'The Tennessean' names new executive editor

De Varenne moves from Riverside to replace Silverman
Dec 1, 2011 1:46 PM

Silverman leaving Tennessean

Executive editor to take job at corporate office
Aug 30, 2011 12:29 PM

Media & Publishing

Apr 7, 2011 7:20 AM
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Burlesquegate AKA The Kleinheider Kerfuffle

Chris Wage pens a humorous takedown of what, to him, was a very unfunny post by me that he believes was a severe lapse in judgment:
Initially I argued that this was a seemingly pointless exercise of creepy fixation and a disturbing use of journalistic authority towards public castigation. But I now realize that I was wrong. Not only am I wrong, but I’ve been remiss. You see, many times — recently and in the past, as well — I’ve seen someone, online or in person, and thought that they resembled another person. Not only did I not report it to the media on these occasions, it didn’t even occur to me. Think of all the opportunities to catch someone in a lie that have been lost because of my carelessness. Think of the hundreds, thousands, perhaps, of people out there — right now — that have pictures of themselves on the Internet which resemble other pictures of people on the Internet, with their veracity and likeness competely unchallenged. Well, no more.
Read the rest. SEE ALSO: Betsy Phillips J.R. Lind Matt Pulle Ilissa Gold
Jul 29, 2009 11:06 AM

The Coverup Is Always Worse Than The Crime

On Friday of last week, I got a curious email. It contained two links. One was a link to a photo in this collection of Heather Byrd photos from the birthday party of Manuel, the "king of country couture." The other link was to a search string at the lobbyist portal of the Tennessee Ethics Commission website. The emailer asked if I recognized anyone in the picture. The link to the Ethics Commission website did not go to the specific entry the emailer intended so I asked who it was I was supposed to be looking at. The emailer responded that one of the burlesque dancers in the photo(s) was lobbyist Rose Cox. I must admit it was intriguing. Cox's Linkedin picture and her lobbyist registration photo did reveal a woman similar to the one in the racy photos. I found Rose Cox on Facebook (again looking plausible as the dancer), made a friend request and sent her a message along with the link asking her if she was the womanl in the picture. "Nope. I have a doppelganger. Thanks for asking, though," Cox replied simply. Although the resemblance was striking, clearly there was not enough proof that the woman was her and, even if it were, I wasn't sure what it would really prove. A female lobbyist likes to dress up and party hard? And? So, I had pretty much decided to drop it when yesterday I remembered someone I could ask about whether the girl looked familiar. I clicked on the link I was sent on Friday. The picture I was sent wasn't there. And while earlier there had been seventeen pictures in the gallery, now there were only thirteen. Four pictures, all of a woman who someone thought looked like the lobbyist Rose Cox, had been removed. I decided to facebook Cox again noting that the pics of her "doppleganger" had been removed (thank you Google cache). "You are about the 8 millionth person to ask if that was me in those photos. I just decided enough was enough- kind of tired of the comparison/gossip. So I asked to have them removed," Cox said. I found curious that the Tennessean would remove photos at the request of someone that wasn't in them. I expressed this curiosity to Ms. Cox and she replied that "it is all in the asking." I queried Cox again if she was the women in the pictures. She again said no. I asked her if she was at the party where the pictures were taken. She said that she was at the party. Cox said she remembered the woman in the pictures but that she was wearing a different outfit than the pictured woman. "I was at the party as a guest of one of Manuel's daughter's friends. I was wearing a long, cream dress with a blue and yellow floral pattern. If I see any pictures of myself there, I will let you know. I remember seeing the gal there from the website. The trendy/20's haircut is very similar," offered Cox. By this time, I had emailed the Tennessean to ask them why the photos has been removed and for what reason. The response that came back was from Mark Silverman, Vice President of Content and Audience Development. "We removed several images upon request of the person in them." I told Cox about the response, again by Facebook message, and she said she was "aware of that" and that we should speak by phone. On the phone, Cox again denied that she was the girl in the photo(s) and said that she had emailed several friends to see if they had any photos of her at the party. She even suggested she might have one with the dancers in question. I asked her why she had told the Tennessean that she was the girl in the pictures. "Those pictures first circulated with my name attached a month ago when they were first posted. I had forgotten about them. When you asked about them I finally got tired of the rumors and decided to have them taken down," Cox explained. "I figured it would be easier if I just said I was the girl in the picture." So, either Rose Cox is the woman in the picture and she lied to me or she isn't and she lied to the Tennessean. So whatever the truth of the matter, the lesson here is clear: the coverup is always worse than the crime. Had the pictures never been removed, I likely wouldn't be telling this story and these pictures, whoever they are of, would have remained forgotten. Crisis management is not about trying to clean up, hide, cover up and bury evidence when the crap hits the fan. Well, sometimes it may be. But frequently, the best management of a crisis is in keeping control of it. It doesn't mean that nothing comes out that embarrasses the subject. Often that can't be helped. Crisis management is about containment, not rollback. The best way to handle an embarrassment is to recognize when something can't be fixed. The best crisis management is done when the subject recognizes a whole bunch of toothpaste outside of a tube and sees that the process of stuffing it back in will just make it worse. Some situations call for an apology, some call for a sense of humor and some for just a good thick skin. But the coverup is almost allows worse than the crime. The question should never be: How do we clean this up? The question should be instead: How do we use this to our advantage or how do gain control of this? But most importantly the question should be: How do we not make this worse? SEE ALSO: Betsy Phillips
Jul 28, 2009 2:51 PM

Sans Soul

Former Tennessean columnist Tim Chavez on the current editor's thoughts on the health of Nashville's last daily printed publication.
One of the saddest things in Silverman's piece was his claim that his staff is the best in Tennessee. Not even close. It has lost too many good and talented journalists for that to be true, and that number does NOT include me. Columnists are a dime a dozen. How many names do you still recognize in the newspaper? The best newspaper staff is the News-Sentinel in Knoxville. The best group of journalists in Tennessee are at NewsChannel 5 here in Nashville. The bottom line to all of Silverman's silliness to distract from the obvious is this: he did not quote any newspaper subscriber numbers. They are disastrous. GM execs are making the same contention about their company, while sales were down 53% in February. The American people are not stupid. Neither are Tennesseans. They buy with common sense. They can smell a phony a mile away. A good newspaper with enough fight and staff to make a difference in people's lives used to be something every community needed and every journalist wanted to work for. Now, as Silverman writes, The Tennessean is viable because it makes a profit. But, folks, it has no soul. I am so blessed that I am no longer part of the walking dead.
Mar 22, 2009 6:14 PM

Statehouse reporter Weber leaves Tennessean

Experienced journalist's departure comes after less than two months on the job
Jan 17, 2007 11:28 AM

State Senator disputes Tennessean reports

Norris says daily paper has misrepresented his position on fuel tax for two days running
Dec 1, 2006 8:57 AM

Link: Tennessean shuffles top newsroom management

New editor bumps aside longtime second-in-command Dave Green, brings in managing editor from Poughkeepsie
Oct 23, 2006 5:56 PM

Editor Mitchell departs Tennessean

Updated 12:36: Gannett brings in heavy hitter to replace Mitchell
Sep 18, 2006 10:11 AM