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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Morgan’

Does Southern California Need a Megapaper?

The LA Times, under the Tribune Company, is still working its way out of bankruptcy. The O.C. Register is supposedly up for sale. And who knows what’s happening with the San Diego Union-Tribune? The past few years have been brutal to all three papers–so why not join forces, argues The Deal‘s Richard Morgan.

This notion was unthinkable when the Chandlers ruled the Los Angeles Times, the Hoiles led The Orange County Register and the Copleys owned The San Diego Union-Tribune-but where are their respective papers today? In bankruptcy, recently out of bankruptcy and for sale, again, after a brief stint in the hands of private equity. …

“It’s what I call ‘The Paper’ — my umbrella term for what’s produced after all the publishers in the area get smooshed into one enterprise,” says Alan Bell, who in 2006 stepped down as the CEO of Register parent Freedom Communications Inc. after presiding over its most profitable era. “It’s the only way you can make a go of it in a region as spread out as Southern California is.”

Morgan argues that a SoCal megapaper isn’t just a grand idea, it could actually happen. Hedge funds Alden Global Capital and Angelo, Gordon & Co. LP  have stakes in both O.C. Register parent company Freedom Communications and Tribune Company. With Union-Tribune owners Platinum Equity possibly gearing up for a sale of that paper, a deal to consolidate the three papers isn’t unreasonable.

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The Best Angry Goodbye Notes from Fired Journalists

“Only when a journalist is fired or quits does the complete fury he feels for those quacking mallards who have made his life miserable begin to surface,” writes Jack Shafer at Slate. He’s collected a few of the best kiss-off notes from fired journalists on his blog, and some of them are truly amazing.

“Jesus spent three days in Hell. … I could only handle one,” —wrote Richard Morgan, who quit Gawker after one day in January 2008.

And another favorite: “Don’t worry about me; I’ll land on my feet. I don’t regret coming here, even though I’ve been laid off now. In fact, my only regret is that you haven’t come to visit the Beacon Journal. I would have loved to piss on your shoes,” wrote Mark Schlueb, in a letter to Knight Ridder CEO Tony Ridder, in April 2001

Unsurprisingly, Tina Brown gets a few mentions. Who knew she wasn’t popular?  “If some ditzy American editor went to London, took over the Spectator and turned it into, say, In Your Face: A Magazine of Mucus, there would be a big uproar, but here in America, we expect turnover,” wrote Garrison Keillor, after Brown replaced Robert Gottlieb as editor of The New Yorker in April 1995.

And after his Newsweek blog was canceled by incoming editor Brown in 2011, Mickey Kaus wrote, “The people at the Daily Beast seem to be having a desperate sort of faux-fun as they try to madly generate paying hits before Barry Diller‘s money runs out subsidizing Ms. Brown’s big bucks staff.”

The whole collection, well worth the read, is at Slate.

The Atlantic‘s ‘Nearly 100′ Fantastic Journalism List

Conor Friedersdorf, Atlantic editor and founding editor of The Best Of Journalism, has his 2010 “Nearly 100 Fantastic Pieces of Journalism” list up. Yes, we know you’re just going to scan the page for your name, those you love and those you hate.

But after that make sure to read Richard Morgan‘s amazing piece about his seven years of freelancing.

Freelancing is an adventure the way “Locked Up Abroad” is an adventure. Journalism even at its best is already a fairly caustic and draining experience. All the qualities that make you a great journalist make you a terrible person: gossip, urgency, obsession, noisiness, theatrics and hysterics.