Entries Tagged 'Media' ↓

Argus Leader announces ‘Changes’

In the Sunday edition of the Argus, they finally made their ‘changes’ public. Well, somewhat.

They announced that they were going to hire some new people and some veterans were ‘leaving’.

While I will commend them for going public with the ‘changes’ that is not quite how it went down. Several reporters who re-applied for their jobs were NOT re-hired. Call it what you want, I call it layoffs. You won’t see anything immediate, but next month you will notice several veteran reporters will no longer be at the paper. I will keep those names to myself, but you will be able to figure it out.

They also re-titled some of the staff and management and are pushing for a bigger digital format. While that is all fine and dandy, I will tell you where the Argus is failing it’s readers and advertisers;

1) Get you freaking website to work. The videos continually crash or don’t work at all. Promised press conferences or shows get canceled or just stop working in the middle of them. If you want to have a larger digital presence, I suggest you learn how to go ‘digital’.

2) Stop charging for the online content. There is a reason why Stormland TV has the #1 news website in the state, they charge their advertisers, not their readers. While I will admit, the journalists at the Argus are of better quality then Stormland, people are really not willing to pay for online news, especially when you can go to different free news sites.

I wish the Argus luck, but I am not holding my breath.

Major SF Media Outlet plans major changes on Monday

I became sad when I heard this today. Sioux Falls is the hub of South Dakota media and when one of the major organizations plans CUTS it sucks.

While I could go into a rant as to the mistakes this organization has made, I won’t. My server may crash.

The sad part is that the administrators and top producers will probably be protected, you know, the ones who decide ‘WHAT’ will be reported and the foot soldiers will be left in the lurches.

I have had great relationships with these reporters, while I wouldn’t consider them close friends, we have helped each other “getting the story” out. I have shared emails, texts and phone conversations with some of the BEST local journalists I have ever met. Great people who have justice on their minds 24/7. A rare breed in a sea of mediocre compared to the ‘other’ news outlets.

It is unfortunate when a news organization decides to get rid of their true talent in the name of advertising dollars or corporate board room decisions.

The first winter storm of this season will occur in a newsroom tomorrow. That’s to bad.

Argus ED Board endorses a ‘NO’ vote on IM 18

Oh the irony of the Argus, in the midst of ‘restructuring’ (which is code for laying people off) screwing their employees out of vacation pay, and consistently dropping subscription numbers (you should see their distribution audit) they recommend voting against a minimum wage increase. Good, nothing like the kiss of death. If I was Weiland I would bed them to endorse Rounds.

If it wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.

Restructuring at The Argus Leader

Recently the publisher was on an episode of ’100 Eyes’ talking about Gannett and a company ‘restructuring’. I guess I didn’t think much about it until I heard that there may be a lot fewer people working at 10th & Minnesota soon. Usually when a major media company splits up entities (this is how I understood it explained by the publisher) this means layoffs or job transfers. No surprise, there is a new sheriff in town, and that is usually how these things go.

The word I got is that some people will be missing, some people will remain, and some people will have new titles.

It was also humorous to hear how well AL Media was doing, apparently doing so well, they have to lay some people off.

Where does this mysterious ‘A’ rating come from?

Is our local news media, especially TV media, lazy slobs? Well maybe not slobs, Brady Mallory is a pretty spiffy dresser, but after watching and listening to this story, I am clueless as to who or what gave the Events Center an ‘A’ rating.

First Stormland TV takes a shot at it;

A member of the concert and ticketing giant Live Nation was also on hand Friday night and had a list of things to change. Torkildson says that list should be seen as great news.

“He said at the end of the night, if I’m giving you things of this nature, you guys did a great job.

So did ‘Live Nation’ give that rating? There is no mention in the story who gave the rating.

Let’s have KDLT take a shot at it;

After having a weekend to reflect on the first major concert at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, organizers are giving the event a solid “A” grade.

So SMG, who manages the EC gave themselves the grade? That is interesting. That’s like giving myself an A+ rating in the love making department. “She seemed to enjoy herself, and I got off, so that is a passing grade.”

I guess I can’t blame SMG for giving themselves such high marks, we wouldn’t expect them to come out and say, “Gawd, we totally suck!” But, really, the media shouldn’t allow SMG to just grade themselves. Notice in either story no patrons were interviewed after the event.

I give the TV stations a ‘C’ for ‘Clueless’ once again on how to do a news story.

An interesting observation on EB-5

While Maddville and Dakota Wuss College go at it over who is lying about EB-5 (Mostly Rounds) I found an interesting twist on how Rounds ran EB-5 in this article;

Other press reports placed these fees — which are totally unregulated by the feds — at a flat, one-time payment of $30,000 to the regional center, and $15,000 to lawyers (who were probably related to the center.)

All of these fees, except the legal ones, would have gone to the state government had it not been for the contract with the Rounds administration

Let’s think about this conversion of a unit of a public university to a for-profit entity for a moment and discuss a hypothetical analogy:

Suppose the dean of the Engineering School at the hypothetical Maryland State Institute of Technology, discovered that some patents the school owned were about to become very valuable. Do you suppose the dean could persuade the president of MSIT to spin off the engineering school (including the patents) to the dean’s personal ownership, for a nominal return? That sound’s pretty unlikely, but that is exactly what happened in South Dakota at Northern State University.

I am puzzled as to why the facts outlined above — none of them secret — have not exploded into a major scandal in South Dakota. Here’s a situation in which one might well talk about self-dealing, conflicts of interest, depriving the state government of millions in revenues, the fiduciary responsibilities of state officials (such as Bollen), and the like.

I suggest you read the entire article. It is intriguing because what this blogger does is point out what is ‘scandalous’ about EB-5 that has already being reported to us, and fairly obvious to those who have been following the mess, and how the media isn’t effectively relaying that message to voters and constituents.

As the article points out, why hasn’t this exploded into a major scandal? Our apologetic, underpaid, advertorial media is mostly to blame.

Monday’s Speaking Engagements

I will be on ’100 Eyes’ today at 3 PM. You will have to tune in to find out what topic we will be discussing, I want to ‘keep it a secret’ :)

I will also be speaking to the Freethinker group at the DT Main Library, Room B at 6:30 PM about local government.

Stehly to be guest on VPU on KSOO today @ 5

Theresa will be talking about her possible petition drive to stop the city from dictating how much landscaping can be in your boulevard. Tree trimming may also be attached to the petition (The city will work in partnership with citizens to trim the boulevard trees, instead of doing it and charging/fining citizens).

An open letter to Fareed Zakaria, from a Sioux Falls resident

I have had some time to digest the CNN piece done about our city (Where America Works). The mayor can’t help to take credit for the success. He does it on Channel 16 during a press conference, then again on the Ask the Mayor episode.

While Sioux Falls has had much success in many areas, it isn’t ALL because of city government. The Healthcare & Credit Card industry kind of run themselves, and rely more on state regulations and laws then city ordinance, unless they are tearing up neighborhoods for expansion.

As for development, the big developers are doing well, mostly because they get massive tax breaks through TIFs approved by a city council that receives thousands of dollars in campaign donations from those big developers and a Mayor who is let in on local development investments. It also doesn’t hurt they have the Planning and Building departments wrapped around their fingers. It also doesn’t hurt that since the laws have changed on home buying, many in Sioux Falls can’t afford to buy a home, so apartments are becoming even more popular, and developers are cashing in, and can’t build them fast enough.

As for city government ‘getting things done’ I have joked with many that dictators are pretty good at ‘getting things done’ in a short period of time ‘snark’. But the Home Rule Charter pretty much gives the mayor the power to sidestep the council and he has. He has bragged about his ‘collaboration’ with the council. That one made me literally LMAO. He has hidden information from the council as much as possible. In fact last year, he gave his budget to the council 7 minutes before his budget address to the public. Many times his agenda item PDFs are not listed on SIRE (online agenda software) until right before the presentation (EC updates for example).

It also doesn’t hurt that the city is flush with tax money and consistently raises fees and property taxes every year whether they need to or not. And who can forget about all the borrowing the city has done. We are $400 million in debt. Most of the debt the mayor has incurred was for entertainment facilities, including an indoor tennis facility that he has the audacity to put his name on.

The mayor also appoints the Ethics Commission and their advising attorney, the city attorney. This commission’s job is to look into whether the mayor is being ethical or not. That concept is laughable in itself. It would be like your boss asking you if you thought he was a nice guy. Guess what your answer would be? It also doesn’t hurt that you use the same advising attorney to defend you in an ethics hearing. It would be like playing Poker against yourself. Every hand is a winner. Remember, South Dakota is in the top ten as one of the most ‘corrupt states’ when it comes to government, and Sioux Falls’ ethics commission is certainly contributing to that corruption.

As for ‘good jobs’ and ‘low unemployment’, those statements in themselves don’t mean squat when you consider that over half of workers in Sioux Falls don’t make a living wage and many have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. South Dakota is #1 in working mothers in the Nation. Almost half of school children in the district get free or reduced lunches and our food banks can’t keep up and have been expanding over the past 3 years. Wondering how CNN missed that in their research?

Has Sioux Falls been successful on many levels? Yes. The rich have recovered very well from the economic downturn, mostly because the Sioux Falls residents they employ are hard workers with high productivity. But I wouldn’t exactly credit the mayor and his rubberstamp council for those successes. But like I said earlier, when you are King there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish.

Fashion Police, “You are both under arrest.” Write your own caption

Just kidding Monty, I just found it funny you both coordinated. Monty interviewed Gordon ‘Whirly Gig’ Howie yesterday. Google Argus Leader.