US Mass Media Is Dying

In the following video Marina Portnaya with Russia Today interviews Michael Wolff. Wolff is the creator of Newser.com, in the interview Wolff explains how the US mass media is transforming and how that change will create opportunities for alternative news outlets.

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John Ubele attends City Hall candidate forum

John Ubele participates in debate at local college

John Ubele delivers his campaign stump speech

CBS Will Get to Keep Documents of Interest in Dan Rather Suit Away from the Public; But Redstone Must Speak!

Dan Rather and his lawyers were back in a Lower Manhattan courthouse yesterday for yet another round in Mr. Rather’s ongoing $70 million civil lawsuit against his former employers.

Over the course of a 45-minute hearing in front of Justice Ira Gammerman, tempers occasionally flared as the lawyers for both sides argued over a number of issues, ranging from the scheduling of depositions to the transparency of the discovery process.

On the latter issue, Mr. Rather and his lawyers petitioned the justice to release a number of key documents turned up in discovery. Mr. Rather’s lead attorney, Marty Gold, suggested to Justice Gammerman that the documents, if released, would help refute CBS’s repeated, public characterization of Mr. Rather’s claims in the suit as a fantasy. He said that of the thousands of documents handed over by CBS, Mr. Rather would like to give the public access to roughly 10.

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Chapter 13 standoff thwarts foreclosure on St. Petersburg house for years

With the economy tumbling, thousands of Floridians have filed bankruptcies in a last-ditch bid to keep their homes from foreclosure. Among them was 55-year-old Rose King. In the end, she was unable to save her home, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying.

Between 1999 and last January, King filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection eight times — a move that kept lenders from forcing the sale of her St. Petersburg bungalow. And when she finally moved out in March, she took everything, including the kitchen sink.

“She lived two years for free, I can tell you that,” says Kelly Goff, who held the most recent mortgage and had to schedule foreclosure sales four times. “I’ve never had anything like it, and I’ve had hundreds of loans. It’s luck of the draw that I happened to get somebody who knew how to abuse the system and used it.”

King, who until recently made $75,000 a year breeding schnauzers, insists she did nothing wrong.

“I didn’t abuse it,” she says. “I just used what was available to me by law.”

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Half of Employees at WFLA-Ch. 8, Tampa Tribune and Other Tampa-Area Outlets Offered Buyouts By Media General Subsidiary

Florida Communications Group president John Schueler confirmed to me moments ago that the company will offer buyouts to half its 1,326 employees, including people who work at WFLA-Ch. 8, TBO.com, The Tampa Tribune Spanish-language CENTRO, Hernando Today, Sunbelt Newspapers and a host of other smaller daily and weekly newspapers.

Schueler said it was an alignment of the Media General-owned company that would save money and meld responsibilities of staffers across their various media platforms in the same way their “convergence” efforts share news material. For example, the president and publisher of the Tampa Tribune, Denise Palmer, is now responsible for content across all the FCG platforms. The president and general manager of WFLA, Mike Pumo, is now responsible for revenues across all platforms, and their operations at all platforms will also be centralized under a single vice president.

Schueler said staffers can request to be part of the buyout, becoming eligible for either one week of salary per year of service up to 26 weeks or 2 weeks per year up to 39 weeks, depending on their position within the company. He expects to spend two weeks analyzing the requests and their possible impact before informing employees whether they will accept the requests.

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