News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

Rumors Abound About Status of Newsday Editor Mancini, Top MEs

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Newsday’s James T. Madore wrote today that Cablevision and Newsday officials would not comment on the status of editor John Mancini, and managing editors Deborah Henley and Debby Krenek. Whether the three were still employed was the subject of a story by Keith J. Kelly in Sunday’s New York Post that was based on unnamed sources and speculation.

The gist of the Post story is this:

“Nobody knows what’s going on,” an insider said. “At first, we just assumed [the meeting] meant more layoffs, because advertising was off by 40 percent last quarter.”

A rumor making the rounds had the Dolans furious over Newsday’s coverage of a sexual-harassment suit filed against Knick center Eddy Curry by his former chauffeur. Cablevision, which owns the Knicks, the Rangers and Madison Square Garden, bought Newsday from the Tribune Company last July for $650 million.

When Mancini, Henley and Krenek failed to show up for work Thursday and Friday – as papers scrambled to cover the US Airways crash in the Hudson River – it ignited speculation that they were summoned to Cablevision offices Thursday and asked to justify their jobs.

Adding to the intrigue, Mancini’s office had been cleared out by Friday morning. And by last night, voicemail was not connecting to any of the top three editors.

At least the Post was able to quoted “a rumor making the rounds.” Madore’s story responded with this:

But newsroom sources told Newsday that Henley was involved in the coverage Thursday of the US Airways plane downed in the Hudson River, and another source said Krenek was in New York City for scheduled meetings.

Voice mails for the three editors were back on yesterday after a wider outage had been corrected. Their names also continued to appear on the masthead.

Yesterday, Cablevision spokesman Charles Schueler referred questions to Newsday spokeswoman Deidra Parrish Williams, who declined to comment. Mancini would not address any questions. Publisher Timothy P. Knight, Henley and Krenek did not return telephone messages left for them.

Once again, no sources were quoted by name, which in itself isn’t a ringing endorsement. I’d hate to see Mancini go. One, on a personal level, we worked side-by-side at Newsday for years (he did rise much higher in the organization than I did!), and I always liked the guy. But on a professional level, he’s one of the best in the game. He can get to the root of any story, especially a New York story, and he knows what readers want and need. It would be a shame if he lost his job because he stepped on Cablevision’s toes over the Curry story. If it is the case, the three of them are better off leaving.

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Written by newscycle

January 19, 2009 at 9:38 am

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