Nancy Pelosi Extreme Makeover Working — (Not Her Facelifts) Her Transformation from San Francisco Liberal Progressive to Kindly Grandma, Italian Catholic

By Mick Gregory

Newt Gingrich has exposed the lies of Nancy Pelosi and is calling her actions the worst example of political power and damaging lies he has ever experienced in his lifetime. Watch the new Democrat one-party system ignor Pelosi’s poison and turn it on the few remaining Republicans.

 

 

Recent Pelosi items in the news

Chris Mathews of “Softball” calls Ms. Pelosi “a knockout.” She is amazing looking for a 68-year-old.

Update: Feb. 25, 2009 (Morning after Obama’s first State of the Union address). 

Pelosi’s face- and eye-lifts are amazing, but her biggest makeover is her political image, from a progressive Democrat/socialist, atheist, wealthy resort owner, to a middle of the road, “working class” Catholic.

 

pelosi1

 

Quite a makeover for newly sworn House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as her national image morphed from leader of the San Francisco liberal elite to Italian Catholic mom from Baltimore.

There was her photo-op return to the Little Italy neighborhood where she grew up as Nancy D’Alesandro, the mayor’s daughter. There was the visit to St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, where they still recite Mass in Italian several times a year.

“It’s clear Republicans are reeling today based on her outreach to Italian Catholics who, as we know, have deserted the Democratic Party in the Midwest in droves,” said San Francisco power attorney Joe Cotchett, who was among those attending the Pelosi swearing in.

While the marathon events in the nation’s capital might have resembled a coronation, those most familiar with how Washington works said Pelosi’s time in the spotlight amounted to well-calculated politics that could help her move her agenda in her first 100 days.

“A lot of people don’t know much about her, so this is a chance to fill in her profile and biography so she doesn’t just become the San Francisco liberal,” said San Francisco consultant Chris Lehane, a veteran of the Clinton-Gore White House. “This is the one time when the press will be focusing on it.”

And it may be working.

According to the results of a Rasmussen Reports national phone survey of 800 likely voters, released Friday, Pelosi’s approval rating has jumped to 43 percent — up 19 points from November.

On the other hand, the same poll also found 39 percent of those surveyed still give Pelosi the thumbs-down.

Showing off: In politics as in movies, staging is all-important to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger — and his inaugural was no exception.

Produced by Schwarzenegger family friend Carl Bendix, who has done the Academy Awards Governors Ball and other Hollywood events, and emceed by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, the Friday affair was Hollywood through and through — including a last-minute prop to help the gimpy governor.

–Matier & Ross, SF Chronicle

Keep a score card on the liberal mainstream media. Make note that there is never a word about:

Nancy Pelosi’s age.
The age of her children — in photo-ops it is Pelosi and her youngest, prettiest grand children
Her resort, Napa Valley vineyards, and high-end restaurants and use of non-union and illegal immigrant labor.
Her total support of partial birth abortion.
How she gained the votes from Democrats for first, minority leader and now majority leader.

Notice how the San Francisco reporters go with the spin, calling her a “mom” and not mentioning any of these items.

That’s why citizen journalists are filling the void.

New York ABC radio newsman George Weber was a gay pedophile, killed by his boy date. Sanchez, the gay pedophile train engineer was texting teenage boys seconds before he crashed and killed 25 people in LA

The mainstream news has been filtering the news and making everything nice and PC for the dumbed down readers. They only report what fits the “progressive” agenda. 

With the rise of blogs, the truth can now be reported. Did you know that the longtime New York radio newsman was paying teenage runaways for gay sex? George Weber was found stabbed to death in his Brooklyn apartment Sunday morning, cops said. Now we find he was accidently killed by a troubled teen, paid to have rough gay sex with the radio newsman. 

The bloody body of Weber, a passionate liberal fan of the city who spent a decade doing local news on WABC morning radio, was found just after 9 a.m. when he didn’t show up for work. It can now be told that Weber, an outspoken Democrat, was a gay pedophile. He was a chicken hawk who paid teenage boys, often runaways money for sex. A boy who just turned 16 accidently killed Weber during a session of “rough” gay sex.

Weber, 47, was freelancing at ABC’s national radio network after being laid off last year.

 

What kind of books or DVDs did Mr. Sanchez have in his home? Doesn’t the media look into these things? Oh, wait, Sanchez was a gay pedophile Democrat, not a Christian Republican.

The first results of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation are in. Surprising no one, it’s now confirmed that train driver Robert Sanchez was sending text messages moments before crashing a train full of people into an oncoming freight train, killing 25 people. His last text message was sent 22 seconds before the two trains collided. Sanchez was an outspoken Democrat and Obama reporter with a keen interest in teenage boys.

While we’ll likely will never be able to definitively say one way or the other due to the lack of eyewitnesses, those 58 seconds between received message and sent message are likely the reason why Sanchez missed the “red lights” on the track as the freight train approached. Shouldn’t we know what Sanchez was texting? What if it was something like “the brakes don’t work well?”

The cellular network clock and the train’s onboard computer clock are almost certainly set slightly differently, so the final, incoming text message may have arrived somewhat earlier or later than 22 seconds before the crash. If the timestamps are reconciled exactly, the NTSB could then use information about the speed and location of the train to determine exactly where Sanchez’s train was when he took his eyes off the track ahead and whether that is what likely caused him to miss the signals. The content of the message is important, also. If it was a urgent warning, rather than just a friendly “HOW R U?” Sanchez shouldn’t have had to rush back with an answer. Was he having text sex games with the teenage boy?

Why didn’t you read about this in the LA Times or San Francisco Chronicle? How about this?

There is a dark side to the tragedy

Sanchez’s “partner,” Daniel Burton, allegedly hanged himself in the garage of the home they shared in Crestline, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

Burton’s sister, Carolann Peschell, said she suspected foul play and never believed her 39-year-old brother, who was HIV-positive, would have killed himself. He had found a job at a gourmet restaurant and sounded well when she spoke to him two weeks before his unusual death.

“He was doing fine; he was happy, no signs of depression,” Peschell said. “We didn’t feel my brother was capable of doing this to himself.” He was a gentle man and hanging is a brutal way to kill yourself.

Peschell, who described Sanchez as “very odd, very strange, and obese” said her suspicions were not investigated throughly by San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators.

A coroner’s report said the two men had argued the night before Burton’s body was found; Sanchez had told Burton they should break up. That would draw attention by a professional CSI team.

Peschell kept her brother’s purported suicide note, which read: “Rob, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you. Please take care of yourself and Ignatia. I love you both very much.” Ignatia was their dog.

From KFI radio, the John and Ken Show, Los Angeles

Newsman Eric Leonard reported on KFI radio (3:15 PT today) that the driver in the LA Metrolink crash last week, Robert M. Sanchez, is suspected of having killed his male lover 5 years ago. Leonard reports that the that the family of the lover, Daniel Charles Burton, has always believed that Sanchez killed Burton. The Burtons tried to get the police to investigate their son’s death as a murder to no avail. The death appeared to be a suicide, but the family has handwriting experts who say that the handwriting on the suicide note was not Burton’s. The family also told the police that Burton was HIV positive and that he and Sanchez had a fight right before the “suicide.” More recently, the Burtons called Metrolink to warn them that Sanchez was unstable.

Eric Leonard also reports that “it looks clear from [Metrolink’s] review of the [train] controls, that Sanchez did actually apply some speed controls within seconds of the crash but never braked.”

Would Sanchez have lost his home? That could be a motive. Was Sanchez a chicken hawk preoccupied with teen texting? He was arrested and plead guilty to theft of expensive electronic gaming equipment. And on Sept. 2 his train killed a pedestrian. Was Sanchez texting then too?

Gannett is building the model of the profitable newspaper

A new bold initiative is about to unfold in Detroit. Overnight, profitability will be restored to the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News and the joint operating agency that serves them, the experiment in non-daily home delivery could be common practice in the next two years.

Desperate times create desperate measures. The new model even cuts down on newspapers’ carbon footprint.

There is a widely reported plan that the Detroit dailies will restrict home delivery to Thursday and Sunday and perhaps one other day of the week. While papers on the other days of the week presumably would be available for single-copy purchase in busy downtown and suburban shopping centers, the rough draft of this plan is that the subscribers to  the Thursday and Sunday  newspapers would get full access to the news online.  

Gannett owns the Free Press, which is reported by the Gannett Blog to be preparing to eliminate 300 jobs. MediaNews Group, (Singleton) which in part is financed by Gannett, owns the News. 

Let’s face it, newspapers should not be printed and delivered each day. What a waste of energy.

Will terrorists strike again? Why is the U.S. pouring 20,000 troops into cities? There must be some ‘chatter’

UPDATE:

The Washington Post reports that the Pentagon has issued the marching orders to mobilize 20,000 millitary troops to secure unspecified cities within the U.S.

Homeland Securtiy issued warnings of a terror attack on New York City’s mass transit system from Nov. 28 through the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah) the mainstream media doesn’t even have the intellectual honesty to report which holidays. Commuters and vacationing shoppers are supposed to be uneasy and many may even put off their trips to buy gifts. This, as we watch to bloodbath from Nov. 26-28, in Mumbi, India where the death toll has reached 200 from a group of 10 terrorists.

Who did it? We know the terrorists hate Jews. That narrows it down. 

What do the learders of Iran, Palistine and Syria have to say about the bombings? 

A Brooklyn rabbi and his wife were found among the dead in a series of terrorist attacks in India that have claimed more than 150 lives. In response to the attacks, the NYPD beefed up patrols around large hotels and Jewish centers, including the Lubavitcher headquarters, said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne.

The department already was on alert because of a warning earlier this week of a possible al-Qaida plot to strike the city’s rail systems over the holidays.

“The threat is serious, the threat is significant, and it is plausible,” said Congressman Peter King, R-Long Island, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who ran the Chabad-Lubavitch local headquarters in Mumbai were killed during a hostage standoff at the center, said Rabbi Zalman Shmotkin, a spokesman for the movement. 

On Wednesday, federal authorities warned New York police of an unsubstantiated (but reliable) report that al-Qaida operatives discussed an attack on New York’s subway system or rail lines like Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road.

A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he had no plans to comment. (Keep shopping sheelple). 

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said additional resources were being deployed in the mass transit system in an “abundance of caution,” a common response when police receive new information about a threat.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the city’s 468 stations and 6,480 subway cars, released a statement saying there was “no reason to be alarmed.”

The terrorists have been weakend from eight years of George W. Bush as Commander and Chief. 

We can be thankful for that time.

Anniversary of JFK assassination Nov. 22, 1963

It’s the 45th anniversary of the JFK assassination in Dallas, Texas. The names connected have come to light after nearly half a century: LBJ, Clay Shaw, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, Fidel Castro, Schlumberger Tool Co, General Dynamics, Woody Harrleson Sr.,  The Texas Book Depository, Elm Street, Warren Commission, mafia, pro-democracy Cubans and the USSR. 

There are still thousands of pages of testimony and evidence locked up until 2038. Often, the truth leaks out anyway.

 

This is what we know:

Oswald was well trained in Russian, a U.S. Marine who was allowed to leave the military early becuase of a family hardship. WIthin weeks he defected to the USSR. He was brought back to the U.S. with a Russian bride. This shows he was “liked” by the U.S. Special Forces.

After 10 hours of questioning at DPD headquarters, there were no recordings or notes.

What was Oswald saying that was so controversial that notes were not kept?

Then, Oswald repeats “I’m a patsy. I didn’t shoot the president.” 

Next, he is silenced by Jack Ruby. That was a mob hit and Ruby was a Chicago small time mobster with a strip club in Dallas. This link has the most up-to-date information: http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/ruby.htm

The magic bullet that caused seven wounds on Governor Conelly and JFK and was found in perfect shape in the limo, but to be precise, on the president’s stretcher. The other bullets were hallow point to cause maximum damage. Do  you want to see the bullet? You can. Google it  on the Time-Life images.

Close to 50 eye witnesses to the shooting said there were four to five shots. One witness was hit with a bullet fragment in the face. Several people pointed to a gun shot, smoke and a flash of light behind a picket fence next to the railroad bridge. 

“That SOB with the Irish mafia will never embarrass me again,” said LBJ on Nov. 21. This according to H.L. Hunt and LBJ’s mistress. 

The Warren Commission cover up backed by the major media was the turning point of America’s trust in government and media. The Commission findings were published in 22 volumns. All the fluff.

Who had the most to benefit?

A decade after LBJ’s death, a friend of Estes, a federal marshal, talked Estes into coming forward with what he knew about Henry Marshall’s death. Then on August 9, 1984, following Billie Sol Estes’ grand jury testimonyregarding Mac Wallace’s murder of Henry Marshall, Estes’ attorney, Douglas Caddy sent a letter to Stephen S. Trott, Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division, of the US Department of Justice. The letter
reads:

Lyndon’s scandalous wheeling and dealing from his Senate days were catching up with him even faster than the Billie Sol Estes affair, and it would bring the whole Democratic party down with it if the key players weren’t thrown overboard. Estes and to a lesser degree Johnson were the primary benefactors of their doings, while everyone on Capitol Hill knew Bobby Baker, and every lawyer, lobbyist, and lawmaker wanted a piece of the action — and Bobby was LBJ’s boy. The dealings had been too many to keep quiet with a quick “Texas suicide.” LBJ wasn’t just looking at the end of his political career; he was looking at hard time.

Dear Mr. Trott:

My client, Mr. Estes, has authorized me to make this reply to your letter
of May 29, 1984.

Mr. Estes was a member of a four-member group, headed by Lyndon Johnson,
which committed criminal acts in Texas in the 1960s. The other two,
besides Mr. Estes and LBJ, were [White House aide] Cliff Carter and Mac
Wallace. Mr. Estes is willing to disclose his knowledge concerning the
following criminal offenses:

1. Murders

1. The killing of Henry Marshall 2. The killing of George Krutilek 3. The
killing of Ike Rogers and his secretary 4. The killing of Harold Orr 5.
The killing of Coleman Wade 6. The killing of Josefa Johnson 7. The
killing of John Kinser 8. The killing of President J. F. Kennedy

Mr. Estes is willing to testify that LBJ ordered these killings, and that
he transmitted his orders through Cliff Carter to Mac Wallace, who
executed the murders. In the cases of murders nos. 1-7, Mr. Estes’
knowledge of the precise details concerning the way the murders were
executed stems from conversations he had shortly after each event with
Cliff Carter and Mac Wallace.

In addition, a short time after Mr. Estes was released from prison in 1971, he met with Cliff Carter and they reminisced about what had occurred in the past, including the murders. During their conversation, Carter spoke of a list of 17 murders which had been committed, some of which Mr. Estes was unfamiliar with. A living witness was present at that meeting and should be willing to testify about it. He is Kyle Brown, recently of Houston and now living in Brady, Texas. . .

More to come…

The age of objectivity and fair reporting in America is over — MSNBC is disgraced

Who is a Democrat PR talking head and who is a journalist on MSNBC, NBC or CNN? Why stop there? The Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle are not investigating economic issues and massive bailouts. What kind of balanced journalism do you think the media performed during the two-year election?

First the gang journalists piled on Hillary, next they covered for Obama and attacked Palin.

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

The New York TImes had a reporter rewrite an AP story on the hoax and they spun the story to blame FOX News first with the hoax.  This is called journalism?

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, “a McCain policy adviser,” had come forth and identified himself as the source of a story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy and “a contributor to FOX News.” Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. “We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes.”

Gaines told the Times that someone in the network’s newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.

The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin—not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

Eisenstadt’s “work” had been quoted and debunked before. The Huffington Post said it had cited Eisenstadt in July on a story regarding the Hilton family and McCain.

Among the other victims were political blogs for the Los Angeles Times and The New Republic, each of which referenced false material from Eisenstadt’s blog.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, MSNBC spokesman.

There are plenty of questions that are not asked.

How did Minnesota Democrat Party election officials come up with 500 more votes for the Democrat senate candidate days after the polls closed and none for the Republican candidate?

Why was there a crisis over $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s campaign clothing, but no comparison with Hillary’s warehouse of pantsuits or Obama’s Greek columns and semi-truck of suits?

Newspaper and news magazine circulation is dropping. Layoffs continue. (Wait until after January).

PBS Democratic Party propaganda exposed by viewers — one sided poll is a laugher

Taxpayer supported PBS should at least try and show some restraint during the runup to a national election. But the programing executives do all they can to get Obama/Biden in the White House and complete the project of one party rule in the United States.

The media executives at PBS published a survey asking if Sarah Palin was qualified to be Vice President.

But there were no such surveys about Obama, Biden or Hillary were there?

Here are some examples of citizen journalists remarks buried on the PBS ombudsman Web page.

WIll you see this in your daily newspaper? Nah. And the Democratic Party promises to bring back the Fairness Doctrine after they take over the White House. Why do they have to go that far?

I am once again aghast and stunned that the PBS would be so involved in politics that they actually circulated the “is Sarah Palin qualified to be Vice President” poll. How dare you use federally subsidized taxpayer platform for your own political ambitions: have you know shame?

You code of ethics mentions a “neutral platform” and that means you do not have the right to back a candidate. The poll regarding the qualifications of Sarah Palin would only be put out by a biased, liberal attack apparatus: Everybody else knows that she is well enough qualified to be President, far far more than Obama. It is a moot point and undebateable fact that Obama is not qualified by experience, background or character to be President; yet you have the audacity to question whether the sitting governor of the State of Alaska is qualified.

The mere asking of the question is an unethical violation of your own “neutrality” status. As for me; Every night I pray to God that Obama does not reside at the White House.

James Steven Slater, Fort Worth, TX

Continue reading

The kings of oil increasing production to 10 million barrels a day

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels of oil a day of its light, sweet crude oil, according to analysts and oil traders who have been informed by Saudi officials. This announcement alone, plus the Republican party political movement called “Drill Here — Drill Now!” is making it into the media. 

The increase could bring Saudi output to a production level of 10 million barrels a day, which, if sustained, would be the kingdom’s highest performance level in history. The move was seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices. In recent weeks, soaring fuel costs have incited demonstrations and protests from Italy to Indonesia.

Saudi Arabia is currently pumping 9.45 million barrels a day, which is an increase of about 300,000 barrels from last month.

The Saudis are concerned that today’s record prices might eventually damp economic growth and lead to lower oil demand, as is already happening in the United States and other developed countries. The current prices are also making alternative fuels more viable, threatening the long-term prospects of the oil-based economy. The high prices have also made it profitable to stimulate mature oil wells in Texas and California. 

President Bush visited Saudi Arabia twice this year, pleading with King Abdullah to step up production. While the Saudis resisted the calls then, arguing that the markets were well supplied, they seem to have since concluded that they needed to disrupt the momentum that has been building in commodity markets, sending prices higher. That creates panic. There seems to be no end in sight. 

The Saudi plans were disclosed in interviews with several oil traders and analysts who said that Saudi oil officials had privately conveyed their production plans recently to some traders and companies in the United States. The analysts declined to be identified so as not to be cut off from future information from the Saudis.

Last week, King Abdullah also took the unprecedented step of arranging on short notice a major gathering of oil producers and consumers to address the causes of the price rally. The meeting will be held on June 22 in the Red Sea town of Jeddah.

Oil prices have gained 40 percent this year, rising to nearly $140 a barrel in recent days and driving gasoline costs above $4 a gallon. Some analysts have predicted that prices could reach $200 a barrel this year as oil consumption continues to rise rapidly while supplies lag.

The growing volatility of the markets, including a record one-day gain of $10.75 a barrel last week, has persuaded the Saudis that they need to step in, analysts said. The Saudis and Republicans are the only groups trying to lower the price of crude. But you won’t read that in your mainstream newspaper on watch it on NBC. 

Did you know…

Until recently, only 35 percent of oil has been extracted from reservoirs. Oil resides in porous rock formations, it is not in the sate of underground pools as many consumers believe. Today, oil companies such as Chevron, Shell,  Halliburton and Schlumberger, have developed stimulation methods to revive mature wells. There are fracturing and perforating techniques, 3-D seismic methods to clearly see trapped reservers that have been missed by the original well. There are now, steerable drill bits that can capture those trapped oil reserves and pinpoint stimulation on targeted areas. 

–Mick Gregory

Craigslist.org single-handedly destroyed the giant newspaper classifieds

Mick Gregory

“You took over our advertising — now are you going to take over our news?” — a question from a San Francisco Chronicle journalist to Craig Newmark, founder and CEO of craigslist.org.

“We took a straw and drained your milkshake,” from “There Will Be Blood.”

Craigslist.org has dominated the classified advertising market with its free listings for everything from real estate — to jobs — to personals. Big city newspapers, like the SF Chronicle have been crippled by this new kid on the block.

How much traffic does craigslist get?
A: More than 10 billion page views per month

Q: How does that compare with other companies?
A: craigslist is #8 worldwide in terms of english-language page views

Q: How many people use craigslist?
A: More than 40 million each month, including more than 30 million in the US alone

Q: How many classified ads does craigslist receive?
A: craigslist users self-publish more than 30 million new classified ads each month

Q: How many job listings does craigslist receive?
A: More than 2 million new job listings each month

— The Q&A is from Craigslist.org

The average user/reader spends so much time on the site–about five days a month, 20 minutes per day–the site ranks a startling seventh in terms of monthly page views. This is 4 billion page views per month. A billion here, a billion there, now we are talking about real readership numbers.

So how exactly does Craigslist make money?

By charging $25 for job postings in six of its largest U.S. markets and $75 for job listings in San Francisco and by assessing a $10 fee for brokered apartment listings in New York City, according to their website.

Classified advertising was the real money-maker for newspapers. Want ads, are the little ads placed by individuals. They were not only the most profitable for newspapers on a word-for-word basis, they also generated great readership numbers, a fact that was lost on ALL of the newsrooms in America. The editor-centric news “executives” had not bothered to do any research on the readership of the ads that paid their salaries. They mocked MBAs, IT and celebrated BAs from America’s most liberal J-schools.

The arrogant editors who “manage” the entire newspaper enterprise, didn’t have a clue. They thought that they called the shots. People were paying 25  cents to read the ads just and a few pages of news and entertainment.

This just in from the Washington Post:

Let’s not bury the lead: This is a rough time for the newspaper business, a rough time for The Washington Post and a rough time for me.

No one need shed any tears for the people leaving this building. The more than 100 journalists who have just taken early-retirement packages are voluntarily accepting a generous offer as the company trims its payroll — a situation far better than at newspapers that have resorted to layoffs.

With advertising revenue sinking and classified competition from the likes of Craigslist, newspaper market values are taking a hit. Avista Capital Partners, which bought the Minneapolis Star Tribune 14 months ago, recently had to write down 75 percent of its investment. The purchase price had been $530 million; the previous owner, McClatchy Newspapers, paid $1.2 billion for the paper in 1998.

That’s just a few pieces to the puzzle of what went wrong. It’s not unlike the fall of family-owned business, where the next generation of trust-fund brats drain the profits and only find interest in the fun, ivory tower aspects of the business.

In these sob stories of more layoffs, there isn’t any mention of the marketing/advertising departments, because the editors have no interest in that aspect of the media.

If newspapers were run like real companies, there would have been “big picture” studies of trends and competition. How’s this for an idea, cut out five top level editors and buy 100 servers, two webmasters and one internet marketing guy.

What a concept.

A look at the mind set of newspaper columnists and journalists as security boxes their belongings

By Mick Gregory

After the spring break/Easter holiday retail promotions, newspapers have a long, low period of advertising drop off, followed closely by subscription and single-copy sales declines. That’s when the next big wave of head-count cuts usually hits. It’s as predictable as a 2-hour commute in So Cal. The newsrooms don’t see it coming any better than hogs at a Bakersfield slaughter house. I take that back, hogs do get the picture about five minutes before the drill.

UPDATE:
(CAN YOU IMAGINE? WRITERS COMING UP WITH THEIR OWN HEADLINES?)

Word out of the Los Angeles Daily Journal newsroom is that the legal paper lopped off its copy desk last night — the whole thing. I’ve heard it from a few sources, one of whom emails that deadlines will be pushed earlier in the day, writers are being asked to suggest their own headlines and line editors will back read each other’s edited copy. The editor staffing was already thin, with recent departures not replaced. Emails one staffer:

Honestly, how do you put out a paper without a copy desk? We’re all very shell-shocked. The lay-offs included a veteran copy-editor who had been at the paper for 15 years, and who was completly unaware she was on the chopping block. We’re all scrambling around, trying to figure out how we’re going to keep doing our jobs without copy editors. — Kevin Roderick of the LA Observer

TIP TO PUBLISHERS: TRY USING WEB-BASED CONTENT MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE AND HAVE COPY EDITORS IN PUNE, INDIA DO THE EDITING FOR 20 PERCENT OF THE EXPENSE. THOUGH, GIVE YOUR WRITERS A CHANCE. ALL THEY NEED IS ABOUT A WEEK OF PRACTICE.

Here are the latest cuts:
The Seattle Times –175 to 200.
The Dizzy Dean Singleton cuts in California — bottomless.

Here is some open grieving from what was once a real fluff position, sports columnist in Southern California. Free food in the press box, jokes about the sports stars, great seats for all the best games, somebody had to do it. Well, not any more.

I have a suggestion for your exit interview, say “Pull my finger!”
And blow one a burrito/beer fart that they will remember.


‘We’re Eliminating the Position of Sports Columnist’
It took me, oh, about three seconds to process the meaning of the call from the newsroom secretary.

“Steve wants to see you in Louise’s office.”

Steve would be Steve Lambert, editor of The Sun/Bulletin/Titanic. And Louise is Louise Kopitch, head of personnel for the same foundering entities.

These days, your editor wants to see you (in tandem with the HR boss) for one reason only. And it’s not to congratulate you on being named Employee of the Year.

It was about noon, and I was in the new, north San Bernardino offices of The Sun to do my weekly IE-oriented notes column. I was going to lead with several paragraphs on Don Markham, the mad genius of Inland Empire prep football who, at age 68, is attempting to put a maraschino cherry atop his “mad genius” credentials by starting up an intercollegiate sports program (and, more importantly, to him, a football team) at something called American Sports University (current enrollment, about 30). A school planned and created by a Korean mad-genius businessman who either is about to fill a niche in academe or lose a boatload of money.

As it turns out, American Sports University is located in downtown San Bernardino in the very same collection of buildings occupied until October of 2006 by The Sun. The same buildings I reported to for my first day of work, Aug. 16, 1976, and then spent the next three decades of my working life. Later, I found that meaningful.

When the phone rang, my colleague, Michelle Gardner, had been talking to me about Cal State San Bernardino basketball, the aspect of her beat that most interests her. As usual, she was highly animated and barely paused for breath as I took the call, said, “OK,” and hung up. Michelle resumed describing the permutations of the CCAA basketball tournament and what it meant for the Division II NCAA playoffs. She was just getting warmed up. I basically had to walk away from her to answer the summons. Michelle does love her beats, and I admire her for that.

I may have laughed aloud as I went down the stairs. Certainly, I smiled. It seemed so silly. “They come for me at a random time and a random day. A Thursday. At lunch. Huh.”

I walked down the hall, looking for the personnel department offices. All the doors were closed, so I had to glance through the glass to find one occupied. I noticed a guy sitting across the walkway, a guy whom I once had worked with on a daily basis, when he was in the plate room and I would run downstairs to build the agate page. Mark Quarles. I remember wondering if he knew what I was doing down there, Thursday afternoon, and whether he might actually call out to me. Or whether it’s politically dangerous to acknowledge a Dead Man Walking.

I pushed open the door to Kopitch’s office, was invited in, and there was Lambert, looking smaller and thinner than I recalled him. Not that I had seen him often the past year, between my doing so many L.A.-oriented columns and him doing whatever it was he does. Corporate stuff, meetings off site, whatever.

I said, brightly, “I’ve been trying to think of a scenario in which this meeting is a good thing.”

Lambert said something like, “It’s not a good thing.”

I sat on the other side of Kopitch’s desk. As did Lambert, but he was turned slightly toward me and was about six feet away. Maybe that’s the way you do these things? On the same side of the desk but a bit removed? I remember a managing editor, name of Mike Whitehead, telling me, 20-odd years ago, that you never fire someone in your own office because if they insist on talking/complaining you can’t get up and leave. It’s your own office, see? So you fire people somewhere else.

Anyway, Lambert had a bit of a preamble. Something we hate to do, forced on us by economic realities, sorry … “but we’re eliminating the position of sports columnist for the Inland group.” I remember that fairly clearly, and I recall thinking “hmm, they leave it to me to grasp that I am not just a columnist but “sports columnist for the Inland group,” a title I’d never heard, let alone used. There was a flicker of “what if I were really dim, or contentious, and made him say it more directly? Like, “you’re fired.”

Lambert may have said he was sorry another time or two. How often he said it doesn’t matter because I don’t believe he meant it in the least. He could have said it 20 times or not at all and it wouldn’t have mattered. The guy hasn’t liked me since, oh, 2004, and I bet whacking me was the easiest call for him, of the 11 Sun newsroom people he fired that day. Dump a big salary (by Singleton standards) and a guy you don’t like at the same time? Easy. Fun, actually.
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Journalist Losing Hope for the New Year. He Can’t Get Hired in Chicago.

By Mick Gregory

I’ve been highlighting some items from Joe Grimm “the newspaper recruiter” at the Detroit Free Press and now a daily columnist at Poynter.

Take a look at this poor stiff, who is finding his J-school degree can’t even get him an entry level job at the ring of low-level suburban newspapers in the outskirts of Chicago. He signs his letter “Stymied.”


Why Can’t I Get a Job in Chicago?
Q. I will graduate with a journalism degree in May. I’d like to work in the Chicago area, but have had no luck finding a job.

I’ve freelanced for the Daily Herald, interned at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as well as a specialty magazine and the Milwaukee business weekly. I have extensive experience as editor of a campus newspaper and also have multimedia experience in video, Web and print design.

The Daily Herald seems to have a hiring freeze, the Sun-Times and Tribune are not for entry-level journalists and I never see any job openings listed for the Sun-Times News Group papers in the suburbs or the Northwest Herald. The JS just offered a bunch of buyouts and I haven’t seen many openings yet.

Should I expect to see openings on job boards for any of these papers, or should I be sending my clips and resumes blindly to these papers? Is it realistic for a journalist to have a job lined up months in advance, like business students?

Thank you,

Stymied

Mr. Grimm’s response:
A. It is frustrating, when you have friends who are in business or law, to see them get offers so far in advance. Journalism just doesn’t work that way — especially in recent years, when budgets are more nip and tuck.

Your biggest hurdle is focusing on one of the nation’s most competitive media markets. People who are determined to start their careers in a major city, especially New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Chicago, are trying to compete with veterans who have worked years to get there. For many of them, those cities are home.

Mr. Grimm, Stymied knows that. He is trying to get hired by one of the suburban papers. He doesn’t even have the self worth to send a resume to the Sun Times or Tribune.

How can you look yourself in the mirror? You are lower than a “pre-need” casket salesman.

Mick’s advice: get some real education in IT, engineering, maybe even law, while you work at whatever you can, hopefully on Web projects. Businesses need help with their communications.

Don’t let a bad career choice ruin your whole life. Grimm isn’t going to tell you the truth about the dismal condition of the newspaper industry. Good luck.

Newspaper editors should be given the power to judge what is worthy to be published and called citizen journalism. Make way for the ‘professionals!’

Newspaper editors have been selective in what they deem fit to print. Like Hillary’s wrinkles. Now we know Hillary looks like a Chinese Shar-Pei when her file photo isn’t shot through filters and put through some PhotoShop work. Why has it taken so long for the mainstream media to show us the real, unfiltered photo of Hillary?

By Mick Gregory

In an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former “journo” and current professor David Hazinski seems to imagine that it’s the job of the “news industry” to “monitor and regulate” the content of blogs and Internet journalism.

I’m serious, he really said that! This self aggrandizing piece is so filled with blind assumptions and presumptuous fill that it might even be judged a farce and satire. But this liberal is serious.
BTW-Now we know that “professiona photo journalists” have been filtering the lense and smoothing photos of Hillary Clinton to promote her campaign. Exactly the same tacktic was used to prop up FDR, he was never photographed in his wheelchair.

The real face of Hillary.
hill-11.jpg

I’ve have seen quite a few of these attacks from the ivory tower against Internet citizen journalism with nose-in-the-air, delusional, self-congratulatory pap. Continue reading

Over managed editor-centric suburban papers can’t compete with the scrappy blogs all over the Internet

By Mick Gregory

The alternative blogs are much better reading than the pompus little newspapers as they continue to shed readers like a 330 pound man on a July afternoon in Las Vegas.

The St. Charles Journal wrote about a teenage girl who killed herself over two adults’ postings on MySpace. After the paper didn’t name the pair, bloggers went to work and asked for help in identifiying them. The culprits were outed and the Lee paper was criticized for declining to name them. One person writes on Jezebel.com: “I am a newspaper journalist. Every day newspaper journalism as we know it gets one step closer to death, as readers turn to blogs and TV and other media for information. This wimp of an editor, who doesn’t have the guts to name the wrongdoers involved, has just hastened our eventual demise by at least another week or two.”

Watch the in-fighting as the old rotten hulks take in water.
A good site for this is Poynteronline.org

Newspapers Drop Circulation Again. Sunday Circulation Falls by Nearly 5 %

Mick Gregory

The New York Times circulation fell 4.5 percent.

Here is a lesson to reporters who keep carping on “high profit margins.” There is no growth in this industry. That’s why stockholders won’t buy into your obsolete business model.

The future is bleak. There is too much competition now. Your one horse town monopolies don’t mean anything anymore in the global economy.

Circulation fell at most U.S. newspapers in the six months to September, according to statistics released on Monday that for the first time include Internet readership in a bid by publishers to boost their attractiveness to advertisers.

Average daily paid circulation for newspapers printed Monday through Friday fell 2.6 percent and Sunday circulation fell 3.5 percent for the six-month period that ended September 30, 2007, compared with the year before, according to publishers’ statistics released by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

Most big city dailies reported that average daily paid print circulation fell. Dow Jones & Company Inc said daily circulation at The Wall Street Journal, including paid subscriptions to its Web site, dropped 1.5 percent, while The New York Times fell 4.5 percent.

Advertisers have considered print circulation key to determining where they spend their dollars, but publishers hope the Web numbers will provide a better picture of the true reach of newspapers. Editors never bothered to push for a level playing field by counting total readership as broadcast uses viewers.

“We generally agree that we can now truly gauge the impact of newspapers across the variety of media platforms that they truly represent,” said Dave Walker, chief executive of Newspaper Services of America, which buys ad space in papers.

Gannett Co Inc reported a 1 percent rise in daily paid circulation at USA Today, while the Philadelphia Inquirer said circulation rose 2.3 percent.

The Washington Post reported a 3.23 percent drop, while the Chicago Tribune fell 2.9 percent. Its parent company Tribune Co said circulation fell at Long Island, New York’s Newsday, but rose 0.5 percent at the Los Angeles Times.

The new data includes the number of people estimated to read a paper, not just how many papers were sold.

Many also are reporting usage of their Web sites, as well as a figure that tries to count print and Web site use without counting people twice who use both.

Alan Mutter, a former newspaper editor who writes a blog on newspaper and media issues called Reflections of a Newsosaur, said many newspaper Web site visitors to not remain long enough to make them worthwhile for advertisers.

“Who would work at a newspaper today, except liberal perverts… Why wouldn’t they be working as Web masters?”
–Michael Savage

Circulation fell at most U.S. newspapers in the six months leading up to September, according to statistics released on Monday from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC). For the first time, the 19th century “official” verification company for newspapers includes Internet readership in last chance bid by publishers to boost their attractiveness to advertisers.

It’s always slow for the editor-centric newspaper business to catch on to common media practices let alone innovation. After all, most newspapers are run by former reporters who made their way up the ranks to management by making “scopes” and stabbing their coworkers in the back; not on actual business accomplishments or enterprise.

Sunday circulation fell nearly 5 percent.

The declines come as readers move online, but they also stem from publishers’ efforts to cut discounted copies from their subscription rolls, said a spokeswoman for the Newspaper Association of America.

Some papers, particularly in California and Florida, are dealing with the weak housing market, while others face their own regional trends, such as in Michigan where papers have cut jobs as they serve markets hurt by the slumping auto industry.
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WSJ reporters find that the profit picture is over for the Star Tribune

Mick Gregory

The newspaper industry writes its own obituary.

The smartest guys in the room at the WSJ wrote a story on leveraged buyouts; specifically: “This week, investors who purchased loans backing Avista’s buyout of the Star Tribune newspaper learned that the company’s cash flow already is running as much as 20% below Avista’s original financial projections for the deal, which closed just three months ago…”

Some of the loans earlier this week dropped to around 96.5 cents on the dollar before rebounding to around 97.5 yesterday, according to data from the Standards and Poors LCD. Such levels indicate investors are worried about the newspaper’s ability to repay its debt.”

The print media can’t even cover the cost of newsprint and transportation, let alone a staff of a couple hundred leftist arrogant reporters and editors.

Make note that the WSJ wouldn’t have the honesty to investigate the finacial picture of their own media. At least not now, that the FOX empire is opening negotiations for a sale.

The same reporters should show the realistic profit picture of the WSJ; them may be able to keep their jobs.

Which will be the next major newspaper to shut down and to exist as a facade online? Better yet, when will all the newspapers be online and only a select few will continue with token print editions?

Citizen journalists will have more readership than the old media at that centerpoint, just years away, in my opinion.

What? There goes another tanker truck explosion and overpass

By Mick Gregory

When will the mainstream media connect the dots? Tanker truck explosions have occured within days of each other at major highway intersections in San Francisco/Oakland, Houston, New Jersey, and Tampa-St. Petersburg.

Here are the details:

Engineers with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) are working on demolition plans for the major overpass that was destroyed a month ago by a tanker truck explosion that killed the driver.

The charred southbound lanes of the overpass are closed indefinitely as FDOT officials fear the bridge might collapse. Damage was so severe that workers had to pressure wash the bridge to get a better look at the damage.

“We have one span that we know is going to have to come down,” FDOT engineer Pepe Garcia said. “We have a number of other beams that have been identified as very suspect and likely have to be replaced.”

The damage resulted from a fuel tanker that overturned on the overpass near downtown St. Petersburg last month, causing a massive inferno that killed the driver, spilled fuel and fire into the streets below.

According to authorities, the truck’s driver failed to negotiate the turn on the overpass, flipped several times and hit a wall, setting off several explosions that knocked chunks of concrete out of the overpass. Could a remote-controlled bomb caused this?

——
And this just in, in the congested New Jersey/New York metropolitan area last Thursday:
May 10 , 2007) – New Jersey State Police tell Eyewitness News that a gasoline tanker driver was killed Thursday in a fiery crash on Interstate 195 in Monmouth County.

Traffic on I-195 was snarled in the area for several hours on Thursday night, as the highway was closed in both directions and traffic was being detoured onto nearby roads.
The westbound tanker truck was struck by a car that collided with a dump truck in the eastbound lanes and crossed over the median, state police say.

Jones said the truck driver, whose name was not released, was crossing the Allaire Road overpass at the time of the crash and apparently tried to avoid the car. However, the tanker — which was carrying 9,000 gallons of gas — struck a guard rail and rolled over at least once before it burst into flames, trapping the driver inside.
—–
Just three days before a gas tanker truck overturned, blew up and took out a pair of the busiest freeway connectors in Northern California at the Bay Bridge interchange, a similar disaster was narrowly avoided when the wheels “flew off” a double-tanker truck loaded with 8,600 gallons of fuel as it was rolling through San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
In Thursday night’s incident, the trucker was heading south on Park Presidio Drive, on his way to deliver gas to a Shell station at 19th Avenue and Lincoln Way, when the left front pair of wheels on the tanker he was towing suddenly came off.
“He didn’t even know anything was wrong until he saw the wheel pass him on the road,” said Michael Cheney, who happened to be driving the other way with his wife, Dianne, when one of the errant wheels clipped the backside of their Mitsubishi Eclipse.
According to 21-year-old student David Wong, who was just behind Cheney in his brand new BMW, sparks began flying from beneath the tanker as its undercarriage scraped along the pavement. The airborne tire that struck Cheney’s car then ricocheted off the hood and side of Wong’s car — causing $3,500 in damage — before coming to a rest in the middle of the street. The second tire disappeared into the park’s underbrush.
While waiting for the cops to arrive, — Cheney — who happens to be a mechanic for the Municipal Railway — examined the truck and found that 10 lug nuts had come off.
Scary enough that a gasoline truck loses control in the middle of the park — but even scarier is that the double size tanker crossed the Golden Gate Bridge just minutes earlier.

There are models that say such an event could melt the Golden Gate Bridge and cause it to collapse into the shipping channel.

Houston’s killer explosion happened at the major intersection of Hwys 10 and 59. The driver was killed. The overpass is heavily damaged and will take months to repair.

What’s the Homeland Security color code today?

(Note to readers, the following key words and code is planted to attract Web crawlers).

Call it tanker terrorism, terrorisim, truck bomb, LNG tanker bomb.
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That is the way the McClatchy Newspaper Company Crumples

Mick Gregory

Circulation continues to fall along with advertising revenue. This news wil not be found in the A section today. Maybe page two in the business section?

Yet, Gannett continues to gain, while the cut staff to the bone. They are the most aggressively managed media company. They are able to keep producing profits like a mature oil patch, using all the stimulation and artificial lift technology available to keep the depleated well pumping.

Weekly circulation at U.S. dailies has dropped 2.1% over the past six months, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Sunday papers saw a 3.1% drop in circulation over the same period. The figures reflect 745 of the country’s 1,400 or so daily newspapers. The New York Post bucked the trend with a 7.6% rise, followed by the New York Daily News with a 1.4% gain. The Dallas Morning News saw a 14.3% decline, due in part to a circulation cutback to within about 100 miles of Dallas. Newsday saw a 6.9% decline. Newspaper circulation has been dropping steadily as news consumers have turned increasingly to other media, particularly round-the-clock cable TV news and the Internet.

The Dallas Morning News and Riverside News-Press Fall Below Expectations for Belo

Publisher and television station owner Belo Corp. said Thursday that first-quarter profit and sales slumped on a double-digit decline in newspaper revenue.
Profit fell 10 percent to $15.5 million, or 15 cents per share, in the January-March period, down from $17.3 million, or 16 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts had expected profit of 13 cents per share, according to a survey by Thomson Financial.

Revenue fell 5 percent to $354.1 million from $371.7 million, missing Wall Street’s estimate of $368.7 million.

Belo owns four daily newspapers, including The Dallas Morning News, and 20 TV stations.

Executives forecast that TV revenue would rise by low-single digits in the April-June quarter, while newspaper revenue would decline but probably less than it did in the first quarter.

Newspaper group revenue fell 11 percent in the January-March period on soft advertising conditions, including the weak housing market in Southern California, where Belo publishes The Press-Enterprise in Riverside. Advertising of autos, health care and furniture was soft, while ads for financial services, restaurants, movies and home improvement were better, executives said.

Excluding an extra Sunday in the first quarter of 2006, newspaper revenue would have fallen slightly less — 9.3 percent from a year ago.

Belo’s newspapers have lost readers in recent years. Executives hope that a recent redesign at its flagship Dallas paper will stop the slide by tailoring the paper to its most loyal readers.

“A lot of newspapers have seen a lot of circulation move in the last three or four years, and we believe there is a point where your core readership defines itself,” said Chairman and Chief Executive Robert W. Decherd. “We hope we’re going to reach that soon.”

Belo cut jobs last year through voluntary buyouts at the Dallas and Riverside papers, which led to an 11 percent decline in newspaper costs in the first quarter. Lower newsprint prices helped, and Belo used less of it.

Major left-leaning papers are bearing the brunt of the responsibility for the declines. The same papers that promote global warming and bury the news on Nancy Pelosi’s non-union and illegal hiring practices.

Papers that are showing daily drops of 5 percent or more, according to circulation sources, include:
The Miami Herald, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Austin American-Statesman, the San Jose Mercury News, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Gary Pruitt, CEO of the McClatchy Sacramento chain continues to spin. To give a taste of what is to come, during Q1, McClatchy executives said daily circulation fell 3.6 percent and Sunday dropped 4 percent. The Sunday paper is their aircraft carrier of revenue and readership. And it’s taking water.

Shares of newspaper publisher McClatchy Company fell to a seven-year low yesterday while the stock market hit an all time high busting the 13,000 mark.

The McClatchy fall came after the company posted a sharp drop in 1st quater net income on slumping classified print ads. Revenue grew on last year’s acquisition of 20 newspapers from Knight-Ridder. Q1 net profit came in at $9 million ($0.11/share), a 67% drop from $27.7 million ($0.59/share) in the year-ago quarter. Excluding items, the company would have had EPS of $0.18. Revenue rose to $566.6 million from $194.5 million. Analysts were expecting an average EPS of $0.27 on $564 million in revenue, although estimates varied widely. Ad revenue dropped 5.3% from last year to $477 million in Q1. All three main categories of classifieds — automotive, real estate and employment — suffered double-digit percentage declines.

The New York Times Co. is structured like an old robber baron corporation–the voting rights all belong to blood relatives

By Mick Gregory

The once loyal shareholders of the New York Times Company have been trying to change the corporate voting rights, but the Ochs-Salzberger family smiles and shuts the large walnut doors to the boardroom. A record 42 percent held back their votes this week. But their protest was laughed at by the family burning through their stockholders’ money. Maybe another trip to Davos?

The New York Times Company held its annual meeting today, and shareholders were not pleased.
A typical editorial, in 2003, hailed the arrival of a “New Sheriff on Wall Street”—Bill Donaldson. The Times urged him to “see that more is done to shore up shareholder democracy.”

Then, of course, there is Gretchen Morgenson, the front-page Sunday business columnist for The Times (who does double-duty as a news reporter). Her columns stand up for the powerless shareholder who is, in her view, at the mercy of the bullying CEO. Larry Ribstein, the distinguished professor of corporate law, has made an avocation out of chronicling her rhetorical excesses.

In one piece, she exulted: “Shareholders are finally awakening to the fact that some corporate directors must be forced to live up to their duties and mind the store for the owners they are supposed to represent.” That piece was headlined, “One Share, One Vote: One Big Test.”

While others disagree (including Peter Wallison, who will explain his point of view in the forthcoming May/June American), Morgenson and the Times editors argue that a corporation should function much like a political democracy. Holders of equal numbers of shares should not have unequal power.

Their employers don’t seem to agree. The New York Times Company held its annual meeting today, and shareholders were not pleased. Some 42 percent of them voted to withhold their support from the slate of directors in order to protest both the dismal performance of the company and the distinctly undemocratic nature of its ownership structure. That structure is a classic example of the divergence between corporate organizations and political ones—and Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who serves as the company’s chairman and the publisher of its namesake paper, says his family is “firmly and unanimously committed” to maintaining it.

While its editorial pages campaign for a classless society, the Times’s corporate set-up gives special power to one group: the Sulzberger family, which owns 89 percent of l Class B shares. Those shares allow them to elect nine of the 13 directors. The other four are elected by Class A holders, who voted at the shareholders’ meeting today.

Since the family also owns 20 percent of Class A shares, the 42 percent vote to withhold support of directors indicates that a majority of non-family shareholders oppose the current regime.

And it’s no wonder shareholders are upset: Times stock has fallen by half over the past three years. Profits dropped in 2004 and 2005, and then in 2006, the company suffered a $543 million loss. In the first quarter of this year, earnings fell by one-third.

Meanwhile, the Times suffers from entrenched, unimaginative management. Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis—two organizations that advise institutions on how to vote proxies—recommended a “withhold” vote today. But to no avail.

If it’s good enough for the Times, why shouldn’t a divided ownership structure—whose defenders argue it helps a businesses by encouraging a longer-term approach to big decisions—be encouraged for other companies? Will Morgenson deliver another blistering column about shareholders being denied their rights this Sunday? Somehow, I doubt it.

David Robinson is Managing Editor of The American.

Ishmael, Ismail, Ishmael Ax, Was the mass murderer motivated by Islam?

Mick Gregory

Days after the worst killing spree in U.S. history, ask yourself where you learned about the Virgina Tech rampage. Last on the list would be the newspaper. In my case, a co-worker told me from a Yahoo news update. I checked in with the Drudge Report and Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia is more than an encyclopedia now. Fox News and CNN went 48 hours with wall-to-wall coverage. Not even the major TV networks can keep up with today’s non-stop news.

Now we learn from Michael Savage and his producers that the package the killer sent to NBC News had a return address of A. Ishmael. Citizen Journalists are bringing out the unfiltered truth.

Cho Seung Hui wrote “Ishmael Ax” on his arm, signed his package to NBC “A. Ishmael,” and criticized Christianity in his video message. Do these things make him a jihadist?

The Meaning of Ismail Axe:
CNN is reporting that the words were “Ax Ishmael

Cho Seung-Hui allegedly mailed a package to NBC News containing “rambling, manifesto-like” written statement as well as several QuickTime video clips of himself talking to the camera, and photographs, such as the above.
The return address of the Express Mail package was from A. Ishmael reported by Michael Savage tonight.

Why did Cho send the package to NBC News? The answer seems simple: Seung wanted a mass news outlet, and NBC News has the most memorable address: 30 Rockefellar Plaza, New York City.

The Washington Post is reporting that the words Ismale Ax were tattooed on Cho’s arm, not written in pen. Further, the Post contends that the spelling was actually Ismale Ax.

For those of you still searching for meaning in this phrase “Ismail Ax,” written in red* ink on Cho Seung-Hui’s arm and also how he signed his infamous note, it starts with the story of Ibrahim’s Ax (Ibrahim = Abraham):
After making sure that nobody was left in town, Ibrahim went towards the temple armed with an axe. Statues of all shapes and sizes were sitting there adorned with decorations. Plates of food were offered to them, but the food was untouched. “Well, why do you not eat? The food is getting cold.” He said to the statues, joking. Then, with his axe, Ibrahim destroyed all the statues except one, the biggest of them all. He hung the axe around its neck and left.
–The Qur’an
Believing his people were guilty of idoltry, Ibrahim smashed their statues with an ax. Ismail (alternate spelling, Ishmael) was Ibrahim’s son. It was Ismail that Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice for Yahweh (with an ax or knife), and is a prophet in Islam. . .

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All at once, the world went searching for the meaning of “Ismail Ax.”

Those two words, written in red ink on one arm of Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old Virginia Tech student suspected of the campus shooting spree, set off a massive Internet hunt by the public Tuesday for clues to what might have motivated the nation’s worst mass killings.

Almost as soon as the Chicago Tribune’s Web site reported that detail, which then was picked up by news organizations around the world, the blogosphere filled with theories about the possible meaning of “Ismail Ax.” Hundreds of bloggers speculated on a link to Islam or to literature; thousands offered their opinions and millions read the commentaries, according to Technorati.com.

And the newspaper business continues to print yesterday’s news, edited by gatekeepters to filter out any PC, offensive items.

Newspaper readers complained about the front page photo of Cho. About 30 to 40 readers complained to the Plain Dealer about its Page One frames of an armed Cho Seung-Hui acting menacingly. “If there’s a pattern to (the reaction) it’s principally women who are repulsed by” the images, says editor Doug Clifton. A Las Vegas Review-Journal reader says: “Shame on the Review-Journal. The media as a whole always displays murderers as heroes, just as they’ve always done. … No wonder the Columbine killers were (Cho’s) heroes.”

But there was a firstorm over the 24/7 endless loop of Cho on NBC News which received the tapes.
The problem is that NBC didn’t play the whole tape. What didnt’ the show? The Ishmael Axe connection? The pure hate of America?

Their editiing of the whole tape in fact polishes Cho’s image!

(Hey, potential mass murderers, NBC News is the place that will make you a hero!)

Lucky for the sick newspaper industry, the blood bath at Virginia Tech covered up the quarterly report of the newspaper industry blood bath.

Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine left this month after 19 years covering the newspaper industry. Last month, Thomas Weisel Partners analyst Christa Sober Quarles dropped coverage of newspaper stocks. John Morton has stopped writing his industry newsletter after 30 years, saying readers were sick of the bad news.

Financial nalysts who cover Gannett Co., Tribune Co. and New York Times Co. are having trouble attracting investors’ attention. U.S. newspapers’ daily circulation fell 30 percent to 43.7 million in September from 62.3 million in 1985, the Audit Bureau says, and the Standard and Poor’s 500 Publishing and Printing Index has dropped 14 percent since April 2004, while the S and P 500 Index gained 29 percent.

The companies probably will post an average 18 percent decline in per-share earnings, said Karl Choi, Fine’s New York- based replacement at Merrill Lynch. Some may tell analysts to reduce their estimates for the second quarter, John Janedis, an analyst at Wachovia Capital Markets LLC, wrote in a note to clients today.

Gannett, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher and owner of USA Today, will probably report a 1 percent drop in revenue, according to the average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Chicago-based Tribune, the second-largest publisher, will report a 5 percent drop. New York Times will probably post a 14 percent decline, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Deteriorating Numbers

Thomas Weisel’s Sober Quarles, who is based in San Francisco, dropped newspapers to focus on Internet and advertising companies.

Morton and his partner Miles Grove produced their final newsletter on March 15. The issue, titled “Passing the Inflection Point,” said publishers had failed to adapt to the new demands of readers and advertisers.

“It’s pretty clear earnings will be under pressure for a time, probably two to five years,” Morton, who ran the publication out of Silver Spring, Maryland, said in an interview.

Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal

Dow Jones kicks off earnings season today and is likely to be among the few to generate sales growth. The New York-based publisher of the Wall Street Journal will post a 13 percent increase in revenue, according to Bloomberg estimates. The company benefited from the purchase of the remaining 50 percent of the Factiva database business, according to UBS AG analyst Brian Shipman, who is based in New York.

Tribune, publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, reports April 19, a day later than first planned. Earlier this month, Tribune announced plans to go private by selling itself for $8.2 billion to billionaire Zell and the company’s employees. Spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment on earnings. He said analyst coverage of the company had been “fairly steady” since 2000.

Falling Giant, Gannett

Gannett, based in McLean, Virginia, is expected to report a 12 percent drop in profit to $208 million, or 89 cents a share, based on the Bloomberg estimates. Publishing revenue will likely drop 2.3 percent, Shipman said.

Gannett reports April 19, the same day as Tribune and New York Times, publisher of the namesake newspaper and the Boston Globe. New York Times Co. profit probably fell 17 percent to $28.9 million, according to Bloomberg estimates.

McClatchy, which added 20 Knight Ridder Inc. newspapers in June, will probably report April 24 that revenue doubled. Profit probably fell 18 percent to $22.7 million, or 30 cents a share. Sacramento, California-based McClatchy publishes the Miami Herald and Charlotte Observer.
—By Leon Lazaroff of Bloomberg

The Houston Chronicle Web site rockets to No. 4 of Daily Newspaper Sites

Mick Gregory

Who would have “thunk it?” The Houston Chronicle, that paper in South Texas on the Gulf Coast, with all those red necks and rough necks and energy and IT companies, has risen to No. 4 among the nation’s daily newspaper Web sites.

It shows me that Texas is more computer savvy and wired than any of the media and IT critics every imagined.

1. NYTimes.com: 12,960 — 455,527 — 0:37:09

2. washingtonpost.com: 8,030 — 154,836 — 0:20:28

3. LA Times: 4,546 — 50,986 — 0:12:08

4. The Houston Chronicle: 3,292 — 93,737 — 0:20:44

5. SFGate.com: 3,236 — 51,617 — 0:14:56

6. Boston.com: 3,197 — 57,154 — 0:20:56

7. Chicago Tribune: 2,973 — 45,283 — 0:13:44

8. New York Post: 2,684 — 31,335 — 0:09:01

9. Daily News Online Edition: 2,555 — 9,754 — 0:05:04

10. Chicago Sun-Times: 2,142 — 14,804 — 0:08:13