None Dare Call it 'Squished'

This just in: Less news makes The Cincinnati Enquirer more reader friendly. That's according to a memo to the staff from Kirby Thornton, strategic marketing director at the paper. The memo announ

 
Jared M. Holder


Green Party gubernatorial candidate Bob Fitrakis made a campaign stop in Clifton last weekend.



This just in: Less news makes The Cincinnati Enquirer more reader friendly. That's according to a memo to the staff from Kirby Thornton, strategic marketing director at the paper. The memo announced the Enquirer is shrinking from a 50" web to a 48" web. The goal is to improve the paper's "portability." But Thornton acknowledged there could be some misunderstanding.

"There may be a tendency to describe the new format as 'shrunk,' 'squished' and 'smaller,' " his memo says. "These words can have a negative impact. And 'squishing' and making our products harder to read would be contrary to common sense. It would certainly go against our goals of increasing circulation, readership and advertising results. Therefore, it's important to avoid any misleading terms.

We should use terms such as 'enhanced' and 'improved' to describe the new format."

There's nothing squishy about a new GLBT publication, Q City News, which debuts this week. Sam Robinson, publisher of the monthly newspaper, has dedicated it to people who have died of AIDS.

"It is our goal to record contributions made by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and supportive people in their communities and to the community at large," the dedication says. "While AIDS is not a positive thing, we will seek to draw the positive from the negative. We hold up Paul Delph and his family as models of how human beings should and could react to each other and how families can come to support loved ones whatever their sexual orientation. Delph, a multi-talented Cincinnatian, died of AIDS in 1996. His family honors his memory with their tireless advocacy work supporting equality for LGBT people." Q City News is available at the Main Library downtown and online at www.qcitynews.com.

FCC and Fitrakis Come Calling
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) visited WAIF (88.3 FM) July 11 for a "routine investigation," according to an "official statement" by Donald Shabazz, chair of the station's board of trustees. The FCC investigators examined WAIF's public file, operating and engineering logs, donors' and membership lists and other documents and equipment, Shabazz wrote. In a recent story about WAIF, CityBeat raised questions about compliance with FCC regulations on five of the eight items listed. Shabazz' closing paragraph appears to be a response to concerns raised by the story.

"I am happy to inform you that based upon the FCC investigators' preliminary findings, the investigators have informed WAIF that we are not in any way in 'danger of losing our license,' " Shabazz wrote.

The station is, however, in danger of losing $2,463 if the city of Cincinnati succeeds in its lawsuit to recover grant money not properly accounted for (see Porkopolis, July 30, 2006). The money from the Major Arts and Cultural Organization Grant Program was for the purchase of 10 half-page ads in CityBeat. A photocopy of the CityBeat contract, provided by WAIF, indicates the ads were scheduled to run between June 2004 and March 2005. A review of CityBeat records shows WAIF authorized the publication of four ads during the June 30 to Sept. 30, 2004 grant period but paid for only three. The remainder of the ads ran from October 2004 to March 2005. Only expenses paid during the grant period that match the approved budget will be considered by the Cincinnati Recreation Commission (CRC) as being compliant with the agreement, according to Carolyn Gutjahr, arts grant program manager.

After granting several extensions to WAIF, providing multiple explanations of the documentation required and meeting with Shabazz, the CRC attempted to send a certified letter informing him of the station's failure to meet the terms of the agreement and requesting repayment of the grant funds if the terms weren't met by Feb. 7, 2005. After refusing the certified letter and receiving an invoice from the city for repayment, WAIF sent a fax to the city seven months later, saying the city owed WAIF more grant money.

Bob Fitrakis, the Green Party candidate for Ohio governor, stopped by Mac's Pizza Pub in Clifton on July 29 to discuss irregularities in Ohio's elections in 2004. That fiasco, which ended up awarding George W. Bush a second term as president, was overseen by Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the Republican candidate for governor.

If you missed CityBeat's Porkopolis blog, you missed good news about the Cincinnati Police Department's compliance with a reform agreement with the U.S. Justice Department. Visit citybeat.wordpress.com and get today's news today.

Porkopolis TIP LINES: 513-665-4700 (ext. 138) or pork(at)citybeat.com

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