August 20, 2013 |
Over the last year, the Orange County Register has been furiously paddling against a riptide that has newspapers around the country laying off journalists, shrinking coverage and in some cases cutting back home delivery. The Register has doubled the number of reporters and editors to 350 and fattened the paper by adding 22 weekly sections. On a recent Tuesday, it had 72 pages while the Los Angeles Times had 42. The Register's parent company, Freedom Communications Inc. in Irvine, has expanded its 26 weekly community newspapers and turned two into five-day-a-week operations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2013 |
Robin Thicke's summer pop hit is called "Blurred Lines," and journalism critics say that's exactly what they see in a music video parody that uses dancing TV news starlets to take a shot at Bob Filner, the San Diego mayor accused by 14 women of sexual harassment. The video by U-T TV -- the cable television affiliate of the newspaper once known as the Union-Tribune -- has created a modest storm for its attempt to make light of the scandal threatening to drive Filner from office. "Vapid and embarrassing," pronounced the managing editor of the Voice of San Diego news site, a U-T competitor.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 12, 2013 |
Stan Lynde, creator of the syndicated western comic strip "Rick O'Shay," which ran for 20 years in major newspapers and reached about 15 million readers, died Tuesday of cancer in Helena, Mont. He was 81. Lynde was a Korean War veteran who had studied journalism at the University of Montana and briefly worked on his family's ranch in Colorado when he realized he wanted to try to make it as a cartoonist. After buying a one-way ticket to New York City in the 1950s, he worked his way up to commodities reporter at the Wall Street Journal while attending the School of Visual Arts at night.
August 10, 2013 |
Holding back time is a big job. But out here in the high mountain desert, where rattlesnakes and sagebrush outnumber people, it is a task Dean Coombs shoulders each week with a certain glee. Tuesday is press day at the Saguache Crescent, now in its 134th year. Coombs is the disheveled guy hunkered down amid the dust and dilapidation of the newspaper's office, hunting and pecking at the keyboard of the same Linotype machine his grandparents used when Warren G. Harding was in the White House.
August 9, 2013 |
Here's an assumption underlying many a Big Idea online: If you make it easier for people to act on their impulses in a way that benefits your business, they will. A good example of this is Comcast's reported anti-piracy initiative. And my hunch is that it might explain Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' $250-million purchase of the Washington Post. Variety's Andrew Wallenstein reported this week that Comcast was trying to build support for a different approach to online piracy than the content industry's new "six strikes" Copyright Alert System . That system -- developed by representatives of the film, television, music and communications industries -- sends progressively stronger warnings to broadband customers whose accounts are used to download unauthorized copies of movies, TV shows and songs.
August 7, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Jeff Bezos' purchase of the Washington Post is provoking anxiety and uncertainty among journalists. But for Silicon Valley techies, this unlikely marriage is cause for optimism: Someone may finally deliver technical and entrepreneurial prowess to an industry they largely view as slow footed. Forget grand futuristic ideas. For many in Silicon Valley, the news industry is so woefully behind in its grasp of the Internet, that if Bezos can simply modernize its Web efforts, it would represent a great leap forward for many news organizations.
August 6, 2013 |
Brad Stone, a longtime Silicon Valley reporter, has been working for years on what he hopes will be the definitive account of Jeff Bezos and the rise of Amazon, the online retailing giant founded in 1994. His new book, “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” is slated to be published in October by Little, Brown. On Monday, he got handed fodder for a new chapter, when Bezos once again did something unexpected and risky: he bought a newspaper, the Washington Post.
August 6, 2013 |
The definitive line about a newspaper's public mission came, as it happens, from Hollywood. In Orson Welles' classic "Citizen Kane," the title character, his newspaper empire in tatters, is asked by Walter Thatcher, the film's stand-in for J.P. Morgan, what he would like to have been. Kane answers: "Everything you hate. " Jeff Bezos' dealings with the moneymen of Wall Street have always been rather friendlier than those between Kane and Thatcher. But what he may share with Kane is the feeling that these unappreciated - indeed, financially despised - enterprises known as newspapers have some value that other investors have been overlooking.
August 5, 2013 |
Amazon.com founder Jeffrey Bezos, who revolutionized the book business, is now aiming to do the same with one of the nation's most storied newspapers. The Seattle billionaire has agreed to purchase the Washington Post for $250 million, saying Monday that he was "very optimistic" about the paper's future. The Post, like the newspaper industry as a whole, has been beset by a rapid decline in print advertising, a loss of subscribers and challenges in building up online revenue. In a letter to Post employees, Bezos indicated that he wouldn't make radical changes in editorial operations and would continue to emphasize accountability journalism.
August 2, 2013 |
The Cleveland Plain Dealer laid off one-third of its newsroom staff on Wednesday, and among those to go was Donald Rosenberg, the newspaper's former senior music critic who was reassigned from his post in 2008 and waged an unsuccessful lawsuit against his employer. Rosenberg most recently covered dance and other arts for the newspaper, writing reported pieces as well as some reviews. He confirmed his departure from the Plain Dealer by phone. His legal clash with the Plain Dealer two years ago stemmed from a number of highly critical articles that he wrote aimed at the Cleveland Orchestra and its music director, Franz Welser-Möst.