing us a picture of an adorable dog. You can almost feel your rage melt away as you look into the pooch’s contented eyes.



Motherboard, Vice’s future-of-technology vertical, makes up for the error with a purple horse galloping in a circle. Check it out. The screenshot doesn’t do this thing justice.


Nieman Lab

Our fellow media watchers over at Harvard offer this picture of a Linotype machine along with a tongue-in-cheek heading. Journalists will sympathize.


Philadelphia Inquirer

Speaking of newspapers, here’s the Philadelphia Inquirer’s error page: A cartoon reminiscent of the Sunday funnies, with a man falling into a news rack.


True to form, offers us an explainer on the nuances of 404 pages in its distinctive yellow/blue/gray color scheme. Well played.



Vox Media’s video game vertical offers this fix for the 404 glitch: “pull out the URL and blow on it, and then slide it back into the browser (but not too far!) and wedge it in there with a second link. You’ll be good.”


The Verge

The Verge’s error page is a parody listicle titled “404 Most Influential People In Oops” that asks us nicely not to freak out.



And speaking of listicles, I’ll leave you with this. BuzzFeed’s 404 page looks completely normal, save for the disembodied head of a little girl peeking up at you from the bottom right corner. Weird.


Want more error pages? and The Huffington Post have both made lists of their favorites.

Know of any interesting error pages in media I’ve forgotten? Send me a link and I’ll add it to the list. Read more

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Barack Obama, Bill Clinton

Obama met with journalists before ISIS speech

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Obama met with journalists before Wednesday’s ISIS speech: “The group, which met in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in an off-the-record session, included New York Times columnists David Brooks, Tom Friedman and Frank Bruni and editorial writer Carol Giacomo; The Washington Post’s David Ignatius, Eugene Robinson and Ruth Marcus; The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins and George Packer; The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and Peter Beinart; The New Republic’s Julia Ioffe; Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll; The Wall Street Journal’s Jerry Seib; and The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky, a source familiar with the meeting told The Huffington Post.” (HuffPost)
  2. CBS won’t CNET CBS News: While the company’s news operation benefits from cross-pollination among news properties, it doesn’t have to worry about suits asking for more sinister forms of synergy, Alex Weprin reports: “[W]e are not going to be asked to do something that doesn’t fit for the news division,” Steve Capus says. (Capital) | Last January, Greg Sandoval left CNET after CBS forced it to remove a Dish Network product from its annual awards program, and also forced a revote of its Best in Show prize at CES. (Poynter) | It also forbade CNET from reviewing Aereo. (The Verge)
  3. NPR tries to boost revenue with live shows: “The most ambitious of three ‘NPR Presents’ series, ‘Water,’ will marry news reports, oral histories and conversation about topics such as the drought in the West and mudslides in Seattle with theatrical and musical storytelling.” (NYT)
  4. Anchor tells viewers he has six months to live: WCIA-TV anchor Dave Benton told viewers Thursday he has an inoperable tumor. (AP) | “Really, I just want to enjoy every day,” Benton says. (The News-Gazette)
  5. A tweet story: “The couple met where one might expect a social media expert and a technology journalist to meet: on Twitter.” (NYT)
  6. So that’s where Dean Starkman is going: The former CJR editor will cover Wall Street for the L.A. Times. (Capital)
  7. Longtime Philly Inquirer cartoonist Tony Auth has died: He was 72. “Mr. Auth’s impressive portfolio – he produced five cartoons a week – was a Philly staple when breakfast meant coffee, bacon and eggs, and the morning paper.” (Inquirer, via | A gallery of his work. (Inquirer)
  8. A David Carr twofer: Two media columns Monday, or maybe they’ve finally cloned him. How Apple makes journalists applaud. (NYT) | Why sports villains aren’t the only ones who should fear TMZ: “As journalists, we like to think that the august platforms we work on and our learned interpretation of facts create value and credibility, but in an age of digital artifacts and digital distribution, the pure act of discovery can create big news.” (NYT) | If the NYT does start cloning journalists, who would you like to see two of? Email me!
  9. Front page of the day, selected by Kristen Hare: The Green Bay Press-Gazette does what the Jets couldn’t: It stops Jordy Nelson.


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Charles Dharapak will be Asia-Pacific regional photo editor for AP. He was a White House photographer. (AP) | Nia-Malika Henderson will write for The Fix at The Washington Post. Previously, she was a political reporter there. (Washington Post) | Jose DelReal is now a blogger for Post Politics. Previously, he was a reporter at Politico. (Washington Post) | Tracy Everding is now a creative director at All You. Previously, she was a creative director at Cosmo Magazine. (Time Inc.) | Amy Haneline is now a beer, wine and coffee reporter at The Indianapolis Star. Previously, she was a digital developer there. (‏@AmyBHaneline) | Kenny Plotnik is now vice president of New England Cable News. Previously, he was vice president of news at WABC in New York. (TV Spy) | Kat Meyer is now director of events and community engagement at Publishers Weekly. Previously, she was community manager and conference chair at the Frankfurt Book Fair. (Publishers Weekly) | Job of the day: The Associated Press is looking for a junior designer and front-end developer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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

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Philadelphia Inquirer building

No brotherly love for rival papers in Philadelphia | Columbia Journalism Review | CBS Philly

The Philadelphia Daily News reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for a report on police corruption and sexual assault is being accused of paying the bills of one of its key sources and allegedly encouraging her to exaggerate facts of a criminal complaint about the incident. The story comes from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Both papers are owned by H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest. Lenfest originally wanted to hold the story about why federal prosecutors did not bring charges against police officer Thomas Tolstoy, accused of sexual assault by three women in the “Tainted Justice” series, according the Columbia Journalism Review. But after an article was published about the story being held, the Philadelphia Inquirer published its story.

Investigative journalists Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker deny the woman’s account. Laker gave CBS Philly a point-by-point rebuttal of the accusations. For instance, Laker said the Inquirer story did not include key information she provided corroborated the assertions in “Tainted Justice.” Read more


Will Steacy photographed The Philadelphia Inquirer’s turmoil for 3 years

Will Steacy was in his New York apartment in 2011 when he got a call from his father in Philadelphia. It was bad news. After almost three decades at The Philadelphia Inquirer, his dad was being laid off.

The call was painful. Steacy, a professional photographer, had spent the last three years chronicling financial hardship at the Inquirer for a project he called Deadline. Starting in 2009, he began capturing images that depicted the Inquirer’s struggle to survive during an era of diminished ad revenue: vacant desks, trash bins piled high with newsprint, an old typewriter being used as a bookend. Steacy took a break from the project for a month. When he came back, the first image he captured was of his dad’s old desk.

Credit: Will Steacy

Steacy’s father’s desk after he was laid off. Credit: Will Steacy

“That was a hard picture to take,” Steacy said.

Now, three years later, the project is almost finished. He documented the paper’s move from its longtime home at Broad Street — fondly known as the “Tower of Truth” — to new offices in a former department store. Steacy decided not to shoot photos in the Inquirer’s new building, preferring to end his project where his father ended his career.

Credit: Will Steacy

The Inquirer newsroom at Broad Street the day after the move. Credit: Will Steacy

Although he financed the entire project himself, Steacy turned to his audience for help when it came time to publish the photos in a book. He held a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter that ended Tuesday, leaving him with slightly more than $26,000 — $16,000 more than his stated goal. He says he’ll spend the extra money on improving the book, which will be given to backers who donated $50 or more.

“I’m just so incredibly honored and humbled by the outpouring of generosity and support,” Steacy said. “Friends and family have supported me, but even more so, complete strangers.”

The five-year project has bookended several important events in Steacy’s life. In 2010, his family had just finished putting up the Christmas tree when when his father’s heart doctor called, telling them to go to the hospital right away. He needed a quadruple bypass. In October 2011, his dad was laid off, snapping a family tradition in newspapers five-generations long. The thought of stopping the project after that occurred to Stacey, but his father wanted him to continue.

Credit: Will Steacy

“Buyouts.” Credit: Will Steacy

Then, In July 2013, Steacy and his girlfriend were heading back from a wedding when they abruptly decided to get married. They found a town clerk who offered to marry them in one of two places — a nearby graveyard or outside the municipal building by a tree. They chose the tree. The birth of his son, Miles, came this May.

The book will be printed and distributed to Steacy’s Kickstarter backers in the coming months. But the project won’t be over for Steacy until he puts the book into his father’s hands.

“When they were moving out of the former newsroom, my father wasn’t there to say goodbye to it,” Steacy said. “So I took it upon myself to say goodbye for him.”

Credit: Will Steacy

Letters of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s flag are missing in the paper’s elevator lobby the night of the paper’s move from the building on Broad Street. Credit: Will Steacy

Read more

Philadelphia Inquirer names 2 managing editors

Sandra Clark and Gabriel Escobar are The Philadelphia Inquirer’s new managing editors, its editor, Bill Marimow, announced Wednesday.

Clark “will oversee The Inquirer’s features department, the copy desk, news desk, graphics, photo and,” the paper says in a press release. Escobar “will lead the Metro desk, business news, health and science, the investigative team, and he will work closely with those teams responsible for further developing the company’s digital strategy.”

Clark was a deputy managing editor in charge of features and’s strategy, the release says, and Escobar was its deputy managing editor for news and “was integral in developing and its social media linkages.” Read more


Bloomberg publications await launch dates, alt-weeklies get together on a story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Where are Bloomberg’s new verticals? Its politics site will launch in October, “30 days before the 2014 Midterms,” Joe Pompeo reports. Bloomberg Business, Bloomberg Markets and Bloomberg Pursuits have “no hard launch dates,” Pompeo writes. “‘It’s still mostly chatter about strategy with no product being delivered,’ said one executive who was not authorized to speak on the record. ‘People want to see something on the table, basically.’” (Capital)
  2. Pulitzers have a new boss: Former Concord Monitor Editor Mike Pride will become the administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes this September. (NYT) | Pride talks with Kristen Hare: “What the Pulitzers really have to do, like every other institution associated with journalism, they have to change with the times and the times are changing very quickly.” (Poynter)
  3. Brown Moses is launching a site for crowdsourced reporting: Bellingcat will give citizen journalists “a chance to learn what I’ve learnt over the last two years by trial and error,” Eliot Higgins, a.k.a. Brown Moses, tells Mathew Ingram. (Gigaom) | Previously: “How an unemployed blogger confirmed that Syria had used chemical weapons.” (The New Yorker)
  4. RIP Jeffrey Ressner: The former writer for Politico, Time, Rolling Stone, L.A. Weekly and others was 56. (Billboard, LA Observed)
  5. Google Reader has been dead for a year: How do you use RSS, if you still do? (Mashable) | For what it’s worth, I really like Digg Reader.
  6. It’s time to credential SCOTUSblog: “According to the site’s internal data, Scotusblog’s single biggest user is the Supreme Court itself.” (NYT) | SCOTUSblog Publisher Tom Goldstein talks about the sassy replies he sent to Twitter users who confused his blog with the court. The message? “Just to take a minute and be more civil and think about what you are doing rather than blasting off.” (AJR)
  7. Alt-weeklies bash politicians: A bunch of AAN member papers will publish an “unabashedly irreverent” 15,000-word piece about the country’s worst politicians this week. (AAN) | Did they Snowfall it? They Snowfalled it! (America’s Worst Politicians)
  8. Sources at powerful institutions usually fit into five categories: “The scorned lover,” “The only guy with half a brain,” “The charmer,” “The suicide bomber,” “The archivist.” More tips from New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo. (Jim Romenesko)
  9. Plagiarism: The T-shirt: Only $6.99. (LOL Shirts)
  10. Job stuff: Jane Spencer is Fusion’s new digital editor-in-chief. She had been The Wall Street Journal’s editor of digital projects and innovation. (Politico) | Mark Katches is The Oregonian’s new editor. He had been at the Center for Investigative Reporting. (Willamette Week) | Stan Wischnowski is the new vice president for news operations at The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and He had been the Inquirer’s executive editor. (The Philadelphia Inquirer) | Carol Loomis is retiring from Fortune: “this year marks her 60th as an employee of Fortune and Time Inc., a record surely never to be broken,” Managing Editor Andy Serwer writes. (Fortune)

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

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Lewis Katz’s son sells share of Philadelphia papers to Gerry Lenfest

Big Trial | Philadelphia Magazine |

The son of the late Lewis Katz will sell his interest in Interstate General Media, Ralph Cipriano reported Tuesday for Big Trial. Lewis Katz won an interest in several publications, including the Philadelphia Inquirer, two weeks ago. He died in a plane crash on May 31. But, Cipriano wrote, tension between Drew Katz and his father’s partner in the deal, H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, already existed and got worse after Lewis Katz’s death.

Even though the sale wasn’t formally supposed to close until June 11th, Lenfest had already taken over. He put his name on the Inquirer masthead as interim publisher. On June 2nd, Lenfest announced in an email to all employees that he was bringing back former Inky publisher Brian Tierney as a sales consultant and former Tierney lieutenant Mark Frisby as associate publisher for operations.

On Tuesday night, Joel Mathis wrote about Katz’s announcement for Philadelphia Magazine. Mathis reported that Katz denied the sale was because of a fallout.

“Because of the turmoil of the last 10 days, I have made a decision that it would be in the best interests of the Inquirer, Daily News and for me to sell my interest in the company,” Drew Katz said in an email Tuesday night. “I believe strongly that the organization would be in excellent hands under the ownership of Gerry Lenfest now and in the years to come.”

Chris Hepp and Bob Moran wrote about the sale for

Reached in Berlin by telephone Wednesday morning, Lenfest confirmed the sale and said he expected an agreement to be completed during the day. He declined to provide details until it was completed.

A sale would leave Lenfest as the sole majority owner of Interstate General Media Holdings L.L.C., which he purchased with Lewis Katz for $88 million at auction May 27. The company employs about 1,800 people at The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, three websites, and a printing plant near Conshohocken.

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Drew Katz, Lewis Katz

Lewis Katz planned ‘a new level of ambition’ for Philly papers

Lewis Katz, who just last week won an auction for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and, died Saturday in a plane crash in Massachusetts. Some updates:

  • Katz had attended a fundraiser Saturday for the Concord River Institute at the Concord, Massachusetts, home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, Dan Adams, Jeremy C. Fox and Martin Finucane report for The Boston Globe. He brought three friends with him: Anne Leeds, Marcella Dalsey and Susan K. Asbell. All died in the crash, as well as three crew members who haven’t yet been identified, the Globe reports.
Katz, right, with his son Drew in November 2013. Drew Katz will take his father’s place in the ownership structure of the Inquirer, the Daily News and

  • has more about Katz’s friends: Dalsey worked with a number of Katz-associated nonprofit initiatives and operated an ice cream parlor in Haddonfield, New Jersey. Asbell was on the planning committee for the Boys & Girls Club of Camden County, a cause close to Katz. Leeds was his neighbor in Longport, New Jersey, and “had been invited at the last minute Saturday to join Katz on the trip to Massachusetts, and her decision to go was very much in keeping with their long friendship, said Ted Leeds, her son.”
  • Katz invited former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell to go along, but he begged off because of a previous engagement, he tells Lloyd Grove. Katz “way overpaid for the papers,” Rendell told Grove. “He did it because he wanted to keep the papers in Philly, and he didn’t want to close down the Daily News, and wanted to keep it free of any interference.”
  • Katz and Gerry Lenfest, who joined him in the winning bid, wrote an editorial about their plans for the paper that was published Sunday. It was the paper’s 185th birthday. “In the days ahead, you can expect to see a new level of ambition and journalism excellence,” they wrote. “We won’t waver for a moment to document the region’s ills where we find them – but we will also celebrate our many successes with stories that delight and lighten the day with both humor and joy.”
  • In a piece published the day before Katz’s death, Joel Mathis reported that Katz was surprised he and Lenfest won the auction. “I can’t tell you what our plans are, because my plan yesterday was to go home with a big check,” Katz told employees at a printing plant Wednesday. “And I kinda ended up going home with less than I walked in with. A lot less.”
  • It was “clear he didn’t have a grand plan for the company, just a determination to hire some top talent and make the enterprise better,” Dave Davies writes.
  • Katz also was in the past an owner of the New Jersey Nets, and planned with others to bring them to Newark. The plan “detoured and eventually dissolved,” Harvey Araton writes, “but it was under Katz’s highly visible ownership that the Nets enjoyed their greatest success as an N.B.A. franchise, reaching the league finals in 2002 and 2003 after the acquisition of point guard Jason Kidd.”
  • Katz also once had a stake in the Yankees, who held a moment of silence for him Sunday.
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in Philadelphia, Tuesday, April 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Inquirer, Daily News sold for $88 million

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Lewis Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest won the English-style auction for Interstate General Media’s publishing properties Tuesday, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and They paid $88 million, David Sell reports.

Katz and Lenfest told the court they were “trying to right what we think was a wrong” when Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow was fired. He was later reinstated by a judge. “I certainly hope to stay, and that – of course – is up to our owners,” Marimow told Poynter in an email. Lenfest will serve as interim publisher, the new owners told staffers.

“[W]e are happy for the company’s employees, readers and advertisers that this issue is now resolved,” said now-former owners George E. Norcross, William P. Hankowsky and Joseph E. Buckelew in a statement. “We wish Messrs. Katz and Lenfest the best of luck moving forward.”

Their full statement: Read more

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