Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Starshine and Seabuagh Join Indie

The Independent Media Blog announced today that Starshine Roshell and Dr. Michael Seabuagh will be joining their ranks. Will this mean they will be putting a greater emphasis on local news even if it is from a health and lifestyle perspective? Sounds good to me.


Blogger passing-by said...

Yes, I think Wendy and Travis' policies will result in a lot more local news coverage. It just won't be in the NewsPress.

10/05/2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger spiritsofsb said...

Starshine's and Al's departure will alienate another segment of the local community who maybe were'nt as tuned in to the "NPMESS" up until now. Soccer mom's, travel afficionados, you know--"Life section" readers. Look for many more cancellations and general discontent with the DLGpress...

10/05/2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Well said, passing-by 9:32am. Actually their policies have already resulted in plenty of excellent local news coverage not in the N-P--check out Edhat's News Briefs, Craig Smith's scoops, & even the Daily Sound. And of course Blogabarbara, although that's usually more commentary than news...kind of like having a good alternative Op-Ed page.

10/05/2006 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Seabaughs articles have always been first rate. He is an important part of the our community. Our thanks go to the Independant, again.

10/05/2006 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neville … Still waiting for ONE, JUST ONE, example of the “agenda” or “bias” or "slant" Wendy has been trumpeting for several months as her reason for blowing up the paper and lots of lives. Just one.

10/05/2006 12:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Independent is free, right? You get what you pay for.

10/05/2006 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is spelled IndY.

So what is known about the ABC audit of the newspress subscriptions and circualation figures becoming available?

10/05/2006 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

The local freebie can have the News-Press' trash.

The News-Press will not back down from its journalistic standards despite sniping from self-interested competitors like the freebie, the Ventura County Star and the Los Angeles Times trying to enrich themselves at Ampersand's expense.

Those standards include purging bias from the news columns. Examples abound, anon 12:50, but internal matters should remain internal. One example that's in the public domain: the biased Camilla Cohee piece about Donna Jordan.

10/05/2006 5:20 PM  
Anonymous B. W. Keep said...

Hey Nev, competition is the heart of capitalism. The News-Press publishes local high school sports, for example, to lure local readers away from the LA Times.

Perhaps, Nev, you would call the coverage of local sports a self-interested maneuver by the News-Press to enrich itself at the expense of the LA Times. I'd just call it good healthy competition.

If the Indy, Sound, Nexus, Star, or Times publish a paper that Santa Barbarans like better than the News-Press, hey, that is capitalism. Many South Coast customers were put off by the scene of an acclaimed editor like Jerry Roberts getting escorted out the door by the op-ed page editor, and then by the 30 or so staff who have quit.

Could you post the Camilla Cohee piece about Jordan so we could all decide whether it was biased?

10/05/2006 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What journalistic standards are you referring to? Any semblance of objectivity and even common sense disappeared from the Newspress editorial pages months ago. The paper has been stripped and reduced to the equivalent of a socialite's newsletter by a SB newbie and her elitist pals. If only you and her crew would stay on her yacht and sell our paper to someone responsible and honorable.
Wendy has never understood Santa Barbara, never "gotten it". It is not how much money you have or your social connections here in our little town, it is the quality of your character. She and her friends (for example Dr. Laura and Travis) seem quite poor in that respect.

10/05/2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I knew this would happen -- I guess Nelville asked for it....but there were a couple posts I feel uncomfortable about...great content but they didn't leave me feeling like it would be okay to post your comments. I apologize but feel I have to look at the big picture. I hope you understand.

10/05/2006 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, Sara, Nelville calls Starshine "trash" and accuses Camilla Cohee of bias and you're worried about other posts?

You bet your backside Nelville asked for it -- and more. He's presided over the destruction of the News-Press and actively works to destroy the careers of real journalists and others who don't buy into his and Wendy's twisted world.

You don't work at the N-P so you have no idea, though you should by now, just what a lying, evil piece of work the man is. You have no idea just how poisonous it is, thanks to him, to work there now. But you post his vile screeds and then get the vapors when others respond.

Maybe the other post went too far; I don't know. But if you're going to let him trash good people here, then you ought to be prepared to let others have their say. Yeah, you have -- mostly -- but something about this really ticks me off.

10/06/2006 4:41 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I very much agree with you AND perhaps you could email me, mention part of the post in question (so I know it's you) and I can explain....there are some things I am clear shouldn't be posted beyond bad

10/06/2006 7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can always e-mail Armstrong directly:

Not a bad idea to cc either. (and;

Write them everyday. You don't have to say much. Just remind them that you're not being fooled.

10/06/2006 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Vlad on the Inside said...

As I still get free subscriptions on the company computer, the text below is the by-line opinion today by our favorite local hypocrite. Even I know the difference between other news organizations not tattling about former employees, versus what the News-Press bosses and hirelings are doing to libel the former editors and writers who would rather resign then prop up the teetering house of cards that the newspaper has become.

And even when I worked for the San Diego college paper in late 2004, I received that rambling "stack of documents" from Allen what's-his-name, the weirdo disgruntled former volunteer at Channel 17 who could not get along with the other quirky staff there.

No credible news reporter bit on that freaky conspiracy then, and it is not news now. But good to know Travis has such a good filing system to find those documents. If the videos of the various News-Press mess rallies and forums make him mad when they are each shown a few times on Channel 17, imagine how infuriated he will get when those videos will live forever on private web sites.

Obviously, this opinion piece today is a classic paranoid response to criticisms, with the cliche of one finger pointing out and three others pointing back to the blamer. Instead of a rational discussion with real people and current and former readers, more shots from the bunker are all we get. (Even though I did not vote in the Teamsters unionization last week, I still consider myself part of the public "we" of readers.)

I suppose people will now have to look up synonyms for the word "hypocrisy" for this latest Travis hissy fit.

Does he really wonder why no one will return his phone calls or give an interview on the spot, when his only communications are shots from the bunker? Does Travis think Paliminteri of KEYT wants to call him when the News-Press hack lawyer Millstein sent a multi-page bitchy letter to the KEYT owners complaining about Palminteri doing his job to report the actual news about the News-Press mess? Does he understand that Michele Cole of KEYT might not have anything to say about the departure of Kate Wentzel because the whole insider story already was told two days earlier at Craig Smith's Blog? And, does Travis Armstrong not just get it by criticizing Los Angeles Times, where the writer James Rainey has written 8 lengthy articles about the Times own internal managerial strife, and the Times actually published all of them, compared with the News-Press killing its own articles that give a dry but accurate report of the mass staff resignations and firings?

So few people are reading the News-Press lately, that the biggest boost is when the text is copied and pasted elsewhere. Seems like I better go back to grad school if I want any career security.

Here is the opinion piece today:

Opinion: Their policies say they can't speak
Travis Armstrong
October 6, 2006 7:56 AM

When the shoe's on the other foot, the managers and employees of many of the region's media outlets are reluctant to speak about internal operations.

Perhaps that's understandable in light of restrictions on what companies can say about certain personnel matters. Also, it's standard for employee handbooks to put limits on speaking publicly.

Yet when reporting on our transitional period at the News-Press, the newspaper's competitors acted as if the News-Press was unique in this regard. Their readers, viewers and listeners deserve better than some of the slanted coverage seen this past summer -- coverage that in some cases appeared engineered to help these media competitors in the marketplace.

So this morning, I thought I'd review some of the ways these media outlets have responded when their own entities have made the news over the last several months.

At the risk of offending the editorial brain trust at the Ventura County Star, is it a stretch to suggest that the Ohio-owned newspaper tried to exploit the recent resignations of News-Press editors and reporters? One Montecito resident told me that, for a while, free copies of the Star began showing up on her lawn.

I told you two weeks ago about an apparent ethical conflict at the Star. Its top newsroom editor, Joe Howry, has the ultimate final say in the newspaper's opinion editorials.

How did the Star initially handle another ethics controversy that journalists across the country were talking about?

Here's a posting from one journalism institute's Web site from May 3 titled "Ventura County Star finally covers its ME's ethical lapse": " 'Our readers and our staff need to know there is no tolerance for unethical behavior,' says editor Joe Howry. However, he apparently doesn't believe they need to know what kind of punishment was handed out to managing editor Richard Luna (for telling mid-level editors to pressure a sports reporter into seeking media credentials for him to sporting events. It's a personnel matter, he says."

So much for the Star, early on, being upfront.

Then there's KEYT and its gag order on personnel actions. As reported in June about the apparent firing of Paul Vercammen, who was KEYT's news director and 5 p.m. anchor for three years: "Phone messages requesting comment from station management were not returned. One of Mr. Vercammen's former colleagues, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal from management, said KEYT is heading in a 'new direction.' ''

The journalists at Channel 3, from John Palminteri to Michelle Cole, wouldn't answer my questions about the sudden and unexplained departure in August of chief meteorologist Kate Wentzel. Mr. Palminteri seems afraid to return my calls regarding these matters.

Over at KTYD FM, DJ Matt McAllister wasn't behind the mic one morning in September, apparently because of a snit over Clear Channel's policy on the amount of music the corporate giant tells him to play. Program Director Keith Royer said at the time: "We're not talking about personnel issues. This whole thing is a personnel issue." I'm told this station -- I've never heard it -- as part of the typical morning DJ shtick revels in personnel issues of others.

At the Los Angeles Times, reporter James Rainey has taken a break from his coverage of the News-Press to write about the unrest at the Times and its parent company, Tribune. One story in September quoted an anonymous Tribune executive "who asked not to be named because he had not been given permission to speak about the dispute."

From the beginning, why wasn't Mr. Rainey as aggressive covering his own paper's operations as those of the News-Press, such as seeking newsroom colleagues to have stories with more comments from rank-and-file editors and reporters? This might change now that Tribune fired the Times publisher and the Times newsroom appears in turmoil and possible outright revolt.

Perhaps Mr. Rainey could try to entice them as he tried to get me to talk more with him. Mr. Rainey wrote in an e-mail to me in July: "Maybe you could even accept dinner and a beer on the Tribune Company."

And then there's "The Santa Barbara Channels," the entity that runs Channel 17 on cable. I have a stack of documents, delivered by a reader, that alleges a history of management problems and internal strife at the public access station. (More details later on.) A day after my inquiry, Hap Freund, its executive director, has responded that he'll respond later.

There must have been a run at the Home Improvement Center on duct tape to cover the mouths of all these media professionals.

Travis Armstrong is the editorial page editor of the News-Press and host of a Wednesday morning talk show on AM 1290.

10/06/2006 12:53 PM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

I really liked Dr. Seabaugh's...I never could see the interest in Starshine's blabbing on..and on.., though.

Each to his or her own tastes I suppose...

10/07/2006 8:44 AM  
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