Thursday, January 31, 2008

WBRE linked to reduction of charges in 'to catch a predator' case

David Weiss reports in Thursday's Times Leader that a man originally charged attempted statutory sexual assault and other crimes got the most serious charges dropped and avoid jail time because of WBRE-TV's heavy involvement in the man's arrest. The story and the man's attorney don't spell it out, but strongly imply it. Agent Andy Mehalshick (pictured interviewing someone for a completely unrelated story) says "We don’t pretend to be the police... I don’t tell them to do it or not do it." Right.

Open thread: Uncle Louie coverage

So. News of the indictment of Louis DeNaples broke early Wednesday afternoon. Twelve hours later:

• The Times-Tribune of Scranton has a seven-paragraph story last updated at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.
• The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre has a four-paragraph story last updated at 5:10 p.m. Wednesday.
• The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader has a lengthy story last updated at 12:43 a.m. Thursday.
• The Morning Call of Allentown also has a lengthy story, along with a sidebar and video, last updated at 10:22 p.m. Wednesday.

What stories were worth reading? Which ones not so much? Share your take here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Any paper with a Newseum reference is a good paper

Who has been playing hide-the-glasses with Mr. Lynett? The Times-Tribune has the answer.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Well done, Morning Call. Well done.

Former TL staffer Stephanie Bombay to wed museum boss

Former Times Leader reporter and editor Stephanie Bombay is to marry Jesse Teitelbaum, executive director of the Luzerne County Historical Society. Bombay is working for the American Cancer Society. Their announcement, in Sunday's newspaper, was the most e-mailed story of the day. Kudos to both.

Jessica Matthews named business editor at Times-Tribune

Jessica Matthews, formerly the special projects editor at The Times-Tribune of Scranton, has been named business editor at the newspaper. She replaces Jeff Sonderman, who became metro editor. Matthews has been at the newspaper eight years. Kudos.

Pottsville readers get sports "blog" to read

The Republican & Herald of Pottsville has introduced a new way for readers to get sports news, the newspaper announced Monday, and "all you’ll need is a computer and access to the Internet." There is even a chance – maybe – that "several blog entries" will be posted on "busy sports days," the Times Shamrock newspaper reports. This will be a day long remembered in Schuylkill County and beyond.

Don't miss the first blog posts

You, too, could teach journalism at King's College

King's College in downtown Wilkes-Barre is looking for an "assistant technical professor in mass communications" who should have a master's degree and extensive journalism experience. Perhaps the successful applicant could get the Mass Communications Department beyond the single-page "currently under construction" department Web site.

Kevin Blaum files his first Times Leader column

Former state legislator and local political figure Kevin Blaum wrote his first Times Leader column on Sunday. Pure vanilla, no ax grinding. Though you have to wonder about someone held out as an authority on local politics but who evidently hasn't talked to the chairwoman of the county commissioners since he ran into her at the movies more than a year ago.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Richard Connor of the TL loves Obama

Times Leader Editor Richard Connor writes that "we need a bridge builder." Noted.

In Fort Worth, Connor writes (again) about the rodeo

Friday, January 25, 2008

WNEP hires Erik Schrader as news director

Erik Schrader, formerly of KODE in Joplin, Mo. and most recently of WJCL/WGTS in Savannah, takes over for Dennis Fisher as WNEP news director, the Citizens' Voice reports.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Stacy Brown to give keynote address at Black History Month dinner

Stacy Brown, City Hall reporter for the Times-Tribune of Scranton, will be giving the keynote address at Lackawanna College's Black History Month dinner on Feb. 28. Cost is $45 per person, $80 per couple or $450 per table. Email for details. Brown's full bio, from the press release: "Stacy Brown, featured in the latest edition of Melanian News (Scranton's black newspaper) is the author of the upcoming New Orleans' Jazz biography series and the writer of the drama, "Chicago Times." He is a multiple award winning journalist who currently works for the Times-Tribune. Recently, he was recognized with a Managing Editor's Spot News Award from the Associated Press for his work on an $11 million federal art heist at the Everhart Museum and named NEPA's best journalist of 2007 by Electric City readers. He has previously worked for the Los Angeles Times in its groundbreaking community news division, the Los Angeles Daily News and remains a freelance analyst for NBC News and a contributor to the entertainment magazine Exit Weekly. Stacy has co-authored two exciting biographies, Blind Faith: The Miraculous Journey of Lula Hardaway, Stevie Wonder's Mother (2002), which was named one of Essence Magazine's top 10 biographies of the year and Michael Jackson: The Man Behind The Mask, An Insider's Account of the King of Pop, which was named one of the top biographies of 2005 by The Final Call newspaper. He regularly appears on MSNBC and has also appeared on the Today Show, Dateline NBC, Imus In The Morning, The Wendy Williams Experience, Showbiz Tonight, Catherine Crier Live, The BBC, The Abrams Report, The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch, Countdown With Keith Olbermann, Fox News Channel's The Big Show as well as BET Nightly News and MTV."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

WBRE to do noon news by itself, hires Miss USA finalist to do weather

WBRE will stop simulcasting WYOU's noon news and instead produce its own program at 11 a.m. But perhaps more notably, Kristi Capel -- the "reigning Miss Missouri 2006" -- has been on WBRE since the beginning on January.

See Ms. Capel's MySpace page

Monday, January 21, 2008

Express-Times D.C. reporter to run for Congress

Easton doesn't exactly qualify as NEPA, but it's interesting news nonetheless. Read the memo:

TO: Staff
FROM: Joseph P. Owens, editor in chief

Longtime D.C. correspondent Bill Cahir submitted his resignation today and informed me he plans to run for Congress. Bill is seeking the Democratic nomination for the 5th District seat being vacated by Republican U.S. Rep John Peterson. The district includes Bill's native State College and big chunks of the state north and west of there. Bill's last day is today.

Bill has been covering D.C. for us since the late 1990s, first in partnership with our then-sister papers in York, Lebanon and Hanover Pa. and most recently with our sister papers in Woodbury, Bridgeton and Salem, N.J. As many of you know, Bill signed on with the Marine Corps shortly after 9/11 and has done two stints in Iraq. Aside from doing good work for us and numerous other newspapers in a very hectic environment, Bill is a really good guy. We'll miss him and his contributions.

We plan to begin the process of replacing Bill. It involves editors here and elsewhere, so I don't yet have a timetable. Anyone who wants to be considered for this job should drop me a note.

Your Pocono Record update

A correspondent reports:

"Pocono's Record's Prize-winning Editorial page editor Paula Heeschen, has been transferred back to reporter. Management says its temporary to train reporter Dave Pierce to do the job when Heeschen's on vacation. Heeschen, a veteran of more than 20 years, is outspoken in her views about the wholesale dumbing down of the paper under Executive editor Bill Watson and conservative publisher Jim Maxwell. perhaps. Her
editorials are generally liberal, so there is staff concern that Watson is easing her out, or down. Editorial staff has been slashed under Maxwell, both copy desk and reporter slots gone and additional assignment piled on editors. Part of circulation the function has been farmed out to a firm in Manila, Philippines. The paper is now owned by ultra conservative Australian Rupert Murdoch, who has vowed
to sell it soon."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

W-B politico Kevin Blaum to write politics column for the TL

Kevin Blaum, a former state representative who is a big wheel in local politics, is going to be writing a column about politics in the Times Leader, publisher Richard Connor reported Sunday and reporter Rory Sweeney reported a few days before that. No word if this is a pay gig or if Blaum is renouncing political involvement.

  • Rory Sweeney's TL story

  • Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, Rich Connor misses the rodeo
  • Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    T-S looking for copy editor for W-B/Hazleton

    The Standard-Speaker is looking for a copy editor. Send applications to Larry Holeva in at the CV in Wilkes-Barre.

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Gene Padden leaving NEPA for the Navy

    Diamond City editor and former Weekender reporter (among other media gigs) Gene Padden is leaving the top job at Diamond City to become an intelligence officer for the Navy, Padden writes in his farewell column. "I won't be allowed to talk about my job, ever," he writes. Noted.
    No word if he will be replaced or if DC will run as a subsidiary of Electric City.

    Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Tribune Co.-run company takes over management of WNEP

    A management company run by a Tribune Co. executive has taken over WNEP, Jerry Lynott of the Times Leader reports. The station was sold by The New York Times Co. last year to some rich guys at a private equity firm.

    Scranton Times-Tribune adds comments to online stories

    Readers may now comment on stories in The Times-Tribune of Scranton. Enjoy.

    Former T-T reporter Lynne Shedlock named new Lackawanna Co. spokeswoman

    Lynne Slack Shedlock, who covered Scranton City Hall until last year, is taking over as the spokeswoman for the new majority Lackawanna County commissioners. Previous press secretary Jenine Ikeler has been fired as part of the change in administrations.

    Rich Connor of the TL on Luzerne County's agent of change

    Times Leader Editor Richard Connor uses presidential politics to get into a column praising Maryanne Petrilla, a new county commissioner.

  • In the Ft. Worth Business Press, Connor writes about his close friend in New Hampshire who is a misogynist and possibly a bigot
  • Former TL, T-T reporters turn up on Iowa campaign trail

    Former Times Leader and Times-Tribune reporters Mike McNarney and Lauren Roth ended up in The Des Moines Register after they spent their Christmas vacation trying to get their new baby's picture taken with everyone running for president during the recently-concluded Iowa caucuses.

    Saturday, January 12, 2008

    Former WBRE reporter Kathy Bozinski fired from county job

    Kathy Bozinski, the former WBRE reporter who has been working the past few years as a spokeswoman for the Luzerne County commissioners, has been fired, Jennifer Learn-Andes of the Times Leader reports. That's quite a picture the TL ran with the story.

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    WTF?!? Lane Filler is "Ask Mr. Smartypants"

    So we were sitting here watching the Republican debate in South Carolina and we wondered, "Is Lane Filler involved in campaign coverage?" Little did we imagine how involved he was.

    Sunday, January 06, 2008

    Open thread: Scranton firefighter, two others killed in a.m. blaze

    Critique TV and print coverage of this morning's fatal Scranton fire here. Joe Pilchesky's Web site had the news at least two hours before the Times-Tribune did, though the newspaper and reporter Charles Schillinger had a thorough and complete report by late afternoon.

    Saturday, January 05, 2008

    You, too, could be on the CV editorial board

    The Citizens' Voice is looking for someone to join the newspaper's editorial board as a "community member." Contact Jim Gittens -- and not Mike McGlynn, pictured nearby -- for details.

    Friday, January 04, 2008

    Best story ever: CV carrier has first W-B baby of '08, was carrying papers up until the end

    Denise Allabaugh has the story of Cari Hunsinger, the CV carrier who had the first Wilkes-Barre baby of 2008 and who was carrying papers the morning before the blessed event. "My mom delivers newspapers with me. My hips were starting to hurt. I get out and walk a lot," she tells the CV. "Last night, I fell on the ice. That probably helped speed this up.”

    Jen Marckini resurfaces at the TL

    Former Scranton Times-Tribune reporter Jen Marckini, who left the Scranton paper recently, has resurfaced in Wilkes-Barre. She had a five-paragraph story in yesterday's paper about a Kingston stabbing.

    Pocono Record = " Innovative, high-performance media group"

    So says an ad on, which seeks an "Internet-oriented journalist." E-mail Tom DeSchriver at for details.