On July 6, 2016, Gannett, the nation's biggest newspaper chain, paid the Borgs $40 million for North Jersey Media Group (The Record of Woodland Park, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, (201) magazine and 50 weeklies). Stephen A. Borg, publisher for a decade, oversaw the biggest downsizing ever. Local news declined, errors mounted and most employees were denied raises. Gannett replaced Editor Deirdre Sykes, revised The Record's website and redesigned the print edition, cutting another 200-plus jobs.
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Taylor Swift, editors' love-hate relationship with women
Police activity on Euclid Avenue in Hackensack on Friday afternoon.
By VICTOR E. SASSON EDITOR
When Taylor Swift complained last month that Apple wasn't paying music owners during a three-month trial period, the gazillionaire pop star got enormous media coverage.
Today, just her appearance at a stadium in East Rutherford had the editors of The Record kissing her feet.
Assignment Editors Deirdre Sykes and Dan Sforza ordered that half of the Local front be devoted to Swift, again denying readers legitimate municipal news (L-1).
Yet, the editors spend little time covering another form of pay discrimination -- lower wages for millions of women than for men who hold the same or similar jobs -- possibly in the Woodland Park newsroom itself.
Bridget Anne Kelly
Meanwhile, on Page 1 today, Editor Martin Gottlieb continues to demonize another woman, Bridget Anne Kelly, the key aide Governor Christie fired in the Bridgegate scandal (A-1).
The byline may say Melissa Hayes, but the long paragraphs on the front are so crammed with detail, they could have been written only by a former New York Times reporter and editor like Gottlieb.
And he wastes no time attacking Kelly, who has been indicted by a federal grand jury and wants New Jersey to pay her legal bills, as it is doing for other current and former employees.
Is the third paragraph of today's story really the place to quote a report Christie commissioned at a cost to taxpayers of $7.8 million, part of his successful effort so far to avoid blame for the George Washington Bridge lane closures?
No. But Gottlieb just had to slam Kelly high up in the story, saying she was "cast as an overly emotional woman in a legal report clearing him [Christie]."
Of course, if Kelly goes to trial, a federal jury -- not the editor of a fading local newspaper or Christie's hired gun -- will decide whether her expected testimony implicating the GOP bully in the plot is believable.
Finally, in a third story illustrating the editors' love-hate relationship with women, the focus today is back on members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team, not on the moldy history of Manhattan ticker-tape parades (A-1).
The promising life of Gabrielle Reuveni, 20, of Paramus was snuffed out on July 14, 2012, when a crazy guy in a pickup truck swerved, struck and killed her as she jogged along a road in the Poconos (A-1).
Now, even in today's Page 1 story on the defendant's surprise guilty plea, the editors waste another opportunity to share a basic safety lesson that could save other people who walk or run along streets and roads.
Pennsylvania State Police said Reuveni was running with her back to traffic when she was struck. She might be alive today, if she were running toward traffic.
On L-1 today, Staff Writer Todd South reports attorney Richard Salkin has filed suit for seven Hackensack municipal court employees, who claim a $10,000 raise given to the wife of a councilman is "political discrimination."
The suit alleges that after Councilman Leo Battaglia was elected in May 2013, he met with the city manager and asked him to promote his wife, Maria Battaglia, and give her a raise.
Today's story doesn't mention that Salkin's current job as school board attorney, and his former positions as city attorney and municipal prosecutor, were political plums awarded to him by the once-powerful Zisa family, which ruled River City for decades.
Nor does South tell readers that Salkin has appeared at numerous council meetings in the past two years, along with Democrats on the losing, Zisa-allied council slate, to attack city officials for nearly everything they have done.
Salkin often is accompanied by Board of Education President Jason Nunnermacker, a lawyer who ran unsuccessfully for council in 2013; and board members Daniel Carola and Joseph Barretto.
Barretto was one of Nunnermacker's running mates in 2013.
Meanwhile, there has been no word from the school board on whether Salkin will or has returned $58,000 in legal fees he billed in 2014 over his $95,000 contract limit.