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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 10:29 AM ET, 06/06/2012

News media derivatives: June 6

In case you missed it — Journalist Gabriel Sherman, who’s at work on an unauthorized biography of Fox News chief Roger Ailes, takes some incoming fire from Fox News host.

Also: Publishers still haven’t figured out how to talk about staff reductions.

Elsewhere:

*The Drudge Report is making the results of the Wisconsin recall election all about President Obama.

*ABC’s Barbara Walters apologizes after it’s revealed that she’d assisted an aide to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

*Andrew Beaujon of Poynter goes in depth on GOOD, telling us just what happened in the past few months: A schism between what management wanted the site to be and what the journalists were doing with it:

One three-hour meeting in March stands out to several staffers as the moment they realized GOOD’s days as a traditional publication were probably numbered. That’s when the owners presented their most thorough refinement of their ideas. At the end of the presentation they showed a slide with an org chart, and [Managing Editor Megan] Greenwell wasn’t on it. “I burst out laughing and said, ‘[Co-founder] Max [Schorr], I’m not on there,’ ” Greenwell recalls. “He said, ‘Oh man, that was a total oversight, it was a mistake.’ The meeting didn’t go well anyway. The staff, defensive about what they saw as ownership devaluing their jobs, were asking tough questions that bummed out the owners so much Schorr sent an email to staffers saying he’d been hoping for a lot more “Yes, and” responses than the “No, but” ones he was receiving.

And that right there is just plain gross. You hire a bunch of journalists to give their honest feedback on stuff, not to command them to agree with you. Given how GOOD management has handled the magazine’s reinvention/reduction, it had better hope it doesn’t need to turn around at some point and hire more reporters and editors. Because the best among them won’t be e-mailing their resumes, even in the modern journalistic economy.

*News Corp. buys Disney’s 50 percent share of ESPN Star Sports (ESS), which has “17 channels broadcasting sports in five languages in Asia including China, India, and Hong Kong.”

*Joe Pompeo writes about how the New Yorker is beefing up its digital presentation.

*A debate on whether TV is collapsing or not.

*Jack Shafer of Reuters addresses the liquidation of newspaperly goodwill — that is, “the newspaper’s standing in the community and the habit of advertisers and subscribers of giving it money”:

Selling goodwill is a dangerous strategy because once sold, it’s difficult to reacquire. But a newspaper owner who feels trapped by losses and can’t find a new owner at what he considers a fair price may feel he has no alternative but to cheapen his newspaper bit-by-bit, month-by-month. He may explain the goodwill sell-off as temporary economizing to be reversed once business conditions improve, or even as the exploration of a new business model. Sellers of newspaper goodwill might protest that the financial losses they’re absorbing constitute a serious investment in the newspaper’s future, that they’re harvesting nothing. But don’t be fooled. If you’re winding your company down with no strategy to wind it up, you’re burning goodwill even if you don’t acknowledge it.

*Watch as Ed Schultz alleges that Scott Walker “could very well be indicted in the coming days.”

By  |  10:29 AM ET, 06/06/2012

Tags:  ed schultz, gabriel sherman, roger ailes, GOOD magazine, drudge report, new yorker, news corp., disney, espn star sports

 
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