Houston, we have a problem. I see dead people voting.

By Mick Gregor

Massive voter fraud by ACORN is sweeping the nation. Much of the spike in registration of new Democrats is coming from these efforts. Even the polls are changed due to sample size adujustments made to match the surge in Democrat voter registration. Sample size is weighted 10 to 25 percent in favor of Democrats before the pollsters make their calls.

More than 1.9 million people are registered to vote in Harris County alone. A TV news team found 4,000 people dead on the voter roles. That’s Houston an island of Democrats in a huge red state.

Now look at Ohio. A man who has come out and spoke about the voter-registration scandal told The New York Post yesterday he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive ACORN activists in exchange for registering an astonishing 72 times, in a blatant violation of Ohio and federal voter laws.

“Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they’ll give me a dollar to sign up,” said Freddie Johnson, 19, who filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of the left-leaning Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Take that into account and add it to Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos that had Republicans switching over to vote for Hillary duriing the primaries and you can see that there is an artificial surge in Democrat registrations. Many states required that you declare you were a Democrat. Legal or intimidation tactic, it didn’t matter, thousands of Republicans switched to defeat Hillary.

Investigative reporter Amy Davis on Houston’s Local 2 reported how hundreds of voters could sway this year’s election — voters who are not even alive.

“All-in-all, a great person, a great woman, just a wonderful person” is how Alexis Guidry described her mother to Local 2 Investigates.

“As far back as I can remember, they’ve always voted in the election,” Guidry said of her parents.

The March 2008 Primary was no exception. Voting records show Alexis’ mom, Gloria Guidry, cast her ballot in person near her South Houston home.

“It was just very shocking, a little unsettling,” said Alexis Guidry.

It’s unsettling because Gloria Guidry died of cancer 10 months before the March Primary.

“She’d be very upset,” Guidry said when asked what her mom would think.

Trent Seibert, of Texas Watchdog, says you should be too.

“This is really disquieting. It’s concerning. It’s worrisome,” said Seibert.

He heads up the non-partisan news group on the web.

Texas Watchdog compared Harris County’s voter registration roll with the Social Security death index and found more than 4,000 matches — registered voters that, it appears, are already dead.

Harris County is overwhelming Democratic as are most big urban areas. Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and has a popular Democrat as mayor, Bill White.

Some of them, like Henderson Hill’s late wife Linda, voted postmortem.

“I would like to know who did it, myself,” Hill told Davis.

We don’t know who used Linda Hill’s or Gloria Guidry’s IDs to vote, but we do know if their names had been purged from voter rolls after they died, using their IDs wouldn’t have worked.

“This is a red flag. No matter where you are, this should set off alarm bells,” Seibert said. “Someone needs to take a look at this.”

“We just kind of work with the systems that we’re allowed to,” explained George Hammerlein, the director of Harris County Voter Registration.

The county’s system for culling deceased voters from the roll seems painfully primitive.

We watched employees clip obituaries from the newspaper and sort through probate records for names matching those on the roll. But, Hammerlein says while fraud is a concern, for his office, disenfranchising voters is a bigger one.

“We do all we can, but you know we’d rather err on the side of leaving people on the roll instead of taking them off inadvertently,” he said. But could that cautious “better safe than sorry” standard sway an election some say will be a close one?

Texas Watchdog found 4,462 registered voters who appear to be deceased.

“We’ve never had any evidence there’s a concerted attempt at fraud,” Hammerlein told Local 2. But there is evidence the state agency in charge of ensuring only eligible voters can vote is not.

The State Auditor’s Office conducted an audit of the voter registration system at the Secretary of State’s Office last November.

Auditors identified 49,049 registered voters state-wide who may have been ineligible to vote. Approximately 23,576 may have been deceased and another 23,114 were possible felons. And they found more than 2,359 duplicate records.

The auditor did not find any instances in which potentially ineligible voters actually voted, but they wrote, “Although the Secretary of State’s office has processes to identify many ineligible voters and remove them from the State’s voter registration list, improvements can be made.”

Almost a year after this audit, we wanted to know if the Secretary of State has made any improvements. Have they added any safeguards to the process?

No one from that office would talk to us on camera, but the Director of Elections told us, “We’d rather err in leaving someone on the roll than taking someone off.”

“If there’s something wrong here, if there’s something amiss, this is the worst election to have that happen, “Seibert warned. And Guidry agrees. “I don’t think it’s a matter that she would take lightly,” she said of her mom.

In what she calls an historic election, Guidry says her mother wouldn’t want anyone speaking for her.

“I think she would definitely do all that she could just to make sure things were on the up and up.”

We sent the information we showed you to the Director of Elections in Austin. She said her office refers any credible allegation of election fraud to the Attorney General for investigation. She said the cases we presented would be felony violations.

Visit www.texaswatchdog.org for more information about how Texas Watchdog found dead voters on the rolls.

Reports of voter fraud by liberal groups could change election results
Michelle Malkin calls this wave of fraud a “radical revolution”
that is “taking place in your backyard.”

And much of these efforts are funded by your tax dollars!

The radical group ACORN – which gets 40 percent of its funding
from you and me through taxes — has registered 1.27 million voters and now
is being exposed for fraudulent practices. The other 60 percent comes from the Democrat Party.

We are watching a constitutional crisis.

The Top 10 signs your newspaper has entered the spiral flush

Mick Gregory

Here is another gem by “Joe Grimm,” advising journalisits on their shaky careers. He’s a big, fat, older white guy working for the Detroit Free Press. I believe he gets paid to write this advice on the job. It gives him some extra status among the elite editors. Maybe the Free Press even gets a few resumes from “talented” journos at 30,000 circultation papers in Podunk?

Let me know if you enjoy reading these slice of life stories as much as I do. I add my insider remarks throughout. BTW-There aren’t really top 10 signs your newspaer job is going down the toilet. There are too many signs to count. In fact, most newspaper journalists are “floaters.” You know what I mean, those stubborn turds that float back after you flush.

Do Warning Signs Mean I Should Go?
Q. Lately a few things have been happening in our newspaper company that I see as troubling, and I’m wondering if I should prepare to look elsewhere for a job. Buddy, you should have been looking for a new job a year ago.

Recently a couple publishers were fired. An official reason was never released, and I am not sure if they are looking for new publishers. (Publishers are the BIG SUITS). These mainly middle-age white men made a good living off the sweat of bright-eyed socialist reporters willing to work 60 hours a week for $30,000 a year.

Our previous publisher also decided he couldn’t pay $500 to send 10 of us to a local conference that would have had a big impact on our reporting. $50 per head for a little seminar. That’s the publisher’s bar tab for some cheap Central Valley white wine on one night out.

I’ve heard my editor on the phone casually mention that the only paper in our group that’s doing well had been marked for shutdown by an editor who left here months ago. The rest of our newspapers have been bleeding circulation like stuck pigs, despite our attempts to gain new subscribers. Our Web site, however, has been doing quite well with hits. Kiddo, it’s not the number of hits, it’s your demos and advertisers willing to place an ad schedule in your media.

We’ve also been under a hiring freeze since last fall, which hasn’t impacted our newsroom, but rather the secretarial staff. Hey, that’s a year, an entire budget cycle. How big is your newsroom? I didn’t catch that.

On the bright side, the company hasn’t frozen much else. I received a raise during my review earlier this year, and we recently bought a new computer to replace one that had finally called it quits. Hey, they actually let you work on a computer that runs? Mr. Grimm might call that a plus! How much was your raise, may I ask?

Every “10 signs your company is headed toward layoffs” site has indicated that something is up at my company. Then again, a lot of those signs are things newspapers are going through all over. I don’t know what to believe.

Ultimately I need to know if I should start applying for new jobs. I’ve gotten more than two years of experience here, so I think I could find a new job, but I had been hoping to stay for another year so I could get an even better job and wait for my boyfriend to finish school.

Still Working

A. By Joe Grimm.

Stay cool.

There is a lot going on — at your place and at others. Yeah, a lot of running around “scooping” the local weekly. That’s a lot. Sort of. It really doesn’t matter to the reader if you scoop another medium on a story. News is a very perishable commodity.

In addition to the warnings, you’ve received some encouragement. Yeah, they replaced your 12-year-old baige computer with a 2-year-old hand-me-down from a failing small daily in your chain. Right?

You don’t want to leave yet, so I wouldn’t. But I would be prepared.

Pay attention to bigger signs: A change in ownership. Multiple rounds of buyouts or layoffs. The sudden loss of a major advertiser. The signs you’ve mentioned are stressful, but don’t indicate an imminent death.
Yeah, wait around until they have that group anouncement when you and 50 others with your exact skill set are out on the street.

Have a fresh resume on your own computer, ready to go out in the mail or digitally. Keep topping your own best work. Pay off those credit cards and bank some money. And keep your network fresh. You’ll probably be able to make another year there as you would like, and can launch a search if you must.

Think of getting a real education with evening courses in business, law or engineering. Did you know that law firms actually pay their interns $1,000 to $2,000 a week?

How much do small dailies pay interns? Do a little digging and report back to us.

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.

Two Parties on Mondays in San Francisco–One for the success of new media at WordPress, the other about 100 layoffs of old media at The Chronicle

By Mick Gregory

It is the best of times for citizen journalists; and it is the worst of times for the old media.
Monday, Bloody Monday, As Axe Swings At SF Chronicle

The first of 100 job cuts took place at the SF Chronicle on Monday. The axe fell swiftly. Several managers were the first to receive news they no longer have a job.

Some had worked there for decades, making quite a bit over scale. Some in the six figures.

“You know times are bad when executive editor Phil Bronstein gives the boot to men and women who have been his colleagues for years — some all the way back to his early tenure at the Examiner,” writes Frances Dinkelspiel. Managing editor Robert Rosenthal left on Friday. By Monday, nine other top newsroom managers — including deputy and assistant managing editors — had been let go. They are: John Curley, Leslie Guevarra, Steve Cook, Jim Finefrock, Paul Wilner, George Judson, Laura Impellizzeri, David Tong, and Hulda Nelson.

Next in line are 85 reporters. Many have been there for decades. Many have had “tenure,” and thought they had a job for life. Many will be slugging down shots with Guiness chasers the next four weeks. The SF Chronicle will have made one of the largest newsroom cuts of any major newspaper in the modern era.

It was a somber scene Monday evening at The Tempest, the bar on a seedy side street, that serves as a favorite watering hole for the SF Chron workers. The higher paid editors visit the posh “M” on the more fashionable corner of Fifth and Mission. Phil and Rosey have even been seen in the “W.”

The Tempest is an ironic name for a bar catering to the local print media.

Meanwhile, at a cool spot in Potrero Hill, WordPress citizen journalists had a different celebration; one million blogs have been created by the highly successful new national media. And Craigslist.org has cleaned the Chron’s clock when it comes to employment advertising.

LA Times scandal just the tip of the iceburg

By Mick Gregory

Society of Hispanic Editors poster boy Andres Martinez dethroned from his prestigious appointment.

Mr. Bill Boyarsky, who retired from the Los Angeles Times in 2001, would like to see media reporter James Rainey and a team of top LAT reporters examine past Current sections and editorials to see whether they’ve been influenced by publicist Allen Mayer and his associate, Kelly Mullens, who has been dating editorial page editor Andres Martinez.

Executive editor Andres Martinez is forced to “buy the farm;” steps down as editor of the LA Times Sunday editorial section.

Look at this “holier than thou” memo from the shamed executive who is acutally putting his resume out to the public. It’s a “situation wanted” ad.

…. This event makes my continued tenure as Los Angeles Times editorial page editor untenable. The person in this job needs to have an unimpeachable integrity, and Hiller’s decision amounts to a vote of no confidence in my continued leadership.

I regret that my failure to anticipate and adequately address the perception of a conflict in this matter has placed Hiller — whom I like and respect a great deal, incidentally — and my colleagues on the editorial board in such an awkward position, not to mention Brian Grazer and Kelly Mullens, who did nothing wrong here but have been caught up in all this. Nick Goldberg and Michael Newman are two of the smartest, most talented people I have worked with, and any lapses in judgment here were mine, not theirs.

I accept responsibility for creating this appearance problem, though I also maintain that the newspaper is overreacting today. We are depriving readers of an interesting, serious section that is beyond reproach, and unfairly insulting the individuals we approached to participate in this guest editor program by telling them it is a corrupt concept. How we come about this decision when 24 hours ago the managing editor of this newspaper was assuring me he didn’t see a story after I walked him through the facts, and while Hiller maintains we did nothing wrong, is a bit perplexing. In trying to keep up with the blogosphere, and boasting about their ability to go after their own, navel-gazing newsrooms run the risk of becoming parodies of themselves.

Among the biggest possible conflicts of interest a newspaper can enter into is to have the same people involved in news coverage running opinion pages. I am proud of the fact that Jeff Johnson, Dean Baquet and I fully separated the opinion pages from the newsroom at the Times. I accept my share of the responsibility for placing the Times in this predicament, but I will not be lectured on ethics by some ostensibly objective news reporters and editors who lobby for editorials to be written on certain subjects, or who have suggested that our editorial page coordinate more closely with the newsroom’s agenda, and I strongly urge the present and future leadership of the paper to resist the cries to revisit the separation between news and opinion that we have achieved.

We’re a long ways removed from the fall of 2004 when Michael Kinsley and John Carroll lured me out to the West Coast, with promises of investing more resources on the LAT opinion pages and web site. Some of the retrenchment is understandable given the business fundamentals, but I have been alarmed recently by the company’s failure to acknowledge that our opinion journalism, central to the paper’s role as a virtual town square for community debate and dialogue, should not be crudely scaled back as part of across-the-board cuts. Decisions being made now to cut the one part of the paper that is predominantly about ideas and community voices go too far in my view, and are shortsighted.

Still, I am proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last two years. —Andrés

——

This brings to mind a former icon of “Bagdad by the Bay” who’s girl friend was a PR executive who would hit up celebrity restaurants around town: i.e., Stars, Postrio, Cafe Lulu, Greens, Boulevard, One, and Farallon. If they retained her services, “like magic,” some nice plugs would appear in the popular column.

I heard this from an executive chef.

Citizen journalism at your service.

Big Cash Bonuses for Executives — Not oil companies — Newspapers

By Mick Gregory

How much do the top management of today’s media empires make? We only seem to see reports of the CEOs of a few global oil companies. What about the newspaper business? A product that is not a necessity in today’s multi-media age. Let’s look at the McClatchy gang.

These bonuses for McClatchy Newspaper executives are in addition to their annual salaries. Not a bad take for walking around in suits discussing global warming and the chances of Hillary/Obama winning in ’08. This is in sleepy Sacramento, with a nick name of “Sack-o-tomatoes” because it is smack in the middle of central California’s farm belt and you see semi-trucks by the score stacked high with small red potatoes that look a lot like tomatoes.

You can see the demographics in their Sunday best, as they make the trip to town. You know, starched white shirt, cowboy hat and boots on Pa, Ma has highlights and a long cowgirl skirt. The kids look like gang bangers. Old Town Sac has maintained wood sidewalks for that “Old West” look.

This is where the McClatchy Bee newspaper empire holds court. Bee is a very old-timey name for a newspaper, isn’t it? Kind of cute. “Busy bees.” Who knew this clan would end up gobbling up Knight Ridder, then pay for half the purchase by selling off the prestigious Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News right off the bat?

In an industry that is losing revenue every year and piling on expenses, while it cuts its staff and puts more and more operations offshore, to Pune, India, isn’t it funny that they reward this type of executive management?
How about offshoring management? With today’s Skype, Web conferencing, and Business Service Software, the real number crunchers in India could streamline operations in months.

Here is the president of McClatchy, Gary Pruitt from two years ago.

Base Pay $950,000

Bonus $1,100,000

Restricted Stock $0

LTIP Payouts $108,600

Present Value of Option Grants $342,194

Other Annual Compensation $0

All Other Compensation $19,171

Total Compensation $2,519,965

Stock Option Exercises and Cumulative Balances

Shares Aquired on Exercise (#) 0

Value Realized for Options Exercised $0

Remaining Exercisable (vested) Options (#) 301,250

Remaining Unexercisable (non-vested) Options (#) 268,750

Value of Remaining Exercisable Options $9,616,656

Value of Remaining Unexercisable Options $3,204,843

Data for fiscal year ended in 2004

The following executive officers received the cash bonuses shown below:

Name and Title Amount of Annual Cash Bonus
Patrick J. Talamantes, Chief Financial Officer $170,000
Bob Weil, Vice President, Operations $200,000
Frank Whittaker, Vice President, Operations $220,000
Howard Weaver, Vice President, News $129,000

—SEC report 2006.

These figures are just “‘at-a-boy” bonuses. Just triple the figures and see how much the suits made out.
Here is what they received two years ago:

Frank R.J. Whittaker
Vice President Operations $1,277,252

Robert Weil
Vice President Operations $1,257,148

Patrick Talamantes
Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer $1,003,908

Howard Weaver
Vice President News $726,720

Let’s look at McClatchy stock (MNI) on the NYS exchange. The past 12 months high – $56.12, The past 12 months low – $36.95

Today’s price — $36.91. Whoopsie! If that price holds or drops this afternoon, it’s new low. After all that wheelin’ and dealin’. Well, time for another board meeting, and editorial executive summit, Palm Springs?

New York Times Empire Crumbling — Road Trip! Publisher Meets and Greets at Davos, Switzerland!

By Mick Gregory

“I don’t know if we will be printing in five years, and you know what, I don’t care,” said Pinchy Suzberger, New York Times publisher.

You know what Pinchy? Most of us don’t care either!


sulzberger_jr_nyt03.jpg

Profits at the Times have been declining for going on five years, and the Times company’s market capitalization has been crumbling faster.

The Times wrote down the value of its New England Media Group—which includes The Boston Globe—by $814 million, resulting in the shocking quarterly drop announced last week. Oopsie!

Yet, as they hold “town hall” meetings with their working stiffs at the Boston Globe, the editors made room to hire Dean Baquet and hand him the Washington DC throne. Baquet, you may recall, is the executive editor who refused to make any more cuts at the LA Times which has a 950 person newsroom.

But Mr. Baquet, you just joined a paper that has cut some 150 journalists in the past year? No problems with that, eh?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Janet Robinson’s pep talk: first impression

Word is, the Times Co. president/CEO faced a very tough crowd at Morrissey Boulevard today. Here’s what Media Log has heard so far:
It was a very hostile meeting. I would say most of the hostility came from the classified ad people who’re being outsourced to India. This woman–her name doesn’t matter–got up and said, she’s been there 37 years, she loves the company, and basically, how can you do this? The paper’s been cut back; we’re kicked out; is this corporate greed or what?

So Janet Robinson right off the bat had to handle this highly indignant, well-spoken classified ad person.

(Note: classified sales people are subhuman in the eyes of the far superior editorial department, so the surprisingly well spoken woman doesn’t get a name).

And she just kept on talking about how they’d had to make very difficult decisions, they wouldn’t be doing them if it wasn’t necessary. That was basically the theme: in order to save the village, we have to destroy it.

The people really kept at her about the outsourcing–that was really the main theme. Dan Totten [the Globe union head] said it was appalling and disgusting, and when did they make the decision–because let’s face it, we just agreed to this contract, and right after that they announced this outsourcing. Was that bad-faith bargaining? And [Robinson] never really gave an answer. She said [the outsourcing] had been under consideration for at least a year, but they didn’t make the final decision until the terrible results of the final quarter were known. They didn’t have a choice.

Somebody said, why do you still want us as part of [the Times Co.] portfolio? And she went on about, you’re a beacon of great journalism, people want to buy you and I admire their taste, but you’re a very important part of the company.
—thephoenix.com

Morgan Stanley, has set out on a campaign that could cost Sulzberger control over the paper. The New York Times is one of a unique few that have a two-tiered stock plan. The family holds a fraction of the stock, but they are voting stocks, the majority of the stockholders do not have a vote on decisions of the company. They ivory tower “executive editors” at the Times have been making horrible business decisions. And Morgan Stanley has been communicating the reasons why.

The details are by AFX International Focus — The New York Times has refused to list on its proxy a proposal from a Morgan Stanley investment fund that called for putting the company’s two-class share structure to a vote.

That system, which has existed since before the company went public in 1969, cements control of the company with the Ochs-Sulzberger family. The company says the control is necessary to protect the editorial integrity of the newspaper.

The Morgan Stanley fund had proposed the measure in November after expressing dissatisfaction with the company’s share price and what it called a lack of accountability to public shareholders.

Catherine Mathis, a spokeswoman for the Times, said the Times rejected the proposal last month, with the blessing of the Securities and Exchange Commission, after determining that the issues being raised in the proposal couldn’t be voted on by holders of the company’s publicly traded stock.

Those shares, which are called Class A stock, have limited voting rights, such as electing 30 percent of the company’s directors, the approval of certain acquisitions and other matters, she said. The more powerful voting rights belong to the Class B shares, which are almost entirely controlled by the Sulzbergers.

The company rejected the proposal last December, Mathis said, but the news became public late Tuesday in a regulatory filing made by Morgan Stanley Investment Management.

And Mr. Sulzberger had to get away. He jumped on a jet to the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland. Remember, that’s where Senator John Kerry called the USA a pariah to the civilized world?

Then they fit in some skiing at one of the ritziest resorts in the world.

What began as a casual chat ended in a fascinating glimpse into Sulzberger’s world, and how he sees the future of the news business.

By Eytan Avriel of Haaretz.com

Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years?

“I really don’t know whether we’ll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don’t care either,” he says.

Sulzberger is focusing on how to best manage the transition from print to Internet.

“The Internet is a wonderful place to be, and we’re leading there,” he points out.

The Times, in fact, has doubled its online readership to 1.5 million a day to go along with its 1.1 million subscribers for the print edition.

Sulzberger says the New York Times is on a journey that will conclude the day the company decides to stop printing the paper. That will mark the end of the transition. It’s a long journey, and there will be bumps on the road, says the man at the driving wheel, but he doesn’t see a black void ahead.

Asked if local papers have a future, Sulzberger points out that the New York Times is not a local paper, but rather a national one based in New York that enjoys more readers from outside, than within, the city.

Classifieds have long been a major source of income to the press, but the business is moving to the Internet.

Sulzberger agrees, but what papers lose, Web sites gain. Media groups can develop their online advertising business, he explains. Also, because Internet advertising doesn’t involve paper, ink and distribution, companies can earn the same amount of money even if it receives less advertising revenue.

Really? What about the costs of development and computerization?

“These costs aren’t anywhere near what print costs,” Sulzberger says. “The last time we made a major investment in print, it cost no less than $1 billion. Site development costs don’t grow to that magnitude.”

The New York Times recently merged its print and online news desks. Did it go smoothly, or were there ruffled feathers? Which team is leading the way today?

“You know what a newspaper’s news desk is like? It’s like the emergency room at a hospital, or an office in the military. Both organizations are very goal-oriented, and both are very hard to change,” Sulzberger says.

Once change begins, it happens quickly, so the transition was difficult, he says. “But once the journalists grasped the concept, they flipped and embraced it, and supported the move.” That included veteran managers, too.

How are you preparing for changes to the paper that are dictated by the Internet?

“We live in the Internet world. We have, for example, five people working in a special development unit whose only job is to initiate and develop things related to the electronic world – Internet, cellular, whatever comes.

The average age of readers of the New York Times print edition is 42, Sulzberger says, and that hasn’t changed in 10 years. The average age of readers of its Internet edition is 37, which shows that the group is also managing to recruit young readers for both the printed version and Web site.

Also, the Times signed a deal with Microsoft to distribute the paper through a software program called Times Reader, Sulzberger says. The software enables users to conveniently read the paper on screens, mainly laptops. “I very much believe that the experience of reading a paper can be transfered to these new devices.”

Will it be free?

No, Sulzberger says. If you want to read the New York Times online, you will have to pay.

In the age of bloggers, what is the future of online newspapers and the profession in general? There are millions of bloggers out there, and if the Times forgets who and what they are, it will lose the war, and rightly so, according to Sulzberger. “We are curators, curators of news. People don’t click onto the New York Times to read blogs. They want reliable news that they can trust,” he says.

“We aren’t ignoring what’s happening. We understand that the newspaper is not the focal point of city life as it was 10 years ago.

“Once upon a time, people had to read the paper to find out what was going on in theater. Today there are hundreds of forums and sites with that information,” he says. “But the paper can integrate material from bloggers and external writers. We need to be part of that community and to have dialogue with the online world.”

And while on community, the scandal about Jayson Blair, the reporter caught plagiarizing and fabricating, hurt the brand, not the business, he says. Blair was forced to quit in May 2003.

You’re one of the few papers that continues to print on broadsheet, which people consider to be too big and clumsy. Until when?

“Until when? The New York Times has no intention of changing that,” Sulzberger promises. At any rate, transitioning from broadsheet to tabloid would be prohibitively expensive, he says.

If you own any of those secondary NY Times stocks, I think it’s time to sell.

Molly Ivins — The Texas Liberal Icon Has Died. Get Ready for the Mother of All Obits. Updated.

By Mick Gregory

Molly Ivins was the Texas Democrat party’s biggest supporter for 40 years. Newspapers always deliver big obits of their own, but when they are uber-liberal “celebrity” columnists, get ready for a state funeral pageant.

Although the press is fond of labeling FOX News journalists and nearly all Republicans “right-wing,” they rarely call even the most liberal journalist or Democrat left-wing.

But not so for Molly Ivins. Ivins was a self-described leftist agitator. She made her living as the Texas Democrats’ pit bull.

—————–

Update: Sunday, February 4, 2007
Every day we have seen more updates on the late Molly Ivins. The journalists who have “touched her robes,” or sat at her feet and heard her anti-Reagan, Bush bashing, Arnold scorn (she said he looked like a condom filled with walnuts) one-liners.

James T. Campbell, at the Houston Chronicle, had his little brush with famous Ivans when she volunteered to speak at a conference of the National Association of Black Journalists. (One has to wonder about associations based on skin color).

For nearly 45 minutes, she captivated the audience with her salty humor and delicious tidbits about Texas politics and politicians. She saved the day. She was my heroine.

Sill, I was embarrassed. The conference had no budget to speak of, so I couldn’t even offer her a small honorarium. She settled for gas money, a couple of drinks and my company at the hotel bar.”

molly-ivins-rip.jpg

Read “The Mother of All Obits,” today in your daily newspaper. In The Houston Chronicle, she gets front page play today, a 2-col. photo with a jump to page four, about 80 column inches with “pull-quotes” and photo of her as an “intern” with the paper in 1966.

“I’ll remember sunsets, rivers, hills, plains, the Gulf, woods, a thousand beers in a thousand joints, and sunshine and laughter. And people…Mostly I’ll remember people.” — her farewell column to Texas Observer readers in 1976, when she took a job with the New York Times.

She was fired by the New York Times six years later, “because she didn’t show due respect and reverence to the great dignity…”

Andy Ivins, brother to late columnist Molly Ivins, recalled his sister smashing a beer can on the deck of the family’s boat in New York to the puzzlement of those on board.

He also remembered his sister disliking UT fraternities but devouring the beer they dispensed. His stories set the tone for Ivins’ memorial service, where those in attendance seemed determined not to focus on her passing, but on the unorthodox qualities that defined her as a friend, party girl and liberal megaphone.

Can you imagine being too liberal for the New York Times?

I met her in 1982 at Times Mirror‘s Dallas Times Herald. I was in my early twenties, fresh out of college and as promotion manager, advertised the super stars like Ivans. She was the headliner of the LA Time’s liberal journalism expansion into Dallas, Houston and Denver. She got top billing. Her face was on billboards and the sides of delivery trucks, and her quotes in radio ads. Her left wing, in-your-face rants may have helped sink each of those “left coast” papers in time. Only the Denver Post survives today, because of a Joint Operating Agreement for failing newspapers, with the Rocky Mountain News.

Her resume reads, “After the Times Herald folded, she joined the Fort Worth Star Telegram.”

Correction: The Times Herald didn’t fold. It was purchased by the Dallas Morning News and turned into a parking lot.

It wasn’t Ms. Ivan’s fault. Her anti-American rants is what she did. Her attacks on Ronald Reagan and the conservative values of Dallas readers caused a mass exodus of circulation and advertisers from the Times Herald to the Morning News. The same thing happened in Houston and Denver. Who knew? Editors still don’t get it.

One of her repeated gems was: “Ronald Reagan was so dumb he couldn’t pour water out of a boot if the directions were written on the heel.”

The Minneapolis Tribune hired her as its first female police beat reporter, and she claimed one of her proudest moments of her journalism career was when the department named its mascot – a pig – in her honor. Funny stuff. By the way, The Minneapolis Tribune, a well-known liberal New York Times wannabe, and was dumped off on private investors just a month ago.

It wasn’t the publisher’s fault, Thomas McCartin at the Times Herald was a Times Mirror Company (TMC) man all the way. His initials (TMC) allowed him to have custom monograms on his cuffs, stenciled into glass doors and in the marble. McCartin wouldn’t argue with Otis Chandler’s top editors’ plans. It was the editorial executives who had the vision that a socialist, poison pen columnist would increase readership in conservative Texas and Colorado. They were out to show the establishment who was boss.

Tom McCartin was a marketing, community events promoter of “Dallas, City of The Arts” and jazzy new sections publisher. He switched the paper from a blue collar afternoon paper to a morning, middle- and upper-middle class paper (on the surface) through promotion, almost overnight. He may have known about the liberal-snob link before the rest of the mainstream media. McCartin was a marketing genius. He didn’t dwell on the leftist takeover of the Times Herald’s editorial department. He was used to that, having worked at the LA Times and for a time, the Washington Post. Ken Johnson, the executive editor of the Dallas Times Herald also came from the Washington Post. David Broder — the famous lefty who is a regular on “Face the Nation” and other Sunday morning political shows actually had an office at the Times Herald for a stint. I promoted him too. We had a party at the downtown Dallas paper where liberal heavy hitters gathered. I even have a picture of me with Martha Graham, publisher/owner of the Washington Post. But I digress.

Johnson “knew” that Ivins was his kind of journalist. The editorial department was well funded at this boom time and there were layers of managing editors.

Here’s a little piece from an editor, Jim Schutze at the time:
…There were six or seven assistant city editors, a city editor and half a dozen people with the words “managing editor” somewhere in their titles sitting around the desk.
I harrumphed for attention, then said, “I have written a column for tomorrow’s newspaper that I am worried about. It’s a fairly personal attack on a wealthy and powerful citizen of the city, known to be litigious, and I fear that it may be libelous. I worry that the column, in its present form, may harm the paper. Would any one of you be willing just to read behind me on it before I send it to the printers?”
No one moved. There was a long silence, They all kept their eyes glued to each other or to their computer screens. I refused to move. I waited. Finally one of them whirled around and held up his hands before his face with the two index fingers in the sign of the cross, in the gesture used to ward off vampires.

Schutze was showing a friend that he was free to print anything he wanted and attack the big shots at will. That’s the environment that Molly Ivins worked in for a few years, anyway. The paper’s enemies — and even some of its liberal friends in the Democrat and black communities — closed in on the Times Herald editorial slant.

There were jabs by Ivins and others about “lavish holiday parties” by builders who were overcharging for their new homes, the same story on the evil new car dealers. The home builders and auto dealers simply pulled their advertising from the Times Herald and put it in the more conservative Morning News.

As ad revenues fell, editors were less able to defend the journalist “foot soldiers” from the Dallas establishment’s heavy weights. In 1984, the paper finally gave in to critics and Molly Ivins was kicked-off the metro section front page. Molly was still allowed a fairly visible spot on the Op Ed Page, but she had to get out of Dallas and move to Austin and she had to stop writing about the business leaders in Dallas. Ken Johnson left with a golden handshake from McCartin and Chandler and started a chain of weekly newspapers called Westward Communications. That chain actually got back to basics and covered local news. Johnson learned his lessson about letting the rabid left wingers destroy the advertising base.

Ivans was a diehard liberal. She boasted about that. She was at nearly all the fancy fundraisers with her gal pal, the former governor, Ann Richards. She hung out at with Dan Rather and Jim Hightower at fundraisers in lawyers private mansions around Texas.

Ivins had a reputation as something of a partyer, and, until her health declined, she hosted at her Austin home monthly gatherings of writers, Marxists, druggies and rabble-rousers.

She was a colorful writer. It’s just too bad she didn’t spread some of her talent and power of the press to attacks on LBJ, Jimmy Carter, Ann Richards, Hilly and Bill Clinton. Maybe the Houston Post and Dallas Times Herald would still be around today.

Ivans was actually born in Carmel-Monterey, California and grew up in Houston’s River Oaks. (That’s where Ken Lay used to live). She attended Smith College, her mother’s and grandmother’s alma mater. Her father was a rich corporate lawyer and a Republican.

She put on persona that she came from the piney woods of East Texas. Now you know that she has a lot in common with Democrat leaders, Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Boxer, Diane Fienstien, Teddy Kennedy, perhaps even fed with a silver spoon.

She missed her calling, that was some act she put on. RIP.

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Visit the Wonkette to see a liberal point of view. Like which conservative columnist should die next.

http://wonkette.com/politics/gene-weingarten/political-humor-columnist-trifecta-who-must-die-next-233080.php

Editor-Centric New York Times Loses More Than $800 Million in Fourth Quarter, Yet Makes Room for Baquet

The New York Times Co. posted a $648 million loss for the fourth quarter as it absorbed an $814.4 million expense to write down the value of its struggling New England properties, the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.

It’s fun to watch editors with no business acumen calling the shots and rearranging the deck chairs as the big old ship, New York Times takes on water.

The top editors made a space for the former LA Times editor, Dean Baquet. You have to wonder what hard-working, award-winning New York Times editors think of that, especially the next time there is another round of layoffs. Baquet was reported hoping and holding out for new owners of the LA Times to have him “back at the helm.”

“it became clearer and clearer to me that the New York Times was the place where I belonged now,” Baquet said.

Would Senator Biden think that Baquet is “clean and well spoken?”

Gannett Knows How to Cut Expenses

by Mick Gregory

Two Gannett papers — the Honolulu Advertiser and the Indianapolis Star — are combining their business staff with their metro staff and putting both under one editor.

“This is exactly the kind of action toward business desks that I feared when many papers like the Star announced at the beginning of last year that they were cutting stock listings from their business section,” writes Chris Roush. “If it’s easy to cut the business section once, then it’s easy to cut there again.”

That’s called managing a business. A publisher I worked with once said, “There are two ways to skin a cat.” Either profits rise, or expenses have to be cut. It’s Managerial Economics 101.

What other business has managers for every four or five people?

Well, maybe banks. But where else?

Meanwhile, blogs thrive with very few in head-count and surging readership.
Guess where investors are putting their money?

Jimmy Carter a Disgraced President

by Mick Gregory

I just listened to Jimmy Carter on NPR this morning. The former Democrat president was trying to say that his statement on page 213 of his new hate and blame book, Peace Not Apartheid, was actually just an error.

“It is imperative that the general Arab community and all significant Palestinian groups make it clear that they will end the suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism when international laws and the ultimate goals of the Roadmap for Peace are accepted by Israel.”

(Carter is now saying there was a misplaced word, a mistake that will be fixed in future editions).

Which word is it?

Ladies and gentlemen, here is a test. Let’s see which word or words can change the meaning of Carter’s endorsement of murdering Jews?

…end terrorism when (replace with if)
…end terrorism when (when, if ever)
…end terrorism when (when pigs fly)

As a writer and editor, I can not find any way to read this sentence that does not clearly condone the murder of Jews on busses, in pizza parlors and in shops, until Israel follows former President Carter’s prescription for peace. This book caused 12 of Carter’s staff at his library (paid for by Arab foundations) to quit in disgust.

This is a major event. Imagine if you will, if Ronald Reagan or George Bush had written that?

It sheds light on the disgraced president — Carter is clearly on the side of terrorists and may have been his whole life. There are now stories coming out of Carter giving special leniency to a former Nazi SS soldier’s family in the U.S.

Carter supported the politics of Danny Ortega and Yasser Arafat.

Was that why Carter let the Islamic fascists take over Iran during his presidency?
Why did Jimmy Carter give the Panama Canal away?
What did the Camp David Accords accomplish?

These questions were not asked Carter:

What NPR didn’t ask Carter
Jimmy Carter was interviewed this morning on NPR. The interviewer pressed him on his use of the word ‘apartheid’, an obvious and reasonable question. However, there are a few other questions, also obvious and reasonable that were not asked. For example:

Do you think that you were influenced in any way by the millions of dollars you personally and the Carter Center received from Arab sources?
You said in your book that the Arabs must recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace. Don’t you think that it’s reasonable to expect an end to terrorism before Israeli concessions are made that compromise her security? Wouldn’t it be irresponsible for the Israeli government to give up territory while rockets are falling?
The thrust of your arguments is that Israel is responsible for the conflict as a result of her occupation of ‘Palestinian land’ in 1967. How do you account for the Palestinian terrorism against Israel (and the pre-state Jewish presence) since at least 1920? Don’t you think that the Arabs — both the Palestinians and Israel’s neighbor states — must bear some responsibility for the sustained terrorism and war that they’ve waged against the Jews over the years?
Update (1453 PST): Read Kenneth Stein’s review of Carter’s book. Stein was Executive Director of the Carter Center from 1983 to 1986, and the Center’s Middle East Fellow until 2006, when he resigned in protest of the book.
Visit: fresnozionism.org

What the MSM makes sure you don’t read in your Sunday newspaper

By Mick Gregory

The progressive liberal desk editors have been hard at work keeping certain stories out of the well-read Sunday papers. For example, some news broke on Friday on Hannity’s radio show that Nancy Pelosi’s rush to raise the Federal minimum wage with one big exemption, that of Del Monte’s U.S. Samoa tuna factory, it was cut out of the wage hike. By next week, it will be “old” news.

The perverted teenage boy kidnapper was caught on Friday, and jailed. Police charged Michael Devlin, 41, a pizza shop worker who moonlights at a funeral home, with one count of kidnapping. (Wondering about that funny tasting sausage and mushroom?) Two boys kidnapped four years and 40 miles apart. Not a word on what Devlin wanted with the boys.

But the New York Post reports that Devlin had child porn on his computers. Thanks for sparing us the gay, pedophile details. But is this another white wash by the PC, liberal press?

Also on Friday, the federal deficit has improved significantly in the first three months of the new budget year, helped by a continued surge in tax revenues.

In its monthly budget report, the Treasury Department said Friday that the deficit from October through December totaled $80.4 billion, the smallest imbalance for the first three months of a budget year since The budget year ends Sept. 30.

Tax collections are running 8.2 percent higher than a year ago while government spending is up by just 0.7 percent from a year ago. Last year’s spending totals were boosted by significant payments to help the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The Treasury said for December, the government actually ran a surplus of $44.5 billion, the largest surplus ever recorded in December and a gain that reflected a big jump in quarterly corporate tax payments.

The $80.4 billion deficit for the first three months of the current budget year was down 32.6 percent from the imbalance for the same period a year ago of $119.4 billion.

Then no mention of icicles forming on snow covered, tiny Prius hybrids in California and Texas, nor of the billions lost in citrus crops. Where is Al Gore and the Democrat Progressives rants about global warming?

Newspapers killing Scripps profit picture

Mick Gregory

When did newspapers make 20 percent profits?

The Scripps Co. owner of several newspapers and the popular HGTV channel, sent out a press release to stock analysts stating it is “talking about options” for its newspaper division, which is dragging down the company’s stock price.

“We’ve reached no conclusions, it’s fair to say,” Chief Financial Officer Joseph NeCastro said at an investor conference late Tuesday. “But we do believe that there probably is some value to be created in looking at a structural alternative there . . . maybe some form of separating the newspapers out.”

Scripps has built its cable-networks business, which includes HGTV and the Food Network, into the company’s leading profit generator. It’s now entering e-commerce with acquisitions of Web sites Shopzilla and uSwitch.

Scripps’ newspapers are slow-growth or no-growth. In the first nine months of 2006, the Scripps Networks division, which includes its cable business, posted a 17.8 percent gain in revenue. Meanwhile, its Interactive Media division, aided by the uSwitch acquisition, grew 408 percent.

Newspapers, which account for less than 30 percent of the company’s revenue, saw sales drop by 0.1 percent in the same time period.

Compared to broadcast television, “Newspapers seem to be much more troubled, and it’s hard to call a bottom there,” NeCastro said. “I think up until this last year probably it wasn’t that clear. I think we collectively feel like there is some damage.”

The newspaper industry is in a death ride. The Knight Ridder chain sold itself last year after investor pressure, and the Tribune Co., which paid more than 8 billion dollars for Times Mirror, is now being pressured to break up its newspapers, especially by the Chandler family, (former owners of Times Mirror), to boost its stock.

Scripps’ comments cheered Wall Street, with analysts from Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs publishing positive analyses Wednesday. Scripps stock hit a 52-week high, closing up 3.8 percent to $51.92.

“We were positively surprised by the company’s comments, which indicate that management has given more serious consideration to this possibility than we had previously thought,” Goldman Sachs analyst Peter Appert said. “Elimination of the newspaper unit would meaningfully enhance the company’s growth prospects and likely translate into a higher valuation for the shares.”

Scripps has daily and community newspapers in 18 markets, including Denver; Memphis and Knoxville, Tenn.; and south Florida. Scripps is a 50-50 partner with MediaNews Group, the owner of the Denver Post, in the Denver Newspaper Agency.

Scripps executives did not say an investment banker has been hired to assist in the deliberations. But NeCastro said the company’s board has spent “a fair amount of time” discussing options.
One possibility is a spinoff, in which Scripps shareholders would receive shares in a new, “pure play” newspaper company. Investors could then choose to sell the newspaper company shares and stick with the higher-growth, new-economy Scripps — or vice-versa.
“We believe (Scripps) could spin out its non-newspaper businesses, could sell most of its papers, or likely pursue many other scenarios,” Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Fine said.

— David Milstead, Rocky Mountain News