Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Free high school adviser institute

The California Newspaper Publishers Association reports that up to 175 teachers will be selected to attend the 2011 Reynolds High School Journalism Institute. The deadline to apply is March 1. Go to There is no cost to the teacher or school.

Teachers from high schools that lack student media or have struggling journalism programs are especially encouraged to apply. Transportation, lodging, meals, materials, tuition and continuing education credits are covered by ASNE with a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

California teachers who attended in 2010 were from Atherton, Belmont, Chico, Cypress, Elk Grove, Los Angeles, Redwood City, Reedley, Riverside, Roseville, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Juan Capistrano, San Lorenzo, South Gate, Thousand Oaks and Van Nuys.

John Kessler fills in at KGO 810 Thursday, Friday

Media blogger Rich Lieberman reports that former KPIX and KRON anchor John Kessler is slated to co-anchor the KGO-AM afternoon news (4-7 p.m.) on Thursday and Friday. It's possibly a try out. KPIX didn't renew Kessler's contract and he left the morning news in October without so much as a "goodbye" to viewers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bay Citizen to spend $5 million in one year

Matier & Ross report that the $5 million in seed money Bay Citizen got from philanthropist Warren Hellman is only expected to last for a year. That's forced the nonprofit to hire a half-dozen paid fundraisers to hit the streets to find new members at $50 a pop.

"Of course, we want to be sustainable and rely on a variety of funding sources, and one of the most crucial is memberships," Bay Citizen membership director Rose Roll told M&R.

Roll wouldn't say how many people have signed up to become members.

Where did the money go? M&R said a chuck of it went to hiring top executives. In January, the SF Weekly reported that Bay Citizen CEO Lisa Frazier would be paid $400,000 a year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Patch says freelancer lifted copy from VentureBeat

Patch, the chain of online local news sites funded by AOL, has posted an apology on its Palo Alto site for lifting copy from the VentureBeat technology site. The apology said the plagiarism was committed by a freelancer, who wasn't identified. The freelancer apparently wasn't fired, either. The apology stated, "The writer has been told that taking work of other writers or news organizations without attribution is absolutely not acceptable." Patch said it has also apologized to VentureBeat. No word on what exactly was lifted from Venture Beat.

Last September, West Hollywood Patch lifted an obit from a blogger, according to the LA Weekly. And later that month, Patch acknowledged that it took police mug shots from an independent local news blog in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Veteran AP sportswriter Eric Prewitt dies

The Associated Press reported today that Eric Prewitt, who spent most of his career as a sportswriter in the wire service's San Francisco bureau, has died after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 73. The following is from the AP obit:
    He died Dec. 21 at his home in Tryon, N.C. The three-decade veteran of the AP witnessed marquee moments in San Francisco Bay area sports history. 
    He covered the Oakland Athletics and Raiders in their 1970s heyday and the San Francisco 49ers during their first march to Super Bowl victory. 
    The single father balanced dedication to his job and his daughter by bringing her along to the games. 
    His daughter, Sharon Crestetto, says her dad endowed her with a lifelong love of sports as he juggled the demands of parenting and his job.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Newsman Timothy D. Findley, 67, dies

Timothy D. Findley, a reporter for the Chronicle, KGO-TV and Rolling Stone magazine, has died at a Reno hospital after a series of illnesses at age 67, the Chron reported today.

Findley was a Chronicle reporter in the late 1960s and early 1970s, covering the Indian occupation of Alcatraz, spending some time behind bars in Soledad Prison for a series on prison issues and developing so many sources inside the radical left and in law enforcement that he discovered the identities of members of the Symbionese Liberation Army.

In later years, he worked as an investigative reporter for Range Magazine, a Nevada publication that covers land use and ranching issues in the West. In recent years he lived in Fallon, Nev. He is survived by his wife, Roxanne of Fallon, and his son, Timothy Findley Jr. of San Francisco.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Raj Mathai to co-anchor at 6 and 11

Raj Mathai
KNTV NBC Bay Area sports anchor Raj Mathai will be sliding one seat over on the news desk to co-anchor the station's 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts next to Jessica Aguirre, the station announced today. The announcement comes two weeks after anchor Lisa Kim left the station after her contract was not renewed.

Media blogger Rich Lieberman reported last Friday that Mathai would be taking on news anchoring duties, but KNTV made it official today and specified that Mathai would co-anchor the 6 and 11 shows. No word on who will replace him in the sports department, though Mathai will continue to do "Sports Sunday" following "Sunday Night Football" and will remain part of the Giants' TV broadcast team.

Mathai was born in Trivandrum, India, but grew up on the Peninsula and graduated from Los Altos High School. He went on to graduate from San Diego State University with a degree in journalism and political science.

Krukow, Kuiper close to signing 6-year deals with Giants

The Chron reports that the Giants are close to re-signing the television team of Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper. This coming season will be Krukow's 21st and Kuiper's 18th. They're expected to get six year deals, taking Kuiper through age 66 and Krukow through 64.

The Chron says Jon Miller and the Giants have not yet talked about amending his contract for the extra games he would do on radio now that he is no longer ESPN's Sunday night play-by-play man. Miller's and Dave Flemming's contracts did not expire after last season.

SF Weekly, Guardian war in final stage

Randall Chase, an AP business writer in Wilmington, Del., reports that a judge there canceled a hearing Wednesday regarding a request by lenders to prevent the Bay Guardian from collecting advertising revenue from SF Weekly.

The Guardian, headed by Bruce Brugmann, has been trying to collect a $21 million award from the Weekly and its parent, Village Voice Media, after winning a lawsuit over pricing issues. A jury found that the SF Weekly illegally priced ads below the cost of production in an attempt to run the Guardian out of business.

An attorney for the Bank of Montreal, which is representing the lenders owed millions of dollars by Village Voice Media, said the parties are in serious settlement talks in California, according to the AP.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

KGO-AM/KSFO hires digital director

KGO-AM and KSFO are looking to expand their digital offerings with the hiring of a new digital director, Suzie Larson, who was the web program director at Cumulus Broadcasting from 2006 to 2010. Prior to that, she did online journalism at Mother Jones and U.S. News and World Report. Larson, a San Francisco resident, plans to join KGO/KSFO on Dec. 28.

Chronicle workers ratify new contract

Unionized Chronicle workers have ratified a new contract that includes a fourth week of vacation, five more sick days a year and an increase the minimum pay in all categories by 1.5%, according to the Guild. The new contract had no new rollbacks and editorial assistants will get a 5% raise next month, the Guild reported. "The biggest disappointment was lack of an increase to cover the rising cost of health care, which will most likely become a problem before the end of 2011," a bulletin from the union said. The vote to ratify the contract last week was 88 to 13.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Salinas NBC affiliate KSBW adds ABC

KSBW, the Hearst-owned NBC-affiliate for the Monterery-Salinas-Santa Cruz market, announced Monday it will become an ABC-affiliate as well, carrying ABC programming on its digital sub-channel.

KNTV Channel 11 was the ABC affiliate in that market for three decades. In 2000, KGO-TV paid KNTV $14 million to drop the ABC affiliation. NBC then bought KNTV and moved the station into the San Francisco market. Since then, viewers in the Monterery-Salinas-Santa Cruz market have been served by KGO, delivered to them via cable. Both KGO and KABC were available from satellite TV providers.

In addition to ABC shows, the KSBW subchannel will broadcast KSBW’s newscasts.

“The Central Coast has never had a local ABC affiliate. Now we can bring viewers NBC shows, plus the great line-up from ABC,” said Joseph Heston, KSBW’s president and GM.  “Best of all, the #1 rated newscast in our region, ‘KSBW Action News 8,’ will be seen on both channels.”

Talk of layoffs at the Mercury News

Mercury News management is threatening layoffs if it can't get concessions from unionized workers, the Guild reports in an update to its members. Among the concessions sought is a four-month freeze on the accrual of vacation time and the ability to impose a one-week unpaid furlough. The talk of layoffs comes amid reports of declines in ad revenue in November and the first half of December, the update said. Two part-time sales assistants have already been laid off, the update said.

Columbia J-school to honor Brugmann

Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism announced Monday it will present one of its 2011 Alumni Awards to Bruce Brugmann, owner of the Bay Guardian. "Since Bruce Brugmann and his wife, Jean Dibble, founded the San Francisco Bay Guardian more than 40 years ago, the feisty weekly with a slogan of 'raising hell and printing the news' has never let up on championing the public interest and challenging the existing power structure in government, business, and the media itself," Columbia said in its announcement.

Examiner hires new digital chief

The parent company of the San Francisco Examiner has hired Bob Benz, the former head of online for the Scripps newspapers, as its chief digital officer. He will oversee interactive strategy and operations at Clarity Media Group's SF and Washington Examiners, and Weekly Standard, the company announced.

Before serving as VP/interactive for Scripps newspapers, he was chief operating officer at Radiant Markets. He spent 10 years as a print journalist before helping to take the Rocky Mountain News online in 1995.

“The first thing that impressed me about Clarity was that it’s a news organization that functions more like a startup than a traditional media company,” Benz said. “The free distribution of its newspapers is the industry model of the future, and I believe we can continue this innovative spirit on the digital side of the house.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

Student selected for internship

A College of San Mateo journalism major is among only eight college students statewide selected for a prestigious internship program.

Margaret Baum was picked for the internship after interviews last week in Sacramento with the California Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation.

Eight students from four and two-year college journalism programs will each receive $1,000 from the foundation to work this summer as reporting interns. Only Baum and two other community college students were included with the more experienced four-year students. Fourteen students from 10 colleges applied this year, according to a foundation news release.

“I am really excited about this opportunity,” said Baum, 26, who will work this summer at the San Francisco Examiner. ”The CNPA is very helpful for serious journalism students in gaining the experience they need.”

Baum is executive editor of The San Matean, the college newspaper and website. She received the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club’s Herb Caen scholarship last spring for $1,500 and was honored at a regional journalism conference in November for editorial writing.

The foundation is part of the CNPA, an organization for newspaper owners that supports press rights and provides resources for publishing and journalism education.

Baum is the third CSM journalism student since 2007 to be selected by the foundation.

“This program has been a tremendous resource for our students,” said Ed Remitz, CSM Journalism Professor and Press Club board member. “It is especially rewarding to see students acknowledged for their hard work.”

Raj Mathai to become a news anchor

Raj Mathai
NBC Bay Area sports anchor Raj Mathai is moving to a news anchor position at the station, media blogger Rich Lieberman reports. Though Mathai will be doing news on Channel 11, he will have sports duties on Comcast SportsNet and will play a significant role in the 2012 Olympics on NBC.

Stephen Buel out as editor of East Bay Express

Stephen Buel has been dismissed as editor of the East Bay Express after 10 years by president and majority owner Jay Youngdahl over "creative differences," according to the SF Weekly's Joe Eskenazi.

Buel told Eskenazi: "One of my business partners and I had a series of disagreements and he owns more of the paper than I. So he thought it was best we part ways … This has been building for quite some time. But it came to a head a couple of weeks ago at which time I took some vacation. I was formally dismissed yesterday."

Buel said he retains "a mighty 13%" of the paper.

Managing editor Kathleen Richards and staff writer Robert Gammon will take over as co-editors, according to Eskenazi's report

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Par Ridder lands at Clear Channel

Par Ridder
Par Ridder, who was removed from his job as publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune by a judge in a legal dispute with MediaNews Group, today was named branch president of Clear Channel Outdoor's Chicago Office.

Ridder, the son of former Knight Ridder CEO Tony Ridder of Woodside, was called a "proven manager and strategic thinker" in a CC news release.

The release says that Ridder, 41, served as publisher of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, St Paul Pioneer Press and San Luis Obispo Tribune.

No mention was made of the 2007 lawsuit that MediaNews Group's Dean Singleton filed after Par quit MNG's St. Paul Pioneer Press (a paper owned for generations by Par's family) to jump to the rival Star Tribune.

The suit accused Par of taking a laptop full of confidential data when he quit. Par admitted to taking the laptop, but the heart of the case was whether he violated his non-compete agreement with MNG. The dispute went to trial and a Minnesota judge removed Par from his job as publisher in September 2007. The Star Tribune settled with MNG for $5 million and paid another $11 million in legal fees.

Merc-Guild talks focus on vacations

A proposal by the Mercury News to suspend vacation accural for four months to save the paper $195,000 has not been well received by Guild negotiators, according to the union's website. "This issue remains undecided, but we have made members’ dissatisfaction with the proposal loud and clear," the Guild leadership said on the website.

The Guild said its latest proposal to the Merc includes:
    • A 2% wage increase beginning June 30, 2011. 
    • Restoration of the company's 401(k) match. 
    • An 18-month contract expiring June 4, 2012. 
    • Opposition to the company's proposal for a five-day unpaid furlough.
Union negotiators also said they reached a tentative agreement that would allow some cross-over work between photographers and reporters, but would provide guarantees that such work is voluntary and employees only would be judged on their primary skill.

10 mini-fellowships for health reporting offered

California Health Journalism Fellowships at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism is seeking applications for a new mini-fellowship. The mini-fellowship would have two purposes:
    "Educate California-based bloggers and online editors on ways to chronicle the health of their communities (broadly construed) and to provide individualized coaching on proven strategies to improve the health and sustainability of their blogs or websites. 
    "Besides paying your travel expenses for two three-day gatherings in Los Angeles (April 28- May 1, 2011, and June 23-25, 2011), we'll provide you with a $2,000 stipend to help underwrite the reporting and publication of an ambitious community-health related project, as well as six months of technical assistance on tools and strategies you can use to build audience and promote engagement."
The fellowship program will select 10 bloggers and online editors will be selected through a competitive process.

The deadline for applications is Feb. 7.

For more information, contact Martha Shirk at

Nov. sweeps: ABC7 won at 11 p.m. on 7-day basis

Here's another follow up to our report on the November sweeps. We said that CBS5 won at 11 p.m. Monday-Friday, but ABC7 informs us that they won when weekends are included. As we said before, the battle at 11 p.m. between Channels 5 and 7 is extremely close.

On a Monday-Sunday basis, KGO-TV averaged 49,000 adult 25-54 viewers over the week compared to 45,000 for KPIX, 28,000 for KNTV, 29,000 for KDTV and 16,000 for KRON. Our previous posting looked only at Monday-Friday averages.

Another point worth noting is that KTVU's big gains at noon were partially due to Giants parade coverage.

Our thanks to KGO-TV marketing and research vice president Ellen Conlan for bringing this information to our attention.

Polos promoted, Humphrey to France

Two notes from the TV business.

• KTVU has promoted Bobbi Polos to morning executive producer. Bobbi’s been a producer at Channel 2 since 2006. She’s also worked in Denver, Austin and Palm Springs, according to That source also says KTVU is looking for a managing editor.

• CBS5 says morning weather anchor Tracy Humphrey is leaving Jan. 13 and will move to Paris to study French at the Sorbonne. "It's something that I always wanted to do. A great opportunity to get to know the culture and language," she says. Humphrey came to KPIX in December 2007 after four years at Fox's WNYW-TV in New York. She had also been at WPHL in Philadelphia; WKBW in Buffalo; WTVH in Syracuse and WJCL in Savannah.

New editor for Danville, San Ramon news sites

Jessica Lipsky is the new editor of the Danville Express and San Ramon Express, two online-only publications owned by Embarcadero Media (whose flagship is the Palo Alto Weekly). For the past five years, she has been freelancing for various publications including the Contra Costa Times, the Oakland Tribune and KQED radio. She also produces a late-night program at KUSF-FM 90.3. An announcement on the Danville Express site said that former editor Emily West has moved on to a career in a different field.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

KGO-AM news director to program KSFO

KGO-AM 810 News Director Ken Berry is taking over the role of program director at KSFO "Hot Talk" 560, the station that airs Brian Sussman and Rush Limbaugh.

Former KGO-AM news director Paul Hosley, who left in 2009 to start his own social media company, will return to KGO as news and social media director.

The changes are effective Dec. 29.

Jack Swanson remains as operations manager and program director for KGO.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 2010 Press Club board minutes

Dec. 8, 2010 — Janet Parker Beck Press Room, Hall of Justice

Present: Jon Mays, Micki Carter, Melissa McRobbie, Dave Price, Jamie White,
Darryl Compton, Marshall Wilson. Absent: Kristy Blackburn, Peter Cleaveland, Dave Price, Antonia Ehlers

The Annual Meeting was called to order at 6:10 p.m. The meeting was scheduled as part of the Holiday Party which Marshall coordinated with the County of San Mateo.

Financial Report: Darryl reported income of $17,702.71 and expenses of $26,963.87 over the past year. We have $16,925.57 in checking and $11,077.50 in savings. The scholarship fund 501(c)(3) has $7,019.32. Darryl noted that the decision to award $6,000 in scholarships this year instead of $3,000 and past scholarships of $5,500 claimed this year accounted for most of the red ink.

Membership: We currently have 132 members, up three from last year.

Review of past year: Jon reviewed a long list of activities in 2010 and previewed plans for 2011.

Election results
    Ballots were counted and the following elected:
      • Marshall Wilson, president 
      • Melissa McRobbie, vice president 
      • Ed Remitz, treasurer 
      • Micki Carter, secretary 
      • Jon Mays, immediate past president 
      • Kristy Blackburn, Antonia Ehlers and Jamie Casini White, directors with terms of two years.
The Annual Meeting was adjourned and Jon opened a short board meeting at 6:30 p.m.

Minutes of November were approved.

Open directorship: The board appointed Dave Price as a director (and web master!) to fill the slot left open by Melissa’s election as vice president.

Regular meeting date: Marshall will e-mail directors and officers to find a more suitable date for meetings to that Kristy and Ed are more likely to be able to attend. For the time being, we will continue to meet in the San Mateo Daily Journal board room.

Journalism Contest Fees: Current fees are $15 per entry for members and $55 per entry for non-members. The board chose not to raise fees but to seek to reduce costs by cutting plaque expenses and perhaps limiting plaques to first and second place. Dave suggested that the Call for Entries should note that entry may be waived at the discretion of the executive director or board when financial need is demonstrated. The motion passed.

Membership renewals: The board voted to continue membership donations to the California First Amendment Coalition, California Aware and the Student Press Law Center.

Other Business: Paul Sakuma urged the board to consider offering a Boot Camp like the High School Journalism event to college students. Jon said he would speak to Ed Remitz and Jennifer Aquino, president of the California College Media Association, about what training possibilities are currently available for two-year and four-year college journalism students.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:50 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Micki Carter, Secretary

Reuters plans to compete with AP

It looks like AP will have some competition. Thompson Reuters Corp. has launched a news service for publishers and broadcasters in a bid to take business from AP.

And the news service has landed the bankrupt Tribune Co. (LA Times, Chicago Tribune, WGN, etc.) as its first customer. Newspapers have been balking at AP's fees. Reuters says it is hiring journalists and using stringers to provide general news. Reuters already provides business and financial news.

As a consequence of the Reuters deal, Tribune Co. plans to “use less material from the AP and reduce its financial commitment to the news cooperative,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

One of Reuters America's "content partners" will be, the online arm of the conservative San Francisco Examiner, owned by billionaire oilman Phil says it has 68,000 self-employed writers, or "examiners," in 240 markets contributing content to its websites. doesn't edit the work of its examiners, one of whom was convicted last month of harassing a bank executive's son and another admitted to writing a "series of preposterous articles" about celebrities to see how much money she could get from her employers, who pay by the pageview.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lisa Kim departs NBC Bay Area

After 11 years as an anchor on KNTV NBC Bay Area, Lisa Kim signed off last night at the end of the 5 p.m. news.

Choking back tears, she said, "Today is my last day. I want to thank everybody out there — I don't want to break up here — for putting up with me for more than 11 years. I am humbled and very appreciative for letting me into your living rooms, your homes every night.

"I'll still be around here in the Bay Area," she added.

Kim, a Menlo Park resident with two children, has a resume that includes eight years at KGTV San Diego (1986-1994), a year as a reporter at Chicago CBS O&O WBBM, and three years (1996-1999) at MSNBC as an anchor and host.

Media blogger Rich Lieberman said he was told by insiders that News Director Jonathan Mitchell made the decision to not renew Kim's contract and that he isn't impressed with any of the anchors at NBC Bay Area.

No word on who will replace Kim or what she will do next.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

MediaNews taps Righthaven to sue bloggers

A Las Vegas company called Righthaven, which sues bloggers and websites for posting newspaper content without permission, is now working on behalf of MediaNews Group, owner of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Palo Alto Daily News, San Mateo County Times and other Bay Area newspapers, the Las Vegas Sun reports.

When a publisher such as MediaNews feels that a blogger has violated its copyright, it sells the copyright of the article to Righthaven, which then goes after the blogger in court. Critics have said that Righthaven hasn't followed copyright laws, however, because it doesn't send bloggers a "take down" request before suing. The Electronic Frontier Foundation of San Francisco has filed two suits against Righthaven.

The Las Vegas newspaper reported that Righthaven on Thursday sued a blogger in South Carolina, claiming she violated the copyright on a Denver Post column. The column in question is headlined "A letter to Tea Partyers." Righthaven seeks a court order transferring control of the blog to Righthaven.

Sonoma Index-Tribune drops website charge

The Sonoma Index-Tribune has dropped the $5-a-month fee it had been charging readers to access its news site for the past three months after AOL's started a free local news site, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

When the Index-Tribune put up the paywall, editor and publisher Bill Lynch said that free access to news stories "is a business model for newspapers that cannot be sustained." Lynch did not return a call to the Press Democrat to explain his change of heart.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Berkeley local news site celebrates 1 year

Veteran journalists Lance Knobel, Tracey Taylor and Frances Dinkelspiel created in the fall of 2009 to fill what they saw as a gap in news coverage of Berkeley as well as a platform for community discussion.

The site began taking ads in February and they report they are well on their way to "becoming a sustainable local business." They report 45,000 unique visitors each month, according to a press release.

On their first anniversary, they have redesigned the site with the help of Berkeley designer Doug Ng to provide clearer navigation, give advertisers more display space and enable editors to add elements to the site in future.

"We had taken the site about as far as it could go with a fairly standard, blog-like design," said co-founder Tracey Taylor. "We wanted something that looked far more professional, and conveyed a greater sense that this is an important news site."

In the year since its launch, Berkeleyside has broken many news stories, including one questioning whether a new bicycle social media site contributed to the death cyclist and the backlash against Lotus founder Mitch Kapor's quest to build a new house, among others. Berkeleyside's stories often become water cooler fodder, such as a musing on the decline of Chez Panisse, the spotting of a mountain lion in the Gourmet Ghetto, the closing of a beloved toy store, and the rumors that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were staying at the Claremont Hotel.

Berkeleyside is also adding to its range of activities. On Jan. 24, it will hold the Berkeleyside Local Business Forum, an evening discussion on how local businesses can find ways to thrive in today's difficult economic conditions. Lance Knobel, co-founder of Berkeleyside, and former Director of the Program of the World Economic Forum summit in Davos, Switzerland, will design and curate the Forum's program.

Berkeleyside is also developing an iPhone and iPad app for Berkeleyside, which should be available before 2011.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nov. sweeps: CBS5 narrowly leads ABC7 at 11

Please note two corrections at the bottom of this item. Incorrect information is crossed out and new information is underlined.

KTVU Channel 2 is crowing about its ratings during the November sweeps when it was first for every weekday newscast in the 25-54 demographic except at 5 p.m., when KGO is tops, and 6 p.m., when KDTV Univision 14's "Noticias 14" is No. 1. 

KTVU's dominance isn't news since it's been at the top for decades. But among the four six stations airing local news at 11 p.m., KPIX CBS5 leads KGO ABC7 by just 1,258 viewers, while NBC Bay Area has fallen off the cliff.

If you define "late news" as including the "10 O'Clock News" on KTVU, then obviously Channel 2 is No. 1 with 88,479 viewers in the demo. At 11 p.m., KPIX draws 49,061 viewers, KGO 47,803, KDTV Univision 29,427, KNTV 28,112 and KRON 16,454 and KSTS Telemundo 3,098.

For some perspective, we pulled out the November 2007 25-54 numbers and spotted several trends:
    • In the morning news battle, KTVU and KGO are gaining ground while KPIX and NBC are losing viewers. At 6 a.m., for instance, KTVU is up 43% from 37,000 viewers in 2007 to 53,000 last month. KGO is up 150% but with fewer viewers, going from 12,000 in 2007 to 30,000 last month. KPIX is down 24% and NBC plunged 40%. 
    • The total number of 25-54 viewers watching the late news (10 p.m. on Channel 2 and 11 p.m. on the other four stations) only fell 3% during the three years, from 236,000 to 229,000. The decline isn't a good trend for local broadcasters, but it's not the doom-and-gloom story you usually see in the press about TV viewership either. 
    • KGO has lost 62% of its 25-54 viewers at 6 p.m. over the past three years, going from 37,000 in 2007 to 14,000 last month. During the same period, KPIX's 6 p.m. viewership in the demo went up 47%. 
    • The big winner at 6 is KDTV Univision 14, which has led all stations for several years. KGO, KPIX and KNTV have each lost about 30% of their 25-54 viewers at 6 p.m. in the past three years. KRON lost 38% while KTVU is about the same.
    • KTVU's noon news has doubled its ratings in three years, from 12,000 to 24,000. 
    • NBC Bay Area's numbers over the past three years have drifted downward. At 11 p.m., they're down 33% at 11 p.m., down 29% at 6 p.m., down 40% at 6 a.m. and down 14% at 5 a.m. However, NBC had no change at 5 p.m. or during "Today" from 7 to 9. 
    • While KTVU still leads from 7 to 9 a.m., Channel 2 has lost ground to "Good Morning America" on Channel 7.
    • Of the national network newscasts at 6:30 p.m., "Noticiero Univision" on Channel 14 is first with 30,799 viewers in the demo, followed by "ABC World News With Diane Sawyer" with 27,324, "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" with 17,025, "The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" with 12,488 and "Noticiero Telemundo" with 5,503.
The figures here are from Nielsen data released by KTVU and KDTV.


1. Our analysis posted on Wednesday left out an important player, KDTV Univision 14, which leads the pack at 6 p.m. if you include both English and Spanish language channels. We only looked at the English language stations, although in the past we've noted the dominance of Channel 14 during this time period (here and here), but we should have this time as well. We wish to thank Melanie Wellbeloved, research and marketing director at Univision 14, for pointing out this error.

2. The top graphic (Nov. 2010) has also been corrected. It was sent out by KTVU. However, it transposed the 6 p.m. numbers for KGO and KPIX. The figures now are correct.

Below is a graphic showing more detailed Nieslen figures, comparing this November and last November.

Update (Dec. 16):

We reported that CBS5 won at 11 p.m. Monday-Friday, but ABC7 informs us that they won when weekends are included. As we said before, the battle at 11 p.m. between Channels 5 and 7 is extremely close.

On a Monday-Sunday basis, KGO-TV averaged 49,000 adult 25-54 viewers over the week compared to 45,000 for KPIX, 28,000 for KNTV, 29,000 for KDTV and 16,000 for KRON. Our previous posting looked only at Monday-Friday averages.

Another point worth noting is that KTVU's big gains at noon were partially due to Giants parade coverage.

We appreciate KGO-TV marketing and research vp Ellen Conlan bringing this information to our attention.

The Giants were very good to KNBR

Enthusiasm for the Giants is reflected in the ratings of its San Francisco flagship station, KNBR 680, which went from a 3.6 in September to a 7.2 in November. The last couple games of the World Series were in November.

From September through November, KCBS held steady with 6.1 to 6.3 rating. KGO-AM continues to drift downward, from 5.1 in September to 4.4 in November.

The December ratings book will be thrown off by another anomaly, KOIT's big ratings for its all Christmas music format.

Here's the usual disclaimer: Advertisers don't use these numbers when buying air time. They use ratings for particular demographics.
Personal People Meters for listeners 6+
                       San Francisco Radio Metro
                      Monday-Sunday 6am-Midnight

                Format        Licensee       Sept. Oct.  Nov.   Cume  
1.  KNBR        Sports        Cumulus        3.6   5.3   7.2  1,609,000
2.  KCBS-AM/FM  News          CBS Radio      6.2   6.1   6.3  1,314,000  
3.  KQED-FM     News/Talk     KQED Inc.      5.2   5.2   5.6    821,300 
4.  KOIT-FM     Adult Contp.  Entercom       5.4   5.3   4.8  1,508,800  
5.  KGO-AM      News/Talk     Citadel        5.1   4.7   4.4    654,000
6.  Wild 94.9   Rhythm/CHR    Clear Channel  3.7   3.7   3.9  1,388,000
7.  Movin 99.7  Rhythm/AC     CBS Radio      3.6   3.5   3.7  1,351,900
8.  KBRG-FM     Span. hits    Univision      2.7   2.9   3.2    591,600
8.  KMEL-FM     Urban         Clear Channel  2.9   2.8   3.2    977,800
10. Kiss-FM     Urban oldies  Clear Channel  3.6   3.6   3.0  1,060,100

11. KBLX-FM     Urban AC      Inner City     3.1   3.5   2.9    609,900
12. KIOI        Hot AC        Clear Channel  2.9   2.8   2.8  1,116,000
13. KSFO        Talk          Citadel        2.4   2.6   2.8    428,900
14. KSOL        Reg'l Mex.    Univision      2.5   2.8   2.6    598,000
15. KDFC-FM     Classical     Entercom       3.5   3.2   2.4    611,700
16. KFOG        Adult altern. Cumulus        2.2   2.4   2.3    697,100
17. KSAN        Classic rock  Cumulus Media  2.7   2.4   2.1    640,400
18. KKSF        Classic rock  Clear Channel  2.6   2.1   2.0    723,900
19. Alice       Hot AC        CBS Radio      2.0   2.0   2.0    827,100
20. KITS        Modern rock   CBS Radio      2.2   1.9   1.8    716,700

Friday, December 3, 2010

PA Weekly editor Jay Thorwaldson to retire

Palo Alto Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson announced today he will retire from his position in February after an award winning career of reporting and editing that has spanned 50 years.

However, he intends to write a regular online and print column for the paper after his retirement. Thorwaldson has been at the Weekly for the past 10 years, public affairs director at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation for 18 years, 15 years at the now defunct Palo Alto Times and its successor, the Peninsula Times Tribune.

Before that, he was employed the Los Gatos Times-Saratoga Observer, San Jose Mercury News and Merced Sun-Star. Thorwaldson's heart, however, is in Palo Alto.

"Nowhere in the world could you find a more interesting community and people than in Palo Alto. It's been a true privilege to be a central part of local history and to have developed so many friends along the way," he said.

A link to Thorwaldson's personal reflections as he retires.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dr. Dean Edell retiring as KGO-AM host

Dr. Edell
Dr. Dean Edell, 69, told his KGO radio audience today that he plans to retire after 35 years and 5,000 shows on the station. (Click here to hear audio from today's show.) Dr. Edell told his audience that there part of him is very sad and upset.

The announcement came three weeks after KGO's new general manager, Deidra Lieberman, decided to move Edell's shows to the weekends on a tape-delayed basis.

Starting next Monday, KGO is bringing back its noon news and moving attorney Len Tillem, who is now at noon, to Dr. Edell's 1-2 p.m. slot.

Lieberman's decision came after KGO, long the first-place radio station in total listeners, had fallen to third, with All News KCBS taking the lead. In response, KGO is adding more newscasts including the hour at noon. Dr. Edell's last live show will air Friday at 1 p.m.

Lieberman issued the following statement today:
    “Dean has been on the air with us for 35 years and has definitely earned this retirement. While we are sad to lose him as a member of the KGO Newstalk 810 line-up, we are thrilled for Dean and his family. We have lots of terrific options as we begin the job of reworking the KGO line-up and will be making an announcement soon.”
Dr. Edell's show is syndicated nationally by Premiere Radio Networks. That arrangement will end Dec. 31. Premiere's president of content and affiliate relations, Julie Talbott, said:
    “We’ve had an incredibly prosperous partnership with Dr. Dean Edell for many years. As host of the most successful medical show in radio history, Dr. Dean has informed and entertained millions of fans with his trademark wit, compassion, intelligence and expertise. While we’re sad to see Dr. Dean leave radio, we wish him all the best as he starts this new chapter of his life.”

Save the date: Pressroom party on Dec. 8

You are cordially invited to toast the holidays on Wednesday, Dec. 8, in the Pressroom in the Hall of Justice in Redwood City. The informal party begins at 4:30 p.m.

This is the first year the party will be co-sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club, an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in journalism. The press club will provide some of the refreshments.

We're inviting local reporters and editors, civic officials and community leaders. It's a great opportunity to have a good time without a looming deadline.

The address is 400 County Center, Redwood City, and the Pressroom is immediately to the left of the security area.

No RSVP required. Just stop by and enjoy some free food and drinks.

BANG-EB contract extended until end of December

The Media Workers Guild report that in their negotiations with the Bay Area News Group-East Bay, there is still no agreement on issues including pay, vacations, retirement-401(k), expense policies for mileage, photo equipment and cell phones. So negotiators agreed Tuesday to extend the contract through the end of the year while talks continue.

Ad buyers want circ guarantees from papers

Advertisers have long required TV networks to guarantee audience sizes or compensate the advertiser when the audience falls short. Now two ad buyers, MediaVest and Starcom USA, want to make the same demands on the newspaper industry, according to Adweek. The Adweek story quotes Dean Singleton, head of MediaNews which includes the Mercury News, as saying: "It’s just not something the newspaper industry’s ever done." Singleton said he prefers selling on the basis of audience, not circulation, adding that it would complicate the sales process because buyers don’t want multiple ways of doing business.

Reporters jumping to government jobs

Rob Gurwitt, writing for, says that with newspaper cost-cutting and layoffs, a number of reporters in California have taken government jobs where they still use their investigative skills. Those making the leap include Nancy Vogel, formerly of the LA Times and Sacramento Bee; Dorothy Korber, previously a statehouse reporter for the Sacramento Bee; John Hill, a former investigative reporter for the Bee; Mark Martin, formerly of the Chron, and Stuart Drown, a one-time city editor for the Sacramento Bee, who now is executive director of the Little Hoover Commission.

Man falls to death from KPFA radio tower

Kristin Bender of the Oakland Tribune reports that KPFA radio employees visited their transmitter tower in the Oakland hills on Thanksgiving morning and discovered that a man had fallen from the structure overnight. The dead man -- an aspiring tattoo artist from Antioch -- was likely stargazing, his mother told the Trib. The story doesn't say how he was able to enter the transmitter site.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Commercial printers move close to Merc

A is the Chron's printer, Transcon. B is the Merc.
C is the future plant of Southwest Offset.
When the Chronicle decided to shut down its presses and outsource the work of printing the paper every night to an outside company, it hired a Canadian printer, Transcontinental. Transcon decided to build its $200 million, 350,000-square-foot plant to print the San Francisco paper at 47540 Kato Road in Fremont ("A" on the map).

The plant is 41 miles from the Chronicle's offices at Fifth and Mission in San Francisco. But it is only 7.9 miles from the Mercury News press room at 750 Ridder Park Drive near the intersection of I-880 and Brokaw Road ("B").

In January, Southwest Offset Printing is moving its plant from Redwood City to a 68,502-square-foot facility at 587 Charcot in north San Jose ("C"). That plant will be 1.9 miles from the Merc. SOP will be printing USA Today, the Financial Times, the Salinas Californian, the Palo Alto Daily Post, Palo Alto Weekly, Menlo Park Almanac and Mountain View Voice from that location.

Transcon, in addition to the Chron, has picked up three editions of Metro Newspapers that used to be printed by the Merc, and is looking for more customers, according to News & Tech.

"It's slow but steady," said Transcon Operations Manager Mike Bany about the continuing maturation of the facility, according to News & Tech. He said Transcon's primary goal is the production of the Chronicle. But now that the plant's press and packaging workers have more experience, Transcon execs are ready to compete for more commercial business.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SF Weekly lashes out at 'the political left'

The SF Weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media, is lashing out at the "the political left" for the $21 million judgment it has been ordered to pay the Bay Guardian for anti-competitive business practices.

Andy VanDeVoorde, a Village Voice Media executive and spokesman, wrote in the SF Weekly: "The California courts have held fast to a dubious principle: That endorsing politically correct 'anti-chain' sentiment is a more important judicial goal than protecting free-market competition."

The problem with that claim, according to the Chron's Bob Egelko, is that: "the judge who presided over the trial in San Francisco Superior Court, and more than doubled the jury's damage award against the Weekly, was Marla Miller -- appointed by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The appeals court justice who wrote the ruling upholding the verdict was Robert Dondero -- first appointed to the bench by Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, and named to the appeals court by Schwarzenegger. And of the six Supreme Court justices who voted to deny a hearing on the Weekly's appeal, five were appointed by Republican governors."


Meanwhile, negotiations between the two sides continue as the Guardian attempts to get its $21 million. A judge earlier ordered that the SF Weekly share its ad revenues with its competitor, though that is a drop in the bucket compared to what the Guardian is owed.

Newspaper owner doesn't talk to reporters

Billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz is the owner of the San Francisco Examiner, but if you're a reporter, don't expect him to return your calls.

Forbes — a financial publication which has a conservative, pro-business philosophy Anschutz would probably like — did a major profile of the Denver billionaire, but he wouldn't sit down for an interview. Writes Christopher Helman:
    Why the anonymity? Not because he's a paranoid, germo phobic recluse like Howard Hughes. Anschutz isn't hiding from anyone; he makes his lieutenants available to reporters. 
    ... Anschutz's spokesman defends his allergic reaction to publicity: If the guy gave one interview, the requests would never let up. His associates cite the boss' midwestern roots. Growing up in Kansas, he was taught to embrace humility and privacy and to shun self-aggrandizement. He buys off the rack from Joseph A. Bank and wears a Timex; he buys used cars and was once seen driving to a black-tie event in a rented Ford Taurus. 
    "He has no ego," says Tim Leiweke, chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group. "He is the anti-Donald Trump."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

State Supreme Court rejects SF Weekly appeal

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to review a $21 million damage award against the SF Weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media, in a suit brought by the Bay Guardian.

A San Francisco jury in March 2008 found the SF Weekly and VVM slashed advertising prices to drive the Guardian out of business, in violation of state antitrust laws. The defendants lost at the court of appeals and its last hope was the state supreme court. But only Justice Joyce Kennard voted to grant a hearing, three short of the majority needed on the seven-member court.

On its Website, the Guardian posted the following:
    The ruling is a victory not just for the Bay Guardian but for small business across the state. The appellate courts have made it clear that predatory pricing is a violation of law -- and the ruling can now be used by any independent merchant fighting big chains. As Ralph Alldredge, one of our lawyers, noted after the Appeals Court ruling: "Think of what that means for big-box retailers, which have used below-cost selling on some products to attract customers away from small, independently owned grocery, hardware, drug, and department stores."
The Chronicle said the outcome of the case could still be determined by settlement negotiations, which are ongoing. Lawyers for each publication declined comment to the Chonicle on a possible settlement.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chron's Guild unit makes case on Facebook

The Chronicle's Guild unit today announced it has launched a Facebook page to promote its side in contract negotiations. The page includes personal statements from such well-known Chronicle Guild members as Leah Garchik, Carl Nolte, Debra Saunders and Mike Kepka.

Saunders, the Chronicle's conservative columnist, says on the Facebook page:
    ‎"I am probably the last person Chronicle readers would expect to see standing up for a union. 
    "It is not realistic to expect the staff here to work harder every month, for less compensation; it isn't whining to note that we produce more work while being paid for fewer hours. ... Everyone who works for this paper has made adult concessions to make the paper the solid read it is.
The next round of negotiations is set for Tuesday, Nov. 23, and Guild leaders hold out hope that a deal is possible. A press conference is planned for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 24, at the Chronicle entrance at 5th and Mission streets to discuss the status of contract negotiations.

Negotiations began in May 2010. The current labor agreement expired June 30, 2010, but the parties agreed to extend all terms while talks are under way. Interim negotiations in February-March 2009 produced an agreement to amend the current contract. The Guild agreed to concessions at that time in order to avoid the threatened sale or shutdown of the Chronicle. The current labor talks are intended to reach agreement on a successor contract to replace the current agreement as amended.

Guild, Local 39521, represents about 250 employees at The Chronicle in editorial, advertising, circulation, marketing, creative services, customer service, finance and ad production departments.

KPIX hires anchor from Hawaii

Grace Lee, who co-anchors the morning news on Honolulu's KGMB (a CBS-NBC duolopy), has been hired by KPIX as an anchor-reporter, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser. Here's her bio. Lee began her career at KGMB-TV in 2002, and jumped to KCRA-TV in Sacramento for three years and then returned to KGMB in 2007 as a reporter. She later became co-anchor of the morning program.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Will Harper jumps from SF Weekly to Examiner

The SF Weekly is looking for a new managing editor (craigslist ad and company posting) after Will Harper decided to take the No. 2 position in the San Francisco Examiner newsroom, the SF Appeal reports. He starts in mid-December and will be in charge of all local reporting.

Before joining the SF Weekly in 2007, Harper was at the East Bay Express, Metro in San Jose and Berkeley Voice. Here's his autobio from 2007.

Harper will report to executive editor Deirdre Hussey, who was promoted to the top spot after in July after the resignation of editor James Pimentel to take a job with parent company Clarity Media.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

KQED 'content officer' to head South Carolina ETV

Linda O'Bryon, the former chief content officer for KQED TV and radio, is moving to South Carolina to become president and CEO of that state's public TV nonprofit. The AP says the South Carolina Educational Television commission voted Wednesday to hire her, and she will start Dec. 1. She said she was was attracted to South Carolina public broadcasting because of its emphasis on education and quality content.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

KGO-AM, KPIX CBS5 name new anchors

Bristow                   Brecher
KGO-AM 810, which announced last week that it was bringing back its noon news, today revealed who will anchor the new newscast -- Jon Bristow and Chris Brecher. Bristow has been a reporter at KGO and Brecher is co-anchor of the station's afternoon newscast.

Meanwhile, KPIX CBS5 has hired a weekend anchor at the Fox station in Boston to co-anchor the morning news, according to a report out of BeantownFrank Mallicoat will fill the vacancy left when CBS5 decided not to renew the contract of John Kessler. Mallicoat grew up in the Bay Area and some of his earliest jobs were in Northern California -- at KKIQ-FM in Livermore and KIEM-TV in Eureka. He's also been the top sports anchor at WJBK Detroit and WLVI-TV Boston. He's been a news anchor since 2001.

Kessler tells media blogger Rich Lieberman that he is optimistic that he will return to the local airwaves soon.

SJ Biz Journal staffer to edit Monterey alt-weekly

Monterey County Weekly publisher Eric Cushman has announced that he has hired a new editor, Mary Duan, according to the CNPA Bulletin. Duan was previously a reporter at the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. She has 20 years' experience as a freelance writer and managing editor.

November 2010 Press Club board minutes

Nov. 10, 2010 — Board Room, San Mateo Daily Journal

Present: Jon Mays, Micki Carter, Antonia Ehlers, Melissa McRobbie,
Darryl Compton, Ed Remitz, Marshall Wilson. Absent: Kristy Blackburn, Peter Cleaveland, Dave Price

The meeting was called to order at 6:40 p.m.

Minutes of October were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: Darryl reported no change since October.

Professional Journalism Contest: Darryl reported that would charge an $1,120 one-time set-up fee and $2,875 annually to use their contest server. Darryl is going to investigate if perhaps the Radio and Television News Directors Association could use it for their contest and share our tab. Micki moved that the board authorize Darryl to investigate, negotiate and sign a contract with for the use of their Better Newspaper Contest server. The motion was seconded and passed.

The board then reviewed the Call for Entries for the 34th annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Competition. After a discussion on ways to draw more participation in the Broadband/Web category, it was decided to offer the following categories for that division: Overall excellence, breaking news, general news, features, entertainment, sports and continuing coverage.

The categories open to newspapers and magazines will combine technology and business categories and add graphic design as a category.

Marshall will take responsibility for publicizing the contest with the help of the rest of the board.

Professional development workshop: No further discussion on this topic

Christmas Party and Annual Meeting: For the Christmas Party, the SFPPC will join the San Mateo County offices in its annual holiday party at 4:30 p.m. Wednesdsay, Dec. 8, in the Janet Parker Beck Press Room in the Hall of Justice in Redwood City. The event will be BYOB and the county cafeteria will cater. Marshall and Darryl will arrange the catering. County officials and the working press will be encouraged to attend.

2011 Ballot: Marshall agreed to be placed on the ballot as president, and Melissa agreed to run for vice president. Jamie wishes to continue as a director.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Micki Carter, Secretary

Tuesday, November 16, 2010 blogger guilty of harassment

Schisler's bio
One of the free-lancers who writes for was found guilty Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court of misdemeanor harassment and violating a court order.

Kent Schisler, 65, has been sending e-mails to Wells Fargo executives over a dispute alleging the bank defrauded his wife's business out of nearly $1 million. Court records show he has been sending letters and e-mails to now retired CEO Richard Kovacevich for 10 years.

This year, Schisler turned his wrath on Kovacevich's Todd by sending him e-mails to his work place, according to prosecutors. Todd Kovacevich obtained a court order requiring Schisler to stay away from his Hillsborough home. Schisler was charged after he showed up at Kovacevich's door step with several letters regarding the dispute.

The jury deliberated for 90 minutes on Monday morning before coming back with its guilty verdict on all the charges, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Judge Joseph Bergeron sentenced Schisler immediately to two years probation, a $250 fine and a day in county jail, said Wagstaffe. Bergeron also ordered Schisler to stay away from the Kovacevichs.

At, Schisler is the "SF Government Examiner," and he wrote about his experience in court last week in a posting titled, "San Francisco area SUPERIOR court trial, regarding WELLS FARGO illegal banking's victim, & his wife." Another post is titled "Government, big banks and politicians create evil webs."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Online News Association plans first meetup

The first meetup of the SF Bay Area Online News Association will take place Wednesday, Nov. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at The Bay Citizen, 126 Post St., Suite 500, in downtown SF.

Attendees can look forward to networking, light refreshments, and remarks by Jonathan Weber, editor-in-chief of The Bay Citizen, a new non-profit news organization serving the nine counties of the Bay Area. The Bay Citizen covers civic news and culture, with its own reporting staff and through partnerships.

PBS business show opens valley bureau

PBS' Nightly Business Report has signed an agreement with KQED Public Media to open a new Silicon Valley Bureau that will be headed by Robin McElhatton, who has been covering the valley on television and radio for more than 20 years.

She was previously an anchor for KLIV-AM in San Jose, she also covered technology for KICU-TV in San Jose. Her other experience includes stints at KCCN-TV in Monterey and KNTV-TV in San Jose.

"Having a reporter on the ground in Silicon Valley will give Nightly Business Report access to many of the business leaders and decision makers who shape our world," said Mykalai Kontilai, chairman and chief executive of the program's owner, NBR Worldwide.

The bureau will cover technology, business and biotech trends, among other issues, according to a press release.

Friday, November 12, 2010

KGO-AM 810 adds newscasts

News is back in fashion on the radio. First, KCBS leaped to the top of the ratings after adding an FM signal in late 2008. Then this August KQED-FM hired eight news staffers and added 10 newscasts to its schedule. Now KGO-AM 810 is bringing back its noon news (after eliminating it four years ago) and is increasing the number of newscasts per hour during middays from two to three.

“This is an exciting time for local radio: when other stations are cutting back we are adding more live and local programming to meet our listener needs,” said KGO’s General Manager Deidra Lieberman in a press release.

Starting Dec. 6, Len Tillem's hour-long legal advice program will move from noon to 1 p.m., bumping Dr. Dean Edell. Edell, whose hour-long show will be heard on weekends, from 1-4 on Saturday and 6-8 on Saturday. Since Edell's hour-long show is nationally syndicated, it appears he will continue to do his shows on weekdays for his national audience and KGO will replay them on the weekends. In another weekend change, Brian Copeland's Sunday morning show will start an hour earlier at 8 and continue until 11.

KPFA's firing of morning hosts questioned

Aaron Glantz, an editor at New America Media, has written an opinion piece for Huffington Post questioning the wisdom of KPFA's decision to ax both hosts of its morning show, Aimee Allison and Brian Edwards Tiekert, and producer Laura Prives.

"If your non-profit radio network is facing a financial crisis, it's best not to kill your most successful program," Glantz wrote. Allison and Tiekert have been replaced with programming being piped in from Los Angeles.

"It's unclear why Pacifica's Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt would make such a move, which is guaranteed to lose the network's flagship station both listeners and dollars, while simultaneously undercutting its very reason for existence," Glantz said.

He points out that the firings occurred the same day the staff of the station filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board for multiple violations of the workers' union contract.

Glantz said that Engelhardt isn't answering questions about the move, and that a YouTube video (above) has been posted that shows her refusing to give out her salary.

Of course, nonprofits must file IRS Form 990 each year in which the are required to disclose the salaries of the five highest compensated employees. But Engelhardt's salary isn't currently available because she was hired in 2009 and the 990 for that year hasn't yet been released.

The most recent 990 available for KPFA's license holder, the Pacifica Foundation, is for the year 2008, and it shows the highest compensated employee was Lonnie Hicks, then the CFO, who received $84,948 in wages and 25,377 in other non-cash compensation.

In 2007, the highest-paid employee listed in the 990 was News Director Verna Avery-Brown, who earned $77,818 in wages and $18,914 in a deferred compensation plan.

Students capture video, print journalism awards

College of San Mateo journalism students were honored Saturday for video journalism and an editorial in defense of student First Amendment rights during a regional conference at San Jose State University.

Writers and editors for The San Matean, the college’s newspaper and website, also collected an array of awards for writing, photography and advertising during the all-day “Norcal” event hosted by the Journalism Association of Community Colleges.

About 250 students from 18 community colleges throughout Northern California attended the conference which offers numerous workshops. The JACC serves community colleges throughout the state and hosts regional conferences each fall. Contest winners are drawn from hundreds of entries by students from several dozen community colleges. Thirteen CSM journalism students attended the conference.

Students Cecile Basnage and Nick Zirbes created the video that was named Generally Excellent in Video Journalism. They covered student budget protests in San Francisco and Sacramento. Basnage also received a second Generally Excellent for her coverage of diversity activities. Judges also awarded Basnage and Zirbes a third place in Web/Broadcast News for their video coverage of budget protests on campus during May.

Basnage also received a first place award for photo essays with her full-page coverage last May of a dance group.

Margaret Baum, executive editor of The San Matean, collected second place honors for an editorial about a longtime clash over student First Amendment rights and the journalism program. “An impressive amount of reporting went into this editorial,” the judges wrote. “It addresses an enormous issue for the paper and its staff and does so in an open way.” Baum has written a series of editorials about the issue. She also was awarded Honorable Mention in the student-designed advertising category for her program promotion: “Free pizza. Flat Coke. The San Matean.” “Funny, clever and simple,” the judges wrote.

Student Bruno Manrique was honored with third place for sports game coverage for his report last May. “Thoroughly reported game story featuring short, active sentences and vivid detail,” the judges wrote.

Student Christine Karavas was honored with a fourth place award for profile features for her coverage of Alexa Hemken, a recent CSM journalism program graduate who, at age 20, started her own newspaper to serve Foster City.

The conference also hosts deadline journalism contests. Alex Farr, Copy Editor for The San Matean, won fourth place in Opinion writing for his story about the conference’s keynote speaker, media specialist Dan Gillmor.

“These conferences are valuable for students because they are highly educational and generate great enthusiasm,” said CSM Journalism Professor Ed Remitz. “It’s also rewarding when the professionals who judge the contests honor the students for outstanding work.”

“The JACC conference was a great experience — it served as an educational experience and a forum for journalism students to exchange ideas and methods,” said Jeff Gonzalez, Editor of The San Matean. “I was joyful and proud for my team members who were recognized with awards, and I'm sure others felt the same about their teams.”

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Entrecom buys 98.5 KFOX for $9 million

Entercom Communications — owner of KOIT, classical KDFC and 95.7 The Wolf (KBWF) — has bought classic rock KFOX (KUFX) 98.5 in San Jose for $9 million, according to FCC filings. The seller was the Aloha Station Trust, which owns several former Clear Channel stations that CC was forced to divest under its privatization plan. In November, Aloha sold modern rock Channel 92.3 KSJO and 104.9 KCNL to Principle Broadcasting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ESPN drops Bay Area duo of Miller and Morgan

ESPN has decided to replace Jon Miller and Joe Morgan as the play-by-play and color announcers for its "Sunday Night Baseball" television broadcasts, ending a 21-year run for the two Hall of Famers and Bay Area products, according to The New York Times.

ESPN has offered Miller, but not Morgan, the option of returning as the radio voice of its Sunday night games, a job Miller holds during the postseason.

"We've decided to make a change and introduce new voices and new perspective," ESPN Executive Vice President Norby Williamson told the Times. "Twenty-one years is an eternity in this business. And today is about acknowledging the contributions they made to the franchise."

Miller is on vacation, so he might not decide immediately. He has not told the Giants of his plans, another sign that he continues to weigh his options. The Moss Beach resident has been the voice of the Giants for the past 14 seasons.

If Miller gives up his ESPN gig completely, he could spend more time in his principal job as the radio voice of the Giants. Miller ordinarily used the entire weekend for travel in connection with the "Sunday Night Baseball" broadcasts.

Giants win boosts Chron sales 414%

The Chronicle reports a 414% increase in sales on Tuesday, Nov. 2, the edition reporting that the Giants had won the World Series.
    The Chronicle has seen overall sales during the Giants playoffs run increase nearly 17%. Fans have flocked to retail vendor locations and racks to buy copies of the newspaper, as well as placing over 12,000 orders online for special commemorative packages. 
    In addition, as the Giants advanced through the playoffs, three special World Series editions were produced, selling over 65,000 copies. Coverage culminated on Sunday, Nov. 7 with a special commemorative section highlighting the team's season-long success, with a projected 107% increase in sales.
At, Coverage related to the team and the World Series victory parade accounted for 40% of the day's record-setting 11 million page views.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Former reporter Dennis J. Oliver dies

The Oakland Tribune reports that Dennis J. Oliver, an award-winning police and environmental reporter for the Tri-Valley Herald in Pleasanton and Hayward Daily Review, has died following a brief illness. He was 47.

Oliver worked as a reporter from 1981 to 2000 and then went on to become director of communications at the Sacramento-based California Alliance for Jobs. For the past 3½ years, he worked as a public information officer for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Don Buchholz, former night editor of the Daily Review who worked with Oliver in the 1980s and early 1990s, remembered him as "a bulldog of a reporter who gave 111% effort in everything he did as our cops reporter. He had an outstanding work ethic ... and did really excellent work."

Chris Campos, a designer with the Mercury News, knew Oliver for more than 30 years. "I was shocked at hearing the news of Dennis' passing. Dennis was a news professional with tremendous talent, expertise and determination."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Protesters picket liberal station KPFA

Doug Oakley of the Berkeley Voice reports that about a hundred people marched, held signs and sang union songs today to protest layoffs at KPFA-FM 94.1 in Berkeley.

KPFA's owner, the Pacifica Foundation, plans to cut the equivalent of seven full time jobs from a paid staff whose full and part time hours add up to about 30 full time positions, according to Tracy Rosenberg, a KPFA and Pacifica board member.

Listener donations to the station have dropped by $500,000 a year. The station's budget is about $3.6 million, but the station only has brought in $2.5 million through fundraising. The payroll alone Rosenberg said is about $2 million and that will go down to $1.7 million with the layoffs.

Oakley quoted Sasha Lilley, a paid employee and host of a program called "Against the Grain," who said Pacifica could avoid layoffs at KPFA by cutting the budget of the national staff that runs Pacifica Foundation.

Chris Gulker, photojournalist and blogger, dies

Chris Gulker
Chris Gulker, who helped pioneer a variety of digital concepts in newspapering — he was a leader in the transition from film to digital photography and helped found the first SF Examiner web site — succumbed to brain cancer on Oct. 27. He was 59.

After a successful career as a photojournalist at the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Gulker moved to the San Francisco Examiner in 1988 to help the paper's photo staff change over to digital cameras. From there he became the paper's "director of development," a period where he learned a variety of computer systems and he worked closely with Will Hearst in launching the Examiner's first web site, the "Electric Examiner."

Gulker left daily newspapering in 1994 to go to work for Apple Computer. He was involved in Silicon Valley technology companies for the rest of his career, working at Montclare Technologies, RealTimeImage and Adobe Systems Inc.

In the mid-1990s Gulker began writing his thoughts and observations on his website,, on a daily basis and was one of the first people to do what today is known as blogging. He built the technology to blog himself, using Macintosh and other servers running in a makeshift "computer room" in his Menlo Park garage.

Most recently, Gulker and others in Menlo Park had launched a "hyper-local" news site,, where he wrote and took photographs.

Here's a link to more information about Gulker.

Wolf Blitzer to speak at Stanford

Wolf Blitzer and David Bohrman, CNN’s senior vice president of programming and Washington bureau chief, will be the featured speakers at the 5th Annual Daniel Pearl Lecture Series at Stanford University with a talk entitled, "The War on Terror - From the Headlines to the Back Pages." The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. at Dinkelspiel Auditorium. [More]

Citadel backs off of "shocking" pay plan

When Mickey Luckoff resigned at KGO-AM/KSFO GM and President, he slammed Farid Suleman, the CEO and chairman of station owner Citadel Broadcasting. Luckoff told Ben Fong-Torres:
    Everything that the CBS people warned us about came true: total control, can't spend a dime, and you'd have to go through layers ... And then you found out that the layers were one person. He's something else. He has no regard for people whatsoever. He's apparently pretty damned skilled financially. To be able to overpay for the ABC Radio group, take the company into bankruptcy, come out of it, pay every one of his hand picked (board) directors $1 million each and get himself a $43 million package (in grants of stock) is unbelievable.
Luckoff isn't alone in thinking executive compensation at Citadel was out of line. The New York Times blog DealBook reports:
    In a highly unusual move, the board and management of Citadel Broadcasting have agreed to rescind $110 million in stock compensation after R2 Investments, a hedge fund based in Dallas, attacked the radio company for its executive compensation practices, according to a court filing late Tuesday in Federal Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. 
    R2 Investments accused Citadel’s management and directors of “a shocking display of corporate greed and dishonesty” for rewarding themselves with stock grants worth $110 million — more than $55 million to its chief executive. 
    The Citadel board also awarded more than $1.35 million of stock to each of its members — “a disturbing game of quid pro quo,” the filing by R2 contended. 
    A spokesman for R2 declined to comment. 
    R2 asked the judge to revoke the stock award “to prevent one of the most egregious frauds by a company emerging from bankruptcy under Chapter 11.”
In Tuesday’s filing, Citadel’s lawyers said the company’s board would issue stock options instead of common shares.

Columnist: SF media overstates bedbug problem

Columnist Matt Smith of the SF Weekly says local media are needlessly scaring people about bed bugs without much evidence of a problem.
    "Bedbugs don't carry disease or poison, or produce any human reaction more serious than welts that resemble mosquito bites. Nonetheless, this kind of horrified reaction should be taken seriously. According to medical literature, some people's bedbug fantasies spiral into delusional parasitosis, where they imagine being devoured by insects. 
    And the San Francisco news media seem to have succumbed. Like a parasitosis sufferer, local TV and radio stations and newspapers have recently delivered a rash of bogus trend stories alerting the public to an imminent bedbug plague, despite a lack of reliable information. The stories were overblown. 
    Local reporters had latched onto one of the most pervasive, durable, bogus trend stories in America, which essentially says, "Bedbugs Spread Across America in Search of Delicious Fresh Humans," to cite a tongue-in-cheek August headline on

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rosenberg, colleagues honored for transit stories

Mike Rosenberg
(Photo by Noah Berger via MTC website)
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission has given a merit award to Mike Rosenberg and his colleagues at the San Mateo County Times/Bay Area News Group for a series on the challenges facing public transit.

“Running on Empty: Bay Area Transit in Trouble” — ran concurrently, from Jan. 10 to 14, in Rosenberg’s San Mateo County Times as well as in other Bay Area News Group papers, including the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times.

In MTC's fall newsletter said, "Rosenberg and his colleagues painted an unsettling portrait of a transit system that is vital to the environment and the economic life of the region, but which is nonetheless fighting for its life."

Baseball's cognoscenti wrong about Giants

Eric Young of the San Francisco Business Times points out that only one of ESPN's "experts" correctly predicted that the Giants would make it to the World Series, and that none of them said the Rangers would make it. Most of them picked the Phillies or Yankees to win the World Series.

Young concluded that ESPN's experts don't know much more than the average fan, and baseball is notoriously hard to predict. Young should know. He wrote this column on Oct. 27 and predicted the Giants would need seven games to win the championship. Oh well.

MediaNews station accused of fabrication

When a controversy erupted in Alaska about whether a CBS TV affiliate was plotting to fabricate a negative story about a U.S. Senate candidate, CBS News quickly issued a statement saying it didn't own the station in question. CBS News emphasized KTVA in Anchorage, which brands itself as "CBS 11," is only an affilate.

Who owns KTVA? The license is held by a trust controlled by MediaNews Group, also owner of the San Jose Mercury News and several other Bay Area newspapers. The CEO of MediaNews is Dean Singleton, who is also chairman of The Associated Press. KTVA is Singleton's only TV station.

So far Singleton hasn't weighed in on the controversy.

According to local news reports and the LA Times, KTVA's news director and a reporter were inadvertently recorded on a voicemail recording left for Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller when the news director failed to terminate a call (like the Jerry Brown incident where one of his aides was caught on tape calling Meg Whitman a whore).

On the tape, the news director and an unidentified reporter talk about whether they can find a Miller campaign supporter who was a registered sex offender.

The reporter says, "We know that out of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.”

That is followed by a male voice, believed to be the news director: “You have to find that one person. ...”

The station hasn't disputed authenticity of the tape, but General Manager Jerry Bever said the comments were taken out of context.

"The group of KTVA news personnel was reviewing potential 'what-if' scenarios, discussing the likelihood of events at the rally and how KTVA might logistically disseminate any breaking news," Bever said in a statement.

Given that Miller is a Republican, did former governor Sarah Palin jump into the controversy? You betcha. On "Fox News Sunday," she said the tape proves the station's news staff are "corrupt bastards."