Tuesday, January 31, 2006

TL staffers wax nostalgic about football

Iseman talks about his kids, Jerry Lynott talks about being a wiry motherfucker in Scranton, and Golas writes "$20 bucks." So much for a Jesuit education. Seriously, a good read.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Blogger denies TL report of blogging in skivvies

Mark Cour says he's mad as hell. Not really. But he responds to Jon Fox's tale in The Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre's best-known/only blogger. Click above for the full post, but read below for the highlights.

First of all, is it a frickin' slow news day, or what? Page 1: NEPA's most notorious 'pajama blogger'??? Things were so much more exciting when the Cruds were shootin' at the Blips. If nothing else, for one day, I was making the most noise. Somethin' like that. I have reached the apex of this life and it's all A.A.R.P. from here on out.


From the e-mail inbox Did I warn you? I told you the TL interview would be a hatchet job? Tell me you WERE NOT sitting around in your undies at noon? I don't believe it. I thought the lonesome redneck thing was a put on. How's Opal?
Please advise

From the e-mail inbox I thought the Leader wanted to talk to you about your blog, but it was short on blog details and long on unflattering personal observations. Your reaction?

Unflattering? I don't know about all of that. Except for mistaking a pair of shorts with pockets and a drawstring for boxers, I'd say Jon Fox called it the way he saw it. Remember, he came here totally unannounced 'cept for a knock on the door. And I invited him in before knowing who he was. And as soon as what I thought was a casual conversation shifted to being an interview, I did not object and I'll tell you why.

I know I previously alluded to this, but let's rehash it again. I thought it might be cool for the Times Leader's readers to learn that a resident of Wilkes-Barre was not clinging to the negative and all filled with gloom and doom as far as Wilkes-Barre's chances are concerned. I know that could come as a shock to those that do not live here, but I'm thoroughly tired of the activists/candidates constant painting of Wilkes-Barre as a place where there is little, or no hope. The fact is, some of us do "believe," but I think very little of that came across in the article that was published.


Any-fu>king-who, I demand satisfaction. I demand a retraction. If not, there's a local newspaper reporter who might get his skinny white ass whipped by a middle-aged housewife. She's not nearly as forgiving as I am. You have been warned.

Jon Fox on Wilkes-Barre's #1 blogger

Boxers or gym shorts? Boxers or gym shorts? Has Jon Fox ever seen boxers? Or gym shorts? Can he tell the difference? A seemingly simple question gums up an otherwise good story. Click above for the full, and worthwhile, read.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

It's go time: Scranton Times shield-law appeal to be heard March 16

That is going to be one interesting Pennsylvania Superior Court appeal. The Times, which is up to its eyeballs in a shady and very probably false story that anonymously attacked two (now former) county commissioners, says it doesn't have to tell the name of its source. A local judge says they do. The reporter, Jennifer Henn, quit and is now estranged from the newspaper. March 16, Lackawanna County Courthouse. Be there. Click above for the (unbylined) story.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Local WB mgr giddy about UPB merger

Yeah, I bet things are going to work out real well. It's all effing hugs and kisses. Whatever.

Two longtime Scranton Times reporters leave

Rich Mates and Marita Lowman are both leaving the Scranton Times-Tribune for health reasons. Lowman worked at the Times Leader long ago, while Mates also worked in radio in the area.

Rich Mates story, from Dec. 31, 2005:

Marita Lowman story by Chris Kelly from Dec. 17, 2005:

TL editor Golas to judge: Oops, I'm sorry

TL editor Matt Golas went after a Luzerne County judge this week for the judge's allegedly mean-spirited comments in court. Turns out, the judge's remarks were "misrepresented." Spanked was Dave Weiss, who wrote the story that Golas relied on in writing his online column. Click above for Golas's mea culpa

Behind the scenes as the TL's John Fox writes a story about a blogger

We heard that a Wilkes-Barre blogger, Wilkes-Barre Online, has been writing about a story that's being written about the blogger. How meta is that? Anyway, the story hasn't run yet. But here is the tale of John Fox's entry into the guy's home, ensuing interview and photo shoot.

"But this photo shoot experience was, well...it was queer. It was almost unsettling. Why in God's (oops) name would anyone wanna spread open the morning newspaper only to find my ugly mug?" asks the blogger in his Thursday entry:

"Much to my surprise, while we were gabbing about all things Wilkes-Barre, our intrepid reporter flipped open his pad and started taking notes. Ah, I got it. This wasn't so much a friendly get-together as it was an impromptu interview. And I had no problem with that," the blogger writes in his Wednesday entry:

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Scranton's Rock 107 makes The Office

Kudos to Times-Shamrock's Rock 107, which was mentioned on NBC's The Office minutes ago. Dwight was trying to be the 107th caller. Now, if they can only bump all those Froggy 101 bumper stickers....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TL editor tells why Calvin and Hobbes are DEAD

They sure are busting balls at the TL, what with writing at length about the comics page and all....

Thursday, January 19, 2006

New editor named for Scranton's Electric City

The guy's name is Matt Smith. He works in the suburbs of Philadelphia (what exactly is the Princeton Packet?) and for Philadelphia Metro, a "huge daily newspaper" that his "huge" because it's free. And it ends up in the trash.

Sembrat trial postponed until Feb. 21

Sembrat lives to die another day. The (unbylined) story reports that he needs to undergo a psych evaluatiuon. Wouldn't -that- make weird reading....

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

No Sembrat news

The trial date has come and gone and there's no news about former Times Leader sports writer Steve Sembrat, accused for trying to con an underage girl (really a cop) into kinky sex. The AOPC Web site reports that the trial was indeed supposed to start on Jan. 17 in Delaware County court. What gives?

BRE, YOU, Service Electric all make nice

You knew it would turn out like this. It's great how the cable guy cries about a couple coal country TV stations being "monopolies." It seems unlikely that Service Electric has taken a vow of poverty or anything.

Whatever happened to getting the news and printing the news?

Did anyone else think this was weird today? Helping the poor is certainly a good thing. But should a newspaper reporter who writes stories about a community service agency be doling out money to that agency too? Mark Jones and the TL could use an ethics refresher. Click above to read TL editor Matt Golas tooting his own horn.

Sembrat trial?

Former Times Leader sports writer Steve Sembrat's kiddie-sex case was supposed to go to trial today. Will there be a follow-up item in the TL? Click above for the last story on the case (Dec. 14, 2005) if you want a refresher.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Rock 107 gets puff piece in Scranton Times, CV

A very "positive" story about Rock 107's numbers by radio "writer" Mary Ondrako. No mention from Ondrako that her paycheck is signed by Rock 107's owners. Of course, Ondrako famously referred to "jass music" in her column. Priceless.

Seriously: Editors of the Times and the CV should know better and remember that the appearance of impropriety is as bad as impropriety itself.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

WNEP anchor to run for Pa. legislature?

Borys Krawczeniuk's Roderick Random tackled the question in his Saturday column, part of which we repost here (click above to read the whole thing):

This anchor won’t move; Swann’s bid taking flight

The best rumor we’ve heard lately is that WNEP-TV news anchor Marisa Burke might run for state Sen. Robert J. Mellow’s seat.

“It’s crazy,” said Ms. Burke, 45, who, like Mr. Mellow, also lives in the Peckville section of Blakely. “I will tell you several people have approached me.”

Prominent political people, she said. The 22-year anchor wouldn’t say if they’re Democrats or Republicans.

“The word got out, and other people started talking about it,” she said. “I really haven’t given it much thought.”

She wouldn’t even say if she would give it serious consideration. “It’s a huge compliment to me,” she said. “I’m really flattered.”

Because of the pay raise controversy, state legislators are especially vulnerable politically this year. Mr. Mellow, the Senate Democratic leader, always has opposition, but his push for the pay raise and refusal to give back the unvouchered expenses he collected before it was repealed make him a bit more vulnerable this time around.

The other name circulating is Scranton Councilwoman Janet Evans, whose husband, Dave, has been asking about the price of billboards.

Efforts to reach Mrs. Evans this week were unsuccessful.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Rep. Sherwood won't call the TL's Iseman

The TL's managing editor goes after Sherwood -- again -- over the Cynthia Ore scandal. Newspaper good. Politician bad. We get the idea.

Times reporter's statement to special prosecutor to become public

A previously-sealed statement by Scranton Times-Tribune reporter Jennifer Henn to a special prosecutor about her dealings with the DA's office will become public, a county judge ruled Thursday. If anyone gets ahold of this, send it to nepamedia@gmail.com. The James Tolan case gets more and more interesting....

Thursday, January 12, 2006


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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Diana Kurutz, formerly of the Times Leader, talks about her boob job

The former newsroom receptionist, Diana Kurutz, is quoted in a story about breast enlargements. Folks, that's what makes Wilkes-Barre tick.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

WNEP broadcaster John Foster dies

Click above to read the full obit.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Times Leader pats self on back re: Sherwood

The bad thing about writing those Knight Ridder-required editor's notes is that Matt Golas ends up congratulating himself way too much. Exhibit A: The follow-up note to yesterday's story about his old boss. "This paper jumped all over the story. Feet, hands, you name it." Blah, blah.

WNEP evacuated after boiler "malfunction"

Sounds fishy. How does a boiler suck smoke into a building?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Times Leader vs. Scranton Times re: Sherwood coverage

Gene Foreman, a Philly buddy of Matt Golas, the TL's editor, has been "teaching the controversy" (ugh) regarding the Don Sherwood story to his Penns State journalism students. The TL wrote a story about it. The Scranton Times was silent. "However, he said Citizens’ Voice Managing Editor Larry Holeva’s May 8 column that stated that it “Sure can be lonely on the high road,” was not only a disingenuous statement, it also acknowledged the story existed without using the names of the participants. It was also an admission that the Scranton paper and the Citizens’ Voice sat on the story and did nothing about it, he said."

Too bad author Kris Wernowsky didn't ask Foreman how many beers he's had with Wernowsky's boss.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Another BJ for the Lynetts from their radio "writer"

I don't mean to be crude, but can May Ondrako write any more glowingly about the Lynett family, which owns her newspaper as well as some radio stations?

"FM will be uniquely segmented as well, Mr. Lynett said. "It will be caffeinated by day and decaffeinated by night," he said." WTF?????? Stop this girl. Now. Hello Lynetts: SHE IS DAMAGING YOUR CREDIBILITY. Tell your reporters to not give as much head. You'll respect them much more in the morning.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Hatchy Milatchy! Hatchy Milatchy!

Those were the days. We, too, miss the WNEP show. Love the Rosemary Clooney reference.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Meow! TL editors call Scranton editors hypocrites, sleazy, big meanies, etc. etc.

It's all about the Don Sherwood story. The Times Leader pounded it like crazy and has to justify its call. The Times-Tribune decided to wait (and wait, and wait) and has to justify its call. Editorial-page editor Jean LaCoe lets loose with both barrels. "WHAT HYPOCRITES." In all caps, even! Will Larry Beaupre and Matt Golas agree to a duel now?

"The jig is up, Times-Shamrock," the TL writes. Nice Ferris Bueller reference. Is Janoski Rooney?