The Newspaper Business Is Dead in Philly

The newspaper business — in Philadelphia, at least — is dead.

Not newspapers, understand: They’ll linger on, in diminished and probably less-frequently printed form, for the foreseeable future. And news itself will survive in any number of formats. But the newspaper business? Making profits from newspapers? Dead, on the mass level at least.

Any doubt on that front should be dispelled by two pieces of news that emerged Wednesday, one tremendously sad, the other actually somewhat uplifting: Read more »

City Paper Shutting Down, Merging Operations with PW


The Philadelphia alt-weekly wars are over.

Today Broad Street Media today announced it had acquired the rights to the City Paper intellectual property. As a result, City Paper will cease print publication on October 8th; its website will be merged into the operations of Philadelphia Weekly.

The Northeast Times, which Broad Street Media also owns, first reported the story. “Sev­er­al of the part­ners of Broad Street Me­dia are also part­ners in R.P.M. Philly, which owns Philly Weekly and South Philly Re­view,” Broad Street Media publisher Perry Cor­setti told the Times. “While we re­spect the his­tory Phil­adelphia has with City Pa­per, we have made a com­mit­ment to Philly Weekly that we in­tend to hon­or. It doesn’t make sense for us to com­pete with ourselves.” The paper reported that it’s expected that City Paper‘s operations will be consolidated and its best features will be be incorporated into PW. Read more »

NBC10 Workers on Strike Ahead of Pope’s Arrival

tv camera

Turns out this week’s optimism was misplaced: Photographers and technicians at NBC10 have walked off the job, just ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia.

A spokesman for the station said the strike would have “no impact” on the station’s coverage.

“While it is unfortunate that IBEW Local 98 has decided to engage in a job action, we remain committed to ensuring this has no impact on our broadcast,” the spokesman said. “Our viewers will continue to have full access to all of our local news and information without interruption. We remain steadfast in our commitment to achieve a mutual resolution of our outstanding issues with the union.” Read more »

Report: CBS3 Workers Authorize Strike

tv camera

If the pope visits and there’s not a local TV crew there to record the event, does it really happen? We may find out.

Philadelphia Business Journal reports that workers at CBS3 have voted to authorize a strike, following an earlier strike vote by NBC10 crews. In both cases, the workers are using Pope Francis’ visit to Philly as leverage in bargaining.“Very rarely do we have any advantage in negotiations,” a CBS source told PBJ. “With the Pope coming, we have a little. So we are going to use any advantage we can get.” Read more »

PlanPhilly’s Matt Golas Is Out at WHYY

Matt Golas, founding editor of WHYY’s website PlanPhilly, has resigned from the NPR affiliate. WHYY spokesman Art Ellis said “he did not offer a reason for leaving,” and that his last day has not yet been determined.

“As I move on to my next assignment,” Golas said in an email, “I will be seeking a work atmosphere that appreciates entrepreneurial, nimble and collaborative behavior across the board.”

This is the second time in a week that a top employee at WHYY has announced his departure.

Read more »

Don Bell Returns to CBS 3 as Sports Director

Don Bell

Image via Bell’s Twitter account

Don Bell has returned to Philadelphia as CBS 3’s new sports director.

Bell previously worked for CBS 3 from 2005 to 2010, before departing for an anchor job at ESPN.

He anchored SportsCenter for three years before leaving for Fox Sports 1. He anchored Fox Sports Live on that station, and has also hosted the Don Bell & Ryan Field Show on Fox Sports Radio. Per TV News Check, Bell is a New Jersey native and a 2000 graduate of Boston University. Like many people you see on TV, he has a journalism degree from Northwestern.  Read more »

Chris Satullo Out at WHYY


WHYY’s headquarters on Independence Mall. | Google Streetview

Chris Satullo, WHYY’s vice president of news and civic dialogue since 2008, is leaving the station. His last day of employment will be September 11th, but he’ll no longer be present at WHYY facilities following the close of business Friday.

He did not immediately return an email for comment. Art Ellis, a spokesman for the NPR affiliate, said only: “We can confirm he’s leaving, but I can’t get into why he’s leaving.”

l_satullo-300px-preferredBut his departure apparently came suddenly and with little warning: Satullo had, in recent weeks, been contacting reporters outside the organization to gauge their interest in new products, and reportedly spent this week in a retreat, helping strategize how to take one of WHYY’s local programs to a national audience — indications he planned to stay in his role awhile.

He met with stunned WHYY staffers off-campus, at Franklin Square, early Thursday afternoon.

Satullo told those staffers he was legally required not to comment on the reasons for leaving. “Please trust me when I say I simply cannot answer many of your questions right now,” he said, later adding: “No I do not know what I’m going to do next.”

He was applauded by staffers at the end of a short speech in which he exhorted them to keep doing their best work.

Read more »

Why Is Brian Tierney Getting a Big Journalism Award?

Brian Tierney, May 23, 2006. AP Photo | Rusty Kennedy

Brian Tierney, May 23, 2006. AP Photo | Rusty Kennedy

So: Brian Tierney is getting a big journalism award.


The Poynter Institute announced Tuesday that Tierney — who was publisher of the Inquirer, Daily News, and when their parent company went into bankruptcy — is receiving its “Distinguished Service to Journalism” award.

 No, really.

 Guess which word is never mentioned, even indirectly, in the press release announcing the honor?

Here’s a hint: Starts with a “b” and rhymes with “shmankruptcy.”

Instead, his tenure at the helm of Philadelphia’s largest news organization is described like this: Read more »

Merging Daily News, Inquirer Newsrooms Would Be Dumb

Banner via Facebook

Banner via Facebook

The first day I walked into the newsroom at the Daily News, one of the editors pulled me aside to share an insight on the very soul of the tabloid that lives perpetually on death row.

“Our job,” she told me, “is to get to the emotional heart of every story.”

In doing that, of course, we got to the emotional heart of the city.

I spent nearly a decade at the paper in the 1990s directing local news coverage, trying to get at that emotional heart, and doing everything I knew how to beat the bejesus out of Big Sister who then lived downstairs at the old headquarters at 400 North Broad Street.

This is all on my mind, and in my heart, these days because of an interview on this website with a man who has been named the new publisher of both the Inquirer and the Daily News, Terry Egger.

Philly Mag interviewed the new guy — who has been at newspapers in St. Louis and Cleveland — and this is the part that is disturbing for long-time Daily News fans:

“Can we afford some of the inefficiencies that are inherent in having three entirely separate newsrooms?” Read more »

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