Kamen wants Dolan to fess up

Wed, Jan 21, 2009

Long Island Business News – LI Biz Blog    www.LIBN.com


The mystery of the missing Newsday editors has been solved. There was a dispute between Editor John Mancini and heads of Cablevision over Newsday’s “tenor and depth of overall coverage” related to the New York Knicks, accordingto a New York Times story. Cablevision, of course, owns the basketball team.

It seems the editor won this bout, securing the editorial integrity of the newspaper. But local media appraiser Kevin Kamen thinks the chief of Cablevision himself, James Dolan, should explain to the public the details of the dispute, while promising to never let something like this happen again.

That’ll be the day.

Here’s Kamen’s statement. Do you agree with it?

Cablevision needs to realize that they must let those who handle their print products have full control over all editorial product and those who handle their broadcast and telecommunications departments run those respective entities without any interference from executives.

The news is the news and like it or not it must be reported truthfully, accurately and independently. This was a major concern many of us within the publishing arena had when we were watching the bidding and eventual sale of Newsday to Cablevision for $650 million take place last year. The potential for a blow up and fireworks was always there and remains so to this day.

Cablevision can say what it wants but the independent integrity of Newsday can never be questioned; the day it is will be when the newspaper  becomes irrelevant to its core readership base. Many of us on Long Island and inside the media trade had issues with the fact that Cablevision might one day attempt to drive the Newsday newsroom to places it ought to not go and curtail the independent and accurate reporting of stories which impact Cablevision’s sports teams and vast business interests.

All readers deserve to know, as well as does the editorial department, that Cablevision will stay away and not interfere with newsroom activities. Mr. Dolan must make it absolutely clear to one and all, employees and readers alike, that interference did occur in the Newsday newsroom recently, it was wrong and editorial heads will have complete functional authority from this point on.