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In a letter from WSJ‘s Managing Editor Robert Thomson to staff, he announced that D.C. Bureau Chief John Bussey is heading to NY to be promoted. Jerry Seib will be taking over. Check out the carefully worded explanation as to why this all is happening below in bold. We’re not saying it’s not true, just that it’s a new one in explaining an apparently complex situation.
We are making a fundamental change to the structure of our Washington Bureaus. After three years as Bureau Chief, John Bussey will move to New York to write a weekly column (and more) on international business and be promoted to Assistant Managing Editor and Executive Business Editor.
The Newswires and Journal teams will be combined and led by the adroit Jerry Seib, with two Deputy Bureau Chiefs, Matthew Rose, who will oversee the day-to-day running of Journal coverage, and Rob Wells, who currently heads the Newswires operation and will have an enhanced role overseeing real-time reporting.
In his role as Chief of a unified bureau, Jerry will continue to write his market-moving Capital Journal column once a week and provide leadership for all of our journalists in Washington.
The change in structure reflects our need to identify and develop emerging themes ahead of the competition, and to maximize the use of our very talented Newswires team. Integration is possible now because of the excellent work done by Rob and John to improve communication and coordination between the two bureaus, which covered the mid-term elections with much distinction.
We should laud John for his work in restructuring the bureau, promoting emerging talent and developing coverage at a time when our audience has grown significantly, and our national and international role as a trusted source of political and economic news has expanded.
Jerry will take up his new role early next month, and report to Matt Murray and Neal Lipschutz. Join me in congratulating Jerry on his ascension, and John, Rob and Matthew on their promotions.
NBC responds to a Page Six item today about Luke Russert to TVNewser. “It’s unfortunate that a gossip column would choose to attack a hard working, talented young man who is getting a great start as a broadcast journalist,” a NBC News spokesperson said.
Reuters: News Corp. will introduce “micro payments” for articles and premium subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal’s Web site. “Once we have your details we will be able to charge you according to what you read, in particular, a high price for specialist material,” said Journal editor Robert Thomson.
NYT‘s Frank Rich “The American Press on Suicide Watch“: Without [journalists'] enterprise, to take a few representative recent examples, we would not have known about the wretched conditions for our veterans at Walter Reed, the government’s warrantless wiretapping, the scams at Enron or steroids in baseball.
And from Maureen Dowd in NYT: “I dreamed that Spock saved our planet, The Daily Planet of journalism,” writes Maureen Dowd.
Politico: Members of the White House press corps are grumbling about a spate of background briefings by “senior administration officials.” “We’ve been concerned about the needless use of ‘on-background’ briefings when it comes to sharing straightforward information,” AP spokesman Paul Colford said.
Taking aim at the way news is spread across the Internet, the AP said yesterday that it will demand that Web sites obtain permission to use the work of the AP or its member newspapers, and share revenue with the news organizations, and that it will take legal action those that do not.
NBC’s Brian Williams has been named this year’s recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism. Williams will receive the 26th Cronkite Award from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at a ceremony Nov. 18. More from TVNewser here.
Cover Girl michelle Obama Doesn’t Always Deliver: “No doubt she’s been embraced by the media world, appearing on cover after cover, from Us Weekly to Newsweek. But when it comes to sales, Ms. Obama may not yet be general-interest magazines’ new Princess Diana, who regularly helped the industry sell more copies at newsstands.”
NY Observer‘s Matt Haber: “Here’s what’s so scary about the rise of the celebrity journalism dilettantes: For a working hack — that word is used here without judgment — it’s hard enough to get a pitch accepted by an editor (much less an 11-page evergreen on a 72-year-old who’s in not in the Jonas Brothers). But now you gotta compete with writers editors think are cooler, better connected, and who don’t even need the money.”
Digital piracy prompts hearing: Less than a week after a pirated copy of the unreleased movie X-Men Origins: Wolverine popped up on the Internet, federal legislators and entertainment executives presented an extraordinarily bleak picture of the damage digital piracy can inflict, and the grim prospects for limiting it.
Israel’s ultra-orthodox paper, Yated Neeman, airbrushed two female cabinet members out of a picture. Many publications ban pictures of women because it’s a violation of female modesty. The pair were replaced by two men who are not cabinet members.
Shockingly, enrollment is up at journalism schools around the country. From Forbes: Columbia, Stanford and NYU applications increased 38%, 20% and 6%, respectively, from the previous year. Same thing at state schools. The University of Colorado (up 11%), University of North Carolina (up 14%) and University of Maryland (up 25%) all saw gains.
Microsoft says it had no interest in acquiring NYT or other leading print brands. “No,” CEO Steve Ballmer said outside the McGraw-Hill Building in yesterday morning. “Not ‘no comment.’ No.” BusinessWeek reports Ballmer says Microsoft is still interested in acquiring Yahoo.
One banker’s plan to save the newspaper industry: “Despite that gloom and doom, the reality is that, within the pantheon of media sectors, the newspaper business is actually still one of the better ones,” says Jonathan Knee, an investment banker who advised on the San Diego Union-Tribune deal and who has covered the media industry for over 15 years.
Why President Obama skipped ‘Meet the Press’: “The new moderator often seems like he’s wearing a suit made for someone else – Russert – and as a result has yet to clearly establish why he got this gig instead of anyone else in the conga line of potential successors. David Gregory is terrifically polished, well-informed, a good listener and has the talking points of both sides down cold. But he also seems more intent on covering the waterfront than digging for news, or in pushing the talking heads off their talking points.”
From TVNewser: CNN’s Fareed Zakaria lands first tv interview with former NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer since the scandal that forced him out office a year ago (you all remember that).
Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren responded on her blog yesterday to the WaPo report that her husband John Coale was advising Sarah Palin. “No, he is not a paid adviser to Governor Palin and never has been,” she writes. “And no, he does not want a job with her or with the other women he has helped.” More here.
Will NPR Save the News? “In one of the great under-told media success stories of the past decade, NPR has emerged not as the bespectacled schoolmarm of our imagination but as a massive news machine poised for what Dick Meyer, editorial director for digital media, half-jokingly calls ‘world domination.’”
From Politico: Is Washington ready for Wanda? This year’s entertainment at the White House Correspondents Association Dinner: “‘I’m sick of politicians across the board, Republicans and Democrats,’ Sykes says on ‘Sick & Tired.’ ‘Theyâ€™re all shady. I’m sick of them. To me, political office should be like jury duty. You should just get a notice in the mail one day and say, ‘Aw, sh-, I’m secretary of state next month. Ain’t this a b–?’”
The Daily Beast offers up responses to the popular question these days, Can the New York Times Be Saved? with an archive of recent coverage. Please only click through if you have a secure job.
Salon’s Glenn Greenwald takes a look at WSJ’s editorial page and asks, “Can a newspaper be more misleading than this?” in response to this line after the President’s primetime press conference earlier this week: “We doubt that President Bush, who was notorious for being parsimonious with follow-ups, would have gotten away with prescreening his interlocutors.”
Greg Sargent responds to ABC’s Charlie Gibson’s speech at the National Press Foundation earlier this week, in which he said, news aggregators “rip off our work.” Sargent says, “The real point to be made here, though, is that many people at the traditional news orgs simply don’t understand what aggregation really entails. It isn’t just the act of swiping content or collecting links. Rather, it’s frequently about overriding the news judgments of those organizations in one way or another.”
FishbowlNY reports “Obama Saves Another Magazine”. This time its Ebony- “The sales figures for ‘commemorative issues’ of magazines featuring President Barack Obama are starting to trickle in and early returns are making publishers happier than David Plouffe on election night. Ebony is reporting that its issue sold over 400,000 copies, much higher than its usual amount.”
A reader brings this to our attention… the Committee to Protect Journalists called on President Obama this week to “halt open-ended detentions of journalists by the US military, saying they encouraged similar action by repressive governments.” Read the NYTimes/Reuters piece here.