10 Questions for Oregonian publisher Chris Anderson on his “exciting plans” for the newspaper’s employee-free, nearly, future


king george

Questions for Oregonian publisher Chris Anderson on his “exciting plans” for The Oregonian’s future, upon firing another 35 veteran employees from the newsroom:

1. Is it safe to assume that subscription rates will be reduced along with the amount of product you will no longer deliver to them?

2. When will you figure out whether your exciting plans include delivering the paper three times a week (as per press releases) or four times a week (also per press releases)? No one in your office seems to know whether Saturday counts as a day or not. I think it does in technical calendar terms, but there appears to be some doubt in the executive suite.

3. Do you think the O’s bottom line will improve more than the 3% New Orleans reputedly got from laying off its 30-plus full-time employees?

4. I recall your introductory sessions with staff regularly included your acknowledgement that OregonLive was a terrible website and needed to be redesigned and relaunched asap. Clearly, that hasn’t happened. So you must be worried about putting virtually all of the O’s eggs into that notoriously awful website, yes?

5. As per #4, is your excitement based in some degree on a kind of nihilistic rush that goes along with a good old fashioned suicide mission? Just curious.oedipus_photo

6. As per #5 do you think Steve Newhouse’s campaign to deconstruct his family’s newspaper legacy is a kind of bloody Oedipal drama that could end with a really scary Mother’s Day and subsequent eye-gouging around the Newhouse estate? Or is it closer to a King George III type of dysfunction caused by dissolving lead pipes in the family’s wing?

7. Warren Buffett, known widely as the most successful investor of his time, is actively investing in daily newspapers because he recognizes their ongoing potential to be hugely profitable. Steve Newhouse, widely known as a guy whose last name is ‘Newhouse,’ thinks the opposite. Do you ever think about it that way?

8. Don’t you think “The Columbian” is a good name for a regional newspaper? Like, a truly dominant one? Maybe not tomorrow or next year, but possibly sooner than later?

9. As per #6 – really, seriously. Oedipus or King George III? C’mon. You know you know.

10. Have you thought about writing for the paper more? You published a handful of columns a few years back that had me telling people you were one of the best writers on the staff. Seriously, they were really good. You should make a regular thing of it. If only because you just fired so many of the paper’s other great writers. Give the readers something to stick around for, y’know?

11. Oh, and this bonus question: MyDigitalO. You guys didn’t figure the other entendres there until the whole wide world had to point it out to you? While giggling? I wonder what that implies about the caliber of the rest of the decision-making in the execu-producer suite?

The State of the Union is so strong Ted Nugent is hanging out with Thomas ‘Pink Martini’ Lauderdale

Ted and Thomas II

When Oregon US Rep Earl Blumenauer invited Portland musician Thomas M Lauderdale — leader, composer, arranger and pianist for the internationally acclaimed big band Pink Martini — to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight I’m sure that he would never have imagined that his guest would end up sitting to the guest of Texas Rep. Steve Stockman. Who turned out to be Ted Nugent.

Yes, that Ted Nugent. The Motor City Madman. Terrible Ted. Auteur of “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” and “Yank Me, Crank Me, But Don’t Wake Me Up to Thank Me.” And also a swaggering right wing political voice with a serious taste for assault weaponry of all kinds.Ted and Thomas

Thomas, on the other hand, is a longtime advocate for gay rights and other socially/culturally progressive causes in Oregon. He has never written or performed a song that compares himself to a dog in heat or a jackhammer tearing up the street.


Letter of the day: David Bragdon finds the shamanic breath of PDX in NYC

DB and PC, 9.2010

No surprise that Portland’s former Metro president David Bragdon, who moved to New York City a couple years back to work in Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s city hall, quickly became a central figure in Gotham’s Portland expatriate community. Last night he sent this letter from Brooklyn, where he encountered yet another Ex-Port making her way in the naked city.

Tonight after a yoga class in Fort Greene I heard one of the other clients, a six-feet-tall black woman, ask the teacher, “When does the shamanic breathing class start? When I lived in Portland I did a lot of that.”

I asked her about living in Portland, and she said it had been her first posting in the U.S. Coast Guard. “So you were posted on Swan Island?” Yes indeed she had. “And are you posted a Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island here?” Yes indeed she is. She was somewhat surprised by my familiarity with those two somewhat obscure installations in cities distant from each other. We compared the views of Forest Park from Swan Island with the views of the Verrazano Narrows from Fort Wadsworth. She likes Portland more than she likes Staten Island. Hence her practice of shamanic breathing in a Brooklyn yoga studio.”