Billy Penn Publisher Jim Brady Fires Writer for Calling Him Names

Jemele Hill in AP photo.

Who wants to work with someone who’s badmouthed you in the past? Apparently not Jim Brady, CEO of Spirited Media, the parent company of Philly blog Billy Penn. Brady has fired a freelance writer for a Spirited-owned website in Pittsburgh after that writer called him the “dumbest person alive.”

Hockey writer Dave Lozo took umbrage with Brady’s assessment of the Jemele Hill controversy, which arose after the ESPN SportsCenter anchor tweeted that Donald Trump is “a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists” and “Trump is the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime. His rise is a direct result of white supremacy. Period.”

Hill’s comments drew ire from big shots at the network and she was reprimanded, much to the chagrin of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who called on ESPN to go all the way and fire Hill.

Former Phillies ace and onetime ESPN employee Curt Schilling called Hill a “racist” in an interview with Michael Smerconish on CNN, and earlier this week, Brady (who also works as ESPN’s public editor) himself took to Twitter to share his personal thoughts on the hot-button situation.

Brady also deleted the following Tweet:

Brady told Philly Mag that he’s been barred from going on record about ESPN, Jemele Hill or his tweets in response to her statements. “And I’m perfectly happy not to talk about it anymore,” he said. However, he was willing to speak to his firing of Lozo.

According to Brady, the decision to fire the writer wasn’t a tough one at all.

“Those who suggested it was a stupid call have likely never run a company, so they don’t understand how important it is to have people around you who believe in what you’re doing,” he told Philly Mag.

So what’s the lesson here? Don’t bite the thin-skinned hand that feeds you? Withhold the urge to effectively request your own termination on social media?

Lozo didn’t immediately return Philly Mag’s request to comment.

Follow @jtrinacria on Twitter.

PECO: Most Power Outages to Be Restored by Friday Evening

After last night’s stormy weather, PECO is working hard to restore power to some 140,000 houses and businesses throughout the area.

The biggest power losses occurred in Chester County — where 52,022 customers were affected — and Delaware County, with a whopping 69,881 outages, according to a PECO outage map updated as of 12:23 p.m. Those numbers represent 24%-29% of the homes in those counties. Read more »

WATCH: Lightning Strikes Billy Penn

This is making its way around the social media rounds today, and for good reason: Lightning appears to have struck Billy Penn during Tuesday’s storm.

I caught Billy Penn snoozing before he got zapped. Check it out!

A video posted by Jennifer Finley (@time_hump_chronicles) on

We checked with Mayor Nutter’s office to see if Billy Penn was damaged by the strike. They didn’t have immediate information, but said they’d get back to us.

[Update]: Jen Crandall from the mayor’s office called back. Billy Penn, she said, has a lightning rod in him — so lightning strikes aren’t that unusual, though pictures of it happening are less so. “He’s fine,” she said.

Media Startup Showdown: Ranking Philly’s Three New Online News Sites


Pay no attention to those gloomy statements coming out of the city’s long-established newspapers: Philadelphia’s media scene is growing by leaps and bounds! The launch last week of completed the trifecta of new news organizations that have gotten their start in the last year. What they all have in common? They’re built by refugees from so-called “legacy media.” But none of them has a foot in the print world — they’re all digital (and even mostly mobile) all of the time.

Now it’s time to sit back and make some judgments. Here are the three new news sites, and what we make of them. Ranked in order of essentialness:

Read more »