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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oregon Media Insiders may fold

The social toll of blogging in a town that isn't all that big has led Lynn Siprelle to announce that she's closing her blog, Oregon Media Insiders, effective tomorrow. This site has been a big draw for broadcast media types -- particularly the TV news set -- and its departure is likely to be greatly lamented.

I suspect the site may linger a bit beyond tomorrow -- there are some paid ads on it that deserve to stay up until their run is completed -- but it definitely sounds as though a death knell has been sounded over there. Too bad.

When I was a newspaper guy many years ago, I lost some friends because of what I wrote. But in those days, I could say, "I was just doing my job." Blogging is different. If you're not making a living off it, the content of your blog is seen as much more your own personal statement -- after all, you don't have to blog about anything if you don't want to. You therefore take on much more personal responsibility for content than if you were a beat reporter in a daily news medium. And the social pressures are therefore much more personal. When people talk about how blogs are going to replace the mainstream media, that is one of the many, many differences they're not seeing.

Comments (4)

Losing a "friend" like that is not a bad thing, Lynn. "Friends" like that would never be there for you when it really matters, as true friends are and will be. That person failed an easy, unintended test. Better to learn that sooner, rather than later.

I wonder, was backlash from this the last straw? --

OPB's CEO pay $300,000+
Fri, 05/29/2009 - 1:49am | CuriousGeorge

I was going to make a contribution to Oregon Public Broadcasting this year, but after reading their tax return I realized that they would use most of the proceeds from the spring radio drive to pay the salary of their CEO.

According to its latest federal tax return (available at opb.org/insideopb), OPB paid its CEO Steve Bass $296,000 with a $34,000 retirement contribution. To compare, according to its most recent tax return NPR paid then CEO Kenneth Stern $354,334 plus an additional $72,723 retirement contribution.

OPB has a $30 million annual budget and mostly rebroadcasts other’s original content locally, including shows produced entirely by NPR (which OPB pays for with member contributions). NPR has a $150 million annual budget and produces all original content for worldwide distribution.

Why is OPB’s board paying its CEO more than $300,000?

I read in the New York Times recently that, given current economic conditions, NPR executives will go without compensation in the last pay period of this fiscal year, forfeiting about 4% of their annual salaries (OPB’s Steve Bass is on NPR’s board). I wonder what OPB’s directors are doing in these unprecedented times to stand with its members who are undergoing extraordinary financial hardship yet still being asked to contribute?

At the base membership level of $35, it takes 9,428 Oregonians to pay Steve Bass each year. I am not going to be one of them.
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[Here today, gone tomorrow]

It is really too bad that Lynn has choosen to shut down OMI. I found the site to be a fun read and just about the only place to find info about what is going on in the media in the Portland area. I hope she reconsiders her decision or someone steps in and takes it over. I too have a feeling it all has something to do with the OPB CEO salary posting...and by the way- that guy makes way too much money for running OBP.

I loved that blog and commented frequently. But then a couple months ago a change was made in the onscreen format which is awful, plus, adding a comment now requires signing up for an account. I lost interest after that and apparently so did everyone else because input from readers virtually dropped to zero, and many prominent issues never got a mention. She was merely phoning it in toward the end anyway. Sorry Lynn just being honest.

Mojo and Westside Guy, the OPB thread had nothing to do with this. I don't have any friends that I know of there--good acquaintances, yes, and I don't hold any animosity toward OPB, just not folks I regularly have either coffee or contact with.

RANZ, that's all right. It was time to let it go anyway, and I can take my lumps.

Jack, the ads coincidentally finish their run today. :)

The friend thing was something I
thought had settled with the person in question a long time ago, but apparently not. And it was just the last straw in a decision I had been coming to for a while.

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