Archive for the ‘Local Media’ Category

IZEAfest this week!

I know that Michelle already mentioned this before, but since I’m flying to town for it I thought I’d mention it again – IZEAfest is this week! If you are interested in blogs or social media or anything that kinda relates to that I’m guessing you might want to check it out. There’s lots of great speakers lined up which you can see from this schedule. I’m even on a panel Saturday about social networking if that’s your thing. Anyway, come out, say hi, all that stuff. See you then!

Central Florida Represented at Olympics

Beijing Olympics logoI am so excited that the Summer Olympics kick off today in Beijing! I almost never watch sports on TV, but come the Olympics, I am glued to the screen every chance I get.

So I thought it’d be interesting to see if there were any athletes from Orlando and Central Florida participating, and would you believe we have nine people representing us this year?

Here’s a quick run-down of the Central Florida Olympians:

  • Jenny Barringer – Track & Field: 3,000m Steeplechase.
    Barringer, who went to Oviedo High School, looks strong to medal, having set a new U.S. record in the event just three weeks ago.
  • Damu Cherry – Track & Field: 100m Hurdles.
    Cherry was born in Tampa and currently lives in Ocoee.
  • Phil Dalahusser – Beach Volleyball.
    This UCF graduate and his teammate Todd Rogers are the defending FIVB World Champions going into the Olympics, so they look very strong to medal.
  • Dwight Howard – Men’s Basketball.
    Howard is the center of the Orlando Magic when not a part of the Olympic’s Team USA basketball team, which has an excellent chance to medal.
  • Hunter Kemper – Triathlon.
    Born in Longwood, FL, this will be Kemper’s third Olympics. He placed ninth at the 2004 Olympics, and stands a good chance to medal this time.
  • Ryan Lochte – Swimming: 200m Backstroke, 200m and 400m Individual Medley, 4x200m Free Relay.
    Though teammate Michael Phelps gets more media attention, Central Florida’s Lochte still has an excellent chance to medal again in one of his four competitions. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Lochte won the gold medal in the 800m freestyle relay and won the silver in the 200 individual medley (Phelps took gold).
  • DeLisha Milton-Jones – Women’s Basketball.
    Milton-Jones attended the University of Florida in Gainesville before becoming a member of the LA Sparks. She was also a member of the Gold-medal winning US Olympic team in 2000.
  • David Oliver – Track & Field: 110m Hurdles.
    This Orlando resident goes into the Olympics as the 2008 US Indoor champ.
  • Nancy Rios – Sailing: Board (aka windsurfing).
    Cocoa Beach resident Rios came in first at the U.S. Olympic trials and looks strong to medal.

NBC-affiliate WESH has a team, headed by reporter Aixa Diaz, reporting live from Beijing, and you can catch the station’s complete local coverage online.

The Olympics will kick off with the opening ceremonies live on NBC tonight at 7:30pm, and our local athletes will be among the Team USA contingent walking into the stadium. If you miss it then, the network will be re-airing the ceremonies a few hours later at 2:30am tomorrow morning.

Anybody else going to be watching the Olympics? Got any fave sports or athletes you’ll be looking for?

Sentinel Redesign Interview

Confused by the Orlando Sentinel’s new redesign? Elated? So upset that each morning you suck down a shot of vodka then douse the paper in urine and set it aflame?

Orlando Arts Blog has an interview with Bonita Burton, the design editor who spearheaded the change.

One tip: If you are in fact doing that urine/fire bit every morning, TELL NO ONE. Ever.

Orlando Sentinel Cutting Staff

Speaking of the Orlando Sentinel, the past few weeks I’ve heard rumblings of an upcoming round of lay-offs at the newly redesigned paper. It appears this is the week the axe has fallen.

Orlando Sentinel Cutting StaffTwo area blogs were pointed out to me by a reader that I think anyone interested in this round of developments might want to check out. The first is Sentinel Watch, run by a previous employee; the other is The Amazing Shrinking Orlando Sentinel. Both are running lists and keeping tabs on who is being given the axe under the direction new Tribune owner Sam Zell is taking the company (the OS is part of the company). For those not familiar with the name, Zell is a real estate financier who took on an $8.2 billion debt when he bought the company last December. Since then, he’s been in the process of streamlining and selling off parts of the empire in an effort to make it profitable for him.

Strangely enough, even though people are leaving, pr for the OS seem to be denying its happening…even as recently as in an article in yesterday’s industry publication Editor and Publisher.

From that article:

As many as 20 of the paper’s approximately 250-person news staff were informed Wednesday that they would leave the paper, including several who chose to depart with a severance package. Other cuts are expected to be done before the end of July…

Editor Charlotte Hall declined to comment on the situation, referring inquiries to Lisa Jacobsen, a human resources and communications consultant, who told E&P no cutbacks are planned “at this time.” She also stated that the paper does not discuss employment status, adding that there is “a lot of misinformation out there. Nothing is happening, and nothing is planned.”

And unfortunately, it’s not just the OS — all of Zell’s papers are being trimmed of staff. The blog Tell Zell is even keeping a running tab in their blog column.

So what is actually going on over at the OS? Why are they going through the motions of denying everything if it is indeed happening? With the economy the way it is, I’m not entirely surprised at this employee streamlining, but I am surprised some really good writers have been given pink slips.

If any of you have any insider info, feel free to post it in comments. But it certainly doesn’t seem like a good week to write for local newspapers.

We’re Still Ticked Off! Huzzah.

Oh, dear Orlando Sentinel–I’m so, so very glad you gave into the immense peer pressure and returned Ticked Off to its former glory, as it was before the redesign.

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How could we have lived without it? Why, today ALONE, there is so much to recommend:

More people are riding the buses these days. Some of the bus riders need to take baths more often, especially during hot summer months. That person may be you.

People smell on the bus?! HOW DARE THEY?!

Thank you to the gentleman golfer at the WP Country Club for saving this lost soul with excellent directions to the WP Racquet Club. You really saved my day.

He can’t fool me…he means the golfer’s caddy gave directions to his limo driver.

The Orlando Sentinel: Giving a voice to rich douchebags and cranky snowbirds since 1876.

Radio Station K92FM Giving Away Free Gas

In the vein of yesterday’s post, I was alerted that K92FM is giving away $92 gas cards during its morning show with Doc and Grace later this morning (Friday) and next Friday as well.

To win one, listen to the station and call 407-424-9236 or 1-800-749-9292 between 7am and 8am. If you get through, you’ll get one of the gas cards mailed to you. Doc says he and the morning crew plan to give out as many gas cards as they can during that hour.

Visit K92FM.com for more details.

I know other gas giveaways have been going on around town, but I like that with this one, they mail you a card so you don’t have to waste gas driving to the station and waiting in line for the free gas.

Good luck to y’all and let us know if you end up winning one.

Best Sentinel Lead EVAR?

From 4 Orange County SWAT teams arrest 33 in drug bust:

Apopka-area drug users might find cocaine a little harder to come by after the arrests of suspected dealers.

Well played, Bianca Prieto. Well played.

Martha, My Dear

Can we get a little dishy? Is that, y’know, okay with you? You’re not gonna get all self-righteous and backboney on me, right?

Cause now that Orlando has had a few days to mourn the departure of Wendy Chioji, I think it’s time to address the future, and it is this:

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Orlando Sentinel: Softball, or the softest ball?

Our air conditioning is out over in College Park, so we spent the night with family in Longwood. Our morning conversation today centered around the newsiness–or lack thereof–in the Orlando Sentinel these days.

My mother-in-law’s chief argument in favor of the Sentinel as feature-heavy, news-lite fluff publication was this article:

Glamour and glitter are elevated to an art in philanthropist Harriett Lake’s fashion collection — OrlandoSentinel.com

Now, Harriett Lake sure seems like a nice old lady. But how does she get the front page of the Local & State section when there are at least two developing stories (the Democratic primary controversy, the upcoming tax changes) that would seem to merit front-page space more than an elderly woman and her flamboyant hats?

I’ve noticed the same trend–feature stories earning spots on front pages throughout the paper, while what you might call “real” news is buried in the ghetto of page three, five, seven, nine, etc. And it’s not even so much that the feature stories are BAD, just that in putting them on Page One of the main section or Local & State, you send a subliminal message: There are important things happening in our region, and we would rather tell you about flamboyant hats.

What say you, oh Metblog Orlando readership? Is the Sentinel well on its way to USA Today status, or is there life in the old girl yet?

Sunny 105.9

Okay, so O-Rock is now Sunny 105.9–Orlando’s Greatest Hits! Soft rock hits of the seventies, eighties, and today.

The little I’ve heard suggests a refreshing degree of cheesy DJ patter and interstitials, mixed with songs that are largely inoffensive and overplayed–basically, the usual when it comes to corporate radio.

I was however terrified by one of their homepage banner images:

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PLEASE STEVIE NICKS DO NOT TEAR MY THROAT OUT WITH YOUR WITCH TALONS.

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