Was Urban Outfitters-Vetri Deal in Part About Loneliness?

Urban Vetri

There was a lot of head-scratching this week when Urban Outfitters, struggling in sales, purchased the Vetri Family restaurant group. I understand the concern over a beloved local figure and craftsman “selling out” to a corporation famous for flannel and failed attempts at irony. But Urban and the Vetri people have worked together for years, and two big Philly power players are a match made in business heaven. (For those still bummed: The crown jewel Vetri-name restaurant wasn’t sold. Marc Vetri and co. also pledge to oversee all their Philly restaurants as usual — we’ll certainly notice if they don’t.)

The most interesting thing about this deal isn’t the people involved. It’s one of the reasons Urban’s chief development officer, Dave Ziel, gave for the purchase: filling a social void. As Ziel told Philly.com, “We think retailing needs to become more experiential … I think there’s a craving for real socializing beyond social media.” Read more »

Can Laid-Off Philly Journos Build Their Own News Organization?



George Miller isn’t quite sure what a new local news organization would look like, nor how one would get funding for a startup — but he does believe there’s room in Philly’s media ecosystem for another player, especially now that the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com are laying off nearly 50 journalists and support staffers.

That’s why Miller, publisher of Jump Philly music magazine and an associate professor at Temple University, is hosting “Let’s Start Our Own News Org” tonight, a brainstorming session for those who care about Philadelphia and the media who cover the city.

“Basically, the idea was, in two weeks there are people who are losing their jobs,” he said of the layoffs at Philadelphia Media Network. “It seems like a lot of people are leaving journalism and aren’t all that upset about it, but I was upset about it — I don’t want to lose all that talent from the city.” Read more »

New Parking App Touted by the PPA Does Exactly Nothing You Want It To

Promotional screenshots of ParkSnap app via iTunes

Promotional screenshots of ParkSnap app via iTunes

When we read last week on the Philadelphia Parking Authority blog (yes, the Philadelphia Parking Authority actually has a blog, and yes, we look at it regularly) about a new parking app for the city, we thought: Finally! We can finally add time without running to the car. Bravo, PPA! After all, remote app payment for on-street parking is available in lots of cities all over the country, even in such tech hotspots as Ft. Lauderdale. Alas, we couldn’t be so lucky. Read more »

Watch: Daily News Staffers Rock Out to “Crazy Train”

Daily News columnist Helen Ubiñas says the video above was inspired by Jennifer Pownall‘s campaign to raise awareness (and funds) of brain tumors. The Rock Out Brain Tumors Challenge is like the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, only less uncomfortable, assuming you’re comfortable with public performance.

Ubiñas and her colleagues decided to take the challenge after Gar Joseph, the paper’s city editor, was diagnosed with brain cancer.
Read more »

Website Connects Laid-Off Journalists With New Jobs

Former PMNer 940 x 540

A screenshot from the web site.

The 46 journalists laid off last week at Philadelphia Media Network are getting an assist in finding their next job.

Davis Shaver, the digital products and solutions lead at Philadelphia Media Network, has helped set up canistillhireaformerpmner.com, an online clearinghouse that aims to bring together the journalists with potential employers. (He was joined by Philly.com’s Brian X. McCrone in helping create the site.) Dozens of companies have listed openings at the site already; nobody’s been hired yet, but workers are already starting to make potential matches.

Read more »

Layoffs Slam Philly.com, Daily News Hardest


As expected, layoffs were announced at Philadelphia Media Network on Wednesday afternoon — nearly 50 journalists and other workers at the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com told they will lose their jobs as the company restructures.

The Newspaper Guild said Philly.com and the Daily News were the most heavily hit, each losing 17 staffers — the website losing roughly half its production staff — while the Inquirer was slated to lose a dozen people. The list of journalists losing their jobs included a number of familiar bylines, as well as behind-the-scenes staffers.

“I think it devastates the whole operation,” said Bill Ross, director of the guild, which represents journalists at the papers. “They wiped out the whole Daily News copy desk. It’s ridiculous.”

A Daily News journalist added: “DN is left with literally a handful of people. It’s staggering.”

“A blood bath,” added a Philly.com staffer.

Read more »

The Daily News Isn’t Dead. Yet.

Photo Nov 02, 12 13 46 PM

They’re writing the Daily News’ obituary. Again.

Friday’s news that the newsrooms of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com are merging has prompted a new round of speculation that the gritty tabloid’s days are numbered. Yes, new publisher Terry Egger said the paper will continue to publish separately, but that didn’t stop other observers from checking the walls for signs of handwriting.

“A check with a few insiders reinforced my view that time is running out for the 90-year-old tabloid,” Poynter columnist — and Inky alum — Rick Edmonds wrote over the weekend, noting: “Most second papers under common ownership disappeared in the ’80s and ’90s.”

Rumors of the Daily News’ demise have been greatly exaggerated in the last few decades: You’d have been a sucker if you’d ever bet against the paper’s continued existence. In fact, there are still reasons to believe the paper will continue to exist — but there are also reasons to believe that the end is near. Read more »

Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News Newsrooms to Merge

inquirer daily news newspapers

Updated with comment from PMN. See below.

The newsrooms of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com will merge, the publisher of the papers told reporters today, part of a radical restructuring of parent company Philadelphia Media Network that will include job reduction in “every area” of the company, the city’s biggest news organization.

The Inquirer and Daily News will continue to publish as separate newspapers, however. Stan Wischnowski, the vice president of news operations for PMN, will reportedly be in charge of the combined newsroom.

Terry Egger, the new publisher of Philadelphia Media Network, made the announcement in a 10:30 a.m. meeting with the company’s journalists. A separate 3:30 p.m. meeting was scheduled for remaining employees unable to make the morning meeting. Read more »

Temple, Philly Newspapers in Project to Create “Paperless” News Future

David Boardman, dean of Temple University's School of Media and Communication, left.

David Boardman, dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, left.

Philly’s major daily newspapers are getting ready to take a big step away from “paper” — and they’re doing so with the help of Temple University.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced Monday it is giving a $1.3 million grant to Temple to help Philadelphia Media Network — owner of the the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com — to accelerate the transformation of the business to a “truly digitally focused” operation that “can look to the future without newsprint.” Three other “legacy” news organizations — the Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, and a publication to be named later — will also participate in the project.   Read more »

Philly Couple Make Epic Halloween Baby Announcement Video

Soon-to-be parents Leslie "Les" Rivera and Megan Mazarick.

Soon-to-be parents Leslie “Les” Rivera and Megan Mazarick.

In the old days, when you were pregnant, you’d get on the phone and call everyone you knew to give them the good news, maybe email your close friends, the old college roommate. Hell, an ultrasound postcard would have been really, really innovative. But these days, the world demands more of you, and one Philadelphia couple has stepped up to the plate in a major way, releasing a two-minute baby announcement in the style of a horror movie thriller. And it’s awesome. Read more »

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