In what seems to be an attempt to demonstrate why they're reporters and not business experts, a group of over one hundred Newsday employees have sent a letter calling on "Tribune Co., Newsday's parent company, to invest in the newspaper's "creative, original journalism," while halting the widespread staff cuts and space trims that have hurt the paper, its readers and its advertiser." While we love the idea of Tribune execs somehow pitching forward at their desks, smacking themselves on the head and shouting, "Good God, they're right! Why didn't we think of that?", we're pretty sure the main service of this letter will be to provide a quick-and-handy checklist for HR during the next inevitable round of layoffs. Full release after the jump; keep an eye out for the bit about the "shameful, illegal and costly inflation of our circulation figures."
Now that they've finally broken ground — or "lifted rail," or whatever they've done — on the High Line, it seems we might never again see one of those delightfully repetitive "High Line Approved! For Now!" headlines. How to fill the void? With the perhaps-apocryphal Second Avenue Subway, of course. Let the "Second Avenue Subway Approved! For Now!" headlines begin. It's all you, Newsday.
• Can't wait for the Pulitzers announcement to find out the finalists? (See, officially they don't announce the finalists till they announce the winners.) Good thing E&P has its annual samizdat list. [E&P]
• Recently unemployed Absolute editor Andrew Essex is even more recently un-unemployed, sliding into a consulting gig at Rodale for Men's Health and Best Life. Prominent chins, we understand, are the new rich. [WWD]
• Are the good guys winning in the Knight Ridder auction? Wow. [NYT]
• Things at Newsday aren't even worse than you thought, if you bother to pay attention to such things. [NYP]
• Bill Powers wants anchor elections: America's Next Top Anchor? [National Journal]
If we say our prayers and wish upon every star in the sky, Rosie O Donnell will once again delight audiences with her subtle, nuanced acting. The recently-militant lesbian is said to be in the process of developing a sitcom with her friend, writer Alice Hoffman, in which she will play an Erma Bombeck-like Newsday columnist. While there's no official deal confirmation, Fox News' Roger Friedman reports that the show is in development and O'Donnell's character "will be gay and will have lost her lover to breast cancer." Oh, and she'll talk to her dead lover while writing her column. In the spin-off, the dead lover will help Rosie write her blog.
• "I used to be Dan Rather," says the CBSer. "I used to cover hurricanes." He then burst into tears and burned an effigy of Anderson Cooper. [LAT]
• The rumors were all true: Newsday continues to whither away, as 45 newsroom jobs are cut and the city edition is decimated. [Newsday]
• Bryan Curtis hits F1 on his Slate keyboard to produce today's expectedly unexpected lead — verbatim, "TK has been dusted with so much glory lately that it's high time [his/her/its] reputation got a good sullying" — and decides to insert "Ray Bradbury." [Slate]
• Paper mag launches new website, featuring — you'll never guess! — blogs. [Papermag.com]
• Coming soon: MadKids. For those who find old-school Mad magazine too old-skewing and highbrow. [Baltimore Sun]
• Martha Stewart ankles bracelet, finally. [Newsday]
• Newsday to cut jobs, benefit, and maybe the NYC edition. Again. [NYDN]
• Howell Raines lives! Though it's still not like he's getting published on this coast. [LAT]
• As if a reality show about life at the Daily News didn't sound exciting enough, know this: Word is long-fingered vulgarian Hud Morgan's the breakout star. This is particularly great news, because Hud's ego really needs a boost. [WWD]
• FX becomes the first TV network to show Iraqi insurgents beheading a journalist — on fictional show, Over There. [E&P]
• Now Google sells print ads, too. Somehow, this must be bad for newspapers and magazines. [NYT]
Great news, everyone: Newsday's do-it-yourself entertainment section, Impulse!, has a sparkly new batch of writers ready to bridge and tunnel their way in from Great Neck and cover NYC's newest hotspots. On the matter of Spring Street's Green Room venue, John Cucci (above left and, interestingly, of Manhattan) can't quite decide whether the venue is a lounge or a club — an important distinction necessary for anyone to actually enjoy themselves. Dave Aakus (above center, also of Manhattan — are these guys writing for Newsday for Ma's sake?) is a fan of Brooklyn's Savalas bar, which is "vibrantly laden for the energized ones." You know what he means, right? And, on matters of the mighty inconspicuous East Side Company bar, Caroline Fallon (above right) grades the joint a solid B, perhaps because it's "a little out of the way" from her home in Breezy Point. We completely agree.
Pulitzer Prize-winning commentator Jimmy Breslin wrote a column last week for Newsday in which he wrote that dogs are "meaningless," "useless," and "indescribably bothersome." He writes, "Out on the streets of the city there is the revolting sight of people walking along with their dogs and then bending and picking up after them. They humiliate themselves in public, and I cannot understand why a person, having done this, can walk with his head up and even look you in the eye if he catches you staring...On the same sidewalk, a woman dressed for the business day was bent down and picking up after a dog so small that he deserved to be crushed and the woman, after making such a sight of herself, should have been shunned."
Jimmy Breslin [MUG]
Newsday reports that smoking ban violations won't be written up until May 1, which means thirty more days of precious freedom (technically). Meanwhile, the kids in Albany are working on statewide smoking restrictions that are tougher than the NYC bans. They'll cover owner-operated bars and even separate ventilated rooms within social establishments.
One month of warnings on smoking ban [Newsday]
Newsday reports that hit-and-run publicist Lizzie Grubman will be returning to the Hamptons this year. "...I want to make it loud and clear that the Hamptons have been my second home since I was a child, and I want to show Long Island and the Hamptons how much I love them by doing positive things." Like not running over people in hysterical fits of rage.
[Newsday via Lockhart Steele]