Saturday, December 31, 2005

Rich Mates "retires" from Scranton Times

Terry Bonifanti gives Times reporter Rich Mates a stupid sendoff, one not benefitting such a talented and well-respected reporter. She deserves something just as bad.

Local TV sports guys go to Orange Bowl

Meanwhile, the news budgets shivel and die.... "Jim Coles, Jason Knapp and Sid Michaels will celebrate the new year in a warm, sunny climate." Another sad example of what passes for journalism in the Citizens' Voice.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Judge-elect Munley: being a WYOU talking head got me elected

Out of the judge's mouth: “That was a big reason why I think I got such a big vote for judge,” Thomas Munley said. “I had the identity. Everywhere I went, people knew who I was.”

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ch-ch-changes at WNEP

Lou Abitabilo gets a promotion. Read on:

The New York Times Company Broadcast Media Group Announces Appointments
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 22, 2005--The New York Times Company Broadcast Media Group today announced appointments at two of its properties. The announcement was made by Robert Eoff, president, Broadcast Media Group. The appointments are effective January 1 and include:

Lou Abitabilo, vice president and general sales manager at WNEP in Scranton, Penn., will become the executive vice president and station manager. He will report to Lou Kirchen, president and general manager of WNEP and divisional vice president of the Broadcast Media Group.


"I'm pleased to recognize the tremendous accomplishments and years of service to our Broadcast Media Group that Lou and Wes have contributed," said Mr. Eoff. "As we extend our broadcast reach they will remain instrumental to the success of our Group."

Mr. Abitabilo joined WNEP in 2001. Previously he worked in multiple television positions in New York City, including director of sales for WNBC, executive vice president at Bohbot Communications, vice president and general sales manger for programming at WNYW/FOX 5, director for national sales at FoxNet, and regional vice president for He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Baruch College in 1972.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sexy as defined by WNEP's Julie Sidoni

Hey - she's the one who agreed to the interview.

Some like it hot, some are hot
NEPA’s sexiest people tell us what pushes their buttons
The Weekender, Dec. 21, 2005
By Alan K. Stout and Leslie Martin


Julie Marie Sidoni
Age: 27
Occupation: Anchor/reporter at WNEP-TV
Hometown: St. Marys, Pennsylvania

What, in your opinion, defines sexy, or makes someone sexy?

Confidence, for sure. Everybody has attributes and positives. Knowing what they are and how to be confident about them is definitely sexy. And being able to laugh, not taking yourself too seriously – that ‘s a bigggie. Nobody’s that important in the grand scheme of things.

What do you find unattractive in a person, or un-sexy?

Looks-wise? Sexy to me is a little more clean-cut. I’m not really into guys with hair that’s longer than mine. Personality-wise, un-sexy is someone whose attempt at humor comes at the expense of someone else.

Who do you find sexy?

Pierce Brosnan (no explanation needed there), Sting (the songs alone melt me, but the black leather pants aren’t bad either), Diana Krall (such a beautiful woman and the greatest husky jazz voice ever.)

Times goes "big time" when reporter appears as MSNBC talking head

Is it really newsworthy, in 2005, when someone is interviewed on TV? And what kind of "family friend" goes on national television to talk about his "friend's" family problems?

By Terry Bonifanti
The Times-Tribune
Dec. 21, 2005

Monitoring Michael from Electric City

It’s a long way from Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to Scranton, but Times-Tribune staff writer and MSNBC analyst Stacy Brown still manages to keep close tabs on the King of Pop’s trials and tribulations. Stacy, a Jackson family friend and author of “Michael Jackson: The Man Behind the Mask,” shared his insights on the Gloved One’s latest woes with MSNBC viewers Tuesday morning.

Appearing via satellite from NBC affiliate WBRE-TV’s Wilkes-Barre studios, Stacy was asked by MSNBC’s Randy Meier and Amy Robach about a report that Debbie Rowe, Mr. Jackson’s ex-wife, filed legal papers accusing the singer of abducting their two children and taking them to Bahrain.

“Debbie has been all over the map on this. One minute, she wants custody; the next minute, she doesn’t. ... You just don’t know where Debbie’s coming from, from time to time,” he told MSNBC.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Not a minute too soon, the Electric City's Wendy Butler leaves the building

Electric City is awful, and Wendy Butler is a moron. There can be no debate of those two facts for anyone who has ever climbed beyond the mountains the surround Scranton. So read her last bit of self-absorbed tripe before she wastes oxygen and pledge money down the road at WVIA.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Man bites dog: Scranton Times editors answer questions

How exactly is this newsworthy? Larry Beaupre, John Murphy, Chris O'Hora, Faith Golay, Ed Christine, Ed Pikulski, Mike Mullen, Chad Sebring and Terry Bonifanti hold a workshop. Just what people wanted to know.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Read the circle-jerk Electric City best-of column from Wendy Butler

Another year, another round of "best of" ads bought with half-page display ads.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Scranton Times fights Casey/billboard flap

The most insightful part of the story comes at the end, where we read the nuts and bolts of the "marketing campaign" for the closure of the afternoon Scranton Times and the renaming of the morning Tribune the Times-Tribune. The Scranton paper got into this mess... because it needed a headline that rhymed with a 1962 song by the Turtles. Great way to attract the kids, fellas!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Bias! In the Scranton Times? Never!

Never, ever, editor Larry Beaupre reports. Read on, or click above for the whole story:

Bias is a sensitive issue, particularly in a town with one daily newspaper, but slanting stories in favor of one newsmaker or another “just doesn’t happen” at The Times-Tribune, says Managing Editor Lawrence K. Beaupre.

“Never in my five years at this newspaper have the publishers directed me to cover a story or cover up a story, or to emphasize a story or slant a story in any way,” he says. “Bias is in the eye of the beholder, and in this case, very clearly, those who are charging us with bias don’t like the truth.”

Monday, September 19, 2005

Scranton Times source fired over grand jury leak

The state investigator for the AG's office apparently served as a post-publication second source (?!) for a 2004 grand jury story that everyone from the story subjects to a series of judges says is a bunch of bullshit.

And check out this bit from the stroy:
Mr. Blynn said Times-Tribune Assistant Managing Editor John Murphy approached his client about a year after the controversial story was published and asked for the affidavit because the newspaper had only one source for the story.

Mr. Kolojejchick provided the affidavit, Mr. Blynn said, because Mr. Murphy said his newspaper job was in jeopardy and because the newspaper had helped the attorney general’s prison investigation.

In a statement Friday, Mr. Murphy said: “Mr. Blynn’s and Mr. Kolojejchick’s version of events is inaccurate, but since we’re involved in a lawsuit I cannot comment further.”

I would hate to be the reporter chasing down his editor for a quote. Yow.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Scranton Times holds Hurricane Katrina telethon

They raised quite a lot of money, Lauren Roth and Lisa Schencker report.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Santorum continues battling Scranton Times over Casey billboard flap

Rick Santorum says the billboard campaign amounts to an illegal campaign contribution to Robert Casey. Publisher Geroge Lynett and editor Larry Beaupre say that's crazy talk.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Philadelphia Inquirer weighs in on Scranton Times-Casey flap

Again, here's the real question: Why is Larry Beaupre, the editor, making prototypes for the marketing department? Sounds like something that would happen at a Gannett newspaper.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Chris Kelly gives his bosses head with fawning column

Chris Kelly of the Scranton Times manages to take shots at the Times Leader, fawningly flatter his editors and sound like a baby all at the same time over the Rick Santorum/Robert Casey billboard flap.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Republicans file complaint in Scranton Times-Casey billboard flap (Times version)

The debacle is the work of "too many people with too little to do," publisher George Lynett says. Like editors? Boom!

Republicans file complaint in Scranton Times-Casey flap

Times editor Larry Beaupre won't respond to Times Leader reporter Brett Marcy's queries other than to say: "I will speak to any reporter in the country, except for the Times Leader." Waaaaah! Someone get that man a Kleenex!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

The AP's on the Times-Casey billboard flap

"It's ludicrous," Beaupre said. "They are seeking to make a connection that doesn't exist." Deep breaths. Is someone protesting too much?

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Flap building over Scranton Times-Robert Casey billboards

Rick Santorum partisans says it's because the Times, the Lynetts and the Caseys are all in bed together. The Lynetts say it's nothing of the sort. We report: You decide.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Steve Corbett revisits South Wilkes-Barre

Formerly of the Times Leader and now of the Santa Maria (Calif.) Times, Steve Corbett vists the state store, marvels at the crime and ruminates on Wilkes-Barre in 2005.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Pow! Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spanks Scranton Times for mishandling Sherwood case

OOf. Bill Toland of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette lands a couple punches on the Scranton Times and editor Larry Beaupre. This passage, especially, drips with contempt:

Sherwood's supporters think so much of him here that a local media chain, Times Shamrock Communications, initially declined to cover the Sherwood saga, which most newspapers or TV outlets would have considered newsworthy. After the police report became public, The Scranton Times, one of three papers in the chain, criticized the Times Leader for writing about it.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

WYOU gives blow job to Times, others, for blood drive

Fellas, let's try to get at least a little -news- on the air, huh? What a sham. People who watched tonight's broadcast should get a refund.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Scranton Times suffers another courtroom loss in libel case

Another blow for the story, written by Jennifer Henn and edited by John Murphy, that alleged that two local politicians were "less than candid" before the grand jury. “We remain confident that, at the end of the day, our reporting will be vindicated," Larry Beaupre said. Riiiiiight. He better hope the paper is vindicated, or it's Chiquita all over again.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Farewell, afternoon Scranton Times

Chris Kelly writes a slightly-too-advertorial-like ode to the Times, which officially disappears today before its merger with the morning Tribune.

"The transition to a single morning newspaper comes without a single layoff," Kelly, reportedly a big fan of management, writes. What about all the afternoon paper boys? Well, they're contract employees, you see. They don't count.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Scranton Times finally reports Sherwood-Ore story

It's about time, since Cynthia Ore has filed a federal lawsuit against Don Sherwood, the congressman and her alleged ex-lover.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Scranton Times must reveal source, judge rules

The source, for a story written by John Murphy and edited by Jennifer Henn, allegedly dished false dish, though the newspaper is still (the only person or entity) standing by the story. The Times will appeal.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Afternoon Scranton Times dies June 24

That's what the headline should have said, rather than "Times-Tribune debuts June 27." How this has been played as a "merger" and not a "closure" has spoken volumes about Larry Beaupre's true colors as a newsman.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

AP weighs in on Scranton Times vs. Wilkes-Barre Times Leader Sherwood battle

The AP's David Caruso of Philadelphia quotes Dave Iseman and Larry Beaupre columns but really doesn't do much original reporting, unfortunately. Still, a worthwhile read.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

"Call me crazy" Larry Beaupre says in Sherwood flap

It's a tour de force from the Scranton Times editor. "But please, spare us all from the sanctimonious self-righteousness that is pervading that other newspaper's truly awful journalism....I don't think we should be stampeded into lowering our standards just because another publication has no standards."

Boom! Pow! Don't stop!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

CJR weighs in on the Scranton Times ignoring the Sherwood story

It's just like the Gary Hart story, Times editor Larry Beaupre tells CJR Daily. Well, doesn't that mean you should write a story about it rather than sitting on it?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Tunkhannock editor defends sitting on Sherwood story

Robert Baker, who identifies himself as the editor of the Times-Shamrock-owned New Age Examiner of Tunkhannock, writes a column explaining why he's sitting on the Sherwood story. It includes this line:

"An area daily newspaper about 25 miles to our south, rushed to publication on Saturday. But most of the news organizations, including mine, have been more than a bit skeptical about it."

I guess "most of the news organizations" don't include the AP and the Washington Post. Whatever.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Electric City congratulates self on Diamond City

This really would have been the time to launch a good Wilkes-Barre alternative newspaper. Weekender is leaderless and on the ropes. But instead Times-Shamrock publishes Diamond City, which features 99 percent content copied from Electric City. "Watch us shine," Wendy Butler says. Yawn.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


THis is s test post.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Fred Reinecke hired as new Scranton Times business editor

Fred Reinecke, formerly of Florida and New Orleans, takes over at the Scranton Times for Ken Knelly, who was promoted to business editor.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Scranton Times sued for libel by county commissioners

The Times story written by Jennifer Henn and edited by John Murphy was false, libelous, and other bad things. The newspaper thinks it will be vindicated. It better really have its anonymous source, or Randy Castellani and Joe Corcoran will eat Larry Beaupre for breakfast.