|An undated photo of Jerry DeMarco, who in 2015 became managing editor of Hackensack Daily Voice.com|
By VICTOR E. SASSON
Jerry DeMarco, former breaking-news editor of northjersey.com and onetime Law and Order assignment editor at The Record, says he's having a ball beating the Woodland Park daily and its Web site to the news.
DeMarco is editor of Cliffview Pilot.com.
Here he talks about The Record, often addressing staffers he once worked with:
"This one's taken a dog's age. But, as you might have noticed, I've been busy.
"Sitting here on the sweet spot of my porch, scanning my peaceful, tree-lined neighborhood in one of the sweet spots of the PValley, the sweet sounds of kids playing in the nearby park, the sweet hum of distant traffic, the sweet breeze blowing my ever-thinning grays, I cannot possibly produce a singular "best."
"I like the freedom, certainly. The cabbage, the perks, of course. The college gigs -- incl. an adjunct role again this fall -- despite having only a BA and in a bad economy. TWO books in the works.
"I LOVE my sources, literally in the hundreds now, from all walks of life -- Montvale to Lyndhurst, FLawn to UC &amp;amp; all points between. I mean, while your guys are cordoned off down the block -- or sitting w/their heads in their monitors -- I'm on the phone w/the primary or sitting next to someone who is. They even send me photos from the scenes.
And it's 24/7.
"See, after [Record police reporter Justo] Bautista is already home -- and the real shit hits the fan -- I'm ready to rock. I get the story DIRECTLY from the sources, then sack out just as your a.m. folks are punching in. Only trouble is: When they call the local PIO to find out what happened, the shift that handled it is sleeping as soundly as I. When I finally get outta bed, I look to see how the tail-chasing's goin'. Once in a great while, I miss a morning story. Then again, EVERYONE ends up getting it, so what's the point? High time/low value if you didn't read it first on CVP.
"I definitely enjoy the flexibility; Have laptop will travel (and my DROID? Love it). Was in NOrleans for a week this spring and fewer than a half-dozen people knew. Did the same 2x last year. Traffic was great, got scoops, etc. Like I never left.
"A benefit I suspect some will misinterpret:
"I LIKE being recognized. I like people sending drinks my way when I'm out w/friends. I look up, they point and shout, "You read it here first!" I like pulling into a DWI checkpoint and before I even open my mouth, having a uni say: "Hey, Jerry! Got a minute? I got a good story for you." I like handing people my card ("You're THAT guy?"). I like running into Klap [sports columnist Bob Klapisch, whose middle name is "Salvador," according to Wikipedia], [former Business staffer] Adam Geller, and so many other pros whom I respect and admire, hearing them say they love the site and to keep at it.
"I like when people beep and wave, when the deli guy slices the Genoa thin and the mozzarella thick, w/fresh basil and garlic, some sweet pepper, no oil, w/out my even asking. I like when people call and say, "I want to be on your site. Send me a rate card." Or when I'm out and a kid fresh from the academy introduces himself while trying to call me "Mr. DeMarco."
"It warms me no end to have an extremely well-known Law Enforcement Officer approach me at a BBQ last month and say: "I haven't met one cop who's had a bad word to say about you." And by journos, she was incl. your people, as well as a former troop member now aboard a sinking ship of his own.
"Yeah, I figured my nat'l awards, my putting people behind bars, changing public policy, getting crooked officials out of office, teaching young reporters who went on to great jobs entitled me to tell people to fuck off. Truth is, I liked reminding the Scandales of the world of that guy who dated the girls in high school who wouldn't even look at him, who was out partying while he was home studying &amp;amp; STILL aced the exam, who gave him the daily wedgie.
"All those joys are juvenile pleasures, of course -- but pleasing nonetheless. But this ... now ... I've been reluctant to say these things, primarily because I've always suspected people who did wouldn't need to say it if it were true.
"But I'm here to testify: Two years of hard work, treating people right, meaning what I say and saying what I mean -- OWNING it -- have brought me riches I could never have imagined when I was coppin' a snooze in the [press] overlook room [off the Hackensack newsroom], lovin' an amazing woman half my age or engaging in a number of pleasurable activities that shall remain undisclosed (all, by the way, while producing undeniably excellent work for my employer. Yes, I saved every perf revue).
"Y'know what? You need a little fuck-you now and then to survive in this world. No better proof than the situation YOU are in as you read this.
The fact that I could tell your bosses to eat me when they came looking for dirt on one of my good friends is a badge of honor. As if I would've breathed a word if I did. Idiots.
"If you still have cause to mock, by all means, do. I'm even game if you want to run down the list of what got me shitcanned -- and exactly what was said in Susan B's office that final day [reference to Susan Beard, vice president of Human Resources].
"Just know that you can't insult any number of independent analytical sources that show CVP's traffic.
"You also can't touch the meaning that what I do gives me.
"Like when a headstone was donated to the family whose daughter was murdered;
"Or when a state rep made it his business to find lost medals a war hero had been waiting years for, then arranged a special ceremony to present them;
Or when a boy who survived two brain surgeries got the vacation of his dreams.
"Then there was the night a room of 250 officers and their wives gave me a standing O.
"Or the day that 40 chiefs met privately w/me to offer whatever support they could to CLIFFVIEW PILOT.
"I may not have been able to say it this clearly or with such conviction a year or so ago. But, w/out question, I've found my sweet spot. My "best" is being a member of a large, warm, fiercely loyal community, giving them a product they clearly enjoy while having it make a difference that I was here at all.
"How 'bout you?"
on today's paper