White Noise: News from inside the media bubble
The end of the rainbow
Landmark Communications – parent company of the Greensboro News & Record – sold the Weather Channel to a group of investors led by NBC Universal for a reported $3.5 billion, according to The New York Times. That’s $1.5 billion less than the original price tag Landmark stuck on the property when it announced its intention to sell in January. The deal also includes weather.com and a syndicated weather report that runs in thousands of media outlets. The company is still looking for buyers for its daily papers, including the News & Record and its flagship, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va.
Blogfight of the week
At the risk of sounding too meta, the biggest spat on the local blogosphere last week involved… me. I went at it for a bit with Winston-Salem’s best Greensboro blogger Ben Holder, AKA the Troublemaker, when in a diatribe against Jordan Green he took a shot at me, contending that I had misrepresented my work history on another blog. And it turns out he was right… sort of. But I called him out, and then he called me out, and on it went during this long holiday weekend. At the very least, Holder owes me thanks for inspiring his biggest spurt of writing in months. And for my part, I’ll try not to get sucked into the maelstrom so easily in the future. Read all about it at thetroublemaker.blogspot.com. Or don’t.
Read all about it
Last week in Burlington, Judge Thomas D. Schroeder upheld a citywide ban on vendors who had been selling Sunday editions of the Burlington Times-News in the street to drivers stopped at lights and intersections. Citing the First Amendment, Times-News lawyer John Bussian told the Associated Press, “It may take an act of the state legislature to restore these First Amendment rights.”
Cutting from the top
The Independent Weekly reported on July 2 that among the casualties of McClatchy Newspapers’ contraction were two community newspaper publishers: Brenda Larsen, who presided over The Chapel Hill News and Eddie Thorndyke, publisher of the Smithfield Herald and Eastern Wake News. Felicia Gressette, vice president of marketing at The News & Observer will reportedly assume publishing responsibilities at five of the company’s community papers. The story’s best quote comes from Jock Lauterer, journalism professor at UNC-Chapel Hill: “That person is the face of the newspaper to the community. It’s a very political position. You better be there for the ribbon cuttings.”
Taking the media back (to the 1950s)
Erstwhile Dead Kennedys frontman and lefty political ranter Jello Biafra had a saying back in ’80s: “Don’t hate the media, be the media.” Of course, that game can be played from right field, too. Raleigh-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, whose president frequently objects to the news media’s coverage of his group, announced the launch of the “Last Americans Standing Show” on July 2. The two-hour podcast can be accessed at republicbroadcasting.org, and two terrestrial stations in Alcoa, Tenn. and Valparaiso, Ind. “The new show will address the topics of illegal immigration, trade and the economy, campaigns and elections, and the health of the American political system,” the news release states.