by YES! Staff

Another marker in N&R’s decline

Many of us who landed at alt-weeklies didn’t make the cut at daily newspapers: too weird, too passionate in our opinions, too crusading in our motivations. So there’s a certain sense of schadenfreude in watching daily newspapers lay off employees, reduce pages and sometimes fold altogether, even though the foot soldiers in those companies are our colleagues and friends. But after taking satisfaction in having proven our ability to survive in a collapsing industry, what we’re left with is mostly sadness. The daily newspaper, after all, is still the vessel that is best positioned to hold government accountable and expose the injustices of society. With every passing day, daily newspapers seem less equipped to handle that function, and there’s little certainty that any other entities — alt-weeklies, blogs — are positioned to fill that vital function in our democratic system. So President and publisher Robin Saul’s announcement in Sunday’s News & Record that the daily will merge its front section and Local section Monday through Saturday is neither the beginning nor the end, but only another marker of decline. And lest hubris betray us, knock on wood that we don’t find ourselves in the same circumstances. — JG

It’s just business

Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz gets the inside scoop about Washington DC’s cocktail culture that exists between media elites, high-ranking elected officials and international dignitaries this week with a story about Atlantic owner David Bradley’s exclusive, off-the-record dinner parties held regularly in his offices in the Watergate for the last year. “Among those in regular attendance are David Brooks and Maureen Dowd of the New York Times, Gene Robinson and Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post, NBC’s David Gregory, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, PBS’s Gwen Ifill, the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum, former Time managing editor Walter Isaacson and staffers from Bradley’s Atlantic and National Journal, including Ron Brownstein, Andrew Sullivan and Jonathan Rauch,” Kurtz writes. Newsmakers who Kurtz says have attended the dinners include White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, Jordan’s King Abdullah II, General Electric chief executive Jeffrey Immelt, former Bush White House aide Karl Rove, Gen. David Petraeus, White House economic adviser Larry Summers, former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Here in the Triad, we can’t even get city council member Mike Barber to meet us for a hot dog outside Governmental Plaza. — BC

WFMY celebrates 60 th anniversary

On May 20, WFMY-TV will hold a birthday celebration to commemorate its 60 th year on the air. Founded in 1949, the Greensboro television station enjoys the distinction of being the first TV station in the state to broadcast live. The station also has the longest-running local morning news show in the nation, “The Good Morning Show,” according to a station press release. The birthday festivities will be held at Center City Park featuring broadcast alumni, food, fun and music. Greensboro Mayor Yvonne Johnson will present WFMY with a certificate commemorating the anniversary and a birthday cake. The station has chronicled the past 60 years of change in the Piedmont Triad, said Deborah Hooper, the station’s president and general manager. “Our greatest strength is our connection to community, and in this time of overwhelming change that strength keeps us anchored,” said Hooper. “Television has come a long way since the felt-covered weather maps and news shot on film, but our commitment to helping viewers has remained the core of who we are.” In commemoration of the anniversary, the station also plans to air news segments of historical national and local events of the past 60 years as well as community milestones. — KTB