Friday, June 30, 2006

Goodbye Brian Malina, Tom Mooney at the TL

Malina is leaving for a nonprofit and Mooney for retirement, Matt Golas reports in his newsroom note. The TL is also hiring, he said.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's confirmed: $65m for the TL

At least that's what Reuters says. Kudos to Renita Fennick for getting the right number days ago. Now, if she could only find out who owns the newspaper....

Incremental news (again) in CV libel case

The TL scooped the CV on its own libel case the other day. A turn-of-the-screw story on the case of Thomas Joseph, who the Voice allegedly made look like a wise guy.

How the CV did it

What hotel? Classier than the Host Inn?

How the TL did it

Read the Matt Golas newsroom note. Also, here are his words from Marketplace on NPR:

Matt Golas is editor of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader.
He says a different storm is prompting residents to
take action.

MATT GOLAS: "In the wake of Katrina, people take this
more seriously. They saw what happened down there. In
this case though it's not a hurricane, it's a
slow-rising river. It's one of those things where a
few feet will make a difference in millions of

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

TL, CV, abandon downtown offices

The Voice will be working out of Scranton and out of a motel; the TL will be working out of a motel also and printing in Philly. The CV will print at the Times-Tribune plant in suburban Scranton.

Most of metro W-B ordered evacuated

THe mandatory evacuation includes everyplace that flooded during Agnes in 1972. Downtown Wilkes-Barre, home to the Voice, the TL, the TL printing plant and the WBRE/WYOU office on South Franklin Street. The order was issued an hour ago, but the TL still doesn't have it on its Web site. Kudos to the sleepy CV for getting it on their site in a timely fashion.

UPDATE: Matt Golas was just on Marketplace representing the "Time Leader," according to the newsreader.

Connor bobbin' and weavin' when it comes to his co-owners of the TL

New managing partner/owner Rich Connor says he can't say who the owners are, but promises they won't interfere in the news operations. Right.


Nothing like misspelling the name of the new owner's daughter on Page One to get things started right.

Incremental news in CV libel case

Some more evidence has been added to the case. Probably could have been briefed out.

Web flood coverage so far: crap

This will change in a few hours, when Web pages are updated to reflect Wednesday's editions. But at the moment there is little coverage of what could be the worst flooding since Agnes, even though locals and diaspora alike have been aware of the impending doom since late Tuesday afternoon.

Every news site should already be full of reporting, photos, and video clips. Not later this morning, not this Sunday. Now. Here's how things look at 1 a.m.:

Voice: F. Flood? What flood? No mention on its site. Amateur hour.

TL: Lowest possible D-. Nothing on the main page but glee about their new owner. If you drill down to the 'breaking news' section, news of the mandatory evacuation of South Wilkes-Barre is stuck in the police briefs. No photos or video. Only the Voice's low standards saves them from an F.

Scranton Times-Tribune: C-. Two bylined stories, one of which is pretty good. Some links. But no photos (just one thumbnail) or video or audio.

WNEP: C+. They've got a great slideshow (130 pix) of viewer shots. That's what people log on to see. It's inexcusable that the papers don't have the same thing. NEP also has a few stories, including a good roundup.

WBRE: D+. A couple stories stating the obvious (it's flooding!) and that's it. Their grade was improved with the story about two people drowning in Hazleton, a story no one else bothered to report.

WYOU: F. Nothing but a list of evacuated streets. Why bother even having a Web site, fellas?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Done deal: Former TL publisher Connor buys the paper

There's all kinds of stories this afternoon. We'll round them up here. As of 3 p.m., the Voice didn't have a story on its Web site. Typical.

  • TL editorial: Eff you Lynetts, and p.s. we'll be better now with the 'corporate shackles' off (?)

  • A brief history of the TL

  • E&P credits Renita Fennick's reportage

  • The Scranton Times used Mike Rubinkam's AP story

  • EARLIER: Detailed Fort Worth Star-Telegram story abour Richard Connor and his bid to buy the TL

  • Joe Butkiewicz writes about the life and times of Rich Connor
  • Renita buys it: TL sale to the Lynetts isn't going to happen

    Is Renita Fennick just reading tea leaves or does she have the inside dope? Time will tell. Still, the press release-style remarks from TL department heads ("The best word is ‘wow,’ that’s how I’d sum up the work of our team,” said Susan Kahlau, the Times Leader’s vice president of advertising") was unseemly.

    CV to spend $1.5m on press upgrade

    Obviously, some people are taking this as a sign that the Lynett bid for the TL is DOA. Time will tell.

    TL says Walzer lawsuit is full of it

    It's all boilerplate from the TL in reply to former editor Allison Walzer's lawsuit. One interesting note: The TL has hired a Philly firm, not a local one, to defend itself against the suit.

  • Read the CV's report, a day late
  • A bit of evidence added in Joseph/CV libel case

    Incremental news in the libel case that businessman Thomas Joseph filed against the CV.

    Rumor: Someone is hiring for a new newspaper in Scranton??

    I'm calling bullshit on this rumor, which started on a Scranton politics message board. Here is what someone wrote lat week: "Believe it or not, this came from a non-political friend who also hates the [Times-Tribune]. She's a staffer at Penn State and came across job placement ads for her students. They are looking for reporters, circulation people and whatever other jobs a newspaper needs. 25 jobs to be exact. It's for Scranton and area according to her."

    Penn Staters? Care to add some insight to this?

    Scranton Times turns blind eye to suicide of famous husband of local woman

    Many people read about the suicide (shotgun to the head + anchor tied to an ankle) of Phillip Merrill, publisher of Washingtonian magazine as well as namesake of the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. You may not have known that he is married to a NEPA girl, a fact Terry Bonifanti reported in Saturday's Scranton Times-Tribune. Strangely, though, the newspaper omitted fact that Merrill killed himself. Bush league.

  • Read the Washington Post's thoughful and sensitive story about how friends are shocked at Merrill's suicide
  • Golas to TL newsroom: You're the best

    Also, other KR people tell Pat McHugh that they think the Times Leader is very well written. There are still other KR people?

    TL continues with Sunshine Law suit

    The Times Leader is still fighting Luzerne County over its vote to stop reassessment. It's a Todd Meyers story.

    Friday was the last day at the TL for Todd Meyers and Mike Buffer

    Towns editor Todd Meyers is headed to Pittsburgh and reporter Mike Buffer to Vineland, N.J., editor Matt Golas reports in his newsroom note.

    Stop the presses: Religion columnist to stay at TL

    Steve Corbett drops off the face of the earth and no one said a word. A priest from Hazleton who writes weekly column for the granny set -thinks- about leaving and it's cause for non-stop coverage. Regardless, rest easy, folks: Father Bob Timchak will continue to write about Catholics for the Times Leader.

  • Matt Golas writes about how Sandy Snyder looks at him and about how everyone (not just the papists) loves Father Bob
  • Monday, June 19, 2006

    Consolidation at WYOU/WBRE

    One guy, Ron Krisulevicz, will replace news directors Frank Andrews Shimkus at WYOU and Paul Stueber at WBRE.

    Union at Harrisburg paper is dead

    Unionized newsroom workers in Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, take note.

    Plains Township woman loves the TL

    Another letter from a mournful reader. Where are all the letters that say "good riddance?"

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    "No feature writers wanted"

    That's the headline on from those "hard-core" newsmen at the Bloomsburg Press-Enterprise. "If you dream of working at a daily paper where the reporters and editors love hard news, this is the place," reads the ad.

    On Thursday's front page: "DANVILLE — More motorists downtown are getting pinched with parking tickets thanks to the police department's new summer intern."

    Newspapers are profitable, according to local biz story

    Unfortunately, Jeff Sonderman's Scranton Times story about the lucrative nature of newspapers makes no mention of the owners of -his- newspaper, the Lynett family. Typical.

  • The companion story leads with quotes from... an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal. The story is filled out with interviews with current and former Scranton Times employees about how bright the future of daily newspapering is. Business journalism at its worst.
  • Alan K. Stout takes a look back after a year at the Weekender

    Even the Weekender is muckraking, Alan K. Stout reports, because it did a story about boob jobs.

    Former TL publisher Rich Connor still interested in buying the paper

    There was another tour of the paper Tuesday, the story notes, but Jerry Lynott didn't know who was on the tour.

    CV says BIlly D. indictment makes its allegedly libelous story OK

    Judge Mark Ciavarella will rule on whether the Voice can add Billy D.'s indictment, which was unsealed after testimony in the libel case ended, will be added to the record.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Former TL designer Rob Fucci checks in

    Fucci, now back in Massachusetts, is praying for the TL.

    Sunday, June 11, 2006

    Louis DeNaples talks with the Scranton Times

    The Scranton Times published Sunday a huge package about Louis DeNaples, the "Dunmore businessman" who is reputed to be the man behind the man when it comes to everything in northeastern Pennsylvania. DeNaples is trying to get a slots license, so it's now in his interest to talk with the press about how clean he is. Tough journalism or puff piece? Read the stories and discuss.

    Friday, June 09, 2006

    TL newsroom thinks Times-Shamrock sux, deluges Gary Pruitt with e-mail

    Missed this story yesterday afternoon from the AP's Mike Rubinkam on how the TL is the last kid on the playground.

    Iseman writes of the bureau, lesbians, and gargling

    But not of Times-Shamrock, McClatchy, or Knight Ridder.

    Letter writer: I love the Times Leader

    Connie Storer of Wilkes-Barre is the author

    Thursday, June 08, 2006

    The TL's story on how it's the last KR orphan

    Interesting tidbit from the story: Renita Fennick states as fact that Pat McHugh is leading a group of bidders. Though McHugh is quoted in the story, no one asks him about it.

    The upshot of all this: the TL can now claim to be Knight Ridder's flagship newspaper.

    WYOU down to five reporters

    This comes from Beale's Bites, an excellent NEPA television news blog.

    Read the TL's lawsuit against Skrep and Vonderheid

    The TL published the text of the suit on its editorial page. There you have it. You do wonder why the commissioners would want to continue to keep Luzerne County in 1965.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    And then there was one

    Wilkes-Barre always has to be special, right up to the end. McClatchy has sold off all its unwanted newspapers except one: The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Is there a bidding war? Or are there any bidders (at the minimum price) at all? If you were expecting any insight from the TL business staff, your expectations were misplaced.

    Stacy Brown of the Scranton Times gets a plug

    Having met Stevie Wonder qualifies as newsworthy in Scranton, since a reporter for the Times was written up for his connection to the Wonder family.

    TL goes after Luzerne County in FOI suit

    Despite all the hot air in the Walzer regime, it seems like the TL has really ratcheted up its FOI vigor in the Golas regime. This time the target is a potentially illegal vote on the part of the Luzerne County commissioners.

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Was Sembrat a virgin?!?

    The Delaware County (Pa.) Times has a sweet tabloidish story about TL sports writer Steve Sembrat, who got two to four years Monday for trying to hook up with a little girl he met on the Internet. The little girl was a cop. Not to ruin the story, but a couple highlights:
    -- Sembrat "raised a handcuffed arm to wave at a colleague from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader"
    -- "the defendant was quoted as stating that he never had a sex partner"
    -- He never, ever, ever thought about tying up young girls and having sex with them until 2004.

    Sembrat gets two to four years

    Terrie Morgan-Besecker makes the trip to Media to write the last story of the man who, when accused of soliciting sex from an underage girl, confessed. To Dave Iseman.

    Steve Corbett, en espanol

    Sure, it's a year old. But read a story that a paper in El Salvador wrote about former TL columnist "Steve Corbett, columista de Santa María Time, ha escrito columnas desde que el juicio de Michael Jackson dio inicio en la corte de Santa María, California."

    Monday, June 05, 2006

    The words "Renita Fennick" appear on Romenesko

    Very exciting. Let's just hope Renita has a job by the end of the week.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    TL is hard-hitting, CV easy to read while pooping

    That's the Sunday morning insight on the TL letters page from Dick Holodick of Wilkes-Barre. Are these letters for real?

    Saturday, June 03, 2006

    Diamond City editor: We love our bosses

    "He's young, hip, and one helluva motivational speaker," Gene Padden gushes of CV publusher Scott Lynett. Of the CV: It's "a strong paper with a loyal readership." Quite a love-in down in Wilkes-Barre.

    McHugh leading group to buy TL??

    The plot thickens. Saturday's TL cites an anonymous source who reports that publisher Pat McHugh has an assembled an ownership group of Philly money to buy the TL. Be sure to read the comments on the official TL discussion board at the bottom of the page.

    Friday, June 02, 2006

    Todd Meyers, Jon Fox quit the TL

    Two more bite the dust: Meyers, the city editor, and Fox, the Wilkes-Barre City Hall reporter, are departing for greener pastures. Matt Golas doesn't say exactly where in his newsroom note, but Meyers will be doing PR (where?) and Fox will be working for an outfit in D.C.

    Thursday, June 01, 2006