Thursday, March 05, 2009

Tiara Tossed Under The Bus

Despite his lay-off in January as News-Press gossip columnist, Richard Mineards continued to co-host "Around the World," a travel show heard on News-Press radio, with Arthur von Wiesenberger, who is the paper's co-publisher, and, depending on who you listen to, may or may not still be the boyfriend of the paper's owner Wendy McCaw.

Mineards continued to co-host the show although he was not compensated for doing so. But that was okay with him. He felt that he had a good relationship with von Wiesenberger and he could afford to be magnanimous after having his column quickly picked up by the Montecito Journal, where he appears to be thriving. BTW, his signature way of describing locations that are in close proximity is to say they are "a tiara's toss away."

Mineards told me that early Wednesday evening he received a phone call from an L.A. lawyer representing Ampersand Publishing, which owns the News-Press and controls News-Press Radio, saying his services were no longer required at AM1290 and to not come in this morning (Thursday) to host the show with Buddy Winston, who was filling in for von Wiesenberger who is off skiing in Switzerland.

With times being tough in the newspaper industry, I'm surprised to hear that the News-Press is willing to incur the cost of having a lawyer call someone on the phone to tell them not to show up for work.

The Santa Barbara News-Press, where they burn bridges one span at a time.

* * *

David Pritchett, who undoubtedly is a charter member of the News-Press enemies list, is going to be running for Santa Barbara City Council.

Articles in both the Daily Sound and Noozhawk Wednesday, discussed his entry into the race. And of course, his campaign already has its own website.

It will be interesting to see who runs the more vigorous campaign against him; Dianne Channing who is reportedly interested in running or the News-Press.

* * *

While newspapers left and right are giving up on their print editions, websites continue to multiply. The newest Santa Barbara based website to make it's debut is City 2.0. Founded by Warren Schultheis, who describes himself as a "Santa Barbara (near) native," Warren envisions City 2.0 as a "new online town center, designed to enable local conversation and participation in everything from local news, to arts and entertainment, to individual journaling/blogging."

Although it's been online in "beta" form for a number of weeks, the formal launch of City 2.0 is today.

The more Santa Barbara based websites the merrier. A warm welcome to Warren and City 2.0.

* * *

Word came yesterday that the date and location of the oral argument before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, on the challenge by the NLRB to Judge Steven Wilson's denial of an injunction which would have required the News-Press to reinstate eight fired reporters has been moved to Wednesday March 11 at the Ninth Circuit's courthouse in Pasadena.

* * *

For the record. Yesterday, in writing about the layoff of News-Press copy editor DeWitt Smith, I described her as a "long-time" employee. At least two readers wrote in to point out that DeWitt was a "temp" who had been with the paper for only two years.

Given the rapidity with which employees come and go at the News-Press, I hope that you can forgive me for describing her tenure as "long-term."
© 2009 by Craig Smith and