Saturday, February 2, 2008

News about the NY Times

More bad news from the Grey Lady. This is going to leave a mark.

Look for the article: Inaugurating the New York Times Death Watch.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Even the Simpsons chime in

You know your business is on the way out when the Simpsons lampoon it.

I really commend to your reading all the recent articles on

An editor with cajones!

If you haven't read it, check out the story on "" about the LA Times editor who resigned his position rather than oversee the destruction of his own newsroom.

Now that's a real editor!

Here's a part of the story to get you started:

No Quiet on Western Front: Latest on ‘L.A. Times’ Uproar - Editor & Publisher, Jan. 22, 2008[E&P tries to figure out what really happened at the Los Angeles Times, where editor James O’Shea abruptly resigned this week. Publisher David Hiller called O’Shea’s exit after only 14 months a mutual decision, but reports of O’Shea’s speech to the newsroom indicates it was anything but. The EIC was reportedly asked to cut $7 million from his budget, which sparked a confrontation that led to his firing. Media-watchers are wondering what this says about new owner Sam Zell’s commitment to editorial quality. -Ed.]

Any editor who would stand by and participate in the destruction of his/her own newsroom does not deserve the title of editor.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Goodbye Cookie!

Today, the Flint Journal says good-bye to its feature editor Cookie, a longtime friend and one of those excellent editors I told you about previously.

Cookie, like many of us, was induced into early retirement by a generous buyout offer and the prospect of continuing to work for editors who, how can I say this politely, have no clue about how to run a newspaper.

With clowns to the left of her and jokers to the right, Cookie was stuck in the middle where she skillfully produced a wonderful features section and managed a diverse group of reporters to the best advantage of the newspaper.

Although readers may not have been aware of her efforts, those of us who worked with her and knew her know that her loss, even though likely welcomed by the boys who run the paper, will be seriously felt.

Good luck Cookie!

A moving tale

In a move that many of us questioned and even mocked, a group of Flint Journal employees who worked for the series of weekly newspapers owned by the paper were moved onto the first floor of the Journal for the purpose of separating the two operations a while back.

At great expense, phones were moved, furniture was moved and accommodations made for the weekly reporters.

Daily reporters questioned the move because a number of the beats overlapped and under the new system, there was no interaction and the looming possibility of great overlap of effort. But the powers that be decided it was important for us to compete.

No matter that at the time, we were stretched thin for personnel and the move then required that instead of coordinating our efforts to the best interest of the readers we were forced to duplicate efforts in the best interest of our jobs.

At the time, I covered among many other beats, the City of Davison, Richfield and Davison townships. Another weekly reporter also had the same responsibility and we often found ourselves sitting at the same meeting for three and four hours. A ridiculous waste of time and money, but required by the brainiacs who run the Journal newsroom.

All this to say that the experiment is now over. With the huge staff reductions, the powers, the same ones who thought separation was a swell idea, are now moving the weekly staff back to the second floor where they can once again work together with daily reporters. No doubt more expense and more disruption, but I can promise you one thing, the brainiacs will suffer no consequences for their original stupid move.

So here it is: I told you so.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

He's baaack!

After a successful 2 1/2 week trip to California I'm back in Michigan and ready to resume blogging - and yes I know I could have done it remotely, but I left my computer and inspiration at home.

Anyway, thanks to all my wonderful hosts, which included my cousin Cynthia, my sons William and Timothy, my granddaughter, Brittany, even my ex-wife, Christine, was helpful in snagging Timothy and I a great - and inexpensive - condo for a two night stay near Santa Rosa. Thanks also to Atherton Police Lt. Glenn Nielsen for arranging a reunion lunch for me and some retired cop buddies and for a ride-along with a young officer.

A special thanks to my old cop buddy, Kenny, who let me stay in his El Dorado Hills mansion for a night. It was good to reconnect with Kenny and another old police friend, Steve.

For a time it seemed I would have to rearrange to travel home on an ark with all the rain (and boy did it rain while I was there) but American Airlines did a wonderful job getting me back to Michigan. Getting to California was not so easy, but wasn't the airlines fault. Mother Nature was to blame for that.

Thank goodness for unlimited rental car mileage as I logged about 2,400 miles on my Alamo rented Impala. (This shameless plug is my attempt to show how blogging could one day be profitable).

Anyway I returned from pouring rain to dreary overcast skies so not much changed in the 2,400 mile trip home.

Before I formally resume my newspaper bashing here's a couple great jokes I heard while on the trip.

A guy calls in sick to work and tells his boss he has contracted "anal glaucoma." When his boss inquires about the disease the man retorts: "It means I can't see my ass coming to work today!"

A pirate walks into a pirate bar (I guess they had those) and sees another pirate with a wooden leg, a hook for a hand and an eye patch. He asked how the pirate had met with such misfortune.

"Well (insert aaaargh here) I fell overboard and a shark took me leg," the pirate says. And the hand?, the pirate asks.
"Lost it in a sword fight (another aaaaaargh here) with another pirate," the pirate says.
"And the eye matey?," the other pirate asks.
"Aye, the eye, I was looking up at the sky and a seagull pooped in me eye," the pirate says.
"How would poop have taken your eye?," the inquiring pirate asked.
"First day with me new hook," the disabled pirate asks. (Insert laughing here).

Again, thanks to all (and a few new fans of the blog) for your kind hospitality. If I get a chance I'll do a little more show and tell about the California trip. For now I must unpack and begin to look for part-time work.