Archives: March 2009
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We’ve gathered some of the online mumblings from former employees of the now-defunct paper. On his blog LA Photo, photojournalist Ted Soqui posted some of the lovely covers he’d done over the years, and wrote:
Worked with several amazing editors, writers, and designers there, and made some life long friends. LA City Beat will not fade in my memory.
Although I had problems with the way the place was run in the last year, it’s disappointing to see that L.A. can’t support two weekly newspapers. More than anything, the paper’s demise is a product of the soft economy and an advertising and media world that’s migrating online.
Was it the economy, or was it the incredibly stupid move by management to fire Steve Appleford as editor/head/writer/photographer? (Firing a guy who does almost everything, and replacing him with, for example, someone who had never been an editor before…surely not the best business plan). After Steve left, the paper never recovered. An expensive “relaunch” gave the paper cosmetic changes that were all reversed a few months later, and Rebecca Schoenkopf, whose strength as a writer is first-person pieces, became editor and wrote a cover story that was just a bullet-point piece of bits of advice her mom gave her. I grant you, I would rather read that than the OC Weekly’s umpteenth report on the Capistrano School District, but it’s still not cover-story material.
Donnell Alexander noted the demise of CityBeat on his website, and posted a story he was assigned to write for a future issue of the paper. It’s a piece for which he’s yet to be paid. His closing words:
I’ll miss CityBeat even though Southland Publishing – for whom I worked as New Angeles EIC, too – is the cheapest fucking publisher ever to employ this nigga. Runaway titlist. No company has come close.
The fact that the 10pm replay is more competitive now is obviously great news, but if a terrific opportunity for a new show presents itself tomorrow, management will move on it,” predicts Olbermann.
How does the host of the Young Turks, Cenk Uygur feel about this? You maybe wondering, what does it feel like being kicked out of line because the ride is closed down until further notice? (No we’re not talking about City Beat again.)
Uygur tells FBLA, “We’re just getting started. You can’t stop us, the best you can do is hope to contain us. So, Round Two of the MSNBC campaign is going to start soon. When the 10PM time slot does become available, it will be ours. We now take the role of heir apparent — the crown price of 10PM on MSNBC.
“The only thing that can prevent this is if we get an offer from another station in the meanwhile. CNN, Headline News, Comedy Central and HBO are obvious possibilities, but there are many others as well. Our audience is excited to bring this to the next level. So, this is not the end, it is the beginning. Ready or not, here we come!”
Irvine-based Entrepreneur Magazine and the Entrepreneur.com website have seen their editorial staff decimated this week. We hear from former employees that the layoffs include the executive editor, the managing editor, the online editor, an associate editor, the special projects editor, a staff writer and 2 editorial assistants. Who’s left?
The company had already suffered a number of layoffs last August, which an Entrepreneur press release described as a “reorganization of its editorial department as part of its strategy to combine the company’s print and online content development teams.” Sounds like more work, less money to us.
Walt Disney Co. and Google completed a deal yesterday that will see short-form content from ESPN and ABC distributed on YouTube. They mean it when they say short-form. We won’t be seeing full-length episodes, at least not yet. But if Google has it’s way, we will be seeing more ads. From the LAT article:
The agreement would extend the Internet reach for ESPN’s sports highlights and ABC News updates and provide another outlet for video snippets taken from the ABC broadcast network and ABC Family cable channel shows. Disney hopes the arrangement will bring its advertisers to YouTube, a site that has 100 million monthly visitors but has had difficulty making money off “user-generated content.” Disney would keep the majority of the proceeds, YouTube said.
Journo, Erica Smith, whom we’ve dubbed The Newsroom Angel of Death for her somber vigil of the death of our national print papers.
Apparently, her record keeping has gotten pretty popular, we’ve received press releases with her name dropped in. Now CNN is using her stats…mangling them.
She sent us this email:
CNN is referencing Paper Cuts, saying “More than 21,000 jobs at 67 newspapers have vaporized” which is so wrong. Only 67 papers? That’s 313 jobs per paper. I gave them more accurate numbers than that. I’ve tried contacting the original reporter; no fix. And now non-CNN people are picking up that number and using it in other stories. (And that’s just lazy research!)
Yeah, there were almost 16,000 jobs lost just in 2008, according to our crack research team.
On March 19, when the reporter [Stephanie Chen] asked, 428 papers had announced layoffs in 2008, and 246 had announced layoffs in 2009. Now, the ’09 number is about 305, and there have been about 1,500 more layoffs. And of course some (but not all) of the same papers that announced layoffs in ’08 are doing the same thing in ’09.
Slate.com’s Jack Shafer Thinks There is No Yellow Journalism Anymore…Wants to Bring It Back…Serious, He Wrote That…On the Internet
But every now and again, I wish the newspapers landing on my doorstep contained a little more blood, took a position without being partisan, yelled a tad more, and brushed some yellow from the palette while painting their stories.
There. I’ve said it. I wish our better newspapers availed themselves of some of the techniques of yellow journalism and a little less of the solemnity we associate with the Committee of Concerned Journalists. Yes, the yellow journalism of William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World from the 1890s.
Now before you storm the U.S. Congress’ Periodical Press Galleries, demanding that they deny my latest application for a press card, hear me out. Being rambunctious to the extreme, yellow journalism is misunderstood. At its best, yellow journalism was terrific, and at its worst, it really wasn’t all that bad.
Isn’t yellow journalism the gold standard of cable news?
Thanks, Fast Company…change the conversation. Make us look smarter for reading you.
Yes, it’s true: 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.” NPR’s listenership has nearly doubled since 1999, even as newspaper circulation dropped off a cliff. Its programming now reaches 26.4 million listeners weekly — far more than USA Today’s 2.3 million daily circ or Fox News’ 2.8 million prime-time audience. When newspapers were closing bureaus, NPR was opening them, and now runs 38 around the world, better than CNN. It has 860 member stations — “boots on the ground in every town” that no newspaper or TV network can claim. It has moved boldly into new media as well: 14 million monthly podcast downloads, 8 million Web visitors, NPR Mobile, an open platform, a social network, even crowdsourcing. And although the nonprofit has been hit by the downturn like everyone else, its multiple revenue streams look far healthier long term than the ad-driven model of commercial media. (In 2003, Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray, gave a $200 million endowment to NPR, the largest gift ever to an American cultural institution. She must have gotten one hell of a tote bag.)
You should read the whole piece.
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