1. With the Seattle Weekly laying off its restaurant reviewer, newspaper circulation shrinking, and the Seattle Times resorting to a paywall, it's starting to feel like 2008 and '09 again. Those were the panic days for journalists, when newspapers seemed like eight-track tapes. (Get nervous: Our intern wasn't exactly clear on what an eight-track tape was.)
The latest daily newspaper circulation numbers were announced last week, and they're down 0.7 percent. Sunday circulation is down as well, declining 1.4 percent.
The Seattle Times' Sunday circulation dropped 3 percent.
"I withdrew my name from consideration...I am not a candidate."—David Boardman
Given that context, we were intrigued to hear that Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman had been in the running for a job as the Dean at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism earlier this year.
This wasn't a secret, but it didn't get much attention locally, and only came to our attention last week when USC announced that their top candidate, Northwestern's Douglas Foster, accepted and then quickly turned down the job.
Fizz asked Boardman yesterday why he interviewed for the job (was he looking to leave the Times?) and if he was still in the running for the job.
Here's what he told us:
Not infrequently, I get calls about opportunities elsewhere in the industry and in academics. On occasion, I listen to those calls because I think it's a healthy thing to do. When the people who work for me get similar calls, I never discourage them from exploring.
I've always decided that the job I have—working for and with great people at a great news organization in a great city—is a better fit for me than what's out there.
That's what happened in this case. I was contacted, I had conversations, and I withdrew my name from consideration shortly after those conversations and well before the offer to Douglas Foster. I am not a candidate.
2. There's been a lot of vocal local opposition to the proposed Cherry Point coal terminal. Mayor Mike McGinn has organized a group of mayors, council members from around the state, legislators, and tribal leaders against it. Gov. Jay Inslee sent a harsh letter to the feds about it. And a crew of state legislators signed on to a letter raising concerns.
However, given that the federal U.S. Corps of Army Engineers is at the center of the Byzantine approval process, opponents are banking on the federal delegation to put its foot down, and have been nervous because Sen. Patty Murray's (D-WA) financial disclosure reports have shown she owns assets worth between $250,000 and $500,000 from SSA Marine, the company that would run Cherry Point. (The assets now show up under a Fidelity account because the company rolled it over; Murray's husband works for Tideworks Technology, which is affiliated with SSA Marine—her reports do show a salary from SSA Marine "over $1,000"—though "In no way is the senator's husband's work related or connected to the proposed coal export terminal," Murray spokesman Matt McAlvanah says.)
Sen. Murray, McAlvanah also points out, sent a June 2012 letter the the Corps of Engineers voicing concerns about "significant environmental and public health impacts," and calling for more comprehensive study.
3. Kay Bullitt, the longtime Seattle civic activist who hosted former city council member Peter Steinbrueck's campaign kickoff last weekend, announced during that event that she plans to donate her entire parklike estate to the city of Seattle, for use as a park, when she dies.
One attendee at Steinbrueck's fundraiser described her property, which is almost 70,000 square feet, as at least "big enough to hold a couple of badminton courts." Bullitt, who among other things helped found Bumbershoot, is 87.
4. Although we named King County Metro a winner in Afternoon Jolt earlier this week because legislation the US House passed Monday would give states and local governments the authority to charge sales tax on online transactions, we have to backtrack a little: According to transit proponents, because of the way the $140 million in additional sales taxes would be divided up across the state, Metro would only net between $2 million and $4 million a year—hardly a drop in the bucket compared to the agency's approximately $75 million revenue shortfall if the state legislature fails to provide it with new revenue options during the special session.