Chris Satullo Out at WHYY

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.

Really.

The Poynter Institute announced Tuesday that Tierney — who was publisher of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com 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 »

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 »

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