New Publisher to Scrutinize Separate Newsrooms of Inquirer, Daily News, Philly.com

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Big changes could be coming to the Philadelphia Media Network.

The company runs the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com, and for now, runs them using three separate newsrooms, perpetuating (in the case of the newspapers) a journalistic rivalry that has lasted for decades even while the papers were under common ownership. But Terry Egger named this week as the new publisher at PMN — says that arrangement will probably come under scrutiny on his watch.

“Can we afford some of the inefficiencies that are inherent in having three entirely separate newsrooms?” Egger said Thursday afternoon during an interview with Philly Mag. He was in town for two days of meetings prior to officially taking the reins October 1st. Read more »

PhillyVoice Defends Use of Virginia TV Shooting Images

Screen Shot 2015-08-26 at 1.29.15 PM

The PhillyVoice.com website came under criticism Wednesday after it posted images from the shooting of two Virginia journalists earlier in the day.

The images included a screenshot of the gunman as seen from the cameraman’s fallen camera — and, more controversially, a screengrab of a video taken from the gunman’s point of view, in which he aims a pistol at the unaware journalists seconds before shooting and killing them.

The website took immediate criticism on social media after posting this Tweet: Read more »

Terry Egger Named New Publisher of Philadelphia Newspapers

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, former publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has been named the publisher at Philadelphia Media Network, overseeing the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

He was named to the position by PMN’s owner, Gerry Lenfest, who had assumed the title of publisher after buying the papers in 2014. Lenfest had said he would hire a replacement after reaching deals with the newspaper’s unions — a process that concluded over the summer.

“Terry is a proven leader in the industry and has a tremendous vision and understanding of what we need to do to keep our printed papers strong while also expanding our digital news portfolio,” Lenfest said in a statement. “His strong leadership and management skills will serve us well as we continue to transform this company into one of the most innovative media organizations in the industry. He understands the importance of strong journalism as our lifeblood.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity indeed,” Egger added, “and with Gerry’s ownership, a strong new Board of Directors in place, the talented professionals working at PMN and a vibrant community, we have what we need to evolve and succeed. I can’t wait to get started.” Read more »

Carol Erickson, Formerly of CBS 3, Joins Calkins Media

Carol Erickson Meteorologist and TV personality Carol Erickson, who had been at CBS 3 since 1978 before leaving earlier this year, has been hired for a job at Calkins Media. The company owns several suburban papers in Philadelphia and New Jersey, most notably the Bucks County Courier Times, and three television stations in Florida.

In July, Erickson wrote on Facebook that — despite KYW’s purge of talent earlier this summer — she had been offered another contract by the station. “I have decided instead to focus my time on what means the most to me — animal welfare,” she wrote.

Joe Mason — a copy editor for the Courier, Doylestown Intelligencer and Burlington County Times — interviewed her on his podcast last night. Read more »

How Kathleen Kane Fooled the Press

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

There are few stories I regret writing more in my 18-year career as a professional journalist than this sycophantic 2013 profile of Kathleen Kane.

Take this tidbit:

“I don’t back down from anything,” she says at lunch. This West Side [of Scranton] toughness, wrapped up in a charming package, is a big part of the reason Kane has made such an impression both in Harrisburg and on voters. At 47, she’s confident but not-quite-cocky, and her tone (more than her actual agenda) is candid and bracing.

Kane has managed to create a sense that she’s the only one out there actually doing, while the rest of the political class stands still. And she has — perhaps intentionally, perhaps not — tapped into the fathoms-deep well of disgust that so many Pennsylvanians feel for the retrograde crew running the state. What Kane has come to represent — through her decisiveness, her biography and, yes, her gender — is an alternative to Pennsylvania’s go-slow status quo. You look at Kane and think: Maybe, just maybe, things could be different around here after all.

Ha. Haaaaaaaaaa. “Different.” Well, things are different, inasmuch as Kane’s brand of alleged corruption isn’t quite as venal as is the norm in Harrisburg. Kane’s failings are more Nixonian in nature: The enemies; the paranoia; the reported surveillance of suspect employees, the firing of a whistleblower. Read more »

How Will NBC10 News Report on the Fattahs?

It was 12:49 p.m. and the big headline on CBS Philly’s website was “PA US Rep Chaka Fattah Indicted in Racketeering Case.” On the ABC 10 website the headline read: “Rep. Chaka Fattah Indicted in Racketeering Case.” The headline on NBC10’s website at the same moment? “Pregnant Women Fear Transportation Trouble During Papal Visit.” Read more »

Newspapers Offer Buyout to Older Inquirer, Daily News Workers

inquirer-daily-news-philly-com-940x540Philadelphia Media Network is trying to shed some of its longest-tenured employees — Newspaper Guild members with 25 years or more working for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com are being offered voluntary buyout packages.

The buyout offer went out Monday afternoon to roughly 150 members of the Guild, which represents journalists, ad sales employees, and other support staffers at the news organizations. The buyout was negotiated as part of the recent two-year contract between PMN and the Guild.

Unlike many buyout offers, this effort is not a prelude to layoffs, company officials said. Read more »

Meisha Johnson Might Already Be Philly’s Favorite TV Personality

Meisha Johnson made an appearance Wednesday on the Phillies pregame show on SportsRadio 94WIP with Michael Barkann and Ray Didinger. Photo, courtesy of CBS3.

Meisha Johnson made an appearance Wednesday on the Phillies pregame show on SportsRadio 94WIP with Michael Barkann and Ray Didinger. Photo, courtesy of CBS3.

Even before she started her job this week as CBS3’s morning traffic reporter, Meisha Johnson was a hit in Philadelphia — at least judging by the some of the delirious Twitter reaction after the station announced her hiring. And then there was the delirious Twitter reaction to her debut. (A savvy social media user, Johnson cultivated her fandom by tweeting at and retweeting seemingly everybody who mentions her on the social media platform — all the Tweets in this post come from her feed.) That reaction has only gained momentum: Her morning appearances this week set off spikes in Philadelphia Google traffic for her name. It’s the reaction CBS3 execs must’ve hoped for when they hired her amidst a big shakeup that followed low ratings at the station.

The Minnesota native brings a trace of her accent to the job, as well as an intriguing history: Her dad was a boxer, her mother a ballerina, and Johnson herself was named after famed ballet dancer Mikhail “Misha” Baryshnikov.

Philly Mag talked with Johnson this week about her welcome to Philly, the differences between her new and old hometowns, and her favorite sports. Read more »

Newspaper Guild Files Grievance Over “Dress Code”

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Last week, the Newspaper Guild ratified a two-year contract with Philadelphia Media Network and it seemed a new era of labor peace might be at hand at the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

This week, they’re feuding again. Over clothes.

The Guild — which represents journalists, ad staffers, and other support staff at the newspapers — said Wednesday it had filed a labor grievance against the company — over a “dress code” on workers that union leaders said had been unfairly imposed by management. “We believe that institution of such a code, without discussion and without the grandfathering in of employees of who have repeatedly violated the alleged code for decades, would be a change in work rules that was not negotiated,” Bill Ross, the Guild’s executive director, said in a memorandum to members. “We believe such a move would be a mandatory subject of bargaining.”

Management at PMN declined comment. Read more »

Meisha Johnson Arrives at CBS3 as New Traffic Reporter

Meisha Johnson / Courtesy CBS3

Meisha Johnson | Courtesy CBS3

There’s another new face at CBS3: Meisha Johnson.

The station’s new traffic reporter comes to Philadelphia from Minnesota, where she served in the same role at KMSP, the Fox affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, since 2013. She also appeared on several nationally syndicated PowerSports programs on Fox Sports, and has served as an announcer for Snocross, ATV and Supercross motorcycle races.

Read more »

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