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March 2010

Forbidden words?

Tribune Companies CEO Randy Michaels has informed WGN-AM staff, through ND Charlie Meyerson, they should not use certain words on air.  Meyerson explained in a subsequent memo “The real goal here is to avoid using words that make you sound like you’re reading, instead of talking — that shatter the image you’re speaking knowledgeably to one person. By not using ‘newsspeak,’ you enhance your reputation as a communicator.” Meyerson also asked his staff to report on-air violations of the new policy to management.

Judge for yourself which of the 119 words/phrases should not be used on air.  The misspelling 'lecturn' below is original to the list.

radio with's the interwebz

Do you have a policy for using pictures on your website that you didn't take. For example, a candidate supplied a headshot or a government agency gives you permission to use a picture of one of its buildings from its website. What do you think?

Regent bankruptcy

From the Bloomington Pantagraph (listing of Peoria stations at the end is my addition)

BLOOMINGTON -- The owner of WJBC-1230 AM and nine other Central Illinois radio stations has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, though the company said day-to-day operations should not be affected.

Regent Communications said it reached a restructuring agreement with holders of more than 75 percent of its secured debt. The deal would reduce long-term indebtedness by about $87 million and provide full recovery for holders of unsecured claims.

The Cincinnati-based company said in a court filing in Dover, Del., on Monday that, like other media companies, it has seen advertising revenue drop sharply because of the recession.

Regent said it owes more than $204 million in secured loans. It lists assets of about $166 million and total debt of about $211 million.

Our Loss....

News has lost one of the good ones.  Jeff Hawkinson, 63, died Feb. 26 at his home in Peoria.  He had a degenerative brain disease, but was able to be at home at the end, with his family around him.

Hawkinson worked at WMBD-AM, WEEK-TV, taught at ISU and founded TV-10 at ISU, and at Caterpillar. 

There will be no conventional services.  If you're anywhere near Peoria, feel free to attend "Jeff's Happy Hour," next Saturday, March 6, 4-6 p.m. at the Peoria Art Guild (on the Riverfront).

INBA extends it's condolences to Jeff's wife, Cathi, and his children.