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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Jul. 23, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 29 (download PDF version)

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MEDIA NEWS continued _____________


Margaret Sullivan, editor and VP at The Buffalo Post, takes the public editor post at the New York Times on Sept. 1. She succeeds Arthur Brisbane, who assumed that slot in June 2010.

As the NYT's fifth public editor, Sullivan will comment on the paper's journalism and serve as the paper's liaison to its readers.

She is to be the paper's "initiator, orchestrator and moderator of an ongoing conversation about The Times' journalism," according to the release announcing Sullivan's hiring.

Sullivan has edited the Post for a dozen years. She began as a reporter there in 1980. The Post is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire-Hathaway.


Marc Cook is the new editor-of-chief of Motorcyclist, which is owned by Source Interlink Media.

He held the e-i-c post at Kitplanes, the journal of amateur-built airplanes, from 2004-2012 and senior editor/executive editor at Motorcyclist from 1999-2002.

Cook has contributed articles to Motorcycle Cruiser, Sport Rider and Motorcycle Escape and began a journalism career in 1982 at Cycle Guide.

Motorcyclist is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.


Fast food chicken chain Chick-fil-A took to Facebook July 19 in an attempt to diffuse remarks by the company’s president deriding gay marriage.


Chick-fil-A president and COO Dan Cathy, speaking to a religious news agency and talk show last week, said the company supports “family – the biblical definition of a family unit.”

Cathy said “we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage,’” he said.

The remarks came as media focused on the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to keep its ban on gay scouts and leaders in place. The $4B-a-year Chick-fil-A released a statement on Facebook saying that all customers are welcome.

“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” the company said. “We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Don Perry heads corporate PR for Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A. Jackson Spalding is the company’s PR agency.

In its statement, Chick-fil-A noted the company’s founder, Cathy’s father Truett, applied “biblically based

principals, like closing on Sundays, operating debt-free, and contributing to local communities to its business model.

The PR dust-up is the latest in a series of showdowns between the company and gay rights supports dating back years.

Cathy’s remarks were prompted by a question about the company’s support of organizations that have taken an anti-gay stance, like the Family Research Council, Focus on Family and Exodus International. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives,” he told the Baptist Press.

Chick-fil-A’s statement on Facebook drew nearly 7,000 responses in the first few hours.


Seven months after Joe Paterno died, his brand appears to be following suit.

Brown University said it has dropped Joe Paterno’s name from a top athletic award and is reviewing his election to the school’s hall of fame after the late Penn State University football coach was implicated in that school’s sex scandal.

Brown since 1993 presented an award named after Paterno to its top male freshman athlete, but took his name off the award for this year’s presentation. “The director of athletics has now recommended and the university has approved the decision to remove permanently the Paterno name from the award,” the school said in a statement July 17.

Brown also said Paterno’s election to the university’s athletic hall of fame is being reviewed and that a coaching chair position named after Paterno was previously eliminated.

Following the release of former FBI director Louis Freeh’s report on the Penn State scandal, Nike CEO and president Mark Parker—a 1977 graduate of Penn State— said the company would change the name of the Joe Paterno Child Development Center at its headquarters in Oregon.

On the campus of Penn State, the makeshift tent city that forms to buy Penn State football tickets which is sanctioned by the university will be changed from “Paternoville” to “Nittanyville” this year. The organization said it will donate proceeds from its fundraising to an organization to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.

“Now, it’s a new era of Nittany Lion football,” said Troy Weller, a Penn State senior and president of the newly dubbed Nittanyville Coordination Committee, “and by changing the name to Nittanyville we want to return the focus to the overall team and the thousands of students who support it.”

The university itself, after taking time to mull whether to remove a prominent statue on campus of Paterno, on July 22 removed the statue. The tribute had become a flashpoint for criticism and support of the late coach.

The NCAA announced July 23 an unprecedented $60M sanction against the university, although the so-called “death penalty” punishment of canceling the school’s football season was not invoked.

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