Thursday, September 30, 2010

Large turnout for boot camp expected

More than 250 students are planning to attend this year's San Francisco Peninsula Press Club High School Journalism Boot Camp on Friday (Oct. 1), double last year's number.

In fact, the number is so great that the Press Club has been forced to close registration for this year's event.

"We never expected such an overwhelming response. Our hosts at the College of San Mateo are afraid we will overrun our allotted space," said Micki Carter, the Press Club's boot camp coordinator.

For those who are registered, the boot camp starts at 1 p.m. Below is the schedule.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

KMEL host in trouble over 'holy hoes' quip

KMEL's Chuy Gomez
Remember Don Imus' comment about "nappy-headed hoes"? Well, KMEL-FM 106.1 morning man Chuy Gomez is in trouble after calling the girls at Holy Names High School in Oakland as "holy hoes" during his show on Friday. After the complaints started rolling in, the Clear Channel-owned hip-hop/R&B station started apologizing.

"I have now had the chance to speak to Chuy and hear the comment from this morning. I agree it was very inappropriate and Chuy agreed that it was extremely poor judgement on his part. I certainly feel an on-air apology is necessary, which Chuy agrees with as well," Program Director Don Parker said in an e-mail to one Holy Names employee. The e-mail was obtained by media blogger Rich Lieberman, who broke the story.

"He is hurt that he has offended so many people with an off-the-cuff comment that was clearly not thought out ahead of time and was simply stupid," Parker wrote.

Chuy recorded an apology that KMEL aired several times over the weekend.

"Chuy expressed his regret over offending anyone, which is not his style in the nearly two decades he has been on Bay Area Radio," Parker wrote. "It's certainly a very unfortunate situation, but one Chuy himself stated is one he will learn from."

Friday, September 24, 2010

CBS5 boots anchor from 49ers' 'Coaches Corner'

The Merc's Daniel Brown reports that KPIX CBS5 has replaced sports anchor Dennis O'Donnell on the weekly 49ers' "Coaches Corner" after last week's heated on-air confrontation with Coach Mike Singletary (see video).

According to the Merc, KPIX has a contract with the 49ers that gives the team "editorial input" over the station's 49ers programs, such as "Coaches Corner." Yahoo Sports said the contract gives the team "editorial control."

O'Donnell was replaced by sports reporter Kim Coyle.

49ers spokesman Bob Lange told the Merc that changing hosts was a "joint agreement (with KPIX) to give the interviews a better dynamic going forward."

Lange said Coyle will do the interviews face-to-face with Singletary at the 49ers' team headquarters in Santa Clara. O'Donnell asked his questions from the KPIX studio in San Francisco.

After the confrontation between O'Donnell and Singletary, KPIX pulled the video from its website. It also no longer appears on the Merc's website. (The video above is from YouTube.)

During the interview, O'Donnell asked Singletary a couple of questions about a Yahoo article that said there's growing tension between the 49ers' coaching staff and players over play-calling issues following the team's 31-6 opening day loss to Seattle.

The mention of the article set off Singleton, who eventually began to tell O'Donnell what questions he would and would not answer, as if the coach knew he had editorial control over the interview.

Asked about quarterback Alex Smith, Singletary said: "Alex will be fine Monday night. Watch the game and you will see that Alex will be fine. I don't want to talk about time. I don't want to talk about clock. I don't want to talk about any of that. I want to talk about New Orleans if you want to talk about that."

Marin IJ to be printed in Concord

The IJ office in Novato. (IJ photo/Robert Tong)
The Marin Independent Journal says it will close its Novato printing press on Oct. 18 and begin printing newspapers at a plant in Concord, a move that will cost about 30 jobs.

The move isn't a surprise since the IJ lost its contract to print the 80,000-copy Bay Area edition of USA Today. As the Press Club reported May 19, USA Today is switching its Bay Area printing to Southwest Offset, which currently has a plant in Redwood City. However, Southwest is building a new facility in San Jose, near the airport, where it will print the national paper and its other products.

The IJ plant in Novato has been churning out USA Today since the national paper started in the fall of 1982. At the time, USA Today used the presses of Gannett newspapers across the country, but over the years in several locations has farmed out the work to job printers.

The IJ's ownership changed in 2000, moving from Gannett to the California Newspapers Partnership, whose majority owner is MediaNews Group (54.23%). The other partners are Stephens Media Group (26.28%) and Gannett (19.49%). Despite its 19.49% stake in the partnership, Gannett decided to take its printing elsewhere.

"The folks in Marin did a terrific job for us for a lot of years, and we were very pleased with the work they did," Ken Kirkhart, vice president of production for USA Today, told the IJ. "This was not a decision based on people; it was a financial decision, saving us substantial dollars."

Once USA Today pulled out, the IJ only had its own 23,000-circulation paper and newspapers of the Marinscope chain and the Sonoma Sun to print. IJ said that the owners of the Marinscope and Sun haven't decided whether to move their printing to Concord or find another printer.

According to the IJ:
    The Independent Journal has published from Novato since 1981, when then-owner Gannett moved the paper from the San Rafael building it had occupied for 53 years to a new, $10 million complex on Novato's Alameda del Prado. 
    The Novato plant printed its first issue in Novato on Jan. 26, 1981, and has printed an estimated 1 billion newspapers on its presses since, including some 731 million copies of USA Today and 393 million copies of the Independent Journal.

While the IJ's printing is moving, the paper will continue to operate from its offices in Novato. "This is a fundamental change in the way we print, and to some extent, distribute the paper. But it's not a change in the way we gather content or sell advertising," said Publisher Matthew Wilson.

Singleton's son, 18, learns about news business

MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton is giving his 18-year-old son a chance to break into the newspaper business at the company's flagship paper, The Denver Post, by tagging along with reporters on stories. That's according to the Denver alt-weekly Westword, which obtained the following memo that's circulating at the Post:
    Sent: Thursday, September 23, 2010 4:00 PM 
    Subject: FW: Adam 
    Adam Singleton is trying to learn the family business. So he's getting a little on the job training with our help. It would be great if folks could offer up opportunities for him to tag along on assignments, he's eager really and can do some writing or just watch. He's 18 and has odd hours (see below) so his night outings are limited. Thanks.
Westword, in a correction, says there's some confusion about who wrote the memo. The assumption was that it came from Singelton himself, but Denver Post Editor Greg Moore said it might have been written by somebody else at the paper. Singleton's MediaNews Group runs the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other dailies in the Bay Area.

SF Weekly's owner sued in teen prostitution case

The parent company of the SF Weekly is being sued by a teenager who claims the company abetted sex trafficking on its classified ads website, the New York Daily News reports.

The teen's lawsuit claims her pimp, who has pleaded guilty to prostitution charges, posted photos of the girl when she was 14 on Village Voice Media's is a national site used by all of Village Voice Media's publications including the SF Weekly.

Village Voice Media is receiving pressure from 21 state attorneys general to close its adult-services section of The effort is being led by Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Similar pressure was placed on Craigslist earlier this month to shut down its adult-services section. The online classified-advertising Web site voluntarily agreed to close its erotic services section after similar pressure.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Former NYT SF bureau chief Wallace Turner dies

Turner in 1957
Wallace Turner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who mentored countless young reporters who worked in San Francisco as The New York Times bureau chief and was with Sen. Robert F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in 1968, died Saturday at a hospital in Springfield, Ore., at age 89. The Chronicle obit notes:
    He covered nearly every major story of his era, including the 1978 assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, the 1976 bank robbery trial of Patricia Hearst, and the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy, a presidential candidate with whom Mr. Turner had become a close friend. Kennedy was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles shortly after winning the California Democratic primary. 
    "Wally was doing his job and following Bobby into the kitchen the night he was shot," recalled William Carlsen, who worked for Mr. Turner at the Times for five years before joining The Chronicle.
Link to NYT obit. (Photo credit: NYT)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Salinas daily closes pressroom, outsources

The Gannett-owned Salinas Californian shut down its presses today (Sept. 19) and will turn over the duty of printing the daily newspaper to Southwest Offset Printing (SOP), which has a plant in Redwood City.

However, SOP plans to move its pressroom to a new plant at 587 Charcot in North San Jose in January. That plant currently prints the Palo Alto Daily Post, Palo Alto Weekly, Financial Times and numerous other papers.

E&P reports that the move eliminated the jobs of nine full-time and six part-time workers, who were able to apply for jobs at the San Jose facility. SOP, says Californian General Manager Terry Feinberg, "ended up making offers to five of our guys, and three of them accepted."

The six-day paper circulates 10,791 copies weekdays and 13,100 copies of Saturdays.

Gannett, which owns the Californian, has also moved the printing of its Northern California editions of USA Today from the Marin Independent Journal to SOP. That switch (reported by the Press Club on May 19) has raised eyebrows since the IJ is owned by a partnership that includes Gannett as a minority shareholder (19.49%) and MediaNews Group as the majority shareholder (54.23%).

Saturday, September 18, 2010

KTRB drops Savage, enters receivership

KTRB-AM 860, which has gone into receivership and is now being run by Comerica Bank, has dropped Michael Savage, leaving the controversial national talk show host without a station in his home market.

Savage, who broadcasts from his home in Marin County, is heard nationally on about 300 stations with 8 to 10 million listeners a week, according to his syndicator, Talk Radio Network. Savage was among the first hosts at KSFO when it switched to conservative talk in 1996. He remained there until 2003, when he jumped to KNEW. A year ago, KNEW dropped Savage, with management saying they wanted to "a different philosophical and ideological direction." He landed on KTRB, which was (and is) at the bottom of the ratings. KTRB was airing Savage live in the afternoons and repeating his show in the morning drive. On Monday, the day KTRB went into receivership, Savage show was canceled. Savage can still be heard on KSTE 650 Sacramento.

However, Ken Pries, A's vice president of broadcasting and communications, told the Oakland Tribune that KTRB will continue to honor its A's contract.

CBS consolidates KCBS, KPIX websites

Click on to the KCBS Radio or KPIX CBS5 websites and you'll land at the same place — a new site ( labeled "CBS San Francisco" with news from both stations.

The consolidated news website is similar to one CBS launched last month for its stations in New York (WCBS-TV, 1010 WINS, WCBS News Radio 880 and WFAN-AM).

While the CBS5 site has had a corporate look for several years, the previous KCBS Radio site looked more home grown, though it has won first-place awards from the AP and Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA). There's no reference on the first page of the new site to KCBS's 100th anniversary or that station's rich history. But it can be found by clicking on the KCBS icon at the top and scrolling down. There's a link to the story about the station's founder, "Doc" Herrold.

Bay Citizen branches out into online apps

Bay Citizen, the nonprofit online news site that provides stories for the New York Times, is busy creating apps (online applications).

The first gives information on how much San Francisco workers make and where they live. For example, the San Francisco city workers living in Placer County brought home an average of $127,164 in 2009 — nearly three times the county's average per capita income, according to Bay Citizen.

The second provides immunization rates among Bay Area kindergarteners.

Editor Jon Weber says the third app will be a comprehensive arts calendar for the Bay Area, in partnership with SF Arts. These apps are being created by a four-person tech team -- CTO Brian Kelley, Software Architect Dan McComas, developer Aurelio Tinio, designer David Suriano and producer Tasneem Raja.

Bay Area called a 'saturated TV news' market

MediaWeek is out with its annual description of the Bay Area media marketplace. It's a page that describes our market to ad buyers in other parts of the country. Author Katy Bachman points out that we have five local TV news operations while most major markets just have four. Here are a couple of highlights from her article:
    • At 20% of the population and estimated to grow at 10.7% over the next five years, the Hispanic community is expanding faster than the general market’s 5.3% growth, per IHS Global Insight. And although it’s the seventh largest Hispanic radio market and the ninth largest Hispanic TV market, Bay Area Hispanic household income is the highest of the major U.S. Hispanic markets and 28 percent greater than the U.S. Hispanic household average. 
    • For the first time, KDTV, which routinely beats the Anglo newscasts at 6 and 11 p.m. in younger demos, beat the Anglo newscasts at 11 p.m. in Adults 25-54. 
    • KTVU tends to come out on top of the ratings in Adults 25-54 in all news day parts, including its late news at 10 p.m., which bests the 11 p.m. newscasts. However, KPIX’s 11 p.m. news goes neck and neck in Adults 25-54 with KTVU’s 10 p.m. late news. 
    • San Francisco’s news appetite carries over to radio, where four of the top five stations program News and Talk, led by KCBS-AM, CBS Radio’s News station.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Los Altos paper thriving at 63

"Today, amid a recession that has closed many businesses nationwide and witnessed the page count of many newspapers shrink month after month, we are happy to report that we are still at a healthy level and doing OK," writes Paul Nyberg, publisher of the Los Altos Town Crier. "Our paid subscribers and our strong base of regular advertisers keep us humming. Advertisers keep advertising because they get results. Readers keep reading because it is about them, their families, their schools, their churches and their city."

The Town Crier is celebrating its 63rd birthday this month. For the last 17 years, the weekly paper has been owned by Nyberg and his wife Liz.

"When we were given an opportunity to buy the paper in March 1993, we jumped at it. For the past 17 years, we have worked at keeping three magic words foremost in mind: local, local, local," Paul Nyberg writes.

The current issue of the Town Crier online includes an essay by Bill Blankenburg, who was editor from 1957 to 1964. He recalled:
    The best days were Tuesdays, when we put the last pages together. The salespeople brought in proofs they’d shown to the grocers, who tried to find out how their competitors were pricing Crisco that week. 
    I sometimes had to take a tiny proof to Mrs. Eberly, a tiny lady who ran a tiny shop just up the street. She would dwell lovingly over a 4-inch ad for bath towels. 
    “Let’s say they are large and fluffy, and change the price to $1.98 or maybe $1.95. What do you think?” she’d ask. 
    I think she liked to have company.

J-school backs off $5,000 entry fee

Berkeley J-school Dean Neil Henry says in a memo to alumni and students that the idea of charging students a $5,000 fee to study journalism has been tabled. He said the J-school received some "remarkable responses" to the idea.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Apple plans newspaper subscription feature

John Boudreau of the Mercury News reports that Apple will announce a plan for iPhone and iPad users to subscribe to newspapers. Boudreau didn't identify his source and Apple is not confirming the decision. One expert quoted in the story predicted that Apple will take a 30% cut of all subscription fees and 40% of all advertising.

Courtroom artist Howard Brodie dies

Howard Brodie, who drew courtroom sketches for more than 60 years and was called "the ultimate journalist" by Walter Cronkite, died Sunday at his home in Monterey County at age 94, the Chronicle reports. Brodie, who worked in his early years at the Chron and Examiner, had a long career as a courtroom artist working for various outlets including CBS News. Among the defendants he drew were Jack Ruby, Sirhan Sirhan, James Earl Ray, Harry Bridges and Charles Manson.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Gay reporters discuss ethics of 'outing'

In 1992, when the first convention of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association was held, the late Chronicle reporter Randy Shilts and Andrew Sullivan, editor of the New Republic at the time, both vehemently opposed outing public officials.

Today, there's been a shift. At this year's convention in San Francisco earlier this month, Sullivan attacked the mainstream media for NOT investigating the rumors that Elena Kagan was a lesbian. And the Chron's Matier & Ross outed Prop. 8 lawsuit judge Vaughn Walker.

Matthew S. Bajko, of the LGBT publication Bay Area Reporter and a NLGJA board member, says that if there is one takeaway he got from this year's NLGJA convention, it's that there's no industry-wide standard for when reporters should out a newsmaker. [MORE]

Blast jolts newsroom with energy

Chronicle columnist C.W. Nevius writes in his blog: "Thursday night was one of those moments that got a lot of us in the business in the first place. The San Bruno explosion was a horrific tragedy, but it was also a sudden, unexpected, breaking news story. And maybe I'm biased, but when I saw Friday morning's paper, with the huge color photo and headline, 'Inferno,' it felt like maybe old school media still had a place, and a story to tell. Reporters and editors dragged themselves into the newsroom Friday morning. Some of them had been at their desks until midnight and only had a few hours sleep. But they all talked about the energy in the newsroom Thursday night and the adrenaline rush it was to jump into a big story." [More]

Business reporter sees shift in news writing

SF Business Times reporter Chris Rauber says in his blog that "'objective journalism' isn't as central to what we do as it used to be. 'Fact' and 'opinion,' reporting and commenting on that reporting, are merging.'"

Rauber goes on to explain that public relations people need to understand that this seismic shift is taking place -- and explain it to their clients.

"According to my editors, and our parent company, part of my job now as a reporter is to make that kind of point. Because it’s true and I know it’s true, without doing lots of superfluous research, or calling an “expert” to ask if it is. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, well ... you know the rest of the story." [MORE]

September 2010 Press Club board minutes

Sept. 8, 2010 — Board Room, San Mateo Daily Journal

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

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

Minutes of August were approved.

Treasurer’s Report
Report was approved as read. There was no significant change from the previous month.

Membership Report
Darryl handed out an updated membership roster for 2010.

High School Journalism Boot Camp
The Boot Camp will take place from 1-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, in the College of San Mateo Theatre and will use surrounding classrooms for the individual sessions. Ed reported that the theatre will hold 400 for registration, opening remarks and the speech by Jim Wagstaffe. Micki said that breakout sessions will be led by Jennifer Aquino, Coastside blogger Barry Parr, sportswriter Dan Brown of the Merc, editors, SM Daily Journal’s Erik Oeverndiek, board members Price, Carter, Remitz, Mays, Ehlers and Wilson and the photographers assembled by Paul Sakuma for both still and television. Melissa will manage the newspaper critiques. Micki and Darryl will tour the facilities with Ed later this month. Micki will get a revised schedule out this week and will send it to the advisers by Sept. 15.

Professional Journalism Contest
Darryl took a conference call from which has developed a Better Newspaper Contest online package. He outlined the benefits of the package which accepts entries in PDF, JPEG or Word formats and then organizes them for the judges who will review the entries online. Everyone was impressed with the benefits of the online package. Darryl will talk to the Washington state club which has already used it and will review the finances of our contest to see if we can afford the $2,875 price tag.

Professional development workshop
Nothing new to report

Summer picnic
It will be Sept. 19 from 2-4 p.m. at Micki Carter’s house, 2303 Wooster Ave., Belmont CA 94002. Al Bullock will not be able to barbecue. Everyone is asked to bring a dish to share and some wine; Darryl says he has plenty of soft drinks and beer.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Micki Carter, Secretary

Saturday, September 11, 2010

UC Regents may change media policy

The UC Board of Regents next week will likely to toss out a long-standing policy restricting public access to its meetings, and to affirm the public's right to record, videotape or photograph proceedings, the Chronicle reports.

The board has a policy that only accredited journalists can record its meetings, which prevented filmmaker Ric Chavez from covering a July 14 meeting. The revised policy would allow anyone to tape regents' meetings as long as the activity is not disruptive.

State Sen. Leland Yee and a journalists' group intervened, calling Chavez' rejection a violation of California's open meeting law. The meeting where the board is expected to change its policy is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 15, at UC Mission Bay in San Francisco.

Explosion coverage: early errors then a prank

Thursday night's coverage of the San Bruno pipeline included a few early mistakes about the cause and even an on-air prank.

The mistakes came at the beginning, before news helicopters were on the scene, and the only video came from automated cameras on highways and rooftops. KPIX said at 6:32 that a caller had reported that a gas station had blown up.

By 6:35, copters were showing homes on fire, and the speculation shifted to a plane crash.

"We heard a couple of eyewitnesses tell us they heard a plane, a definite rumble coming through the neighborhood and then something hit, and it was an explosion. This would be consistent with aviation fuel burning off," KPIX's Ken Bastida said at 6:40. But he added, "We have literally half a block of houses burning and no sense of an aircraft remnant in the area."

You can't blame him for jumping to that conclusion since San Mateo County fire dispatchers had announced that a plane had crashed in San Bruno.

But it didn't take long (6:53 is the earliest report we saw) for SFO's duty manager to say that no planes were missing.

By 6:55, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor flatly said he did not think the fire was due to a plane crash.

A few minutes after 7 p.m., a retired fire captain from Contra Costa County told KTVU that judging from the smoke, the fire looks like it is being fed by natural gas.

At 7:30, KTVU quoted a PG&E source as saying the cause of the fire and explosion was due to one of the company's gas lines.

In the course of a half hour, the Chyron describing the story on KPIX went from "Gas station explosion" to "Reports: Plane Crash" then just "Plane Crash" and finally "Pipeline explosion."

Later, KRON became the victim of a prank when it accepted a call from somebody posing as a PG&E spokesman. In an telephone interview with Pam Moore, he said all of the things you might expect a company spokesman would say. Then she pressed him for the cause and asked, "You mean the line wasn't checked out?"

He responded, "The line was broken down by Howard Stern's penis." Instead of cutting him off, there was a pause, then he elaborated on his comment. At that point, he was cut off and another anchor is heard saying, "It's a joke. Let's move on. Sorry. That was rude."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

J-school unveils pledge, student press passes

The UC-Berkeley j-school, under the direction of Dean Neil Henry, is offering press passes to students and asking them to take the following "student honor pledge":
    The purpose of journalism is to seek truth and report it to the public. As a student at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, I acknowledge that my work may appear publicly in a wide variety of media formats and outlets, including the school's local news sites. I will strive to practice the craft at its highest standards, and specifically pledge the following in my reporting: 
    I will not fabricate; 
    I will not plagiarize; 
    I will maintain my independence from political and commercial influence; 
    I will not represent myself other than as a journalist.
The press passes were designed by J-School Lecturer Richard Koci Hernandez, who modeled them after the passes issued by his last full-time employer, the Mercury News. Students were told that they would be given their press pass when they sign the pledge.

Times public editor faults labeling of local column

The New York Times' public editor, who answers questions about the paper's news coverage from readers, has taken the side of readers who complained that a column in the Times' Bay Area section blurred the line between news and opinion.

The Aug. 15 column headlined "Fighting Tooth and Nail, Unions Overstep" was was written by Jonathan Weber, the editor of the nonprofit Bay Citizen, a new news-gathering organization funded through donations led by a $5 million contribution from San Francisco financier F. Warren Hellman. The Times oursources its Bay Area section to Bay Citizen. The section appears Fridays and Sundays in copies of the Times distributed in the Bay Area.

Readers felt that Weber's column should have been treated as an op-ed, and not placed on a news page.

"It’s easy to see why these readers reacted as they did," wrote Public Editor Art Brisbane. "The Weber column, which concerned union opposition to pension reform in San Francisco, stood at the very precipice of political opinion writing — analyzing union opposition while noting 'vituperative' union attacks and 'scorched-earth' tactics."

Brisbane continues:
    Times editors said they carefully edited the piece and that Weber simply analyzed the political conflict without weighing in personally on pension reform. 
    Still, it strikes me as risky to bring on an outside entity — even one like The Bay Citizen that the Times has fully vetted — and empower it with a mandate to produce such work.
Brisbane said such pieces should be better labeled in the future. "Call it commentary or call it opinion, but call it something that people can understand," Brisbane writes.

Weber posted a response to Brisbane's column. He writes, "…the whole idea of a reported column is that it marries facts and point of view. Journalism today embodies a whole range of styles, some with more point of view and some with less, and while clear labeling of what's what is a good goal, it's not realistic to think that there can be some kind of calorie counter measuring the amount of opinion in a given piece. It's also worth noting, as Brisbane does, that Times editors edited my column and came to a different conclusion about it."

But Weber is quick to compliment the Times:
    One of the things that has been fascinating, and inspiring, about working with The Times is experiencing their maniacal commitment to journalistic quality and credibility. They take very seriously their role as the preeminent global source of news reporting and analysis, and there is no gap between what they expect of their own staff and what they expect of us. I'd like to think the learning goes both ways too, as we bring our own approaches to the mix and, together with all of our partners, push the frontiers of next-generation news.

Bronstein puts house up for sale

The real estate website BlockShopper reports that Phil Bronstein has put his Mill Valley home up for sale for $2.395 million. BlockShopper says Bronstein paid $2,322,500 for the 3,480-square-foot home in May 2005. Bronstein stepped down as the editor of the Chronicle in January 2008. He had been Hearst Corp.'s top editor in San Francisco for 17 years. He now has the title of editor at large and is a vice president for Hearst. In 2006 he married Christine Borders, who is also listed as an owner.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

AP's new rules for crediting other media

The Associated Press, under the chairmanship of MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton, has been aggressive in taking legal action against media outlets that have used AP material without permission (link1, link2 and link3). Now AP has issued new guidelines to its employees about using material that was reported by other news organizations. The main thrust of Associated Press Senior Managing Editor Michael Oreskes' memo is that AP writers should always credit the original source of the material they're using. Oreskes writes:
    We should provide attribution whether the other organization is a newspaper, website, broadcaster or blog; whether or not it’s U.S. based; and whether or not it's an AP member or subscriber. 
    This policy applies to all reports in all media, from short pieces, such as NewsNows and initial broadcast reports, to longer pieces aimed at print publication.
Oreskes' memo appears to give bloggers a defense if they're sued for using AP copy. If bloggers follow AP's rules of attributing and crediting sources, then they can defend themselves by saying they're doing exactly what AP does.

Friday, September 3, 2010

KRON hires rapping weatherman

An Akron, Ohio, meteorologist and DJ, who gained fame on Youtube as the "Rapping Weatherman" is headed to KRON 4. But KRON general manager Brian Greif said he hired Nick Kosir for his skills as a weather anchor, not a rapper.

"He's very good on-air. He has a good personality -- without having to rap. He knows weather. He's proven himself to be very flexible." Greif told the SF Weekly.

Media blogger Rich Lieberman, who first reported the story about KRON hiring Kosir, also said that KRON weather anchor Evelyn Taft is "currently looking for high-pressure systems in LA and trying to become the next weather version of Megyn Kelley."

Chron pulls Nevius from political fundraiser

Chris Roberts of the SF Appeal (an online newspaper led by Eve Batey) reports that the Chronicle has pulled columnist C.W. "Chuck" Nevius from speaking at a political group's $200-per-person fundraiser.

The group is the Coalition for Responsible Growth, which "in 2008 backed moderate candidates for city supervisor over progressive candidates," according to SF Appeal.

Managing Editor Stephen Proctor told the SF Appeal he didn't know about Nevius' speech, which was scheduled for Sept. 9. After Proctor found out about it, however, he asked Nevius to cancel the appearance, and Nevius agreed, according to SF Appeal.

"That's not something I want my reporters to be doing," Proctor said. "I don't think he realized that when he innocently accepted [the Coalition for Responsible Growth's] invitation."

DelVecchio new editor of Catholic San Francisco

Rick DelVecchio, an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years of experience, has been appointed editor of Catholic San Francisco, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

His first issue of Catholic San Francisco is Sept. 10. The publication is a weekly most of the year.

DelVecchio spent most of his career with the Chronicle, where he was a reporter for 22 years. In 2007, he joined the staff of Catholic San Francisco as assistant editor. He also has served for the past 18 months as online editor for the newspaper's website,

The announcement was made by Maurice E. Healy, associate publisher and executive editor of Catholic San Francisco, who has served as editor along with his other duties for the past 19 months. In a difficult budget environment, Healy volunteered to serve as day-to-day editor of Catholic San Francisco, as he did in similar circumstances in 2003-07. He also serves as director of the Department of Communications and Outreach.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Anti-paparazzi bill hits governor's desk

The bill by former Assembly speaker Karen Bass to crackdown on paparazzi, AB2479, was approved Tuesday by the Legislature over the objections of media organizations which argued it criminalizes news-gathering. It now heads to Gov. Schwarzenegger, whose family was the victim of paparazzi driving recklessly.

Before the bill was approved, Bass amended it so that three types of vehicle code violations — tailgating, reckless driving and interfering with the operation of a vehicle — could be charged as misdemeanors instead of infractions. Misdemeanors carry a maximum $5,000 fine and one year in jail.

The vehicle code violations could only be raised to misdemeanors if the photographer had "the intent to capture any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of another person for a commercial purpose."

AB 2479 would also amend the state's civil anti-paparazzi law (Civil Code Sec.1708.8) to include "false imprisonment that is committed in order to obtain a visual image or other impression of the person.”

The California Newspaper Publishers Association is urging Schwarzenegger to veto AB2479. Here's CNPA's report on the bill.

First medical marijuana ad on TV airs

Broadcasting & Cable's Michael Malone reports that KTXL, the Tribune-owned Fox affiliate in Sacramento, this week aired what it says is the first TV ad for a medical marijuana dispensary. The ad, produced by KTXL, features patients of the dispensary giving testimonials. The word "marijuana" isn't said in the spot, but cannibis is mentioned. FM music stations have been running such spots for a couple of years now, but this is a first for TV. Here's how KTXL covered it.