Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Police seek sportswriter's next of kin

Police in Milwaukee and San Jose are trying to find the next of kin of a journalist with roots in the Campbell area.

According to the Lahontan Valley News in Fallon, Nev., sportswriter Chuck Hildebrand suffered a massive heart attack in Milwaukee and is near death. He is unconscious and in critical condition, the paper said.

Hildebrand had been in Milwaukee to watch the San Francisco Giants play the Milwaukee Brewers and suffered the heart attack on Monday (June 29). A Milwaukee police officer has been calling phone numbers listed in Hildebrand's cell phone in an attempt to locate Hildebrand's family.

The Milwaukee police officer contacted San Jose police officer Matt Christian, who is looking for relatives here. Anyone with information is asked to call Christian at (831) 245-5814.

According to the Nevada newspaper, Hildebrand founded Nevada Prep as a newspaper focusing on high school sports in Northern Nevada in 1998. In 1999 he ceased the printed version and created nevadaprep.com, which he operated until selling the Web site in 2007. In the eight years that he ran nevadaprep.com, Hildebrand concentrated his coverage on high school sports in rural Nevada.

Tech writer Plotkin to work for Obama

Hal Plotkin, a tech writer and community college board member from Palo Alto, has landed a job in the Obama administration as a senior policy adviser in the Department of Education. Plotkin has written for SFGate, Inc.com, Metro and helped create public radio's "Marketplace" program. When Foothill-De Anza Community College Chancellor Martha Kanter was picked by Obama to be an undersecretary of administration, she tapped Plotkin -- who sits on the college district's board -- to serve as a policy adviser. Plotkin talks about the move on his Web page.

Details about the Chron's new presses

While the world awaits the first edition of the Chronicle from its new pressroom in Fremont, the trade publication Newspapers & Technology has a story that discusses the capabilities of the new, highly automated presses:
    The northern California site, scheduled to go into operation late last month, is built around three manroland Colorman triplewide presses. The coldset/heatset presses are equipped with software and other systems engineered to allow press crews to quickly shift from one job to another.
The ability to shift from one job to another might mean that the Chron will do more zoning in the future, or that Transcon will be able to print several papers every night.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Michael Jackson replaces the news

SF Gate columnist Mark Morford notes that all of the important news, like the uprising in Iran or the health care overhaul, is forgotten when somebody like Michael Jackson dies. He write:
    There's meaningful, there's epic and there's revolutionary. What about all three?

    Do you want to even compare? Do you dare even try? Don't you already know the outcome? Of course you do.

    You already know which kind of event, which sort of dramatic happening, which kind of ill-fated death and historic melodrama we as a culture value far, far more than any other. You already know which will hold us in thrall for days and months on end, which causes more tears and heartbreak and which kind of event will spawn books and movies and tributes and earnest memories by the million until we ourselves pass on to the hereafter, smiling and dancing and humming a desperately catchy tune.

KCBS way ahead of KGO in 25-54 demo

AllAccess.com, in its analysis of the May personal people meter radio ratings, points out that KCBS tied for third place in the 25-54 demo with KNBR and KSAN. KGO-AM ranked 12th while sister KSFO dropped from 23rd to 27th.

No. 1 in the 25-54 demo was KOIT followed by KFOG.

"All news continued to be a solid format performer in the Bay Area, unlike the not-even-top-15 results for the CBS all-news outlets in the Los Angeles market," AllAccess wrote.

KMEL was the winner in both the 18-34 and 18-49 demos, AllAccess reported.

While KGO traditionally does well in the 12+ category, ad buys are based on performance in the specific demos.

AP Broadcast awards presented

Here are some of the Bay Area winners in 2009 Mark Twain Awards, presented Saturday night at Universal Studios by the Associated Press Television-Radio Association of California and Nevada.
    • Dick Terry Videographer of the Year: Dean Smith, KGO, San Francisco.

    • Chris Harris Reporter of the Year: Hank Plante, KPIX

    • Best Serious Feature: "The Quiet Room," Anna Werner, Abigail Sterling, Gerard Watson, Greg Marasso, KPIX

    • Best Videography of a News Feature: "A Real Car," Anne Onate, KTVU

    • Best Assignment Team/Live Breaking News: "Summit Fire," Angelina Baray, KNTV

    • Best Radio Investigative Reporting: "Carpool Confusion," Bret Burkhart, KGO-AM

    • Best Serious Feature: "The Milk-Moscone Murders: Thirty Years Later," R.J. Peruman, KGO-AM

    • Best Use of Sound-Serious or Hard News: "American Dream Evicted," Bret Burkhart, KGO-AM

    • Pat Davis Radio Reporter of the Year: Bret Burkhart, KGO-AM

    • Best News Broadcast (More than 15 Minutes): KCBS 5 p.m. News," KCBS AM/FM, San Francisco.

Freelancers' checks about to get lighter

Two tips from the very useful CNPA Legislative Bulletin:

1. As if it wasn't hard enough to make a living as a freelancer, a series of tax proposals moving through the legislature would require employers to withhold and remit to the Franchise Tax Board 3 percent of all payments made to independent contractors. Worse, if there are problems verifying your taxpayer identification number, the employer is supposed to withhold another 7 percent, for a total of 10 percent. CNPA reports that the proposal was supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.

2. Forget the state deficit. Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, is apparently looking for ways to help trial lawyers make money. Her bill, AB524, would expand the anti-paparazzi law. The current law only subjects photographers to liability if they take pictures that invade the privacy of celebrities. Bass wants to hold liable the companies who publish those images, creating a new set of deep-pocketed targets for lawyers. Apparently there isn't much money in suing individual photographers. CNPA says it doesn't know of anybody who has successfully sued under the current law.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Chronicle close to switching pressrooms

In the next week or so, the presses in this $200 million, 350,000-square-foot printing plant in Fremont will produce their first edition of the San Franicsco Chronicle.

The Chronicle is shutting down its unionized press operations and turning over the work to Transcontinental, a Montreal-based printing company which built this plant at 47540 Kato Road, near the Interstate 880-Mission Boulevard intersection.

Transcon announced previously that the plant will have three presses from MAN Roland, each capable of producing 36 broadsheet pages in full color or 48 pages with 24 pages in color. The presses have been running all week, some days doing complete press runs.

With the switch, some 230 Teamster printers at the Chron will be losing their jobs. We've heard reports that they were picketing the new, non-union plant, but when we drove by Friday to take the picture above, two picketers were eating lunch in a car in a nearby parking lot. We heard that earlier an ink truck, driven by a Teamster, refused to cross the picket line and turned around. The SF Weekly has details about that episode.

The Chronicle has a 15-year contract with Transcon to print the paper. The value of the contract is said to be $1 billion.

The plant is closer to San Jose than it is San Franicsco, which has sparked speculation that it might one day print the San Jose Mercury News or other MediaNews Group papers.

Longtime radioman Dave McQueen retires

Dave McQueen, one of the most versatile talents in Bay Area radio, has retired. After his last shift as overnight anchor at KCBS, Mike Sugerman did this story (link). McQueen has been a DJ on country, jazz and rock stations. He did the news on KSAN during its free form rock years. "I've worked in just about every radio format," he told Ben Fong-Torres. "A microphone is a microphone." (Photo credit: KCBS)

KGO firings not due to cost cutting

Ben Fong-Torres reports in his Chronicle column that that weatherman Leo Ciolino, news director Paul Hosley and executive producer Trish Robbins weren't fired because of budget cutting.

"We completed a well-planned restructure which (is) strategic in an effort to improve our product," KGO-AM/KSFO president and Mickey Luckoff said. "Ken Berry returns to a post (news director) ... which in the past he held and which contributed to our award-winning, unique style. Jack Swanson resumes his position in charge of the programming of KGO and KSFO. These moves were in no way attributed to cost cutting and were initiated here by our local management."

Ciolino's morning reports are now handled by Lloyd Lindsay Young, who previously was just doing afternoon weather on KGO.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Husbands of imprisoned reporters speak

KTVU reports there were some heart-wrenching moments Wednesday night at a vigil in San Francisco where the husbands of Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Ling talked about the imprisonment of their wives by North Korea.

Iain Clayton said his wife, Laura Ling, is suffering from an ulcer and she requires medical attention.

"From what we have heard is that it has actually gotten worse," Clayton saod. "And not only is their physical situation of concern, but also their mental situation is of great concern to us. They are obviously both very scared and alone and frightened about the situation."

Euna Lee's husband, Michael Saldate, struggled to control his emotions as he described his phone conversation with his wife.

Saldate said his wife wanted to leave a phone message for their daughter to play whenever she asks for her mother. "In her message she said she misses Hannah and she loves her very much, and that Mommy will be finished with work soon and she will be home. And the whole time in her voice there this sense of apology."

Above is a picture of Hannah at Wednesday night's vigil.

Saldate said that message has given little Hannah enough strength to comfort both of them through these difficult times.

"She said, 'Daddy don't cry. Mommy will be home very soon."

The women were captured March 17 while on assignment for San Francisco-based Current TV, the network co-founded by Al Gore. They have been sentenced to 12 years in a labor camp.

The husbands said they have forwarded cards and letters to them. They believe those messages are giving the women strength. (Photo credit: KTUV)

Karel loses gig at KNGY-FM

Karel, who lost his job at KGO-AM after an obscenity laced tirade about Joe the Plumber, has been terminated by KNGY-FM "Energy 92.7" after four months. Karel, whose real name is Charles Karel Bouley, said on his own blog that he was told he was let go because of financial reasons. "It’s a new show and so as ratings tend to do, they drop off at first and then rebuild. The building process isn’t happening fast enough for management so the money men (and women) said, stop," Karel wrote. The station plays music oriented to an LGBT audience, and talk apparently didn't fit in. He's still on Monterey's KRXA-AM (540) and he told blogger Rich Lieberman that is looking for another San Francisco station, and has talked to John Scott of KKGN "Green 960." (Photo via advocate.com)

MediaNews, Hearst to send news to mobile devices

The Bay Area's two big newspaper companies -- MediaNews and Hearst -- have entered a partnership with a wireless company to distribute news on cell phones, iPhones, Palms and other mobile devices.

The companies are teaming up with Verve Wireless Inc. of Encinitas, headed by Art Howe, a 30-year newspaper veteran who who a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 at the Philadephia Inquirer for his articles on the IRS, according to MediaWeek, a trade publication which reported the deal earlier today. Here's a press release from Verve.

Verve is already working with the AP, McClatchy, MediaGeneral and The New York Times Regional Group.

Verve is bringing both ads and news to mobile devices. Here's a paragraph from Verve's news release:
    Small businesses from all across the country are using mobile in new and innovative ways to reach their customers.

    “We have been advertising in print and online with Media General and are quite impressed with the results we have gotten from our initial mobile campaigns,” said Brent Barkin, vice president and director e-commerce for Shoe Station, a regional shoe store in the southeast with an online retail store at Shoestation.com. “We created a mobile campaign that included a text code that we added to our website and to the paper receipts for in store purchases, within minutes we were seeing responses that converted into sales.”
Verve is also providing newspapers with enhancements to their platform that automatically create a version of the publisher’s site optimized for the new Safari browser on iPhones.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vigil tonight for Lee, Ling

Students, alumni and teachers at San Francisco's Academy of Art University will hold a vigil tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at 491 Post St. in San Francisco to call for the release of Current TV journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling who were captured by North Korea. For information, go to http://www.academyart.edu/petition. The event will also be Web cast live at www.academyart.edu/petition/webcast.html.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Somerville's worst fear didn't come true

"My worst fear was that the numbers would go down. I was a little afraid of the unknown," KTVU anchor Frank Somerville tells Chuck Barney of the Contra Costa Times. Actually, Channel 2's ratings during the May sweeps improved slightly over last year's numbers when Dennis Richmond was the station's top anchor. Barney mentions the ratings in a profile of Somerville that contains a lot of personal details — like the fact that Somerville, 51, has been a vegetarian since age 12, that he and his family are moving into the home of former Warriors player Adonal Foyle, and that his wife once tutored him on his on-air presentation.

TV innovator George Resing dies

Former KPIX general manager George Resing -- who helped create "The Phil Donahue Show," "Good Morning America" and "Evening Magazine" -- died of a brain tumor June 6 at his Novato home. He was 80.

Resing began his broadcasting career in the early 1950s as a stage hand for WLWD-TV (now WDTN) in Dayton, Ohio, where he worked his way up to management. His hunch on Donahue, a radio host in Dayton in the late 1960s, eventually turned into a nationally syndicated program that set a trend in afternoon talk television.

Managing ABC's WLS in Chicago, Resing later helped usher in morning competition to the "Today" show, developing a local show that would become "Good Morning America."

Arriving at KPIX in the mid 1970s, Resing was responsible for hiring Dave McElhatton away from KCBS radio and put him behind the anchor desk. He also hired Jan Yanehiro on his groundbreaking "Evening Magazine" that launched in prime access in August 1976. It became a hit and Westinghouse/Group W licensed the format under the title "PM Magazine" to more than 400 stations. The format is still alive in many markets, and many say it led to reality television.

"It was an exciting time in television," said Resing's daughter Crista told the Chron. "Local stations had a lot of money and did a lot of local programming."

Here are links to obits in the Marin IJ and the Chron.

(Photo credit: Courtesy of Resing family via Chronicle)

Whoops, was that off the record?

Duffy Carolan, the attorney representing the Chauncey Bailey project, was chewed out by a judge for telling reporters that prosecutors won't seek the death penalty for Yusuf Bey IV and Antoine Mackey for the murders of Bailey and two other men.

Prosecutor Chris Lamiero told Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson about the decision in a closed session in his chambers where Carolan was present, according to Bay City News. Here's BCN's account of the courtroom action:
    Jacobson told Carolan Thursday that, "Apparently I wasn't clear" that the conversation in his chambers was off the record.

    When Carolan tried to explain her actions, Jacobson cut her off and said, "Don't interrupt me! Don't run through me!"

    The judge told her, "What you did was sleazy and unethical" and "you probably were in violation of the rules of professional responsibility."

    Carolan protested that Jacobson's order for her not to talk about the case is "an unconstitutional violation of my free speech rights" but Jacobson cut her off again and ended court for the day.
After the May 29 hearing, Carolan said the Chauncey Bailey Project wants to have the grand jury's transcript unsealed because it believes the public has a right to see if the state entered into an appropriate plea agreement with Devaughndre Broussard.

According to BCN, Carolan said she also will argue that the gag order, which was first imposed by Judge Allan Hymer at a May 13 hearing and continues in force, should be lifted because "it's important for the news media to have access to official sources and not have to rely on third parties" who might have incorrect information about the case.

Chron's revamp of page A2 draws praise

Columbia Journalism Review has given the Chron a laurel for its "smartening" of page A2:
    For years, the paper's second page had been home to celebrities and news of the weird-style bulletins-squibs on two-headed cats, championship eaters, and updates on the likes of Paris Hilton. In early March, Ward Bushee, the Chronicle's executive editor, put an end to it. "We have a very international community here," he told C JR. "Our front page is, as it should be, Bay Area-centric ... page two, three, and four should be the most important stories of the world and nation." But the best news is that Bushee's hearing kudos from readers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Settlement results in new tool for reporters

It is now much easier to see a legislator's voting history, and how those votes correlate to contributions the lawmaker received, thanks to a legal victory by the California First Amendment Coalition (CFAC) and MAPLight.org, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that researches connections between money and politics.

Information about how legislators voted has long been available on the Legislative Counsel's Web site, but to see how a particular lawmaker voted, you'd have to pull up each bill individually. No database was available for downloading.

After CFAC and MapLight sued, the Legislative Council created a new area on its Web site a “structured database” which contains information about Legislators’ votes in a structured, machine-readable format that appears to be updated on a timely basis.

The settlement also requires the Legislative Counsel to pay $65,000 towards MAPLight.org’s and CFAC’s attorney’s fees.

For details, go to the CFAC's announcement and this story in the SF Weekly.

Reporter, PR man Allen White dies

Warren "Allen" White, a former reporter for gay newspapers who later did public relations work for churches and other organizations, died Sunday at age 70, according to the Bay Area Reporter, where he had once worked. He was also a reporter at the defunct Sentinel gay newspaper. "His, at times ornery — but constructive — criticism, which he was never shy to share with me, will be greatly missed," said state Sen. Mark Leno.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blogger criticizes Press Club

After the Press Club's annual awards banquet, members of board received the letter below from local blogger Bruce Balshone, who attended the dinner. At the end, read the board's response.
    Saturday, June 6, 2009 was the annual award banquet for the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club. It was my first time attending the event that purports to honor the journalistic endeavors of members of the organization who are working journalists covering the San Francisco Peninsula.

    The award ceremony proved to be a fascinating snapshot of the state of journalism itself, particularly in and around San Mateo County.

    As the lone online writer in the room, or blogger, it was clear that the mainstream press corps has little relationship with the emerging blogosphere and, in fact, maintains a deep antagonism and perhaps anger toward the technology that has damaged traditional news media.

    Bloggers were lambasted by speakers decrying the failures and inadequacies of so-called “citizen-journalists” who, according to several speakers, have no understanding of the ethics of journalism and have no credibility.

    Certainly there is some validity to this criticism. Many bloggers are anonymous authors who do not so much report news but relish in the art of gossip mongering and report information that may or may not be credibly verifiable or of questionable value in the marketplace of ideas.

    However, there are people like myself who sign their real names and attempt to research and document their sources for their articles. Many bloggers are former journalists who have been laid off or forced to retire as the traditional newspaper industry continues to contract. Many author high quality blogs covering local, state and national news and provide perceptive insight that enhances understanding of the continuum of events we call the news.

    In San Mateo County, every newspaper has experienced significant cutbacks and employs far fewer reports and editorial staff than in previous years dramatically limiting the ability of these outlets to produce high quality reporting across a broad spectrum of issues.

    The San Mateo County Times now employs perhaps two full-time reporters for all of San Mateo County, although the Times does pick up stories from its sister newspapers among the MediaNews Group which owns most of the dailies in the Bay Area. The Daily News recently retreated from much of the Peninsula, covering communities as far north as San Carlos only. Most recently, the massive layoffs at the San Francisco Chronicle have devastated newsgathering on the Peninsula and in San Francisco. The Chronicle closed its Peninsula Bureau years ago and the press office within the county government center is all but empty. The Examiner Newspaper has also retreated from San Mateo County as it now dedicates only one reporter two days a week to covering local news.

    Many communities such cities like Daly City have not had local newspaper coverage in years and are largely ignored by every news outlet in the area despite the fact that it is the most populous city in San Mateo County.

    Into this void have come the bloggers. In Pacifica, the Pacifica Riptide news site and blog now regularly breaks news stories relevant to that community. In the Mid-Coast and half Moon Bay are, the Coastsider news site and blog has emerged as a major force, perhaps getting more online traffic than even the older and more traditional newspaper the Half Moon Bay Review. In Burlingame, the Burlingame Voice blog has emerged to give voice to local issues. In Woodside, the Citizens of Woodside blog now covers that community or the Watch Dog San Mateo which aggregates and editorializes on local news stories.

    To the credit of the Examiner Newspaper, it has created space for local bloggers to do what it can no longer do, and that is cover critical issues relevant to San Mateo County.

    So, what is the role of the blogger? In instances such as the "Pay-gate" scandal in Daly City and the Sharp Park controversy in Pacifica, I have been able to break stories which were initially ignored by newspapers in the County. In fact, recently, in my Peninsula Examiner blog I wrote about the nomination of several local officeholders to the California Coastal Commission by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. The story received no attention locally until six days later, the San Mateo County Times published an article on the same issue.

    As journalism continues to change, it may be wise for those in the industry to find a way to co-opt new media and take advantage of the technology that is, perhaps, forever altering the process of reporting news.

    By embracing and working to improve the activities of so-called citizen journalists, traditional media outlets may learn to survive and thrive. For instance, the Peninsula Press club, as the professional association of local journalists, should create an award category for bloggers or internet-based journalists and perhaps forgo awards for publications such as the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, which has no circulation in the county. They might as well give an award to the LA Times or the Honolulu Advertiser.

    I think the Peninsula club should go a step further, and not just include them in their award process, but should have at least one internet-based-journalist on their Board of Directors. Let's not forget the blogs such as the Burlingame Voice, the Coastsider, and the Riptide often break news before old-style newspapers.

    Since the technology for the revolution in journalism started right here in the Silicon Valley, it is past the time for the Peninsula Press Club to join the electronic era and recognize electronic journalists.
The Press Club board discussed the letter at its June 10 meeting and decided to invite Balshone and other local bloggers to the board's next meeting on July 8. Board members said they hope the meeting will open up a line of communications with bloggers such as Balshone. For several years, the board has attempted to reach out to New Media. In fact, a division of the club's contest is devoted to online news. But the board willing to do more to make the club more inclusive to bloggers and other online journalists.

Balshone posted the letter on his PeninsulaExaminer.com blog.

After 40 years, IJ columnist Beth Ashley retires

"It is incredibly painful now to see our newsroom downsized, newspapers everywhere struggling to survive," longtime Marin IJ columnist Beth Ashley (pictured) said in her farewell to readers. "And while the IJ is still making a profit, it hurts to think what my colleagues may have to face someday: the loss of their jobs. Reporters have mouths to feed, too. They may get new jobs, but it won't be the same."

Ashley retired on June 11 at the age of 83 after more than 40 years in the IJ newsroom.

"When she was asked to be a local columnist 26 years ago, she wrote wryly about her mandate to find the 'real Marin scene,' expressing doubt about her worthiness to do so," Executive Editor Doug Bunnell said in an introduction to a special section celebrating Ashley's career. "She then proceeded to pose a series of questions that demonstrated why she was the perfect choice.

"This business we call journalism ultimately is about people. Beth knows that better than most. Each person she interviewed came away convinced that she was completely interested in what they had to say — their story. And she was," Bunnell wrote.

Court seals identity of student journalist

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Tomar Mason will hear additional arguments June 24 in a SF State journalism student's attempt to invoke the shield law to stop police from questioning him regarding an April 17 murder in the city's Bayview neighborhood.

The 22-year-old student arrived shortly after the murder of Norris Bennett, 21, and took pictures. The student now fears retaliation.

On Friday, Mason sealed the student's identity and other information at the request of his lawyers, the Chron reports. An attorney for the city did not object.

Police raided the student's apartment and took his photos. The homicide remains unsolved, and police claim they wanted the student's photos to see if they could find the killer.

The Chron reported that at Friday's hearing, a lawyer for the district attorney's office, Laura Zunino, argued that simply hoping to sell a project did not qualify someone for coverage under the shield law.

"He was working on a school project," she said.

Extending the shield law to him, she said, would "in essence, eviscerate the rule."

Zunino added that the student lacked an established freelance relationship with a media outlet that courts have recognized as a condition for protection under the shield law.

One of the student's attorneys, Michael Ng, argued that courts have ruled that freelancers are protected under the shield law.

"I don't think we'd be here if the police executed a search warrant on the San Francisco Chronicle or on a CNN van," said Ng.

N. Korea lays out case against journalists

Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee were carrying a tape when they were captured by the North Koreans that included narration admitting that they were entering the communist country without permission.

"We've just entered a North Korean courtyard without permission," the Korean translation of their videotape narration said, according to Korean Central News Agency.

Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, who work for Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV media group, were sentenced last Monday to 12 years of hard labor in a North Korean prison for illegal entry and "hostile acts."

Here's a link to an AP story that reports on the details the North Korean government released yesterday about the capture of the two women on March 17.

June 2009 Press Club board minutes

June 10, 2009 — Board Room, San Mateo Daily Journal. The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m.

Present: Jon Mays, Jack Russell, Micki Carter, Marshall Wilson, Ed Remitz, Peter Cleaveland, Dave Price and Darryl Compton; Absent: Jamie Casini and Melissa McRobbie

Minutes of the May meeting were approved as read.

Treasurer’s Report was accepted. Darryl noted that the Mercury News, Daily News Group and Examiner haven’t paid for the Evening of Excellence dinner, and the Daily News Group hadn’t yet paid for their contest entries. He added that he had invoiced Hillsdale Shopping Center for the high school contest bills but hadn’t yet received reimbursement.

Evening of Excellence June 6
    The Evening of Excellence dinner was reviewed. Darryl reported that there were 113 at dinner although only 104 made reservations. The club probably lost about $400 on the dinner with a net profit of about $1,300 on the contest. Most participants liked the idea of lumping all the dailies in one category. All agreed that Darryl had done a remarkable job on the event.

    Jon reported that he had received a letter from Bruce Balshone, a local blogger, who was upset about the negative tone toward bloggers at the dinner. The board discussed a way to bring bloggers into the club. Jon will invite Brad Kava, Balshone, the Coastsider and others to an upcoming meeting.

    Prior to the dinner, the board voted 7-0 by email to offer two $1,000 high school scholarships and one $1,500 college scholarship rather than the usual one $1,500 scholarship for each category. The scholarships were presented at the dinner.
High School Contest
    Micki noted that the representatives of the Eastside College Prep Panther were delighted to be invited to the awards dinner and to be recognized for their General Excellence honor. We will continue to introduce the winner at the Evening of Excellence dinner but will announce the winner at the high school reception.
High School Project
    Jon reported San Mateo High School had submitted a funding request for a locked metal cabinet for the San Mateo Hi newspaper office. Marshall will check out the availability of such a cabinet at the county surplus furniture sale next week.
Town Hall Meeting
    Marshall reported that a joint meeting with Rep. Anna Eshoo isn’t likely to work so he suggested a meeting in Burlingame during the summer. He will talk to Mike Garvey.
High School Boot Camp
    The board settled on Sept. 18 for the High School Journalism Boot Camp at CSM. Ed will look for a larger room for the opening session. We will also look for a speaker. Marshall suggested Peninsula TV’s Studio in a Box for one of the sessions. Micki will contact Paul Sakuma to see if he can get the same speakers again. We will not do an adviser session at the Boot Camp but rather look for a later date as a retreat for advisers only.
Professional Development Workshop
    The board decided to delay this until early next year. Jennifer Aquino will be invited to do a presentation on multi-media.
    The club will ask Herb Caen Scholarship applicants to include a personal statement with their application.
Summer Picnic
    Sept. 13 from 2-4 p.m. at the home of Micki Carter and Mike Venturino.
CSM Newspaper
    The board discussed the threat to the continuation of a newspaper production class at CSM. Ed will keep us informed if action by the club would be useful.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Micki Carter

Monday, June 15, 2009

Greg Jarrett lands at WGN as morning man

Greg Jarrett, who had been at KGO-AM for 16 years until he was laid off in January, has landed at one of the nation's most powerful news-talk stations, WGN Chicago, where he will be doing the morning drive shift solo.

"I have always wanted to work in Chicago," Jarrett said in the station's announcement. "When I first started in radio at age 17, we would sit around late at night and listen to WGN. It was the ideal, the place to work. WGN Radio connects Chicagoans to each other and the rest of the world. It is an honor to now be part of that process.”

Like KGO, WGN has been doing news-talk for years and is one of that market's leading stations. WGN is owned by Tribune Co, which owns the Chicago Tribune, and here is that paper's story about Jarrett's arrival. (Photo credit: WGN)

Melanie Morgan back at KSFO from 3-6 a.m.

Melanie Morgan, who was dropped by KSFO-AM 560 last year as the co-host of its morning show in a cost cutting move, will be returning in the early morning hours, she says on her blog. She's doing a new show from Washington, D.C., that will be syndicated nationally starting Monday. On the East Coast it airs from 6 to 9 a.m. Morgan says in her blog that it will be carried live by KSFO in San Francisco. That would mean that she'll be on from 3 to 6 a.m. on KSFO. The new show will come from the Washington Times newsroom and feature investigative reporting.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Merc to charge 50 cents a week for TV Guide

To cut costs, many newspapers are thinking about cutting or reducing their TV listings. After all, most cable and satellite systems provide listings on their own channel. And with all of the channels available, TV listings suck up a lot of news hole. Yet those readers who prefer TV guides in print are passionate about it, Mercury News editor David Butler explained in a note to readers this morning.

So the Mercury News announced today a new way to deal with the problem — only deliver the TV guide to people who want it, and charge them 50 cents extra a week, which will be tacked on to their subscription. It's what the ad people call an upsell.

The new TV Week will have more listings, more information about movies and more puzzles.

The new section will be included in all copies of the Sunday paper until June 28. Then, on that date, only those who have opted for the TV Week will get it.

KCSM-FM 91.1 facing budget problems

KCSM-FM 91.1 in San Mateo is facing money problems, KTVU and the San Mateo County Times reports. The station is licensed to the San Mateo County Community College District but has received the bulk of its funding from listeners for years. But a 12 percent chunk of its operating budget expected from the college district fell through this year when the district experienced deep cuts from the state.

The station's recent pledge drive drew more donations than ever, but it is still trying to bridge a $30,000 gap by June 30, when its fiscal year ends and the school has to decide whether to keep the station running.

To raise the money, Yoshi's in Oakland will host a trio of solo pianists spanning three generations of Bay Area jazz piano playing to support the station June 30.

The station has a $1.5 million operating budget. It has five full-time employees and many part-timers. With the decision last month by KKSF to switch from jazz to adult contemporary, KCSM is the last jazz station in the Bay Area. It is also one of a handful of jazz stations nationwide.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Craigslist revenue said to top $100 million

Here's a Craigslist story that doesn't involve somebody killing or raping a person who responded to an online ad. The NY Times reports that the San Francisco-based classified-ad Web site will generate revenues of $100 million or better. The Times based that conclusion on a report from AIM Group, a media and Web consultant firm in Orlando, Fla. The Times notes, "By contrast, classified advertising in newspapers in the United States declined by 29 percent last year, its worst drop in history, according to the Newspaper Association of America."

Pride parade switches from 4 to 20

The Bay Area Reporter says that KRON 4 has "retired" from covering the LGBT Pride Parade and will hand the baton to KOFY 20. This year's parade is set for Sunday, June 28, and KOFY plans to air the parade at 8 p.m. that evening.

Apparently broadcasting the parade live over a federally-licensed TV station isn't going to happen on either station.

A couple of years ago, KRON4, still stinging from a $27,500 FCC fine over a penis puppet show that went awry, decided to drop live coverage for fear of racy images going out on the airwaves live. Instead, it aired an edited version in prime time.

For those who want to watch the parade live, the Reporter says Comcast channel 99 will show the event starting at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 28. The parade can also be seen live via Clear Channel Radio at http://www.SFPrideLive.com. The parade itself starts at 10:30 a.m.

Lee, Ling were passionate about their work

The LA Times says Lisa Ling and Euna Lee, the two Current TV reporters captured by the North Koreans, were passionate about their work.
    [Colleague Derrick] Shore and others who have worked with Ling during her years at Channel One and later at Current TV describe a bold and hardworking journalist who is both personable and empathetic. They say those traits served her in her work, including the human trafficking story she was reporting on when she and colleague Euna Lee were arrested in March along the Chinese-North Korean border by North Korean forces.

    Ling, 32, and Lee, 36, who work for San Francisco-based Current TV, were convicted by the communist nation's Central Court of an undefined "grave crime" against the regime and sentenced Monday to 12 years of hard labor.

    Both women work in Current's Vanguard journalism department -- Ling as a vice president and correspondent and Lee as a film editor -- and are based in Los Angeles. Current, founded by former Vice President Al Gore and others, is a television network carried on cable and satellite that strives to serve as a platform for citizen journalism while also producing documentaries on topics not covered elsewhere.
The story goes on to give personal details. For instance, both women are from LA and they're married. Lee has a 4-year-old who just graduated from preschool.

UC-Berkeley names investigative fellows

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism have announced the fellowship winners in its Investigative Reporting Fellowships:
    • Ryan Gabrielson of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz., a recipient of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, and 
    • Matt Isaacs, editorial coordinator for The Lee Brandenburg Trust established by a philanthropist dedicated to investigative journalism and social justice.
The director of the program is Professor Lowell Bergman, the former "60 Minutes" producer whose tobacco industry investigation was chronicled in the 1999 film "The Insider," in which Bergman was played by Al Pacino.

A panel of journalists chose the fellows, who receive a $45,000 salary and are provided with office space, phones, and expenses for approved travel.

Here's a link to the release detailing the fellowships.

Village Voice Weekly sues East Bay Express

The owner of the SF Weekly, Village Voice Media of Phoenix, is suing the owners of the East Bay Express, claiming that they failed to make a $500,000 for the Emeryville-based alt-weekly.

Express Publisher Steve Buel, Hal Brody and a few other investors bought the Express from VVM in 2007. In response to the suit, the buyers claim the SF Weekly violated the sale agreement by selling ads in the East Bay. The Bay Guardian has a detailed story about the case (link).

While VVM is seeking money from the Express, it still hasn't paid a court-ordered $16 million (including interest) verdict in favor of the Guardian. A San Francisco jury ruled that VVM violated California's predatory pricing law by selling ads at below cost in an attempt to run Bruce Brugmann's Guardian out of business.

The SF Weekly reports that its owner has appealed the verdict and wants another trial. Not only did the Weekly write a lengthy story on the appeal, but it provides a link to its brief.

AP reporter disciplined for Facebook posting

Wired.com is reporting that an AP reporter has been disciplined for criticizing the management of McClatchy Co. on his Facebook page. McClatchy's stock plummeted following its 2006 acquisition of San Jose-based Knight Ridder.

“It seems like the ones who orchestrated the whole mess should be losing their jobs or getting pushed into smaller quarters,” Philadelphia-based Richard Richtmyer wrote on May 28. “But they aren’t.”

McClatchy is a member of the AP, which is a cooperative owned by newspapers. The message could only be seen by Richtmyer's 51 "friends," a term Facebook uses for users who are invited to view a particular member's home page.

As Wired notes, the Guild is upset and is asking AP to reverse Richtmyer’s reprimand.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

KGO-AM boots news director, weatherman

KGO-AM has shown the door to News Director Paul Hosley, Executive Producer Trish Robbins and morning weatherman Leo Ciolino (pictured) in a cost-cutting move. Hosley will be replaced by Ken Berry, a longtime KGO/KSFO staffer who is currently program director at KSFO. No word on who will be doing morning weather tomorrow. The shakeup, which apparently occurred today, was first reported by bloggers Rich Liberman and Brad Kava, and later confirmed by a KGO staffer.

The moves come six months after KGO let go Greg Edmonds, Greg Jarrett and three others for the same reason. While KGO-AM makes money, its parent company, Citadel Broadcasting, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy because of heavy debts.

Examiner owner eyes conservative magazine

Phil Anschutz, the billionaire oilman who owns the Examiner newspapers in San Francisco and Washington, is in talks to buy the Weekly Standard from Rupert Murdoch, the LA Times reports. The Times says:
    Now that Murdoch owns the Wall Street Journal, ... whose conservative editorial page wields a much bigger political stick, he may no longer really need the Weekly Standard, which preaches much the same message, but to a considerably smaller audience.
The Weekly Standard was founded by William Kristol in 1996, and is edited by Kristol and Fred Barnes, two pundits who appear regularly on Murdoch's Fox News.

KCBS turns 100 on Thursday

KCBS All News Radio 740 AM and 106.9 FM will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Thursday where it all began on the corner of First and San Fernando streets in San Jose.

That's where Charles David "Doc" Herrold (left) operated Herrold’s College of Wireless and Engineering (right). Herrold and his students started what is widely believed to be the first station to have regularly scheduled broadcasts. Initially the station was only identified as “San Jose Calling” and then KQW. CBS bought the station in 1949, moved it to San Francisco and changed the call letters to KCBS.

In 1968, KCBS and other CBS-owned AM stations switched to an all-news format.

In May 2006, KCBS and KPIX-TV moved their San Jose news bureau to the former Knight Ridder building at First and San Fernando streets where Herrold's school had been located. A plaque commemorating the founding of KCBS is located outside the San Fernando Street entrance to the building.

On Thursday, Stan Bunger and Rebecca Corral will anchor the news at noon from First and San Fernando streets. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed will be on hand to commemorate the KCBS centennial.

Prize giveaways include 100 tickets to see the Doc Herrold/KCBS exhibit at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose; 100 commemorative KCBS centennial t-shirts and 100 free pizzas from Amici's East Coast Pizzeria.

For more about the history of KCBS, here's a link to homepage the station has created with photos and facts about its past. (Photo credits: KCBS)

The silent treatment didn't work

When North Korea captured reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling 83 days ago, it barely made the news. AP moved a short story, and papers such as the Chronicle buried it inside.

For the next couple of months, there was mostly silience. Their employer, San Francisco's Current TV, refused to comment and has been deleting comments from readers about Lee and Ling from the company's Web sites. Al Gore, co-founder of Current TV, has had little to say. Two months after their capture, Gore told CNN that he had been talking extensively to people in the State Department and others who might persuade the North Koreans to release the reporters. It was brief sound bite and Gore hasn't had anything to say since.

Some observers have suggested the silence was intended to allow diplomats to do their work of freeing Lee and Ling without the glare of publicity. If that was the strategy, it didn't work.

The silence ended eight days ago when the women's relatives went on several TV news programs including "Today" and "Larry King Live" to plead for their release. It helped that Ling's sister is former "The View" panelist Lisa Ling (In the photo at right, Lisa's on the left, Laura's on the right). Now that Lee and Ling have been convicted in a North Korean court and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor, the story has made the front pages of the Chronicle, Mercury News and papers around the world. (The AP photo above shows a man in South Korea reading a paper that has the story on the front page.)

If there is a strategy for gaining their release, it's unclear what it is. The State Department says it may send an envoy to North Korea this week. The list of possible envoys includes Gore and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who negotiated an anti-nuclear proliferation treaty with the North Koreans for the Clinton administration.

Meanwhile, the media is speculating what prison will be like for the two reporters. The New York Daily News says it will be like "hell on earth" while the AP says they probably won't go to the gulag because they're too valuable as pawns.

The case has not gone unnoticed in Hollywood. According to "Access Hollywood," Ashton Kutcher (left) is telling friends via Twitter that "this should be a national crisis ... We have to demand that something be done ... I say it's special ops time ... if we can save that captain from the pirates, we can save these journalist[sic]." Star Jones, a former panelist on "The View" with Lisa Ling, is urging her fans to write President Obama and others to ask them to do more to gain the release of Ling and Lee. And Katie Couric has devoted a page in her notebook to the two women.

Finally, Lisa Ling has tattooed her lower calf with a dove in honor of her sister. She told RadarOnline.com that it was her first tattoo — and that it hurt.

"I'm not going to lie it definitely didn't feel good, but right now my sister is going through a challenging time," Ling said. "I just sort of sat there and took the pain and I said to myself, 'I'm going to take this for Laura.' It totally got me through it."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards presented

Bay Area print journalists, photographers, radio and television personnel and public relations professionals were presented with 165 awards of excellence at the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's 32nd annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards dinner tonight (June 6) at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Foster City.

The winners were selected from 424 entries from media professionals in the 11 Greater Bay Area counties. Awards were presented in in 67 categories.Competition was for work done in 2008.

Entries were judged by the Bakersfield Press Club, Florida Press Club, Milwaukee Press Club, the Press Club of New Orleans, and the Press Club of Southeast Texas and the San Diego Press Club. The Print Photography dvision was judged by the Press Photographers outside of our region and coordinated by Paul Sakuma of The Associated Press.

A three-way tie with 14 awards each for the Daily News Group, San Mateo Daily Journal and the San Mateo County Times. In individual honors, the name of Dick Sparrer, Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, was on eight plaques. John G. Green, San Mateo County Times, took home seven plaques.

Chronicle columnist, CBS 5 and KCBS radio commentator Phil Matier delivered the keynote address.

Three scholarships in the name of the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen were awarded.

Two High School seniors at $1,000 each to Patricia Ho, Palo Alto Senior High School and Bongie Matudio, Jefferson High School, Daly City. A $1,500 collegiate award Suzanne Yada, San Jose State University.

Special recognition was given to the General Excellence winner of the press club’s High School Journalism Contest, The Eastside Panther from Eastside College Prep School in East Palo Alto. Francisco Tamayo, editor in dhief, and Angela Filo, adviser, accepted a plaque.

The complete list of Journalism award winners follows:

Daily Newspapers
General Excellence
    First Place: San Jose Mercury News, Mercury News Staff
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, Daily News Staff
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, Daily Journal Staff

    First Place: The Press Democrat, “Hasty Change,” Press Democrat Staff
    Second Place: San Mateo Daily News, “The Sheriff Must Explain Brothel Visit,” Mario Dianda
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “A 'Teachable Moment' for School Administrators,” Jon May
Columns News/Political
    First Place: The Press Democrat, “Columns by Paul Gullixson,” Paul Gullixson
    Second Place: The Daily Post, “Diana Diamond Columns,” Diana Diamond
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Columns by Michelle Durand,” Michelle Durand
Columns Feature
    First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Columns by Michelle Durand,” Michelle Durand
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Columns by LJ Anderson,” LJ Anderson
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Columns by Jon Mays,” Jon Mays
Columns Sports
    First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Columns by Emanuel Lee,” Emanuel Lee
    Second Place: The Press Democrat, “Columns by Lowell Cohn,” Lowell Cohn
    Third Place: The Press Democrat, “Columns by Bob Padecky,” Bob Padecky
Breaking News
    First Place: San Francisco Examiner, “Protesters Dodge Security for Risky Stunt,” Will Reisman
    Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Mother Killed,” Dana Yates
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Tragedy Strikes,” Dana Yates
News Story
    First Place: San Jose Mercury News, “What's Next?,” Mike Swift, Howard Mintz, Mary Anne Ostrom
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Education for All,” Neil Gonzales
    Third Place: San Francisco Examiner, “How Many Homicides? / Arrests Lag,” Tamara Barak Aparton
Continuing Coverage
    First Place: San Jose Mercury News, “Drunk in San Jose? Public Drunkenness,” Sean Webby
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Special-Education Instructors Fearing the Squeeze,” Neil Gonzales
    Third Place: San Francisco Examiner, “Gay Marriage,” David Smith, Michael Aldax, Brent Begin
    First Place: San Jose Mercury News, “Broken Families, Broken Courts,” Karen de Sa
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “A Changing Priesthood Series,” Christine Morente
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Marriage Rights…and Rites,” Michelle Durand, Dana Yates, Heather Murtagh
Feature Story of Light Nature
    First Place: San Francisco Examiner, “Colorful World of Stanlee Gatti,” Michael Aldax
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “50 Jobs, 50 States, 50 Weeks,” Kristina Peterson
Feature Story of Serious Nature
    First Place: San Mateo County Times, “Staging a Wildlife Revival,” Julia Scott
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Cats Struggle for Survival,” Julia Scott
    Third Place: San Francisco Examiner, “A Legal Tour de Force,” Michael Aldax
    First Place: San Mateo County Times, “Education For All,” Neil Gonzales
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Profiling: Not All Black and White,” Will Oremus
Technology Story
    First Place: San Jose Mercury News, “Will It Work? Microsoft + Yahoo,” Mercury News Staff
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Pilotless Acrobatics,” Will Oremus
Business Story
    First Place: The Press Democrat, “Bad Loans, Big Losses,” Kevin McCallum
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Second Careers Just the Ticket for Aging Baby Boomers,” Will Oremus
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily News, “Trotting into History,” Will Oremus
Entertainment Review
    First Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Faith' Challenges Reason,” John Angell Grant
    Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Print is Dead,” Cheri Lucas
Specialty Story
    First Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “No Rust on This Ironwoman,” Jon Mays
    Second Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Eyes on the Microscopic Prize,” Will Oremus
Sports Story
    First Place: San Francisco Chronicle, “Asian Americans Remain Rare in Men's College Basketball,” and “Meet Hell's Trainer,” Bryan Chu
    Second Place: San Jose Mercury News, “Rewind,” Daniel Brown
    Third Place: The Press Democrat, “Running on Courage,” Bob Padecky
Sports Game Story
    First Place: San Jose Mercury News, “18-And-No,” Daniel Brown
    Second Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Champs at Last,” Emanuel Lee
    Third Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “Title Time,” Vytas Mazeika
Page Design
    First Place: Palo Alto Daily News, “World Class,” Greg Frazier
    Second Place: San Mateo Daily News, “Trotting into History,” Kevin Kelly
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Daily Journal-December 23, 2008,” Daily Journal Staff
    First Place: The San Francisco Daily, “Will Court Say 'I do'?,” Jamie Morrow
    Second Place: The Daily Post, “Condom Thieves Didn't Get Lucky,” Jamie Morrow
    Third Place: San Mateo Daily Journal, “Phony Psychic Has Charges in the Cards,” Michelle Durand

Non-Daily Newspapers
General Excellence
    First Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, Dick Sparrer, George Sakkestad, Judy Peterson, Marianne L. Hamilton
    Second Place: Saratoga News, Dick Sparrer, Chris Vongsarath, Brian Babcock, George Sakkestad
    Third Place: San Francisco Bay Guardian, Bay Guardian Staff
    First Place: San Francisco Bay Guardian, “An Economic Locavore Policy,” Tim Redmond
    Second Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Friends Take Los Gatos,” Dick Sparrer
    Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “California Feels Growing Pains as Prop. 13 turns 30,” Business Times Staff
Columns News/Political
    First Place: The Commuity Voice, “Columns by Yiren Lu,” Yiren Lu
    Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Columns by Jay Thorwaldson,” Jay Thorwaldson
    Third Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Columns by Matt Smith,” Matt Smith
Columns Feature
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Bouncer,” Katy St. Clair
    Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Columns by Steve Symanovich,” Steve Symanovich
    Third Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Columns by Dick Sparrer,” Dick Sparrer
Columns Sports
    First Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Columns by Dick Sparrer,” Dick Sparrer
Breaking News
    First Place: Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, “The 88 May Bag a Grocer,” Katherine Conrad
    Second Place: Willow Glen Resident, “Authorities Link Rise in Stray Dogs to Housing Crunch,” Stephen Baxter
News Story
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “He's No Angel,” Karina Ioffee
    Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Will Palo Alto Sink or Swim?,” Sue Dremann, Jocelyn Dong, Arden Pennell
    Third Place: Gilroy Dispatch, “Linen Employees Not Paid, Threatened to be Deported,” Nicole Baldocchi
Continuing Coverage
    First Place: India-West, “Grounded: Flight School Goes out of Business,” Lisa Tsering, Som Sharma
    Second Place: Almaden Reisdent, “Living Conditions in the Hoffman Via Monte Neighborhood,” Stephen Baxter
    Third Place: Sunnyvale Sun, “Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum Coverage,” Cody Kraatz
    First Place: Cupertino Courier, “Cement Industry and AB32 Series,” Cody Kraatz
    Second Place: The Commuity Voice, “The Story of Santa Rosa's ‘Lost’ Chinatown,” Yanran Lu
Feature Story of Light Nature
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Drama Mia,” John Geluardi
    Second Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Score!!!,” Lauren Smiley
    Third Place: West San Jose Resident, “Bouncing Back,” Stephen Baxter
Feature Story of Serious Nature
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Stiffed,” John Geluardi
    Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Up a Creek,” Gennady Sheyner
    Third Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Snitch,” Ashley Harrell
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Party Crashers 08,” John Geluardi
    Second Place: San Francisco Bay Guardian, “Resistance is Futile,” Steven T. Jones
    Third Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “The Power of Food,” Sue Dremann
Technology Story
    First Place: Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, “Proteus Biomedical Prescribes Smart Pill,” Lisa Sibley
    Second Place: Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, “New Monitor May Save Lives on Fire Lines,” Lisa Sibley
    Third Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “On the Air,” Marianne L. Hamilton
Business Story
    First Place: San Francisco Bay Guardian, “Dirty Secrets Under the Big Top,” Steven T. Jones
    Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “S.F. Faces Silver Tsunami,” Sarah Duxbury
    Third Place: Saratoga News, “Custom Eyes,” Marianne L. Hamilton
Entertainment Review
    First Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “A Good 'Game',” Karla Kane
    Second Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Taking it Personally,” Chloe Veltman
    Third Place: Berkeley Daily Planet, “Scorsese, Stones Team Up For 'Shine a Light',” Justin DeFreitas
Specialty Story
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “VooDoo on the Vine,” Joe Eskenazi
    Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “A Brave Heart,” Sue Dremann, Norbert von der Groeben
    Third Place: India-West, “Postpartum Depression: South Asian Moms Suffer in Silence,” Sunita Sohrabji
Sports Story
    First Place: San Francisco Weekly, “Benched,” Ron Russell
    Second Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Different Strokes,” Marianne L. Hamilton
    Third Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Passing Fancy,” Dick Sparrer
Sports Game Story
    First Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Thrilling, Emotional Win For Cats In Finals,” Dick Sparrer
    Second Place: Los Gatos Weekly Times, “Impey Field Goal Lifts Wildcats To Victory,” Dick Sparrer
Page Design
    First Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Fast 100,” Craig Blanchard
    Second Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Green Business Report - Mr. Green Jeans,” Craig Blanchard
    Third Place: San Francisco Business Times, “From Potatoes to Plates,” Mitch Green
    First Place: San Francisco Business Times, “Party Like It's 1929,” Steve Symanovich
    Second Place: Palo Alto Weekly, “Telling Tales to Wagging Tails,” Karla Kane
    Third Place: Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, “Unlocking Retail Success with the Right Combination of Words,” Cromwell Schubarth

Magazines/Trade Publicatons
General Excellence
    First Place: Mills-Peninsula Health Services, “Healthpoint Magazine,” Mills-Peninsula Health Services
    Second Place: Mills-Peninsula Health Services, “Peninsula Health,” Mills-Peninsula Health Services
Columns Feature
    First Place: Gentry Magazine, “Columns by Glen Putman,” Glen Putman
Feature Story of Serious Nature
    First Place: Wave Magazine, “Addicted to Altruism,” Traci Vogel
    Second Place: Wave Magazine, “The New Downtown,” Mitchell Alan Parker
    Third Place: Wave Magazine, “Co-working in Silicon Valley,” Mitchell Alan Parker
Entertainment Review
    First Place: Wave Magazine, “2008/09 Performing Arts Preview,” Michael J Vaughn
    Second Place: Wave Magazine, “Fall TV Preview,” Ed Robertson
Specialty Story
    First Place: Wave Magazine, “Catch and Release,” Sharon McKinley
    Second Place: Wave Magazine, “Fixated on Fixies,” Mitchell Alan Parker
    Third Place: Wave Magazine, “Dome, Sweet Dome,” Jo Abbie

Editoral Cartoons
Editorial Cartoons
    First Place: Berkeley Daily Planet, “DeFreitas Cartoons,” Justin DeFreitas

Print Photography
Spot News Photography
    First Place: The Press Democrat, “Daughter Shot by Police,” John Burgess
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Moss Beach flooding,” John J. Green
General News Photography
    First Place: San Mateo County Times, “Veterans Day,” John J. Green
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Obama Wins,” John J. Green
    Third Place: The Press Democrat, “Marine Rose,” Kent Porter
Feature Photography
    First Place: The Press Democrat, “Artificially Inseminate,” John Burgess
    Second Place: West San Jose Resident, “Fifteen Again,” Jacqueline Ramsyer
    Third Place: Burlingame Daily News, “Bay Meadows Closes,” Konstandinos Goumenidis
Sports Action Photography
    First Place: The Press Democrat, “St. Vincent Defense,” Crista Jeremiason
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Up for Grabs,” John J. Green
    Third Place: Associated Press, “Shirt grab,” Paul Sakuma
Sports Feature Photography
    First Place: Associated Press, “Boxing ring,” Paul Sakuma
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Celebraton,” John J. Green
    Third Place: The Press Democrat, “Running Antlers,” Scott Manchester
Photo Series or Picture Story
    First Place: Cambrian Resident, “Fifteen Again,” Jacqueline Ramsyer
    Second Place: San Mateo County Times, “Day at the Races,” John J. Green
    Third Place: San Mateo County Times, “Ordination,” John J. Green

General Excellence
    First Place: KCBS Radio, KCBS News Team
Breaking News
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “Tanker Fire,” KCBS News Team
Feature Story of Light Nature
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “Water Cops,” Mike Sugerman
    Second Place: KQED Public Radio, “Marketplace: Tinker Bell,” Rachel Dornhelm
Feature Story of Serious Nature
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “Child Alzheimer's,” Holly Quan
    Second Place: KQED Public Radio, “Mercury in the Bay,” Andrea Kissack, Amy Standen
    Third Place: KQED Public Radio, “Melamine Tainted Cookies for Sale in the U.S.,” K. Oanh Ha, Pat Flynn, Dan Brekke
Special Program
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “Olympic Torch Run,” KCBS News Team
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “Frantic for Food,” Holly Quan, Ed Cavagnaro
    Second Place: KALW-FM, “Prisons In Crisis,” JoAnn Mar
Use of Sound
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “Barista,” Mike Sugerman
    Second Place: KQED Public Radio, “Iraqi translator finds new home in America,” K. Oanh Ha, Ingrid Becker

Breaking News
    First Place: KTVU Channel 2, “U.C. Berkeley Tree Sitter Protest,” Kiley Riffell, Rachel Salazar, Tori Campbell
    Second Place: KPIX CBS 5, “Hurricane Winds on S.F. Bay,” Don Knapp, Alex Montano

Public Relations
General Excellence
    First Place: County of San Mateo, “Public Awareness Campaign,” Marshall Wilson
    Second Place: Singer Associates, “Christmas Day Tiger Attack at the San Francisco Zoo,” Sam Singer
    First Place: National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, “Off Camera,” Bob Goldberger, Keith Sanders, Linda Giannecchini, Darryl Compton
    Second Place: Broadcast Legends, “Broadcast Legends,” Jim Schock, Ed Vasgergian, Peter Cleaveland, Darryl Compton

New Media
General Excellence
    First Place: KCBS Radio, “kcbs.com,” KCBS News & Web Teams
    Second Place: Great Schools, “greatschools.net,” Bill Jackson, Lisa Rosenthal, James Daly, Christopher Pickslay
    Third Place: The Press Democrat, “pressdemocrat.com,” Press Democrat Staff
General News
    First Place: Great Schools, “826 Valencia: A Great Example of Giving to Schools,” Marian Wilde
    Second Place: Great Schools, “Press On or Give Up: Should You Let Your Child Quit?,” Lisa Rosenthal
    Third Place: Great Schools, “Are We Stressing Out Our Kids?,” Marian Wilde
Multi Media
    First Place: San Mateo County Times, “A Learning Experience,” Neil Gonzales

Chron's Steve Zucker dies

Steve Zucker, who worked for the Chron for four decades as a driver, dispatcher and union representative, died Monday at home in El Sobrante after a decadelong bout with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma followed by leukemia, the Chron reported today. He was 65.

Rodriguez: Chron's dying because SF is dying

San Francisco author Richard Rodriguez (best known for his books "Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez" and the "Browning of America") tells New American Media that if the Chronicle is dying, San Francisco is dying too.
    When a metropolitan newspaper of that magnitude stops publication it indicates that there has been a death of the metropolitan ideal. Newspapers in America, most of them, the ones that are dying now were 19th Century inventions, and they came at a time where America was new to itself, when people had no idea what it meant to be in Ann Arbor, Mich., or Denver, Colo., or Seattle Wash. So the newspaper really provided a sense of place. That's what's dying.
Another quote from the Q&A with New American Media:
    The San Francisco Chronicle about 10 years ago stopped publishing [free] obituaries. It just publishes page after page of paid obituaries. Well, when obituaries are no longer the business of newspapers, just as when wedding announcements are no longer the business of newspapers, or birth announcements as they once were, that means that that city has no way to remember itself or to think about itself.

    In some way the failure is simultaneous. I've had a number of friends of mine that have died in San Francisco; they did not want any newspaper notice taken of their death. When you have increasing numbers of people, who are no longer interested in having other people know about their coming or going, it seems to me already the civic fabric has been ruptured, and that's what happened in San Francisco. It may be 30 years in the making, but it's happened now, and we blame the Internet or we blame computers.
(Photo credit: PBS "News Hour")

Friday, June 5, 2009

Vehicle code trumps First Amendment

Federal Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco, the younger brother of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, has come down hard against those who gather the news, ruling that Oakland Tribune photographer Ray Chavez did not have the right to photograph a crash scene on I-880 if his car was parked on the freeway.

It didn't matter to Breyer that traffic had come to a halt. It also didn't matter to Breyer that Chavez was cursed at and was subjected to humiliation after he was left on the roadside in handcuffs for 30 minutes.

The Tribune, owned by MediaNews Group, plans to appeal, according to a story it printed about the decision. An attorney for the paper believes the judge misinterpreted the federal law. The Tribune will file a claim in state court and appeal the federal decision by Breyer. The appeal will go to the Ninth Circuit, which does not have a track record of supporting First Amendment rights. However, decisions by the Ninth Circuit are overturned more often than any other circuit, the LA Times reported in 2007.

Here's a link to Breyer's remarkable ruling where he actually cites the California Vehicle Code.

Should Gore negotiate with NK for reporters?

According to AP, North Korea has said nothing about Thursday's trial of Laura Ling and Euen Lee, reporters for San Francisco's Current TV who were arrested for allegedly crossing into that communist country nearly three months ago.

Current TV was co-founded by Al Gore and speculation was swirling yesterday about whether the former vice president would try to free his two employees by negotiating with North Korea. Gore usually doesn't take questions from the media, but reporters at Thursday's daily State Department briefing in Washington asked spokesman Ian Kelly about it. Here is Agence France-Presse's account of yesterday's briefing:
    The United States might send former U.S. vice president Al Gore to Pyongyang in order to negotiate the release of two American journalists on trial in North Korea for illegal entry.

    State Department spokesman Ian Kelly did not rule out such a possibility when asked if it would make sense to send Gore, who is chairman of the California station Current TV, which employs the two journalists.

    "It's a very, very sensitive issue, I'm not going to go into it," Kelly told reporters who pressed him on the matter.

    "This is such a sensitive issue, I'm just not going to go into those kinds of discussions that we may or may not have had," he added when asked whether Gore himself had raised the matter with the State Department.

    "The bottom line is that these two young women should be released but I'm not going to go into any kind of details on what we will or won't do," Kelly said when asked again if it would help to send Gore.

CBS5/CW44 gets two KRON4 account execs

Account executives Juliana Kim and Danielle Dudum have jumped from KRON4 to CBS5/CW44. They'll each have the title of Business Development Account Executive.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bert Robinson to oversee Merc newsroom

Bert Robinson, who started at the Mercury News 26 years ago as an intern, was named yesterday as managing editor, which puts him in charge of the 227,119-circulation paper's newsroom of approximately 155 people. He's actually been doing the job since David Satterfield quit last November to take a PR job. But an announcement yesterday made it official.

Beats he's covered include Santa Clara County, Sacramento and Washington. He's also served as city editor and assistant managing editor.

Robinson was recently honored by the Northern California chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for his ongoing efforts for a San Jose sunshine ordinance. As a founding member of San Jose's Sunshine Reform Task Force, he helped draft the city's proposed sunshine ordinance.

Also yesterday, the Merc named Deborah Petersen as features editor. She joined the paper in 2006 as the editor of the enterprise team in Metro, and became the deputy features editor last June. She had previously worked as an editor and staff writer at The Hartford Courant.

Rally in SF for jailed Current TV reporters

The Chron reports that about 100 friends and supporters of Current TV reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday evening to call for their release by North Korea. The women are reporters for Current TV, the San Francisco-based network and Web operation that was co-founded by Al Gore. They were arrested by guards on North Korea's northeastern border and are to go on trial today (Thursday).

The Chron noted that there was a significant amount of media attention at the rally - one of at least nine nationwide - which was covered by many local TV stations and print publications.

Laura Ling is the sister of former "The View" panelist Lisa Ling, who has been on talk shows this week appealing for her sister's release. Brenna Hamilton of San Francisco, a friend of Lisa Ling's, read a statement from her that read in part, "They set out to tell the world a story, one that will be untold, at least for now. I know what Laura and Euna were trying to do is give people a voice, and in doing so their voices were silenced. In being here tonight, you are giving them a voice."

PHOTO: Journalism colleague Ariel Lustig (left) stands with a candle during the vigil for the reporters outside San Francisco City Hall. (Credit: Brant Ward, The Chronicle)

Hearst takes TV stations private

Chronicle owner Hearst Corp. is taking its 29 TV stations private. The stations include Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA Channel 3. The company announced it has bought 96 percent of the stock of Hearst-Argyle Inc., which owned the 29 stations. Hearst already owned 67 percent of Hearst-Argyle and offered the remaining shareholders $4.50 per share, and they agreed to take the offer. Two years earlier, Hearst offered $23.50 per share, but that proposal was rejected by shareholders who wanted more. In fact, one investor group sued over the $23.50 price. Obviously the advertising market, and the value of TV stations, has changed in the past two years.

MNG begins print-your-own-paper experiment

MediaNews Group has begun tests of its home-printed newspaper in Denver, the company's home base. The 25 families involved in this experiment have given MNG their preferences for news and beginning Monday, printers in their homes have delivered an eight-page paper, with two pages of coupons. Here's a detailed report on how the experiment is going.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The KGO All Stars are back

KGO-AM 810 has revived its All Star team, which will perform July 10 at the Tech Museum in San Jose. The all stars consist of the station's weekday hosts, from left: Ronn Owens, Gil Gross, Gene Burns and Ray Taliaferro. Morning newsman Ed Baxter (second from right) will serve as moderator. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a special guest appearance at 6:30 p.m. by Len Tillem (right). Proceeds will support The Tech Museum Education Fund. Limited Capacity. Here's a link for ticket information.

Workers ratify BANG-East Bay contract

Newsroom employees at the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and other MediaNews Group papers that are part of BANG-EB have ratified a contract that sets a minimum $18.75/hour ($39,000 a year) wage for reporters, copy editors, photographers and Internet content providers.

The contract will apply to about 180 employees.

The Guild's Web site said the vote was 57 in favor, 2 opposed, in ballots cast during ratification meetings held in Walnut Creek and in Oakland. The tally did not include absentee ballots, which were too few to have affected the outcome.

It is the first contract for Contra Costa Times employees, who previously were not unionized. Employees of the Oakland Tribune and other dailies that were part of MediaNews Group's Alameda Newspapers Group had a contract that was canceled last year when their bargaining unit was merged with the Times. The combined bargaining unit voted for union representation last year and the contract approved Tuesday is the first for the merged unit.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tribune columnist Peggy Stinnett dead at 87

Long-time Oakland Tribune columnist Peggy Stinnett died today (June 2) following a battle with cancer of the esophagus. She was 87. The Tribune has posted an obituary. She started at the Montclarion newspaper, moved to the Tribune in the 1970s and retired in 2005. However later that year she began writing for the Oakland Post.
    "She took no prisoners and was a City Hall watchdog in the tradition of good, solid journalism," said Brenda Payton, who knew Stinnett from their years together at the Tribune. "Particularly in terms of open government, and on certain issues such as saving the trees around Lake Merritt, she was the person who shined a light on what the city was doing."
(Photo credit: Nick Lammers, Tribune, dated 2/5/99)

New strategy to free Current TV reporters

For the first two months after Current TV reporters Euna Lee and Laura Ling were captured by the North Koreans, their families and their San Francisco-based employer kept quiet in the hopes that diplomacy would result in their release. But now that Lee and Ling are scheduled to go on trial Thursday, their families hit the talk shows on Monday to plead for their release. Here's the Washington Post's account of their "Today" show appearance:
    Two months after their arrest, the families received letters relayed by the Swedish ambassador to the reclusive communist nation. Then out of the blue, a phone call last Tuesday — the first since the reporters vanished March 17 while on a trip near the Chinese-North Korean border.

    "They were very scared; they're very, very scared," sister Lisa Ling, also a TV journalist who reported from North Korea in 2005, said Monday on NBC's "Today" show. "You know, imagine, 11 o'clock, phone rings and I hear this little voice on the other end of the line saying, `Hi, Li, it's me.'"

    Breaking their silence, Ling's sister, parents and husband appeared on the show alongside Lee's husband and 4-year-old daughter to plead with North Korea for leniency and urge Pyongyang and Washington not to let the women become pawns in an increasingly tense geopolitical game.
A vigil is planned for Thursday, 6-8 p.m., on the front steps of San Francisco City Hall,1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place.

Above is a shot of family members of journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee as they appeared on the "Today" show . From left: Lisa Ling, Iain Clayton, Douglas Ling, Michael Saldate, Hanna Saldate and Mary Ling. Photo credit: NBC Universal.

Watch Katie Couric live online at 3:30

Silicon Valley Insider reports that CBS News has signed a deal with Mountain View-based Ustream.tv to begin streaming all of its "Evening News" broadcasts and breaking news reports over the Internet. UStream.tv is a service that distributes video over the Internet. Here's how Ustream.tv describes itself:
    Ustream.TV is the live interactive video broadcast platform that enables anyone with a camera and an Internet connection to quickly and easily broadcast to a global audience of unlimited size. In less than two minutes, anyone can become a broadcaster by creating their own channel on Ustream or by broadcasting through their own site, empowering them to engage with their audience and further build their brand.
Nicholas Carlson of the Insider says one goal for CBS is to reach a younger audience. But another goal is to be in touch with Twitter users when there's breaking news. When that US Airways flight landed on the Hudson River, a person on the scene uploaded an image of the floating plane to Twitpic and linked to it on Twitter. Quickly, hundreds of thousands of people rushed to see the image and talk about it. When something like that happens again, CBS News would have access to the image immediately due to its deal with Ustream.tv.

One more thing: The West Coast will now be able to watch the "CBS Evening News" live at 3:30 p.m. rather than waiting for the tape-delayed broadcast at 5:30 on KPIX 5.

AP close to issuing guidelines to bloggers

Matthew Lasa of the tech policy blog Ars Techica says AP is getting close to releasing guidelines to bloggers and others who might be tempted to use the wire service's copy or photos:
    "The guidelines are coming," [AP News Editor Ted] Bridis promised. "AP's main concern are not the bloggers that excerpt a relevant passage, and then derive some commentary. What happens an awful lot is just wholesale theft. So those are the ones that will find the cease and desist letters arriving."

    OK, we said. How will you define "wholesale theft?" If somebody publishes a paragraph of AP copy with a link to the AP story, will that be theft?

    "Not at all," Bridis replied. "I don't think AP would have any problem with that ... What I'm talking about, and what has really riled up our internal copyright folks, are the bloggers who take, just paste an entire 800 word story into their blog. They don't even comment on it. And it happens way more than most people realize."
Bridis suggested AP will target commercial Web sites that use AP copy without buying it:
    "There are commercial websites, not even bloggers, necessarily," Bridis added, "that take some of our best AP stories, and rewrite them with a word or two here, and say 'the Associated Press has reported, the AP said, the AP said.' That's not fair. We pay our reporters. We set up the bureaus that are very expensive to run, and, you know, if they want to report what the AP is reporting they either need to buy the service or they need to staff their own bureaus."
OK, but the AP picks up copy from Web sites every day. What's the difference?
    "If the New York Times has a story, we may take an element of it and attribute it to the Times and build a story around it."
Why is AP so intent on this? "We need the money. The industry is falling apart," Bridis told Ars Technica.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Merc workers approve 9% wage cut

The Mercury News is reporting tonight that its unionized employees voted 127-39 to approve an 18-month contract that calls for pay cuts, higher medical insurance premiums and less vacation for its members.

Pay will be reduced by 7 percent for the remainder of this year, and an additional 2 percent starting on Jan. 1, 2010. Employees also took a one-week unpaid furlough earlier this year. The company can require another five-day furlough in 2010.

The contract also allows the newspaper to move its copy editing and design operations to Walnut Creek, and finance and circulation to San Ramon.

The contract applies to members of the San Jose unit of the California Media Workers Guild, which represents newsroom, advertising, circulation, finance and janitorial workers.

On Tuesday, unionized newsroom employees at sister papers in the East Bay will vote on their first labor contract.