Dagnabits Blog (on hiatus)

Caroline Figured Out Tabloids A Long Time Ago

City Room, 1977, CK, TF

Being a Copyboy,
In Caroline's Words

In a 1995 story about "The Right to Privacy," a book she'd just written with Ellen Alderman, Caroline Kennedy reminisced with Daily News writer Jane Furse about her days as a copyboy:

Her pursuit of an ordinary life began even while she was in college, when one summer she worked as what she called "the usual copy boy" for the Daily News. She spent her days running copy from desk to desk, getting coffee for the editors and soaking up the atmosphere.

"It was a great summer. . . . There was a big blackout. I think the Son of Sam thing was going on. Just to see how a newspaper operates made it an interesting summer.

"Do they still have that bench? I'd wait there until somebody would snap their fingers," she said, referring to the cherished copyboy bench, still at The News. 

It was a front-page story in the New York Times yesterday: "As Privacy Ends for Kennedy, a Rough Path Awaits." Adam Nagourney and Nicholas Confessore say that Caroline has had it pretty easy up to now — particularly with the media — but the gloves are sure to come off. They write:

"After years of being largely given a pass by New York’s notoriously rambunctious tabloid press, which have yielded to her desire for privacy, Ms. Kennedy is almost certainly about to get a working over by reporters who may not be as enchanted with, or intimidated by, the Kennedy presence as reporters of an earlier generation were."

Legal Everywhere (Except the State of Rapture)

It's time for a little of that threatened flummadiddle. 

I sent out my weekly poker notice earlier today. The game this week will be at the home of one of our participating attorneys, who made the mistake last week of replying to a simple email of mine with a two-paragraph, cover-your-ass piece of lawyerly nonsense pasted at the bottom. I revised it to my own ends and added a new top. The names and addresses have been changed to avoid a lawsuit or, worse, a long lecture.

I have received the following communique from Lupine the Succinct, Esq.


The Tribune Follies, cont.

It occurred to me that I'd written a commentary in Adweek when the Tribune Co. replaced Robert Hunt, who'd come from Chicago, with James Hoge, who was born in New York, as publisher of the Daily News in 1984.

I dug it up.

It ledes with a quote from Hunt: "I'm not just another turkey from Chicago," he once said in a "meet your publisher" meeting. It ends by pointing out the lede of the release announcing Hoge's appointment: "James Hoge is a native New Yorker."  

The theme is familiar. Looks like I've been consistent, if nothing else. 

Itinerants Vs. Journeymen

New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Suskin's analysis Tuesday of the Tribune  Co. debacle has been in the back of my mind all week — particularly a paragraph where he mentions all  the booty that the former chairman of the company took home.

The question I couldn't shake was: What skin did this man, Dennis J. FitzSimons, have in the game? I went back to the column to review the details. Here's what Sorkin wrote:

It was Tribune’s board that sold the company to Mr. Zell — and allowed him to use the employee’s pension plan to do so. …

Of Journeymen

I've been running some veggies through a juicer and commenting to myself on the early morning's blog. (Likely being my only reader, I owe it to myself.)

"So, if you're so smart, how come you're not running some huge, profitable, forward-thinking blogging organization yourself instead of making yourself a green lemonade and thinking about what to stock up on at Costco?" I scribbled on my left hemisphere.

Good question. Being way ahead of your time in seeing something developing is often worse than being far behind, actually, at least in terms of cashing in your chips. …

Of Mills And Newspapers

I just published this comment to a piece by Clay Shirky on Boing Boing titled "The Newspaper Industry and the Arrival of the Glaciers."

In 1982, I took a year’s leave of absence from my job as a reporter for the New York Daily News. Part of that time I worked as a per diem news writer for a market test for an online venture that eventually became Prodigy. No matter that Prodigy eventually proved a costly bust (basically because it was not sufficiently interactive, I believe), I had seen the future.

Barney in a Sea of Rubble

Twisted

Fan

Barney in His Element

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.

Phone and Shovel

This was originally published on the Hastings Trails Group site and social network. 

So, I gave an event on Saturday and nobody came. And that's fine. I gave short notice. It was a glorious late autumn day in the height of the holiday shopping season. And, as a rule, people have other errands to run and important things to do with their families during the all-too-short weekend.

My event was to be a one-hour pickup of rubble thrown over the bus turnaround on Warburton Avenue. It was strewn about the western slope of the Hubbard Rowley's Bridge Trail Extension.

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