Nick Ragone is an author, attorney and public relations executive in New York City. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the Eagleton Institute of Political Science at Rutgers University (undergraduate) and the Georgetown University Law Center.

He is the author of three books: Essential American Government, Everything American Government, and President's Most Wanted. Nick is a regular contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business, the PIX11 Morning Show, and has a weekly appearance on the popular Raph Bailey Radio Show.  He co-anchored PIX11's five-hour live inauguration coverage with Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Nick is a contributor to Donklephant.com, one of the most influential political blogs on the web, and  has written for US News & World Report, The Star-Ledger, Real Simple Magazine and RealSimple.com.  Nick has been quoted in over two dozen stories on politics, the presidency, and public relations.  In December of 2007, Nick was named one of PR Week's 40 under 40 to watch, and in May of 2008 was featured in "Profiles of Success", a book about public relations. Nick lives in Jersey City, NJ, with his wife and two children, and spends what little free time he has obsessing on the Mets.

Nick can also be found on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=740817853




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The LA Times is taking heat for not wanting to go out of business ... huh what?

This is a bit perplexing.

Over the past two days, the New York Times, as well as other newspapers, have done stories highlighting the LA Times decision to (somewhat) blur the distinction between advertising and editorial in order to -- get this -- sell more advertising.

Stephanie Clifford of the Times had a huge honkin piece on Friday about the LA Times' front page advertorial for NBC's new cop show, "Southland". The advertisement was specifically designed to look like editorial content, though it was clearly marked "advertisement" and had the NBC peacock logo adorned to it.

Ok, so it's a little cheesy: big deal. In times o' plenty, the LA Times would never have considered a front page advertorial. But the newspaper industry is teetering on extinction. Why all the mock horror about the Times trying to preserve itself with some creative advertising?

And today the LA Times drew more ire for doing a similar advertorial in the entertainment section.

But here's the crux of my post:  I get that pointy head intellectuals and other so-called 'experts' would be grossed out by the Times.  Whatever.  That's what experts do.  But what got me was the following passage in Clifford's story:

The editor of The Los Angeles Times, Russ Stanton, called a meeting with employees Thursday afternoon and asked the publisher, Eddy W. Hartenstein, to discuss the ad with the editorial staff. About 100 employees had signed a petition protesting the ad on Thursday, according to Reuters.

For real? 100 people in the LA Times newsroom actually protested something that the publisher was doing, in part, to preserve their jobs? That's almost hard to comprehend.  Again, the cheeze factor is obvious, and no newspaper would ever consider advertorials when times are flush, but this is the same LA Times that has suffered massive layoffs in the newsroom (like everyone else in the industry).  You'd think they'd be supportive of some creative advertising to help grow revenues. 

Get over yourself.  Would you rather see a few advertorials here or there or be on the unemployment line?

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Reader Comments (6)

i agree to the extent that print media and all media is the lifeblood of my work, but i do think it is quite unnerving to think that media now are so deparate for funds, they themselves will blur/cross the lines on what is and isnt news. It is in order to survive financially i know, but it's still troubling to me. There once was a separation of church and state - i get that times (economic) are different - but the integrity of media at large takes a huge hit if a big outlet like LA Times does this. where will it end. I recall running midwest region media for The Home Depot and they started paying TV stations to run "news" segments on home improvement lessons during the morning news...at that time, more than 5 years ago, i saw the decline in media of all forms was upon us.

April 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermitch

That 100-employee petition is a priceless example of the late-Romanov narcissism that permeates everything inside the LAT building. I know these people. The newsroom will do everything it can to stop any innovation that might keep the paper in business. They don't want to produce journalism. They want to generate enough self-pity and self-regard to make somebody out there weep for them.

In fact, your headline is misleading: There may be sporadic, individual, disorganized efforts to try and survive, but look at the actual behavior over any period of time and it will become clear that, as an organism, the L.A. Times desperately wants to go out of business. And I hope it succeeds, as soon as possible.

April 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim Cavanaugh

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