When Connecticut Gov. John Rowland was still denying the allegations of corruption that would ultimately force him out of office, his wife read a poem (to the meter of “The Night Before Christmas”) mocking Hartford Courant reporter Jon Lender at a local Chamber of Commerce meeting:
“When out on the yard there rose such a hub-bub,
I thought maybe Jon Lender had jumped in the hot tub.
Now surely that man needs to go soak his head,
but there on the lawn stood Santa instead.”
Lender didn’t jump into anything, but he did stay on the story, and the aforementioned hot tub turned out to be one of the illegal gifts that would send the governor to prison.
Dylan Byers of Politico reported that former New York Times political writer Ray Hernandez is joining a Washington PR firm.
Normally the comings and goings of journalists aren’t that interesting but in this case, as Byers noted, Hernandez’ move merits a mention. Back in 2010, Hernandez broke the story that now Sen. Richard Blumenthal falsely claimed he served in Vietnam.
The story was built upon a snippet of video from an obscure event in Norwalk several years earlier. Almost immediately, people began to speculate that video was unearthed by the crack oppo research team of Blumethal’s multimillionaire Republican opponent, Linda McMahon.
The publication will focus laser-like on New York and its power centers, including the media, city and state politics, culture and business. It will target a sophisticated insider audience of New York’s most powerful.
You know well my strong interest in helping build profitable new media companies. The future for serious, nonpartisan, news-driven publications is uncertain. You have created a template here at POLITICO that works, and I am thrilled to expand on it and test it in new markets, starting with New York.
The Fix, the Washington Post’s popular politics blog, put out a call a few weeks back for the best political reporter in each state. When the Connecticut nominees were tallied, two statehouse veterans and a lawyer/columnist/blogger came out on top.
Chris Keating of the Courant and Susan Haigh of the Associated Press, two pros with a combined 37 years at the Capitol, made the list. So did Kevin Rennie, who writes a Sunday column for the Courant and produces his own blog, Daily Ructions. Technically, Rennie is not a reporter, but he oftenbreaksnews.
-- Substance shrinks: In local TV, sports, weather and traffic now account for 40% of the content produced on an average newscast while story lengths shrink.
– Tablets, smart phone use exploding: Some 31% of adults owned a tablet computer as of 2013, almost four times the share recorded in May 2011. Pew Research also found that web-enabled smartphones are even more widespread: As of December 2012, about 45% of adults owned a smartphone, up from 35% in May 2011. … Accessing news is one of the most popular uses for the devices, enabling Americans to get news whenever they want and wherever they might be. An August 2012 Pew Research study found that fully 64% of tablet owners say they get news on their devices weekly; 37% reported they do so daily. The trend is nearly identical for smartphone owners – 62% said they consume news on their device weekly, and 36% do so daily.
-- Consumers get it: … Nearly a third (31%) of U.S. adults have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to receiving. And respondents seem to be noticing erosion in quality of coverage even more than diminishing quantity. Fully 61% said they noticed that stories were less complete compared with 24% who said they noticed fewer stories over all.