The Tardy Times
I. The Geezer Gazoot

A journalistic supplement to The Tardy Times
with ruminations about Bay Area newspapers
OUR ONLINE ARRAY of articles, comment, gossip updates and news items could have been headlined “Notes from a Newspaper Lover.” (The term "Gazoot" could come from a Norwegian colloquialism for "idle chit-chat" or,  as critics allege, a simple neologism invented for The Tardy Times.)
   Written and edited by a retired geezer (Chronicle, Examiner, Mercury), the Gazoot  reflects dismay with corporate mismanagement, public indifference and the potentially ruinous effect of internet technology on the future of news journalism. If newspapers disappear, what will replace expectations of honesty and fairness in  reporting, editing and illustration?
  The next section, Thirty, is a compilation of obituaries of colleagues and friends.  
  The last section, The Tardy Times, intended  for family and friends, is a holiday newsletter on steroids.
  To get full value from this Website, we are attaching an archive of writings we want to share with the world. They include "Left With the Wonder," the poetry of the late Melda Ludlow; columns by Margo Freistadt; articles by Lynn Ludlow, Jerry Schimmel, Joseph Shea and others. Punch the buttons on the right to switch to the stories. Below are a few teasers.



His purges didn't stop the bleeding      

WHEN troubleshooter Ward Bushee came out of the desert in February to take command, the stumbling San Francisco Chronicle had been stripped of any top editor who could give directions to UCSF, identify Joshua Norton I or explain anything whatsoever about the O’Shaughnessy Dam. 
   At the start of this, Year VIII of the Hearst Takeover at 901 Mission St.,  editor Phil Bronstein could count at least 40 news executives and deputies  who cleaned out their desks and waved goodbye between 2000 and 2007. And some, including veteran editors rooted in the complexities and unique history of the Bay Area, might have been candidates to take his job.  
    Instead, Phil himself was the last man standing.

                                                          To read more, click here.

...Jerry Roberts?
-- The editor vs. the publisher.
Gina Died Alone
-- Pills, paranoia and bureacracy.
Neutered, or neutral?
-- Muzzles for journalists.
Electronic news
-- Electrons are cheaper than newsprint.
Rise of the Freesheets
-- If newspapers are dying out, why are there so many of them?
...Stephanie Salter?
-- Back home in Indiana.
-- Three-dot updates from the Chron, Ex and Merc.
-- The Internet sucks, and other rants.
Gazootland Updates
-- Kim honors his dad...Melba returns to Little Rock...Don flies solo...Lance avoids jail time.
...Reg Murphy?
-- Whatever happened to him?

Paul Avery and the search for Judy
THEY WENT ahead and made a movie about the Zodiac and Paul Avery. It wasn't easy. After 30 years, the serial murderer’s identity is still a matter of guesswork. As for the late Chronicle reporter, his discontinuity from convention must have confused director David Fincher. The script for “Zodiac” depicts Paul as an investigative tosspot and not, more accurately, as an obsessive maverick.
    Given the short-term memory of the newspaper business  (who was “Herb Caen” anyway?), today’s journalistic moviegoers might naturally assume that failure to track down the cryptic killer of 1966-1968 would seem to stand as the most frustrating disappointment in Paul’s long career of extraordinary achievements. Perhaps. But he never forgot about Judy.
To read more, click here.
The Merc's incredible shrinking newsroom
JAY HARRIS, a rare publisher with principles, failed to convince Knight Ridder's corporate geniuses in 2001 to refrain from shrinking the San Jose Mercury News editorial staff (then about 380). He had been boss for seven years.
   Harris quit.
   When Knight Ridder backed off from   its threat, executive editor David Yar-nold ceremoniously tore up the layoff list.
   Everybody cheered.
   Four years later, nobody cheered.
To read more, click here.

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