The [Wednesday] Papers
By Steve Rhodes
1. I was disappointed to learn that McRibIsBack.com is already taken, though it's not being used.
2. "Just 11% Favor Seceding From The Union," a Rasmussen Reports survey says.
Just 11%? Isn't that the equivalent of, like, five states?
I bet we could name them, too.
4. "Recently, I enjoyed a refreshing and invigorating dinner with Walt Mossberg. While we casually discussed our most current endeavors and experiences, the discussion shifted to deep conversation about the future of journalism in the era of socialized media with one simple question, 'are newspapers worth saving?' Brian Solis writes at Tech Crunch.
"Walt thought for no more than two seconds and assertively replied, 'It's the wrong question to ask. The real question we should ask is if whether or not we can save good journalism.' He continued, 'Think about it. Of the hundreds, thousands, of newspapers around the country, there are really only a few that matter. Good journalism and journalists, on the other hand, are worth saving."
That's for sure. Something like 75 percent of the newspapers in the country have circulations under 75,000, and while size isn't always the determinant of quality, it follows pretty closely. Most papers in America suck. There aren't very many places to live where you can get decent local news. So when we talk about newspapers, we're not just talking about the New York Times etc.
Also from Solis:
* "Online advertising is the healthiest segment of advertising."
* "The hunger for relevant, inspirational and compelling content is insatiable and potentially recession proof."
Not so sure about the statusphere he talks about, though.
5. David Simon, the former newspaper reporter who created The Wire, is arguably one of the nation's most important commentators. While I don't agree with everything he has to say about newspapers, his views are among the sharpest out there. I've got a few excerpts - with my own commentary - from his recent interview with Bill Moyers in TVNotes: From The Wire to The Hills. With stops at Adam's Ribs from M*A*S*H and Chicago nightclub owner Jimmy D'Ambrosio's appearanceon Millionaire Matchmaker.
6. Speaking of Millionaire Matchmaker - and isn't Patti Stanger a hellacious piece of work - we got our hands on letters Rod Blagojevich has written to other reality shows he'd like to get on now that his Costa Rica adventure has been nixed by a judge.
7. "The executives of a politically connected garbage cart company were indicted Tuesday on federal fraud charges alleging they schemed to win a $2 million contract with Mayor Richard Daley's administration," the Tribune reports.
Is there any service in the city that hasn't been touched by scandal? Dog tags?
8. New York Times Co. President and CEO Janet Robinson in an earnings call:
"Twice, in the NYT's history, we experimented with charging for online content - first in 1996 and in 2006 with Times Select. We recently looked at the business models of more than 30 different online organizations to examine what was the most effective in generating online revenues. What we have learned is that the advertising model we have used at the NYTimes.com has generated more revenue than the vast majority of other organizations, including some that are much larger. Our goal is to add substantial new revenue from our users, without materially affecting our leading display advertising business."
9. The Sun-Times cover story on Sunday was about how middle-school girls now "thrive on competition - in classroom as well as sports."
This wasn't a historical reprint. I double-checked the date.
The piece quoted the UIC's Barbara Risman as calling this "phenomenon" the "second wave of feminism."
Um, aren't we on our fourth or fifth wave of feminism by now? I thought the second wave was the virginal conservative backlash, and the third wave was riot grrrls.
And if I'm one wave off - the second wave was the 60s and 70s according to Wikipedia - then the Sun-Times is a tsunami off.
Apprently we're not even in waves anymore since we're in a post-feminist era.
Meanwhile, the Sun-Times is in about its twelfth wave of lameness - which will eventually morph into a post-Sun-Times era.
11. The Political Odds have changed for Todd Stroger - and the rest of us.
12. Even if you don't play fantasy sports, you should read Dan O'Shea's Fantasy Fix column every Wednesday. It's a terrific look at the performances of athletes you know and you don't. This week, a Cub and a Sock make Dan's list of possible waiver wire pickups. Find out who and why.
13. Why not throw a tea bag into the envelope when you pay your parking ticket.
14. CPS says it will begin teaching financial literacy to its students. I think you know where I went with this.
15. Don't believe any stories you might see about the city council raising its voice against the mayor. It ain't happening.
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Posted on April 22, 2009
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