Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Authors Who Worked at The Philadelphia Inquirer. 

What a legacy.  Courtesy of Jim intended for the Inquirer and Daily News Alumni Network (but my blog is the only way to include the entire list.)

So proud to have been a part of this crew.

— Bob Frump Sept. 21.

NOTE:  If you have corrections or additions, please add them in comments, and I will forward on to Jim for consideration.

The Philadelphia Daily News deserves its own list with some huge books via Pete Dexter, Laker-Ruderman.

Compiled by Jim Remsen

(Jim Remsen says: The big ad in the NYTimes Book Section for Mark Bowden’s new ‘Hue 1968’ got me thinking about our newsroom colleagues past and present who’ve written books. That got me wondering how many there actually are, which led me to compile this gang listing over the past few days. It’s essentially a cut-and-paste job from Amazon. No doubt some worthy authors are still omitted—because they wrote under pseudonyms, because their work isn’t listed on Amazon or, most likely, because I simply forgot or overlooked them. Feel free to add or correct (as Linda Hasert already has done, above), with my apologies. I did not go back to the pre-Roberts era so Joe McGinniss, for instance, is not included. Nor did I include Daily News folks and thus Dexter, Laker-Ruderman,  etc., are not listed. I begin the compilation with works that inarguably hit the big time (led to movies, major sales, major awards, major impact). After the first 10-15 entries, the list becomes a grab-bag with no judgment or ranking implied. Please read it with that in mind. If someone wants to alphabetize the list to avoid hard feelings, be my guest.)

 

MARK BOWDENHue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam; Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War; Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America’s War with Militant Islam; Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World’s Greatest Outlaw; The Finish: The Killing of Osama Bin Laden; Worm: The First Digital World War; Bringing the Heat; The Three Battles of Wanat: And Other True Stories; Doctor Dealer: The Rise and Fall of an All-American Boy and His Multimillion-Dollar Cocaine Empire; Road Work: Among Tyrants, Beasts, Heroes, and Rogues

JENNIFER WEINER Good in Bed; Fly Away Home; The Next Best Thing; Good Men; Then Came You; The Littlest Bigfoot; Certain Girls; Goodnight Nobody; All Fall Down; Who Do You Love; Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing

GENE ROBERTS & HANK KLIBANOFFThe Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation

DON BARLETT & JIM STEELEAmerica: What Went Wrong?; America: Who Stole the Dream? ; The Betrayal of the American Dream; Forevermore, Nuclear Waste in America; Howard Hughes – His Life and Madness; Critical Condition How Health Care in America Became Big Business–and Bad Medicine; The Great American Tax Dodge: How Spiraling Fraud and Avoidance Are Killing Fairness, Destroying the Income Tax, and Costing You

TIM WEINERLegacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA; Enemies: A History of the FBI; One Man Against the World: The Tragedy of Richard Nixon; Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget; Betrayal:: The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy

BUZZ BISSINGERFriday Night Lights: A Town, A Team, And A Dream; A Prayer for the City; Father’s Day: A Journey into the Mind and Heart of My Extraordinary Son; After Friday Night Lights: When the Games Ended, Real Life Began. An Unlikely Love Story; Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy Inside the Mind of a Manager; LeBron’s Dream Team: How Four Friends and I Brought a Championship Home

STEVE LOPEZThe Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music; Third and Indiana; The Sunday Macaroni Club; Land of Giants: Where No Good Deed Goes Unpunished ; Dreams and Schemes: My Decade of Fun in the Sun

DAVID CAY JOHNSTON – The Making of Donald Trump; Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (and Stick You with the Bill); Perfectly Legal: The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and Cheat Everybody Else; Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality; The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use “Plain English” to Rob You Blind

PEGGY ANDERSONNurse; Children’s Hospital; The Daughters

JOHN GROGANMarley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog ; Marley: A Dog Like No Other; The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir; Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog; (and 8 Marley early readers)

AMANDA BENNETTThe Cost of Hope: A Memoir; The Death of the Organization Man; The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness; The Man Who Stayed Behind; In Memoriam: A Practical Guide to Planning a Memorial Service

DAN BIDDLE & MURRAY DUBINTasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America

MURRAY DUBINSouth Philadelphia: Mummers, Memories, and the Melrose Diner; The Official Book of Wallyball

GENE FOREMANThe Ethical Journalist: Making Responsible Decisions in the Digital Age

MIKE SOKOLOVEDrama High: The Incredible True Story of a Brilliant Teacher, a Struggling Town, and the Magic of Theater; Hustle: The Myth, Life, and Lies of Pete Rose; Warrior Girls: Protecting Our Daughters Against the Injury Epidemic in Women’s Sports; The Ticket Out: Darryl Strawberry and the Boys of Crenshaw

THOMAS HINEPopuluxe; I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers; The Total Package: The Secret History and Hidden Meanings of Boxes, Bottles, Cans, and Other Persuasive Containers; The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager; Facing Tomorrow: What the Future Has Been, What the Future Can Be; The Eames Lounge Chair: An Icon of Modern Design; The Great Funk: Styles of the Shaggy, Sexy, Shameless 1970s

ROD NORDLANDThe Lovers: Afghanistan’s Romeo and Juliet, the True Story of How They Defied Their Families and Escaped an Honor Killing

SUSAN Q. STRANAHANSusquehanna, River of Dreams

DAVID ZUCCHINO – Myth of the Welfare Queen: A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist’s Portrait of Women on the Line; Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad

RICHARD BEN CRAMERWhat It Takes: The Way to the White House

JANE EISNERTaking Back the Vote: Getting American Youth Involved in Our Democracy; Who Are We Now? Interpreting the Pew Study on Jewish Identity in America Today

DONALD DRAKEMedical School: The dramatic true story of how four years turned a class of raw students into qualified physicians

MARIAN UHLMAN & DONALD DRAKE – Hard Choices: Health Care at What Cost?

DOREEN CARVAJALThe Forgetting River: A Modern Tale of Survival, Identity, and the Inquisition

JENNIFER LINShanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family; Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running

HANK KLIBANOFF – Assassins, Eccentrics, Politicians, and Other Persons of Interest: Fifty Pieces from the Road

MICHAEL BAMBERGERMen in Green; To the Linksland: A Golfing Adventure; This Golfing Life; Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School; The Green Road Home: Adventures and Misadventures as a Caddie on the PGA Tour; Every Shot I Take

STEVEN REA – Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling with the Stars; Hollywood Café: Coffee with the Stars

GAIUTRA BAHADURCoolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture

BOB ZAUSNERDanger Above: A Tragic Death, An Epic Courtroom Battle; Dying to Have a Baby: A True Story; Bad Brake: Ford Trucks, Deadly When Parked; Two Boys, Divided by Fortune, United by Tragedy: A True Story of the Pursuit of Justice

DOUG CAMPBELL – The Sea’s Bitter Harvest: Thirteen Deadly Days on the North Atlantic; Eight Survived: The Harrowing Story Of The USS Flier And The Only Downed World War Ii Submariners To Survive And Evade Capture

TOM INFIELDFifty Years After the War: The People Who Were There Recall the Major Events of World War II

PETER BINZEN – The Wreck of the Penn Central; The Cop Who Would Be King : The Honorable Frank Rizzo; Whitetown, U. S. A.; Richardson Dilworth: Last of the Bare Knuckled Aristocrats; Nearly Everybody Read It: Snapshots of the Philadelphia Bulletin

STEVE TWOMEYCountdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack

VERNON LOEBAll In: The Education of General David Petraeus; Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story; King’s Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East

BOB FERNANDEZThe Chocolate Trust: Deception, Indenture and Secrets at the $12 Billion Milton Hershey School

AL LUBRANOLimbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams

ARLENE MORGANThe Authentic Voice: The Best Reporting on Race and Ethnicity

LOU URENECKThe Great Fire: One American’s Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide; Smyrna, September 1922: The American Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide; Backcast: Fatherhood, Fly-fishing, and a River Journey Through the Heart of Alaska; Cabin: Two Brothers, a Dream, and Five Acres in Maine

LISA TRACY – Objects of Our Affection: Uncovering My Family’s Past, One Chair, Pistol, and Pickle Fork at a Time; The Gradual Vegetarian: The Step-by-Step Way to Start Eating the Right Stuff Today

TOM MOON – 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

DOTTY BROWNBoathouse Row: Waves of Change in the Birthplace of American Rowing

MIKE VITEZ – The Road Back; Great Americans: Stories of Resilience and Joy in Everyday Life; Final Choices: Seeking the Good Death

TOM GRALISH & MIKE VITEZRocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope, and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps

GIL GAULBillion-Dollar Ball: A Journey Through the Big-Money Culture of College Football; Giant Steps: The Story of One Boy’s Struggle to Walk

NEILL BOROWSKI & GIL GAUL Free Ride: The Tax-Exempt Economy

TONY WOOD & GIL GAULCrisis on the Coast: The Risky Development of America’s Shores

GEORGE ANASTASIABlood and Honor: Inside the Scarfo Mob–The Mafia’s Most Violent Family; The Last Gangster; The Goodfella Tapes; Gotti’s Rules: The Story of John Alite, Junior Gotti, and the Demise of the American Mafia; Mob Files: Mobsters, Molls and Murder; Mob Father: The Story of a Wife and a Son Caught in the Web of the Mafia; The Summer Wind : Thomas Capano and the Murder of Anne Marie Fahey; Philadelphia True Noir: Kingpins, Hustles and Homicides

GEORGE ANASTASIA & GLEN MACNOW – The Ultimate Book of Gangster Movies: Featuring the 100 Greatest Gangster Films of All Time

RALPH CIPRIANOThe Hit Man: A True Story of Murder, Redemption and the Melrose Diner; Courtroom Cowboy: The Life of Legal Trailblazer Jim Beasley; Garagista A Home Wine Making Journal

MARY WALTONA Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot; Car: A Drama of the American Workplace; The Deming Management Method; Deming Management at Work

JOE DiSTEFANOComcasted: How Ralph and Brian Roberts Took Over America’s TV, One Deal at a Time

KAREN E. QUINONES MILLERAn Angry-Ass Black Woman; Hittin’ It Out the Park; Satin Doll; Ida B.; Harlem Godfather: The Rap on my Husband, Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson

FRANK FITZPATRICKThe Lion In Autumn: A Season with Joe Paterno and Penn State Football; The Perfect Game: How Villanova’s Shocking 1985 Upset of Mighty Georgetown Changed the Landscape of College Hoops Forever; Pride of the Lions: The Biography of Joe Paterno; And the Walls Came Tumbling Down: The Basketball Game That Changed American Sports; You Can’t Lose ‘Em All: The Year the Phillies Finally Won the World Series

TANYA BARRIENTOSFrontera Street; Family Resemblance

SHARON WOHLMUTHMothers and Daughters; Sisters; Best Friends; A Day in the Life of the American Woman: How We See Ourselves

CRAIG STOCKInvesting During Retirement

FEN MONTAIGNE – Broken Empire : After the Fall of the USSR; Reeling In Russia: An American Angler In Russia; The First Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West; Surviving Galeras; Medicine by Design: The Practice and Promise of Biomedical Engineering; Fraser’s Penguins: A Journey to the Future in Antarctica

CARRIE RICKEYDoris Day Biography; They Went Thataway: Redefining Film Genres; Batiste Madalena : Poster Paintings for the Movies; The 1984 Show

JULIA CASSBlack in Selma: The Uncommon Life of J.L. Chestnut, Jr.

AKWELI PARKERAutomatic Emails: Polite Yet Potent Communications for Getting Stuff Done at Work, at Home, and in Your Community; 41 1/4 Creative Content Ideas: Ingeniously Clever Small Business Marketing Moves for Capturing More Clicks, Clients, and Cash; 31 Ways to Green Your Business (And Boost Your Bottom Line): A Practical Guide to Substantial Savings through Sustainable Business Practices

PAT RACCIO HUGHES – Five 4ths of July; The Breaker Boys; Guerrilla Season; Seeing the Elephant: A Story of the Civil War; Open Ice

SAL PAOLANTONIOFrank Rizzo: The Last Big Man in Big City America; The Paolantonio Report: The Most Overrated and Underrated Teams, Players, Coaches, and Moments in NFL History; How Football Explains America

GWEN FLORIOMontana; Reservations; Dakota; Disgraced

BILL LYONDeadlines and Overtimes: Collected Writings on Sports and Life; When the Clock Runs Out: 20 NFL Greats Share Their Stories of Hardship and Triumph

KEVIN FERRIS – Vets and Pets: Wounded Warriors and the Animals That Help Them Heal; Unbreakable Bonds: The Mighty Moms and Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed

JOANNE McLAUGHLINNever Before Noon; Peppina’s Sweetheart; Grass and Granite

CARLIN ROMANOAmerica the Philosophical

CLARK DELEONPennsylvania Curiosities; America’s First Zoostory and Other Philadelphia Stories: 125 Years at the Philadelphia Zoo

JOHN TIMPANE – Poetry For Dummies; Writing Worth Reading: The Critical Process; Writing Worth Reading: A Practical Guide; It Could Be Verse: Anybody’s Guide to Poetry

SERGIO BUSTOSMiami’s Criminal Past: Uncovered

CHRIS SATULLO – Crime and Punishment: Is Justice Being Served?; A Christmas Quartet

SUSAN FITZGERALDLetting Go with Love and Confidence: Raising Responsible, Resilient, Self-Sufficient Teens in the 21st Century; The Everything College Survival Book: All You Need to Get the Most out of College Life; Who Moved My Laundry?: A day-by-day guide to your first year of college life

SUSAN FITZGERALD, MARK JAFFE & DONALD DRAKEHard Choices: Health Care at What Cost?

MARK JAFFE – The Gilded Dinosaur: The Fossil War Between E.D. Cope and O.C. Marsh and the Rise of American Science; And No Birds Sing: The Story of an Ecological Disaster in a Tropical Paradise

NATALIE POMPILIO – Walking Philadelphia: 30 Tours Exploring Art, Architecture, History, and Little-Known Gems

MEL GREENBERGHoops Heaven: Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

JIM REMSENThe Intermarriage Handbook: A Guide for Christians and Jews; Visions of Teaoga; Embattled Freedom: Chronicle of a Fugitive Slave Haven in the Wary North

INGA SAFFRONCaviar: The Strange History and Uncertain Future of the World’s Most Coveted Delicacy

JOHN HILFERTYMoonlight in Vermont; The Mad River Valley; Skiing in the Mad River Valley; Growing Up in World War II

MARILYN MARTERDining-In Philadelphia

REGINA SCHRAMBLINGSquash: A Country Garden Cookbook

BOB FRUMP – Two Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue In U.S. Coast Guard History; Until the Sea Shall Free Them: Life, Death, and Survival in the Merchant Marine; I Cover the Waterfront: Non-Fiction Articles, 1980-2008, Maritime Writer Robert R. Frump; The Man-Eaters of Eden: Life and Death in Kruger National Park; The Spirit Lions: Darting Man-eaters in the Selous

JEFF GAMMAGEChina Ghosts: My Daughter’s Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood

ED COLIMORE Eyewitness Reports: The Inquirer’s Live Coverage of the American Civil War; The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Guide to Historic Philadelphia

STEPHAN SALISBURYMohamed’s Ghosts: An American Story of Love and Fear in the Homeland

DENISE COWIEThe Communication Clinic: 99 Proven Cures for the Most Common Business Mistakes

DON GROFFBest Beach Vacations: The Mid-Atlantic from New York to Washington Dc (Frommer’s Best Beach Vacations East Coast from New York to Washington DC)

HOWARD GOODMANDisoriented: Two Strange Years in China as Unexpected Expats

MONICA YANT KINNEYPhiladelphia Murals & Stories They Tell

MIKE MISSANELLI – The Perfect Season: How Penn State Came to Stop a Hurricane and Win a National Football Championship; The Transaction: Surviving Professional Baseball Through 16 Years and 36 Waives, Recalls, Trades, and Releases

CRAIG LABANSavoring Philadelphia; The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide

NATE GORENSTEINTommy Gun Winter: Jewish Gangsters, a Preacher’s Daughter, and the Trial That Shocked 1930s Boston

FAYE FLAMThe Score: The Science of the Male Sex Drive

MIKE SIELSKI – Fading Echoes: A True Story of Rivalry and Brotherhood from the Football Field to the Fields of Honor

BOB SHEASLEYHome to Roost: A Backyard Farmer Chases Chickens Through the Ages

AVERY ROME – Millennium Philadelphia

DAVE CALDWELL – New York Times Speed Show: How NASCAR Won the Heart of America

MICHAEL  E. RUANE – Sniper: Inside the Hunt for the Killers Who Terrorized the Nation; 1787: inventing America: A day-by-day account of the Constitutional Convention

 

Linda Hasert adds these names:

 

MAYA RAOWild Frontier: Chasing the American Dream in the Bakken Oil Fields (due out April 2018)

JOE LOGAN – Playing A Round: The Guide to Philadelphia-Area Golf Courses

KEN BOOKMANWhile the Pasta Cooks: 100 Sauces So Easy You Can Prepare the Sauce in the Time It Takes to Cook the Pasta; 2500 Recipes: Everyday to Extraordinary; One-Pot Chocolate Desserts: 50 Recipes for Making Chocolate Desserts from Scratch Using a Pot, A Spoon, and a Pan; One Pot Cakes: 60 Recipes for Cakes from Scratch Using a Pot, a Spoon, and a Pan; One-Pot Cookies: 60 Recipes for Making Cookies from Scratch Using a Pot, a Spoon, and a Pan; Dinner’s Ready: Turn a Single Meal Into a Week of Dinners  

MATT KATZAmerican Governor: Chris Christie’s Bridge to Redemption

ROSE CIOTTACruel Games: A Brilliant Professor, A Loving Mother, A Brutal Murder

DESMOND RYANHelix; Deadlines

JEFF WEINSTEINLearning to Eat

BILL ECENBARGERKids for Cash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children, and a $2.6 Million Kickback Scheme; Pennsylvania Stories–Well Told; Walkin’ the Line: A Journey from Past to Present Along the Mason-Dixon;  Making Ideas Matter: My Life as a Policy Entrepreneur; Glory by the Wayside: The Old Churches of Hawaii

BARBARA DEMICK – Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea; Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood; Besieged: Life Under Fire on a Sarajevo Street; Eat the Buddha (due out March 2018)

MIKE CAPUZZOThe Murder Room: In Which Three of the Greatest Detectives Use Forensic Science to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases; Close to Shore: A True Story of Terror in an Age of Innocence; Wild Things

GLEN MACNOW –  The Great Book of Philadelphia Sports Lists; Sports Great Allen Iverson; Sports Great Kobe Bryant; Sports Great Troy Aikman; Sports Great Charles Barkley; Sports Great Tiger Woods; Sports Great Kevin Garnett; Sports Great Alex Rodriguez; Sports Great Chris Webber; Sports Great Jeff Gordon; Cal Ripken, Jr.: Hall of Fame Baseball Superstar; Deion Sanders: Hall of Fame Football Superstar; Shaquille O’Neal: Star Center; David Robinson Star Center; Ken Griffey, Jr., Star Outfielder; The Philadelphia Flyers Hockey Team; The Philadelphia 76ers Basketball Team

ANTHONY GARGANO – NFL Unplugged: The Brutal, Brilliant World of Professional Football; A Sunday Pilgrimage: Six Days, Several Prayers and the Super Bowl; War in the Trenches: Blood, Pain, and Profanity: Inside Life in the NFL

ANTHONY GARGANO & GLEN MACNOW The Great Philadelphia Fan Book

ANGELO CATALDI & GLEN MACNOW – The Great Philadelphia Sports Debate

RAY DIDINGERThe New Eagles Encyclopedia; One Last Read: The Collected Works of the World’s Slowest Sportswriter; On God’s Squad: The Story of Norm Evans; Wil the Thrill: The Untold Story of Wilbert Montgomery; The Super Bowl: Celebrating a Quarter-Century of America’s Greatest Game; Football America: Celebrating Our National Passion; Pittsburgh Steelers; The Professionals: Portraits of NFL Stars by America’s Most Prominent Illustrators

RAY DIDINGER & GLEN MACNOWThe Ultimate Book of Sports Movies: Featuring the 100 Greatest Sports Films of All Time

SAM CARCHIDI – Standing Tall: The Kevin Everett Story; If These Walls Could Talk: Philadelphia Flyers; Miracle in the Making: The Adam Taliaferro Story;

SAM CARCHIDI & RAY DIDINGERBill Campbell: The Voice of Philadelphia Sports

KATE FAGAN What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen; The Reappearing Act: Coming Out as Gay on a College Basketball Team Led by Born-Again Christians

C.S. MANEGOLDTen Hills Farm: The Forgotten History of Slavery in the North; In Glory’s Shadow: Shannon Faulkner, The Citadel, and a Changing America

DAVID HILTBRANDDeader Than Disco, Killer Solo, Dying to Be Famous

DAVID TUCKERLate for Work; Days When Nothing Happens

LUCINDA FLEESONWaking Up in Eden: In Pursuit of an Impassioned Life on an Imperiled Island

 

 

 

The recent news that George Norcross III sent out emails macing employees and staff reporters of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News was explained away by a Norcross spokesman as an oversight.  The emails asked that the reporters attend George’s brother Don’s campaign fund raiser for Congress.

It seems there was a goof-up.   The names were not expunged from Norcross’s regular data base of emails used for political purposes. He apologized.

Nothing to see here folks, just a little blip, move on.

Exterior3

Connor-Strong NJ HA

I tend to believe that.  Norcross is far too smart a guy to try to mace reporters. Intentionally. For starters, he knows they are broke.   Somebody in his regularly well-oiled campaign screwed up and did not clean up the campaign data base.

But in that explanation and attempted extrication comes a more serious and complex tangle for George III.

Did George, the executive vice chairman of Connor-Strong & Buckelew, violate his own insurance company’s “governance” rules? Intentionally, or through negligence, did he co-mingle his corporate and political job functions by maintaining a campaign data base and distribution system  within the Connor-Strong system?

By sending out emails from his corporate account at Connor-Strong in Parsippany, NJ, did he, so to speak, ethically screw the pooch? And violate his own governance rules designed to keep Connor-Strong from violating laws prohibiting insurance firms from directly contributing to campaigns?

Ironman with power disk

Ironman with power disk

It is not a small question.  Electronic campaign systems are the souls of new political machines.  You know that little disc “Iron Man” keeps putting in his chest in the movies?  That’s what electronic campaign capability is to any modern candidate:  the most important power source.

And there seems to be no doubt that the emails were sent from Norcross’s company account. Note the news story reference:

The mailed messages were sent by Donald Norcross’ congressional campaign committee to reporters at the two IGM newspapers. Those sent electronically came from George Norcross’ e-mail address at his insurance firm, Conner, Strong & Buckelew.

norcross head

George III

The emphasis above is mine because it is key to a larger question.  How does George Norcross, the self- acknowledged political boss of South Jersey, manage to be both a political force while serving as Executive Chairman — the guy at the top of the masthead — at an insurance firm that proudly proclaims that it takes part in no politics, because that would violate the law?

Or, to quote the “governance” of Connor-Strong:

Under the laws of many jurisdictions, Conner Strong & Buckelew is legally prohibited from making political contributions as a business entity and may be otherwise disqualified by law from receiving the award of certain public contracts should certain political contributions be made.

A.        Conner Strong & Buckelew shall not make any political contributions, whether monetary or in-kind, to candidates for political office, candidate committees, political party committees or other similar initiatives.  

B.         No officer, director or shareholder of Conner Strong & Buckelew (as well as their respective spouses, partners and dependent children residing within the household) shall make any political contributions, whether monetary or in-kind, to candidates for political office, candidate committees, political party committees or other similar initiatives. 

C.        Notwithstanding paragraph B above, Conner Strong & Buckelew does permit its employees, including officers, directors and shareholders (as well as their respective spouses, partners and dependent children residing within the household) to make political contributions to candidates for federal offices, which includes President of the United States, United States Senate and United States House of Representatives. All contributions must comply with applicable law.  

The synopsis and fair interpretation of the notwithstandings and heretofores?

As an individual and employee of Connor-Strong, George can walk down the street buck naked with a barrel around him marked Don Norcross for Congress.  As an individual, he can throw out dollar bills on behalf of his brother running for Congress.  No harm, no foul.

But he can’t do that in a Connor-Strong barrel. Or from his offices in Connor-Strong.  Or from systems owned by Connor-Strong. From email at Connor-Strong.  Or campaign data bases housed by Connor Strong.  Because that means the company has made some sort of in-kind contribution to a political campaign.  And that means George may have run afoul  of his corporate governance guidelines — at the very least.

Don Norcross

Don Norcross

If the news reports are correct, that is what George the Trois may have done.  And not in a trifling way.  George Norcross III — or someone in his office — sent out emails to thousands of people from the company account of the Executive Chairman, the top man at the firm. And the data base of 10,000, one must therefore assume, is also stored and maintained on Connor-Strong servers, else he could not have done the mass mail merge needed to send out the invites.

Such data bases and distribution systems aren’t some sort of fiddle-dee-dee technicality.  Modern campaigns require them.  The idea that a few reporter names may have sloppily been left on the data base is understandable and forgiveable.  The fact that a campaign data base and distribution  system is housed within Connor-Strong and paid for by Connor-Strong is not.

Such systems are expensive to maintain, keep up to date, and tune.  A well-run social media and email campaign was at the heart of the Obama successful 2012 campaign.  The fact that Connor-Strong apparently is providing that service to a political campaign raises some substantive questions, not just for “governance.”  The services are worth thousands if not tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There simply ARE no campaigns without sophisticated data bases and distribution systems these days. A snail campaign to 10,000 people at an outside agency would easily cost $10,000.  An email campaign?  Gathering the names?  Storing them?  Sending them out? Receiving contacts back?  Probably around the same $10K at minimum.

So  the fact that Don Norcross is benefitting from a campaign housed within and paid for by Conner-Strong would not be a small matter.  The question is street-truth serious.

Why? The point made by the insurance firm is clear so let me state it again:

Under the laws of many jurisdictions, Conner Strong & Buckelew is legally prohibited from making political contributions as a business entity and may be otherwise disqualified by law from receiving the award of certain public contracts should certain political contributions be made. 

Perhaps it is time for the governance committee at Conner Strong  to pop the hood on its computer and see if it says, “Powered by Norcross for Congress 2014” on the engine block.  And if they don’t, perhaps one of the jurisdictions might help them.

Warring Philadelphia Newspaper Owners Urged to Fix Glaring Website Strategic Flaw

Philadelphia, PA, Dec. 6, 2013 — The President of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News Alumni Society today called on the warring owners of the newspapers to collaborate on fixing a major flaw in the company’s business strategy – its broken and embarrassing business model for the web.

“Perhaps the two sides can find some peaceful common ground on this very large, very public problem that is absolutely core to the survival and prosperity of the newspapers,” said Robert R. Frump, who founded and manages the 587-member alumni society on LinkedIn.

“The spectacle of a dysfunctional web strategy with competing sites confusing both readers and advertisers should be a rallying call for the owners to put their differences aside – and just fix it,” Mr. Frump said.  “We are nearly twenty years into the era of the Internet but the company’s web site and strategy seems to date from 1998.”

Factions within the ownership group of The Inquirer have battled in court over whether Editor Bill Marimow, a nationally respected journalist, could be fired by the publisher, Bob Hall.  A court reinstated Mr. Marimow late last month.  The newsroom welcomed Mr. Marimow back with applause while the pro-Hall ownership faction led by businessman and South New Jersey political power George Norcross vowed to appeal the decision.

Lost in the scuffle is the confused state of the Inquirer’s web strategy – an element considered vital to the survival of any modern newspaper.

Today, the newspapers are represented by three different public websites with no clear coordination or apparent strategy.

Philly.com, a free site run partly by the daughter of owner George Norcross, competes with the paid Inquirer.com run by the Inquirer newsroom and the paid PhillyDailyNews.com.  Additionally, both newspapers present a “digital replica edition.”

While it has been common for newspapers to experiment with free and paid versions of websites, only the Philadelphia franchise has created dueling versions at apparent war with each other owned by the same company aimed at the same potential readers and advertisers.

Even more unique, is that the company seems to be doubling down on a “free” model at the worst possible time for such sites.  Digital ad revenues essential for the “free” model have dropped sharply this year because of increased commodity ad placement strategies driven by algorithms.

In fact, the amping up of Philly.com comes as the rest of the newspaper world is strongly moving from free to paid digital subscriptions.  Both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have reported strong earnings from paid models.

While the web sites were not directly involved in the court battles, most observers believe the web confusion contributed to editorial quality issues that contributed to Mr. Marimow’s initial firing.

The City Paper, a Philadelphia alternative weekly, reported in October:

Reporters question Philly.com’s editorial decisions, which include writing headlines like “Company gives away vibrators to keep you busy during the government shutdown” and allowing former Flyers goaltender Bernie Parent to advise readers to “stay horny.”

In May, reporters were infuriated when the site announced that Tom Corbett, who is also employed as the Republican governor of Pennsylvania, would write a column for Philly.com. Marimow assigned a story on the decision, which described Hall as calling Philly.com “not bound by traditional newspaper conventions.” Lexie Norcross was quoted as saying, “Considering that the Inquirer and Daily News slam him every day, I think it’s actually equal, giving him a chance to speak.” 

“Missed in the coverage of the court case and all its allegations are the real shortfalls on the business side,” Mr. Frump said. “The company does not seem to have steady business leadership or a modern strategic sense of direction – let alone any real feeling for the necessity of editorial quality in the product.

(Robert R. Frump is speaking here as the founder and president of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News Alumni Society, and his remarks represent his opinions only.  Mr. Frump, a former reporter for The Inquirer, has served as publisher of Knight Ridder, Inc., and McGraw Hill publications as well as heading up advertising sales departments.  He was a co-founder of Medialink, a successful venture capital startup. He has led electronic publishing and major web implementations at Standard & Poor’s and served as Editor in Chief of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. He has received the Gerald Loeb Award and, with Tim Dwyer, the George Polk Award.  He served as a member of an Inquirer Pulitzer Prize-winning task force and has written three books.)

Okay, I’ve read all of the stories and blogs tsk-tsk-ing the conflict, and tutt-tutt-ing the horrible situation that has resulted in two owners in gridlock and the poor readers suffering over The Philadelphia Inquirer court battles.

Are you kidding me?

If this had happened in Egypt, we’d be tweeting about the journalistic spring.

Are journalists so hard-headed and battered that they don’t see the one journalistic insurrection when it strikes them in the face? Where, among dozens if not hundreds of failing or failed or ethically depleted newspapers, one editor, a newsroom and a couple of millionaires actually fought back to support good ethical standards?

The stock story focused on court room battles, intriguing companions, 26-year-old relatives running websites and the politically connected.

I’d submit it is more like this:

The traditional newspaper management that got newspapers into the mess they are in now proposed more of the same.  Essentially, the play was all too well known to those of us in the business.  Cut the payroll by firing senior editors, hire cheap young reporters to crank out copy in New Jersey, and probably throw out chum and link bait from Philly.com to plump up the online numbers.  Jettison local columnists and op ed articles, too.

At the same time, run two separate web portals — one paid; one free.  Put the young daughter of a politically connected owner in charge of the free one and begin running politically favorable coverage on the free portal.

Then, in classic old publisher style, if your plan isn’t working, fire the editor.  Blame the content, not a business plan that is so flawed that it has  has the arc and prospects of an ingrown toenail.

The problem here is that the editor they sought to fire is Bill Marimow, who may be the toughest, fairest news person alive today.  He fought it, as did those in the newsroom who support the idea of good journalism.  Remarkably, so did some of the millionaire owners who filed suit against the pols.

There is a wonderment among many as to why Bill Marimow did this.  It is probably short term.  His contract and protection runs through April.  There’s no money in it for him.  Or at least no incremental advantage.  He would be paid regardless.

But he chose to fight.  And while I’ve not talked to Bill about this, I am pretty sure why he fought.  It’s not about old style journalism or new style journalism.  It’s about drawing a line in the sand for just practicing journalism — for as best as we can in an imperfect world to say that you can by god take a shot at reporting what is happening the world in a manner that allows your readers to make decisions based on it with affect.

It is about the Fourth Estate.

Fire the five editors and Marimow, others have said, and who cares if the news continues to be gathered with integrity. And that’s the point.  The integrity part.  Because it is lost.  Hire a bunch of bloggers in New Jersey and have them turn out lists of Five New Jersey Twerking Hot Spots and you may have a viable web site.  You do not have a newspaper.  You do not have a Fourth Estate.

No newspaper today survives without the integrity of a good news operation, of good people performing a public service in trust with its readers.  Lose that pro bono notion, and you lose the business.

That is what is at stake at The Philadelphia Inquirer.  That is what Marimow is fighting for.  That is what most of the writers and bloggers covering this are missing.

Over the past decade of newspaper despair and disaster, many fine and able editors resigned or were fired as the business folks “thinned the soup,” cut pages, and raised prices.  All well and good.  But how many editors have taken this sort of action?  How many have sued to remain as editor of a besieged and beleaguered newspaper?

Damned few by my count.

It’s time for journalists to stop wringing their hands about The Philadelphia Inquirer and call it for what it is:  the one time in modern history where an editor stood up for what was right.  And it appears, won.

Let’s hope that the readers of The Philadelphia Inquirer rally behind the rag.  Let’s pray this is not a beau geste, but the start of a civic reconnection with one of the most important elements of community and democracy.  Let’s hear it for Bill and the other brave souls of The Inquirer.