Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Local TV News Has A Death Wish?

TV Consultant Dick Kirlander thinks so:

The death wish is most evident when actually watching a half-hour newscast. Local news is generally defined as crime, car crashes, minor house fires and endless weather hype. It's as if every day is a blank slate on the assignment desk. Whatever is easiest to cover with no real effort or manpower investment is today's news.

Read his full letter to the editor at tvnewsday here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lee and Gatehouse Struggling

The parent companies of most of Southern Illinois' newspaper properties are struggling with hard economic times and crushing debt. Lee Newspapers owns the Southern Illinoisan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and about 50 0thers. Lee lost $713 million last quarter. It's stock price is down to $4 from $20 a year ago.

Gatehouse owns over 500 newspapers, including almost all of the smaller dailies and weeklies in Southern Illinois (Marion, West Frankfort, Benton, Murphysboro, Harrisburg, DuQuoin and several more). Gatehouse's stock has plunged 85 percent since last April.

More from the San Diego Reader.

What's the future of print journalism? I wish I knew.

Friday, July 4, 2008

45 Words

It's the foundation of what we do for a living. Moreover, the words of the First Amendment to the Constitution express the principles that defined our country from so many others...and still do today.

Have you read those words lately?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


From Tampa comes word that the photo staffs of the Tampa Tribune and WFLA-TV will be merged. Photogs will have to reapply for their jobs. The story comes from St. Petersburg Times media critic Eric Deggans.

We'll be seeing more of this.

$38 Million a Year

Whether you love him or hate him, you have to admire the talent of Rush Limbaugh. For 20 years now Limbaugh has been the undisputed gorilla of talk radio. His new contract will pay him a base of $38 million dollars a year, not including signing bonuses, merchandise, and additional ad revenue.

Limbaugh is not only an accomplished broadcaster, but also a powerful influence on our political system.

The New York Times Magazine has this rare candid conversation with "el Rushbo."