Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mess at the News-Press Update: New Editors

This just in from a News-Press BusinessWire press release which has hired gun Sam Singer as a contact person:

Charles Bucher was named assistant managing editor, Scott Steeplton was named the new City Editor, Tony Peck was appointed Interim Sports Editor, and Brian Banmiller was appointed contributing business editor of the Santa Barbara News Press.
Her man at De la Guerra -- Travis Armstrong had not much to say other than this:

"I am pleased to promote these excellent journalists," said Armstrong. "They bring to their positions an intense focus on the reader, a creative approach to the presentation of news and a dedication to local reporting."

What they didn't mention:

  1. Sports coverage lacked horribly today due to "production difficulties" but at least one is able to read the wire story about Zidane getting MVP for the World Cup despite a hooligan-like head butt to his opponent. What was he thinking?
  2. The paper continues to be pretty 8-page front section isn't worth the price of admission.
  3. No editorial today again -- has it been since July 5th? There is still no mention of the news that has legs....denial seems to be the modus operandi right now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new editors will bring "a creative approach to the presentation of news..." ?????? Hmmmm.........

7/11/2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all white males----way to go Travis! no women in the newsroom to promote?

7/11/2006 10:17 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I'm wondering too whether Singer set up the new guy from the Channel 2 in SF with the editor job at the NP.

7/11/2006 11:12 AM  
Anonymous Sola D'Cota said...

Banmiller's quote from the press release:
I am very excited about the opportunity to communicate with the people of Santa Barbara about economic and business issues that directly affect them locally. My first love has always been writing, and I do not agree with those who think newspapers are a dying business. Rather, they are going through an exciting transformation in the ever expanding media world. I hope to bring my multi-media experience to this effort at The News Press," Banmiller said.

Sound bite central no? This makes it look like those that are against the NP aren't moving into the future. It's all about context isn't it?

7/11/2006 11:15 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Banmiller is a roving gun for hire; check out his web site.

He is going to be the real hammer so TravisA can learn on-the-job how to be an editor.

7/11/2006 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..

I have noticed when I dumped them from the racks they wiegh less.

7/11/2006 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

banmiller will be in charge of the necessary air kissing and other public appearances, since he has the combination of photogenic looks, people skills and media knowledge that any one of mccaw, armstrong and von weisenberger lack.

her approach is now clear: no apology. no explanation. no statement of direction. she just get the paper out each day, and trust that the public's short term attention span will take over and put this behind her. parachuting in high priced talent like banmiller, singer and maybe legal muscle will get her over the hump in the meantime.

7/11/2006 1:13 PM  
Anonymous From the Brits said...

INteresting British perspective on the N-P mess by columnist in today's UK Guardian paper....

7/11/2006 1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brian Banmiller is a very good newsman. What a pickup for the N-P. I grew up watching him in S.F. and he really does know his stuff. My only question is why did they name him biz editor and not managing or metro news?
Also, i don't think Singer got him the job. Banmiller is no robot. I agree with First District Streetfighter, Banmiller may get a shot at showing TA how to edit and run a good newspaper. I hate to say it but things are looking better for Wendy.

-The Kid

7/11/2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Kid said...

I can say I know a lot more about sports than Tony Peck. For those of you who want to know who he really is, he was one of the copy editors in op-ed under TA. Can anyone say BS. I guess they want to keep it in the family. But hey, I still say they scored with Banmiller, and I agree to a point with anon 1:13 p.m. He can be the new face of the N-P. But I stick to my guns, he knows what he's doing.

7/11/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... said that holly palance of sb mag fame had been approached to take over for roberts, but had turned it down.

maybe banmiller was second choice, but roberts and crew walked before banmiller could replace roberts outright. The kid is right, things are looking better for wendy. but starting from nearly a zero base of experienced senior editors, any addition is an improvement. when is banmiller actually moving to town?

the loss of local institutional and community memory, however, remains horrific.

maybe they named banmiller "biz editor" for the same reason they named armstrong "acting publisher" and nipper "co-publisher" -- lack of newspaper management savvy.

7/11/2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the indy should thank wnedy for putting its new blog on the map.

7/11/2006 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

kid, if star x is pulled over and charged with a serious rollover dui, and it's a legit story but mccaw wants it killed because the star is her friend or an important ad buyer, what will banmiller do:

a--kill the story as the owner demands and keep his job, or

b--stand on principle and ethics in favor of the public interest and walk?

what are his instructions going in? will he let readers know in advance which way he will bend?

7/11/2006 4:03 PM  
Blogger Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

As I read the news report Banmiller isn't moving to town to edit the paper or even the business page. He's just lending his name and maybe a weekly column. I don't think this merits an improvement on what has been. But we'll see. The real issue is Travis Armstrong at the helm.

Bob Cornwall

7/11/2006 5:04 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

"The Kid" above posted a comment that the new News-Press sports editor, Tony Peck, was the copy editor for the Opinion Pages, working directly for TravisA.

Is this letter from yesterday (July 10) a sample of his work, or a symptom of the lack of copy-editing and no knowledge of arithmetic?
Letters: Welfare spending boggles the mind. Larry Bargenquast, Santa Maria

July 10, 2006 9:06 AM

After reading about welfare spending in Santa Barbara County, I confess I am mystified. The total bill for social services -- welfare, food stamps, medical benefits and all the other public assistance programs -- comes to a staggering $324 million per year, in an area with only more than 400,000 residents. This expenditure amounts to over $750,000 for every man, woman and child in the county. How could that even be possible?

ANSWER: It's not possible because the math calculation is wrong.
324 million divided by 400 thousand is 810, not 750 thousand.
324000000/400000 = 810

Is this what readers can expect under the Travis Regime? Either the editors or lack of editors do not know basic arithmentic, or they publish blatent errors in letters. That does not even hint of truth or truthiness.

7/11/2006 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, streetfighter, in his defense, it does say more than 750,000! HAHAHA! Maybe peck edited out the "a lot" more than 750,000! LOL

7/11/2006 7:00 PM  
Anonymous Church/State Separatist said...

check out this gullible non-reporting by the Business news reporter intern at Ventura county Star.
Santa Barbara News-Press names 4 new editors

By Jenni Mintz,
July 11, 2006

In an effort to restore normalcy to its newsroom after six editors and a columnist resigned last week, the Santa Barbara News-Press has appointed four new editors, the newspaper announced Tuesday.

Staff members who quit cited ongoing disputes over ethics and administration, and left the company's management scrambling to fill four vacancies within a few days, with plans to fill two more positions in the next few weeks.

Three of the four spots were filled in-house, leaving other vacancies within the paper.

Former Nation and World Editor Charles Bucher was appointed assistant managing editor; Scott Steepleton, former senior writer, was named city editor; Tony Peck, formerly an associate editorial page editor, was named interim sports editor.

Brian Banmiller was appointed contributing business editor, and started this week at the News-Press. Until last year, Banmiller was business editor at KTVU Channel 2 News in the San Francisco Bay Area for 16 years.

News-Press spokesman Sam Singer said that despite concern among employees, the newsroom is operating smoothly now, and staffers are "highly respectful of their peers."

Last week, editors walked out and staff members close to tears purportedly directed profane statements to Acting Publisher Travis Armstrong.

"This is a step to taking the newsroom back to business as usual," Singer said. "The paper is on the road to returning to a calm atmosphere."

Though many predicted subscribers and advertisers would withdraw their support, Singer says the News-Press has sustained minimal impact.

"The changes have not had any significant impact on the subscriptions, the readers or the advertising at the News-Press," he said.

He said through the highly publicized upheaval, the News-Press has lost about 100 subscriptions out of its 41,000 circulation, he said.

Singer added the News-Press has not lost any advertising accounts.

Founded in 1855, the News-Press is locally owned by billionaire Wendy McCaw, who purchased it in 2000 through Ampersand Publishing LLC from the New York Times Co.

7/11/2006 9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:17 a.m., your comment about only white men being promoted, of the seven that quit, all white men, with a sole exception.

7/11/2006 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the Vta Star reporter had to do was take a look at today's News-Press to see that they have lost advertisers.....

7/11/2006 10:51 PM  
Anonymous SteelJ said...

Brian Banmiller, in addition to being a hack, can now be called a scab for taking the job at the News Press. The three other editors were promoted from the ranks at the News Press. Banmiller is the only outsider hired. While Roberts and others walked out on principle, Banmiller is riding in on an opportunity.

I used to live in the Bay Area and watched Banmiller. He covered soft news, which is like soft porn -- not very satisfying. The station he worked for, KTVU, actually has an extremely good 10 o'clock news broadcast that as won numerous awards.

7/13/2006 1:25 PM  

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