Talking Resumes and the Job Hunt on ‘First News with Bob Steel’



I’m scheduled to be on KARN Newsradio 920 (920 AM, 102.9 FM) at about 7:40 a.m. Monday during “First News with Bob Steel” to talk about resumes, job hunting and other tips from my career blog The Ladder. Given the current jobs situation, I’m sure it’s a topic of interest to a lot of people.

You’ll be able to listen live online here.

And as I’m making notes for tomorrow’s spot, I notice that experts are predicting a sour end to the week ahead, when the U.S. Department of Labor releases its November unemployement report. The forecast? A loss of 350,000 jobs nationwide, which would mark the biggest montly jobs loss since May 1980, when 400,000 jobs were shed.

That dire jobs forecast is among the reasons that analysts remain bearish on holiday sales. Preliminary reports show Black Friday sales up 3 percent from last year (when sales increased by 8 percent), with online sales up 1 percent. But will more job losses on the way, consumers will remain tight with that dollar.

Experts expect overall holiday sales to be down between 6 and 8 percent for November-January, the first contraction of holiday sales since the National Retail Federation began tracking it in 1992.

I’ll have more on holiday sales at 6:40 a.m. Monday on “Today’s THV This Morning.” Still to come, a more definitive report on weekend spending by the NRF.


Police Arrest Suspect in Murder of KATV Anchor Anne Pressly

Caught. From

Caught. From

About an hour after calling a news conference to name a suspect, police caught and arrested an Arkansas man for the murder of KATV-TV, Channel 7, anchor Anne Pressly.

From the Associated Press via

Police on Wednesday arrested a man on a capital murder charge in the beating death of a popular television anchorwoman but offered neither a motive behind the attack nor details about why they suspected him.

Curtis Lavelle Vance, 28, fled his Marianna home earlier Wednesday with a 25-year-old woman and three children under age 5, Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas said. Police spokesman Lt. Terry Hastings said Vance was arrested without incident at a home in Little Rock about 11 p.m.

“We got a tip. We went there and he’s in custody,” Hastings said early Thursday. “As far as we know he wasn’t armed.”

More here.

KATV has complete coverage on its Web site here, including video of the perp walk, where people are heard yelling at Vance, “You’re gonna die.” When asked whether he murdered Pressly, Vance said, “No.”

The Arkansas Times has more here, including some video of KATV reporter Jessica Dean talking to Little Rock Police Chief Stuart Thomas:

Stuart said the case against Vance is “solid” due to “solid detective work.” Vance apparently has only a minor arrest record, with only one arrest in Pulaski County for giving a false identification in a traffic stop, according to the Times.

Random Thoughts

It was about 12 hours ago now when word first began to circulate that police had a suspect. And it spread across all Arkansas media channels. You can track it moving on Twitter here.

Having shut everything down for the holidays, I missed the breaking news. I had a surreal, old media moment early this morning when I retrieved the newspaper to see the story on the front page of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Kristin Fisher

Kristin Fisher

Meanwhile, lots to consider as this case moves forward. Could this case ever make trial in Little Rock given the amount of media coverage it’s received? (I see that thought noted here.) And how will the local TV media continue to cover the case of a man police say murdered one of their own?

Tough questions lie ahead, to say nothing of the pain this continues to bring to Pressly’s friends and family.


Anne Pressly, from this blog

KATV’s complete coverage on Anne Pressly

Suspect nabbed in Pressly murder [The Arkansas Project]

From KTHV (includes video)



Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (subscribers only); Video; Photos



Google News

A Happy Thanksgiving on ‘Today’s THV This Morning’

Video from behind the scenes at “Today’s THV This Morning” at its big Thanksgiving extravaganza. The crew pulled out all the stops again this year, featuring a big buffet from Golden Corral and Capriccio. THV 10 p.m. producer Shayla Krile says it best: “Delicious.” Even at 7 a.m.

Happy Thanksgiving!

(More morning show video here.)

Joining the Call: C’mon Brummett, Talk Twitter with Fisher

As noted on the Think Tank and the Arkansas Project, we’re joining the call, asking Arkansas News Bureau columnist/new media luddite John Brummett to take KATV’s Kristin Fisher up on her offer to appear on her Daily Debrief Web show to talk Twitter, blogging, Webcams and more.

I mean, Max is gonna be on, for cryin’ out loud! You can do it!


Twitter, You’re Having the Best Week Ever! (In Little Rock)

KATV Uses Twitter, Blogs, Webcam for Choose Your News

The Think Tank Does the Daily Debrief

E&P: Entire Star-Ledger Editorial Board Takes Buyout

Wow. The entire editorial board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger has taken buyouts.

From Editor & Publisher:

As The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. cuts 40% of its news staff through buyouts, it’s also losing its entire editorial board, according to John Farmer, the new editorial page editor.

Farmer, a 26-year veteran of the paper, confirmed that the board members had all taken the buyout.

Those include: Fran Dauth, former editorial page editor; Josh McMahon, Op-Ed page editor; Debra Jerome Cohen, deputy editorial page editor; board member Paul Wycoff; Joan Whitlow, columnist and board member; and Fran Wood, columnist and board member.

“I am going to have to rebuild all of it,” Farmer, 78, said about the editorial board. “I don’t look forward to that. I am losing some really good people.”

Farmer goes on to ponder the significance of a newspaper’s editorial voice in this day and age. “In most cases, I don’t think they have any weight. It has to be a hugely visible race with a significant historical difference. Then maybe an endorsement means something.”

I’ve always been an advocate for having a strong editorial voice at a newspaper. And I continue to read newspapers editorials (including our own at Arkansas Business and others in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette), but I wonder whether I’m in the minority.

In an age where shifting opinions are more prevelant than paralyzed fact, does the editorial page even matter anymore? Do you read newspaper editorials?

Leave comments below.

Arkansas Newspapers and the Search for a New Business Model

In this week’s Arkansas Business print edition, Mark Hengel files a report on the state of newspapers in Arkansas and how everyone from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to the Batesville Daily Guard are using the Internet to engage audiences, make money on advertising and, of course, save the industry.

Hengel talks to Tom Larimer, executive director of the Arkansas Press Association, about the challenges newspapers in Arkansas are facing. And he Jeff Hankins (my boss and president of Arkansas Business Publishing Group, a nice publishing company) on the record about, which we launched waaay back in December 2000.

(Lucky for me, it’s making money.) embraced the philosophy of free content when it launched eight years ago, and Hankins said the Web site and the free e-newsletters it pushes to anyone who registers do better than break even.

“Our Web site has been profitable for several years, with revenue up 26 percent this year,” he said.

Did he mention free content? Then you know what’s next: Hengel talks to Democrat-Gazette Publisher Walter Hussman. In addition to admitting that his company might have been “a little late to the game” entering the niche publishing business with its Sync and Arkansas Life publications, Hussman talks about his newspaper business plan, which (in)famously includes locked down online content:

It’s not that Hussman hates the Internet; he just hasn’t found a model for monetizing the medium as effectively as a print product, he said.

An advertiser wanting space in a Wehco paper might pay between $20 and $40 per 1,000 copies, depending on the ad, Hussman said. A comparable banner or pop-up ad on the Internet generates less than $1 per 1,000 page views, Hussman said.

“The problem is not traffic. You get millions of people who go to look at newspaper Web sites every day,” Hussman said. “The problem is the fact that you can’t get $1 a thousand for it because there are millions of people out there selling that advertising. So there’s an oversupply of sellers, which drives down the price, and it’s not effective, so people don’t want to pay for it.”

So why is Internet advertising not effective? Hengel also talks to Aristotle President Elizabeth Bowles, who says newspapers still haven’t grasped the right advertising model. The key? Targeted (niche?) audiences.

Internet advertising works best when an advertiser pays per lead or sale generated by an ad, Bowles said. Instead, newspaper Web sites have tried to use the same advertising model developed by print editions, which stresses display advertisements. Print publications provide advertisers with an audience of a certain size, of which a percentage is likely to view an ad.

“To some extent, I think newspapers are injured by the breadth of readership they have,” Bowles said. “And in order to make sure my online dollars are being spent as effectively as possible, I want to target my market.”

The key is to connect the Internet user with the content they desire, and connect advertisers with the consumers with the greatest interest in a product.

You can see the complete story (for free, as always, on here.


Hengel talks to former Arkie Jim Hopkins, a one-time commenter to this blog who’s better known as the man behind the Gannett Blog. Unfortunately, Jim’s having some advertising problems, too. More here.

Twitter, You’re Having the Best Week Ever! (In Little Rock)

So Little Rock finally gets Twitter. Or do they?

At the day job, I’ve set up Twitter news feeds for ( and ( And even Sports360’s High School Sports Editor Phil Seaton is getting in on the act, setting up his account at And there’s my personal feed here:

The Arkansas Times has started two Twitter feeds, one for its wildly popular Arkansas Blog, and another for its music blog, Rock Candies. And of course, there’s what KATV is doing here.

But I know what you’re thinking: WWJBD?

That’s, What Would John Brummett Do?

Funny you should ask. His column, today:

That’s this place on-line that you get to by, appropriately, typing Once registered, the idea is to put on-line a description of what you’re doing at that very moment so that your designated friends will know.

Headed to bathroom. Now in bathroom. Now washing hands. Can’t find towels. Now going to lunch. Think will have salad. Ranch dressing. Two croutons. Correx. Three croutons. Oops, iceberg leaf just fell off plate. She wasn’t bad-looking. Guy coughing. Don’t know Heimlich. He’s OK now.

I theorize that all of this reveals a fear of being alone in an increasingly frightful world, of being disconnected from comfortable associations. And I don’t think it’s just the younger people, either.

FYI: You won’t find us sending Twitter alerts about our bathroom habits. It’s all the news headlines and links you can stand. And it’s also an easy wait for our followers to drop us a line.

(As for Brummett’s theory, he might be onto something. Just this morning, the office Internet was down. The feeling of panic was palpable. And all was right with the world again once it was restored. Scary.)

Meanwhile, a less grizzled opinion of Twitter: Business Week’s editor-in-chief on why he Twitters. John Byrne’s Twitter account here.


My updated local Twitter directory after the jump. It includes local news media, bloggers and people I know.

Want me to add you to the list? E-mail me or message me on Twitter here.

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