Monday, December 10, 2007

Kava scoffs at executive-of-the-year story

Former Merc music and radio writer Brad Kava (left), now an independent blogger, says you can tell a lot about how a media outlet covers itself. His column is mostly about how KGO-AM 810's talk hosts are ignoring the arrest of fellow host Bernie Ward on child porn charges (see items above and below).

But while on the subject of how the media outlets cover themselves, he notes that his former paper left out some facts when it reported that its previous publisher, George Riggs (right), was named executive of the year by the California Press Association. Kava writes:
    "The guy's paper lost a third of its circulation, and its deputy managing editor says the community hates it because it has no personality ... but he wins a big award and no one questions it or raises any irony in the story covering the award. You know they would if this were some other industry patting itself on the back.

    "That's one reason bloggers are getting so much more powerful. They can ask: how did they give this award out? Random drawing?"
Riggs, longtime publisher of the Contra Costa Times, was brought in to head both the CC Times and Merc in 2005. In 2006, he became president of MediaNews Group's California Newspapers Partnership, overseeing more than 30 daily newspapers. In 2007, Riggs handed the Merc publisher post to former ad director Jeff Kiel while remaining head of the California partnership.

Riggs said he was surprised to get the California Press Association award, joking that "this must have been a year with a dearth of candidates. But in all seriousness, recognition like this is very special."

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