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Posts Tagged ‘Katharine Weymouth’

TNR Declares WaPocalypse

tnr_Page_1.jpg “Inside the messy collapse of a great newspaper.” That’s the sub-headline of TNR‘s fiery article about the Post “apocalypse” that FishbowlDC previewed this evening.

From Susan Glasser‘s rise and fall as editor of the the national desk, the birth of Politico and Katharine Weymouth‘s “salon” fiasco to the hire of Marcus Brauchli and the “mad bitch” beer scandal, the five-page piece by Gabriel Sherman tracks the events leading up to what he describes as a major “identity crisis.”

Sherman says, “the Post seems to be paralyzed – and trapped. It can’t go completely local because the local news in Washington is, in many respects, national; and its status as the paper of record for national politics is under assault from numerous competitors – competitors it isn’t clear the Post can defeat.”

While the piece draws no clear conclusions, the painful recap of the paper’s hardships is sure to get some attention.

The New Look of WaPo


Via Newseum.org.

Notice anything different about your paper this morning? WaPo unveiled a new look today, complete with an eight-page “Redesign Owner’s Manual,” which includes notes from publisher Katharine Weymouth, editor Marcus Brauchli and editorial editor Fred Hiatt.

Most noticeable changes include: bigger, more readable fonts, navigation bars across the tops of section fronts, Health & Science section now on Tuesdays, Local Living section on Thursdays, new opinion page Washington Forum in the A-section, and classifieds have been moved to the Local Living and Sports sections. Reporters’ emails are now at end of their pieces and columnists like Howard Kurtz and Al Kamen‘s photos have been added to their columns.

WaPo welcomes comments at ideas@washpost.com and staffers were prepped this weekend on how to handle reader feedback. That memo (via Politico) is after the jump…

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News Notes: Yeas & Nays Photo Shoot, Washingtonian’s Most Powerful and Stylish

• Last time we checked, “Yeas & Nays” had yet to update its Twitter page photo, but now the Examiner makes it official. Introducing Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri.

• In this month’s WashingtonianNJ‘s Suzanne Clark, NYT‘s Maureen Dowd, MTP’s Betsy Fischer, PBS’ Gwen Ifill, BET’s Debra Lee, NPR’s Diane Rehm, NPR’s Vivian Schiller, NPR’s Nina Totenberg and WaPo‘s Katharine Weymouth represent the media on the mag’s 100 Most Powerful Women.

• CNN’s “State of the Union” executive producer Michelle Jaconi and journo band Suspicious Package’s Christina Sevilla are among Washingtonian‘s Most Stylish People. The 18 fashionistas will be toasted at a party thrown by the mag this evening, and you can check out the complete list on newsstands.

WaPo and .com: Making It Official in 2010

The final merge of WaPo and .com is just around the corner. According to WBJ, WaPo and washingtonpost.com are making it official as a combined entity next year. The print and online operations of the newspaper will merge as of Jan. 1, 2010.

Katharine Weymouth
sent a memo to employees this morning stating that it was important to create one organization for print and online operations that would mirror the perception of readers, users and advertisers.

Best wishes to the happy couple! For more on this check the Washington Biz Journal here.

Morning Reading List 09.16.09

Good morning FishbowlDC! Got a blind item, interesting link, funny note, comment, birthday, anniversary or anything of the sort for Morning Reading List? Drop us a line.

What know and what we’re reading this Wednesday morning…

NEWSPAPERS | TV | ONLINE | NEWS NOTES | WEST WING REPORTAGE | JOBS

NEWSPAPERS

Slate’s Jack Shafer on WaPo‘s Katharine Weymouth: “One of the things Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth has got to learn is that she can’t pretend that the newsroom floats in its own accountable-only-to-Brauchli ether at the same time she is telling editors (plural) enough with dwarf-leg stories.” Read on.

Yesterday in WaPo- “Controversy Over How, Why Post Piece Was Killed, If Publisher Weymouth Involved.”

New culture editor at NYT- Jon Landman, the deputy managing editor.

TV

Norah O’Donnell is in NY, co-anchoring the 9am hour of the “Today Show.” She tweets, “I may cook on TV!” and that she and her husband Chef Geoff have just finished their baby food cookbook, out in 2010.

In what NBC is calling a “world exclusive interview,” Ann Curry will sit down with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran. This is his first interview since the June elections and will air on “Today” tomorrow and “Nightly News” Friday.

It appears there may be more cuts looming at NBC News- NYO reports another round of voluntary buyouts are being offered. What will that mean for the DC bureau?

ONLINE

Facebook has crossed 300 million users worldwide.

This is your blog, courtesy of mediabistro.

NEWS NOTES

Sarah Palin has officially signed on with the Washington Speaker’s Bureau (via PoliticalWire).

When asked about the latest ACORN scandal, ABC’s Charlie Gibson told Chicago talk radio hosts that he hadn’t heard about it and “maybe this is just one you leave to the cables.”

Which brings us to this piece “Divide between right, mainstream media” by Mike Allen and Michael Calderone in Politico… “The right-wing media’s single-minded focus on a handful of targets over the past months and its success in pushing those stories into the mainstream have underscored the sharp divide between traditional news organizations and the bloggers and talk show hosts aggressively pursuing an ideological agenda.”

WEST WING REPORTAGE

Remember when former President George W. Bush called former NYT reporter Andrew Clymer a “major league asshole?” He does, and now he’s offering his advice to Kanye West in a very entertaining piece on the Daily Best. “…I congratulate you on being chosen for our club, The Cussed Out by Higher Authority Who DidnÂ’t Believe Microphones Work Club. Should we ever meet, I will show you the secret handshake, but I can tell you it involves an extended middle finger.”

Also on the Daily Beast today- a collection of the best OTR-gone-public comments.

HAT TIPS: mediabistro, TVNewser, Daniel Lippman

Washingtonian‘s Cathy Merrill Williams Defends WaPo‘s Weymouth

On her Facebook profile, Washingtonian President and Publisher Cathy Merrill Williams has posted a letter applauding WaPo‘s Weymouth for her attempt to find new revenue streams and for trying something new re: the “salon” scandals. Her post below or visit it on Facebook here.

New Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth has been taking a lot of flak from journalists and press junkies. Weymouth and her team at the Washington Post proposed to host off-the-record dinners at her home paid for by a sponsor. These “salon” events were ridiculed in the press as selling access for power and damaging the reputation of the venerable Washington Post.

For all of the bad press she and her editor Marcus Brauchli are getting, I see great hope. I for one am betting on the 43-year-old publisher to reinvent an institution in an industry that is crumbling.

She tried something new. Was it a well thought-out and properly executed plan? No, not even close. But she tried something new. All businesses make mistakes especially when searching for a new business model. RH Macy’s went bankrupt 5 times before it succeeded. Hershey and Disney also initially failed spectacularly, leaving debtors out in the cold.

Weymouth has to keep trying new things because the newspaper lost $25 million last year. As Atlantic owner David Bradley and his own salons were pulled into the debate, he had it right: “As the whole of our enterprise surely knows, the economic foundation beneath journalism is falling away. The imperative…is to rebuild journalism on different financial pillars.” So she is going to likely have to fail a few more times to succeed.

There has been a lot of sanctimony from journalists inside and outside the Washington Post. I suspect it is easier to be sanctimonious if you are not the one that has to pay the rent (or your own pay check). The Post’s Ombudsman Andrew Alexander wrote a 2788 word piece this past Sunday ripping apart the entire management team at the Post all while noting that only 2 readers have canceled subscriptions because of it. This is naval gazing at its worst.

The rest after the jump…

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WaPo Ombudsman On “Salons”: “An Ethical Lapse Of Monumental Proportions”

WaPo ombudsman Andrew Alexander tackled the “salon” scandal in this Sunday’s paper. Alexander cites Charles Pelton, general manager of a new Washington Post Conferences & Events business, as a “key player in the controversy” and said that when the flier was disclosed, Marcus Brauchli and Katharine Weymouth “say they were stunned.”

While Brauchli and Weymouth say they should have realized long ago that the plan was flawed, internal e-mails and interviews show questions about ethics were raised with both of them months ago. They also show that blame runs deeper. Beneath Brauchli and Weymouth, three of the most senior newsroom managers received an e-mail with details of the plan.

Lower down, others inside and outside the newsroom were aware that sponsored events would involve news personnel in off-the-record settings, although they lacked details. Several now say they didn’t speak up because they assumed top managers would eventually ensure that traditional ethics boundaries would not be breached.

Neither Weymouth nor Brauchli can recall anyone raising concerns, although both say they wish someone had.

Alexander’s piece reveals that Brauchli weighed in with managing editors Raju Narisetti and Liz Spayd and deputy managing editor Milton Coleman. Both Narisetti and Coleman questioned using Weymouth’s house and committing to a beat reporter.

Brauchli tells Alexander: “When the publisher and the editor both appear to have signed off on an idea, I think it is perhaps true that a certain complacency sets in,” he said. For that reason, lower-level managers might be less inclined “to stand up and say: ‘Whoa, this is a bad idea.’”

Read Alexander’s piece in entirety here.

Also on this topic, CJR: Salons Under Scrutiny: Examining the ethics of sponsored, off-the-record events.

Weymouth At Aspen Ideas Festival: “Big Newsrooms That Put Out Quality Journalism Are Very Expensive To Maintain”

Before a certain news story broke, WaPo publisher Katharine Weymouth was in Aspen for the 2009 Ideas Festival hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

In the clip above Weymouth, speaking on the “What’s Next for the News Business” panel, said papers had gotten “fat in the happy years that I tragically missed.” She pointed out that in its glory days, when it broke the Watergate scandal, the Post’s newsroom was half the size it is today.

(h/t FishbowlNY)

Weymouth Sets New Standards for WaPo Events v. Editorial Access

Internal memo from WaPo Publisher Katharine Weymouth in response to last week’s pay-for-play fiasco:

I hope you had a chance to read my letter in Sunday’s paper. I wanted to let you know that I’ve asked Eric Lieberman, our General Counsel, to review recent events to make sure that our business processes are consistent with, and will not in any way compromise, our journalism. Simultaneously, I’ve asked Marcus and Milton Coleman to codify parameters for Post newsroom participation in live events. As we continue to pursue new and promising lines of business, these measures should help us conduct our business activities effectively and appropriately.

Katharine

Weymouth Offers Explanation to WaPo Staff

First on FishbowlDC: Internal memo from WaPo Publisher and CEO Katharine Weymouth below:

From: Katharine Weymouth
Sent: 07/02/2009 02:45 PM EDT
Subject: Message from the Publisher

All:

You will have seen this morning a story in Politico and now widely picked up that we were planning a series of salon dinners. A flyer went out that was prepared by the Marketing department and was never vetted by me or by the newsroom. Had it been, the flyer would have been immediately killed, because it completely misrepresented what we were trying to do.

I do not normally respond to stories but this one has created enough of a stir that I wanted to take the time to reaffirm our commitment, first and foremost, to our journalism and our integrity. There is nothing more important and no amount of money that would cause us to jeopardize that. We are always looking for new revenue streams but we will pursue only avenues that uphold our high standards of journalism.

We were planning to do a series of dinners and had requested newsroom
participation but with parameters such that we did not in any way
compromise our integrity. Sponsorship of events, like advertising in the newspaper, must be at arm’s length and cannot imply control over the content or access to our journalists. At this juncture, we will not be holding the planned July dinner and we will not hold salon dinners involving the newsroom.

We do believe that there is a viable way to expand our expertise into live conferences and events that simply enhances what we do – cover Washington for Washingtonians and those interested in Washington. And we will begin to do live events in ways that enhance our reputation and in no way call into question our integrity.

Katharine

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