The initial idea of closing on-site newspaper copy desks in order to shift copy editing to off-site publication hubs seems to be a distant memory, with that responsibility now squarely on on-site editors. The result is that stories get less editing than years ago.
The McClatchy Company isn’t the only chain that considers stories publication-ready when they arrive at one of its hubs. The same is true for the GateHouse Media Center for News and Design in Austin, Texas, which serves several North Carolina newspapers.
That’s also the case for Paxton Media Group’s hub in Owensboro, Ky., called the Owensboro Design Center. When The Herald-Sun closed its Durham copy desk in 2011, the copy editing and design for the newspaper shifted to that hub. But editors in Durham generally are now responsible for most of the copy editing.
Since 2013, according to a source who worked at the hub at that time, copy editing there has been done on a very limited basis.
“Generally it’s design,” said Shannon Frazer, the assistant news editor and second-in-command at the Owensboro hub, said about what the desk does. “Of course we’ll read through the stories. But they’re supposed to be ready to place when we get them.”
She said that stories generally come to her desk with headlines that are then sometimes reworked to fit the space on the page.
“Sometimes, like if it’s right at deadline or something, we might do a quick run-through to make sure that everything looks OK so that we don’t have any major mistakes or anything like that,” she said.
How much copy editing do Herald-Sun stories get before they go to Owensboro? Bob Ashley, the editor of The Herald-Sun, wouldn’t say.
“I’m not interested in talking to you about it, so I decline to answer your questions about it,” Ashley said. “I’m not going to discuss our internal workings with you.”
For the sake of Herald-Sun readers staying informed, hopefully most sources for its stories are more forthcoming.
“To my knowledge, my stories got one read at The H-S before they were sent to the hub,” said a former Herald-Sun reporter.
The Owensboro hub opened in May 2011 with the addition of the Griffin (Ga.) Daily News. The desk at Messenger-Inquirer of Owensboro was producing the Vincennes (Ind.) Sun-Commercial and The Messenger of Madisonville, Ky., in a bit of a test run. By 2013, The Herald-Sun and the Sanford Herald gave it eight daily newspapers, and other North Carolina newspapers soon followed.
Like the McClatchy News Desk East in Charlotte, the Owensboro hub is about to get busier.
Last week, Paxton purchased three newspapers: the Princeton (Ind.) Daily Clarion (which publishes five days a week) the Mount Carmel (Ill.) Register (3 times a week) and The Standard of Boonville, Ind., (Thursdays) from Brehm Communications.
The Owensboro hub will produce all three, but only the Daily Clarion will be added to the main desk that handles The Herald-Sun, giving it 12 daily newspapers (defined as publishing at least five days a week). Although Frazer says the start date for adding that newspaper to the main desk hasn’t been set, all three newspapers already are being printed in Owensboro.
A main desk of about 16 people produces those papers. Another desk, called the “specialty publications desk,” has a staff of around seven that produces about 13 weeklies.
Of the personnel on the main desk, about half have the title of “copy editor” and the other half have the title of “page designer,” Frazer said.
“We kind of all share the duties,” she said. “Copy editors will do some page design, and designers will occasionally will be doing proofing of stories if we have tight deadlines.”
Copy editors are divided into sports and news each night, although all work with all copy. One copy editor, for example, is assigned to communicate with a newspaper’s sports department and another communicates with that paper’s news editors, according to Frazer.
“We are in constant communication with the people wherever the paper is put together,” Frazer said. “We would be talking to them throughout the night to figure out what exactly they want for the paper that day, and then we put it together here.”
The Herald-Sun is about to lose Orange County reporter Katie Jansen, whose last day is next Friday. She will be doing communications work with Duke’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative.
Canes lose TV host McMahon to NHL Network
Michelle McMahon announced Tuesday that she is leaving the Carolina Hurricanes after only one season as its TV host and sideline reporter. She will be co-host with E.J. Hradek and Steve Mears of a 4–6 p.m. weekday studio show on NHL Network, “NHL Now,” which debuts Wednesday.
“It didn’t come together, officially, until last week,” said McMahon, who told the Canes of her hiring Friday. “I had not known about this. It came as a surprise. But when it came about, I knew that I couldn’t turn it down.”
She said that there is a possibility that other NHL Network duties could be added later.
“I had my apartment lease until February of next year, so I had no intention of leaving,” said McMahon, who called leaving the Canes bittersweet. “I enjoyed my time in Carolina and was really appreciative of everybody I got to work with. It was an awesome experience all around. It’s definitely a positive thing that we’re ending on positive terms for sure.”
She’s had a busy week. After working as the color analyst for Fox Sports regional networks’ Georgia Tech at Clemson volleyball broadcast on Wednesday night, she returned to Raleigh to finish packing.
Friday, she drove to Columbus, Ohio, to work the Big Ten Network’s tailgate show before Ohio State’s Saturday game with Indiana. Sunday, she drives from Ohio to Secaucus, N.J., — where NHL Network’s studios are located — to begin preparing for her show’s debut.
Her NHL Network deal allows her to do freelance work with BTN — she was the sideline reporter for Duke’s game at Northwestern — and Fox Sports regional networks as long as it doesn’t conflict with her NHLN schedule. She worked as a Fox Sports sideline reporter during Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat games during last season’s NBA playoffs.
Carolina’s season opener is Thursday night in Winnipeg.
“Obviously tough timing on her departure for us,” said Mike Sundheim, the Canes’ vice president of communications and team services. “But we’re thrilled for her to get that opportunity.”
The team was without a host and sideline reporter for the first month of the 2014–15 while Chantelle McCabe served a suspension following a DWI arrest.
Sundheim said that he doesn’t think it will take that long to fill the position. But he said that it might be difficult to have somebody in place before Carolina’s long season-opening road trip.
Maniscalco returns to Triangle radio airwaves
About 3½ months after being let go by Capitol Broadcasting Company’s sports-radio division, Mike Maniscalco will be back on one of its stations.
Maniscalco, who would be a logical candidate for the Canes’ TV job opening, lost his CBC job June 23 when it canceled “The Morning Show with Mike, Lauren and Demetri” on WDNC (Buzz Sports Radio). But he can be heard weekly during hockey season beginning Tuesday on WDNC’s sister station, WCMC (99.9 The Fan), for the “Canes Corner” radio show.
The Hurricanes select the host for the show.
This will be the 10th consecutive season as “Canes Corner” host for Maniscalco, whose main job now is as host for IMG’s College Sports Now on TuneIn.
Another former CBC sports host, Mark Thomas, who CBC let go in July 2015, can be heard on WCMC during the N.C. State coaches’ shows.
Until this season, Maniscalco was host for the Canes pregame and postgame shows on WCMC. Morgan Patrick, who did similar shows from 1999–2006, fills that role this season.
Switch on the Carolina Panthers beat
After four years as one of two writers covering the Carolina Panthers for The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer, Jonathan Jones left after the Panthers’ season opener last month to become a national NFL writer for Sports Illustrated and SI.com.
Jones — who previously was sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel and editor of Carolina Blue Magazine — still will be based in Charlotte.
His replacement, Jourdan Rodrigue, will start Oct. 24, the Monday before Carolina’s home game with the Arizona Cardinals.
Rodrigue is going from one McClatchy newspaper to another, after covering Penn State football for the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pa., since July 2015.
WCHL changes mid-day programming
Last month, WCHL (AM 1360/FM 97.9) in Chapel Hill shifted to more local, music-focused mid-day programming.
On Sept. 19, two syndicated liberal-leaning political talk shows — “The Stephanie Miller Show” and “The Thom Hartman Show” — were taken off the air. Instead, the station airs “adult album alternative music” and original local talk content from Nicki Morse from
10 a.m.–3 p.m. The local content includes news and sports updates.
With that change, the station planned to expand “The Ron Stutts Show” an hour later, to run from 6–10 a.m., and include music, which wasn’t part of the show until recent weeks.
Stutts has battled a severe case of laryngitis, though, and that has delayed the addition of the 9 o’clock hour to his show. He hopes to be back on the air Saturday for the station’s “Countdown to Kickoff” show ahead of UNC’s home game with Virginia Tech. If all goes well, he’ll return to his morning show Monday.
IndyWeek is losing two longtime advertising people
Indy Week is about to lose Advertising Director Ruth Gierisch and Senior Account Executive Dara Shain, the publication’s most seasoned salespeople, who both have quit. Both have been with the publication for more than a dozen years. Shain is leaving next week and Gierisch is leaving later this month.
Raleigh & Company, Buzz Sports Radio and 99.9 The Fan all are business units of Capitol Broadcasting Company.