An Incomplete List of Things Deemed the “New Philadelphia Story”


Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal wrote about Rooster Soup Company. Funded in part by a Kickstarter backing, Rooster Soup Co. is the brainchild of Bill Golderer, Steven Cook and Mike Solomonov. Profits from the restaurant, which will open next year, will fund the Broad Street Hospitality Collaborative.

It’s all really cool. But the WSJ’s headline struck me as funny: “The New Philadelphia Story: Eat, Pay, Give.” While there are three people involved in the creation of Rooster Soup Co., much like the three main characters of the 1940 film (and 1939 play) The Philadelphia Story, that’s where the similarity ends. The Philadelphia Story is a screwball comedy of remarriage; none of the particulars in Rooster Soup Co. are marrying, let alone remarrying, each other.

Headline references are supposed to make sense. My father, longtime deputy sports editor at the Daily News has a way with headlines that I will never match. When the Eagles signed Michael Vick in 2009, people suggested a “Vick’s VapoRub” headline to him constantly. Cute, right? The problem is: How the hell would this headline ever make any sense? Only if Michael Vick took up vaping, and it led to a drop in performance, could this headline be plausible. But back in 2009 people still called vaping “smoking e-cigarettes,” so it wasn’t really a possibility. Read more »

Philly’s “Isis” Radio Station Considers Changing Its Name

iRadioPhilly logo

iRadioPhilly is a group of Internet radio stations local to the city. The streaming radio site broadcast the pope’s visit and the World Meeting of Families, and has a channel dedicated to Philly artists and talk radio.

It also has one dedicated to pop hits, aimed at women. Five years ago, iRadioPhilly came up with a name for that station. It chose Isis. Whoops. Read more »

Meet the Crazy Guys Who Are Starting a Newspaper In Philadelphia

Matthew Albasi (left) and max Pulcini (right)

Max Pulcini (left) and Matthew Albasi (right)

Last year, a pair of 2013 Temple University journalism graduates took over Fishtown’s Spirit newspaper, transforming it from your average print-only community newspaper to a modern publication and online presence that does hard-hitting, hyperlocal reporting. Now they’re poised to do the same thing in a section of Philadelphia that they’re calling Penn’s Garden, which includes the neighborhoods of Brewerytown, Fairmount, Francisville, Spring Garden, Strawberry Mansion, North Central, Ludlow and Poplar. 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 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 »

Pittsburgh Newspaper to Lay Off 153 Staffers

Less than a week after nearly 50 journalists were laid off at Philadelphia Media Network, a paper across the state is laying off even more workers.

Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review announced it is laying off 153 staffers as part of a “sweeping restructuring.”

“We needed to take a close look at our bottom line in the midst of an evolving newspaper industry,” Trib Total Media president Jennifer Bertetto said. “We are doing this to match the changing needs of our readers, subscribers, advertisers, business partners, and our own employees, in order to build an exciting and profitable media future for all of those parties.”

Today’s announcement means more than 200 layoffs have been announced at Pennsylvania newspapers in the last week — and the number could reach 300, depending on how the Tribune-Review’s plans shake out.

Read more »

Website Connects Laid-Off Journalists With New Jobs

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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, an online clearinghouse that aims to bring together the journalists with potential employers. (He was joined by’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 »

Newspaper Guild Offers to Buy Philadelphia Daily News

Daily News

The union that represents journalists at Philly’s biggest newspapers is — once again — offering to buy the Daily News, this time in the wake of announced layoffs at the company. A spokesman for owner Gerry Lenfest, however, said he is uninterested in selling.

“We would like to commence negotiations for a sale of the Daily News immediately,” Lisa A. Lori, the guild’s attorney, wrote in a Thursday letter (below) to Terry Egger, the new publisher at Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the paper.

Such a purchase, she wrote, “will help mitigate the loss of employment for a substantial number of individuals and it will help PMN shed an asset that, based on the number of layoffs of Daily News employees … it appears PMN has little interest in.”

The letter was obtained Thursday afternoon by Philadelphia magazine. Bill Ross, executive director of the guild, confirmed the letter’s authenticity, but offered few details.

“At this point it’s probably premature for me to comment,” he said.

A spokesman for PMN, however, said the offer would be rejected: “Mr. Lenfest has consistently made it clear he has no interest in selling the Daily News.” (See the official response letter, below.) 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 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 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 »

Philly Citizen to Award $10,000 to Randomly Selected Philly Voter

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So says the Philadelphia Citizen. And they mean it literally. | Image a screenshot of Citizen story announcing its new lottery.

So … it’s come to this.

The newly re-launched Philadelphia Citizen will pay $10,000 to a randomly selected Philadelphian who makes the herculean effort of spending two minutes in a voting booth on Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 3.

The Citizen is calling it a lottery. But let’s call it what is is: a bribe. And not even a big one. It’s crass, it’s insulting.

It’s also a gimmick, of course. A relatively inexpensive, attention-grabbing stunt for a new outlet that’s got some interesting ideas, but not yet a whole lot of readers.

Let’s set all that aside. Might it actually work? Is there actual merit to the idea of compensating voters (or a single voter, in this case) for doing what we’ve long been taught is a basic civic duty? Read more »

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