Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Now, If We Could Only Get Vin Scully To Do The Play-By-Play

The question I am asked most often these days is how do I think the NLRB/News-Press hearings are going? My answer is always that it's too early to say. Although five days of hearing have been completed we are really still in the first inning of a game that may very well go into extra innings. Neither side has scored a lot of runs so far let alone broken the game wide open.

In those first five days of hearing a grand total of five witnesses have been called to the stand. Two of them, former managing editor Linda Strean and the paper's human resources director, Yolanda Apodaca have been relatively short. The bulk of the hearing time has been consumed by the testimony of associate editor Scott Steepleton, former assistant city editor Bob Guliano, and former senior writer Melinda Burns, who is still on the witness stand. News-Press attorney Barry Cappello will resume his cross-examination of her at 9 am this morning of at the Bankruptcy Court building on State Street.

Including today, only nine more days of hearing have been scheduled. However, the NLRB's lawyers still have thirteen more witnesses to call. Then the union will get its turn to put on its case and then finally it will be the News-Press' turn to call witnesses, one of whom will be Wendy McCaw herself, according to what Cappello said in his opening statement.

This thing is a long way from over.

Also apparently a long way from over is what Guliano has to say about the testimony that he gave at the hearing.

He was excused as a witness after spending a day-and-a-half on the stand. Since then he has posted two long-winded defenses of his performance over on BlogaBarbara, the latest of which appears here.

I'm sure he means well but didn't he give Cappello enough to use against him when he was on the stand testifying? If nothing else he's giving Cappello ammo to use in his examination of other witnesses. He may even be earning himself an encore appearance at the hearing. Unlike a case in a court of law where prior to the hearing the sides have to exchange all of the evidence they have collected there is no "discovery" in NLRB proceedings. Any extra-hearing explanations have the potential to be a bonus for the adverse party in that such explanations can alert them to facts that they may not have been aware of.

* * *

Apparently it's not all smooth sailing over glassy waters in the local sailing community these days. In her News-Press column last Thursday Dr. Laura was anything but "dead calm" when she took exception to what Jane Watkins, whom the good doctor describes as "a non-boat owner and member of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club," had written on a local sailing message board recounting what transpired following a race between Dr. Laura's boat and a boat that Watkins crewed on.

"Non-boat owner?" Didn't know there was a caste system down at the Yacht Club. Are we to believe that "non-boat owners" don't carry much street cred in yachting circles?

On the other hand, if "non-boat owner" is the worst thing Dr. Laura can accuse her of being, I think Watkins will be okay.

Kind of makes you long for the days when disputes between sailors were settled on the high seas and not in the newspaper.

And yes, in case you haven't guessed, the boat Watkins was on defeated Dr. Laura's boat.

* * *

Radio talk show host Kim Komando's weekly column on computers and technology has been running in the News-Press business section on Mondays for nearly a month now. As I mentioned back on August 9th, the column is free content for which the News-Press pays nothing. Komando offered the feature to numerous papers subject only to the requirement that a tagline plugging her radio show be included. Her terms of publication also included the following proviso: "If a station in your area carries my show, the tagline should be amended to include that information."

The tagline to Komando's column in yesterday's News-Press made no mention of the fact that Komando's show is heard locally on Saturday mornings from 7 to 10 am on Santa Barbara's KTMS, which broadcasts a signal on both 990 and 1490 AM.

I wonder if the fact that owner Wendy McCaw controls a competing station, News-Press Radio AM 1290, has anything to do with it? Perhaps we should send Komando a "McCaw Obey the Law" button?

* * *

No more blackouts of what happened under the Friday night lights for prep sports fans who have stopped reading the News-Press.

The Santa Barbara Daily Sound, for which I write a regular Wednesday column, is going to start publishing six days a week. The Saturday edition of the paper, which will focus on local high school sports, makes its debut this coming Saturday, September 8.

Return to top of page       E-Mail Me       Print This Page