Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dems hire former CC Times editor Lopez

Former Contra Costa Times executive editor Chris Lopez has been hired by the Denver 2008 Democratic Convention Host Committee as its communications director, the Denver Post reported today. Lopez was replaced as the top editor of the Contra Costa Times in October 2006 shortly after MediaNews Group took over the paper. In February, Lopez took a top newsroom job at Gannett's Desert Sun in Palm Springs. Earlier in his career he worked at newspapers in Colorado including the Denver Post. (Photo credit: Gannett.com)

SacBee's new editor from sister paper

Melanie Sill, center, executive editor of the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., today was named editor and senior vice president of the Sacramento Bee. Sill, 48, replaces Rick Rodriguez, who resigned Oct. 18 amid a disagreement with Publisher Janis Heaphy over the paper's long-term direction. Like the Bee, the North Carolina paper is part of the McClatchy chain. Sill has spent her entire 25-year career at the N&O and was the editor in charge of overseeing "Boss Hog," an investigative series on North Carolina's pork production industry that won the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for public service. (The SacBee online story includes video of the announcement. Photo credit: Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee)

Discord over Chauncey Bailey Project

The Chauncey Bailey Project was supposed to be a unified effort by Bay Area journalists to investigate the murder of Bailey, the editor of a black newspaper who was gunned down on an Oakland street Aug. 2 allegedly by the handman for Your Black Muslim Bakery. But, as Will Harper of the SF Weekly reports, the region's biggest newspaper, the Chronicle, has decided it won't participate in the project, and two newspapers, the SF Weekly and East Bay Express, weren't invited to join the effort before it was announced.

The Chron's reason for not joining the effort was that it was already working on its own investigation before the project was announced. "Competition is good for getting to the truth," Stephen Proctor, the Chron's deputy managing editor for news, tells Harper. Ironically, the project is headed by Robert "Rosey" Rosenthal, who resigned earlier this year as the Chron's No. 2 editor without giving two week's notice.

The East Bay Express wasn't invited to participate even though it had reported on the dealings of the Bakery's founder, the late Yusuf Bey, five years ago. The reporter of those stories, Chris Thompson, had to go into hiding for a while after receiving death threats.

Express editor Stephen Buel said that one of the news outlets in the Bailey Project had a beef with his paper, but the Project's Sandy Close insisted that not inviting EBX was an oversight.

Harper notes that the Bailey Project was modeled after the Arizona Project, in which journalists from across the country descended upon Phoenix in 1976 after Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles was killed by a car bomb while investigating the Mafia. Harper notes that the Arizona Project wound up being fraught with professional discord, too, and the Republic refused to print its stories citing libel concerns.

KPIX CBS 5 hires morning weather anchor

KPIX CBS 5 has hired Tracy Humphrey, currently the weekend weather anchor at Fox's WNYW-TV in New York, for its morning and noon newscasts starting in December.

Humphrey fills the slot that was vacated in July when CBS 5 moved Roberta Gonzales from mornings to evenings. Samantha Mohr, who had been doing the weather at 5, 6 and 11 p.m., was offered the morning shift but quit instead. Mohr joined The Weather Channel in September.

Humphrey, 37, has been at WNYW for four years (here's a link to some video a fan posted). Prior to that, she reported weather for WPHL in Philadelphia; WKBW in Buffalo; WTVH in Syracuse and WJCL in Savannah. She earned a bachelor of science degree at the University of Alabama and holds a master's degree in journalism from Syracuse University. She is a member of the American Meteorological Society, National Association of Black Journalists and Big Brothers and Sisters of New York City.

Guardian's suit against Weekly clears hurdle

A judge has ruled that the Bay Guardian's predatory pricing lawsuit against SF Weekly and its parent company can go to trial. The Guardian, headed by Bruce Brugmann (pictured), claims in the suit that the Weekly was selling ads at below cost in order to run his paper out of business. San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard A. Kramer on Thursday rejected three motions from the Weekly to have the case thrown out of court. One of them claimed the Guardian's suit was a threat to the First Amendment rights of the Weekly, because if the paper was forced to quit selling discounted ads it might have to cut editorial space and staff. The Guardian's lawyer said in court that the SF Weekly has lost money every year since 1995, and those losses have only increased over time, to as much as $2 million a year. The trial is set to start the day after New Year's.

Both papers covered Thursday's hearing and put different spins on the judge's decision:

NYT: Valley sees Murdoch as a folk hero

David Carr of the NY Times reports that Rupert Murdoch was roundly praised by Silicon Valley luminaries at an event for Web 2.0 Sumitt attendees held at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The crowd greeted him as if he was Lindsay Lohan, Carr writes.

“This is not just another rich guy — there are a lot of those around here,” said John Battelle, a founder of Wired magazine and The Industry Standard. “He built News Corp. from not much, with his own two hands, and this is a room full of entrepreneurs. The other thing this room respects is intelligence, and they can tell he is smart, really smart, not just from what he says, but what he has done with MySpace.”

MySpace, one of Murdoch's investments, sponsored the event. Carr went on to write:
    The same characteristics that make Mr. Murdoch a nonmember of the club in the East — a lack of correctness and, occasionally, business civility — make him something of a folk hero in the context of the new economy, which is peopled by insurgents who see him as a fellow pirate, even though he already captains a giant ship.
At the party, somebody asked Murdoch if he would like to use his newly acquired Wall Street Journal to "kill" the NY Times. Murdoch reportedly responded: "That would be nice." (Photo credit: AP, Mark J. Terrill, file)

A more positive review of Krasny's book

Two commentators on the radio industry in the Bay Area have entirely different takes on Michael Krasny's new book "Off Mike: A Memoir of Talk Radio and Literary Life."

While Ben Fong-Torres (writing for the Chronicle) complained that the KQED-FM host wrote about himself too much, Brad Kava (writing in the Merc) says that's OK because Krasny, 62, "doles out some of his toughest shots at himself, as he grew from a Cleveland hoodlum to the holder of a doctorate in English teaching at San Francisco State University."

Kava (whose blog can be found at www.kavasradiosoup.com) noted these points in his review:
    • When Krasny worked in commercial radio, he was told to limit his vocabulary and to keep his show dumbed down so listeners would not feel stupid.

    • When Krasny was at Marin's KTIM-FM, he hosted a show called "Beyond the Hot Tub."

    • Krasney said he was fired by one station because he had "too many old broads on" following interviews with Jessica Mitford and Doris Lessing.

    • "Krasny never feels that he has achieved his own dream of writing great literature, although, like James Lipton, he's become identified with the oeuvre of doing serious, unfailingly well-prepared interviews, a respected art of its own."
Kava's biggest problem with the book is that Krasny doesn't always name names, though sometimes it's obvious who he is talking about -- like when Krasny was heckled at a high school graduation speech by Michael Savage. Kava says Krasny must have been writing about Savage when he said:
    "I would later on feel involuntary twinges of envy for this despicable man, a toxic, incendiary gasbag with a growing, undeniable appeal — who would go on to build a major national career out of a frappe of jumbled extremist views and the sort of kook and shock-jock excess that I had come to speak publicly about as giving talk radio a bad name."
Krasny's book is available from Amazon.com. (Photo credit: San Francisco State University Dept. of Publications)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Press Club seeks candidates for board

The Press Club is encouraging its members to run for a seat on the club's Board of Directors. Now is the time to sign up. In November, a ballot will be sent to members. The deadline to return ballots is Dec. 5, the night of the Club's Christmas Party.

The board meets once a month. Its major projects include the Greater Bay Area Journalism Contest, high school awards, high school boot camp and the granting of scholarships. The board maintains this Web site. Board members are often called upon to judge entries in journalism contests in other parts of the country.

The board's five directors serve two-year terms. Its officers (president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer) serve one-year terms. Here is a list of the club's current officers and by-laws.

Adobe co-founder to discuss media's future

John E. Warnock, a co-founder and current co-chairman of Adobe Systems, on Thursday in Palo Alto will discuss the media business and why it is so difficult for established companies to reinvent themselves. He is scheduled to talk at 4 p.m. at PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center, 3333 Coyote Hill Road. Here's a link for details.

Class provides copy editing essentials

The Media Bistro site has an announcement for a three-hour, $65 seminar on Nov. 5 for those who want to become copy editors. The seminar, which takes place in San Francisco, will be led by Tam Putnam, a freelance copy editor at Sunset and former editor at Gourmet. Here's a link.

MediaBistro also offers a number of other journalism classes, many of which are online.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

October 2007 Press Club board minutes

SFPPC minutes of Oct. 23, 2007 SF Peninsula Press Club meeting

Micki Carter called the meeting to order at 6:29 p.m. Present were Diana Diamond, Dave Price and Darryl Compton. Absent were Ed Remitz, Jon Mays, Jennifer Aquino, Peter Cleveland, Jack Russell and Aimee Lewis Strain. Arriving within a few minutes to take the gavel was Jamie Casini. After a discussion, the board decided not to take any financial actions due to the lack of a quorum.

Treasurer's Report: Darryl submitted a ledger which showed income year-to-date of $22,888.23, expenses of $14,524.48 and assets of $39,634.13. Darryl said he plans to move $28,846.97 in the checking account to another bank where it would draw more interest.

Old Business

High School Boot Camp: Micki said the written feedback she got from participants was positive, but they complained they couldn't hear the speakers at all times. Next time she would like the break out sessions to be held in classrooms at CSM rather than the all-purpose room used this time around.

Diana suggested that break-out sessions didn't have to last 50 minutes, and there didn't always need to be four. Sometimes three was good.

Micki said we don't need to go to 5:30 p.m. -- Ending at 4:30 would be OK. Everyone thought holding it on a Friday afternoon was a good idea.

Micki said the feedback was that everyone wanted the club to do this again next year. Especially appreciated was the critiques of the individual papers and the one-on-one time students got with the professional journalists. Micki suggested that next year we get the papers a few days in advance of the boot camp so we can do a better job with the critiques.

Students and advisers also said they would like more time to talk to each other.

Paul Sakuma was hailed for getting a large turnout of professional journalists to lead seminars.

Darryl said the official sign up list showed there were 98 students at the event, but he felt there had to be more than that. Also, the event drew 10 advisers and 24 school staffers. Twelve high schools were represented.

Board members felt these numbers exceeded their expectations.

New Business

Meetings: Board members talked about the difficulties of getting to the meeting and Darryl said it would be possible to conduct November's meeting by telephone. He had an account that would make such a meeting possible. The meeting will take place on Nov. 14 at 6:15 p.m.

Contest: The board decided to discuss changes to the contest at the November meeting, with proposals to be circulated in advance via e-mail.

Officers: There was talk of submitting a bylaws change to the membership to reduce the threshold for a quorum. Currently six members are required for a quorum. A past-president (Micki) doesn't count. Nor does the executive director (Darryl).

Also, a slate of board candidates will be finalized at the November meeting. Dave will post an item on the Web site seeking director candidates.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:26 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Vice President Dave Price.

Minutes from previous meeting in August

Friday, October 26, 2007

KR was warned early to embrace the Web

In 1990, four years before the Internet browser was invented, then-Mercury News Executive Editor Robert D. Ingle (pictured) wrote a memo to his bosses proposing an online service aimed at "extending the life and preserving the franchise of the newspaper." That memo is the starting point for a BusinessWeek story about how newspaper executives ignore the potential of the Internet. The article says:
    "If Ingle's proposal had been enthusiastically embraced by Knight Ridder's 28 dailies, perhaps the fate of the chain might have been different. ...

    "Today, with advertising weak and readers flocking to the Web, the Mercury News is trying desperately to reinvent itself. Executive editor Carole Leigh Hutton has vowed to "blow up the newspaper" to make it relevant to today's plugged-in readers. The overhaul is coming early next year.

    "But the shivers rippling through the Mercury News also serve as a dramatic example of what happens when industry leaders get complacent in the face of fundamental shifts."
(Photo credit: Newspaper Association of America, 1997)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

DOJ allows Hearst to buy 31% of MediaNews

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a statement this afternoon saying it had concluded its antitrust investigation of Hearst Corp.'s $317 million purchase of 31 percent of MediaNews Group's holdings outside the Bay Area, and that the two companies will "continue to be subject to scrutiny." The statement indicated the government will not block the deal, which closed last Friday. The statement said in part:
    "Hearst's investment in MNG — its principal newspaper rival in the Bay Area — raised potential competitive concerns warranting investigation despite the parties' assertions that they had structured Hearst's proposed investment to give Hearst no equity interest in or influence over MNG's Bay Area businesses. The [DOJ Antitrust] Division's investigation focused on whether the proposed investment would give one party an incentive to compete less vigorously in the Bay Area or would provide sources of influence by Hearst or MNG over the other's Bay Area activities. During the investigation, the parties modified the proposed transaction in an effort to mitigate antitrust concerns raised by the Department.

    "Because Hearst's minority investment in MNG will not bring the companies under common ownership or control, interactions among them — including any changes in Hearst's investment and related arrangements that affect competition among the companies' Bay Area newspapers — will continue to be subject to scrutiny under Section 1 of the Sherman Act as well as the other antitrust laws."

Hearst invested in MediaNews as part of a complex deal that helped finance the MediaNews purchase of the Contra Costa Times, Monterey County Herald and San Jose Mercury News last year. Both publishers are privately held.

Hearst, MediaNews do another deal

While they may be competitors in the Bay Area, Hearst and MediaNews have announced they're expanding a joint venture they have in Connecticut to include two more newspapers that Hearst has purchased and MediaNews will operate. But an independently owned paper in Norwalk, Conn., called The Hour, has convinced Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to launch an investigation into the deal to see if it violates antitrust laws. Hearst announced it is buying The Advocate, in Stamford, and Greenwich Time, for $62.4 million. The sale comes five months after Tribune was forced to scrap a planned sale to Gannett because of union issues, Long Island's Newsday reports. On Friday, Hearst purchased a 31 percent interest in MediaNews Group's assets outside the Bay Area in a deal valued at $317 million. The two companies have told California and fedeal antitrust regulators that they will continue to compete in the Bay Area.

SF columnist "Mr. Nice Guy" dead at 100

The Chron reports this morning that Jack Rosenbaum, who produced more than 10,000 columns and worked for virtually every San Francisco newspaper in a career spanning 70 years, died Sunday at the age of 100. His obit included this:
    In a 1991 column, The Chronicle's Herb Caen wrote that when Mr. Rosenbaum was writing for the old San Francisco News in the 1940s and 1950s, the paper promoted his column with newspaper rack cards saying "Just a Nice Guy."

    "Can you think about a worse thing to say about a columnist?" Caen fumed. "I phoned him and suggested getting rid of those cards instanter but he is such a nice guy he didn't know what I meant."
A private service was held Wednesday for Rosenbaum. His brother Art, a longtime Chronicle sports writer, died in December 2003. (Photo credit: Gary Fong, Chronicle, 1976)

Hearst considers offers for Chron building

Hearst Corp. is talking to developers about selling the Chronicle building at Fifth and Mission streets to take advantage of the area's surging real estate values. The Chron quotes Stephen Hearst, vp and gm of Hearst's West Coast land management unit, as saying the company is committed to keeping the Chron in San Francisco. But he provided no details about a potential new location. He expects to receive proposals from developers by mid- to late-November. Hearst said he is "reasonably confident" a sale will take place. A story today gives details about what Hearst plans to sell. Chron management has been talking about selling the building for a couple of years. In December 2005, Pubisher Frank Vega said a developer was interested in buying the Fifth and Mission site, but he said at the time it wasn't for sale. (Photo credit: Deanne Fitzmaurice, Chronicle, file)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Is MediaNews just 'harvesting the assets'?

John McIntyre, the Baltimore Sun's assistant managing editor for the copy desk, says the suggestion by MediaNews President Jody Lodovic that some newspapers don't need copy editors "makes sense if the goal is what Philip Meyer describes in 'The Vanishing Newspaper' as 'harvesting the assets.' In brief, one reason for the decline of newspaper circulation is that older readers are dying without being replaced by younger ones. Since no growth is foreseen, cheapen the product to wring out the profits. The dwindling number of readers still on this side of the ground will continue to read; they have the habit, and there is no substitute. Eventually the business will collapse, but only after the current owners have taken the money and gone elsewhere. In such an environment, copy editors are a frill easily to be dispensed with."

CSM's paper, Web site win top honors

College of San Mateo's student-run newspaper, The San Matean, and its Web site have won top honors from the Northern California section of the Journalism Association of Community Colleges. The awards were announced at the end of a day-long conference in San Jose on Saturday. (Read the San Matean's release.)

The editor in charge of the publications was Alexis Terrazas, now 20 and a journalism major who has received a several awards and scholarships.

"Our performance last semester and the awards we received couldn't be possible without the entire staff we had," said Terrazas, who is Online Editor for The San Matean this fall and will transfer to a four-year college journalism program next spring. Terrazas was awarded the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's Herb Caen Scholarship in 2006, then was chosen for a $1,000 scholarship from the California Chicano News Media Association. He was selected for a $1,500 internship program last summer from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Danny Castro served as managing editor last spring and is The San Matean's print editor this semester. "I'm really proud of the staff," he said. "We did a lot of work, learned on the job and it paid off."

CSM Journalism students also won several awards in individual categories. Terrazas won an Honorable Mention for profile articles. Staff writer Chris Godowski also earned an Honorable Mention for sports writing. Castro collected third place honors for Opinion writing in a contest held at the conference under deadline pressure.

"These students and their commitment to work while providing a service and taking responsibility for their errors demonstrate the best in young people," said Ed Remitz, CSM Journalism adviser and Press Club board member. "It is wonderful to watch them improve over time and have others honor them for their efforts."

Chronicle's sister paper to cut 5% of staff

Hearst Corp., which ordered layoffs at the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year, announced Tuesday it is cutting 5 pecent of its work force at the Houston Chronicle through layoffs and the elimination of open positions as it restructures the operations of the newspaper. The Houston Chronicle says about 70 employees will be affected by the changes.

Fox's Centanni to speak to broadcasters

Fox News Channel reporter and former Bay Area journalist Steve Centanni, who was held hostage for two weeks by Palestiniian gunmen, is scheduled to address the Northern California Radio Television News Directors Association on Nov. 3 in San Francisco. His keynote speech is part of a day-long conference for professionals and students followed by an awards dinner.

Alt-weekly editor defends rival's owners

The Bay Guardian and the SF Weekly are usually at each other's throats. So it's interesting to note the comments of Guardian Executive Editor Tim Redmond about the arrest of Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, owners of the SF Weekly's parent company. Lacey and Larkin were arrested Thursday in connection with a series of stories in their Phoenix paper on the local sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Outrage over the arrests was fast and furious — charges were dropped 24 hours later and now the prosecutors who hounded Lacey and Larkin are being investigated for abusing their power. Meanwhile, Redmond, who is chair of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies First Amendment Committee, is quoted by the Village Voice as saying, "Our association and its members won't tolerate this sort of attack on the right of a member paper to publish information that is and ought to be public record." What apparently upset the sheriff was the Phoenix paper's decision to print his home address as part of a story questioning the $1 million in assets he has accumulated on a public servant's salary. In solidarity with the Phoenix paper, Redmond's Guardian and 40 other members of the alt-weekly association have agreed to post links to the story giving the sheriff's home address.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

MediaNews stake costs Hearst $317 million

The relationship between the Bay Area's biggest newspaper companies, Hearst Corp. and MediaNews Group, has become a little more cozy. Hearst has paid $317 million for a 31 percent stake in MediaNews Group's newspaper holdings outside of the Bay Area, MediaNews said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission posted on Monday.

The transaction had been announced last year, but the deal closed on Friday and previously undisclosed details were reported in Monday's SEC filing.

As part of the deal, MediaNews will give back $290 million to Hearst in return for three newspapers it owns, The Monterey County Herald, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press and the Torrance Daily Breeze. MediaNews has been operating the papers for Hearst since last year. As a result, the actual amount of cash Hearst paid MediaNews was only $27 million in cash, the filing said.

The transaction appears to be the final action in a deal that began last year when Knight Ridder sold its assets to McClatchy Co. McClatchy spun off KR's Bay Area newspapers, including the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, to MediaNews, which already owned several Bay Area papers including the Oakland Tribune and San Mateo County Times. McClatchy sold the Pioneer Press and Monterey paper to Hearst with the understanding that MediaNews would operate those papers and eventually buy them from Hearst. In return, Hearst would get a piece of MediaNews Group's holdings outside the Bay Area.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lopez: KR was eying centralized copy desks

Former Contra Costa Times Executive Editor Chris Lopez (pictured) says that paper's former owner, Knight Ridder, was considering creating super regional copy editing centers that would have centralized the copy editing functions of its 32 newspapers. In 2006, Knight Ridder sold off its newspapers and went out of business. Lopez moved on to a top newsroom job at Gannett's Desert Sun in Palm Springs.

In a letter to Jim Romenesko's blog, Lopez says:
    "Since KR's demise, other companies have and are studying the concept. In fact, MediaNews is already proving that each individual newsroom doesn't need a copy desk. Its East Bay operations are set up around the notion that copy editing functions can be to an extent centralized within a cluster of newspapers. Multi-media companies like MediaNews will continue find cost efficiencies as they centralize the production of both print products and online operations."
Lopez's comments were in response to Jody Lodovic, president of MediaNews Group, the current owner of the Contra Costa Times. Lodovic told Bloomberg News that his company is saving money by creating centralized copy desks and he questioned why every individual paper needs a copy desk. Critics, including former MediaNews San Mateo County Times editor John Bowman, have said that a centralized copy desk has led to embarrassing errors. (Photo credit: Gannett.com)

Taxpayers pick up foreign wine writers' tabs

The U.S. Department of Agriculture gave $4.5 million this year to the San Francisco-based Wine Institute to bring foreign journalists to Northern California to write about wine, the McClatchy Newspapers report.

McClatchy's Michael Doyle reports that the cost of bringing a Japanese reporter, photographer, press agent and coordinator to California cost $40,000 including airfare, accommodations, meals, rental cars and fees. "Taxpayers and the wine industry pick up the tab," Doyle wrote. "The resulting stories are billed as marketing gold. An eight-page article in the October 2004 issue of GQ Japan, for instance, was considered the equivalent of a $160,000 ad."

The tours are part of the Market Access Program, which the House of Representatives wants to increase to $225 million a year from the current $200 million.

'The most newsy blog in the Bay Area'

Bay Guardian Publisher Bruce Brugmann recalled in his blog the early days of the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. "The reporters and editors from the Peninsula papers would meet now and then in a hotel bar off the Bayshore Freeway for drinks. It was a convivial affair, even though we competed and there was real daily competition ..."

"The club is, I am happy to report, still going strong under the stewardship of Darryl Compton and a batch of fugitives and expats from Singleton and Knight-Ridder journalism. They produce a vigorous annual newspaper contest, some zesty parties, the most newsy blog in the Bay Area, and the feel that there is still some real watchdog journalism on the Peninsula," Brugmann wrote.

Some blogs are making money, adding staff

Brian and Lisa Sugar, shown with daughter Katie, began celebrity gossip blog Pop Sugar in 2005 as a hobby. As they watched traffic rise and ran the numbers, they decided to organize as a business. As the Chronicle's Sam Zuckerman reported today, the couple's one blog has become 11 aimed at college-educated young women, covering everything from fashion to health. They now have a staff of 56, including about 40 in editorial, and about 5 million people visit Sugar blogs every month, a number that is growing more than 10 percent a month.

Zuckerman looked at several local blogs that are making money.
    "From the blogosphere's anarchistic roots, a professional cadre is emerging that is creating an industry whose top-performing businesses now earn serious money. The industry is expanding at warp speed. Blog-based media could just be poised to elbow aside traditional print and broadcast outlets to become one of the dominant sources of news, information and opinion, many observers believe."
Blogs and bloggers mentioned included:
    • TechCrunch founded by Michael Arrington. It has a staff of eight and brings in $240,000 a month in advertising.

    • Gawker Media, headed by Nick Denton, who throws cold water on the idea that blogs have become big business. Gawker's properties include Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag.

    • Om Malik's technology news blog GigaOm.

    • Matt Marshall's VentureBeat.

    • BlogHer is in Redwood City and has 13 employees.

    • Daily Kos, the liberal political site founded by Markos Moulitsas of Berkeley.

    • Boing Boing, with an office in Sausalito, a sort of techno-futurist meditation that describes itself as a "directory of wonderful things."
(Photo credit: Laura Morton, special to the Chronicle)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Union lampoons MediaNews in music video

MediaNews Group, the Bay Area's largest newspaper owner, is being lampooned in a music video posted on YouTube that was created by Guild members who have been working without a contract at the company's paper in York, Pennsylvania. E&P has details of the York Daily Record dispute. Marshall Anstandig, MediaNews' top labor negotiator, told E&P: "I would probably suggest they spend more time negotiating a contract than singing songs ... It is childish and immature." As of 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, the video had been viewed 336 times. The photo above is a screen grab from the video showing a tent the union put up at a county fair to gather signatures on petitions.

Chronicle finds another way to display ads

Chronicle readers discovered on page A6 this morning a new layout style where an ad sits in the middle of the page, with news above and below it. Above the ad was a jump and below it was a story and a photo.

The Chron, which has lost more than$330 million since Hearst bought it in 2000, has been displaying ads in new ways in the past several months. On Feb. 19, it began putting ads on the front of the "Bay Area" news section. On April 18 the first front page ad appeared. And on Monday the Chron wrapped half of its front page with an ad for a bank that displayed a giant foam finger. The ad displayed on page 6 today was for the Chronicle's Season of Sharing campaign.

Luncheon to honor six broadcasters

Mark Ibañez, KTVU; Jim Joy, KRON (retired); Gary Sprinkle, KITV Honolulu; Carolyn Tyler, KGO; gayle yamada, Bridge Media, and Linda Yee, KPIX (KRON) will be the guests of honor at the regional Emmys Gold and Silver Circle 2007 Induction Luncheon next Saturday, Oct. 27, at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Fisherman's Wharf. The mistress of ceremonies will be Barbara Rodgers of KPIX. Monday is the deadline to reserve seats. Click here for details.

SF Weekly's owners arrested, cleared

The SF Weekly is owned by a chain based in Phoenix, Ariz., whose owners -- Michael Lacey (right) and Jim Larkin -- publish a newspaper there that has been investigating and reporting on the local sheriff, Joe Arpaio. They even went so far as to print Arpaio's home address in connection with a story about how the sheriff was able to accumulate so many assets given his salary.

On Thursday, Lacey and Larkin were arrested and officials demanded all sorts of information from the files their alt-weekly in Phoenix including a list of everyone who had visited the paper's Web site in recent years.

The backlash from liberals and conservatives was quick and fierce. On Friday all charges were dropped, the prosecutor admitted making serious mistakes and the State Bar Association began an investigation into the prosecutors who went after newspaper. Coverage: Arizona Republic, E&P, AP, NY Times. Here's the original story Lacey and Larkin wrote.
    Here's the caption that the Phoenix New Times put under the photo above: "The initial grand jury subpoena named New Times Media LLC.; that's us, Michael Lacey (right) and Jim Larkin. We founded Phoenix New Times in 1970 in reaction to the war in Vietnam; our newspaper company has since expanded across America. The two of us live here, our kids go to school here, and we begin every day confronting the issues of journalism here. In nearly 40 years of work, this is our first joint byline. (You see, grand juries have their positive side.) The most outrageous part of the over-the-top New Times subpoena is this section demanding the identities of our Web site readers, plus their Internet viewing habits. See full text of the subpoena here.
(Photo credit: Phoenix New Times, Giulio Sciorio)

Friday, October 19, 2007

'Why does every paper need copy editors?'

MediaNews Group, owner of most of the Bay Area's daily newspapers, says centralizing copy editing at one location for an entire region is an example of how the company is able to cut costs and become more profitable. "Why does every newspaper need copy editors? In this day and age, I think copy-editing can be done centrally for several newspapers," company President Jody Lodovic tells Bloomberg News. But the company's centralized copy desk in the Bay Area, located in Pleasanton, has been accused of making embarrassing errors because editors weren't familiar with the towns where they publish newspapers.

The Bloomberg story reports on the eight-page memo chief executive Dean Singleton (posted here yesterday) sent employees in which he calls for increasing the company's percentage of Internet sales from the current 7 percent of total revenues to 20 percent by 2012. In an interview with Bloomberg, Lodovic said that to achieve that, Media News will create Web sites separate from its 57 daily newspapers to attract younger readers.

Sacramento Bee editor resigns after dispute

Rick Rodriguez (pictured) resigned Thursday after nine years as executive editor of the Sacramento Bee amid a mysterious dispute over the paper's long-term direction. Rodriguez and Publisher Janis Heaphy wouldn't elaborate on the dispute, though she denied it involved financial issues. "Those differences are not about resources, they're not about staffing, they're not about expenses," she said, according to a report in the SacBee. To add more intrigue to the situation, Rodriguez said he plans to take the next couple of months off and then return to McClatchy as a consultant to the company's vice president for news, Howard Weaver. Rodriguez, 53, is a Stanford graduate who has been at the Bee since 1982. Heaphy said his successor will not be a Bee employee but will come from the ranks of the newspaper's owner, McClatchy. (Photo credit: Hector Amezcua, Sacramento Bee)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Singleton memo on business, Putin meeting

Dean Singleton, chief executive of the Bay Area's biggest newspaper group, MediaNews, has sent his employees an eight-page status report on the newspaper industry and changes at his chain of papers. It also recounts an exchange he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Here are some quotes from the memo, which was also signed by company President Jody Lodovic, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Steve Rossi:
    • "This year, we'll generate 89% of total revenue from our core, 7% from online and 4% from niche products. In operating cash flow, we currently generate 73% from core, 22% from online and 5% from niche products. In five years or 2012, we expect 68% of revenue to come from core, 20% from online and 12% from niche."

    • "We have also been very creative about how content is produced, with an emphasis on maintaining quality and localness while sharing resources among newspapers and on making these changes transparent to the reader."

    • "In the San Francisco Bay area, we have consolidated reporting and editing functions to eliminate costly duplication, just as we've merged production, administration, accounting and circulation of our newspapers. And in Los Angeles, we're merging functions of our 9 dailies in areas of news, production, accounting, advertising, circulation and administration."

    • "Dean visited Russia in 2002 and 2003, participating in a media dialogue created by President Bush and President Putin. Joined by our Russian media counterparts, the mission was to redefine a path for putting a free press on a sound economic footing in a new Russian democracy. When President Putin looked across the table and said, 'Mr. Singleton, I agree with you ... democracy cannot succeed without a free press,' Dean knew the point had been made. (Putin has since back-tracked, but let's not spoil the story.) As Dean sat across from the Russian and American presidents, chills ran down his spine, and he realized more than ever the importance of an economically viable free press. The Russians, you see, were seeking what we have all taken for granted."
The parenthesis are theirs.

The Merc — one year after Singleton

Retired Mercury News ad executive Lou Alexander (pictured) writes about the changes at his old paper in the year since Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group took over, such as the elimination of the Sunday Perspective section, the reduction in pages and questionable story choices for the front page. Just as interesting as his comments are those he's heard from other former Merc employees. Such as:
    • "Some fine work has been done on local issues, but not nearly enough to make the paper a must-read for people locally. Unless the Mercury News can do this — that is, make itself so vital to local and regional residents that they feel that have to subscribe to it — it will continue in its death spiral."

    • "Bringing 1B news onto the 1A spot has good and bad days. Today (9/21/07), for instance, the biggest story, the lead story, is the reopening of Original Joe’s Restaurant???? This is the best that can be done in the heart of Silicon Valley?"

    • "I don’t like the new Biz section. It’s too rah-rah looking for my taste."

    • "Particularly nettlesome are the quality control problems. I see so many mistakes in the articles that I think surely no one is proofreading them anymore. Also, I see more problems such as a note that a story is continued on page 2B, for example, when in actuality it continues on page 4B. (Sometimes, the rest of the story is nowhere to be found!)"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Paper's press causes day-long traffic snarl

A big rig carrying tons of steel machinery from the Santa Cruz Sentinel's former printing press crashed on Highway 17 just north of the Summit about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, closing all four lanes of the highway and backing up traffic well into the afternoon, the Sentinel reported.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Morgan Hill paper gets calls about porn king

In Morgan Hill, a town of about 33,000 some 30 minutes south of San Jose, the local paper has been getting a lot of calls lately from people in the adult film industry after it broke the story on the death of porn king, Inkyo Volt Hwang, better known as Wanker Wang. On Sept. 29, Hwang's body was found in a room at the Economy Inn on Monterey Road after the manager was unable to get a response from him. The initial story in the Morgan Hill Times on Oct. 2 didn't identify Hwang. But when the follow up story appeared a week later, which linked Hwang, 38, to the death of his girlfriend in King City, "the adult entertainment industry woke up, [and] speculation [began] flying fast and furious around the community," Times reporter Marily Dubil wrote.
    "The Times received many calls from porn directors, producers and industry talent in the days following the second story, including a call from the 'Hollywood Insider' to verify the lurid details."
Here's the Times' story that's got the XXX industry buzzing. It's quite a departure from the normal fare served up by community weeklies, such as school board meeting reports, police blotter, Rotary Club annuncements and the like.

Bay Area PR man gives university millions

Lorry I. Lokey (pictured), the veteran Bay Area journalist and public relations executive who sold his Business Wire to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway in 2005, has given the University of Oregon $74.5 million to benefit science teaching and research, the Portland Business Journal reports. The gift is the largest single academic donation in the school's history. The gift brings Lokey's total giving to the University of Oregon to $132 million over just the past four years. Lokey grew up in Portland and is a 1949 graduate of Stanford University, where he earned a journalism degree in 1949.

Valleywag stretches Eastward

Carolyn McCarthy of CNET News reports that Silicon Valley tattletale site Valleywag has added a New York staffer, Nicholas Carlson. McCarthy speculates this will result in more scrutiny of the online ad industry.

Hearst drops bid for TV, may try again

Hearst Corp., the privately held company that owns the Chronicle and a variety of other publications, has dropped its bid for the 48 percent of Hearst-Argyle Television that it does not already own. Hearst offered $23.50 a share and shareholders want more.

Reed Business Information publications quoted Barry Lucas of the asset management firm Gabelli & Co. as saying "the initial bid was was not fair value as we see it," and he predicted Hearst-Argyle deserved "another kiss." Hearst, seeing what the market will bear, can make a new offer whenever it wants.

Jonathan Hemingway of Broadcasting & Cable rerports that Hearst and Belo are going separate ways. While Hearst wants to buy up its television assets, possibly to support its print side, Belo Corp. (owner of the Dallas Morning News) is separating its broadcast and newspaper assets.

Hearst-Argyle bought KCRA Channel 3, the NBC affiliate in Sacramento, from Kelly Broadcasting for $530 million in 1998. KCRA's copter is shown above. Hearst-Argyle also owns KQCA Channel 58 in Stockton, the MyNetworkTV affiliate that serves the Sacramento market. [Reuters report]

Finger covers Chron, Examiner front pages

On the front page of yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner newspapers was a giant blue finger. One of those giant foam fingers people hold up at football games. It was a giant ad for Wachovia Bank, which is rated No. 1 by customers in some survey. The wrap covered half of the Chronicle's front page including half of its flag. In the case of the tabloid Examiner, Wahovia was the entire front page, as well as page 2, the second to the last page and the back page. The Examiner, which depends on readers picking it up from racks more than the Chronicle, had only the ad on the page facing the public, no news headlines. The news started on the third page. For the record, the Chronicle's first front page ad appeared April 18.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Sam Donaldson advises SJSU students

Sam Donaldson, 73, told a San Jose State University audience that if you want to succeed, you've got to work harder than everybody else. The longtime ABC News White House correspondent also told aspiring broadcast journalists that if they got a job offer from CNN tomorrow, they should turn it down and instead work in a smaller market where mistakes won't damage their careers as much as if they were to make them in the big leagues. According to the student-run Daily Spartan, here are some other quotes from Donaldson:
    • "This president viscerally, viscerally doesn't like the press ... He really doesn't feel he needs to answer questions."

    • "I think no matter who's elected they will withdraw from Iraq ... It's easy to get into war. As you see today, it's hard to get out of war. It's going to end either badly or horribly."

    • "Anytime you don't question power, you're not doing your job. If you ask a question and you get anything but a direct answer, you know there's a problem."
(Photo credit: James Jeffrey, special to The Spartan Daily)

Former Press Democrat society editor dies

Roby Gemmell, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's society editor from 1950 to 1975, died Saturday of pneumonia at age 92. In an obit running Tuesday, longtime PD reporter and columnist Gaye LeBaron called Gemmell "the quintessential society editor ... She was hired to get people's names in the paper and, boy, Roby did it." Former PD Editor Art Volkerts said Gemmell and the pages she created are missed. "They took care of the anniversaries, the weddings, engagements -- and I think a lot of that in today's news mix is missing," Volkerts said. "I think we are missing a good part of the community life by totally ignoring those sort of things."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bay Area Hispanic radio pioneer dead at 53

Susan Ali Shepherd, 53, who helped start the Bay Area's largest Spanish-language radio station, was killed when an elderly motorist struck her as she crossed the street in San Francisco. Shepherd helped found KSOL-FM, which she served as general manager for several years and built it into a success before it was sold to Univision Radio. She left KSOL in 2004 and formed the Latino Group, an advertising partnership, in Corte Madera. Shepherd was struck by a car at Pine and Fillmore streets, near Japantown in San Francisco on Friday night as she crossed the street with her husband and some friends. The identity of the 90-year-old motorist has not been released by police. [Chron version] [AP]

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Christine Craft exits liberal talk station

The Sacramento Bee reports that Christine Craft has parted ways with the liberal AM talk station KSAC-AM 1240 after being unable to reach a new contract with station owner Paula Nelson. Craft, an attorney, fills in for other hosts on KGO-AM 810 and was the anchor who sued a Kansas City, Mo., television station in the 1970s for demoting her because a consultant said she was "too old, too unattractive and wouldn't defer to men." Craft was quoted as saying, "... I have nothing bad to say about Paula. I'm glad she gave me the opportunity."

CBS buys SF-based celebrity Web site

This story seems like something out of the giddy dot-com days of the late 1990s. CBS is paying a rumored $10 million for a 10-month-old San Francisco start-up, Dotspotter.com, which serves up celebrity gossip. It's a competitor to category leader TMZ.com, a unit of Time Warner.

While TMZ focuses on celebrity run-ins with cops and courts in Hollywood's Thirty Mile Zone (hence TMZ), Dotspotter emphasizes social networking functions that allow users to chat, vote on video, and share recent sightings of Britney Spears, Brad Pitt and the like. TMZ draws 3.6 million users a month compared to 280,000 for Dotspotter.

Those dot-com start-up stories in the 90s always had a founder who made it big, and this one does too. It's Anthony Soohoo (pictured), who used to be a Yahoo vice president in charge of HotJobs. The real prize? Dotspotter, located at 722A Liggett Ave. in SF, has a team of developers that CBS has long wanted for its Web properties.

The story was first reported by Valleywag and PaidContent.org confirmed it through sources. (Photo credit: MovieMaker.com)

Merc tech reporter blasts Oakland mayor

San Jose Mercury News technology reporter Elise Ackerman, a resident of Oakland, has written an letter to Mayor Ron Dellums that urges him to step down over the city's rising crime rate, the East Bay Express reports. She has also purchased the domain name RecallMayorDellums.com but has yet to post anything at that address.

The letter — which she sent to EBX editor Stephen Buel and Chronicle columnists Phil Matier, Andrew Ross and Chip Johnson — calls Dellums a liar and "a disgrace," and complains about the police department being woefully understaffed and lacking basic equipment, according to EBX. The letter says in part:
    "African Americans and Latinos live in fear in Oakland because of your lies. Middle-class residents working two jobs live in fear because of your lies. Nurses, teachers and social workers live in fear because of your lies ... You are not effective, you are not honest, you have no integrity and you should step aside."
Her tirade has raised questions about how far repoters can go in expressing their views about political matters during their off hours. Some newspapers like the New York Times expressly forbid it while others are less restrictive or don't have policies at all. EBX points out that Ackerman doesn't cover Oakland city government, but her stories sometimes appear in the Oakland Tribune, which is owned by MediaNews Group like the Merc. Merc editors wouldn't comment to EBX about Ackerman.

Hearst CEO sues his 84-year-old mother

Victor F. Ganzi (pictured), president and chief executive officer of Hearst Corp., the Chronicle's owner, is suing his mother Gertrude Ganzi, 84, over control of a trust fund, according to the Village Voice. After her first husband died, Gertrude married her 59-year-old driver. Her sons are worried that their new stepdad might be a golddigger, so they've cut off the money and have gone to court. Mom is countersuing. Fredric Zinober of Tampa, one of at least five attorneys working for the Ganzi sons, told the Voice: "We intend to litigate aggressively."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Group to continue Bailey's investigation

More than two dozen Bay Area journalists have announced they are launching a project to continue the investigative reporting of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, who was shot to death Aug. 2 while investigating criminal activities surrounding Your Black Muslim Bakery. The move is reminiscent of the effort by nearly 40 reporters from 23 newspapers to carry on the work of Arizona Republic Don Bolles (right), who was killed by a car bomb in 1976 while investigating the Mafia. Here's an Arizona Republic story about that effort, which was called the Arizona Project.

E&P reports that former Chronicle managing editor Robert Rosenthal will coordinate the Chauncey Bailey Project. The following organizations will participate in the project:
    Bay Area Black Journalists Association
    Bay Area News Group (Oakland Tribune)
    Center for Investigative Reporting
    Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc.
    KQED Public Radio
    Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
    National Association of Black Journalists
    New America Media
    New Voices in Independent Journalism
    San Francisco State University Journalism Department
    San Francisco Bay Guardian
    San Jose State University Journalism Department
    Sigma Delta Chi of the National Society of Professional Journalists
    Society of Professional Journalists - Northern California Chapter
    University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism
Oakland Tribune managing editor Pete Wevursk told E&P that the project "is essential to Oakland and essential to us as journalists who wish to emphasize the point that you can kill the messenger, but the message is still going to get through."

• Press Club, Aug. 3: Oakland murder reminiscent of 1976 killing

• Press Club, Aug. 6: Journalists urged to continue Bailey's work

Traffic reporter questioned in sign theft

Veteran Bay Area traffic reporter Joe McConnell was briefly questioned by Burlingame police Monday for allegedly stealing a campaign sign from a candidate running for the Burlingame City Council, the Palo Alto Daily News reports. The paper also questioned McConnell and he acknowledged taking the sign and was unrepentant about the act, the Daily News said. McConnell said he disposed of the sign by throwing it to the ground a short distance away. McConnell is said to have taken a sign for Gene Condon. McConnell's wife, Geraldine O'Connor, is co-chair of the campaign for one of Condon's opponents in the November race, Jerry Deal. McConnell is San Francisco bureau chief of Metro Networks and he does traffic reports for stations including KGO-AM and KQED-FM.

Guild aims to have union reinstituted

E&P reports that Guild leaders are aiming for a union representation vote within six months, or sooner, for newsroom employees of MediaNews papers in the East Bay. Two months after MediaNews Group withdrew recognition of the Newspaper Guild at six of its newspapers, including The Oakland Tribune. The Guild wants to bring back the union at those papers and then organize the traditionally non-union Contra Costa Times.

Publisher John Armstrong said the campaign to reinstate is not a surprise, but believes a union is not needed. "The pay levels, benefits and working conditions at Contra Costa newspapers were superior to the conditions at ANG newspapers who were subject to collective bargaining. If it goes to a vote, we'll have to make our case."

The Guild has set up a Web site to make its case, www.onebigbang.org.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Newspaper publisher donates to candidate

A Los Altos City Council member running for re-election has received a $200 contribution from the publisher of that town's weekly newspaper, the Town Crier. Palo Alto Daily News reporter Melanie Carroll reports that Town Crier publisher Paul Nyberg donated money to the campaign of incumbent David Casas, who leads a field of four candidates in fundraising. Casas told Carroll that he didn't feel the publisher's contribution was a conflict of interest. "I fully expect them to hold me accountable," Casas said.

The contribution is reminiscent of the 2004 controversy in which Bill Pates was suspended from his job as editor of the letters column in the Chronicle after it was disclosed that he donated $200 to the John Kerry campaign. The Chronicle reassigned him to a copy-editing post that didn't involve the selection of letters for publication. The Guild opposed the transfer and Pates was returned to the post of selecting letters.

The Web site OpenSecrets.org, which compiles federal election data, says Nyberg has also been a contributor to President Bush, former Republican Congressman Tom Campbell, former California Secretary of State and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Bill Jones, as well as county, state and national Republican Party organizations.

In July, MSNBC investigated the issue of journalists making contributions to campaigns and posted this report and this list of journalists who donated to candidates. The list includes Pates, Silicon Valley technology correspondent Andreas Kluth of The Economist, Mercury News sports writer Rachel Wilner, Contra Costa Times fine arts reporter Robert Taylor and radio reporter Betsy Rosenberg.

Newspapers' partnership with Yahoo fades

San Francisco newspaper analyst Alan Mutter (pictured) says on his blog that the partnership Yahoo formed with several newspaper chains including Hearst and MediaNews nearly a year ago produced an impressive one-time infusion of cash for publishers, but revenues probably won't increase much in the second year of the deal. One unnamed executive told Mutter: "We aren’t anywhere near matching the initial gains ... We are struggling and I don’t see how we are going to make it.”

Mutter writes:
    "If this experience proves to be commonplace, it would throw cold water on the idea that hefty, double-digit advances in online sales in the next few years could help Yahoo’s newspaper partners offset an appreciable portion of their declining print revenues."

KQED's Michael Krasny out with a book

Ben Fong-Torres, writing in the Chronicle, says Michael Krasny's new book "Off Mike" should have been titled "On Mike" because it focuses so much on Krasny (left). Fong-Torres writes, "It's just too bad that, given the chance to illuminate the medium, the process of his craft — the interview — and the subjects themselves, he chose to keep the light so often fixed on himself."

Fong-Torres notes that Krazny, who holds down the 9-11 a.m. shift at KQED-FM 88.5, gives due credit to Ronn Owens for helping him get on KGO-AM 810 in the early 80s. But he says Krasny also takes shot at Owens (now his main talk-show competitor, with his 9 a.m. to noon program) and former KGO talker Jim Eason: "While Owens and Eason quickly scanned photos on jackets of books written by women for pretty faces, I culled through the piles looking for books on serious topics," Krasny writes. And, for good measure, Krazny dismisses one KGO program director as a "moron" and president and general manager Mickey Luckoff as a hot-tempered tightwad. KGO let Krasny go in 1992.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gabbert, 71, ready to give up retirement

Pioneering Bay Area broadcaster Jim Gabbert (left), 71, says he wants to get back into the business full-time. He's doing fill-in work at KGO 810 and applied for the late Pete Wilson's slot at KGO 810, but Gil Gross got the job. Radio writer Brad Kava profiled Gabbert for the MediaNews newspapers. Kava writes:
    "Gabbert, who started KPEN-FM in the Stanford Hills 50 years ago, walked out of the broadcast business with $250million and has spent a decade on his two yachts and three planes, including a Boeing 727, a Citation jet and a vintage military prop plane, all of which he flies. "He's one of those guys who worked for what he earned, and can't stop working even when he's supposed to be kicking back. In radio, he was the engineer, the program director, a DJ and the station owner — all at the same time. And he chopped wood to earn money to pay the bills."
Kava covered the Sept. 20 Broadcast Legends luncheon which honored Gabbert. Here's Broadcast Legends account of the event. (Photo credit: Bay Area Broadcast Legends)

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Large turnout for high school boot camp

More than 125 students and teachers attended Friday's High School Journalism Boot Camp — about twice the number the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club was expecting when board members began planning the seminar. Journalists from the region's newspapers and broadcast stations led discussions on digital photography, online publishing, arts & entertainment reporting, sports coverage, newspaper design, advertising and many other topics. The seminar was co-sponsored and hosted by the Journalism Program at the College of San Mateo.

Micki Carter, former San Mateo Times managing editor and current Press Club board member, critiques a high school paper for students.

Diana Diamond of the San Jose Business Journal and a Press Club board member talks with students and a faculty adviser about editorial pages.

College of San Mateo Journalism Professor and Press Club board member Ed Remitz leads a discussion.

Dai Sugano, San Jose Mercury News photographer/multimedia editor, talks with students after showing some of his work.

Jay Thorwaldson, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly, leads a discussion about online news.

Palo Alto High School has a student newspaper, magazine, sports magazne and Web site. Here the school's Web site is discussed.

Jamie Casini, managing editor of the Palo Alto Daily News and Press Club president, gives students ideas on finding stories.

The Press Club offers its thanks to the journalists who led discussions, including:
    David Barreda, San Jose Mercury News;
    Sean Connelley, Oakland Tribune;
    Richard Epting, KGO-TV ABC7;
    Don Feria, freelance;
    Gary Fong, Genesis Photography Agency, retired San Francisco Chronicle photo editor;
    Tyler Hanley, Palo Alto Weekly;
    Kari Hulac, Alameda Newspaper Group;
    Richard Koci Hernandez, San Jose Mercury News;
    Carolyn Livengood, San Mateo County Times;
    Vytas Maseika, Palo Alto Daily News;
    Unnikrishnan Raveendranaathan, freelance;
    Martha Jane Stanton, San Francisco Giants photographer;
    Paul Sakuma, Associated Press;
    Dai Sugano, San Jose Mercury News;
    Jay Thorwaldson, Palo Alto Weekly;
    Todd Waibel, San Mateo Daily Journal

LA anchor Dave Clark headed to KTVU

The blog LA Observed says Los Angeles anchor Dave Clark will start Nov. 1 as anchor of KTVU's morning news. No official word yet on who Clark will replace at KTVU, though the ba.broadcast chat room is discussing one particular rumor. Clark currently anchors the 9 and 10 p.m. weekend shifts on KCAL 9, which is owned by CBS and whose news programs are produced by KCBS-TV Los Angeles.

Clark's bio on the KCBS-TV/KCAL Web site notes that in addition to a long career in journalism he also does voiceovers on commercials and has appeared in movies including "X-Men," "Bulworth" and "Scream 2," and several television series including "Just Shoot Me," "Home Improvement" and "Any Day Now."

An e-mail he sent to friends, quoted by LA Observed, says, "... I have spent the past year being 'wined and dined' and 'wooed' by the major TV networks and top TV stations around the country. It has been tremendously flattering and humbling experience. ... I will be commuting home, and will continue to be active in prominent civic, charitable and social activities in both Los Angeles and San Francisco [and] continue appearing in Hollywood movies and on network TV shows filmed in Hollywood ..."
    [Update: Matier & Ross reported Sunday that Clark's e-mail to friends suggested he was being groomed as a replacement for Dennis Richmond, who apparently will be retiring in May after 30 years of co-anchoring the "Ten O'Clock News." "Mornings on 2" anchor Frank Somerville figured he has Richmond's heir apparent, M&R said. But KTVU general manager Tim McVay told M&R that any talk of Clark being brought in to replace Richmond "would be news to me." On Nov. 1, Clark will replace Mark Curtis on the early morning news.

Seminar on business reporting in new era

A free daylong workshop on “The New Business Coverage: From blogs to multimedia to 'round-the-clock news” will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in San Jose. According to BusinessJournalism.org, the workshop will cover the ins and outs of using multiple news platforms, blogging, technical considerations of Web publishing and how to mobilize business staff to meet deadlines every minute.

Presenters include Michelle Leder, editor Footnoted.org, Om Malik, editor, GigaOm.com, Dave Callaway, editor-in-chief, MarketWatch, Jane Stevens, multimedia journalist and lecturer at UC Berkeley, Aaron Curtiss, deputy innovation editor, Los Angeles Times, and Jodi Schneider, economics editor, Congressional Quarterly.

BusinessJournalism.org has details and an online registration form. Registration closes at noon Tuesday, Oct. 9.