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Archives: February 2009

California Unemployment Rate Hits the Double Digits – 10.1%

26788DG~Mr-Unemployed-Posters.jpgLAT’s Marc Lifsher reports:

Reporting from Sacramento — More than 1 in 10 California workers were unemployed in January, the largest percentage in nearly 26 years, the state reported today.

The 10.1% jobless rate is the highest since June 1983 and not far below the 11% record set in November 1982 at the worst point of a severe recession, according to the governor’s office. Job losses escalated in January, with the state’s unemployment rate jumping by 1.4 percentage points from a revised 8.7% for December.

We asked our friend who works as a grip – his entire career is marked by being on set or on unemployment. It’s changed, according to him.

He wrote to FBLA:

It took over 2 hours of calling constantly on 2 separate phones, redialing one after another and memorizing the menu code…1,2,1,1,7 to get through. Prior to a year ago you could get through anytime of day by calling just a few times.

Yeah, looks like the Employment Development Department needs to hire more people. Blink.

Morning Media Menu With Miles O’Brien

mornmm.gifToday on the Menu we welcome CNN’s former chief technology and environment correspondent Miles O’Brien live from Denver where he is working on an upcoming documentary for PBS (and reading the last issue of the Rocky Mountain News).

O’Brien had been with CNN for 16 years and was let go in December whe the entire Science and Technology department was shut down. Then, a plane landed in the Hudson, and a plane crashed in Buffalo — and O’Brien blogged and tweeted it all to huge response.

“I was pretty bowled over by the response…I just sort of sat down and did what I would do if I was still at CNN…and put it on my blog. It just bowled me over how the world beat a path to my blog. There’s a lesson in all of that, that first of all people are thirsty for information from sources they can trust. And they will seek you out.”

Photo_176.jpgAs more and more experienced journalists find themselves out of work O’Brien wonders whether we will see a collection of individual niche reporting sites on the web, such as his blog, that may someday find a way to band together. Also, he says we shouldn’t be scared of flying. Also! How will we pay for newspapers online?! O’Brien gives us his take. You can listen to the podcast live every morning at 9amET on BlogTalkRadio.com/mediabistro and call in at 646-929-0321. You can also subscribe to the iTunes feed of the podcast by clicking the “iTunes” button.

FBLA’s Top 5 Stories Yesterday

Slate Names Peggy White the Publisher of Upcoming Double X

Per the release: The Slate Group, publisher of Slate, The Root, The Big Money, and Foreign Policy, today announced it has named Peggy White the Publisher of Double X, a women’s online magazine launching later this year. Double X will provide provocative, lively, in-depth commentary across politics, culture, family, and other topics, while focusing on a woman’s perspective.

Read more

Attention Media: You May Want to Not Call That Tween Boy Band “JoBros” Anymore

jobrosdude22.jpg

We had the following email exchange this morning with a person that goes by the initials BW:

BW: LATimes.com has a headline on their front page that refers to the Jonas Brothers as the “JoBros.” That’s just one capital letter away from being completely inappropriate.

I’m going to be sick now.

TD: Dumb that down for me. I don’t get it.

BW: JO? As in “JO party,” as in “jack off?” Yuck.

TD: That’s what they’re called now? Circle jerks are called JO parties?! Are you making this up just to be weird?

BW: Seriously, it’s a real expression. I’m sure you could find it used on craigslist. I’ve heard people make jokes (or maybe NOT jokes) about “JO parties” so I’m sure there is plenty of truth behind it.

And we looked on craigslist and there it is. Just a warning – you can’t un-see it. Shudder.

What Do You Think of the ‘iTunes Model’ for Newspapers?

Newsday and SF Chron Will Start Charging

twopaperslogoses22.jpgAlan D. Mutter writes on his blog:

To avoid cutting that deeply into the staff, the Chronicle plans to boost revenues by increasing subscription prices for the newspaper and to begin charging consumers for access to certain features and sections at its website. The site, SFGate.Com, now is entirely free.

And our sister site FishbowlNY reports:

Late Thursday, Tom Zucker, COO of Newsday’s parent company Cablevision said the paper plans “to end the distribution of free Web content.” Zucker declined to specify when when Newsday will begin charging to read content on its site, and did not reveal what that pricing would be.

Here’s the problem with charging for web stuff: All it takes is one site (cough Huffpo) to copy the article and post it in its entirety, link to it so it isn’t technically lifting and the model is sunk.

The viability of this plan rests on web punks not using ctrl c.

It’s the 15th Anniversary of Bill Hicks’ Death

David Saldana over at PopandPolitics writes:

Bill Hicks died of pancreatic cancer not long after that unfortunate episode, on February 26, 1994, exactly 15 years ago. He called himself “Chomsky with dick jokes,” and spoke of spirituality and embracing humanity like a New Age guru (an option kyboshed by his legendary love of cigarettes and booze). But he showed no patience for obnoxious, dim-bulb audiences. Fans love that about him.

It is a great testament to Bill Hicks that he is still respected by his fellow comics and revered by discerning comedy fans. His CDs and DVDs still fly off the shelves. Several biographies and compilations of his material have been published, he’s been the subject of academic research, tributes are held in his honor, and Hicks goods are a cottage industry.

Ahem. BillHicks.com for example.

What’s amazing is that his work is still funny and still relevant yet he hasn’t told a dick joke since the Lorena Bobbit case.

And we still miss him.

OC Mayor Will Resign for Being a Schmuck

022609_watermelon.jpg
Orange County, what we describe at cocktail parties as Alabama with money. Has blinded the nation with its classiness once again. Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose sent out this picture with the title “No Easter egg hunt this year” to his friends and uhm…colleagues. One of whom was black.

From AP:

Grose says he accepts that the e-mail was in poor taste and has affected his ability to lead the city. Grose said he didn’t mean to offend anyone and claimed he was unaware of the racial stereotype linking black people with eating watermelons.

Nice. He claims stupidity either way.

And if you think OC isn’t Alabama with money. Read all the comments on the OC Register story.

The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

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