Tag Archives: new york daily news

Seriously. Here Comes Everybody.

Mark Joyella and Tiffanie WongUntil a few days ago, I was the blogger in the family.  On my wife’s suggestion early this year, I launched this site to track the layoffs that were then a daily nightmare in newsrooms from coast to coast.  More recently, my focus has been on what happens next, and how all of us can stay relevant–and working.

When I walked away from my reporting job at WPLG in Miami at the height of the job-shedding, my blog got a sudden flood of attention, being picked up and linked by many of the major trade publications and websites.  It happened again when I wrote about NBC’s purchase of local domain names from coast to coast.

The other day my wife showed me what real web traffic looks like.  You see, she’s now the blogger in the family.

I could wail and moan about the injustice of it all–I write about journalism, for God’s sake, and the fate of a Nation and all that.  I write about jobs, and history and technology and blah blah blah.

My wife?  You may know her blog by now.  It’s certainly been in the papers and all over TV and the web:  she writes My Husband is Annoying, a site devoted to my quirks and eccentricities, like having a favorite green sweater (okay, sure, it does show up a lot in our vacation photos) and sometimes finding it difficult to get out of bed in the morning (it’s not just me, right?)

Well, as a joke, she posted a few less-than-flattering photos of yours truly, and described what it’s like to live with me.  And we figured, hey, our friends will get a kick out of this. Post it to Facebook and get some LOLs.

A few Facebook comments and Tweets later, and the wife’s blog was mentioned by a hyperlocal website here in Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Heights Blog, which got things rolling with the pithy and classic headline, “Area Man is Annoying Husband.”

714275As Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody could have told me, things were about to get weird, and fast.  First came the commenters.  A few LOLs, but a few “you sucks” also, and some strange, very personal comments on the nature of our marriage and my wife’s motive in creating the blog.  It was a blunt reminder that the media has shifted forever to an everybody-can-speak-without-your-permission dynamic, and the Old Media gatekeepers have no gates anymore.

As is happening in digital newsrooms around the world, editors post news stories online, reporters and anchors blog about their lives and hobbies–and then here comes everybody; some loving it, others eviscerating it.  How are stations, websites and papers handling comments?  My wife and I debated it in capital-J fashion:  give everyone their say no matter how offensive?  Keep the blog light and fun, as it was intended?  Or only weed out the truly sickening and borderline threatening?  Where’s the line?

My wife, a strong and amazing woman, posted every insulting comment–and the LOLs and You Go Girls–save one, which was truly unfit to print.

Then came the second wave:  the media.  Snarky New York blog Gothamist wrote up the site, as did a Dutch blog that translated My Husband is Annoying (we think) as “Mijn Man is Vervelend. The pageviews began to skyrocket.  My LocalNewser record high fell quickly and it wasn’t even close.

Then the New York Daily News came calling, putting my wife and I across an entire page of the paper, and posting a video interview on the front page of the DN’s website.  I found odd satisfaction and pride in the News proclaiming me “New York’s most annoying husband.”

That article landed on BuzzFeed, and you could literally watch my wife’s pageviews jump by the hundreds every time you hit “refresh.”  It was astonishing.

Before we were out of bed the morning the News hit the streets, bookers from network morning shows and syndicated daytime shows were calling, along with radio stations from Florida to California.

I was recognized while shooting a story for WPIX at the New York Transit Museum by someone (I thought they were going to say “aren’t you the guy from TV?”) who said, “you’re the husband.  From the paper.  The annoying husband.”

This truly is a demonstration of the speed we’re working at these days.  Bret Favre signs with the Vikings and the reporter with the scoop goes to Twitter, not TV.  Why?  Have to. Can’t afford to wait.  It’s a new world.  If you can remember three-quarter decks?  Well, you’ve got to re-wire your brain and adjust to the new speed.

It’s fast.  And we, as journalists, don’t really have any access to the brakes anymore.  We can’t slow something down when it’s moving too fast.  If we do, all that will happen is we stop moving forward and other journos–or just the masses–will tell the story on their own.

Here comes everybody.

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Filed under Local News 2.0

Lost in the Layoffs: The Non-Reporters, Non-Anchors Who Don’t Make the Paper

Sony_MVS-8000a_lgI can’t operate a switcher to save my life.  In fact, in all the years I’ve been in and around control rooms, they’ve never failed to give me the creeps (the low light and monitors, glowing buttons and standys and takes and, of course, all that shouting) I’ve always been far more comfortable out in the middle of a hurricane or elbowing my way into the pack to get my mic in front of some indicted public official.

But the honest truth is this:  if I lose my job, odds are it’ll get mentioned in the newspaper (I treasure my New York Daily News headline:  No More Joyella in Mudville upon my departure from WNYW).

But lay off the entire control room, and not only will the newscasts look darn bumpy that night (you can just forget that quad box and custom wipe you were hoping for), but the people who lose their jobs will almost certainly not be mentioned in the next day’s paper.

Unless, of course, it’s “15 laid off at Channel 6–but fear not, it’s nobody you know…the wacky weatherman’s safe, the salty and avuncular anchor’s hanging on for another day, and that cute morning traffic girl will be back in the morning in that news-director-ordered tight sweater. The layoffs?  Just some, you know, behind the scenes people.”

Very rarely does the firing of a longtime but unseen employee merit mention in a newspaper by name.  It happened recently when Alan Henney, a weekend assignment manager at WUSA/DC put himself on “permanent furlough” and left the station with a blistering memo that suggested that the station’s longstanding tradition as a home of serious journalism was in danger, if not dead already.

It happened again when KARE/Minneapolis parted ways with a behind-the-scenes player considered the “heart and soul” of the KARE newsroom, Senior Executive Producer Lonnie Hartley.  His layoff was made newsworthy when the entire newsroom, led by talent with connections to print writers, voiced their outrage.

For most, though, it’s pink slip, then silence.  You walk out the door you’ve been reporting to for decades, and as far as viewers know, nothing’s even happened.  I know it’s part of the downward spiral stations across the country are in.  Only the lean have a shot at surviving.  Got it.  And yet, there’s something about all the pity pouring out for the poor dethroned anchors and reporters, who, after all, have their name to fall back on.

On this blog, the most popular comments continue–even months after the fact–to involve a laid off weatherman in Denver, and fired reporter/anchors in Washington, DC and Tampa.

DeDapper Media CEO (and ex WNBC reporter) Jay DeDapper

DeDapper Media CEO (and ex WNBC reporter) Jay DeDapper

This week the New York Daily News reported that former WNBC reporter Jay DeDapper’s started his own production company, DeDapper Media.  I applaud Jay and wish him well.  I’ve done the same thing myself, and I’d be the first to admit that having any kind of “name” is one card to play when you’re up against it.  “The jobs, they’re not just disappearing and they’ll be coming back; they’re disappearing permanently,” DeDapper told the Daily News’ Richard Huff. “There will be very few places in journalism on television for good people.”

The advantage to having a name, is being able to use it to find the next thing.  “The idea is, basically for 20-some-odd years, what I’ve done more than anything else is tell stories for a living,” he told the News. DeDapper has contacts and he’s a known entity.  And when a guy like Jay DeDapper decides on a new path, that itself becomes worthy of a news article, which never hurts when you hang out a shingle and start looking for business.

The laid off TD isn’t so lucky.  Brilliant in those dimly-lit control rooms, working magic on a Sony MVS 8000 (“I can give you eight boxes, but we don’t have eight live sources”) but separated from the control room, then what?  No newspaper mention, and no clear next step.  No, they’re not storytellers like reporters, who can find other ways of assembling information and telling stories, whether its for a production company, a PR firm, or as a TV pitchman.  Had there not been an injustice of Epic Proportions, I’d be playing the role of a TV type on the new season of HBO’s True Blood (I’m not bitter, mind you, just disappointed.  I don’t carry a grudge).

So how does the live truck op, the satellite engineer, the camera operator or the TD sit down, stare at their resume (which shows a clear flow from college to today that screams “I’m damn good at what I do!”) and think, this only gets me the job I just lost?

30shift2_190

Rebecca Zucker

Rebecca Zucker

Rebecca Zucker is a San Francisco based executive coach and partner at Next Step Partners, a firm that specializes in guiding clients through career transitions.  She says in the current business climate, about a third of the firm’s business involves helping clients answer that question, “now what?”

“Formulate a hypothesis,” she says.  “Even a crazy daydream.”  What was it you wanted to do before you ended up in local news?  Actor?  Pastry chef?  Try and remember.  Zucker asks her clients to think back to the peak experiences–outside of work–in their lives.  “A time when you felt like you were thriving, alive, confident, competent and at the top of your game,” she said.  The exercise involves looking at those times and figuring out what made them so special.  Was it intellectual or artistic challenge?  Was it cooperation or collaboration?  Whatever it was, these are the keys to your own personal satisfaction, and knowing what they are will help you figure out what kind of work will make you happy.  “The reasons (those experiences) felt so great were because you were completely expressing your own values,” said Zucker.

Zucker urges clients to read Herminia Ibarra’s book, Working Identity, which offers tips for mid-career professionals on reinventing themselves–and enjoying the result.  Key piece of beginner’s advice?  “Don’t try to analyze or plan your way into a new career,” write Ibarra.  (Take that you over-analytical technical directors and producers!)

Zucker suggests trying out new ideas, even a bunch of new ideas.  If you think it could be pastry chef, figure out who you can invite to lunch for an informational interview.  Does it feel natural?  Could you see yourself doing that kind of work?  Attend a conference or a class.  Small steps.  “They’ll find out which doors they want to shut, and where they want to dive deeper,” says Zucker.

Oh.  And here’s a big one:  don’t obsess about what others are telling you.  What would you do for a living if your friends, former co-workers, spouse, and family didn’t get a vote?

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Filed under layoffs

Lost in the Layoffs: The Non-Reporters, Non-Anchors Who Don't Make the Paper

Sony_MVS-8000a_lgI can’t operate a switcher to save my life.  In fact, in all the years I’ve been in and around control rooms, they’ve never failed to give me the creeps (the low light and monitors, glowing buttons and standys and takes and, of course, all that shouting) I’ve always been far more comfortable out in the middle of a hurricane or elbowing my way into the pack to get my mic in front of some indicted public official.

But the honest truth is this:  if I lose my job, odds are it’ll get mentioned in the newspaper (I treasure my New York Daily News headline:  No More Joyella in Mudville upon my departure from WNYW).

But lay off the entire control room, and not only will the newscasts look darn bumpy that night (you can just forget that quad box and custom wipe you were hoping for), but the people who lose their jobs will almost certainly not be mentioned in the next day’s paper.

Unless, of course, it’s “15 laid off at Channel 6–but fear not, it’s nobody you know…the wacky weatherman’s safe, the salty and avuncular anchor’s hanging on for another day, and that cute morning traffic girl will be back in the morning in that news-director-ordered tight sweater. The layoffs?  Just some, you know, behind the scenes people.”

Very rarely does the firing of a longtime but unseen employee merit mention in a newspaper by name.  It happened recently when Alan Henney, a weekend assignment manager at WUSA/DC put himself on “permanent furlough” and left the station with a blistering memo that suggested that the station’s longstanding tradition as a home of serious journalism was in danger, if not dead already.

It happened again when KARE/Minneapolis parted ways with a behind-the-scenes player considered the “heart and soul” of the KARE newsroom, Senior Executive Producer Lonnie Hartley.  His layoff was made newsworthy when the entire newsroom, led by talent with connections to print writers, voiced their outrage.

For most, though, it’s pink slip, then silence.  You walk out the door you’ve been reporting to for decades, and as far as viewers know, nothing’s even happened.  I know it’s part of the downward spiral stations across the country are in.  Only the lean have a shot at surviving.  Got it.  And yet, there’s something about all the pity pouring out for the poor dethroned anchors and reporters, who, after all, have their name to fall back on.

On this blog, the most popular comments continue–even months after the fact–to involve a laid off weatherman in Denver, and fired reporter/anchors in Washington, DC and Tampa.

DeDapper Media CEO (and ex WNBC reporter) Jay DeDapper

DeDapper Media CEO (and ex WNBC reporter) Jay DeDapper

This week the New York Daily News reported that former WNBC reporter Jay DeDapper’s started his own production company, DeDapper Media.  I applaud Jay and wish him well.  I’ve done the same thing myself, and I’d be the first to admit that having any kind of “name” is one card to play when you’re up against it.  “The jobs, they’re not just disappearing and they’ll be coming back; they’re disappearing permanently,” DeDapper told the Daily News’ Richard Huff. “There will be very few places in journalism on television for good people.”

The advantage to having a name, is being able to use it to find the next thing.  “The idea is, basically for 20-some-odd years, what I’ve done more than anything else is tell stories for a living,” he told the News. DeDapper has contacts and he’s a known entity.  And when a guy like Jay DeDapper decides on a new path, that itself becomes worthy of a news article, which never hurts when you hang out a shingle and start looking for business.

The laid off TD isn’t so lucky.  Brilliant in those dimly-lit control rooms, working magic on a Sony MVS 8000 (“I can give you eight boxes, but we don’t have eight live sources”) but separated from the control room, then what?  No newspaper mention, and no clear next step.  No, they’re not storytellers like reporters, who can find other ways of assembling information and telling stories, whether its for a production company, a PR firm, or as a TV pitchman.  Had there not been an injustice of Epic Proportions, I’d be playing the role of a TV type on the new season of HBO’s True Blood (I’m not bitter, mind you, just disappointed.  I don’t carry a grudge).

So how does the live truck op, the satellite engineer, the camera operator or the TD sit down, stare at their resume (which shows a clear flow from college to today that screams “I’m damn good at what I do!”) and think, this only gets me the job I just lost?

30shift2_190

Rebecca Zucker

Rebecca Zucker

Rebecca Zucker is a San Francisco based executive coach and partner at Next Step Partners, a firm that specializes in guiding clients through career transitions.  She says in the current business climate, about a third of the firm’s business involves helping clients answer that question, “now what?”

“Formulate a hypothesis,” she says.  “Even a crazy daydream.”  What was it you wanted to do before you ended up in local news?  Actor?  Pastry chef?  Try and remember.  Zucker asks her clients to think back to the peak experiences–outside of work–in their lives.  “A time when you felt like you were thriving, alive, confident, competent and at the top of your game,” she said.  The exercise involves looking at those times and figuring out what made them so special.  Was it intellectual or artistic challenge?  Was it cooperation or collaboration?  Whatever it was, these are the keys to your own personal satisfaction, and knowing what they are will help you figure out what kind of work will make you happy.  “The reasons (those experiences) felt so great were because you were completely expressing your own values,” said Zucker.

Zucker urges clients to read Herminia Ibarra’s book, Working Identity, which offers tips for mid-career professionals on reinventing themselves–and enjoying the result.  Key piece of beginner’s advice?  “Don’t try to analyze or plan your way into a new career,” write Ibarra.  (Take that you over-analytical technical directors and producers!)

Zucker suggests trying out new ideas, even a bunch of new ideas.  If you think it could be pastry chef, figure out who you can invite to lunch for an informational interview.  Does it feel natural?  Could you see yourself doing that kind of work?  Attend a conference or a class.  Small steps.  “They’ll find out which doors they want to shut, and where they want to dive deeper,” says Zucker.

Oh.  And here’s a big one:  don’t obsess about what others are telling you.  What would you do for a living if your friends, former co-workers, spouse, and family didn’t get a vote?

2 Comments

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20 and Out: WNBC Fires Len Berman. Anything, It Seems, to Save a Buck at NBC.

WNBCs Len Berman

WNBC's Len Berman


“I do not want to retire,” Len Berman told Richard Huff at The New York Daily News.  But after 20 years as main sports anchor at WNBC, Berman’s getting the boot, the latest goliath to fall at a station that was once known far and wide for having assembled a stellar collection of New York journalists, many of them, like Berman, a nationally-known name with his appearances on Letterman and his “Spanning the World” segment. But hey, there’s that nasty downside to being a “name.”  You know, that oversized salary.

So Berman’s gone.  Not because WNBC’s eliminating sports, as some other cash-strapped and struggling local stations are doing.  This is all about the money.  WNBC news director Vickie Burns writing in a newsroom memo:  “Going forward, we remain committed to our local sports franchise and will announce new plans for our coverage soon.”  You gotta love those “we’ll figure out the rest soon memos.  It basically tells you the key thing was getting rid of a superstar and his salary.  How they’ll fill the big man’s shoes?  Eh.  We’ll figure it out. The key thing is we just knocked off a legend and saved a TON of cash.  You can almost imagine the relieved high-fiving going on among the suits.  That wasn’t so hard!  Maybe we should ditch Sue next?

Spanning the World for 20 Years

On the Daily News website this morning, they’ve got a poll:  “Are you sad to see Len Berman go?”  The overwhelming answer:  “Yes.  He’s a New York City icon,” with 84%.  You’d like to think this was a not all that funny April Fool’s joke from Channel 4.  And then you remember.  It’s NBC.  No sense of humor.  No sense of history.

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Filed under layoffs

Sharing is Caring…Then, Firing. Fewer Local News Choppers for Gotham?

2 Stations Cover Madoff Live, Just 1 Chopper Overhead

2 Stations Cover Madoff Live, Just 1 Chopper Overhead

Sure, in the beginning it sounds like common sense.  It seems like good business.  Why hover two choppers over Bernie Madoff when one will do?  The suits at FOX and NBC were surely satisfied Thursday as the despicable Mr. Madoff made his one-way trip into court in Manhattan, a bevy of birds overhead to capture any fleeting movement that the army of stills and shooters on the ground might somehow miss.

Could the Baddest Bird in Gotham Be Grounded?

Could the Baddest Bird in Gotham Be Grounded?

When WNBC’s Chopper 4 needed to refuel, Channel 4 never lost a second of live overhead pictures–in HD–thanks to new BFF WNYW, with its sleek SkyFOX HD sharing live images with both stations.  “It’s a great plan to share assets and save money,” a FOX spokesperson told the New York Daily News’ Richard Huff.  Well, yes.  But talk to the local newsers who fly those birds, they’ll tell you what’s good for business almost certainly means somebody will lose their job.

“If the plan works out, one of the stations’ helicopters would be grounded completely and the two stations would share the remaining copter’s costs,” Huff reports.  It’s exactly what’s already happened in markets like Phoenix and Chicago, where “sharing” quickly morphed into “eliminating.”

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WPIX/NY Sports Anchor Calls “Retirement” Story Bogus

Sal Marchiano/WPIX

Sal Marchiano/WPIX

The warm NYC sendoff ended a 14 year career on the sports desk for Sal Marchiano at WPIX/NY:  “Sal made a decision to retire at the end of this year, and last week was Sal’s last week on the air as our sports anchor,” a WPIX-TV spokeswoman told the Daily News in late December.  Now, we’re getting Sal’s version of the story:  ” They told me I was out – finished,” Marchiano told the Daily News’ Bob Raisson.  “They were not renewing my contract.  The order came down from the top.” 

Marchiano says not only was the “retirement” story bogus, he’s hardly ready to walk away from covering New York sports.  “I’m a free agent,” Marchiano says, who tells Raisson he was fully expecting a new contract, was ready to take concessions given the state of the economy, but was instead sent to pasture, complete with a sweet story of retirement Raisson suggests Marchiano only learned about by reading the Daily News.  (Echoes of WNYW main news anchor Len Cannon, who learned of his departure from the NY’s FOX O&O by reading the front page of the New York Post, announcing the multi-million dollar signing of New York legend Ernie Anastos)

Raisson writes:  “Marchiano’s termination is more about what’s happening in the local TV news business than it was about his performance. Industry sources say all six local stations, which for decades were cash registers, are losing money – big money. This has led to cutbacks. It has also led to major players, including local sports anchors making mid six-figures and up, either taking drastic pay cuts or, in Marchiano’s case, being fired. “

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“Miracle on Hudson:” WNBC Leads Local Newsers with Story

03*WNBC/NYC, often criticized in recent years for falling behind on breaking news (“where’s 4?”) and still adjusting to its new evolution into a “content center,” delivered old-school style when the big breaker hit the river Thursday afternoon.  “Ch. 4 was first on with a report of the crash, and had the first footage from the scene. The others followed shortly,” reports Richard Huff in the Daily News.

If you’ve got a take on the NYC local newsers’ performance on the story, please share it.

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