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Daily News Names Black Managing Editor

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Friday, January 21, 2011

"Rob" Moore Promoted a Day After Funeral for David Hardy

. . . At Service, Caldwell Praises Hardy as Profile in Courage

NABJ President Out as Anchor-Reporter in Jackson

Olbermann Leaves MSNBC, Providing Diversity Opportunity

Fox News' Credibility on the Decline; PBS Top-Rated

HuffPo's Black Project Hiring 8 Staffers Before July

Lydia Lively, Producer at NBC News, Dies at 64

Mexican Journalist Begins Bid for Asylum in U.S.

Poll Finds Whites More Influenced by Media on Obama

Ed Gordon Show to Examine Police Killing of College Athlete

Short Takes

"Rob" Moore Promoted a Day After Funeral for David Hardy

Robert "Rob" Moore, deputy managing editor at the New Robert MooreYork Daily News, has been named the paper's first African American managing editor in a promotion made possible when Kirsten Danis left for the Wall Street Journal.

Moore, 40, will be managing editor for news. "Long term, my goal is to run the whole thing," he told Journal-isms.

Moore joined the paper in 2004 and has been a staff writer, assignment editor and deputy managing editor.

He has attended conventions of the National Association of Black Journalists and is credited with attracting black reporters to the newspaper.

"Robert Moore helped me get me get my foot in the door at the Daily News by recruiting me as a reporter, Jennifer H. Cunningham told Journal-isms. "He gave me the opportunity, but made it clear that the rest would be up to me. He has been an advocate and role model for young reporters."

Reporter Michael Feeney said Moore recruited him at the Unity convention in Chicago in 2008.

"He's largely responsible for bringing me to the paper," Feeney told Journal-isms. "He strongly values diversity in the newsroom, and that's an important priority to have in leadership. . . . He's the perfect example of hard work paying off. He's diligently worked his way up the ladder at the News. I hope to follow in his footsteps."

"Rob changed all of our careers by helping to bring us into one of the best papers in the country," said a third recruit, Simone Weichselbaum, who met Moore at the 2007 NABJ conference.

"Trust me. That doesn't mean Rob plays favorites. He is a TOUGH editor. No nonsense. In a sense, it is like working for an army general. He expects nothing but the best at all times. His love of the Daily News is contagious and we all became proud members of New York's hometown paper under his watch.

"To quote him — 'If you fail that means I fail. I don't fail. So if you fail — I will personally fire you.' It is an exciting time at the paper. It's a blessing to be part of it."

Ironically, Moore's ascension comes a day after funeral services for David W. Hardy, leader of the successful racial discrimination lawsuit filed by four black journalists at the Daily News in the late 1980s. Hardy and three others charged that they were paid less, given worse assignments and promoted less frequently than white colleagues because of race discrimination.

The News ran a five-paragraph obituary of Hardy on Page 26 Wednesday that did not mention the lawsuit.

The rival New York Post reported a week ago that News owner Mort Zuckerman "is apparently unhappy with advertisers' response to the new four-color paper, and the word inside is that more editorial cutbacks will follow."

News spokeswoman Jennifer Mauer told Journal-isms Friday that the News does not discuss "personnel matters" but that the News was adding pages dedicated to its bureaus.

. . . at Service, Caldwell Praises Hardy as Profile in Courage

Earl Caldwell, a co-founder of the Maynard Institute and a former Daily News columnist, delivered a tribute to David W. Hardy at Thursday's service, held at Rose of Sharon Community Church in Plainfield, N.J.

Caldwell said he spoke extemporaneously, but summarized his remarks for Journal-isms. This is an edited version:

David W. Hardy

"David Hardy was a hero. His life and what he did to battle the racism and discrimination in the newsroom stand as a profile in courage. They (the Tribune Corp.) saw themselves as elephants and they — Hardy and the group of blacks at the Daily News who fought them — as ants, and believed they could crush them. But they did not know David Hardy. He was not an ant; he was lion, he knew how to fight, and when the battle was over, he and those with him were the victors."

"I told of how David came to News in 1967, hired as a sportswriter . . . only to be stunned by the editor (Mike O'Neill) telling him that the Sports Department had decided that it 'was not ready for a black' and that they would not accept Hardy. So O'Neill switched Dave to the news staff. That was the way it started for him at the newspaper. That was his introduction to the kind of racism that existed then in the newsroom at the nation's largest newspaper, and how that became the foundation for the epic battle that he would lead.

"I spoke of how he could have chosen another path. He could have decided to go along to get along. But he instead chose the tougher route: To mobilize his colleagues and to lead the fight against the wrong he saw.

"But when you do what David did, you pay a price. It tears you up inside. You cannot sleep. You don't eat right. It drains you, but somehow, David found the strength, the courage, the wisdom to take the blows and to fight on. And what he did and what he accomplished truly was a profile in courage. In saying goodbye, we recognize that he was for us, our hero."

NABJ President Out as Anchor-Reporter in Jackson

Kathy Y. Times, president of the National Association of Black Kathy Y. TimesJournalists, is "in transition" after being replaced at WDBD-TV, the Fox affiliate in Jackson, Miss., the broadcast journalist told Journal-isms on Friday.

[News director Stan Sanders said Saturday that while he would not discuss personnel issues, "ratings for the 9 p.m. newscast have been declining for the past several ratings books." He reiterated the station's commitment to diversity and named its African American anchors.]

Times was an investigative reporter and co-anchor of "Fox 40 News at 9" and was NABJ's vice president-broadcast from 2007 to 2009. She said she plans to remain president of the nation's largest organization of journalists of color.

"I'm still very much a working journalist," she said. "I say that unequivocally."

The Jackson station introduced a new high-definition local morning talk show and a new 9 p.m. news team, TVNewsCheck reported on Monday.

"The station also introduced the addition of anchor Trei Johnson and Chief Meteorologist Dave Roberts to the Fox40News at 9 team."

Johnson, who arrived from Central Florida News 13, a 24-hour local news channel covering the Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne corridor, replaced Times, whose left the station a week ago. The 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts have the same anchors, Sanders said. 

"I was working without a contract," Times told Journal-isms.

Times represents just one change among NABJ officers and personnel.

Keith Reed, who represents the Midwest on the NABJ board, told colleagues on Friday that the magazine he edited, Cataylst Ohio, folded at the end of the year.

He wrote about it on his blog in a post called, "Learning big lessons from losing a big job."

"The thing to remember, if you've lost your gig like I have, is that that opportunity is coming. The only question is whether you'll be ready to recognize it when it does," Reed wrote.

The association's parliamentarian, Tonju Francois, had been guest booker/Miami producer for CNN en Español for 11 years when it announced a reorganization last fall. She is now guest producer for "CNN Newsroom," based in Atlanta.

At the NABJ staff level, Ryan Williams, managing director and a recipient of the NABJ President's Award, said he is leaving the organization after its Hall of Fame gala on Thursday.

"I'm developing a consultant group with several business partners based in the DC area that will focus on areas like organization design, investment analysis, program and event management and design, and strategic planning for mission driven organizations," he told Journal-isms via e-mail.

In 2006, Esther Wu, then president of the Asian American Journalists Association and a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, was among those taking a buyout. She continued her column under an arrangement with the News, and AAJA permitted her to remain as president until the end of her term. [Updated Jan.22]

Olbermann Leaves MSNBC, Providing Diversity Opportunity

"Keith Olbermann is leaving MSNBC, the 'Countdown' host announced on his show Friday night," rival CNN reported.

Keith Olbermann"The liberal commentator told viewers he had been informed 'this was going to be the last edition' of his show, but offered no further details.

"NBC/Universal confirmed the news in a statement Friday night.

" 'MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.' "

The departure of Olbermann provides another opportunity for cable television to diversify its on-air journalists.

In June, two days after CNN hired disgraced former New York governor Eliot Spitzer to co-host a new prime-time program, "Parker Spitzer," the National Association of Black Journalists blasted the cable news networks for their failure to place African American hosts in such prime-time slots.

The CNN announcement prompted a story by Rachel Sklar in the online magazine the Daily Beast, "The Unbearable Whiteness of Cable."

"CNN just announced two new hosts for the 8 p.m. prime time hour recently vacated by Campbell Brown: Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker," Sklar began.

"Last week, MSNBC announced that the new host for its 10 p.m. prime time show would be network staple Lawrence O'Donnell. What do these three people have in common (and thankfully for O'Donnell and Parker, it's not being caught with your socks down with a prostitute)? Pretty obvious: They're white.

"They're white like Chris Matthews is white, like Bill O'Reilly is white and Keith Olbermann is white, like Wolf Blitzer is white and Megyn Kelly is white and John King is white and Ed Schultz, Greta Van Susteren, Jake Tapper, Joe Scarborough, Bob Schieffer, David Gregory, Chris Wallace, Rachel Maddow, and Dylan Ratigan are white, not unlike the lion's share of their guests."

Meanwhile, former anchor Rick Sanchez, who left CNN after his complaints about the lack of anchors of color on the cable shows were quickly overshadowed by remarks about Jews in the same interview, was in Toledo, Ohio, on Tuesday.

"At one point, Sanchez told of his encounters with racism, detailing how after his CNN broadcast he would look at his Twitter account and find himself being called 'amnesty boy' and even more pejorative terms," Alan Abrams reported for the Cleveland Jewish News.

"Sanchez was talking about reporting on an immigration story and said, 'I would be very controversial and the next day I would get e-mails, thousands of them, calling me a Spic, calling me an amnesty boy, I could go on and on about the things they called me and said about me,' " Abrams told Journal-isms.

Fox News' Credibility on the Decline; PBS Top-Rated

"PPP's annual look at the public's trust in various TV news outlets finds that Fox News' credibility is on the decline, that the traditional networks are seeing an up tick in their numbers, and that PBS is at the top of the heap," the group Public Policy Polling reported Wednesday.

"A year ago a plurality of Americans said they trusted Fox News. Now a plurality of them don't. Conservatives haven't moved all that much — 75% said they trusted it last year and 72% still do this time around.

"But moderates and liberals have both had a strong increase in their level of distrust for the network — a 12 point gain from 48% to 60% for moderates and a 16 point gain from 66% to 82% for liberals. Voters between left and center tend to be more trusting of the media across the board, which is why a fair number of them were still rating Fox favorably even a year ago at this time. But it looks like with a lot of those folks it has finally crossed the line to being too political to trust."

Arianna Huffington appeared on Tavis Smiley's "America Next Chapter" forum this month. (Video) (Credit: C-SPAN).

HuffPo's Black Project Hiring 8 Staffers Before July

The new black-oriented Huffington Post project, HuffPost GlobalBlack, will be hiring approximately eight staffers over the first half of this year . . . "And then increase in staff as needed," Mario Ruiz, the website's senior vice president for media relations, told Journal-isms on Friday.

Huffington Post and Sheila Johnson, entrepreneur and co-founder of Black Entertainment Television, formally announced their plans Thursday to launch "HuffPost GlobalBlack" as "a new online platform offering news, politics, culture, opinion, and video through the lens of the black experience.

"We couldn't be more excited to be partnering with Sheila Johnson, a true media visionary, on creating what we hope will become a go-to destination for both the African-American community and everyone who cares about these deeply important issues — in America and across the world,' website founder Arianna Huffington said in the statement.

Johnson said in the release, "The Huffington Post is at the center of social news: the idea that people want to engage in the news and opinion of the day and not just consume them. The Huffington Post is the ideal partner for us to create a thriving online black community of scale, a forum for ideas and discussion meant to inform, engage, surprise and entertain."

Reaction from black journalists ranged from questions about job opportunities to deriding the idea as a return to the days of segregation.

In Indian Country Today, writer Rob Capriccioso wrote, "News that the Huffington Post is launching a section devoted to African Americans has some Native Americans feeling left out. . . . Native Americans are asking the popular mainstream blog and news site to consider featuring a space that highlights the richness and diversity of American Indian culture and people."

Lydia Lively, Producer at NBC News, Dies at 64

Lydia Lively, a retired producer at NBC News in Washington, died Jan. 15 after complications from surgery at the University of Maryland hospital in Baltimore, friends and relatives said. Lydia LivelyShe was 64.

Lively wrote her own obituary, her friend Roy McKay told Journal-isms. "I did the best I could with what I had. I was grateful for every gift and every kindness," she wrote. Lively listed her relatives and said, "I had a hell of a grand life. Thanks. This is all anybody needs to know about me."

Betsy Fischer, executive producer of "Meet the Press," remembered more. Recalling Lively's interaction with the late Tim Russert, Fischer told Journal-isms via e-mail:

"She worked on Weekend Nightly News and so I always remember her in the newsroom after the show and she wasn't shy about telling Tim and I about what she thought about a particular guest and how they answered questions. I think she especially liked the way Tim would hold various politicians accountable — that kind of journalism was important to her. Tim also liked to get a sense from her after the show as to what she thought was newsworthy in an interview .. . he'd say, 'Lydia, what's going to make Nightly tonight?' "

Another former colleague, Rich Dubroff, wrote to dcrtv.com, "For a number of years before her retirement, she was the Washington supervisor of the weekend editions of 'NBC Nightly News.' She also worked at WRC and WJZ, where she was a colleague of Oprah Winfrey. Lydia was a most unusual and outspoken woman, and I worked with her for several years at the Washington bureau."

A memorial service is scheduled Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Kahler Hall, 5440 Old Tucker Row, Columbia, Md. 21044.

Mexican Journalist Begins Bid for Asylum in U.S.

Emilio Gutierrez Soto (Credit: Sarah Wilson/Mother Jones) "A Mexican journalist who fled what he said was persecution by the Mexican army began his bid for asylum at a federal immigration court in this border city on Friday," Alejandro Martinez-Cabrera of Reuters reported from El Paso.

"Emilio Gutierrez Soto's case was adjourned before witnesses could be called and will resume on February 4, according to the office of his attorney, Carlos Spector."

"Emilio Gutierrez Soto and his son showed up at a border checkpoint in New Mexico and declared their intent to seek asylum. Gutierrez said he received near daily death threats after writing a series of stories accusing the Mexican military of abusing civilians," Will Weissert reported for the Associated Press earlier Friday.

"Since crossing the border 2½ years ago, Gutierrez's wait for an asylum hearing included seven months at a federal detention center in El Paso, separated from his son. His court date comes four months after another Mexican journalist, Jorge Luis Aguirre, claimed similar threats and had his U.S. asylum request granted — making him the first reporter to receive asylum since Mexico's bloody drug war erupted and cartels began targeting the media to silence coverage."

The El Paso Times reported in December that a benefit was planned for three Mexican journalists seeking asylum in the United States because they feared persecution in Mexico: Gutierrez, Ricardo Chavez Aldana and Alejandro Hernandez Pacheco.

Poll Finds Whites More Influenced by Media on Obama

"Twenty-four months after President Obama was sworn in as Americans' first African-American president, 1,006 people of all races responding to an online survey by The Root are at times sharply divided on his achievements, and particularly on the racial climate in the country," Joel Dreyfuss wrote Wednesday for theRoot.com.

In one finding, "The media apparently had a stronger impact on how whites see President Obama, compared with blacks. Sixty-five percent of whites said that their perception of him is influenced by the media, compared with 40 percent of blacks. Fifty-six percent of blacks claimed that the media had not influenced their perceptions 'at all,' versus 36 percent of whites who claimed the same immunity."

In another, "While just 15 percent of whites believe that hate crimes, police brutality and injustice against African Americans have increased since Obama took office, 40 percent of blacks say such crimes have increased."

Ed Gordon Show to Examine Police Killing of College Athlete

BET's "Weekly With Ed Gordon," a vehicle featuring the return of Gordon to the network this season, is devoting its half-hour Sunday to the case of Danroy Henry Jr., the Pace University football player who was shot and killed by police outside a bar in New York state in October.

Henry's parents have filed notice that they plan to file a $120 million lawsuit against the New York town of Mount Pleasant and village of Pleasantville, saying they were negligent and lacked proper training before they fatally shot Henry behind the wheel of his car, the Boston Globe reported Jan. 12.

" 'Homecoming: The Killing of DJ Henry' presents exclusive interviews with Henry’s parents and the childhood friend who witnessed and survived the shooting who now seek the truth behind his killing and the latest flashpoint in police-community relations surrounding the shooting," an announcement says. "The half-hour special tells the emotional, dramatic story of the DJ Henry case from the first-hand accounts of his parents, Danroy and Angela Henry, key [eyewitness] and shooting survivor Brandon Cox and his parents and Harvard Law Professor and attorney, Charles Ogletree, who represents the Cox family, all of whom have agreed to tell their story to BET."

The program airs at 11:30 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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