ENDORSEMENTS: Inquirer Almost Gets It Right, Again

INKY EDITORIAL BOARD: In the Eighth District, Republican incumbent MIKE FITZPATRICK vows to remain a moderate in his caucus. He calls for a new Iraq strategy, understands conservation issues, and knows his district well, having served 10 years as a county official. The Democrat, Iraq veteran Patrick J. Murphy, needs more seasoning. We’re guessing this was some kind of innoculation against the inevitable cries of ‘liberal bias’ the Inquirer Editorial Board would open themselves up to out in the exurbs if they endorsed the entire Democrat side of the dance card. What a buncha pussies! Sometimes there just isn’t two […]

COVER WARS: Whose Artfag Kung-Fu Is Stronger?

HOLD THE PHONE! What’s this? Jeebus, nobody saw this coming, not even us — and we run this thing. In a surprise move, the People’s Paper trumps both PW and the CP this week with this inspired cover art for the DN’s story on online predator/quickchange artist Jeffrey Marsalis. Not only did the DN trump both weeklies’ artfag kung-fu — sorry ladies, neither of you ‘popped’ this week, hey, it happens — but they are the only major publication we are aware that actually found a real life monster to put on their cover for Halloween. Well done People Paper […]

WIDESPREAD PANIC: 150 Newsroom Jobs To Be Axed; Inky/DN Rumormill In Overdrive; ‘People Are Shitting Bricks In Here’

After a brief lull in the suspense when all parties involved agreed to a 30-day contract extension, the tension in the newsrooms of the Daily News and The Inquirer has racheted back up to fever-pitch. “People are shitting bricks in here,” says a newsroom source who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity.”And nobody is saying anything. There’s been no word from the newsroom leadership about any of this, just a lot of rumors, speculation and panic…Almost all of our stars are under 40 and [with the seniority rule] this would just wipe out most of our best reporters. As […]

MEDIAQUAKE: File Under ‘No Shit Sherlock’

In an age of proliferating broadband connections, video iPods and multifunction smart phones, new technologies have permanently redrawn the competitive landscape. Experts say newspapers will survive–even thrive–but the change has shaken the foundations of what historically has been one of America’s most lucrative business models. […] One problem is that as newspaper revenue and circulation deteriorate, yesterday’s assumptions can’t be counted on to be relevant in today’s world. Brian Tierney, the Philadelphia ad executive who recently bought the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, found that out the hard way. Since 2004, he wrote in a recent letter to […]

PAPERBOY: All The News That’s Fit To Pimp

Inky/DN Strike Averted For 30 Days: “The contracts, which were due to expire at midnight Wednesday, will now be extended through Nov. 30, according to Philadelphia Media Holdings, owner of Philadelphia Newspapers LLC. Owners and members of the newspapers’ Council of Unions agreed to the extension Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, terms were reached with the largest union, the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, to also go along with the 30-day extension.” [Philadelphia Business Journal] Feds Net 35 In Mission Impossible-Style Chiropractor/Slip N’ Fall Sting: “Officials said those charged were divided into three groups: the lawyer, Jordan B. Luber, who […]

STUDY: The Good Ship Print Journalism Continues Its Titanic Plunge; In Other News Phawker Traffic Up 7%, Curiously Enough

Circulation Plunges at Major Newspapers By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE of The New York Times Circulation at the nation’s largest newspapers plunged over the last six months, according to figures released today. The decline, one of the steepest on record, adds to the woes of a mature industry beset by layoffs and the possible sale of some of its flagships. Overall, average daily circulation for 770 newspapers was 2.8 percent lower in the six-month period ending Sept. 30 than in the comparable period last year, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported. Circulation for 619 Sunday papers fell by 3.4 percent.But some […]

READER WRITES: I Am JADED FUCKIN’ INDIE GUY, You Will Know Me By The Trail of Dead And The Sting Of My Envy

A few things bug me about this [Philly Mag] article: 1. Of course Joey‘s gonna be nice to a reporter. When there’s something in it for him, Sweeney‘s charm can be downright dazzling. Of course, the flipside to this, is we don’t know what the piece looked like after x amount of edits, and Philly Mag doesn’t want to alienate a possible new demographic (which I don’t think exists in this town in any real large numbers: the indie-yuppie…I still think it’s The Khakis buying all those gazillion dollar condos). Besides, maybe Sweeney’s not important or familiar enough to most […]

RADIO DAZE: WXPN To Hang The DJ? Also, Hear That Crunchin’? That’s The Sound Of Car Wheels On A Gravel Road At Appel Farms

All you Volvo-clad latte-sippers in yer North Face fleeces who hung in there through the homestretch of the 885 Artists Countdown may have heard an advert for an open on-air position at the station, which made us wonder — is someone leaving? Negatory, says ‘XPN program director Bruce Warren, which comes as no small relief to us because really, we can hardly get out of bed these days without Michaela Majoun hoggin’ all the covers. Sike! No, this is one of those rarest of creatures in these belt-tightening days: A brand spankin’ new position! So take note, all you would-be […]

Hot Document: Inky/DN Guild Negotiations Update

Monday, October 30, 2006 — We are pleased to announce that on Saturday, October 28th we┬áreached a tentative agreement on “non-economic” issues with our Paperhandlers union. We appreciate all the hard work on both sides of the table that allowed us to reach this agreement. Negotiations also took place over the weekend with the Newspaper Guild. While the Guild provided PN with a counter-proposal on Advertising issues, we remain far apart. PN has negotiations scheduled with our unions over the next two days, and we remain optimistic that we will reach agreements with all but the Guild close to the […]

Cover Wars: Whose Artfag Kung-Fu Is Stronger?

Alright, we’re finally catching up with the alt-weeklies’ breathless pace of publication and we’re actually doing this in almost ‘real time.’ Despite that bit of unpleasantness with the City Paper earlier this week, and our tenuous grasp on gainful employment with PW, we vow to remain objective. And this week, it’s a toss-up: Both papers have fairly killer covers, so hats off to all involved. PW rocks the Yankee Hotel vertigo shot for Steve Volk’s I-spent-a-night-there-last-week story on the creepy ol’ Parker. CP goes with a gorgeously retro cartoon recreation of that classic image of car show babia majora showing […]

Inquirer and Daily News Staffers Vote To Authorize Strike: ‘It would be mutual suicide.’

At approximately 6:45 p.m. Thursday, the rank and file of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia voted almost unanimously to authorize an Inquirer/Daily News strike. Just to be clear, this does not mean a work stoppage has commenced, it merely means the Guild membership has given the negotiators what most inside 400 North Broad agree would be “the nuclear option.” The Guild’s contract expires October 31st. “I was just talking to one of the editors today and we both agreed that it would be mutual suicide,” says a Guild member who asked to remain anonymous. “Nobody on either side wants […]

Oh Snap: PW Music Editor Calls U-Outfitter Music Picker On Conflict Of Interest

Jeebus! We take off one week from hearing no evil and the bossman comes into our cubicle, unzips his fly and pisses in the bowl of Cheerios: Dryw Scully is music promotions director for Urban Outfitters. That means he’s in control of the Urban Out [sic] jukebox, picking the tracks you hear while shopping for skinny jeans at the company’s stores. Not a bad gig. Dryw Scully also manages Favourite Sons. They’re currently on the Urban Outfitters playlist. This — according to your tolerance for such things — is either a glaring and shameful conflict of interest or just kinda […]

Project S.M.E.R.C. or Wiping The Smirk Off Smerconish With The Dirty Rag Of Truth

Another regular feature here at Phawker will be truth squad-ing the wingnut memes and distortions of token DN red-stater/ Big Talker gasbag Michael Smerconish. Let us say up front that we have no reason to believe Smerconish is a bad person, per se. Nakedly ambitious, remarkably self-absorbed, a little clueless in the way all patricians are about what really happens beyond their manicured hedgerow? Sure. He’s also polite and well-spoken, especially when sending out invites to one of his this-will-get-me-on-O’Reilly-again verbal hammer parties where he smashes some easy-target liberal glass house with barely contained glee. Usually it’s some diluted-to-suit-local-taste variation […]