The Washington Post media columnist's new book Reality Show: Inside the Last Great Television News War has the Beltway buzzing after being partially leaked on the Drudge Report this weekend. "Kurtz's story was treated as big news -- but the substance, and some of the language as well, was no different from New York Press editor-in-chief David Blum's 2004 book, Tick... Tick... Tick..: The Long Life and Turbulent Times of 60 Minutes," according to Gawker. The big scoop from Kurtz was that Dan Rather threatened to take his Bush/National Guard documents -- which ultimately cost him his anchor chair at CBS -- to the New York Times, which was included in the 2005 paperback edition of Blum's book. Kurtz says he never saw that edition of the book. "Good for him for getting there first," he tells Gawker. "I'm a fanatic about giving credit, which is why my book is filled with footnotes, but you can't do that if you've never seen the information." That's all fine and good, but it leaves the New York Observer to wonder: Will Kurtz "continue to tout the anecdote as a 'scoop' in his upcoming appearances supporting the book?"
As we reported last month, a Phoenix suburb is in the process of deciding whether to remove the Phoenix New Times from its public library. The Chandler Library Board met on Sept. 20 to hear complaints from a lone resident against the paper, and will make its decision Nov. 15. The Phoenix-based ACLU chapter has sent a letter to the board urging it not to remove the paper and the other materials under consideration from the library, according to the Arizona Republic. "It's premature to say, 'We'll sue you,' but we wanted to add our strong feelings on the issue," says legal director Daniel Pochoda. "The neighborhood public library is the one institution -- the historical bastion of free speech -- that should always stand firm against pressure to censor newspapers or books."
Josh Schonwald took home a first-place award in the Florida Press Club Excellence In Journalism Contest's "light feature writing" category. Winners will be honored at an Oct. 20 reception.
Larry Edwards has voiced his objections to the alt-weekly being available at a suburban Phoenix library branch shared by a high school, and now the Chandler Library Board will hear the details today, the Arizona Republic reports. Library manager Brenda Brown said Edwards "questioned the appropriateness of the alternative newspaper's advertisements and articles for teenagers." Brown tells New Times' Stephen Lemons that this is the first complaint against the paper she's heard in the three years she's worked at the library. "New Times is nearly ubiquitous in this part of the world," Lemons writes. "And if the Chandler book-barn bows to what one local gum-smacker has to say, it's gonna make Chandler look like a town full of first-class hayseeds." Also on the Library Board's indecency agenda: a children's book about a racing sperm, a fairy tale DVD narrated by Robin Williams, and George Carlin's audiobook When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? A decision from the Board isn't expected until November.
Janet Reynolds, a 20-year veteran of publishing group New Mass. Media, will leave the papers on Sept. 28 as part of a company-wide restructuring. "Publishing a newspaper has always been a challenging business particularly in the last few years," says Reynolds, who began as a listings editor at the Hartford Advocate in 1986 and has since served as a reporter, managing editor, editor and publisher within the New England-based chain, which was acquired by the Tribune Company's Hartford Courant in 1999. "I feel that I met many of those challenges and am able to leave them in good shape and in good capable hands that will take them to the next level." Josh Mamis, currently group publisher of New Mass. Media's two other alt-weeklies, the New Haven Advocate and Fairfield County Weekly, was named group publisher for all four papers, their websites and other products. Sean Hitchcock and Do-Han Allen will assume associate publisher roles at Fairfield County Weekly and the Valley Advocate, respectively.
When the New York Press was sold to Manhattan Media in early August, the new CEO announced the paper would stop running "explicit" ads. The National Organization for Women and some op-ed writers took that opportunity to put more pressure on the Voice and New York magazine to also stop running the ads. The Voice "fired back by defiantly running eight naked ladies on the cover" a few weeks ago, the New York Observer reports. Editor Tony Ortega tells the Observer that the cheeky cover was his idea. "The subject of our adult ads has been brought up lately in the local press," Ortega says. "I thought the best response from the newsroom was to poke some fun at ourselves." Manhattan Media CEO Tom Allon tells the Observer that, while he thinks "the punchline was only clear to a small sliver of their readership," he's glad to have stirred up the attention. "Clearly it was a nod to us and to our decision," he says. "I was flattered that they thought that a decision we made warranted a Voice cover."
"We'll be excited if people just read it," Mark Oppenheimer says about the debut issue of The New Haven Review of Books. The publication's 300 copies are available only at a local bookstore, given away free with a purchase, but all of the contents are also available free online, Business New Haven reports. Oppenheimer leans on Connecticut alt-weekly colleagues in the inaugural issue: it features work by former Advocate scribe Paul Bass and Fairfield County Weekly editor Tom Gogola. "We have no funding, which is by design," Oppenheimer says, noting that he's currently looking for a sponsor to cover the printing costs of a next issue. "I wanted to do something that was very independent, very do-it-yourself."
Manhattan Media has named Blum editor-in-chief of New York Press as well as editorial director of the company's community newspaper group, the New York Times reports. When he starts the job Sept. 5, Blum's first task "will be to compete more vigorously with The Voice," where he served as editor for six months ending this March. "I want to make The Press as fresh and unpredictable as possible," he says. "I tried to do that at The Village Voice, but I didn't have enough time at The Voice to achieve the goals that I had at the paper. But here I will." In his interview with the Times, Blum also takes the opportunity to take a shot at his new competition and former employer for its out-of-town ownership. "I am excited to be working with a publisher and an owner who lives in New York, who knows the city extremely well," he says. "I think that will be a big plus for The Press -- and for me."
New owners Manhattan Media told the New York Observer last week that the Press would no longer accept "explicit" advertising, and the decision is being praised by the local chapter of the National Organization for Women, the New York Times reports. "[Manhattan Media CEO] Tom Allon is a trailblazer," Sonia Ossorio, president of NOW in New York City, says in a press release. "He sees the future of the newsprint business, and that future isn't reliant on the fast, cheap money of the prostitution industry." Believing that adult ads foster human trafficking, NOW's New York City chapter is asking publications to stop running the ads and sign an antitrafficking pledge called "Trafficking Free, NYC!" (Manhattan Media has signed on). The Times says the Village Voice hadn't yet returned calls for comment on the pledge.
In an interview with the New York Observer, Manhattan Media president and CEO Tom Allon says his new paper will no longer accept any "explicit" advertising. "We're probably kissing away about a million dollars a year in revenue," Allon says. "We're not making a moral or puritanical decision. We just believe in the long term, it's not best for the publication." Allon also announced that the Press's weekly circulation will be cut by approximately 50 percent, to 50,000, and that a Brooklyn edition of the paper will be introduced after Labor Day. He also tells the Observer that The Press will now be classified as an "independent" paper. "I've told all the people in the office that 'alternative' is a four letter word," he says, dubbing it "very '70's."