Gag And A Jab p.24

By: M.L. STEIN SAN JOSE MERCURY News editor Jerry Ceppos has a new T-shirt, but it's unlikely he'll be wearing it.
The shirt, with the logo "I survived the Examiner deathwatch," was presented to him ? triumphantly it seemed ? by San Francisco Examiner managing editor Sharon Rosenhause at a luncheon during the recent California Society of Newspaper Editors meeting in Anaheim.
The gift was a gag and a jab at the same time. Rosenhause was rubbing it in to Ceppos about an April 27 Mercury News story that quoted an unnamed source as saying the Examiner would fold in "about a week."
It was the second time the Mercury News had all but buried the Examiner.
The most recent story by San
Francisco-based reporter Miranda Ewell said that, according to her source, a deal had been struck to shut down Hearst's evening Examiner and merge it with the family-owned, morning San Francisco Chronicle, the dominant daily in the city (E&P, May 4). Both reports drew either denials or no comments from Hearst and Chronicle officials.
Ceppos took the shirt in good humor, quipping, "Don't ask me to pose in it."
However, in an interview, he stood by the story, adding: "We think it's a very important regional story and the Examiner and Chronicle are not reporting it. We're the only daily around here covering it. We see no reason not to cover it. Besides, we were quoting a source. But it would be helpful if someone on either paper would comment ? either to confirm or deny the story."
To which Rosenhause retorted: "What's the story? Where's the deal? Their week deadline has passed, and more, and we're still around. I see a staff here that is full of energy and enthusiasm. Jerry Ceppos is a good newspaperman with integrity, but they published a bad story. When we write something that is wrong, we correct it."
The T-shirt?
"Well," Rosenhause explained, "we wanted to keep it light."
Both the weekly San Francisco Bay Guardian and the thrice-weekly San Francisco Independent have speculated on the possibility of a Chronicle-Examiner melding, weighing in on the side of its happening but citing no specific sources that it will.
However, the swirl of rumors and reports prompted Mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. to fire off a letter to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, asking what the Justice Department's role would be in the event of an announced merger.
Brown also inquired if "San Franciscans will have the opportunity to present community input into this process."
And on May 14, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Government Efficiency and Labor Committee held
a hearing to "consider the impact of the proposed merger."
?(This gag T-shirt was presented by San Francisco Examiner managing editor Sharon Rosenhause to Jerry Ceppos, editor of the San Jose Mercury News, which ran a story in April saying the closing of the Examiner was imminent.) [Photo & Caption]


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here