Monday, February 28, 2011

Bloomberg launches national show from SF

Bloomberg TV today is launching an hourlong weekday show, "Bloomberg West," from its Pier 3 studio in San Francisco that will focus on technology news with a Silicon Valley point of view, according to the Chronicle.

According to the Chron, Bloomberg has 65 reporters and editors in its SF bureau, up from 32 in 2007, and plans to add five more soon. The bureau itself has about 250 employees.

"This is not a gadget show, this is not a show where we're going to show you gee-whiz cool startups," said co-anchor Corey Johnson, who was a member of's original "murderer's row" of columnists. "This is a show on how technology is impacting business."

The show will air at 3 p.m. weekdays on Comcast Channel 128, Dish Channel 203, DirecTV channel 353 and streamed live at

Above, Bloomberg Television anchors Emily Chang and Cory Johnson rehearse in the company's San Francisco studio. Photo by Ryan Anson, Bloomberg.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Deadline to enter the journalism contest near

Monday is the deadline to submit entries for the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club's 34th annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Competition.

This year, for the first time, entries can be submitted online at

Divisions include print, electronic media, magazine/trade press and public relations. For information on categories within those divisions and how to enter, visit here.

As always, the entries are judged by press clubs or Society of Professional Journalists chapters outside the Bay Area. No San Francisco Peninsula Press Club member will be involved in the judging.

The contest is open to all journalists and public relations professionals in the Bay Area. The fee per entry for non-members is $55, but if you become a member for $35, then the entry fee is $15 — a $5 savings.

Last year, the Press Club received 394 entries and presented 167 awards in nine divisions and 36 categories.

The artistic side of Dana King

From King's Facebook Page
Dana King
Dana King isn't just one of the top anchors in the Bay Area. She' also a budding sculptor who is studying for her Master's Degree in Fine Art at San Francisco's Academy of Art. SFist found this photo on her Facebook page and couldn't resist the temptation to say, "[T]his is technically not a penis sculpture, but a torso piece featuring a penis and fine-looking ass. But still, it's got a thingy on it. Chortle. We hope to see more Kingian work in the very near future."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sandy Close to get George Polk Career Award

Sandy Close, executive director of New America Media in San Francisco, will receive the George Polk Career Award.

The Polk Awards said of Close:
    For 37 years, Ms. Close has guided the pioneering efforts of New America Media, formerly known as the Pacific News Service. 
    She has mentored many journalists who now work in the mainstream press, including A.C. Thompson, one of this year’s winners of the Polk Award for Television Reporting. In 1995, Ms. Close received a MacArthur Foundation "Genius Award" fellowship; and in 1997, she co-produced the Academy Award-winning short documentary, “Breathing Lessons.” 
    Perhaps her proudest moment in journalism came in 2007, when she organized the Chauncey Bailey Project, a team of reporters whose investigative work led Oakland police to arrest those responsible for killing Mr. Bailey, who was a Polk Award-winning journalist.
New America Media is an alternative news source that supports thousands of ethnic media outlets. The presentation is set for April 6 at Long Island University’s Brooklyn Campus.

Twitter PR chief 'unfollows' critical journalist

Twitter PR chief Sean Garrett has decided to “unfollow” a San Francisco journalist for publishing a series of unflattering articles about the SF company threatening to move to Brisbane, according to the technology site

Former FT journalist Tom Foremski, now writing for, has been critical of Twitter demanding a tax break in order to stay in San Francisco.

"Twitter is a company that loves to tout its commitment to social responsibility but clearly this is just public relations chatter," Formeski wrote on Feb. He also wrote, “Twitter should just #shut-the-f*ck-up about social responsibility and piss off to Brisbane. Good luck recruiting staff. Engineers have plenty of other choices.”

Foremski told that Garrett’s decision to “unfollow” him was lame: “What a great response to dealing with unpleasant news — stick your head in the sand. If you can't see it it doesn't exist."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Former KPIX reporter attacked on camera

John Lobertini fends off an angry mob. (Screen grab from Fox 40.)

Former KPIX reporter John Lobertini, now with KTXL-TV Fox 40 in Sacramento, and camerawoman Rebecca Little were assaulted by an ugly mob Sunday as they were covering a gang shooting that had happened the day before outside an IHOP in the Sacramento suburb of Natomas.

In an unusual turn of events, a memorial to the shooting victim outside the IHOP was vandalized overnight and Fox 40 said it received the following e-mail:
    I just want it to be known that this wasn’t some sort of gang-retaliation. It was because of the scum that attacked your reporters and nothing was-has been done. And I will keep doing it until they are arrested.
Police say that they won't investigate the assault unless either Lobertini or Little file a police complaint.

Lobertini was laid off by KPIX CBS 5 on March 31, 2008 along with Manny Ramos, Tony Russomanno, Bill Schechner and Rick Quan in a cost-cutting move ordered by management in New York. Schechner and Lombertini unsuccessfully sued the station for age and sex discrimination.

Fox 40's coverage of the attack:


Another angle of the confrontation shot by KXTV Channel 10 ABC:

Journalism in the Age of WikiLeaks

That's the title of a panel discussion at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 24) at CNET in San Francisco, which is co-sponsoring the event along with the Society of Professional Journalists-NorCal.

Panelists include:
  • Declan McCullagh, chief political correspondent, CNET
  • Steve Proctor, managing editor, San Francisco Chronicle
  • Evan Hansen, editor-in-chief,
  • Burt Herman, Hacks & Hackers
  • Jalal Ghazi, New America Media
  • Moderator: E.B. Boyd, and board member, SPJ-NorCal
Here's SPJ's description of the discussion:
    The advent of third-party players like WikiLeaks is forcing editors to rethink traditional editorial practices. Historically, editors had as much time as they needed to study leaked documents. But in an age when anyone can access a (digital) printing press, editors no longer can count on controlling the timetable. 
    While the Washington Post took two years to report “Top Secret America,” the New York Times, the Guardian, and Der Spiegel were given a mere three weeks to decide how to handle over 90,000 confidential documents on Afghanistan. (And only a little more to consider the handling of the subsequent documents on Iraq and the State Department cables.) 
    Join us as we discuss the challenges journalists face in the current environment, and consider questions like: How should news organizations handle situations like the ones the New York Times et al faced with WikiLeaks? And what's the role of professional news organizations when anyone can publish the kind of information that previously was only the purview of journalism? And what do you think of how the New York Times handled WikiLeaks? (See Bill Keller's "Dealing with Assange and the WikiLeaks Secrets".)
Sign up here:

MNG's copyright enforcers get Drudge to settle

The Drudge Report has agreed to an out of court settlement with the MediaNews Group's copyright enforcement over the website's use of a TSA screening photo from MNG's Denver Post, according to a report in the Denver Daily News. MNG transfers the copyrights of its stories and photos from some of its newspapers to Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas, which then sends "take down" letters to those who allegedly violate those copyrights. The letters threaten lawsuits. Targets have included small one-person blogs to highly successful sites like Drudge. The Denver Daily story didn't say how much Drudge had to pay to settle the case. MNG is the operator of the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Marin Independent Journal, Palo Alto Daily News, San Mateo County Times and several other Bay Area newspapers.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

As protests grow, buyer wants to move KUSF FM transmitter away from campus

The coverage area of KUSF 90.3 after its new
owner moves its transmitter to Sausalito.
As a campaign mounts to stop the sale of the University of San Francisco’s KUSF 90.3, the prospective new owner is asking the FCC for permission to move the station’s transmitter from the USF campus to a hill above Sausalito.

The prospective buyer, the University of Southern California’s Classical Public Radio Network, explained to the FCC:
    KUSF’s antenna currently resides on a building within the University of San Francisco (USF) campus. 
    Because, upon approval by the FCC, the license will be transferred to an entity not controlled by the university, it is necessary to relocate the station’s transmitter site. Additionally, due to the sensitive nature of the license transfer, the proposed assignee wishes to maintain better control of access to the transmitter and antenna which now must be handled through USF security personnel.
The station’s transmitter will move to a Sausalito location known as “Wolfback Ridge” and share a tower with Alice FM, Kiss FM, KCBS’s FM signal (actually KFRC) and KDFC.

The switch of KDFC 102.1 from classical to a simulcast of KFOX in San Jose started a series of license switches that sparked the KUSF controversy. Entercom Corp., owner of both KDFC and KFOX, decided to drop classical music, giving the format and eventually the KDFC call letters to USC’s Classical Public Radio Network. Entercom arranged to USC to buy KUSF 90.3 for $3.75 million. A sale agreement between all of the parties has been signed, and USC’s classical network is now programming KUSF, but the deal won’t close until the FCC approves the swaps.

Despite opposition from students, faculty and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, USF isn’t budging. He told SF Public Press, “We legally can’t reverse the deal. … If we were to walk away from this, we could be sued for millions.”

To show support for KUSF, several noncommercial stations aired a three-hour simulcast on Friday from Amoeba Records on Haight Street. KUSF fans are raising money to stop the sale of the station’s signal. The money will pay for lawyers to file a petition against the sale with the FCC, according to Bay Citizen.

Friday, February 18, 2011

South Bay magazine seeks managing editor

South Bay Accent, a well-established regional lifestyle magazine, is looking for a permanent, part-time freelance managing editor. In particular, they're looking for somebody who actually lives in Santa Clara County and knows the area well.

Responsibilities include: "Researching and developing story ideas pertinent to the area and to the readership, assigning, editing, writing, proofreading and interacting with design and production and advertising elements."

The job is estimated to be 65 hours per issue over an eight-week production period. For more information, e-mail a cover letter and your resume (as an attachment) to

Belva Davis recalls violent GOP convention in SF

Longtime Bay Area journalist Belva Davis sat down with KALW to discuss her recollections of covering the 1964 Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace.
    It was a mean-spirited crowd up in the galleries where we were … there was a speech by former President Eisenhower that was like lighting a match, in which he talked ... the words he said could have been interpreted as being racist. And after that, all hell broke loose. 
    Reporters were being, I mean really big-name reporters, were being taken and arrested, really – one of the leading reporters was arrested on that night. So, we watched all this from up high, and finally we heard somebody from down below yell, “What are you N-word people doing up there?” And he screamed it in sort of a chant. 
    The next thing we knew, there’s a mob of people screaming all kinds of things. Up there, isolated where we were in semi-darkness, we felt threatened. We started down the stairs and garbage started being thrown at us. 
    I didn’t really get nervous until I could feel a bottle whiz by my head. It crashed against the concrete, and my knees started to shake as we were walking down the ramp to get out of the Cow Palace. 
    [Davis’ boss, KDIA News Director] Louis [Freeman] said to me, “If you cry, I will break your leg.” Just like that! And I looked at him, I was shocked! Straightened my back, and we both kept eyes straight ahead and got down to the bottom. 
    And then we looked at each other because we saw uniformed officers, but coming from the South, we knew that was no safe passage. And we knew we still had the outside to the parking lot to go.
    We were both terrified. We were at a political convention, or you know, one of the two organizations pledged to protect the rights of American citizens and feeling that our lives were in danger. But that’s the way it was that year.
Davis was interviewed by Holly Kernan of KALW’s “Crosscurrents.” Davis has a new book, “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism,” which is available at

Citadel, Cumulus in merger talks

KGO-AM and KSFO may soon be part of the same company that owns KNBR, KFOG and KSAN.

CNBC, The Wall Street Journal and other publications say that Citadel Broadcasting Corp. is in talks to sell itself to Cumulus Media in a deal valued at $2.4 million. One of the hedge funds that owns a lot of Citadel stock is pressuring CEO Farid Suleman to tie up a deal with Cumulus, which made an offer for Citadel last fall.

Cumulus owns 350 stations in 65 markets including sports talk KNBR 680, adult alternative KFOX and classic rock KSAN. Citadel owns the former ABC Radio O&Os including news/talk KGO-AM, conservative talk KSFO. Citadel also owns the old ABC Radio networks, using the ABC Radio News brand in an agreement struck when Disney spun off the Citadel stations.

Citadel filed for Chapter 11 protection in December 2009 due to heavy debt and plummeting advertising revenue. It emerged in June under the ownership of its lenders led by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., but with much of its top leadership intact, including Suleman.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bay Area Reporter turns 40, oldest gay paper

The Bay Area Reporter is about to celebrate its 40th anniversary and is now the oldest continuously published gay newspaper in the nation.

On April 7, BAR will print a special expanded issue that includes a retrospective of its four-decade history and the most important stories it has covered. The edition will also
announce the results of BAR's first readers choice awards, the Best of the Gays.

Also on April 7, 2011 and for approximately one-week following, the Bay Area Reporter will be honored with the first temporary exhibit at the newly opened GLBT History Museum and Mayor Ed Lee will proclaim the date April 7, 2011, as “Bay Area Reporter Day” in San Francisco.

Former Merc editor finalist for LSU deanship

Jerry Ceppos, executive editor of the Mercury News from 1995 to 1999 and later a Knight Ridder vp for news, is one of five finalists for dean of the Louisiana State University school of mass communications, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. He has been dean of the University of Nevada, Reno, journalism school since December 2007.

Few sign up to pay for news in MNG test

MediaNews Group’s pay wall experiment is yielding mixed results, according to the Denver Business Journal, which covers the city where MediaNews Group is based.

MNG put up pay walls at its papers in Chico and York, Pa., last year.

Chief executive Dean Singleton said the pay walls haven’t scared readers or advertisers away from the papers’ websites, but they haven’t spurred online subscriptions either.

Chico and York readers are asked ― after some amount of free access ― to pay for access to local news. Other kinds of news is freely accessible on the newspapers' websites, but not certain premium content after a reader has viewed 10 stories.

Few readers are ponying up to read the premium stuff in either test market, though the Journal story didn’t give any numbers. When the Long Island newspaper Newsday put its content behind a pay wall last year, it sold only 35 subscriptions in three months.

"We are somewhat disappointed in the number of consumers that don't go beyond the pay wall." Singleton told the Business Journal. "That tells us that there may not be as many consumers that will pay for content as we'd hoped. However, it also tells us that we are beginning, over time, to convince the consumer that all content is not free."

February 2011 Press Club board minutes

Feb. 9, 2011 — San Mateo Daily Journal offices

Present: Marshall Wilson, Darryl Compton, Jon Mays, Ed Remitz, Melissa McRobbie, Antonia Ehlers, Micki Carter. Absent: Jamie Casini White (but available on the phone), Dave Price, Kristi Blackburn, Peter Cleaveland

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

FINANCIALS: Darryl noted that we received a check from Google for $106.99 for ads sold on our website and $70 came in from memberships.

JOURNALISM AWARDS CONTEST: Although Darryl was still holding up, the switch of the contest to has been trying. The Call for Entries has gone through a series of iterations while he tries to mesh our past format with the online format. At the moment, the news organizations listed (from which entrants must choose) do not include organizations that haven’t participated before. Micki will assist Darryl in adding possible future participating organizations to that list.

The payment module for the online contest isn’t likely to be ready for several months so we must depend on entrants sending in checks or email addresses for PayPal invoicing.

The biggest issue needing attention is getting the word out to everyone everywhere. Marshall will lead the charge on this, but the rest of the board is on hand to help out. After the meeting, Marshall sent out a link to the online media contacts list for the county so we make sure we cover all our bases. It’s

The board also determined that Bay City News Service should enter in the Web/Broadband category.

EVENING OF EXCELLENCE: The board chose Saturdays May 21 and June 4 for the annual dinner, and after the meeting Darryl confirmed that we have reserved the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City for May 21.

There was discussion of possible guest speakers. Antonia contacted New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller, but he declined. She will now contact former Chronicle reporter Manny Fernandez, now of The New York Times, and Rob Gunnison of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC-Berkeley

HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM CONTEST: Micki reported that Washington High School in Fremont had asked to participate in the Press Club’s High School Journalism Awards Competition although the rules state that only Peninsula high schools may enter. It was decided to continue to limit the participants to the Peninsula this year, but to open the contest next year to any high school taking part in the High School Journalism Boot Camp in the fall. Micki will contact the Washington High School adviser.

WORKSHOPS: No further discussion on this topic.

OTHER BUSINESS: Marshall mentioned that the Janet Parker Beck Press Room in the Hall of Justice is shrinking now that it’s used by only the Bay City News reporter. Reporters will have access to the first room just inside the door; the big room along the sidewalk will be reserved for interns.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:29 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Micki Carter,Secretary

Friday, February 11, 2011

No national MNG copy desk, but more regionalization

Dean Singleton, still in charge at MediaNews Group while the owners look for a new CEO, is shooting down a report by the Guild that he plans to create a consolidated national copy desk. Guild president Bernie Lunzer got that idea during what Singleton said was a “casual phone conversation.”

After Singleton disavowed the national copy center idea, Merc editor and MNG vp of news issued this memo (posted by Romenesko):
    … we have two projects going on that fly in the face of any “national” center. We have consultant Ken Harding working with editors in Denver, Salt Lake and St. Paul to figure out ways to make local news production more efficient at each paper, and just yesterday a group from BANG went to LANG [the company's Los Angeles News Group] to exchange ideas on how we might streamline our regional desks. 
    We also have some mini-regional desks around the company and may, at some point, consider more. Like most other newspaper companies, regionalization — where appropriate — seems to work well. 
    Would we rule out doing something else? Nope. But the capital costs of one center and the challenges involved seem pretty daunting to me. 
    Please share this information as is appropriate.

Entries wanted for high school contest

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club is now accepting entries for its annual High School Journalism Contest.

Click here to download an entry form which also contains the contest rules. The deadline for entries is March 31. Awards will be presented this spring at Ralston Hall on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont.

Categories include news story, feature story, editorial, column, sports story, layout and design, news photo, feature photo, sports photo, Web site design and Web site content.

In addition to the contest, the Press Club also hosts an annual boot camp for student journalists in the fall. The camp is an opportunity for students to learn from professionals and receive critiques of their work.

Anyone with questions about the contest is welcome to contact the Press Club's Micki Carter via e-mail.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Past and current journalists asked to take survey

SF Public Press, a nonprofit news organization, is conducting a survey of journalists through Monday, Feb. 14. Here's a link to the survey.

According to the Public Press:
    The San Francisco Bay Area Journalist Census 2000-2010 aims to assess the employment experiences of journalists working in the Bay Area and the opportunities available to them today both within the changing field of journalism and beyond. Our ultimate goal is to enhance the economic and professional prosperity of Bay Area journalists. 
    Please participate in this survey and share the link with other current and former Bay Area journalists. With your help, this study will gauge the real experience of media workers during a period of rapid industry transformation. As with any survey, the higher the participation, the richer the findings.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Entries wanted for annual journalism contest

The entry period for the Press Club's 34th annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards has begun. You can download the entry form and rules here.

One big change this year for print journalists is that instead of submitting clips, participants will now upload PDFs. No need to dig through year-old papers in search of your favorite story.

As always, the entries are judged by press clubs or Society of Professional Journalists chapters outside the Bay Area. No San Francisco Peninsula Press Club member will be involved in the judging.

Plaques for first, second and third place will be presented during an awards banquet in June.

The contest is open to all journalists and public relations professionals in the Bay Area. The fee per entry for non-members is $55, but if you become a member for $35, then the entry fee is $15 — a $5 savings.

Last year, the Press Club received 394 entries and presented 167 awards in nine divisions and 36 categories.

The deadline to enter is Feb. 28. For more information, e-mail Darryl Compton.

AOL buys HuffPost, Arianna in charge

Armstrong and Huffington
Tim Armstrong’s AOL is paying $315 million to buy Arianna Huffington’s Huffington Post, and she will be in charge of all of AOL’s digital offerings including TechCrunch, Engadget, MovieFone and Mapquest and the growing number of Patch local news websites.

Bloomberg quotes analyst Shahid Kahn of Morph Media as saying:
    With this acquisition, Tim Armstrong is well on his way to transforming AOL into an online editorial-based content company … HuffPost gives AOL a very compelling, affluent, educated young audience. It further strengthens AOL’s overall editorial abilities with Arianna in charge.
David Brauer of Minnpost said some local Patch editors had their freelance budgets cut days before the HuffPost sale was announced:
    Word is that's only a first-quarter "shift" in the toughest ad quarter and a snapback could come in April; still, going backwards so soon out of the chute has some Patchsters concerned. … Getting a new boss won't reduce the anxiety level any. 
    Will Huffington, whose site only recently became profitable, goose Patch traffic with babe shots and other mindless eyeball-attractors as she does at her eponymous site? AOL's recently leaked strategy document is scarily realistic about the need for cheap content; HuffPo seems to fit; Patch doesn’t.
Technology analyst Rob Enderle told AP that the $315 million price was essentially "the hiring fee to get Arianna." Although he described the purchase as an "out-of-left-field" decision, he thinks the move "could put AOL back on the map." Although analysts say AOL's decision to buy Huffington Post is sound, Enderle warned that putting Arianna Huffington into a position of power could eventually threaten Armstrong's job security if AOL still struggles.

On a conference call with analysts, AOL Chief Financial Officer Arthur Minson said the company expects Huffington Post will generate $50 million in revenue this year, with a profit margin of 30%, according to AP. By comparison, AOL drew $2.42 billion in revenue last year. About 53% came from ads, and most of the rest from its dwindling base of dial-up Internet subscribers. Minson said the deal will save AOL $20 million a year by allowing it to eliminate operations that overlap with Huffington Post. (Photo credit: Financial Times)

Friday, February 4, 2011

$386 million spent in online ads locally

NetNewsCheck, which says it covers “the business of online media,” has analyzed the Bay Area market and determined that the big dog is with 110 million pageviews a month and 11 million unique visitors. This article attempts to stack up all of the top local online sites.

A few highlights:
    • San Francisco’s local online ad spending was an estimated $386.4 million last year, according to Borrell Associates. The research firm predicts that the market’s local online ad revenue will hit $714.3 million by 2015, an 84.9% jump. 
    • After, No. 2 was, followed by, and 
    • Both SFGate and the Mercury News are developing apps for the Apple iPad.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Singleton: More consolidation ahead

Dean Singleton, who is stepping down as CEO of MediaNews Group after 23 years, says he and the hedge fund, Alden Global Capital, which has taken control of MNG, expect a large-scale industry consolidation that’s likely to unite regional clusters of newspapers large and small under common ownership, according to the Denver Business Journal.