Thursday, March 20, 2008

PAPME winners announced

The Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors have picked their winners for 2007. Winners from The Times-Tribune are Jessica D. Matthews, Butch Comegys, Joby Fawcett and David Falchek. Winners from the Citizens' Voice are Michael P. Buffer, James Conmy and Heidi Ruckno. Winners from The Times Leader are Aimee Dilger and Fred Adams. Kudos to all.

T-T editorial page turns up the heat on Frank Andrews

The Scranton Times-Tribune has been disappointingly meek in coverage of Rev. and Rep. Frank Andrews Shimkus and his elaborate deception regarding his living arrangements with a woman who is not his wife. Not so on the editorial page. Thursday's editorial page criticized Andrews for "playing cat and mouse games," while John Cole's cartoon rightly mocked Shimkus for his predicament. Good stuff.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Frank Andrews Shimkus plans write-in bid

Read today's installment of "Don't Ask Frank Andrews Any Hard Questions." Today, Frank claims to be planning a write-in bid on the Republican ballot this fall, even though he's a Democrat. Nice.

WNEP opens bureau in Stroudsburg

The Pocono Record reports that news anchor Trish Hartman and videographer Dan Turansky (pictured) will staff the bureau.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Frank Andrews Shimkus fights on, despite the court finding that he is a liar

We're not sure what's uglier: Frank Andrews vowing a write-in campaign despite convincing evidence that he lied to a Commonwealth Court judge repeatedly, or The Times-Tribune handling the man with kid gloves. Reporter Robert Swift doesn't question Shimkus about the facts of the case or about how the court could have concluded that Shimkus "made a purposeful representation in bad faith," fancy words for "deliberately lying."

If you haven't read the court's opinion, take some time and do so. It's strong -- and damning -- stuff.

Obama camp: We have bigger fish to fry than you, Times Leader

Update 12:49 p.m.: Wonkette picked up the story. Heh.

The Times Leader ran a bitchy little story today complaining that the Obama campaign didn't show local reporters and crowds nearly as much love as Hillary did. And while the story comes off as bush-league whining, it's true. And how about this gem from an Obama staffer: "Look, we’re not here to answer questions from The Times Leader all day." Meow!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Open thread: Hillary/Obama coverage

You asked for it, so here it is. How did NEPA newspapers and TV stations comport themselves over the weekend? Too much Hillary adulation? Not enough? Discuss.

CV wins Keystone press awards

The Citizens' Voice of Wilkes-Barre won five Keystone press awards. Winners include Dave Janoski, Bob Kalinowski, Heidi Ruckno, Andrew Staub and Erin Moody and Mark Moran. Kudos.

Times-Tribune wins Keystone press awards

The Times-Tribune of Scranton won a bunch of Keystone press awards, the newspaper reported Sunday. Winners included Christopher J. Kelly, first place for column writing. Other winners include Jessica D. Matthews, Borys Krawczeniuk, Chad Jennings, Michael J. Mullen, Butch Comegys, Erin Nissley, Stacy Brown, Donnie Collins and Jason Farmer.

Marty Myers also won an APSE award for his story about a high schooler with Down Syndrome who played in a girls basketball game. Kudos to all.

Joe Butkiewicz of the Times Leader on writing his father-in-law's obit

Times Leader Managing Editor Joe Butkiewicz writes a nice piece about one of the surreal bits of newspapering: Writing the obituary of a loved one. Butkiewicz's father-in-law, Edmund Poggi, died earlier this month.

Paul Sokoloski of The Express-Times returns to the Times Leader in Wilkes-Barre

Getting the band back together: Paul Sokoloski, a sports columnist at The Express-Times in Easton, is returning to Wilkes-Barre to work at his old paper, the Times Leader.

Richard Connor of the TL on Hillary's Penna. tactics

Richard Connor wrote a so-so advance column for the Sunday paper about Hillary's plans to march in Scranton's St. Patrick's parade on Saturday, and about how the Clintons have been been campaigning in Pennsylvania generally.

• In the Fort Worth Business Press, Connor writes that Hillary wraps up "the vote of the pizza eaters and shot-and-a-beer crowd in one fell swoop" with her Scranton campaigning this week.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Judge: Frank Andrews Shimkus is a big fat liar

Well, well, well. State Rep. and former WYOU anchor Frank Andrews is a fake and lied about his residence, a Commonwealth Court judge ruled yesterday. Borys Krawczeniuk reports: "Judge Jubelirer called the use of the Boulevard address “a purposeful misrepresentation made in bad faith and with intent to deceive the electorate.”

The judge further wrote, according to The Times-Tribune: “We find it incredible that (Mr. Shimkus), given his testimony about his injuries ... would reside in a house without his belongings, without a real bed and where there was ongoing painting when his new home, which he owned with his fiancee, where his belongings were, was approximately one mile away.” Frank has been tossed off the ballot.

Read the court's order – good stuff

Friday, March 14, 2008

Former T-Ter Kemeny on Obscure Store this afternoon

Former Times-Tribune reporter Matthew Charles Kemeny has the lead story this afternoon on Jim Romenesko's site. The story is about an ELCA bigshot who allegedly stole a bunch of church money to buy classic cars. Kudos.

Former CV publisher named publisher of Mississippi paper

Ed Nichols, one of the poor guys brought in from outside to serve as "publisher" of the Citizens' Voice in the mid-1990s, has been named publisher of the Clarksdale (Miss.) Press Register. The late Carl Romanelli, in his book The Quivering Voice, described Nichols as allegedly a big spender and incompetent.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You, too, could be an assistant sports editor at The Times-Tribune

Are you an energetic, decisive editor? Want to lay out some pages? E-mail Sports Editor Judy Connelly at

Former NYT editor Raines reads the Pocono Record the most!

Buried in a blog report of a New York "media summit" was this nugget: Former New York Times Editor Howell Raines reads most regularly not The Times or The Wall Street Journal but... The Pocono Record. Interesting.

Mike Liechty is standing by to improve your writing

We didn't click on the link at first either. But former Times Leader News Editor Mike Liechty has hung out his own shingle as a freelance editor. Liechty – who uses Joe Student as a reference but not Allison Walzer or Dave Iseman or any current Times Leader employee – will polish up your blog for "$25 a page." Liechty characterizes his departure from the Times Leader in 2006 like this: "Having achieved all of his goals at the Times Leader, Mike resigned to seek other challenges."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

James Conmy of the Voice joins the W-B Police Department

Longtime Citizens' Voice reporter James Conmy was sworn in last week as a Wilkes-Barre police officer. Conmy was most recently covering county courts. Kudos.

Times-Tribune reporter hearts Chelsea and Hillary

"She spoke passionately and with eloquence?" "The candidate's impressive accomplishments?" Reporter Stacey Solie, new to the Times-Tribune by way of Columbia's grad j-school, pours it on a little thick this morning in her love letter news story about Chelsea's visit to Scranton. Judging by Solie's story, you would have thought it was the second coming.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Borys and Hillary share a tray in Old Forge

Times-Tribune political reporter Borys Krawczeniuk dined with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton Monday at Revello's in Old Forge, part of the Clinton strategy of focusing on local media. Be sure to watch the video. Good stuff.

The NYT lands in Scranton for the first of many Hillary stories

Today's New York Times has a story from Scranton about Hillary Rodham Clinton and her roots in the Electric City. Steve Corbett is a special guest star, talking about NEPA tribalism. We'll say it now: The national press is going to be dying for the next seven weeks for insightful commentary about NEPA politics. If The Times-Tribune does not affirmatively work to make Borys Krawczeniuk and Robert Swift available to the national press, it will be an enormous opportunity lost.

Be sure to watch the NYT video, as interesting and insightful as the print story

Times Leader wins 17 Keystone press awards

First-place winners include reporters Terrie Morgan-Besecker and Mary Therese Biebel and designer Rachel Van Blankenship. Second-place winners include the late Jerry Kellar, Jennifer Learn-Andes, Mark Guydish and Lindsey Jones. The paper also won a second-place award for the “What It’s Like To” feature. The weeklies also won some awards. Kudos.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Holy shit! Cops find hands wrapped in Feb. 4 Times-Tribune

That's quite the detail in today's Dave Falchek story about the man accused of killing a homeless woman and scattering her parts throughout NEPA: In his Stroudsburg-area home, cops found a pair of hands wrapped in the Feb. 4 Times-Tribune.

Richard Connor of the TL: Hillary wins Penna.

This week's installment of political commentary from Times Leader Editor/Publisher Richard Connor.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Steve Corbett of WILK in the news again

Love him or hate him, WILK talk-show host and former Times Leader columnist does manage to stir things up. Corbett's Feb. 20 interview with Joseph Sica, the Catholic priest and DeNaples associate charged with perjury, may turn into additional ammunition for prosecutors. Sica told Corbett on WILK that he met with mobster Russell Bufalino in 1982, news to prosecutors and potentially a damning admission in a case that hinges on when the two men met. Citizens' Voice reporter Dave Janoski has the story.

Alert readers will recall that this is not the first time a Corbett interview with a defendant has ended up being news; Corbett's interview with killer Glenn Wolsieffer in 1989 briefly landed the columnist in jail on conspiracy charges (the phone interview was taped without Wolsieffer's knowledge) before the charges were tossed.

Read Corbett's WILK blog post on his Sica interview

Former TL editor Dan Valenti to speak March 13

Dan Valenti, a former editor at the Times Leader, will be speaking about writing and about covering baseball on March 13... at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield, Mass. The event is free and open to the public.

Scranton Times-Tribune puts old front pages online

Enjoy the old-timey front pages from The Times-Tribune and predecessor papers.

More on the Lynett family changes at Times-Shamrock

A few links of interest:
At The Daily Review of Towanda, Shamokin publisher Gregory Zyla takes over for George Lynett Jr. (The Daily Review)
Lengthy story about Zyla in Shamokin (The News-Item)
Bio of new T-S co-CEO George Lynett Jr. (The Daily Review)
Bios of new T-S co-CEO W. Scott Lynett as well as Wilkes-Barre Citizens' Voice/Hazleton Standard-Speaker co-publishers Gregory Lynett and Daniel Haggerty (Citizens' Voice)
Bio of new T-S co-CEO Matthew Haggerty (Scranton Times-Tribune)

Money from former Scranton Tribune sports editor's foundation goes to new NEPA medical school

Samuel “Chic” Feldman died ringside at the Garden in 1972, slumped over his typewriter. But the remaining funds from the Scranton Tribune sports editor's memorial foundation were just paid out recently, when Feldman's friends gave the last $30,000 to the new NEPA medical school. A nice story from The Times-Tribune's Daniel Axelrod.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Changing of the guard at Times-Shamrock

The fourth generation of the Lynett/Haggerty families is taking command in Scranton as the third steps aside, Times-Shamrock newspapers are reporting late Monday. In summary:

• Co-publisher George Lynett, 64, will "cut back on direct management" as brother Edward J. Lynett, 66, did four years ago. Third brother Bill Lynett, 61, remains as co-publisher of The Times-Tribune and CEO of Times Shamrock.

• Robert J. Lynett, 35, George V. Lynett Jr., 36, Matthew E. Haggerty, 37, and W. Scott Lynett, 39, join Bill as co-CEOs of Times-Shamrock. Yes, that's five co-CEOs. We'll see how that works out.

• Daniel P. Haggerty, 32, son of Cecelia Lynett Haggerty, replaces Scott Lynett as Citizens' Voice publisher.

• Gregory E. Lynett, 33, son of Edward J. Lynett Jr., replaces Scott Lynett as Hazleton Standard-Speaker publisher.

The fourth generation is from left, Greg Lynett, Matthew Haggerty, George V. Lynett Jr., W. Scott Lynett, Bobby Lynett and Daniel P. Haggerty. (Photo from the T-S Web site.)

TL: Former Scranton Tribune reporter Robert Curran sucks

In a history piece about a West Pittston family terrorized by demons in the 80s, Times Leader reporter Sheena Delazio quotes a TL review of Tribune/Scrantonian reporter Robert Curran's book about the topic:

“Scranton newspaper writer Robert Curran forsakes the principles of his trade to give readers a one-sided account of what did or didn’t occur over several years in Jack and Janet Smurl’s former home on Chase Street in West Pittston,” said Times Leader staff writer Joseph Marusak in a December article.

Mary Beth Gehrman, a national author who reviewed the book, said the book wouldn’t even make a good fiction read since it was so poorly written.

“Whether or not the Smurls are truly convinced that they were being haunted…is a matter for speculation,” Gehrman said. “But it is hard to conceive of a supposedly sophisticated objective and (as far as I know, at least until now) credible reporter like Curran taking their story seriously given the complete lack of any empirical or physical evidence to support it.”

Monday, March 03, 2008

Connor of the TL: Obama will beat HRC, and other conventional wisdom

Did you know that Obama is a good speaker? And women faint at his feet?