Friday, July 29, 2005


Today's Tribune has a couple of interesting items.

One of them being an optimistic look forward for the paper, a statement that talked about increased readership, a 15% jump in ad sales, but nothing about how that lead to cuts and layoffs. The article does not mention those let go, even in an issue that published Pete Schulberg's final (or one of his final) article(s).

The Trib moves to Clackamas County starting this weekend.

The other item is Phil Stanford writing how they - Channel 6 - are closing in on me. He takes time to narrow down what I do, but I think I've made it clear what industry I'm in.

I didn't kill Francke, Phil.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for my Mark Felt theory.

Friday, July 29, 2005 2:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Stanford got something wrong??????

Now you're gonna tell me it wasn't the Tooth Fairy who left those shiny new quarters under my pillow!

Friday, July 29, 2005 2:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet you're really Bert Wimbie.

Friday, July 29, 2005 3:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be fun to know the circumstances that led Stanford to leave the O?

Friday, July 29, 2005 3:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you mean there's anybody left who doesn't know them?

Friday, July 29, 2005 4:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they got any copy editors over there at the paper? you ever heard of a NON-Internet blogger?

Friday, July 29, 2005 5:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Watchingthetrainwreck said...

If you're a survivor of all the goofy bloodletting over there, and you're instructed to put a smiley face on things, you'd write a column like Steve Clark's, too.

Sad that they let all the wrong people go.

Friday, July 29, 2005 8:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil has a tendency to cultivate sources and then not use the item he cultivated. That's why most people go to Nich....

Friday, July 29, 2005 8:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So why did Phil "Francke" Stafford leave the big O?

Friday, July 29, 2005 10:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard it was because he wouldn't let Francke die.

Friday, July 29, 2005 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Gnossos said...

That Trib piece brought to mind the old "whistling through the graveyard" thing. I hope this isn't the beginning of the final act.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 12:20:00 AM  
Blogger lisaloving said...

Insider Guy, somebody's gotta come out and say it --- your contributions to the uncivilized frontier of Blogistan have overall been positive, reasonable and informative.

I love how your voice comes through in these posts as (almost) unfailingly patient, and often supportive of people in tight situations -- despite the fact that we rude asshats are often beating our anonymouse chests at you and everything else that moves.

When those management hacks break down your cubicle with their pitchforks and torches and drag you away, we are all gonna be sorry.

PS KBOO is hiring a PM news director. Applications must be in by August 4. As long as you don't drive an SUV, the 'BOO wouldn't care what you blog. XXOO

Saturday, July 30, 2005 7:32:00 AM  
Anonymous bill mcdonald said...

From the early days of the Trib, I realized there was only one real way to become successful, and that was with columnists. The news cycle has quickened so much that national newscasts should start with, “Good evening, as I’m sure you already know….” The Trib would have to establish some columns that people felt compelled to check in with, the way they check in with these blogs. As a writer with nearly 500 jokes sold to Jay Leno, I was hoping to cover Portland the way I cover national and international events. I was hoping to write lines like the ones I’ve written that show up on the Reuters website or in USA Today. I was hoping to take our local politicians to task, and God knows there was plenty of material.
The Trib’s big mistake was that management decided to play it safe. They went the community-fluff route. I had an editor tell me, “Who are you to make fun of the Water Bureau?” I repeatedly asked if I could respond to attacks from the WW or make fun of the big O, but the Trib was on some kind of genteel ego trip that translated into being dull. It was stupid to be able to make fun of the President on the Tonight Show but not to be allowed to make fun of the Water Bureau in Portland.
How’s this for insanity? We were competing with the Oregonian, right? Well, lines that I was not allowed to put in my own column, would sometimes be sold to Jay Leno, after which they would often be reprinted in the Oregonian, usually in their TV Click but sometimes even in their Commentary section. So here I was, writing for the Trib, and trying to compete with the Oregonian, and yet my stuff was in the other paper. Is that ridiculous or not?
Tribune management acted like the Trib was required reading. It wasn’t. Waiting for the next truckload of Pamplin money to arrive, lulled them into the notion that market forces were not at work. They were. They never understood that they were in a journalistic knife-fight with a New York media company. Instead, they acted like they were going to a tea party. They weren’t. Their response to crisis was a leadership retreat. I was encouraged and a little surprised that Steve Clark acknowledged recent events at all in print. At least he was firing back with something. The old response would have been to have a sip of tea, tell each other how wonderful and fluffy everything was, and then just wait for Pamplin to drive up with more money. Could this be the beginning of saving the Portland Tribune?

Saturday, July 30, 2005 7:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would agree with bill mcdonald that columnists are a way for the Tribune to create a niche for itself -- along with features and investigations that the Oregonian doesn't seem interested in doing.
But the columnists need to be interesting. Ms. Spitznass' whinings about high fashion and her single status, Dwight Jaynes' lamentations about soccer and the fact that other Portlanders aren't eager to sign on to a major league baseball pipe dream and Phil Stanford's fondness for the days when mobsters ran things as well as his Francke obsession just don't cut it.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger PDXMediaWatcher said...

When the Trib started, the fact that it looked different and read different was great. They pulled enough of the O's better people that I thought it had a "we'll show you" attitude, plus a few bucks to get started with no ads.

It lost it when, I was told, Dwight started to flex his muscles because the paper to paper management got away from him - he wasn't in charge. There were great pieces (the investigations), and the columnists were interesting and fun. Bill, you are always a hoot, and Pete was fresher than his days at the O - he had a nice jump start.

For the folks who are still there, maybe they'll fine their way, or maybe it'll become a shopper.
Whatever, it's lost its promise - and you don't get that back.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 9:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that despite all the spin about readership figures, Clark never said the paper was making money or that further cuts weren't coming.

Also, he used the word "rethinking" which is a euphemism for retrenchment 99.9 percent of the time, and often telegraphs an imminent shutdown.

I don't know if the Trib is going away entirely, but there is an unmistakable air of desperation (if not outright resignation) in this unusual public statement. Clearly things are not going well there.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 5:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed in the article they praised adding a bunch of "in town"-type sections, like "Trib Town," "Weekend Life," etc. IMO, it's obvious the business section is gone, it's obvious something is missing from the paper (people that don't read every issue probably think exactly that, but aren't quite sure what it is).
I agree it's too bad the only place we have to turn now for Portland media news of any sort is here or
Sounds like they're going to become a gettho version of Willamette Week, which, again IMO, has the 900-number-ad market covered nicely, we don't need another one.

Saturday, July 30, 2005 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it, the Trib is now just another paper in Pamplin's chain of little "community" newspapers. As such, it does not deserve our attention any longer.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 7:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thougth the Tribune's niche was bashing Portland. I've never read something that went so out of its way to tear down the city that gave it its name. Stanford is the worse offender. He litterly wrote columns for weeks slipped in some snide remark about empty storefronts in Downtown. The biggest problem with the columnist route they took was finding people so out of touch with Portland. If these guys don't like "P-town" then work at Brainstorm Magazine, not a local paper. Most of us like our city, I don't need to read some guy stuck in 1965 telling me how horrible things are now-a-days.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 8:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The goal at the Trib right now is simply to keep the brand-name alive in some form. That way, Pamplin won't have to endure the humiliation of completely shutting down.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they can morph it into the
"Portland Nickel Ads Tribune" or the "Portland AutoMart Tribune."

Sunday, July 31, 2005 10:26:00 AM  
Anonymous cleoclairann said...

lessee...Tuesday the Trib told me how unsafe our mass transit is and Friday they write that walking and bike riding are dangerous...oooh I'm so scared now, guess I'll go buy a big ol' SUV with a rhino rack so I can be "safe". Guess they forgot how many people got munched in their cars...say, maybe they CAN morph into the Trib Auto Trader.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 2:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Tribune is all about Portland"--odd phrasing for Steve Clark to use the week the newspaper moves its offices out of downtown Portland to Clackamas County, and a week after firing six staff members, four of whom, (including Pete Schulberg) spent their days writing about Portland business.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 9:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Golly, this is such great fun, ripping on the Tribune! It's doomed... DOOMED, I say! Take it from me! I know! No, really! I'm not kidding!

Doomed. Nyeah.

Sunday, July 31, 2005 11:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about you moronic clowns at koin learn reporting 101 first before you take pot-shots at the tribune. (which is kind of like stealing a purse from a 90 year old blind cripple)
one only need watch your newscast for a few minutes to find glaring errors, for example on sun 7/31/05 there was a story about a home invasion but the idiot reporter failed to include a description of the suspects despite the fact that the story included footage of the victim describing the attack (clue number one, this means that she could provide a description as she saw the perp)
if you morons are going to have this type of story to "inform the public", then how about completing the story and provide the public a description of these suspects on the loose. only an idiot would forget to include this in the story.
boy, they hire anybody these days......

are you really about informing or just sensational stories?

get your own act together before you slam other mediums

Monday, August 01, 2005 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

call me clueless, but I can't seem to find anywhere in this thread about KOIN taking potshots at The Trib.

Monday, August 01, 2005 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As of the Trib's latest layoffs, there is ONE remaining female staff reporter. Just as ol' dinasaurs Dwight & Phil want it, we guess, 'cause what's a lady doing in the news biz when she should be out there stripping?!

Monday, August 01, 2005 1:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>get your own act together before you slam other mediums

i take that suggestion to include the re-hire of mega-dolt kelly day?

Monday, August 01, 2005 1:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>i take that suggestion to include the re-hire of mega-dolt kelly day?

bonus points for two hyphenations in a single sentence

Monday, August 01, 2005 1:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My predition for the Trib is:
#1: Some remaining employees notified they're laid off then offered a lessor/similar job for a pay cut.
#2: Additional layoffs (probably in December becuase that is the month that CNI, The Trib and Pamplin Commo Corp clean house.
#3: Publishing Friday's only, then taking that one paper and wrapping it free into every CNI paper's paid circulation.
#4: Merging CNI production staff with Trib then layoffs in the consoladated production department.
#5: Purchasing their own press
#6: Sports dept gets another of their annual pay raises.
#7: Dwight asked to "Retire" and the Sports dept finally gets canned.
#8: CNI & Trib formally merge into one masthead. CNI staff finally gets a pay raise which still is only 1/2 of the Tribune's payroll.
#9: Pamplin passes away, daughter inherts it all & Sells it all back to Steve Clark for too little money.
#10: Steve changes name to Portland Times.

Monday, August 01, 2005 5:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Tribune staff is going to regret the move to Clackamas County. I happened to go by the place over the weekend and I must say that's a pretty remote neighborhood they're in. No bars, no restaurants, no stores, not even a coffee shop within a mile of the place. One thing it does have is lots of big trucks blocking traffic (there's some kind of huge freight operation next door). I'm at a loss as to how they're going to keep their fingers on the pulse of Portland from there.

Monday, August 01, 2005 8:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Face it, the Trib is now just another paper in Pamplin's chain of little "community" newspapers. As such, it does not deserve our attention any longer.

Just curious, can someone explain why "community" newspapers are not worthy of attention?

Monday, August 01, 2005 8:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just curious, can someone explain why "community" newspapers are not worthy of attention?"

Just curious: Are you the same person who was "just curious," on another thread, about why Jaynes is considered a bad manager?

There are "community newspapers" that do well by breaking stories, commanding respect from readers, sources and advertisers. Ask any reader, source or advertiser: The "community newspapers" run by Steve Clark are not among them.

Monday, August 01, 2005 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“As of the Trib's latest layoffs, there is ONE remaining female staff reporter. Just as ol' dinasaurs Dwight & Phil want it, we guess, 'cause what's a lady doing in the news biz when she should be out there stripping?!”

Allright, bonehead. A female friend of mine, who I like and respect very much, works her butt off there and does an excellent job. If you’d actually look at the bylines of the stories and the masthead in the paper before you start making sexist and demeaning comments about it you might find that there are a number of competent, hardworking female news employees there but, since you obviously didn’t, let me do it for you:

Connie Pickett - Managing Editor
Audrey Van Buskirk - Features Editor
Jennifer Anderson - News reporter
Anne Marie DiStefano - Features reporter
Elizabeth Gadbury - Freelance reporter
Dawn Taylor - Freelance reporter
Anna Johns - Freelance reporter
Suzie Ridgway - Freelance reporter
Cortney Harding - Freelance reporter
Heather Larimer - Freelance reporter
Denise Szott - Copy/Design Chief
Katie Essick - Copy Editor
Margaret Davis - Copy Editor
Anna Skinner - Copy Editor
Joan McGuire - Designer

I may have missed some but I think you get my point.

Here’s another one: The comments on this blog with regard to the Portland Tribune are rife with cheap shots, sour grapes and unsubstantiated assertions. Is this really the point and goal of a “Media Insider” blog? Are these the kinds of insightful and informed comments that “real journalists” make about each other?

There may very well be some incompetent people in the Tribune newsroom, but tell me that can’t look around your own newsroom and immediately find your own share of those.

How about we - as “media insiders” - keep the comments on an informed, substantiated and civilized level when we talk about each other’s newsrooms. Otherwise this blog will become a complete waste of time to read.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No doubt there are a lot of hardworking competent women still at the Trib, but the earlier post referred to the fact that after the last round of firings, there's just one woman staff reporter, Jennifer Anderson, remaining and I think she's on family leave. Also, didn't Connie Pickett get demoted from managing editor to some lower position?

The women at the Trib may be about to work even harder. And I still don't think you could make a case for sisterhood being a powerful focus down south at the Pamplin media palace, or whatever it's called.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 12:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not the curious who asked about Jaynes. I'm new to the business and want to learn from the best. Can anyone recommend to me the quality community newspapers I can learn from?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 8:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By far the best community newspaper in Portland is the Northwest Examiner. It's no contest. (Coincidentally or not, the NW Ex is not a Pamplin property.)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 1:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happens in CNI stays in CNI,
but just like in Las Vegas there is a lot of gambling by idiots and whoring of the products.
Community Newspapers should be called
Community Losepapers, because Steve Clark knows or cares about news!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 2:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Community Newspaper" = "Shopper"
they're not newspapers.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005 3:08:00 PM  
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