Monday, October 24, 2011

Page 1 news is boring us to tears

Hackensack, New JerseyImage via Wikipedia
Hackensack in the 1890s.

It doesn't get any duller than Page 1 in The Record today.

I saw all I wanted to see about the earthquake in Turkey on TV last night.

More prostitution arrests in North Jersey? The off-lead A-1 story has no statistics to back that up. And what man is so hard up he'd go with one of the hags pictured on A-6?

The story on witness intimidation at the bottom of the front page is another one of those court stories that sound important, but really don't affect many readers.

Sunday night blues

It's the kind of story that runs on Monday's front pages, because the pitiful editors who get stuck working Sunday nights really have nothing else from Editor Francis Scandale and head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes.

In Sykes' Local section, there is municipal news from Englewood -- actually, a story about police salaries (L-2) -- but there's no news from Hackensack, Teaneck and many other towns.

A graphics package on L-1 tells readers 2011 may become the wettest year in New Jersey since 1931, when data collection started.

The Woodland Park daily also appears to be on its way to setting a record for publishing the least local news since the paper was founded in 1895 in Hackensack.

In Better Living, a rumpled Bill Ervolino completely misses readers' funny bones with a story on his pedicure (F-1). Too bad, the shop couldn't manage to do something for his odd sense of humor.

Free lunch

On Sunday, Ervolino's Better Living colleague, Restaurant Reviewer Elisa Ung, used her Sunday column to list her "top 10 nicest things that some restaurants do for their customers" (F-8).

How strange. She has to roam as far as San Francisco and recall a service experience "several years ago" in Manhattan to complete the list. 

What does that say about North Jersey restaurants -- where she can indulge her dessert obsession on The Record's expense account -- that she couldn't find her "top 10 nicest things" here?

Of course, the nicest thing a restaurant can do is cut its prices in this difficult economy -- in the form of a multi-course meal that delivers great value. She doesn't list any of those.

'Eye on The Record' 

Sunday marked the 2nd anniversary of Eye on The Record.

I recommend the most popular posts, listed on the right.

Eye on The Record could not have lasted this long without the uninspired newsroom leadership of Scandale, Sykes, Tim Nostrand, Liz Houlton, Dan Sforza and all the other editors who have been there "forever."

The infamous Barbara Jaeger -- who ran the features department so badly and for so long -- is gone. 

She shared a contempt for older workers with Scandale and Sykes, but some of the young staffers she championed simply fall flat on their faces more times than not.

Absentee Publisher Stephen A. Borg's greed seems to have blinded him to how far this once-great daily has fallen.

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  1. Congrats on year two!!

    As for greed...yes, indeed!

    Occupy GMP!
    Occupy the McMansion!

  2. Stephen Borg seems to be sending out most of his compliments on and, particularly how many people have visited the site in a given month. He found it necessary to e-mail everyone and brag about the "new and improved" banner on, which doesn't look much different than the old, but at least did away with the awful drop-down menus when you hovered the cursor over a category. Took long enough.

    This past Paydirt, the lead item (Paydirt has been taken over by marketing, so it's all pat-on-the-back type stuff and mostly focused on marketing or advertising programs) was about some magazine stuff and how well they're doing there. A new one will be coming out geared towards executives.

    I want to know how The Record and our weekly products are doing. Circulation numbers and how they are trending, potential improvements in coverage and features in the paper, and how the weeklies are doing with ads, and pulling in money for the paper. They operate on a next-to-nothing budget so everything else the company does can continue operating. I think there's something wrong with that.

    Any NJMGers, especially in corporate, angered by my post, you shouldn't be. No insults here. I just want more information to come out to those of us busting our ass, those of us who haven't had a raise, merit or otherwise, in three or four years, those of us whose hard work goes overlooked. Share more with us and include us more in the decision making process. There is this feeling amongst many of us, whether it's overt from corporate or not, that we're not valuable and not worth the time to you. You sign my checks, of course I want this company to succeed. But I want to stop dreading going into work, feeling like this is a prison sentence because of the awful job market.

  3. My previous comment was reacting to the notion of Occupying the McMansion, etc.

    I want to thank the second Anonymous for his/her insight into Stephen Borg's priorities and the mood at The Record.

  4. To quote Frank Scandale: Occupy this.


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