Saturday, January 29, 2011

KGO-TV crew robbed, beaten in East Oakland

Channel 7 reporter Tomas Roman was thrown to the ground at gunpoint and photographer Stan Wong was robbed of his camera while reporting in an East Oakland neighborhood, according to the Chronicle and Oakland Tribune.

Roman and Wong had finished interviewing neighbors in the 600 block of Capistrano Drive about efforts to find homes for a pack of severely abused pit-bull dogs when they were approached by two men at about 7:10 p.m. Thursday.

One threw Roman to the ground, pointed a gun at him and threatened his life. The other armed man confronted Wong and beat him with a gun.

The robbers ran away with Wong’s Panasonic P2 video camera. The victims were taken to a hospital.

"We're very grateful they were not seriously injured. They're doing fine,” said Kevin Keeshan, KGO-TV news director.

Keeshan said the robbers would have a difficult time selling or using the specialized Panasonic P2 camera.

"They won't be able to pawn it or take home movies with it," Keeshan said.

KDFC's ratings surged before format flip

Classical KDFC had its best ratings of the year a month before it was replaced at 102.1 FM with simulcast of San Jose’s KFOX, the latest report from Arbitron shows.

KDFC had a 3.9 for the holiday period, up from 2.4 in November.

On Jan. 18, Entercom Communications announced that it had sold KDFC to the University of Southern California, which owns a Los Angeles classical station, KUSC 91.5. Entrecom bought two noncommercial FM frequencies (KUSF 90.3 in San Francisco and KNDL 89.9 in Napa County) and gave them to USC in the swap. However, neither station has much power compared to the old KDFC, and USC wants to increase the power of KUSF and buy a station the South Bay to bring classical music back to that area.

KDFC’s numbers in December were likely bolstered by the playing of classical Christmas songs.

A Christmas music worked for Lite Rock KOIT-FM 95.6, which dominated the ratings during the holidays with a 9.0 rating, up from 8.1 last year during the same period.

KOIT switches to all Christmas music in November, a format that is becoming increasingly successful year after year.

Without the Christmas music stunting, the leader would have been KCBS All News, which checked in at 6.0. KQED-FM 88.5 was third with 4.8.

The rest of the Top 10 were:
    4. KGO-AM NewsTalk 810 (4.4) 
    5. KMVQ Movin' 99.7 (4.3) 
    6. KYLD WiLD 94.9 (4.1) 
    7. Classical KDFC 102.1 (3.9) 
    8. KMEL 106.1 (3.4) 
    9. Univision’s KBRG Recuerdo 100.3 (3.4) 
    10. KISS-FM 98.1 (3.3)
These ratings are for all listeners ages 6 and above. Advertisers use ratings for particular demographics rather than the overall numbers.

CBS Radio’s Movin 99.7, which played dance music, moved on to a new format this month, as well. The station’s new name is Now! 99.7, and it’s playing Top 40 hits with artists such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Beyonce, etc.

Among the big radio companies, Clear Channel stations had a combined 17.8% share of the cumulative ratings, with 16% for Entercom and 15.4% for CBS.

The complete list can be found at and

Friday, January 28, 2011

New publishers for Marin IJ, Coco Times

MediaNews Group announced today that Matt Wilson is leaving as publisher of the Marin Independent Journal and would be replaced by David Rounds, former publisher of MNG's Contra Costa Times. In addition, Rounds will serve as vice president in charge of circulation for MediaNews Group in the Bay Area.

MNG described the moves as a "management realignment."

Today's announcement said that Wilson, 54, of Berkeley, will be "leaving the newspaper to pursue other opportunities."

Wilson had been executive editor of the IJ from 2004 until 2008 when he was promoted to publisher. He spent 22 years at the San Francisco Chronicle, serving as managing editor, executive editor, associate publisher and executive vice president for news.

Rounds, 60, of Livermore, has served for more than two years as president and publisher of Bay Area News Group East Bay — including the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune — for MediaNews Group, parent company of the Independent Journal.

Before that he was vice president of circulation for the Contra Costa Times for more than seven years and had financial and operational responsibility for several East Bay newspapers, including the West County Times, the Valley Times, the Antioch Ledger and the San Ramon Valley Times.

In today's statement, MNG's top executive for the Bay Area, Mac Tully, said he wanted "a real heavy hitter" to replace Wilson.

UPDATE, 5:10 P.M., JAN. 28: Mac Tully will be replacing Rounds as publisher of the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and other East Bay papers operated by MediaNews Group, those papers reported Friday afternoon.

Tully had been overseeing Rounds as publisher of the East Bay papers before the move. The newspaper group said it hopes the moves will help it operate more efficiently.

"We are trying to combine and utilize resources in the best way we can," Tully said.

Merc investigations editor moves on to Medill

Rick Tulsky, investigations editor at the Mercury News, is joining the Medill School of Journalism at Northwest University as its director of a new "watchdog/accountability initiative." Tulsky will "lead development of an initiative that will involve students, faculty and local organizations in identifying systemic flaws in government and public institutions and empowering citizens with the kind of knowledge that leads to change," according to a statement from Medill. Tulsky is one of the Merc's most honored staffers, having shared a Pulitzer in 1987 when he was at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He was also a Pulitzer finalist at the LA Times and Merc.

California Watch creates distribution network

California Watch, a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, has created a distribution network for its stories, giving its reporters a larger audience than the project's website and its relationship with KQED. It also gives CalWatch a new source of revenue besides grants and memberships.

The network will include the San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Diego Union Tribune, Orange County Register, Bakersfield Californian, and the Fresno Bee.

“It’s our hope that many more news organizations, both large and small, will join us in the coming months," said California Watch Editorial Director Mark Katches. They're looking for both newspapers and broadcasters to sign up.

Columnist questions's purpose

Nicholas Carlson of Silcon Alley Business Insider has posted a scathing column about, the chain of hyperlocal websites. From Carlson's column:
    AOL now has about 800 Patch editors nationwide. The number is supposed to swell to 1,000 by year end. Each editors makes $40,000 to $50,000 per year. Add in payroll taxes and some benefits and you have to figure Patch's people alone cost AOL around $50 million each year. 
    That is an absurdly small number. 
    By contrast, Gawker Media, with a headcount around 120, reaches around 30 million people each month, according to Quantcast. ComScore says the Huffington Post has 25 million unique visitors each month. 
    The question that must be driving Armstrong and Patch boss Warren Webster nuts is: Why is Patch's traffic so low? 
    Critics attack Patch's content as "piffle," too boosterish, irrelevant, or amateurish. 
    All of that may be true, but it's not the real problem. The real problem with Patch is that no one needs it.
Carlson goes on to question the wisdom of Tim Armstrong, the chief executive of Patch's parent company AOL.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yee gets death threats after criticizing Limbaugh

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco who has introduced bills to expand press freedom, is receiving death threats after asking Rush Limbaugh to apologize for mocking the Chinese language.

One fax received by Yee showed a graphic of an American flag adorned pickup truck dragging a noose.

The faxes that were sent to Yee’s office today also state (with misspellings):
    FIGHTING The Marxist Nigger Thug Hussein Obama & Fish Head Leeland Yee To: JoBama Rectum Sniffing Moron LEELAND LEE Achtung! Fish Head Leeland Lee. Rush Limbaugh will kick your Chink ass and expose you for the fool you are. Without exceptions, Marxists are enemies of the United States Constitution! Death to all Marxists! Foreign and Domestic!

“It is quite disturbing that such racist sentiment still exists in our country,” said Yee. “As I have said in the past, it is unfortunate acts like these that demonstrate why we must continue to be vigilant against hate and intolerance. Such vitriol has no place within our political discourse or anywhere in our society.”

The expletive-laden faxes contain graphics and language similar to messages Yee receive in April 2010 after he called for Sarah Palin’s speaking fee at California State University to be disclosed. The Pima County Sheriff’s Office in Arizona contacted Yee regarding the April faxes and a possible connection to faxes found during the investigation surrounding the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Broadcasting legend Carter B. Smith dies

Longtime long-time Bay Area radio personality Carter Blakemore Smith died Monday after a battle with a brain tumor. He was 74.

Known on the air as Carter B. Smith, he got his start as an intern on KSAN-AM (1450) in the 1950s before joining Berkeley's KRE (then 1400 AM and 102.9 FM) and KSFR (then 94.9 FM) a few years later. He parlayed his experience into a role as sidekick, foil and substitute for Don Sherwood at KSFO. In all, he worked three separate stints at KSFO over the years, according to his biography at the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.

Among Carter's greatest accomplishments was his effort in 1982 to publicize the need to restore San Francisco's landmark cable cars, the bio said. In addition to taking an 18-hour marathon ride on "Cable Car 68" to raise funds for the restoration effort, he appeared on radio stations from coast-to-coast (and around the world via shortwave) to increase awareness of the venture. His interests were varied and wide-ranging, and included aviation history and ham radio (Carter's amateur license was K6CWM).

Always a listener favorite, he later moved on to KNBR, KFRC (in its Magic 61 incarnation) and KABL.

Smith was inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2007 and here are some of his airchecks.

No charges in 'unusual' raid of ex-newsman's home

The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office has decided against filing drug charges against former newsman Brian Bothun, whose Atherton home was raided by 11 police officers and a drug-sniffing dog in October, according to reports in the Palo Alto Daily Post and the Menlo Park Almanac.

In the raid, probation officers, Atherton police and members of the computer crime task force combed Bothun's home and found 0.01 gram of methamphetamine, which has a street value of 60 cents, according to the Post. The search was permitted because Bothun, 48, was on probation in a 2008 misdemeanor drug case out of Menlo Park — a conviction San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Richard Livermore cleared from Bothun's record this month.

The search was conducted at the end of Bothun's probation period and authorities would not say why they decided to raid the former newsman's home.

Bothun, who was with the Palo Alto Daily News from 1996 to 2005, wrote a series of stories that cost then Atherton Police Chief Steve Cader his job. Bothun discovered that Cader had voted illegally in an Atherton tax election.

Current Atherton Police Chief Mike Guerra told the Post that Bothun wasn't being targeted by police and that policy carried out the search at the request of the Probation Department.

Guerra confirmed that his department doesn't often conduct raids in misdemeanor probation cases.

Dan Barton, Bothun's attorney, told the Post that he had never heard of such a raid in a misdemeanor probation case. "It's a phenomenal display of force and an unusual display of force for a misdemeanor probation. It has got to be personal," Barton said.

Barton said he hopes the police harassment of Bothun will now end.

Guerra, the police chief, said his officers haven't been harassing Bothun, saying none of them have ever stopped the former newsman while he was walking around or driving.

Disclosure: The Press Club's webmaster, Dave Price, was Bothun's boss at the Daily News.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Singleton out as merger rumors heat up

A day after Dean Singleton announced he was stepping down as MediaNews Group CEO, the Wall Street Journal reports that the hedge fund that apparently took control of MNG, Alden Global Capital, is looking to merge it with Freedom Communications, owner of the Orange County Register.

Such a deal would bring together the Register with MediaNews Group's nine Southern California newspapers, led by the Los Angeles Daily News.

According to WSJ:
    The person familiar with the matter said Alden wants to roll at least some of its various newspaper holdings into a single company.
Meanwhile, Singleton said in interviews today that he is not retiring and will remain as "executive chairman" and continue in a strategic and deal-making role for MNG. However, Singleton's hand-picked successor, Jody Lodovic, left in the wake of Tuesday's shake-up.

In an interview with the Denver Business Journal, Singleton declined to say how much of a stake Alden has in MNG. “Alden is a substantial shareholder,” Singleton said. “The changes that we’ve made aligns board membership with share holdings.” Alden apparently has a large enough stake that it is able to put its own people on MNG's board and pick an interim president who will run the company until a new CEO is found.

KDFC goes noncommercial, KFOX enters SF

San Jose classic rock station KFOX (KUFX) is taking over classical KDFC’s 102.1 frequency, and KDFC will become a noncommercial station transmitting at 90.3 FM in San Francisco in a swap announced Tuesday.

Entercom Communications sold KDFC to the University of Southern California for an undisclosed amount. At noon Monday, USC will move the station from 102.1 to its new frequencies, 90.3 in San Francisco and 89.9 in the North Bay, which were acquired from other noncommercial broadcasters.

"The new signals will have minimal reception south of Oakland and San Francisco for now, but will continue to be available over the internet at," said KDFC vice president Bill Lueth on the station's website. "The new KDFC has already begun to look for new signals to offer reception in the South Bay and the entire Bay Area for our around-the-clock classical programming."

KDFC operates with 33,000 watts from a transmitter atop Mount Beacon in Marin County, above Sausalito. KDFC will move to KUSF, which operates from San Francisco with 3,000 watts.

Dianne Nicolini, Hoyt Smith, Rik Malone and Ray White will remain with KDFC, according to Lueth.

Now here's the story about KFOX. In November, Entercom bought KFOX in San Jose for $9 million. It was previously a Clear Channel station.

At noon Monday, KFOX will begin transmitting on the old KDFC 102.1 frequency in San Francisco while continuing to operate in San Jose at 98.5. The arrangement is similar to that of KFOG, which transmits in San Francisco at 104.5 and in the South Bay at 97.7.

KFOX will remain a classic rock station. Greg Kihn is in no jeopardy as the morning man and Tim Jeffreys will continue on middays, and the station will air the Sharks in both SJ and SF. KFOG's Rick Stuart is joining KFOX and will do the afternoon drive. Entercom has hired former KSAN and KSEG program director Larry Sharp to be KFOX's pd.

As part of this swap, the University of San Francisco’s KUSF 90.3 has left the air and will become an Internet station. KCBS Radio reports that when KUSF employees showed up for work, they found the station was locked and closed. The Chron also reports that the station’s staff was left in the dark about the penning sale. USF spokesman Gary McDonald told KCBS that the sale of KUSF’s license fetched $3.75 million for the school. Staffers will meet Wednesday night at the station to figure out what they will do next.

"As it shifts to an online-only format, USF will focus on the station’s primary purpose as a teaching laboratory for students," a statement from USF said.

KDFC will also be heard on 800-watt KNDL 89.9 FM in Angwin (Napa County), which was acquired from Howell Mountain Broadcasting Co. Howell had been broadcasting a Christian format called "the Candle."

"These changes follow a long trend of classical stations moving from the commercial to the non-commercial model, which has proved more sustainable for classical music because of the passion of its listeners," said Brenda Barnes, president of Classical KUSC, the Los Angeles classical station that has been run by USC for over 60 years and now will operate KDFC. "Because classical music has been transitioning, we contacted Entercom to ask if they were willing to work with us on a managed transition."

A press release, issued jointly by USC and Entercom, has quotes from San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and SF Opera General Director David Gockley blessing the deal.

Sunday, January 16, 2011 is struggling to get noticed

The New York Times reports that is having a difficult time attracting readers:

    "Traffic on individual sites is low; former editors say that the average post attracts just 100 views and that they considered 500 page views a wild success. But the overall traffic is growing quickly."

Merc, BANG-EB Guild members OK new contracts

Guild members at the San Jose Mercury News and the Bay Area News Group-East Bay that call for five unpaid furlough days in the next five months in exchange for no layoffs during that time period, according to a statement from the union.

The vote at the Merc was 61 to 47. In the East Bay was 33 to 16.

According to the Guild, the contracts also call for a freeze on vacation accruals and "new terms for consolidating editorial operations while retaining separate bargaining units."

The statement from the Guild suggested union leaders weren't enthusiastic about the new contracts:
    Cost-cutting pressures have grown more intense as ad sales have slumped. But the large number of "no" votes showed union members are growing impatient with management's constant pleading for handouts. 
    On Wednesday, East Bay Unit Chair George Kelly said what's really needed is creative leadership, not more givebacks by workers. Although the economic downturn obviously has hurt newspapers, Kelly said management's biggest problem is its "poverty of imagination."
Both the Merc and BANG-EB (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.) are operated by Denver-based MediaNews Group and owned by the California Newspapers Partnership, whose majority owner (54.23%) is MediaNews. The other partners are Gannett (19.49%) and Stephens Media Group (26.28%).

Bolden-Monifa's role expanded at CBS SF

Akilah Bolden-Monifa, communications director for KPIX CBS5 and KBCW CW44, has been given the same duties for CBS Radio's two AM and four FM stations.

Bolden-Monifa will continue to report locally to Ron Longinotti, president-GM of KPIX-KBCW, and also to Doug Harvill, SVP and market manager, CBS Radio San Francisco. In addition, she will report to Mike Nelson, VP, communications, CBS Television Stations, and Karen Mateo, VP, communications, CBS Radio.

In addition to her responsibilities at the TV stations, Bolden-Monifa also is producer of KPIX’s weekly public affairs show "Bay Sunday," and three ethnic heritage month celebrations each year. She also oversees the internship program at the TV stations.

Prior to joining CBS eight years ago, Bolden-Monifa was a media trainer for nonprofit organizations and, before becoming a public relations professional, worked as a lawyer and law professor.

MNG paper now runs ads on editorial page

In the "this could be headed here" department, The Denver Post is now printing ads on its editorial page, according to that city's alt-weekly, Westword. The first one was from a health care lobbying group, which reported a "significant spike" in visits to its webpage after the ad ran, according to an ad agency quoted by Wesword. The Denver Post is the flagship of MediaNews Group, the chain that owns the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other Bay Area dailies.

Merc photographer Alexander Lowry dies

Alexander Lowry, a former Mercury News photographer who also taught at UC Santa Cruz Extension, died Dec. 18 after losing a six-month battle with cancer, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. He was 73. Lowry died at home in Mount Shasta, where he moved in 2001 with his wife of 42 years, Sharon Lowry. He worked at the Merc during the late 1950s and again later in his career. He published five books of photography, including two for the Sempervirens Fund in the 1970s.

SF school board lends KALW-FM $200,000

AT KALW — Matt Martin, left, visits with Martina Castro and Ben Trefny as Casey Miner, right, readies a report. Photo by the Chronicle's Lance Iversen.

Noncommercial KALW 91.7 has received a $200,000 loan from the San Francisco school board, according to the Chronicle and Bay Citizen.

The school board holds the license for the station, but the station runs independently. KALW must repay the loan, with 1.5% interest, by the end of 2012.

The Chron said the station has been losing money for the past three years and is now $120,000 in the hole. It's annual budget is $1.4 million, most of which comes from listeners like you. GE engineers put the station on the air in 1939 as an exhibit for the World's Fair on Treasure Island.

In 1941, the station was donated to the school district to train students in radio broadcasting. In 1992, KALW cut financial ties to the district and survived on donations and grants alone. However, the district has provided administrative services and free rent at Burton High School, according to the Chron. The Chron said the line of credit is equal to the salaries of two teachers.

KQED-TV's reach expands to the south

KQED-TV is expanding its reach thanks to the decision by KCET Los Angeles to drop its PBS affiliation. Cable systems in Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo are picking up KQED Public Media as the ratings of KCET, now a public independent station, are crashing without shows such as "Nova," "PBS NewsHour" and "Charlie Rose."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mibach, Wong to anchor Ch. 2 weekend a.m. news

KTVU Channel 2 announced today that Mike Mibach and Claudine Wong will be the anchors of "Mornings on 2 Weekend Edition," which will launch Jan. 22 and air 7-9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Meteorologist Rosemary Orozco has been hired from KTXL Fox 40 in Sacramento to do the weather.

“We’ve always felt we could do a tremendous job with a weekend morning newscast and now promoting Claudine and Mike we have the opportunity to do just that,” said Tim McVay, KTVU Vice President and General Manager. “They are both hard working, trusted journalists who grew up in the Bay Area and I’m proud to see them launch this important newscast for KTVU.”

Mibach is a six-time Emmy nominee and has recently won awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and the Associated Press. He joined the KTVU Channel 2 News team in 2005 as a Reporter after working at KVOA in Tucson. He’s a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder and grew up in San Francisco and Marin County.

Wong has won numerous awards including recognitions from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television News Directors Association. Wong first walked into the KTVU newsroom in 1995 as a summer intern while attending college. She joined the KTVU Channel 2 News team in 2003 as a Reporter after working at WNDU in South Bend, Indiana. Wong is a graduate of UCLA and grew up in San Francisco and the East Bay.

“Mike and Claudine are aggressive, enterprising reporters who love to cover breaking news. I’m confident they will bring all of that energy to KTVU’s new weekend morning news,” Ed Chapuis, KTVU News Director.

Orozco joins Channel 2 after spending three years at KTXL in Sacramento as weekday morning meteorologist. Prior that that, she worked at KEYT in Santa Barbara. Orozco is a graduate of San Francisco State University and earned a Broadcast Meteorology Certificate from Mississippi State University.

“Rosemary was raised in Sacramento and has lived in San Francisco and as a meteorologist has studied the weather patterns of Northern California and the Bay Area. She’s a terrific addition the KTVU Weather Department and Mornings on 2 Weekend Edition,” said Chapuis.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Judge dismisses reporters' age bias suit

Schechner      Lobertini
The Chronicle's Bob Egelko reports that a federal judge today dismissed an age-discrimination suit by two KPIX-TV reporters, Bill Schechner and John Lobertini, who were fired when the CBS-owned station reduced its staff. Schechner, who was 66 when he was laid off in March 2008, and Lobertini, who was 47, claimed that management used money-saving layoffs to dump five of its older employees, all of them at least 47. KPIX denied targeting older workers and said it had dismissed non-specialty, general-assignment reporters whose contracts were expiring, according to the Chron report. Today's dismissal follows a ruling in June in which a judge found that there was insufficient evidence to support four of the five claims made by the reporters.

Bill Boldenweck, journalist and teacher, dies

William Boldenweck, who was a reporter at the Examiner for more than 30 years and a part-time journalism teacher at San Francisco State for another 20 years, died Tuesday after a series of illnesses at age 79, the Chronicle reported this morning.

Boldenweck was a longtime Peninsula Press Club member and was the club's president in 1993 and 1994.

He was a classic old-school newspaper reporter, a former Marine, tough when he needed to be, affable and very good at what he did, said Larry Hatfield, who worked with him for years at the Examiner.

"Bill Boldenweck could do anything," Hatfield told the Chronicle. "He could cover any story, and was a very good reporter and writer, who could be lyrical if the story called for it."

He is survived by his wife, Lynn of South San Francisco; and two sons, William C. Boldenweck III and Stephen Boldenweck, both of San Francisco. Plans for a memorial service are pending.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ESPN planning a reality series on the Giants

Entertainment Weekly reports that Showtime is in early talks with producer Mike Tollin to do a docuseries that focuses on the San Francisco Giants. Tollin produced "Bonds on Bonds," the 2006 ESPN docuseries and he has several sports movies under his belt such as "Varsity Blues," "Coach Carter," "Hardball" and "Summer Catch."

January 2011 Press Club board minutes

Jan. 12, 2011 — San Mateo Daily Journal offices

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

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

FINANCES: Darryl Compton reviewed the latest finance statement; revenues took a hit. On Dec. 31 the Press Club paid $4,000 toward online software that will allow for electronic judging in journalism contests. Darryl planned to approach the RTNDA board about contributing $2,000 to share the services.

MEMBERSHIP: Only five members have paid dues for this year; a membership notice will be sent out.

AWARDS CONTEST: Revisions were made to the call for entries. This year, participants will be able to complete an entry form online and attach a pdf of a story or enter a link. The payment system for entry fees is still being worked out and is expected to be in place by sometime in February.

There was discussion of charging a non-member fee for “staff” entries, in which multiple staff members contributed to a story, and charging a non-member fee for the “overall excellence” category.

Some adjustments were made to the Broadband/Web category, incluing adding a “headline” category.
The idea was raised again to cut costs by eliminating plaques for third place winners. Darryl will also look into the possibility of altering the plaque sizes.

A conference call will likely be held as the entry deadline approaches to answer questions about the contest and the submission process.

The contest will likely be held the third weekend in May.

There was discussion of possible guest speakers. Antonia had several suggestions, including former Chronicle reporter Manny Fernandez, now of the New York Times; Times executive editor Bill Keller, and documentary filmmaker Carla De Luca. Melissa suggested a speaker from

WORKSHOPS: The board further discussed a professional development workshop on public records and the possibility of having two speakers. Marshall may approach MediaNews reporter Sean Webby or Chronicle reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken. Terry Francke was mentioned as another possible presenter.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Murdoch, Jobs to introduce 'The Daily' in SF

Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs will introduce their iPad newspaper, called "The Daily," on stage San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Jan. 19, according to several reports including Yahoo News' The Cutline.

Despite the SF rollout, the publication will be based in New York, with former New York Post managing editor Jesse Angelo at the helm.

Forbes' Jeff Bercovici says The Daily’s staffers have been engaged in full-scale dry runs, cranking out dummy issues for a distribution list of 1,000 privileged readers. Murdoch is putting $30 million behind the effort.

The combination of Jobs and Murdoch seems like a political odd couple. Jobs is a contributor to Democratic Party causes and candidates while Murdoch heads the company that owns Fox News Channel and the conservative New York Post.

Internet killed the radio star?

McNicholas and Harville
Kym McNicholas of interviewed Doug Harvill, CBS Radio senior vp in charge of the company's SF stations, about the future of radio in an age when many people get their music from iPods or Pandora. Harville told her that radio is thriving (reaching 93% of all consumers 12+ on a weekly basis) and that he's putting programming from his stations on as many online platforms as possible. Instead of the internet killing radio, it actually be expanding the reach of local broadcasters. Harville also points out that radio was the original social media.

Paper asks readers to comment on Facebook

MediaNews Group's Vacaville daily, The Reporter, is now asking readers to make comments on the paper's Facebook page instead of below a story on the paper's website. "The new reader commenting procedure will, we hope, allow for more thoughtful commentary from our readers and continue to expand community dialog on local issues of importance," Editor Robin Miller said in a note to readers. Miller said other MediaNews papers are using the same procedure for comments. Old fashioned "letters to the editor" are still welcomed, Miller said.

In case you're wondering about the contest ...

At this time of year, the Press Club gets a lot of e-mails with questions about the annual Greater Bay Area Excellence in Journalism contest.

The call for entries will be available on this webpage in late January or early February.

This year's deadline hasn't been set, but it is usually at the end of February.

The rules are pretty much like last year's, though some changes have been made in the online categories in an attempt to increase participation.

As always, the contest will be judged by press clubs in other parts of the country. The winners will receive plaques at a banquet in May or June.

Stanford student gets Daniel Pearl internship

Stanford graduate student Alexandra Wexler has been awarded the 2011 Daniel Pearl Memorial Journalism Internship, which will have her working in a foreign Wall Street Journal bureau this summer, Stanford announced today.

Wexler is working toward a master’s degree in communication, specializing in journalism, which she expects to complete in June.

The internship was established to commemorate the work and ideals of Pearl, a Stanford graduate and Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent who was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

John Farley lands in South Carolina

John Farley, KNTV's weatherman from 1996 to 2009, has landed a job as chief meteorologist at the NBC affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina, the No. 79th market. Here's the bio his new station, WIS TV, has posted on its website. NBC Bay Area let Farley go in a cost cutting move.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Univision 14 to launch two-hour morning show

Kira Vilanova and Fabiola Kramsky
Beginning Monday, Bay Area audiences will wake up to a new live and expanded two-hour edition of KDTV Univision 14’s award-winning morning show, “Al Despertar.”

The live production will be broadcast each weekday from Univision’s downtown San Francisco studios with the first hour airing on KDTV Univision 14 from 6-7 a.m. and the second hour airing on sister station KFSF TeleFutura 66 from 7-8 a.m.

The program will be the Bay Area’s only live, locally-produced morning show available in Spanish.

“We are very excited to launch this enhanced production of ‘Al Despertar,’ offering our viewers up-to-the minute news and information for two-hours each morning,” said Maelia Macin, SVP and regional director, Univision Television Group. “In addition to the lively segments with local community, celebrity and business guests that our viewers have always enjoyed, the new ‘Al Despertar’ will also feature local news, weather and traffic updates, as well as culturally relevant programming that is unique from other stations.”

The new “Al Despertar” will be co-hosted by Kira Vilanova and Fabiola Kramsky, with news reporting from Flavio Lacayo, a popular reporter from “Noticias Univision 14.”

Vilanova has served as host of “Al Despertar” since the show’s debut in December 2007 and was honored in 2010 with the Northern California Area Emmy for best On-Camera Talent - Program Host.

Kramsky brings two decades of broadcasting experience to the “Al Despertar” team. Most recently, Kramsky served as an evening news anchor and reporter for KMEX Univision 34 in Los Angeles and prior to this, her career included many prominent positions working for various Mexico broadcasters, including MVS Multivision, Radio Capital, Radiorama and CNI Canal 40.

Univision expects to boost its audience significantly in the early morning time period. In its previous format as a pre-recorded one-hour program airing 6-7 a.m., “Al Despertar” was already highly competitive in the time period, averaging more Bay Area Adult 18-34 viewers than “NBC11 News Bay Area” regardless of language, according to the November 2010 Nielsen Station Index.

Among Hispanic audiences, “Al Despertar” was also outperforming the majority of competition in the time period, including audience advantages in the Adult 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 demos over “ABC7 Morning News,” “CBS5 Morning News” and “KRON4 Morning News,” in addition to others, according to the most recent November 2010 Nielsen Station Hispanic Index (NHSI).

Palo Alto Weekly promotes Dong to editor

Palo Alto Weekly Managing Editor Jocelyn Dong, who was raised in Palo Alto and has risen through the paper's editorial ranks over the last 11 years, was named today editor of that publication. The following is from the Weekly's announcement:
    Dong will take over for Jay Thorwaldson upon his retirement at the end of January. 
    "Jocelyn was the obvious and easy choice for this position," Weekly Publisher Bill Johnson said.
    "She is a meticulous, thoughtful and innovative journalist with high standards and expectations. She is compassionate and tough at the same time, qualities that result in our readers getting accurate and insightful coverage of the community." 
    Dong, 45, was raised in Palo Alto, graduated from Palo Alto High School and earned a bachelor's degree in music from Pomona College. She then received a master's degree in mass communication from San Jose State University and became director of communications for United Way in Santa Clara County. 
    Deciding she wanted to move into journalism, she took an internship at the Palo Alto Weekly in 1999 and was offered a position as special sections editor. She was quickly promoted to assistant editor, and then in 2004 covered land use and other city issues as a senior staff writer. 
    In late 2005 she was promoted to associate editor and then a year later to managing editor with responsibility for all newsgathering and the day-to-day operations of the Editorial Department. She has also led the Weekly's initiatives to expand multimedia coverage and the use of social media. 
    Dong is the recipient of numerous journalism awards and has guided the Weekly to an unprecedented six years of receiving the coveted general excellence award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association over the past decade. 
    As editor, Dong will oversee all editorial operations for the Palo Alto Weekly, Palo Alto Online and Express, the daily news digest distributed by e-mail to more than 13,000 people each morning. 
    Thorwaldson, who is retiring after more than 10 years as editor, described Dong as "one of the very best all-around journalists" he has worked with during his decades in the newswriting and editing business.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ex-East Bay Express editor joins Examiner

Stephen Buel, who was ousted as editor of the East Bay Express last month, has joined the Examiner as assistant city editor, according to the SF Weekly's Joe Eskenazi. Buel, who had led the newsroom of the East Bay alt-weekly for a decade and was a 13% owner, was let go in a dispute with the paper's majority owner, Jay Youngdahl. Buel will serve under newly hired assistant managing editor Will Harper, a former East Bay Express writer and columnist. Oddly enough, in those days Buel was Harper's boss. Buel replaces Julie Bunim, who left the Examiner in November.

CNN moving bureau to 'Silicon Valley'

CNN is closing its San Francisco bureau and plans to open a Silicon Valley bureau on Feb. 1, according to MediaBistro and media blogger Rich Lieberman. A CNN representative tells MediaBistro that there will be no staffing changes as a result of the move, though the network will not be renewing its office space in the city. The network is also keeping all of its equipment and trucks for use by producers and correspondents.

Guardian, SF Weekly settle, terms not disclosed

The Bay Guardian and SF Weekly announced on their respective websites Monday that they have reached a settlement after the Guardian won a $21 million judgment over allegations that the Weekly sold ads at below cost in violation of state law.

While both publications wrote tens of thousands of words about the case as it moved through the courts, the announcements were short. Neither side disclosed the terms.

The Guardian said: "The parties have settled their differences on mutually acceptable terms."

The SF Weekly said: "The agreement, under which the parties have resolved and settled their differences on mutually acceptable terms, brings the legal action to an end."

However, the Weekly emphasized that it will "continue to do business as usual," which may have been a response to a ruling in March that the Guardian would be allowed to collect 50% of the Weekly's revenues to pay the judgment.

Settlement talks appeared to shift into high gear after the California Supreme Court on Nov. 23 rejected the SF Weekly's appeal. Previously a San Francisco jury and an appeals court sided with the Guardian, headed by Bruce Brugmann.

The $21 million verdict (which includes interest that accrued after the $15.9 million verdict) appeared to be more than the SF Weekly and its parent, Phoenix-based Village Voice Media (formerly New Times), could afford. In March, a Seattle alt-weekly reported that the 16-paper Village Voice Media chain had defaulted on an $80 million loan from the Bank of Montreal.

During the March 2008 trial, jurors were told that the SF Weekly had lost money for the past 12 years. The Guardian's lawyer suggested that the Weekly's owners were willing to accept such losses in the hopes they would force Brugmann out of business.

After the verdict, the SF Weekly said on its blog: "Today's verdict in Bruce Brugmann's suit was an expensive lesson in laws, lawyers, and lawsuits, and how one man's obsession manipulated the system. Like Ralph Nader, Bruce Brugmann is out of touch with reality."

On the other hand, the Guardian said in its post-verdict comment that the verdict had larger implications: "[It] sends a clear signal to small businesses, independent newspapers and the alternative press that a locally owned publication has the right to a level playing field and that a chain can’t intentionally cut prices and sell below cost to injure a smaller competitor."

The Guardian stuck by that theme in its announcement on Monday, saying, "Thanks, folks. You preserved a crucial state law, and you proved that persistence in the pursuit of justice is worthwhile. Small businesses in California will never forget it."

Bay Citizen announces additional fundraising

The Bay Citizen says it has raised $14.5 million and that it only will spend $4 million in its first year, according to a report by Staci D. Kramer on the website.

Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Weber decided to release the news that Bay Citizen had raised the $14.5 million (which includes the $5 million in seed money from Warren Hellman) after a Matier & Ross item on Dec. 26 said the nonprofit was hitting the streets of Oakland to sell subscriptions. The M&R item, which the Press Club picked up, said that Bay Citizen's budget for its first year was $5 million — the same amount Hellman had put up for the venture.

"The impression left was that the new news org was out of money just six months after launch and had to race to raise funds by 'hustling donations on the corner,'" Kramer wrote.

Two more quotes from Kramer's piece:
    "Weber tried to set the record straight on Twitter through his @citizenweber account, mentioning total fundraising of $14 million and spending of less than $5 million. It turns [out] when we spoke a day later, he was still flummoxed by how the budget and the Hellman gift had been connected ... — and more than a little frustrated to be put in the position of defending salaries after going through it nearly a year ago. (Frazier is out of the country.)"
    "Where did the money go?: 'We’re certainly not out of money. We’re very much on plan,' Weber said, with first-year spending at $4 million. That covers 26 full-time staffers (18 editorial, including Weber), news gathering expenses, site development, fundraising costs and more. They’re in the process of hiring three more in editorial. And yes, as he and Frazier confirmed when we spoke last January, they do make — and pay — competitive salaries. Her salary is $400,000. Weber’s salary will be public when they file with the IRS and he prefers to keep it that way."
Kramer said that Bay Citizen has enough money to keep going through 2012.