Monday, July 31, 2006

Craigslist founder backs online news site

The founder of Craigslist, San Francisco resident Craig Newmark (left), is backing an online news venture to be called Daylife that is being set up by media writer Jeff Jarvis (right), according to TechWeb Technology News. The Web site will have a staff that gathers, analyzes and organizes the world's news and it will also seek news from its readers through what they're calling "open source journalism." Daylife will also show whether Newmark is a one-trick pony or a visionary who can develop successful sites besides Craigslist.

Wired editor dies in SF marathon

Bill Goggins, who rose from copy editor to managing editor of Wired magazine, died Sunday (July 30) of a heart attack while running in the San Francisco Marathon. He was 43. Goggins died as he passed the 24-mile mark in the 26.2 mile race, according to the Chronicle. Friends said Goggins was "fit as a fiddle," said friend Paul Donald, who watched Goggins pass the 21-mile mark in what seemed to be excellent condition. Wired reporter Mark Robinson, in this story, says Goggins was a legendary figure at Wired. Said the magazine's editor-in-chief Chris Anderson: "“He was brilliant, witty and culturally omnivorous, all of which combined in his signature headlines. They usually worked on at least three levels of meaning, from some remixed cultural reference to at least one pun. In many ways his winking style and clever turns of phrase became Wired house style for nearly a decade, and to look at our covers and headlines over those years is to hear Bill's voice again.”

Hearst not apart of MediaNews deal

In its decision yesterday to approve MediaNews' purchase of the San Jose Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, the Justice Department said it is not considering a proposal in which Hearst Corp. would have financed $263 million of the $1 billion deal. While the proposal to have Hearst invest in the deal had been announced publicly, MediaNews told the Justice Department that the deal has not yet been negotiated and, at this time, Hearst is not involved in the transaction. The Justice Department reported its antitrust division did not address that possible transaction, but stated, "If and when any such arrangement is proposed, the division will investigate whether it would adversely affect competition."

When the deal was announced April 27, the Chronicle said: "The companies that are the dominant competitors in the Bay Area newspaper market now become partners. Antitrust laws limit the ways the companies will be able to cooperate locally, but the two sides could find ways to work together in some areas of their businesses. The moves could be an acknowledgement that a newspaper's fundamental competition is not other newspapers, but instead other media."

UPDATE: DOJ clears way for newspaper sale

The U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division today (July 31) approved the sale of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Hearld and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press to MediaNews Group in a $1 billion deal partially financed by the Hearst Corp., according to the AP and Reuters.

"After a careful investigation...the antitrust division determined that the transaction if not likely to reduce competition substantially," the Justice Department said in a statement. McClatchy Co., owner of the Sacramento Bee, bought Knight Ridder on June 27 and wanted to sell the four papers to MediaNews at that time, but the deal was delayed by the inquiry by the Antitrust Division. Today's approval clears the way for the sales to close.

The AP points out that as the review dragged on, McClatchy was left in the awkward position of owning four papers that it didn't want. That situation threatened to become particularly thorny at Mercury News, where labor contracts with about 600 workers expired June 30. The Justice Department's blessing came on the same day that MediaNews' financing for the deal was set to expire. MediaNews, which lost money in the most recent quarter, warned it might incur more than $20 million in additional expenses if its financing package unraveled, AP reported.

    MediaNews Group's dailies in the Bay Area: Marin Independent Journal, Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times, Fremont Argus, Hayward Daily Review, Vacaville Reporter, Vallejo Times-Herald, Pleasanton Tri-Valley Herald

    Bay Area dailies MediaNews Group will buy: San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Herald, Palo Alto Daily News (and its sister "Daily News" publications in San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame, Los Gatos and Berkeley).

    Bay Area dailies not owned by MediaNews Group: San Francisco Chronicle, Gilroy Dispatch, Santa Cruz Sentinel, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Daily, San Mateo Daily Journal (list doesn't include Chinese dailies or legal newspapers).

Sale of Merc, CCTimes gets antitrust OK

Reuters is reporting that the U.S. Department of Justice has approved McClatchy Co.'s plans to sell the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other former Knight Ridder papers in Northern California to MediaNews Group.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Former KR paper in Ohio to cut staff

The newspaper edited for decades by John S. Knight, now in the hands of new owners due to the demise of Knight Ridder, plans to cut staff. The Akron, Ohio, Beacon Journal is still profitable but profit levels have been dropping and the new owner, Black Press Ltd. of Canada, intends to reverse that, according to a story in the Beacon Journal this morning. As is routine when the ownership of a newspaper changes, the publisher is replaced. Jim Crutchfield, who headed the Beacon Journal for five years, will be replaced by Ed Moss, who comes from Media General.

McClatchy CEO gets $1 million for KR deal

McClatchy Co.'s compensation committee on Monday (July 24) gave chairman and chief executive Gary Pruitt a $1 million bonus, and four other high-ranking executives shared $575,000, for their efforts in acquiring Knight Ridder, according to documents filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. [Sacramento Business Journal] [AP]

Judge won't halt sale; DOJ wants more time

Federal Judge Susan Illston (pictured) today (July 28) refused a request to issue a temporary restraining order to block McClatchy Co. from selling the Mercury News and other former Knight Ridder newspapers to MediaNews Group. But her ruling doesn't mean the $1 billion sale will take place. The AP and the Sacramento Bee are reporting that the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has again asked for more time to review the transaction.

Judge Illston rejected San Francisco powerbroker Clint Reilly's request for a TRO, which would have blocked the sale for 10 days while he gathered more data for his lawsuit. "The transaction creates no pressing and imminent danger to (Reilly) or the public that would justify blocking the newspaper sales," she wrote.

Reilly has said through his lawyer, Joe Alioto (son of the former SF mayor), that he suspects Hearst, which is pouring $263 million into the $1 billion deal, has cooked up a plan with MediaNews to respect each other's turf and reduce competition.

"If Reilly had proof that such a conspiracy existed, the court's analysis would obviously be different," Illston wrote.

"In large part MediaNews' acquisition of the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times will have minimal anti-competitive effects in the Bay Area as a whole," she wrote.

Even though Illston refused to grant a restraining order, Reilly can continue with his lawsuit and force a trial. If he wins, the judge could conceivably order the transaction reversed, a possibility that McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt called remote.

Both the AP and Sacramento Bee reported that the Department of Justice is still examining the deal's antitrust implications. When the agency will issue an approval or denial is unknown. Originally, Pruitt said he expected a "simultaneous closing" on June 27 -- meaning that the day McClatchy bought Knight Ridder, McClatchy would sell the Bay Area Knight Ridder papers to MediaNews. MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton said on June 28 that the sale of the papers would be final in four weeks. Four weeks ended today.

Friday, July 28, 2006

SF supes expected to back journo facing jail

The case of Josh Wolf, the freelance journalist, is taking a couple of interesting turns as a hearing approaches on Tuesday to determine if he should go to jail for refusing to give his video of a protest to a federal grand jury:

    • The San Francisco Board of Supervisors is scheduled Tuesday (a few hours after Wolf's contempt of court hearing) to consider a resolution "Resisting the Federal Government's Intervention in a San Francisco Investigation in the City and County of San Francisco's investigation of the July 8th, 2005 G-8 protest and expressing support for the California Shield Law." The resolution was introduced by supervisors Ross Mirkarimi and Chris Daly. To be fair, it was the San Francisco Police Department that asked the feds to investigate the case.

    • Attorney Stephen Kaus, a blogger on The Huffington Post blog site, suggests that the reason the feds are investigating the case is that if the case remained in the state court system, Wolf would be protected by California's Shield Law. California's shield law does not apply in federal court, Kaus points out, and there's not much to keep a journalist who refuses to cooperate in a federal case out of jail. Ask Judy Miller.

    • Wolf has posted on his personal Web site, http://www.joshwolf.net, documents, articles and other items related to the case.

Tuesday's hearing is set for 9 a.m. in U.S. District Court (before judge Judge William Alsup in Courtroom 9, 19th Floor), 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco.

[Bay Guardian: A Reporter in Wolf's Clothing] [Merc columnist Herhold suggests Wolf post entire video online] [July 21 Chronicle: Judge gives protest videographer reprieve]

Thursday, July 27, 2006

UPDATE: Judge inclined not to stop sale

George Avalos of the Contra Costa Times reports: "A federal judge said today that she was inclined to deny a request for a temporary restraining order that seeks to stall the sale of four newspapers, including the Times, to MediaNews Group Inc. But she didn't issue an immediate ruling. Clinton Reilly, a San Francisco developer and political player, filed the lawsuit July 14 in U.S. District Court. In the suit, Reilly accused MediaNews, Chronicle owner Hearst Corp., and three other business organizations of colluding to fashion a newspaper monopoly that would dominate the Bay Area. The hearing was conducted in San Francisco federal court by Judge Susan Illston." [Reuters version] [Bloomberg version]

Judge indicates she won't halt sale

Federal Judge Susan Illston (pictured) indicated this afternoon (July 26) that she won't grant Clint Reilly's request for a restraining order to stop the $1 billion sale of the Mercury News and other Bay Area newspapers to MediaNews in a deal partially financed by Chronicle owner Hearst Corp. The judge indicated she will issue a written ruling later today or tomorrow. The judge indicated she would not be issuing the TRO at the beginning of a 2 p.m. hearing in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Return to this page, and hit your refresh button, for more updates later today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

MediaNews raises concerns over financing

MediaNews Group, headed by Dean Singleton (left), says that a delay in its purchase of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other former Knight Ridder newspapers may jeopardize its ability to complete financing for acquiring the newspapers, according to a report in today's Mercury News. The newspapers are currently in the hands of McClatchy Co., which bought Knight Ridder but decided to sell 12 of its 32 dailies to reduce its debt, including the Merc, CCTimes, Monterey Herald and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press. MediaNews said in court papers: "Simply put, the newspapers will languish under temporary ownership." A federal judge will decide tomorrow whether to issue Clint Reilly's request to delay the sale. (See item below.)

About the judge who will decide the case

The judge who is expected to decide Thursday (July 26) whether or not to delay the sale of the Mercury News and other Bay Area newspapers is the same judge who ordered an investigation into the source of grand jury transcripts obtained by the Chronicle in the BALCO case.

Judge Susan Illston (pictured) is scheduled to hold a hearing Thursday on Clint Reilly's request for a temporary restraining order to postpone the $1 billion sale of the Merc, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Herald, St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press and other former newspapers to MediaNews Group. Hearst Corp., owner of the Chronicle, is giving MediaNews $263 million to help complete the purchase.

Reilly contends the deal will end competition among newspapers in the Bay Area and result in higher ad rates, less newsroom competition and the loss of newspaper jobs.

Illston, 58, was appointed to the federal bench in 1995 by President Clinton on the recommendation of Sen. Barbara Boxer. She is a graduate of Duke University and Stanford Law School.

For more than two decades she was a partner in a Burlingame law firm headed by Joe Cotchett, a high-powered Democratic fundraiser and trial lawyer. Illston represented elderly bondholders of the failed Lincoln Savings & Loan Association who sued Charles Keating. She also defended a number of white-collar crime cases and has represented the NFL in several cases, including the successful defense of a suit by a fired referee.

Illston made headlines in October when she expressed frustration that the law would not allow her to give longer prison sentences to BALCO lab owner Victor Conte, who got four months in prison, and Barry Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson, who got three months in prison. She bluntly told the defendants, "They (pro athletes) were cheating and you helped them cheat."

She also ordered the investigation into how the Chronicle obtained grand jury transcripts in the Bonds case. As part of that investigation, prosecutors are seeking to jail two Chronicle reporters who have refused to disclose their source of the transcripts. (The judge who will decide whether the reporters go to jail is Jeffrey White; his decision is due Aug. 4.)

Illston's courtroom (Number 10) is located on the 19th floor of the U.S. Court House, 450 Golden Gate Ave. Tomorrow's hearing is set for 2 p.m. Here's a link to her calendar.

McClatchy fears labor strife if sale is delayed

McClatchy Co. argues in court papers that delaying the sale of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other newspapers to Media News would create more debt and possibly spark labor problems, according to the AP. Patrick Talamantes, McClatchy's chief financial officer, estimated in a sworn statement that McClatchy would lose $163,000 a day if federal judge Susan Illston blocks the sale. He also warned that a delay could prevoke labor strife at the San Jose paper, where contracts covering about 600 workers expired June 30. A hearing on a request by San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly for a temporary restraining order to stop the sale is set for 2 p.m. Thursday (July 27) before Judge Susan Illston in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

First Amendment award nominees sought

Nominations are being accepted for the 2006 Bill Farr Award, given each year to an individual or group who has performed exemplary work to further principles of free speech, free press and public access to government. The award is given in honor of former Los Angeles Herald Examiner reporter Bill Farr, who went to jail in 1971 after citing the shield law and refusing to reveal sources of information in the infamous Charles Manson Case. The award is presented by the California First Amendment Coalition and the California Society of Newspaper Editors. Deadline is Aug. 15. Send nominations with supporting material for Bill Farr award to: Bill Farr Award, California First Amendment Coalition, 534 Fourth St., Suite B, San Rafael, CA 94901. Or e-mail to BillFarrAward@cfac.org or fax to (415) 460-5155.

Four Examiner staffers promoted

A number of San Francisco Examiner newsroom staffers have new jobs. The PPC reported Friday that James Pimentel has moved up from managing editor to executive editor in the wake of Malcolm Kirk's departure as the free daily's top editor. Pimentel is the Ex's third EE in two years. In addition we have learned of the following promotions:
    • Assistant Managing Editor Zoran Basich has been named managing editor,

    • City Editor Deirdre Hussey is now senior assistant managing editor in charge of news content,

    • Assistant City Editor Jeremy Owens has been promoted to assistant managing editor in charge of production, and

    • Business Editor Albert Pacciorini is now assistant managing editor in charge of business and staff development.

In addition, Examiner Publisher John Wilcox has joined the executive committee of the California Newspaper Publishers Association and will chair its convention committee.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Bonds' lawyer blames prosecutors for leaks

Who leaked secret grand jury transcripts to the Chronicle about Barry Bonds' (pictured) alleged steroid use? A month ago, federal prosecutors filed a brief that strongly suggested steroid-maker Victor Conte was the secret source -- a claim the Chronicle denied. Now Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, says it was prosecutors who leaked the transcripts to the Chronicle, according to the Mercury News. Rains has asked Judge Martin J. Jenkins to investigate the latest leak. A judge will decide Aug. 4 whether Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams should go to jail for refusing to reveal their source of the transcripts.

New ad director for Gilroy Dispatch group

David Marin, formerly vice president of advertising for the Pulitzer Newspapers' Santa Maria Times, is the new ad director for Main Street Media, the company that includes the Gilroy Dispatch, Morgan Hill Times and Hollister Free Lance. Marin, 47, has also worked at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and the Monterey Hearld. He replaces Andy Bruns, who left Mainstreet Media in April to become publisher of The Daily American in Somerset, Pa.

Merc sale delayed until after hearing

Lawyers for MediaNews have agreed to hold off on completing the purchase of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other Knight Ridder properties until a federal court hearing on Thursday, according to the Sacramento Bee. At the hearing, San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly will seek a temporary restraining order to delay the closing of the sale for 10 days. Reilly's lawyer, Joe Alioto, said he is seeking the hearing because he was told by attorneys for MediaNews that the deal is about to be approved by the Justice Department. Reilly is arguing that MediaNews, which already owns eight dailies in the Bay Area, would violate antitrust laws if it were to acquire the Merc, CCTimes and other Knight Ridder papers. He also objects to Hearst Corp.'s financing of the deal, since it owns the Chronicle.

Reilly seeks emergency order to stop sale

San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly (left) wants a federal judge to issue an emergency order blocking the sale of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other Knight Ridder assets to MediaNews, the Sacramento Bee is reporting. Lawyer Joseph Alioto, representing Clint Reilly, said he's been told that the U.S. Justice Department is on the verge of approving the deal. As a result, he's seeking a temporary restraining order that would prevent the closing of the deal. A hearing is set for Thursday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Reilly sued MediaNews July 14, saying the deal would give MediaNews, already the owner of eight dailies in the Bay Area, control over every major Bay Area daily except the Chronicle. However, the Chronicle's parent, Hearst Corp., is helping to finance the $1 billion transaction. If Reilly stops the transaction, the former KR papers will remain in the hands of McClatchy Co., which bought KR's assets but decided to sell certain underperforming papers such as the Merc. [Business Journals: Reilly seeks TRO; lawyer says "It's a monopolization of ideas."]

Monday, July 24, 2006

Anschutz cashed in on Examiner archives

A lengthy LA Times profile of billionaire Phil Anschutz includes some previously undisclosed facts about his purchase of the San Francisco Examiner and the bitter San Mateo County Superior Court lawsuit he settled with the paper's previous owner, Florence Fang.
    • Anschutz bought the paper in 2004 for $10.7 million, not the $20 million reported at the time by the Chronicle and others.

    • Anschutz has settled a lawsuit brought by Fang over the sale of the paper. In the suit, Fang said she instructed then-Examiner publisher Scott McKibbin to market the paper to potential buyers. She claimed McKibbin leaked confidential information to the Anschutz organization and failed to market the newspaper to other potential buyers. In an interview with the LA Times, McKibbin denied her allegations and claimed she was suffering from "a bad case of seller's remorse."

    • After the sale, Anschutz kept McKibbin on as publisher, paying him a $420,000 annual salary with a $180,000 bonus and a country club membership, court records show. He also hired McKibbin's brother, Ryan, to head his newspaper holding company.

    • As part of the settlement, Anschutz agreed to donate the extensive archives of the Examiner to UC Berkeley. In return, Anschutz got a tax deduction. The appraised value of the archives was $18.4 million — more than what he paid for the entire newspaper.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

KRON cancels the 'Nine O'Clock News'

KRON Channel 4 is dropping its "Nine O'Clock News" in September when the independent station becomes a "My Network TV" affiliate and begins airing the network's primetime soap operas from 9 to 11 p.m., according to Chuck Barney's TV column in today's Contra Costa Times. In order to get the new network, KRON was required to air the soaps in primetime (8 to 11), which meant either dumping the news or "Dr. Phil." The "Nine O'Clock News" was anchored by Pam Moore, Tom Sinkovitz, Michael Kelting (weather) and Gary Radnich (sports), all of whom also do other newscasts at KRON that aren't being canceled, so presumably they will be keeping their jobs. KRON launched the 9 p.m. newscast in 2002 after the station lost its NBC affiliation. MyNetworkTV is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which also the parent of Fox Broadcasting, Fox News Channel, DirecTV, 20th Century Fox, the New York Post, the Times of London, etc. News Corp. created the network because some of the stations it owns lost their networks with the demise of the UPN and WB networks. Locally, KRON out bid Cox Broadcasting, which wanted the network for its KICU Channel 36. To make way for the switch, KRON has dropped its "Nine O'Clock News" promotions and begun to rebrand itself as "My KRON 4." [PPC March 17: KRON affiliates with Fox's new network]

Friday, July 21, 2006

SF radio's Savage used to be a beatnik

San Francisco radio host Michael Savage (left) once was a North Beach hipster who counted none other than Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the late Allen Ginsberg among his pals when he was still using his real name: Michael Weiner, according to a profile in the SFWeekly and other New Times alt-weeklies across the country. The piece is an eye-opener about the host whose show is carried on 400 stations reaching 8 million people a day. For instance, it says that the Ginsberg collection at Stanford includes a homoerotic postcard Weiner sent Ginsberg in the early 1970s. Nowadays, Savage regularly attacks gays on his radio program and was fired by MSNBC to telling a gay caller to "get AIDS and die, you pig." The story notes that Savage has a permit to carry a gun and has a body guard. The story recalls that Savage sued UC Berkeley after his application for journalism school dean was rejected and China expert Orville Schell was hired instead. Savage said that while he had no formal training in journalism, Schell, as someone "whose claim to fame was managing an organic cattle farm" ... "was certainly no more qualified than I was."

Valleywag editor is mugged

Nick Douglas, the author of the Valleywag.com Silicon Valley gossip site, writes this morning (July 21) that he was mugged last night -- actually punched in the face. He doesn't give details, such as where the mugging took place. But he posts: "... I'm gonna milk this for all the sympathy it's worth." (Chronicle file photo.)

Journalist avoids jail, at least temporarily

A freelance San Francisco journalist, who is refusing to turn over a video he shot of a police car being torched by anarchist protesters, was granted a reprieve from jail at a hearing Thursday. According to the Chronicle, U.S. District Judge William Alsup (left) asked prosecutors to consider granting the journalist, Josh Wolf (right), immunity as a way of inducing him to give the tapes to the grand jury. Wolf, 24, sold some of the video he shot in July 2005 to local TV stations, but is refusing to provide the entire tape, claiming a journalist has a right to withhold unpublished material from the government. California law recognizes that right, but not federal law, which prevails in federal court. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Finigan said Wolf might fear that he would be accused of aiding lawbreakers at the protest by encouraging them. Wolf was a protester at previous anarchist demonstrations but was acting as an independent journalist the day he shot the police car video, according to an April 19, 2006 SF Weekly story. It's not known whether Wolf would accept an immunity offer. The next hearing is set for Aug. 1. The grand jury in this case is looking into demonstrations organized by anarchists against the Group of Eight international conference, which was taking place in Scotland at the time.

Singleton likes Bush, silent partner does not

Editor & Publsher Magazine has profiled Richard Scudder, 93, who is Dean Singleton's silent partner in the MediaNews Group, the company that is poised to become the Bay Area's largest newspaper operator. The two appear to agree on everything except President Bush. Singleton is a longtime friend and supporter of the Bush family. Scudder despises the 43rd president, calling him an "idiot" who has done "incalculable harm to our country." How do they get along so well if they have such different views on the president? "We just don't talk about it," said Scudder. (Photo from E&P's Web site.)

ANG to add 'Turn Here' video to Web sites

TurnHere.com, which features short videos shot by professional filmmakers on neighborhoods, merchants and travel destinations, will become a part of the Web sites of Dean Singleton's ANG Newspapers including the Oakland Tribune, San Mateo County Times, Tri-Valley Herald and others. According to a statement from TurnHere, videos will be included as part of the "Video Travel Guide" in the travel section on the Web sites. Selecting any one of the still images from the videos will lead users to a co-branded page with the selected film already loaded into a video player.

Suit dropped against SF's Current network

The Maryland company that claimed Al Gore's San Francisco-based Current TV was violating its trademark by using the name "current" dropped its lawsuit Monday (July 17), the New York Sun reports. Court papers suggest a settlement and indicate each side will bear its own costs, the Sun said. No information was given on whether any money changed hands. Howver, in March a magistrate ordered gore to give a deposition in the case, despite objections from his lawyers, who said the request amounted to harassment.

Pimentel named SF Examiner editor

The San Francisco Examiner has promoted James Pimentel from managing editor to executive editor, the AP reports. He will be the free paper's third executive editor in two years. He replaces Malcolm Kirk, who resigned after seven months on the job. Pimentel began his newspaper career at the Oakland Tribune in 1984. He joined The Examiner in 2001 as sports editor before becoming managing editor in 2003. Pimentel led the paper's transition from broadsheet to tabloid in 2003 and its launch of zoned editions in San Mateo County in 2004.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ownership suit, byline strike hit MediaNews

Dean Singleton's MediaNews, which will soon become the Bay Area's dominant newspaper company, is making news tonight in different parts of the country. In York, Pennsylvania, Guild workers at the Daily Record went on a byline strike today after a year of negotiations with MediaNews failed to produce a contract, according to Editor & Publisher online.

Meanwhile, the family that used to own the Salt Lake Tribune received a favorable appeals court ruling in its 5-year-long battle to regain control of the 130,000-circulation daily from MediaNews. The ruling might result in a lower court reducing the price the family must pay to buy the paper from Singleton, according to a report in the Tribune. The McCarthey family sold the paper for $731 million in 1997. Singleton bought it in 2001 for $200 million. The McCarthey siblings are balking at an appraised price of $335 million.

Singleton elected AP's chairman-elect

MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton, who owns most of the daily newspapers in the Bay Area, will be the next chairman of the Associated Press. The AP is owned by the nation's 1,600 daily newspapers and its board of directors consists mainly of the chief executives of major newspaper companies such as Hearst, Gannett, Scripps, McClatchy, Cox, Media General, Tribune, etc. They appoint AP's top management. Singleton, 54, was first elected to the AP board in 1999. Singleton was elected following a two-day private meeting by AP's board, where the executives discussed their strategies for expanding the online operations of newspapers.

"The issues that our newspapers are facing are the same issues that AP is facing -- how we navigate from a print-only world to a print/online world, and how we find ways to monetize our news online," Singleton said. He added that he believes the AP "will be the key to pulling the industry together so that they work collectively."

Singleton, whose MediaNews already owns eight dailies in the Bay Area, is awaiting approval from the Justice Department's antitrust division for his proposed purchase of the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Herald, Palo Alto Daily News and St. Paul Pioneer Dispatch.

Pulitzer proposed for KR's pre-war coverage

Two years ago, the Pulitzer committee turned down an entry from Knight Ridder's Washington Bureau for its reports challenging the Bush administration during the build-up to the invasion of Iraq. "Those stories arguably were of Pulitzer Prize quality. After all, while much of the press joined in lock-step with the administration's march to war, Knight Ridder (now McClatchy Newspapers) and its three correspondents [Jonathan S. Landay, Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott] had the courage to buck the tide and dig out well-grounded misgivings about the build-up to war," writes Gilbert Cranberg, a University of Iowa journalism professor and former Des Moines Register editorial page editor. Cranberg argues that the Pulitzer committee should now reconsider the work of these reporters and issue a special citation or special award. It has done so 30 times in the past, he points out. "This country's press did not distinguish itself with its pre-war Iraq coverage. The equivalent of mea culpas run by both the [New York] Times and the [Washington] Post are a measure of how deficient it was. The 'lonely journalism' of Knight Ridder and staffers Landay, Strobel and Walcott were outstanding exceptions that merit Pulitzer recognition," Cranberg writes.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Each Fainaru brother covering a big story

Editor & Publisher Magazine today profiles the brothers Fainaru -- Steve is a Washington Post reporter who has been covering the Iraq war from Baghdad. Mark is half of the Chronicle team that exposed Barry Bonds' steroid use and who may go to jail for not revealing the source of a grand jury transcript in that case. They grew up in the Bay Area and their mother still lives here. Steve and Mark talk to each other every day but are rivals in some ways. "I was always fascinated with news and newspapers were always around us," Steve remembers, recalling the Los Angeles Times as a breakfast-table staple in his younger days. "As long as I can remember, I was into it." Mark credits his brother with sparking his initial interest in news and sportswriting, adding, "I was the baby brother who followed in big brother's footsteps."

Guardian: Newspaper deal needs scrutiny

The proposed sale of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other Knight Ridder papers to Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group should be put on hold so that its ramifications can be closely examined, the Bay Guardian says in an editorial in today's issue.

The alt-weekly owned by Bruce Brugmann (pictured left) says San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly (right) has done the public a service by suing to stop the deal. The paper urges the court to grant Reilly's request for a temporary restraining order "so the whole thing can be examined in detail, in public, before a judge."

The editorial makes other points -- like why are top officials such as Attorney General candidate Jerry Brown and Attorney General Bill Lockyer silent about the deal? And why didn't the Chronicle report that the SF Board of Supervisors pass a resolution opposing the deal?

The Guardian has posted Reilly's 13-page lawsuit on its Web site.

In the interest of fair play, if other newspapers print editorials, columns or op-eds on the MediaNews deal, the PPC will provide links to those articles as well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Merc settles same-sex harassment suit

The San Jose Mercury News has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle a same-sex haraassment lawsuit involving a man who said he endured sexual comments and touching from a mailroom supervisor, the Chronicle reports. The victim, Mark Newton, issued a statement saying he is a middle-aged, white male who was married with children. "The harassment I faced at work is something no one should have to go through, male or female. It was very destructive," he said. As part of a consent decree signed Friday by U.S. Magistrate Howard Lloyd, the newspaper must reissue its sexual-harassment policy to employees and supervisors, and all mailroom workers and managers must undergo two hours of training regarding sexual harassment and retaliation, the Chronicle reported. [Mercury News version] [San Jose Business Journal version]

Judge demands journalist surrender video

U.S. District Judge William Alsup (left) of San Francisco has ordered a freelance journalist to surrender a video of a July 8, 2005 clash between San Francisco police and anarchist demonstrators or face as much as a year in jail for contempt, according to the Chronicle. Journalist Josh Wolf (right) says he won't turn over any tapes and says he didn't even take pictures of the event police want to see — the alleged vandalism of a police car. Wolf says he's prepared to go to jail. He says turning over the tape would turn him into a "surveillance camera for the government." Wolf's attorney, Jose Luis Fuentes, is asking the judge to transfer the case to U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White, who is hearing the case of Chronicle reporters Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams, who have been ordered to reveal their source of a grand jury transcript in the Barry Bonds case. The lawyer says the cases raise the same issue: whether federal law provides any implicit protection for journalists who withhold confidential information from grand juries.

Service Thursday for Joe Dignan

A service is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday for Joe Dignan (pictured), a freelance journalists for several LGBT and mainstream publications, who died June 29 from a heart attack. The service will take place at St. Brigid Church, corner of Van Ness Avenue and Broadway, where Dignan headed a committee that worked for more than a decade to see the Roman Catholic church reopened as a house of worship.

Sale of Channel 20 to O'Brien falls through


The proposed deal to sell KBWB Channel 20 in San Francisco and a UHF station in Detroit to a group headed by former KTVU Channel 2 general manager Kevin O'Brien (pictured) has fallen through. The seller, Granite Broadcasting, announced today that it is backing out of the $150 million deal and putting the stations back on the market. According to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Granite had been trying to sell the two stations to pay off debt, but got a new line of credit earlier this month. Now that things aren't so desperate, Granite decided to back out of the deal. The Detroit station's value is increasing because it has landed a new network, but the SF station is losing its WB affiliation and is in a tougher situtation. O'Brien's group, which includes four private equity firms, can still make a bid on the SF station.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Singleton: Send in the clowns

Perhaps the most memorable quote about Clint Reilly's lawsuit to stop the sale of the Mercury News and other former Knight Ridder papers to Dean Singleton came from Singleton himself. The chairman of MediaNews told Dale Kasler of the Sacramento Bee that Reilly's lawsuit was a "sideshow," and added, "You can't have a circus 'til the clowns show up."

One other note: The first story about Reilly's lawsuit moved on the AP wire at about 4 p.m. Thursday, which meant most of the daily newspapers in the region had the story in their Friday editions. Not the Chron, however. It didn't print anything about it until Saturday. Presumably the Chron decided to wait until Reilly actually filed the suit on Friday, or perhaps it wanted to have its own reporter write the story instead of using the AP version. SFGate.com did post the AP story at about 7 p.m. Thursday.

KNEW-AM host Katz leaves for S. Carolina

Jeff Katz, a host on KNEW-AM 910 who was known for opposing spending projects for the homeless and for supporting the San Francisco Police when they were accused of making a politically incorrect video, is leaving San Francisco for WBT-AM in Charlotte, South Carolina, according to the Charlotte Observer.

NYT looks at Santa Barbara rebellion

Former Chronicle managing editor Jerry Roberts is a central figure in a New York Times story this morning about the newsroom rebellion at the Santa Barbara News-Press, where he has been editor since 2002.

The article includes comments from the paper's owner, Wendy McCaw, who says eight newsroom staffers resigned because of "personality differences."

McCaw said that Roberts decision to run a story about the drunken driving arrest of the paper's publisher on page 3 reflected a vendetta, and Roberts was not allowed to run a second story on the publisher's sentencing -- he got four days in jail. Roberts said he realized at that point he would have to leave.

Friday, July 14, 2006

SF business editor wins humor prize

It's not often that somebody a business publication wins a humor column award. But San Francisco Business Times Editor Steve Symanovich took first place in the National Society of Newspaper Columnists competition for humor columns at papers with a circulation of 100,000 or less. He gets a $300 prize, which is nothing to laugh at. Topics ranged from the sanctimony of Toyota Prius drivers to using a thesauraus as a performance enhancer in the wake of baseball's steroid scandal. The columnists association also presented an honorable mention to Chris Coursey of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat in the general interest category for papers under 100,000 circulation. The awards were announced July 1 in Boston at the society's annual conference.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reilly sues to stop sale of Merc, CCTimes

Clint Reilly, the wealthy real estate developer who sued unsuccessfully to stop the sale of the Chronicle six years ago, plans to file a federal lawsuit tomorrow (July 14) to stop the sale of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and other former Knight Ridder papers in Northern California to Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group, the Associated Press is reporting tonight. His argument is that the Chronicle and the Merc will no longer be competitors if the $1 billion deal goes through because Chronicle owner Hearst Corp. is contributing $263 million to the deal. Reilly is seeking an injunction in federal court to stop the sale. On June 28, Singleton said the sale would close in four weeks, but an exact date hasn't been announced. [BusinessWeek columnist Jon Fein says MediaNews and Hearst are teaming up with Yahoo on a new project]

Apple gives up fight against bloggers

Apple Computer has decided it is no match for bloggers such as Jason O'Grady (left) of PowerPage.org. The company has thrown in the towel in its attempt to get the legal system to force O'Grady and others to disclose their sources about a new Apple product. This was truly a David-vs-Goliath battle. Early on, Apple got a local judge, Santa Clara County's James Klineberg (husband of Palo Alto mayor Judy Kleinberg), to order the bloggers to reveal their sources. But the bloggers, with some help from Electronic Frontier Foundation, convinced an appeals court to reverse Kleinberg. Specifically, the appeals court ruled that bloggers enjoyed the same First Amendment protections as other journalists. This week, according to the Mercury News, Apple told the court it would not challenge the appeals court ruling. [PPC May 27: Court allows bloggers to protect sources]

At least 10 layoffs at CBS Radio SF

CBS Radio has eliminated 115 out of more than 8,500 full and part-time positions at its 179 stations, according to Reuters, including at least 10 jobs in its San Francisco cluster. AllAccess.com said those who were shown the door locally include: Ken Kohl, vp and gm of Free FM KIFR and All News KCBS-AM; National Sales Manager Vicky Biggs; Non Traditional Revenue Manager Cari Levine and Director Kari Fulton; KITS Chief Engineer Kent Yeglin; KFRC and KIFR Controller Herb Anderson; A's Sales Manager Mark Silverstein; KCBS Promotions Assistant Angelina Fong; and Business Department staffers Jay Vong and Jason Lee. CBS Radio CEO Joel Hollander said the cuts were necessary to "manage costs" and "ensure the company's competitiveness." Reuters noted that six months after shock jock Howard Stern left, the radio network is still trying to find a replacement who will generate the same kind of revenue and publicity.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bloggers not welcome at Couric event

atie Couric is touring the nation before taking over as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," and she is scheduled to visit San Franicsco on Monday. But if you're a blogger and want to cover her "Town Hall" meeting, you better not take a pencil or notebook. According to this morning's (July 12) Minneapolis Star Tribune, a man at Couric's "Town Hall" meeting in Minneapolis yesterday had his pen confiscated by personnel from the local CBS station after they discovered he was a blogger. The event was tightly run, with a hand-picked crowd and no media invited, except for the local station's top anchorman. "It seems like something the president would pull," Jane Kirtley, University of Minnesota ethics professor, told the Star Tribune. "At a time when the news media is trying to gain the trust through transparency, to have a meeting closed to the media and the general public is unbelievable." The blogger, Matt Bartel of MNSpeak, was invited by the station to attend. But when staffers at the station they realized he was a blogger, they pulled him out of the auditorium and said, "We don't want you to attend," he said. Then they offered him a choice -- surrender his notebook or leave the event. "I wasn't going to give them my notebook; I had business stuff in there." A compromise was reached -- the local CBS station staffer confiscated Bartel's pen instead. But Bartel said that there wasn't much to take notes on anyway. "No one said anything all that remarkable." (Photo by Richard Drew of AP.)

New Ch. 7 talk show is also live on the Web

KGO Channel 7 has launched a new hourlong magazine-type program called "The View from the Bay" hosted by Spencer Christian and Janelle Wang (both pictured) weekdays at 3 p.m. The program is noteworthy because it is the only live daytime entertainment show in the Bay Area and it is the first to be webcast live at www.viewfromthebay.com. Contra Costa Times TV writer Chuck Barney says "it will be intriguing to see if it can build an audience and hold its own against syndicated programming such as 'People's Court' and 'The Tyra Banks Show.'" [April 3 PPC: Plans for daytime show announced]

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Brian Banmiller to Santa Barbara paper

Brian Banmiller, who was a business reporter at KTVU Channel 2 for 16 years, was named today (July 11) the "contributing business editor" of the Santa Barbara News Press -- the paper where six top editors and a columnst resigned last week in a dispute with billionaire owner Wendy McCaw. The editors included Jerry Roberts, who was at the San Francisco Chronicle for 25 years before taking over the editorship of the Santa Barbara paper in 2000. McCaw's publisher, Travis Armstrong, also announced the promotions of three newsroom staffers to senior editor positions. Banmiller was at Channel 2 for 16 years, up until last year. His bio remains on the station's Web site. He also hosted a syndicated TV show in the 1990s and did reports for CBS Radio. Here's a link to his personal Web site.

Another view of Jerry Roberts resignation

Every op-ed piece we've seen on the dispute at Santa Barbara News-Press that resulted in the resignation of editor Jerry Roberts, a 25-year veteran of the Chronicle, and six of his colleagues has taken the side of the journalists. After all, they argued, the owner of a newspaper shouldn't get involved in news gathering. Roberts concluded that private ownership of newspapers, as opposed to chain ownership, isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Here's the opposite point of view from the London Guardian's Roy Greenslade, who says Roberts "just isn't thinking straight."

Ridder: 'I wish we had invented Google'

A day before Knight Ridder faded into obsolescence, CEO Tony Ridder said, "I wish we had invented Google." Think about that comment for a moment. Knight Ridder had purchased numerous "New Media" companies and formed its own digital division to distribute the content of its newspapers over the Internet. Ridder moved the company's headquarters from Miami to San Jose to be closer to Silicon Valley. Yet, all of it wasn't enough. That quote is part of a larger story posted here by Michael Liedtke of the AP that previews investment banker Herb Allen's annual media and technology retreat in Sun Valley, Idaho. Liedtke sets it up as a battle between Old Media (newspapers) and New Media (Internet). Ridder wasn't invited but Google's founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Former Palo Alto journalist has good timing

The self-destruction of Santa Barbara's main daily newspaper couldn't have worked out any better for Jeramy Gordon, formerly of the Palo Alto Daily News. Gordon, 23, moved to Santa Barbara in February and launched his own free daily called "The Santa Barbara Daily Sound." The paper is gaining momentum, with enough advertising growth to boost it beyond its original eight pages to 12. With $250,000 in seed money that he raised from family and friends, Gordon is operating on a shoe-string budget with just three full-time employees. Since the paper started in March, Sound's circulation has increased from 3,000 to 5,000. He told E&P he expects to break even in six months. [Previous posts about Gordon: March 27, 2006, Publisher delivers new newspaper; March 23, 2006, Former Palo Alto editor starts new daily]

Roberts: Beware of private ownership

For a long time, the mantra among journalists was that newspaper chains were bad for journalism. But Jerry Roberts, who worked at the San Francisco Chronicle for 25 years before taking the editor's post at the Santa Barbara News-Press, says there's definitely a downside to private owners. Wendy McCaw, who bought the Santa Barbara paper six years ago with some of the $460 million she received in a divorce from cell phone pioneer Craig McCaw, has inserted herself into the newsroom so often that seven journalists, including Roberts, resigned last week in protest. In an interview with Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp, Roberts says that if a private investor wants to buy a newspaper, "Make sure that you understand that the paper is there to serve readers and the need to delegate things to professional to do that. Either that or run like hell."

Saturday, July 8, 2006

Chron: prosecutors misled Balco judge

Lawyers for the Chronicle claim in court papers filed Friday (July 8) that federal prosecutors attempted to mislead U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey White into thinking that Balco lab founder Victor Conte was the paper's source of grand jury testimony leaked to the paper's reporters about Barry Bonds' use of steroids. "The problem is that the theory is untrue and the government knows it," Hearst lawyers wrote. In fact, Hearst said the Justice Department, before it filed a brief about Conte possibly being the source, had admitted that it had no evidence about the source of the transcripts. "... [F]or the government to continue to press this matter, knowing what it knows now, is nothing short of harassment," Hearsts lawyers wrote. The briefs filed Friday were in advance of a hearing scheduled for Aug. 4 where Judge White will decide whether Lance Williams (left) and Mark Fainaru-Wada should go to jail for refusing to testify about who gave them grand jury transcripts in the Balco case.

McClatchy director to talk about KR sale

Bill Coblentz, a member of McClatchy Co.'s board of directors, will discuss McClatchy's purchase of Knight Ridder on Wednesday (July 12) at 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at 312 Sutter (at Grant), Suite 500, San Francisco. He will be the guest of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, which is located at that address. Coblentz has been a director of McClatchy since March 1979. He is a senior partner in the San Francisco law firm of Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass. He was a board member of Pacific Bell from 1976 to 1992. From 1964 through 1980, Coblentz was on the UC Board of Regents. (Photo from McClatchy Co. Web site.)

Friday, July 7, 2006

SF Examiner editor lasts seven months

Malcolm Kirk, who was named executive editor of the San Francisco Examiner in December, has left the paper and is returning to Canada. CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc. announced today (July 7) that Kirk has been appointed publisher of the Calgary Herald. Kirk served as editor-in-chief of the Calgary newspaper from 2003 until 2006 and has experience at several of CanWest's other newspapers, including the Vancouver Province and the Montreal Gazette, the company said. In San Francisco, Kirk had replaced Vivienne Sosnowski, who was executive editor of the Examiner for 17 months before being transferred to the Washington, D.C., Examiner. No word from the Examiner on why Kirk left or who will replace him.

Left-wing radio station still struggling

East Bay media writer Bill Mann observes that "The Quake" (KQKE 960 AM) is still struggling in the ratings after two years on the air. In the latest ratings report, it is in 27th place, with right-wing stations KSFO-AM 560 and KNEW-AM 910 ahead of it. Mann has heard from readers who say The Quake's morning show with former SF mayor Willie Brown and comedian Will Durst hasn't helped the station. Mann doesn't expect the Willie-and-Will show to last much longer than three months.

Former SF editor quits Santa Barbara paper

Jerry Roberts , a former an Franicsco Chronicle managing editor, was among the journalists who resigned Thursday from the Santa Barbara News-Press because of newsroom interference by the paper's billionaire owner, Wendy McCaw, according to the L.A. Times. Those joining Roberts in leaving the News Press were Managing Editor George Foulsham, Deputy Managing Editor Don Murphy, Business Editor Michael Todd, Metro Editor Jane Hulse and 46-year News Press fixture Barney Brantingham, whose column ran five days a week. In 2003, Roberts left the Chronicle after 25 years to join the Santa Barbara paper as editor and publisher, although later he held just the editor title. Roberts is also the author of "Never Let Them See You Cry," a biography of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Heart attack claims gay journalist Dignan

Joe Dignan (pictured), a freelance journalists for several LGBT and mainstream publications, died June 29 from an apparent heart attack. He was 49. According to an obit in the Bay Area Reporter, Dignan was a general assignment reporter at that newspaper from 2001 to 2003. He also wrote for the San Francisco Bay Times, Bay Guardian, Gay City News (New York City) and the Washington Post.

Jailing of trainer doesn't faze Balco duo

The Chronicle reporters who are refusing to testify about their sources in the Balco investigation say a judge's decision to jail Barry Bonds' trainer for refusing to testify hasn't increased their concerns about going to jail. Lance Williams (left) and Mark Fainaru-Wada, who first broke the stories about Bonds' steroids use through grand jury transcripts, told Editor & Publisher Magazine that the believe they have a better defense to avoid testifying than trainer Greg Anderson. The difference is that the reporters are invoking the First Amendment. Still, Fainaru-Wada admitted he thought it was "pretty amazing" that the judge would jail Anderson. It showed the judge was serious, he said. An Aug. 4 hearing as been set in U.S. District Court in San Francisco where a judge will decide if the two reporters should go to jail.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Chron blog on parenting called 'The Poop'

The Chron has launched a blog to help young parents cope with the stress of raising kids while "desperately hanging on to their coolness," according to a story introducing the blog. The blog's name is "The Poop." It is the brainchild of Chronicle writers Heather Maddan, Aidin Vaziri, Delfin Vigil and Peter Hartlaub, all of whom are relatively new parents. The Poop will include commentary, reviews, shopping suggestions and weekend activity ideas.

Chronicle names new features editor

Meredith Ann White, formerly of ABC News, Newsweek and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is the new deputy managing editor for features at the San Francisco Chronicle. She will overee Datebook, Food, Books and the Chronicle Magazine. She starts in September. In its story this morning, the Chronicle notes that while White has lived on the East Coast since the 1980s, she attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate. And, from 1978 to 1983, she served as managing editor at New West and then executive editor at California Magazine.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Bodega Bay weekly stops printing

The 1,000-circulation Bodega Bay Navigator, a weekly which has served the Sonoma County coast for almost 20 years, has printed its last issue and will become an Internet-only publication, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Owner, publisher and editor Jack Hack said the cost of printing paper and mailing exceeds the annual subscription price of $29.95 a year. Switching to the Internet will allow the paper to continue to be a community forum and provide local news. He told the Press Democrt that the circulation of the Navigator had been dropping in recent years, a trend he attributed to increased interest in the Internet. He said he'd rather switch rather than fight.

Chron edit: School limits press rights

The Chronicle, on the editorial page, criticized Pleasant Hill's College Park High School and its principal, Barbara Oaks, for removing a name from a controversial story in the student newspaper and reassigning the paper's adviser to non-newspaper duties next year. The controversy emerged publicly last week in the Contra Costa Times. The Chronicle concludes the editorial by saying, "More compelling than any textbook chapter on the Bill of Rights, is the message that these students are being sent: Even today, censorship and restrictions on free speech are a continuing battle."

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Sale of TV20 to O'Brien not a done deal

While the FCC has approved the sale of KBWB Channel 20 and a Detroit UHF station to former Channel 2 General Manager Kevin O'Brien (pictured), the $150 million deal hasn't closed yet. The seller, Granite Broadcasting, is scrambling to line up financing to keep it from entering into Chapter 11, according to Broadcasting and Cable Magazine's Web site. According to B&C, Granite has reached an agreement for additional financing but the arrangement isn't final. Until then, it appears the sale of the two stations is in limbo. O'Brien, who helped build Channel 2 into a ratings powerhouse in the 1990s, is leading a group of four investment banking firms that want to buy the two stations. His group received FCC approval June 23.

Singleton interested in TV, radio stations

MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton, who is buying the Mercury News and three other Knight Ridder dailies, has often expressed his intention to add TV and radio stations to his portfolio in markets where he has newspapers, according to column printed today (July 4) in Singleton's Denver Post by Joanne Ostrow. Ostrow says Singleton may soon get his wish. The FCC is revisiting its media ownership rules, which now prohibit one company from owning both a TV station and newspaper in the same city. Ostrow points out that the Internet has changed everything since the FCC imposed the ownership ban in 1975.

Monday, July 3, 2006

Budget cuts? Now it's the Web's turn

The owner of several gossip web sites including Silicon Valley's valleywag.com, Nick Denton, has posted this memo saying that he's going to sell two of his 15 Web sites and reshuffle his staff due to economic concerns including a fear advertising revenues will decline. "A change in the advertising industry's conventional wisdom, cutbacks by the studios: it wouldn't take much to prick the current exuberance. Better to sober up now, before the end of the party," Denton wrote. Sounds like things we've heard from newspaper executives in the past.