Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, July 03, 2006

DLG Plaza Rumors

BB Readers,

This just came in from First District Streetfighter -- sounds like conjecture but if it is true, it is worthy of it's own post. In any event -- facts right or facts wrong -- an interesting subject....

This brings up an issue for me as to whether I should be allowing BB readers to generate their own posts -- my initial reaction is that it is fine as long as it is clearly defined who wrote what and there is an understanding that not every post that is offered will be published.

Let me know what you think about that if you have a strong opinion as I am open on this issue.....


-----------TEXT FROM First District Streetfighter------------
To replace Joe Cole, who departed a few weeks ago, "news on the street" is that the new News-Press Publisher will be... Travis Armstrong.

Facts right or wrong... The Wendy indeed is keeping the biz close to home and in a narrowing circle of dependent thinkers. First Arthur, then Travis.

Jerry Roberts, the allegedly independent News Editor, also is seeking a new job; that is why he was gone on "vacation" a couple of weeks ago. And, The Wendy also now is confirmed personally to have called and asked respected news writers there to sanitize an investigative story to go easy on a certain industry about how its employees are treated. That news writer is looking to bail, and the absence would be conspicuously noticed.

Not so sure how Factsright or Factswrong will help the Bottom Line of the News-Press, which is the usual role of the Publisher. Hard to think he will really improve the reputation of that newspaper or the desire of the community to buy ads.

And for equal-opportunity substantiated gossip, SB Independent also is looking for a Publisher, after having rejected all the incumbent senior staff there with a sharp business and sales expertise.

Sales manager whiz Penelope Huston, after 8 years, was strung along for a month by the Indy owners, and now has left to go back home to Tennessee, to make a phat salary in a cheap housing market. Thurlow left Indy in mid May and is not looking back now as an Assistant Vice Chancellor for Alumni Affairs at UCSB.

Maybe blogs WILL take over as the first source for news?


Anonymous dd said...

Actually Sara, I like the idea of an open line between you and the posters. If the blog is interesting......why not! dd

7/03/2006 5:08 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

For FDS, groan, groan, groan :-(

I actually feel like I have to come here to find out what is really going on. What I read in the NP and Indy usually does not bear any resemblance to what actually is occuring and/or is so biased its not even funny.

And sitting hard on an investigative reporter is especially NOT good. I thought truth was supposed to trump all.......... I know, I know, I'm dreaming! dd

7/03/2006 5:14 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Perhaps if you had an email to which to send tips, a proposal for a new posting topic would not have to be entered as a comment on an unrelated prior topic.

You always can accept or reject what to post as a whole topic or comments to existing topics.

7/03/2006 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would writer nick welsh replace businessman george thurlow? No. It's more likely that writer travis would replace writer roberts in controlling news coverage rather than travis starting a new business career hawking ads and delivering papers. Ask wendy. It is all hers.

If any of what fdsf says is true, how will it play out down the road? Cole and thurlow depart the np and the indy almost at the same time, replaced by nipper von wiesenberger and randy campbell. Heavyweights replaced by _______?

You read it here first: big changes in both places before labor day.

7/03/2006 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"to sanitize an investigative story to go easy on a certain industry about how its employees are treated." Certain industry? Which industry? Restaurants?Bottled water?

7/04/2006 12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the only comfort in this horrifying rumor is that with Travis at the helm, the ultimate demise of this once-respectable publication would occur that much sooner. And to think in some professions, behavior that resulted in his recent arrest/conviction--driving at three times the legal limit of alcohol the wrong way on a one way street would injure--not elevate---onex' career.


7/04/2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger john san roque said...

Last year, Jerry Roberts wrote a column that talked about how the paper had a strict wall between the editorial pages and the news sections. I didn't agree with that and wrote him an e-mail with several examples of what I thought were good examples of news articles written in support of the editorial stance of the paper.

Mr. Roberts did not agree with the points I made. Even though I still thought I was correct, I appreciated the fact that he answered me in a thoughtful and reasoned manner. If he is leaving the News-Press, that will be the loss of a reasonable and professional representative of the paper.

Last Sunday's edition had an Armstrong editorial critical of the City's level of support for the SBPD, and the Page 1 headline story was about the SBPD and the problems with gangs. Do I believe this is a coincidence, or were the two coordinated? The other major Page 1 story was about the month-old supervisorial election, and who Guzzardi might support. That story quickly turned into a "support-Secord, bash-Wolf&Capps" piece that echoed ten or more Armstrong editorials and opinion pieces over the past several months. The continuation of this article featured the headline "Guzzardi Rips Capps' Contributions" on the jump page, and it even seemed to me that the type for that headline was larger than needed.

There's not even an attempt at subtlety here--maybe separating the editorial and the news story by a day or so. If Roberts leaves, the floodgates may open wider, although it's really hard to see how it could get much worse.

7/05/2006 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..
If Travis is promoted I will redouble my direct action efforts.

7/05/2006 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IF Roberts leaves Wendy will have a real estate asset and nothing else.

Travis is entertaining as editorial editor as we disagree with him, yet he has no news skills whatsoever - just listen to the radio show he cannot ask a question.

I say with Nipper there how about some of the waiters and bar tenders from the old Nippers who had financially rewarding side businesses in the facitlity.

7/05/2006 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is wendy mccaw's theater, set, actors, stagehands, script, lighting, curtain, box office, and hook. not armstrong's. not von w's. not roberts'. not the public's. if this is true about armstrong, who can guess how her play will end. does she know what she doesn't know and so has a clue?

whoops, have to get back to my seat.

7/05/2006 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Confirmed resignations as of 10:30 a.m. PDT Thursday: Executive editor Jerry Roberts, managing editor George Foulsham, deputy managing editor Don Murphy, metro editor Jane Hulse, business editor Michael Todd and columnist Barney Brantingham.

More dominoes expected to fall in the next 36 hours.

Outstanding wrap-up from Nick Welsh in today's Angry Poodle. Sorry, but the Indy hasn't posted it online yet.

7/06/2006 1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mass Exodus at the NewsPress…

Confirmed Resignations:

Executive Editor Jerry Roberts
Managing Editor George Foulsham Deputy
Managing Editor Don Murphy
Metro Editor Jane Hulse
Business Editor Michael Todd
Columnist Barney Brantingham

7/06/2006 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots more on this in today's Indie.

7/06/2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Besides the names mentioned by Nick Welsh, aka Angry Poodle in Indy, today these News-Press reporters, editors, and columnists...
HAVE RESIGNED or been pushed out:

--Barney McManigal (county news reporter)

--George Foulsham (Managing Editor, a big position to keep the words humming)

--Barney Brantingham (legendary columnist and perhaps why 1/3 of readers bother to subscribe)

These former staffers are so dissed {as of 5:30pm (July 6th 2006)}, that they do not even appear in the staff directory at the News-Press web site. They DISAPPEARED just like Jimmy Hoffa! (but so far, archive articles by them are still there)

--MIchael Todd (mid-level editor)

--Jane Hulse (metro/City editor)

--Jerry Roberts (chief News Editor), and allegedly the protector of the Wall that once separated the news Church from the opinion State

from Los Angeles Times, as updated only 20 minutes ago from an earlier article 2 hours ago:

From the Los Angeles Times
Editors, Columnist Quit Santa Barbara Paper
By James Rainey
Times Staff Writer

5:18 PM PDT, July 6, 2006

Five top editors and a veteran columnist have resigned from the Santa Barbara (Calif.) News-Press, saying Thursday that the newspaper's billionaire owner had been meddling improperly in the editorial content of the 150-year-old publication.

Editor Jerry Roberts was escorted from the building before noon, as several staff members cried and others hurled epithets at Travis K. Armstrong, the latest in a series of publishers to run the News-Press for owner Wendy McCaw.

Journalists at the paper had greeted McCaw's purchase six years ago with relief, saying they welcomed the ascension of a local owner -- one known as an environmentalist and philanthropist.

But reporters, editors and some of Santa Barbara's most prominent citizens said Thursday that McCaw's tenure should give pause to many journalists around the country who have been pining for private owners to save them from publicly owned chains, which have been beset by budget reductions, layoffs and other woes.

"When the newspaper was up for sale, we were wishing for a local owner," said Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum. "Now we have one, and all I can say is: 'Be careful what you wish for."'

McCaw has put her stamp on the paper -- which she bought from The New York Times Co. in 2000 -- with, among other things, vigorous editorials in favor of animal rights: One was in opposition to eating turkey at Thanksgiving.

But the editors who resigned this week said her influence has veered from the iconoclastic to inappropriate in recent weeks.

During that time, they said, McCaw or her representatives killed a story about a top editor's sentencing for drunken driving; reprimanded a reporter and three editors for publishing the address of actor Rob Lowe as part of a story about the star's attempt to build his "dream house"; and issued a memo ordering journalists not to talk to outsiders about the newspaper's internal business.

The ascension of a McCaw loyalist into the publisher's office late last week was the final straw for the journalists, they said in interviews Thursday.

7/06/2006 5:49 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

For whichever of the 3 different subject posts makes the most sense right now:


My earlier posting got my Barneys confused. Barney McManigal, the County Beat reporter, is still there and has not (yet?) resigned, but Barney Brantingham, the legendary columnist, definitely is out.

However, to keep up the score, according to Shallow-throat at Indy Media Blog, the Sports Editor, Gerry Spratt, now is out, and I just verified that his name is gone from the web-site staff directory; the print edition today (July 7th 2006) has that name up there on the upper left of the printed C-Section.

Also curious, the name of George Foulsham (who resigned according to many news reports and blogs) is still at the web-site staff directory as Managing Editor. But the other targets of the Purgists are gone from that directory, including Brangingham.

From the Indy Media Blog:
"The fallout continues. Sports editor Gerry Spratt resigned today...
Posted by Not so Deep Throat | July 7, 2006 12:29 PM"

7/07/2006 2:43 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

The name of George Foulsham (purged Managing Editor) now is gone from the staff directory a day later. Seems like they are purging so many, so fast, the webdude could not keep up.

Also good to know, as usual, that the News-Press purgists read this blog regularly.

7/08/2006 2:16 PM  

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