Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Night News

Edward, John Corley, and Dan Lippiatt

John Corley retired from the Los Angeles Times Composing Room with the very first buyout in 1992, and continues attending the gatherings with his former colleagues.

Message from Eddy Hartenstein Publisher LAT

From: Hartenstein, Eddy
Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 10:31 AM
To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT; zzMediaGroups
Subject: Kathy Thomson

I am pleased to announce that Kathy Thomson has joined the Los Angeles Times Media Group as Executive Vice President/Chief of Staff. In this new role, Kathy will be responsible for ensuring that we are all working together and looped in on new initiatives and projects. She will keep projects on track and on time, and work closely with the Senior Team and other key executives to guarantee that we’re working in the smartest ways possible. She will be integral in our efforts to ensure the company’s future success.

Most recently, Kathy served as Chief Operating Officer at Energy Innovations in Pasadena. Prior to that, she worked at DirecTV for 14 years where she oversaw a variety of areas, including sales, marketing, and business operations.

Please join me in welcoming Kathy. She’s temporarily set up in the Public Affairs suite on the fourth floor of Times North.


My Plan of saving Our Future Finance

Here you go Bush, take all of your Oil money along with all of your "friends" large companies, Halliburton, and create a central deposit for all of the Wall street companies to inject their money so they can have a share of that great plan. Seems to me that if it's good for the goose, it must be great for the gander, but the only gander buying anything is good old Warren Buffet. Why ask us broke 70% to bail out the elite 10% that own 90% of everything. This plan is B.S. it takes the money that these banks gambled on and holds the US tax payer accountable for something, many of us never created. Let the chips fall where they may, and I bet you that many of these rich companies that will be affected will somehow manage to keep operations going. This sky is falling mentality has been a great Bush tactic to get his way, but I say enough, and put an end to the lies. Do you think that GE, COKE, PESIE, Procter & Gamble, ect will let their empires fall to a few stupid bankers? I think not. I just think they don’t want to pony up money to save this great Country of ours. Maybe that’s why in 2007 Halliburton decided to open a second corporate office in Dubai U.A.E. to cover their ass in the losses that were about to realize just a year later. Way to go Bush!

Monday, September 29, 2008

R.I.P. New York Sun

The New York Sun will publish it's final edition tomorrow according to The New York Observer. How many additional newspapers will follow suit and fold is anyone's question at the moment.

A Letter From the Editor: The Future of the Sun

Decertification Facts

There’s a misconception among many of my colleagues that simply gathering signatures from thirty percent of the pressroom workforce will result in the termination of the union representing the men and women working at the Los Angeles Times two production facilities. This is not the case, which prompted this post to give my colleagues the facts.

Fom Union Facts:

Employees who no longer want a union to represent them — whether it's because the union is undemocratic, corrupt, violent, or just plain inept — are entitled to seek an election to determine if a majority of their coworkers wants to drop the union. Such elections, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), are known as "decertification elections." They are not rare -- several hundred take place in a typical year.

Employees who want to vote a union out have to circulate a petition calling for a decertification election. A sample petition is available below. They should not seek help from their employer, because the union can then complain that an unfair labor practice has tainted the election. Employees may take advantage of outside assistance, though. Signatures should be collected on non-work time and in non-work areas. It is important that the names of the union and the company be filled in before any signatures are collected.

It doesn't matter why the employees are dissatisfied. But there are some timing issues that are important. The NLRB has a rule that a new union is given one year to represent the workers before a decertification election can be held. Unions that have already negotiated a contract for employees can usually be subjected to a decertification election near the expiration of the contract. Therefore, workers with an old union should start their decertification drive a few months prior to the expiration of their contract to be sure they don't miss their window of opportunity.

If at least 30 percent of the workers in the bargaining unit sign the petition, then it must be sent to the NLRB's closest regional office, along with a cover sheet, NLRB Form 502. Once the petitions have been received and validated, the NLRB will set a date for the decertification election, usually about 60 days in the future. Individuals on both sides may campaign to sway the employees. When the vote is held, if a majority of the workers who participate favor decertifying the union, or if the vote results in a tie, then the NLRB will officially remove the union's recognition as the bargaining representative of the workers.

Union Organizer Responds to Decertify Petition

Dear L.A. Times Pressroom Employees,

As you know, we have been in negotiations with the new ownership of the Times. Our goal of protecting you and your families’ interests during this transition has been a priority at the negotiating table.

Your elected bargaining team has performed with the utmost professionalism. They have presented some of the strongest arguments for a fair contract. They have kept very detailed notes and have helped gather important information for our work at the negotiating table. Your elected team is keeping all of you updated with information. For these reasons, I personally want to take a moment and thank them for their hard work standing up for all Times Pressroom employees and families.

As we all know, negotiations can be difficult, but we feel we are making progress. There have been times (usually just before the economic subjects of bargaining, such as raises, health and welfare issues etc) someone passes a petition to decertify the union.

This is usually an attempt to weaken our bargaining strength just before we talk about raises. This can and has in the past hurt employees’ opportunities to achieve a fair contract.

The people who pass these petitions usually have their own reasons, but generally do not understand the damage it can do to the other employees around them.

Signing a petition to decertify has serious legal ramifications such as withdrawing your rights to bargain and turning control over to the new ownership. This petition would allow the new owners to make unilateral changes in your working conditions without consulting with your elected bargaining team. Any changes could be made without your knowledge or input. This petition has serious legal impact on every pressroom employee, and before signing it you should call the National Labor Board to find out how this will affect your rights under the law.

We will continue our hard work at the negotiating table and will continue to keep you informed as to our progress.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Marty Keegan

Monday Morning News

David Allmon at right side

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Chuckle

How To Tell the Sex of a Fly
A woman walked into the kitchen to find her husband stalking around with a fly swatter. "What are you doing?" she asked.

"Hunting flies," he responded. "Oh! Killing any?" she asked. "Yep, 3 males, 2 females," he replied. Intrigued, she asked, "How can you tell them apart?"

He responded, "3 were on a beer can, 2 were on the phone."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Night Links

At the Race Track

Horse Racing Returns to the Los Angeles Times

Imagine my surprise as I scanned today’s Los Angeles Times Sports Section and ran across horse racing handicapping on page D-6. The Times dropped horse racing several months ago, but under the leadership of Eddy Hartenstein the new publisher of the LA Times, horse racing has returned. Click here for Bill Dwyre’s article regarding the Breeder’s Cup, with the Oak Tree Handicap in PDF format.

Farewell New York Sun

Paul Gillin of Newspaper Death Watch has predicted a major U.S. newspaper would fold sometime this year, and his prediction may come true this Monday as rumors of the New York Sun publishing it's last edition this Sunday night.

Here's what Gawker had to say: We're told the New York Sun—the right-leaning pro-Israel daily newspaper that was more or less doomed by the final, complete death of East Coast intellectual conservatism (thanks, Bush administration!)—will cease publication after all, with a final issue running on Monday. Probably. Former and current Sun staffers are invited to confirm/deny.

The headline at The New York Observer reads: Will the Sun Close? 'No Comment,' Says Lipsky

Bill McCarren Rest In Peace

Gary Weaver sent this over regarding the funeral of our friend Bill McCarren, a former Orange County Pressman for the Los Angeles Times:

Hey everyone, our friend Bill McCarren has passed away, they are having
graveside services on Monday at 11:00 am at Rose Hills Cemetery. Attached please
find directions to the grave site. Please forward to all the Los Angeles Times
people you have addresses for.

Condolences can be sent to Anthony McCarren

Services in memory of William Charles McCarren

Monday, September 29, 2008 at 11:00 AM
(Please plan to arrive a few minutes early.)

Service: Funeral Service
Location: Rose Hills Memorial Park
3888 Workman Mill Rd. Driving Directions
Whittier, CA, 90601

Concludes: Concludes At Interment Site

Tribune Press Release

Tribune Names Marty Wilke as General Manager of WGN-TV

Sales Veteran has Track Record of Success at Station Wilke Names Errol Gerber as Director of Sales

CHICAGO, IL, September 24, 2008 -- Tribune Company today announced the appointment of Marty Wilke as vice president and general manager at Chicago’s WGN-TV, effective immediately. Wilke has served as interim general manager since late-July, and has been the station’s director of sales since 2002.

"Interim-schminterim... Marty’s earned this promotion," said Ed Wilson, president of Tribune Broadcasting. "She’s the right person to lead the station -- her talent, energy, creativity, and dedication to WGN-TV’s viewers and advertisers are without question. Marty understands the important role that WGN-TV plays in the community and the connection it has with people all over the Chicagoland area -- she’s committed to keeping the station No.1."

Wilke has a long history of working with advertisers and buying and selling media time. After a successful ten-year career with several advertising agencies, she joined WGN-TV in 1996 as a local sales account executive. She became local sales manager in 2001, and was named director of sales at the station in 2002. As interim general manager, Wilke oversaw the recent launch of WGN-TV’s new weekday 5:30 p.m. local newscast.

"I am surrounded by a great staff doing great things," said Wilke. "Our 5:30 p.m. newscast is off to a great start and everyone is working hard to keep WGN-TV the leader in local news, information and entertainment programming. This station has a rich history of service to the community and I’m proud to lead it."

In her first move as general manager, Wilke announced that she has appointed Errol Gerber as director of sales for WGN-TV. (See separate WGN-TV press release issued today.)

The Blogging Pressman Flooded

Upon my return home Sunday night I was greeted with water emanating from the ceiling of my garage, my first though, my toilet had sprung a leak. Yet this was not the case, seems the water was flowing like a hydrant from my children's bathroom on the opposite side of our home.

When I opened the door from the garage to the house I could hear and feel the rain drops falling from the ceiling above me. For a moment I wondered if it would be safe to turn on the light in the washroom, and luckily the light did not arc, which brought a prayer of thanks. But the water flow was coming from the stairwell, and holes that had formed in the ceiling, and just about everywhere I looked. I stopped the flow of water by turning off the water main to our house and accessed the damage before moving the big screen television, refrigerator, and the small electrical appliances to dryer portions of the house.

To make a long story short, we are down to two bedrooms and two bathrooms for the next four to eight weeks, with photographs of the demolition on Flickr.

Blogging may be sporadic at times as we may need to relocate for a few weeks or months to quieter surroundings.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tribune Press Release

Tribune Names Tony Hunter Publisher of Chicago Tribune

Publishing Exec Has Successful History with Newspaper

CHICAGO, IL, September 22, 2008 -- Tribune Company today named Tony Hunter as publisher, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Tribune and its subsidiary products. Hunter, who has served as senior vice president/circulation and operations since 2007 and has been with the newspaper since 1994 in a variety of leadership positions, assumes oversight responsibility for the Chicago Tribune Media Group effective immediately.

"It seems like Tony’s been associated with the Chicago Tribune since Joseph Medill was trying to convince Lincoln to run for president," said Tribune’s chief operating officer Randy Michaels. "The important thing is that Tony has spent his life in the publishing business and we still think he’s the right guy for the job. He understands the Trib and appreciates its history -- but he’s also a change agent, a creative leader who is eager to move the paper in a new direction so it can compete for more readers and advertisers."

As senior vice president/circulations and operations, Hunter was responsible for all of the Tribune’s circulation and production activities. In the fall of 2007, he was instrumental in securing an unprecedented agreement with the Sun Times News Group to distribute the cross-town rival Chicago Sun-Times.

Hunter served as vice president/operations from 2003 to 2007, and during that time led two major expansions at the Chicago Tribune’s near-west side printing plant known as "Freedom Center" -- one to increase color capacity, the other to increase preprint advertising targeting.

"I’m honored to lead an organization with great people, brands and assets," said Hunter. "I have a good sense of what works and what needs to change, and I also know our talented people are ready to address the challenges ahead. We’re making great progress with our upcoming redesign, and that is just the beginning."

Hunter, 47, takes over as publisher from Robert Gremillion, senior vice president/Tribune Publishing, who began overseeing the newspaper earlier this summer on an interim basis. Prior to joining the Tribune, Hunter worked for the Audit Bureau of Circulations from 1984 to 1994. Hunter is a graduate of Coe College and has an MBA from DePaul University. A native of Calumet City, Ill., Hunter now lives in suburban Homer Glen with his wife and three children.

Monday Morning News

Save Our Trade: Targeted for Discipline

By Ronnie Pineda

I have spent the weekend listening to stories from our brothers and sisters in Los Angeles describing the way Walker and Supervision are on a mission to find any reason to write people up. This has resulted in NTF's (note to file) which have again become an issue. Why is it that supervision can stick notes in your file and not discuss the content of these notes with the employees. These are put in your file without your knowledge denying you the opportunity to respond and challenge if wrongly accused.

Complete article can be accessed by clicking on link below.

Save Our Trade: Targeted for Discipline

Friday, September 19, 2008

End of Week News

Los Angeles Times Linotypers

Jim Newton Returns to LA Times

From: Hartenstein, Eddy
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 11:50 AM
Subject: Editorial Pages Editor

I’m pleased to announce that Jim Newton has agreed to return to The Times to resume his duties as editor of the editorial pages. You all know Jim, so no introduction is needed. I would like to note that his decision to rejoin our enterprise, despite the demands of his book-writing career, is a vote of confidence in what we are trying to accomplish.

He’ll start on Monday and report to me. In the meantime, Jim asked that I send along this note:

“As you all know, The Times has a special claim on my heart and I’m convinced that Eddy represents our best chance for sustaining and building great journalism. Given that, I’m delighted that he’s offered me the chance to return, and I’m thrilled to move back into my old office—the best in the building. See you all in a few days.”

Please join me in welcoming Jim back to the team.


SOURCE: LAObserved

Time for "Financial Survivalism?"

Los Angeles Times Financial Correspondent Peter G. Gosselin wonders if it's time for a new "financial survivalism," and warns American workers to keep an eye on their employee benefits packages.

Housing bust, credit crunch, unemployment and high commodity prices (oil anyone?) are familiar faces in the news, and they all lead up to the most dreaded word of all - "recession."

Unemployed? Self-employed? A small business owner? A family just trying to survive?

Some believe that no one may be safe this time around. With economic worries mounting, we talk to the experts to find out how to survive these trying times - The Commonwealth Club of California.

Peter G. Gosselin has been national economics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times since 1999. His latest series was The New Deal: If America is Richer, Why Are Its Families So Much Less Secure?

He has also worked at the Boston Globe, The Providence Journal, The (North Adams, Mass.) Transcript and the Catskill (N.Y.) Daily Mail.

He graduated from Brown University with a degree in philosophy and was a Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University, where he received an MBA in economics.

His reporting has earned him the National Headliner Award, the George Polk Award (twice), and the SDXX award.

Complete video here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Afternoon Links

Union Negotiations With The Los Angeles Times

On The Lighter Side

Los Angeles photographer Greg Henry prepares crab cakes from a recipe found in the Los Angeles Times Food Section. This short four-minute video displays how easy and quickly the non-chef can prepare tasty dishes at home, with a humorous twist.

Chatsworth Teens Plan Metrolink Memorial Friday

Two Chatsworth teens are organizing a candlelight vigil to honor the victims, survivors and heroes of the horrific Metrolink and Union Pacific train crash of last Friday.

The ceremony will begin at 6:45 p.m., Friday, Sept. 19, at the Chatsworth train station, 10046 Old Depot Plaza Rd.

Haley Giz and Kristen Kiertzner met at Pepper Tree Ranch in Chatsworth as horseback riding partners when they were in the fourth and sixth grade. Haley, now 15, attends Chaminade College Preparatory as a sophomore and Kristen, 17, attends Opportunities for Learning Independent Study as a senior.

After the Metrolink tragedy of Sept. 12, Haley and Kristen were so devastated by the incident that they called each other and collaborated on an idea for a candlelight vigil. They handmade more than 200 tea light candles but realized that there was much more they wanted to do.

They decided to get the community involved. Soon friends and neighbors began donating their time and talent to make the vigil happen. Local businesses were quick to support Haley and Kristen by posting their flyers to inform the community of the candlelight memorial.

Submitted by Chatsworth Neighborhood Council

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wednesday Afternoon Linkage

Orange County Register Pressroom

Tribune Press Release

Tribune Statement on Class Action Lawsuit

CHICAGO, IL, September 17, 2008 -- Tribune Company today issued the following statement from Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Zell:

“The lawsuit filed yesterday is filled with frivolous and unfounded allegations, and I hope every partner in this company is as outraged as I am at having to spend the time and money required to defend ourselves against it. The media industry is in crisis, the advertising environment is extremely difficult and the economy is in turmoil. The overwhelming majority of our employees have taken up the challenge—they are working hard, leading by example, and devoting themselves to re-inventing our businesses by developing new and innovative products for our readers, viewers and advertisers. As a company we are attacking our problems and revolutionizing the media industry.

“This lawsuit is a mere distraction, and we will work quickly to see that it is dismissed. It will not deter us from completing the work ahead.”

Sam Zell reacts to his employees' lawsuit

From: Talk to Sam
Sent: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 4:53 PM
Subject: We're In This Together


We are about to release a statement on the lawsuit filed yesterday by a staffer at the LA Times and several former Times employees. I want to share it with you first, but I also want to stress that as we work to fix our company, we are all in this together.

As newspaper advertising revenues have declined severely over the last several months, we've had to take some tough steps. We're not alone, of course -- the entire publishing industry is trying to deal with the challenges posed by a tough advertising environment and an economy in turmoil. At Tribune, we're making tremendous progress -- reinventing our newspapers, expanding television news, growing WGN America, and developing a new Internet platform. We're being watched and imitated.

The overwhelming majority of our employees have risen to the occasion -- they are working extremely hard, innovating as never before, trying new things, pushing the envelope. They are using their own best judgment and questioning authority when they need to --something employees at this company rarely did in the past.

But there is a difference between questioning authority or challenging the "business as usual attitude," and maligning the company in public. That's just bad judgment and does no one any good. It's a distraction that's unnecessary.

We are partners. We need to act like it.


SOURCE: Romenesko

Class Action Lawsuit at Tribune Company

Joseph Cotchett

All the buzz last night and this afternoon is the class action lawsuit against Sam Zell by former and current Los Angeles Times writers, to allow Tribune Employees a voice on the Tribune Company Board. As so-called employee owners of the Tribune Company it is in our best interests to have someone representing us that also holds a vested interest in the company.

After calling 818.508.1000 I was informed I should call 650.697.6000, and speak with either Joseph Cotchett or Phillip Gregory. The attorney's web page can be accessed here Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy.

The law firm does not have the filling posted as of this writing, but the Wall Street Journal has the entire 115 pages posted in PDF format online.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

OC Register Produced by LA Times?

With so much negative news regarding the newspaper industry the last few years, it’s nice to see a small ray of positive news occasionally. According to the Orange County Business Journal, the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Register may soon be working together as a team instead of opposing forces.

Here’s what the Orange County Business Journal said which caught my attention:
Under the plan, according to sources, the ownership and editorial operations of the Times and Register would remain separate. Printing, distribution and mailing would be combined. Whether advertising would be combined is in question, according to sources.

Unfortunately the men and women that currently produce the hard copy of the Orange County Register would most likely be let go, but the Los Angeles Times Orange County Facility would have additional work.

This combined collaboration for both newspapers is still months away from being finalized, but stay tuned for further developments as they break.

Tribune Press Release

Tribune And Local TV To Partner In St. Louis And Denver

Local Marketing and Shared Services Agreements Create More News and Programming Choices

CHICAGO, IL, September 16, 2008 -- In a move that refocuses programming and news on the needs of the local community, Tribune Company and Local TV Holdings, LLC today announced that they have reached an agreement in principle to enter into a local marketing agreement for their television stations in Denver and a shared services agreement for their television stations in St. Louis. These agreements will enable the stations to stagger news, programming and community affairs programs so that viewers have more options to fit their increasingly hectic lifestyles. In Denver, the agreements will involve KDVR (Local TV/FOX) and KWGN (Tribune/CW). In St. Louis, KPLR (Tribune/CW) and KTVI (Local TV/FOX) will enter a shared services arrangement.

The agreements will allow the stations to locate in the same facility, use combined news operations and share certain programming. In St. Louis the stations will co-locate in the offices of KPLR and use one news room to produce nine hours of news every day, with no overlap.

“People today need local news programs throughout the day, not just in the morning, the early evening and at 9 or 10 pm.,” said Spencer Koch, Market Manager for St. Louis and long time general manager of KTVI. “The June and Ward Cleaver world of working 9 to 5, with dinner at 5:30 while tuning in the local news is long gone. By joining with KPLR, we can combine the best of both stations in news gathering and production. If the people of St. Louis want to watch news, they will find it on Channel 2 (KTVI) or Channel 11 (KPLR). We are working to our audience’s schedule, not ours.”

KPLR recently launched an hour-long local newscast at 7 p.m. News at 7 is one of the only prime time newscasts in the country, and the only one in St. Louis.

In Denver, both stations will operate out of the KDVR studios.

“Both KDVR (FOX Channel 31) and KWGN (CW Channel 2) have a strong local presence in the morning,” said Dennis Leonard, Denver Market Manager. “We will continue to go head to head on our morning newscasts and focus on delivering more options for news viewing in the noon, 5:30 and late news slots. Both of the stations have strong, loyal viewers. We will take the best of both newscasts and repackage it for each station.”

Ed Wilson, President of Tribune Broadcast, added, “These arrangements enable us to create efficiencies between the FOX and CW affiliates in each market to serve the local community like never before. In each case, we can leverage the strengths of two great stations to serve viewers with more news and the most popular entertainment programming. On top of that, we can provide advertisers the ease and efficiency of one-stop shopping, delivering even greater reach.”

Local TV CEO Bobby Lawrence commented, “The television industry is on the cusp of change. The internet, mobile, TiVo and alternative distribution channels are growing forms of content distribution. As our audience finds new ways to get content we need to streamline our delivery costs and provide more local programming, news and community information. With Tribune as our partner, we can streamline the back office and news gathering costs, while still giving viewers access to two great and very different stations and content. It is the way of the future, and we are excited to be a part of TV’s evolution.”

Working together, the stations will command the largest television news gathering operations in both Denver and St. Louis. Viewers and advertisers will also benefit from an unprecedented primetime programming line-up, including such shows as “American Idol,” “The Simpsons,” “America’s Next Top Model,” and the recently launched “90210.” It is anticipated that the agreements will be effective October 1.

“We offer something for everyone while we cross-promote programming and news on each station,” adds Wilson. “In addition we’ll reduce our overall operating costs and use the savings to enhance the technology at each of these stations, build out our HD capabilities, and claim the #1 position as the most locally-focused broadcasters in each market.”

Tuesday Afternoon News

Monday, September 15, 2008

Should I Renew My Subscription?

My renewal for the San Gabriel Valley Tribune arrived in the mail Saturday and I have been pondering if I want to continue receiving the local newspaper over the following year. I understand all newspapers are cutting costs wherever possible, but this renewal has something a bit different from prior renewals, no other option than renewing for one year.

One of the main reasons I have remained a subscriber to the local newspaper was the coverage of crime in San Dimas, but this coverage ceased several months ago, and I’m wondering if I really need the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

In the past the subscriber was given four options of renewal, A, B, C, and D, with each selection a different time frame for renewing your subscription. Now I am given one option, one year of the newspaper for $58.00, which isn’t a bad deal, or nothing.

My subscription expires on September 26th, so I have eleven days to decide if I will remain as a subscriber to my local newspaper.

Monday Afternoon News

Los Angeles Times Pressmen about 1968

Tribune Press Release

Tribune Names General Manager of New Orleans TV Stations

Baton Rouge TV Exec Phil Waterman Will Lead WGNO-TV & WNOL-TV

CHICAGO, IL, September 15, 2008 -- Tribune Company today named Phil Waterman as vice president/general manager of WGNO-TV and WNOL-TV, the company’s television duopoly in New Orleans. Waterman currently oversees four stations in nearby Baton Rouge as group vice president for Communication Corporation of America. He will assume his new duties effective Sept. 29.

“Phil is a talented and tested broadcasting executive with tremendous sales and marketing experience,” said Ed Wilson, president of Tribune Broadcasting. “He’s led as many as eleven stations as group vice president, and worked with virtually every major network during the course of his career. Having been just up the road from New Orleans for the past four years, he’s very familiar with the needs of the community’s viewers and advertisers.”

Waterman has overseen WVLA-TV (NBC), WGMB-TV (FOX), WBRL-TV (CW), and independent station KZUP-TV in Baton Rouge as general manager and/or station manager since 2004; he’s been group vice president for CCA since June 2006. His stations also handle promotion and news production for eight television stations across Louisiana. In addition, CCA’s stations in Baton Rouge served as the emergency back-up location for WGNO/WNOL during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

“I’ve been through a lot during my time in Baton Rouge,” said Waterman. “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita really tested our station group, and now we’re dealing with the aftermath of Gustav and Ike. As our station group has served as the emergency back-up for WGNO/WNOL, I’ve had the opportunity to become very familiar with their operations.”

WGNO will launch two new weekday newscasts beginning Sept. 29—a two-hour morning news broadcast from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., and a 30-minute newscast at 11:30 a.m.

“I’m excited to be joining these stations just as news is expanding,” said Waterman. “I know how vitally important local television news is to people here and in New Orleans—it links us together during natural disasters, and it can sometimes mean the difference between life and death.”

Waterman will report to Joseph Young, vice president and general manager of KDAF-TV (Dallas), who has oversight responsibility for Tribune’s television stations in New Orleans.

Unprecedented Jobs Losses in the Newspaper Industry

I have been following Erica Smith’s Paper Cuts most of the year, to gauge the pulse of the newspaper industry, and that pulse has been getting weaker and weaker the last few months. Earlier this year Ms. Smith estimated just fewer than 6,000 men and women would be laid off or terminated within the newspaper industry, the 10,000 mark of job losses was surpassed last Thursday. Job losses at newspapers across the country have hit unprecedented proportions from CEO’s to printers, with no letup foreseen any time soon. No one is immune in today’s economic climate of downsizing and consolidation.

Kevin Roderick reports this morning that Los Angeles Times writer Josh Getlin has sent a farewell letter to his colleagues, but no one is reporting about the 50 Tribune Employees that lost their jobs last Monday September 8th in the Information Technology Department, 17 of them from the Los Angeles Times. How is it, some job losses fall under the radar and are not reported I wonder.

The Operations Departments at the Los Angeles Times Orange County and Los Angeles production facilities are wondering what their fate may be the next few months, as the Los Angeles Times will undergo a redesign within the next few weeks. I hear under the redesign the California Section will be consolidated into the main section of the Times, and the Business Section will be merged into the Sports Section. This is but speculation on rumors, but if this redesign pans out to be true, we may see the elimination of the second shift several days per week in the Production Departments at the Los Angeles Times.

If you know of any job losses not reported on Paper Cuts drop Erica Smith a note.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Metrolink Train Accident Updates

Photo Credit Zach Behrens/LAist

Train collision kills 25 in San Fernando Valley

A freight train collided with a rush-hour commuter train in suburban Los Angeles San Fernando Valley on Friday evening, killing at least 15 passengers and dozens were injured. The crash was the worst in recent history in southern California.

Firefighters frantically worked to extract injured passengers as a fire burned under the car of the Metrolink commuter train. The Los Angeles Times reported today that more than 135 people were injured.

The violent crash happened just after 4:30 PM in the Chatsworth area of the famous San Fernando Valley, northwest of downtown Los Angeles.

The engine of the freight train, resting along a 90-degree curve along the track, appeared smashed beyond recognition.

The Metrolink train originated in Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and was headed to suburban Moorpark. The crash occurred near an elementary school, and witnesses ran to the area to assist firefighters.

Prior to this incident, the most deadly crash in the history of the Metrolink, the regional rail services for Southern California, was in 2005, near Glendale, in which 11 people died after two trains collided with a Union Pacific freight train. The crash occurred when one train hit a Jeep Cherokee abandoned on the tracks by Juan Manuel Alverez, who said he had planned to commit suicide but changed his mind. Prosecutors charged him with 11 counts of murder, and Alvarez was convicted last June.

Kevin Roderick has a partial list of the deceased on LAObserved and a story regarding the engineer sending a text message prior to the crash. Video's in tribute to the engineer have been removed from YouTube for unknown reasons by the teenagers the engineer had texted.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Metro Link-Train-Los Angeles-Crash

UPDATE: 8:30 p.m. I was completely unaware of the terrible Metrolink accident this afternoon, until our own Nubia contacted me with the news via a text message. Nubia rides the Metrolink daily, but does not commute on this particular train. Zach Behrens and Lindsay William-Ross are running rolling updates at LAist. Kevin Roderick also has extensive coverage of this awful accident at LAObserved, and if you note from Kevin's time stamps on his posts, he's a nightowl and will most likely have updates into the wee hours of the morning.

My employer, The Los Angeles Times, will also continue to keep the online edition of the newspaper updated all night and into the morning.

Lets all say a prayer the death count does not exceed what is currently being reported.

Is It Friday Yet?

LAT Circulation Employee Jim Wright

Save Our Trade: Don't Sign The Petition!

According to Ronnie Pineda a petition to de-certify the Union for the pressrooms at the Los Angeles Times has been initiated at the Orange County Production Facility. The full story can be read by clicking on the link below.

Save Our Trade: Don't Sign The Petition!

Tribune Press Release

Tribune Says Confusion Over 2002 Article Started with Google Search Agent

CHICAGO, IL, September 10, 2008 -- Tribune Company today said the confusion surrounding a 2002 Chicago Tribune article on the Internet this past weekend started with the inability of Google’s automated search agent "Googlebot" to differentiate between breaking news and frequently viewed stories on the websites of its newspapers. The company said it identified problems with Googlebot months ago and asked Google to stop using Googlebot to crawl newspaper websites, including The Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale), for inclusion in Google News. Despite this request, Google continued using Googlebot to crawl The Sun Sentinel’s website.

Despite the company’s earlier request and the confusion caused by Googlebot and Google News earlier this week, we believe that Googlebot continues to misclassify stories.

Tribune also released a summary of the sequence of events started by Googlebot’s crawling The Sun Sentinel’s website in the late-evening and early-morning hours of September 6 and September 7. The summary is as follows:

The article, headlined "United Airlines Files for Bankruptcy," was originally published in the Chicago Tribune in 2002, and appeared on the newspaper’s website. It then became part of the online database of Tribune’s newspapers. Our records indicate that the Googlebot crawled this story as recently as September 2 and September 3 and apparently treated it as old news.

On September 7, 2008 at 1:00:34 ET, (Sept. 6, 2008, 10:00:34 PT) our records indicate that the article received a single visit. Given the fact that it was the middle of the night, traffic to the business section of the Sun Sentinel site was very low at the time. We believe that this single visit resulted in a link to the old article being created on a dynamic portion of the Sun Sentinel’s business section under a tab called "Popular Stories Business: Most Viewed".

Again, no new story was published and the old story was not re-published -- a link to the old story was merely created. The URL for the old story did not change when the link appeared.

On September 7, at 1:36:03 ET (Sept. 6, 10:36:03) a user of the Sun Sentinel’s website viewing a story about airline policies regarding cancelled flights, clicked on the link to the old story under the "Popular Stories Business: Most Viewed" tab. Fifty-two seconds later, at 1:36:57 ET (10:36:57 PT), Googlebot visited the Sun Sentinel’s website again and crawled the story.

This time, despite the fact that the URL to the old story hadn’t changed, despite the fact that Googlebot had seen this story previously, it was apparently treated as though it was breaking news. Shortly thereafter, Google provided a link to the old story on Google News and dated it September 6, 2008. Google’s dating the story on Google News made it appear current to Google News users.

The first referral to the story from the link provided by Google News came just three minutes later, at 1:39:59 ET (10:39:59 PT).

Traffic to the old story increased during the course of the day, Sunday, September 7, with the bulk of it being referrals from Google. On Monday, September 8, traffic increased even more after a summary of the Google News story was made available to subscribers of Bloomberg News.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Soloist - True Story - Trailer 1

Based on the true story of musical prodigy Nathaniel Ayers, who developed schizophrenia in his second year at Juilliard and ended up homeless on the streets of downtown L.A. where he performs the violin and cello. The drama is based on the relationship the musician developed with Steve Lopez, a Los Angeles Times reporter whose column informed the script, as did a book Lopez is writing that Putnam will publish in the spring.

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr., Rachael Harris

Advice Goddess Now Carried by LA CityBeat

Advice Goddess, Amy Alkon, is now published in Los Angeles CityBeat, and should be added to the Tribune’s syndication. Not to be confused with Tribune’s syndicated advice columnist Ask Amy, who currently appears in the Los Angeles Times, and I assume the other Tribune Newspapers.

I had the pleasure of meeting Amy at the
Los Angeles Press Club a few months ago, thanks to Kate Coe from Deep Glamour, and found Amy to be a fireball. Towering over me by at least two inches with a head of bright red hair Amy is witty, humorous, and highly intelligent, and a proficient writer.

If you have the chance to meet Amy, tap her on the shoulder, as she’s very down to earth and fun to be around and enjoys verbal communication.

Thursday Afternoon News

Blues Club Starboard Attitude in Redondo Beach, CA.

Tribute to the 2,973 People Who Died 09.11.01

Audio: Hands By Jewel
Creator: Brian Bezalel (Skyracer90)
Date of Creation: 2003
Download link: Click here to download file

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Music For Old Folks Like Myself

As I scanned YouTube for music from the 1960’s I was pleased to discover the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, and Count Five, which I played as a teenager many years ago. When I played the Count Five’s Psychotic Reaction, which was released in 1965, I almost hit the back button when the image of a Youngman dancing appeared instead of the group I had hoped to see. After watching the video for a few moments I found myself smiling and laughing as the dancer pranced to the music. I think you old timers will enjoy this old song with a new twist.

Wednesday Afternoon Linkage

A few Newspapers that didn't make it to the Mailroom