Thursday, December 23, 2010

Campania, Governor Christie, female athletes

George Washington Bridge, spanning the Hudson ...Image via Wikipedia
A chef's suicide made his restaurant "famous," the food editor says.

In The Record of Woodland Park on Wednesday, a short L-2 story reported the closing of Campania -- the Italian restaurant in Fair Lawn that was remade on Gordon Ramsay's "Kitchen Nightmares" TV reality show -- under the headline, "Campania to reopen under a new name."

Headlines that predict the future are among the worst, especially when they aren't attributed. This one is based on a statement by Philip Neuman, managing director of a company that bought the restaurant from Chef Joseph Cerniglia eight days before the chef's Sept. 24 suicide leap from the George Washington Bridge.

On the Second Helpings blog (, an item on the closing of Campania by Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill says the restaurant was "made famous" by the suicide. 

Polishing Christie's  image

On Tuesday, Page 1 had an upbeat story about a new, reform-minded education commissioner appointed by Governor Christie, but Editor Francis Scandale buried the real news about the Republican bully on A-6.

A two-paragraph story reported findings of a Rutgers-Eagleton poll: Christie is the most polarizing New Jersey governor in at least 36 years. Twenty-nine percent of the state's voters say his performance in his first 11 months in office has been "poor," while only 21 percent rate it as "excellent."

If such a poll was conducted on Scandale's performance in his nearly 10 years at The Record, a majority of employees and readers would rate it as "terrible."

Athletes on Page 1

Scandale loves to order layout editors to use sports photos of male athletes on A-1, but for some reason, a photo of the jubilant University of Connecticut women's basketball team that won 89 straight games and broke a college record held by a men's team was nowhere to be seen on A-1 on Wednesday.

Instead, the male chauvinist ran a photo of flooding in far-off California. 

Scandale likes to slap male editors' asses in a locker-room-like bonding ritual in the afternoon news meeting when sports gets played on Page 1, but I guess he was repelled by the prospect of whacking the flabby rumps of head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes and Production Editor Liz Houlton.

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