Morning media roundup: Goodbye, Watergate parking lot

Arlington County, Virginia, has approved the demolition of the parking garage where Mark Felt, a.k.a Deep Throat, met with Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward as he and Carl Bernstein reported on Watergate, Patricia Sullivan reports. A historical marker outside the garage will remain, and Tim Helmig, the president of the company that owns the land, plans “a commemorative or marker that respects the events of history regarding the Watergate event," as well as ... an underground parking garage.

I’m trying not to behave like a print editor,” New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet tells Public Editor Margaret Sullivan. The Times is trying to puzzle out how to prosper in a business where most of its revenue comes from print, which attracts far fewer readers than its digital offerings. To "move the needle fully to the digital side," Sullivan writes, the Times will have to look at recommendations in its leaked innovation report, but it "will also have to look hard at its newsroom expenses, with an eye toward a leaner future that doesn’t sacrifice journalistic excellence."

• "Disruptive innovation is competitive strategy for an age seized by terror," Jill Lepore writes, taking an ax to the work of Clayton M. Christensen, who wrote "The Innovator’s Dilemma" (and whose work inspired parts of the Times' innovation report). Christensen's "sources are often dubious and his logic questionable," Lepore writes. Many of the companies he identified as dinosaurs staring stupidly at meteor craters later prospered, she writes, and most startups fail.

• Somewhat related: Poynter's Sam Kirkland puzzles out the best deals in NYT digital access packages. (If I can give up my print NYT Magazine, I'll save $187 per year, Sam reports.)

Katie Couric talks to Bill Carter about moving to Yahoo: "Oftentimes very small audiences allow you to do really important stories." (NYT)

Benjamin Wallace writes about celebrity fashion photographer Terry Richardson. Criticism of his working methods -- he often shoots while naked and several people have said he's coerced them into having sex -- has "moved from the periphery to a more central and dividing place, where one is expected to take a stand for or against him." (New York)

• Harper's Bazaar "has solidified itself as a safe haven for Richardson," Jessica Testa writes, "a nest held up by his supporters while many past patrons turn their backs." (BuzzFeed)

Jay Penske is "trying to shut down my new website," Nikki Finke writes. (Amazing photo illustration accompanies this blog post.) (

• Could an FCC plan to auction spectrum tempt holders of public broadcasting licences to sell their valuable airspace to broadband companies? "Early this month, the Association of Public Television Stations, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting released an unusually blunt statement expressing “profound disappointment” that the F.C.C. had not built in protections to ensure that the auction would not create any areas without free PBS service," Elizabeth Jensen reports. (NYT)

• People at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and are "been exhausted by the ongoing soap opera" at the properties, Ralph Cipriano reports. Cipriano reports three executives quit last week and Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia Executive Director Bill Ross tells him former owner Brian Tierney, who owner H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest has brought in as a consultant, is "acting like he's the publisher." (Tierney is the chairman of the Poynter Foundation.) (Big Trial)

• As a "focus of media ridicule for decades," Hillary Clinton "has sometimes had trouble discerning between legitimate questions and partisan attacks," Maggie Haberman writes. (Politico)

• Chesterfield (Virginia) Observer reporter Jim McConnell tells David Carr why Eric Cantor's defeat wasn't as big a surprise to him as it was to Beltway journalists: "The fact that no one saw this coming is a reflection of the fact that there aren’t that many boots on the ground ... Any credible journalist would have seen it — all I did was talk to the challenger, listen to what people were saying and get a sense of what was happening on the ground in this campaign.” (NYT)

Ben Smith: "I’ve never been a big fan of video for news." (Nieman)

*"The weekend" includes some Friday stuff for the purposes of this roundup.

New Orleans news nonprofit The Lens "is scaling back some of our work in order to focus on our core mission of providing unique, public-interest reporting on public policy regarding New Orleans and coastal Louisiana," Editor Steve Beatty wrote in a note to readers Friday. "We remain viable," Beatty writes about the site, but says it's had to reduce education and some political reporting. Also: "Unfortunately, we are not able to keep all of our staff members involved in this work." Beatty writes about the other work the site is doing and says "We believe the difficult changes we’re implementing, along with our aggressive fundraising, will ensure The Lens’ long-term viability."

• Former BuzzFeed President and COO Jon Steinberg will run Mail Online's U.S. operation, Peter Kafka reports. (Flashback: Last September Steinberg floated a theory that no new print newspaper readers or TV viewers were being born.)

• Steve Buttry will teach full-time at Louisiana State University. "For the record, though, I do eat beignets," Buttry writes. (The Buttry Diary) | Jim Romenesko has the LSU press release.

Timothy John Noonan of Cwmbran, Wales, received a suspended sentence Friday despite being convicted for assaulting his former partner. He also, in news that may be of interest to journalism school graduates, was convicted of "two charges of causing suffering to an animal," according to the South Wales Argus, including biting his partner's dog. The paper reports that on Boxing Day Noonan "grabbed the dog, picked her up by the throat and bit her cheek."

• Twice last year the "man bites dog" headline surfaced -- in the Des Moines Register last May and in the Deseret News in December.

We're bringing back the morning roundups I did when I first started at Poynter in 2012. Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to play with the format of these posts and will hopefully land on something useful for your morning reading. If you've got suggestions, or you'd like me to email you this roundup each morning, please send me a note:

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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