Home > Humboldt County, Media > More on the Journal’s big change

More on the Journal’s big change

UPDATE: If you missed it, listen here.


Tom Abate.

Following yesterday’s surprise news that a new editor will lead the North Coast Journal, you can read more from the man himself, Tom Abate, in this week’s NCJ.

The online version offers links to a 4-part story about the very beginnings of the NCJ.

For more, tune into KSLG tomorrow (Friday) today (Thursday) morning at 9am to hear John Matthews interview Abate and NCJ publisher Judy Hodgson.

  1. Anon
    January 27, 2011 at 9:10 am

    meanwhile, is it just my computer or did the T-S forget to update their website with today’s news? Being one day out of date is not going to make me buy the paper, if that’s what they are thinking…

  2. SNaFU
    January 27, 2011 at 9:20 am

    TS observing Global Warming, just walk outside.

  3. Plain Jane
    January 27, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I have noticed that occurring frequently, Anon. Lately you can read the T-S once a week and not miss any local news.

  4. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Being one day out of date is not going to make me buy the paper, if that’s what they are thinking…

    The Times-Standard isn’t concerned that freeloaders get in a tizzy when they don’t get their freebies, if that’s what you are thinking.

  5. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 9:43 am

    we hope you will make us an even more vital part of your life

    The Journal has forgotten that the only information it publishes that comes close to being vaguely vital is its event calendar. But even on that point, enough events somehow escape its grasp that it cannot be relied upon as a definitive resource.

  6. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:21 am

    more flesh hooks!

  7. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Welcome back Tom. I’m looking forward to your work.

  8. Goldie
    January 27, 2011 at 10:39 am

    The NCJ has done a lot of thing right. I am looking forward to the influence of Tom and Hanks expanded on-line choices.

  9. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Tom Hanks has everyman appeal.

  10. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Uh oh, did you hear that interview?

  11. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

    Who listens to the radio anymore when there’s Pandora? Well, apparently you. What did they say?

  12. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Anonymous 9:40,

    Advertisers pay to put ads on the T-S website because they think people might be looking for news there. The people who go to the T-S website are only freeloaders in the EXACT same way that the people who pick up the North Coast Journal are freeloaders and in the EXACT same way as someone who listens to commercial radio or watches commercial TV.

    I doubt the nickel you pay to get the physical paper delivered pays for printing your copy — the business side of newspapers is all about getting eyeballs next to ads, and it makes no difference if the eyeballs are looking at paper or at a computer screen.

    If you are in some way connected with the T-S, viewing your online readership as less important than your subscribers is a great way to continue running your business into the ground.

  13. skippy
    January 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Welcome back and welcome aboard, Mr. Abate. Looking forward to it and enjoyed your kind letter in the NCJ article and blog today. For those interested readers, here it is:

    “Comment / By tom abate / Today, 2:51 a.m.”

    “As long as I’ve known Rick Levin this is the first time he has ever called me “Mr Abate.” Thanks. That said I wish to distance myself from any criticism, reproach or even any public discussion of the new editorial lineup. What I will say is that I see a huge opportunity: the print Journal is a great read with a great rep and a great sales team; its publisher is reinvesting in the paper and it has in Hank a homegrown guru in developing journalism apps for smart phones, plus his Dandy column and reporting. What do [I bring? Well soon I’ll start writing for the Journal and that will add a bit; plus I have Silicon Valley contacts; a background in print, radio and television. With open source business models good stuff that starts at the Journal can make a difference not only here but elsewhere. By analogy, we have all the elements that go into gunpowder; but we need to get the mix right; we don’t need some errant spark to cause a blowup. So, Mr. Levin, whilst I appreciate your support, and hope to justify your confidence in me, I ask you and any other Abatistas out there to restrain your enthusiasm until such time as I do something other than parachute in unexpectedly.”

    Given Mr. Abate’s interest in Humboldt, credentials, and letter, yours truly has a positive outlook for the Sims/Abate/Hodgson/staff team.

  14. Walt
    January 27, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Heraldo readers NEED to know: Is he gonna keep the tie?
    PRIORITIES, people!

  15. FoxStudio
    January 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    Anon 9:40am- We pay the princely sum of $39/year for the e-edition of T-S because I want the full Friday art coverage with all the pretty pictures. Otherwise, meh. So, yeah, it’s really irritating to log in to the site at 7am and it’s still yesterday’s “paper”.

  16. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Holy Cow! John Matthews is having a sensible conversation with Judy and then Tom blows up. Chill dude! That’s an amazing interview. I have newfound sympathy for Hank. Hang in there buddy.

  17. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    I wonder what Judy is thinking this evening. This is so unfortunate.

  18. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    What is is it that you see as “unfortunate,” 8:37?

    The changes at NCJ? The radio interview?

  19. Not A Native
    January 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Where do you get the TS for a nickel, Mitch? Subscriptions don’t go for that and neither do the newsstands. Do you ‘liberate’ a copy from your neighbor’s lawn leaving a nickel behind? There’s no obligation for the TS to duplicate their print version with their online version or to even to have an online version or a print version. Someone feeling shortchanged because the free website isn’t as good as their paid print edition is just peevish and spoiled.

    There’s no doubt the TS needs a profitable business model to continue(clearly the Reporter never did). And that must include not giving away their product at less than the cost of producing it. But what that successful business model should be is discretionary. If they want Mitch’s advice, they can take it. But he’s got no skin in their success or failure or record of success in publishing a daily paper.

    Newspaper publishers are declaring bankruptcy and ceasing print operations at a rapid clip. FWIW, both the Wall Street Journal and NYTimes don’t publish free websites that duplicate their print versions. Its widely predicted that most daily print media will eith adopt something like that model or cease to exist.

  20. Plain Jane
    January 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    I’m listening to the Matthews – Abate interview and I must say, I’m speechless over Abate’s attitude. OMFG!

  21. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    tra, unfortunate refers to the interview. Give it a listen. It sounds like someone came to the interview just a tiny bit defensive.

  22. January 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    This is quite an introductory interview! Wow.

    Bringing on Abate as editor was a big secret, and signals changes that are still being worked out. In that sense it’s a bit of a shakeup.

    Judy Hodgeson says the Journal’s owners purposefully kept it as a secret from Journal staff. She said Hank was a puzzle piece they had to make fit. Judy calls it a restructuring, not a demotion for Hank.

    Abate calls the process “suboptimal.” He says he will treat Hank with “respect, deference and appreciation” for the work he does that is essential to the future of the Journal. He said Hank developed a mobile app, not out yet, which is the type of thing Abate says is important to the future of media

    Abate talks about the big challenges facing the news industry. Big city papers and disintegrating. He said the Chronicle’s editorial staff went from 450 to 150 since 2005. Of the Journal he says “we’re going to have to do media differently,” and that it will take time to figure it out.

    He hasn’t told his colleagues at the Chronicle yet, though they have probably heard by now because of the “small world” created by the internet.

    The change announced yesterday happened in 4 weeks. Hodgson called Abate on December 22nd and asked him to take leave of absence to advise her on the paper. Abate has property here and the time was right for him to come back to Humboldt, for personal and professional reasons.

    The interview is combative.

    “You are so confrontational,” Matthews said after Abate took him to task for his interview questions and for “obfuscation.”

    Abate says one problem with the media is it sees the glass as half empty. Abate says he is here to do things differently.

  23. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 9:04 pm


    It’s a figure of speech. Geez.

  24. Not A Native
    January 27, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    Mitch, You diss a poster and now claim its only a figure of speech. That’s a cheap and cowardly shot. It seems pretty easy for you to rationalize and excuse your own shortcomings and misstatements while flailing someone else. Is that how you implement your stated doctrine, the Golden Rule? To use current vernacular, you need to man up, or bigender-up if that better suits your predeliction.

  25. shock on all the faces
    January 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    After listening to the whole radio interview and hearing Judy talk about the shock on all the faces at the newsroom, Hank included, when the news finally got delivered, it’s hard not to conclude that Judy and Carolyn Fernandez (principal owners of the Journal and still the shot-callers) finally decided that Hank needed to be “reeled-in.” Talented as a writer, but as an editor, someone who was consistently taking a snide tone, making bad decisions, alienating people. Not what Judy and Carolyn wanted to project anymore.

    Call it what you will, but going from editor in chief to web editor is not a “re-structuring.” Most people would call it a demotion.

  26. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Apparently John Matthews was supposed to ask only about the future, and not about the shakeup or anything, umm, mentioned in the blog articles the journal linked. It was John’s role to give the Journal only softball questions and praise, not asking any questions that anyone and everyone is wondering about this change.

    Bad John! No cookie!

    Seriously John, tell us where to send you cookies. Good job. Keep up the good work, and don’t apologize for being a journalist. The Journal learned something today about good journalism.

  27. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm


    I don’t have a clue what you’re on about. I was saying that “a nickel” is a figure of speech, as in “it’s your nickel.”

  28. KSLG's still the king of audio interviews
    January 27, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    John Matthews get huge props for putting up with Tom Abate’s shameful on-air outbursts. Abate acted like John had no right to ask him the simple questions everyone was wondering about. Earth to Tom: it’s called “an interview.” People ask questions. Some of them, you may not like. Yeah, in Brooklyn maybe you’d take them into an alley and knife ’em, but out here in Humboldt you can just say, “I can’t really speak to that.” (Try it sometime.) Honestly, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about your depression or the personal details about the marriage you’re coming out of. Save it for the therapist’s couch.

    Good job, John.

  29. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    On the plus side, there’s no where for the Journal to go from here except up.

    When John was asked about ‘the secret’ I believe it was a reference to the self-help book or DVD. I laughed so hard.

  30. January 27, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I couldn’t give a rat’s ass about your depression or the personal details about the marriage you’re coming out of.

    To be fair, John asked the question. And it’s all part of the story of how this came about. It’s especially interesting if you take the time to read Abate’s 4-part article about how he first started the NCJ.

  31. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    I must agree that Abate did not make a very good first impression in that interview.

  32. January 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Dude, he sang! Give a guy a chance.

  33. Gus
    January 27, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    R.I.P Journal.

  34. longwind
    January 27, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    What got me was that John felt pretty softball, with Judy piffling through her replies brightly and boringly enough that nobody would remember her newsroom description.

    But Abate breaks in like they’ve been shoving sticks in his eye and starts raving about professionalism and his ruined profession and divorce, and John, the perfect picture of California passive-aggressive, between assurances and apologies asks questions like “Suts up with that?” and “Obfuscation?” And off Abate goes again. Is this reality radio?

    I dunno, I’m not sure it’s journalism anymore but it sure is sociology. Of what?

  35. Goldie
    January 27, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Painful to listen to. yikes!

  36. Not A Native
    January 27, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    Well Mitch we’re totally agreed on one thing, you’re clueless.

  37. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Hank’s world just came crashing down.

    I think in his own mind he had planned to grow old at his Journal editorship, Slayer of all who would dare question him, Master of his Domain.

    Today it all ended.

    Question is now, will he even stay in the area?

  38. January 27, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Is that your two cents, NAN?

  39. Not A Native
    January 27, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    H, Now THATS a metaphor, not a bogus economic argument concocted solely to dismiss a poster’s opinion about the value of a website.

  40. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 10:17 pm


    For some reason, on my screen, the fields for “Name” and “Email” are autofilling as “Mitch” and “nobody@gmail.com” Some kinda little gremlin in the system somewhere, I guesss.

    Just thought you should know that this little quirk is happening again. If this keeps up it could become a real annoyance as sooner or later I’m going to fail to notice that the name field is autofilled with Mitch’s (or somebody else’s) name, and as a result, the comment will end up posting under the wrong name.

    And if this is happening on my computer, I assume it’s happening to other folks as well.

  41. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    “I’m not sure it’s journalism anymore but it sure is sociology.”

    Parts of it sounded more like Abnormal Psychology

  42. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Well, I’m sorry you’re upset, NaN. It will be better in the morning.

  43. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Weird. I have Mitch as my name and email address.

  44. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Ah, my plans for world domination have come to fruition at last!!!

  45. MiniMitch
    January 27, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Yes, sir.

  46. January 27, 2011 at 10:37 pm


    I just posted your comment as a post, because the problem is wide spread. Can you see the new post? I can’t access the current front page.

  47. someone else
    January 27, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    Not sure how i had Mitch as my avatar. I have to agree with many of the posters above. I felt they both displayed bad behavior. Seriously, asking questions about someones personal life would seem off limits to me. John, if we don’t care about a pop stars personal life, why would we care about a local journalist? We all have skeletons in our closet, but nothing is gained by dragging them out!

  48. Goldie
    January 27, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    John did not drag this guys problems out. He projectile vomited them out.

  49. Goldie
    January 27, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    “He” refers to Abate.

  50. Joe Blow
    January 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Abate didn’t need a new job, he needed a new therapist.

  51. Not A Native
    January 27, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    I listened to the KSLG interview, it took awhile to sink in that a bunch of folk in NCJ’s circle are upset and the rumor/gossip mill has been working overtime. Shades of the EPD DeeDee fiasco! Gotta say, Mr. Abate’s personal demeanor wasn’t what I expected considering his credentials. He sounded out of control and/or extremely stressed out.

    Hope things work out and the Journal continues its investigative stories/editorial exposes and Hank/Tom work as a team and share information, rather than competing. But from my observations, that’s a challenge in this place where egos are tall as the mountains and personalities are as difficult to navigate as the mountain roads.

  52. Watchful Observer
    January 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Hank doesn’t like people telling him he’s wrong. Tom doesn’t seem to play well with others (ok, an understatement).

    This one has all the makings of a future train wreck.

    Judy and Carolyn: start working on Plan B.

  53. MiniMitch
    January 27, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Hi folks and Heraldo, this is skippy. No, not MiniMitch like the above name says. It does look like ‘MiniMitch is now my autoreply name like others noted. Curious to note, last night was similar with 2 different names and what looked like an administrative field left open for all to view… hmmm… a bug? Hopefully not one’s devious skullduggery!

    …Back to the topic, I’ve gotta listen to that interview. Yours truly likes John Matthews and wanna hear what’s up with this hub-bub, and given Heraldo’s unusually longer informative post @ 8:59. Apparently Mr. Abate’s tone was far different than his written letter… and this don’t jive, turkey… just like my new MiniMitch name.

  54. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Oh, this is fun, now I am tra. Awesome.

  55. MiniMitch
    January 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    I’m still MiniMitch. Sigh. What a barrel of monkees you opened up now, Stanley! This is almost as much fun as the masquerade ball we’re gonna throw with the cream pies and seltzer water.

    Heraldo, breathe in, breathe out. Serenity NOW!!

    As Hank would say, “Hoo-boy.”

    signed, the real skippy

  56. Jacqbear
    January 27, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I am so over the mud, muck and bizarre which is the prevalent theme of the current journalism trend, here and elsewhere. I’m sick of hearing about how government messes up. I’m sick of hearing about how humanity messes up, all the inventive ways we are cruel, disrespectful and plain nasty. I am sick of the cumulative news portrayals of this as a miserable place with a bunch of drunks, meth addicts, brain dead bureaucrats, arrogant millionaires and drowning people. There’s more to Humboldt life than these.

    I’d like to read the New part of the word “news”. Newcomers’ number one reason for moving here is the beauty of the place. I’m no Polyanna type and yet I happen to think positive stories, profiles of life and people in Humboldt are much needed; stories about the abundance of creativity, innovation, imagination, surprises, courage, wonder and compassion. Our glass is full, not half either way.

    I just happened to pick up the latest copy of the Journal with the news of the editor change. I’m hoping for the best with this change at the Journal because Humboldt is in need of a solid alternative to T-S. The Journal hasn’t really been that; it’s largely given longer stories on the bad news. I just hope that ultimately this might mean a print celebration of life here.

  57. tra
    January 27, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    Re: the “tra” post at 11:18,

    I was wondering how long before that started happening. Glad I don’t put a real e-mail address in the e-mail field, or whoever posted at 11:18 would have it now (and so would anyone else for whom my pseudonym and e-mail started popping up as autofill on their screen).

    Heraldo, if you can’t figure this out or do anything about it, you might want to at least remove the text that says “Your email address will not be published,” because, shit, people’s email addresse are being published on other people’s screens left and right at this point!

    So if you are someone who has been posting with a pseudonym, but using a real e-mail address in that field, it’s safe to say that you might no longer be quite as anonymous as you were a couple of days ago. If the email address you used in that field contained your name or other identifying information, your attempted anonymity and privacy may be in shreds.

    This sort of thing is one reason why, even when posting anonymously or pseudonymously, people should try to stay in the habit of writing as if those anonymous or pseudonymous comments were written under their full name. To put it another way, avoid writing anything that you would be ashamed to see attached to your name at a later date.

    – the real tra.

  58. January 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    you might want to at least remove the text that says “Your email address will not be published,”

    It’s not an option, otherwise it would have been removed long ago.

  59. Rumbustious
    January 27, 2011 at 11:54 pm

    Tom’s still drinking too much coffee. (When he was last in Humboldt her drank about 20 cups a day…)

  60. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Ok, now I’m Tra and not MiniMitch. Cool. At least your e-mail isn’t showing up on my screen, Tra. And thank you for your last two advisive paragraphs at 11:48. To note, your post was added again at 11:50 but indicates it’s ‘in moderation’ if this helps, Heraldo. Looks like we’re all staying up late.

    Jacqbear @ 11:45, I really liked your post, agree whole heartedly, and it’s right on.

    signed, the real skippy

  61. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:11 am

    “It’s not an option, otherwise it would have been removed long ago”

    Well, that’s not a good situation, Heraldo! The text clearly states that the email addresses will not be published, and yet the email addresses are indeed being published, albeit in a pretty random way.

    Today the e-mail adddress that appeared under Mitch’s name was, I’m pretty sure, a fake one. But yesterday it was his real e-mail address, and contained enough of his last name to identify him. Fortunately, Mitch has stated that he’s not all that concerned about it because he’s not really trying to be anonymous (I think quite a few of us alrady knew which Mitch he is) but it could cause a much bigger problem for someone else, someone who needs to maintain their anonymity at the risk of losing their job, or something like that.

    I’m not sure what to suggest, except to say that the current situation, where the text says that the email won’t be published, and yet the email address IS getting distributed, randomly, to strangers — that is just not acceptable.

    For anyone wishing to remain at least somewhat anoymous, I suggest they put a fake e-mail address in the email field (anything with an @ and a .com in it should work) or just leave the email field blank, which is what I usually do.

    – the real tra.

  62. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Now I’m getting more glitches: Upon reloading this page, a number of recent comments (one of mine and several belonging to other folks) have disappeared. As I write this now, the last comment appearing on the bottom of the thread is “Rambustious” at 11:54, but I know that there were a few after that, and now I can’t see them.

    – the real tra

  63. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Oh, and now they are magically back!

    – the real tra.

  64. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:43 am

    After reloading the page again (this time without making a comment) now I’m back to where the last comment I can see is “Rambustious” at 11:54.

    But if the pattern holds true, once I post this message the later comments will be visible again. At least until I reload the page again, at which point they will disappear again. So let’s see if that’s what actually happens…

    – the real tra

  65. tra
    January 28, 2011 at 12:48 am

    Yup, those comments came back when I posted the new comment, then were gone again when I reloaded the page without posting a new comment.

    In addition, the “Recent Comments” column at the upper right-hand corner of the page is following the same pattern.

    Are we sure this is not a WordPress problem? It seems to go well beyond just the issue of the wrong names and email addresses popping up in the name and e-mail fields…

    Anyway, I’m done messing around with this…off to bed and we’ll see if the Mitchification has cleared up by morning.

  66. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Jacqbear doesn’t want to hear about the past, only the new in news. Did you hear “the secret”? Bwhahahaha!

    The rest of us want to know about corruption in government, because it matters.

  67. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 5:49 am

    You know the old saying. If it ain’t broke, let’s break it!

    With the old news gone and the new-in-news coming, I, for one, welcome weekly stories about puppies and ice cream, interspersed with unprovoked rage.

  68. Decline to State
    January 28, 2011 at 7:04 am

    I’m from the 20th century and am still waiting for the print version of the Humboldt Herald delivered to my door.

  69. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 8:27 am

    That interview was kind of like a plane crashing into a building. I feel bad for all involved.

  70. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    Who was that guy that headed up the Eureka Reporter? This reminds me of him.

  71. skippy
    January 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    Mr. Abate responded in the NCJ to the listeners and blog readers:

    “Comment / By tom abate / Today, 7:59 a.m.”

    “Good morning, Humboldt: listened to the KSLG interview; read many of comments; heard criticisms; some unfortunately all too justified (anger, meltdown, TMI, enough with you!); sinking feeling in pit of stomach not hunger; OK, time to learn again that I am a better writer than radio person; that I really do need to think before I speak; I hope the people of the North Coast are okay with those who learn from mistakes, provided iof course that I not to repeat the same errors.”

  72. skippy
    January 28, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    OK, the radio interview wasn’t too-Humboldt-cool. It didn’t go well and resembled a trainwreck.

    On the other hand, if you’re familar with Brooklynites and New York, Columbia University, Sicilian culture, Silicon Valley, personal adversity, first or second generation American-born sons, and too much strong joe in a devoted highly paced environment, this all makes perfect sense– even as quirky as that sounds. I understand. Let’s give Mr. Abate a pass and a chance.

    Mr. Abate, I look forward to seeing and reading your work. Settle back comfortably into Humboldt–slowly– and help us be better with your contributions. No need to sing. Grazie.

  73. anon Juan
    January 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Judy was defensive too..Telling John he was interrupting AGAIN..John couldn’t even get a question out before he was interrupted from my perspective..It’s his show and after being chastised about bringing up the past again and again Tom kept bringing up the past himself. Tom seemed very scattered and more interested in being dominant rather than have dialog.. It seemed he was above being interviewed by John

  74. Plain Jane
    January 28, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Okay, Abate isn’t a celebrity or a politician who needs to interview well to do his job. At least he is humble enough to accept the criticism graciously and try to learn from it. Let’s see how he does as editor before we judge him.

  75. Rumbustious
    January 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    If you knew Tom Abate from his previous time in Humboldt (and I only met him a few times), you would know that he is VERY New York/New Jersey: in-your-face, aggressive, confrontational, talkative. Just the opposite of laid-back Humboldt cool.

    While I wasn’t impressed by Tom’s responses, T wasn’t impressed by the interviewer either. His emphasis on personal stuff (e.g. “How did Hank react? Did his face go white?” “Why did you post a blog about your divorce?” etc) seemed to me to reflect the worst aspects of modern journalism: focusing on titillating gossipy stuff instead of dealing with truly substantive issues. Sort of like rags you see at the supermarket checkout counter.

    Tom could have dealt with these much better and adultly by simply saying “I don’t want to discuss that”, “I feel that’s off-topic”, or “That’s really no one else’s business.”

  76. Anonymous
    January 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Oh, ‘cuz Bay Area media is so sophisticated. Please show us the way we need to be ingesting our local media, Tom, from your years of experience. There is no recovering from this, chump.

    Plain Carolyn and RumbusJudytious: Nice try at damage control but for the first time in years the T-S pulls ahead. The Journal is done.

  77. Plain Jane
    January 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    7:56 makes silly assumptions.

  78. Anon
    January 28, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    And he tweets! Funny, not; homophobic, maybe; helping the situation, not really.

    @tomabate Extra, extra Tom Abate in fairy tale; leaves Mia for man-lover, not.; to edit Humboldt alt-weekly he cofounded, yes http://bit.ly/dLY7vq

  79. Walt
    January 29, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Ah, now the gloves come off. Sometimes this site is like a shooting gallery. . .something new pops up and people start shooting at it. then, of course, they start shooting at each other. Welcome back to the ‘hood, Tom.

  80. anon Juan
    January 29, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I don’t think the NCJ is done. I think John never got past the basics to ask some good questions. We need the NCJ and at times it is the only investigative journalism here. I will wait and see how things go. Tom knows you gotta have thick skin to be here..

  81. the real mitch
    January 29, 2011 at 8:11 am

    What I’d like to see in at least one local news source:

    First, I’d like it to recognize that poor people are people, and that they are often shafted and maligned. The most common way this is done is to take a mentally ill poor person and use their behavior as justification for cutting back on minimal support for all people who are struggling to get by. So I’d like a paper that can recognize that homelessness is not a crime or joke, but a societal affliction… and a paper that recognizes that “but for the grace of whatever.” The Journal’s Jennifer Savage is excellent but not enough. The next most common way this is done is by having a social service infrastructure that exists for the benefit of its employees and managers rather than its clients. Wake up.

    Second, I’d like a paper that is more suspicious than celebratory of anyone with power. This might be asking for a miracle because the way commercial newspapers are structured, they are at the mercy of advertisers.

    I think local papers should be investigating the competence, behavior, and ethics of our candidates, our elected officials, and their appointed department heads. When a candidate has a recent conviction, I’d like the paper to consider that news, not gossip.

    I think local papers should be continually investigating the competence, behavior, and ethics of our law enforcement officials. I cannot believe that there is no corruption in our local law enforcement, yet I never hear of any unless, say, a beaten spouse goes to the DA. We live in pot country, for crying out loud: it would be a miracle if law enforcement was completely clean. Do the vast majority of law enforcement personnel a huge favor, and help them get rid of the corrupt scum — they can’t do it without outside help.

    I also think local papers should be continually investigating how and why our local businesses — including pot in exactly the same way as timber and dairy — might be damaging our environment and hurting their workers.

    I’d love to see celebratory stories about people making the world better. I’d love to see stories about local subcultures and characters. But that’s all dessert and spice. The protein of a paper should be in reporting that reflects a desire to protect the weak and expose the filthy.

  82. owltotem
    January 29, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Moved and seconded! I would also like to see periodic coverage of local businesses or business people who “do the right thing, regardless”, especially with the economy the way it is today. Businesses that err on the side of the environment, community, humanity or ethics should be recognized. Their good deeds will be rewarded by the business of like minded people. But if we don’t know we can not support those businesses, and vise versa. Not just a rant or rave, real coverage. I for one want to know my money is well spent. After the last election I definitely changed my spending patterns and I want to know where every dollar I have control over goes. (You can bet the Chamber wont get a membership from me AND you can bet I read their membership list)

  83. Anonymous
    January 29, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Oh isn’t that noble of you.

    But I too would like to see periodic coverage of local businesses or business people who “do the right thing.” But to me, doing the right thing means hiring people and providing jobs for local people. To me, doing the right thing means paying their bills and helping all of us by helping the local economy.

  84. Walt
    January 29, 2011 at 9:52 am

    My journalism experience has been that the people who DO journalism are often at odds with management and ALWAYS at odds with the advertising dept. This is why the right always rants about “leftist media”: the people who gather the news are usually to the left of center because that’s what’s happening. The bottom line, though, is that hiring competent people is expensive, and where is the money? The right is working on de-funding and privatizing public media, and that HAS affected what they report. The BIG money now has their own network where content is tightly controlled. If the Journal starts biting the dope business, how are they going to pay the help? And if they don’t make nice with Bass and Co, their calls won’t be returned. Running a paper isn’t a cakewalk.

  85. the real mitch
    January 29, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I agree, Walt. Your calls won’t be returned and it’s no cakewalk. That’s why you need to get good relationships with people who wouldn’t mind having bad information about a powerful person get out. In the movies, at least, you start out by hanging at the bars their associates hang out at. You don’t act all obsequious in hopes Massa will offer you a crumb. Especially when someone is a jerk or a puppet of a jerk, it’s not rare that someone who gets paid by them wouldn’t mind seeing them exposed for what they are, as long as the underling can remain anonymous.

    Then you have to find out if the underling is telling you the truth.

    But first you have to accept the fact that you’re not going to get your calls returned unless it’s in the powerful person’s interest to return your calls. So if you’re not going to just pretend that you think the jerk is Mother Teresa’s nicer sister, you’d better have information that makes them blanch, and which they’d like to try to spin their way before you get it in print.

  86. Walt
    January 29, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Then watch your poor sources end up like Bradley Manning or Julian Assange, who the right is ordering its followers to shoot down in the street. Cynicism aside, we need to invent a new paradigm of journalism, something like this site with a stable of volunteers who hang out at bars and DON’T depend on Soddenlunk.

  87. the real mitch
    January 29, 2011 at 10:40 am


    Matt Taibbi, IMO one of the best remaining American journalists, has written an interesting book called The Great Derangement. It’s personal enough that I think it presents a good idea of how a functioning investigative journalist behaves, in addition to presenting an excellent idea of how bad our government has become.

  88. the real mitch
    January 29, 2011 at 10:44 am

    And yes, Walt, I think Heraldo has done more for Humboldt news than the entire paid corpse of reporters.

    Thanks, Heraldo!

    But Heraldo’s resources are — I’d guess — not unlimited.

  89. Walt
    January 29, 2011 at 11:03 am

    About 20 years ago I was at a party where Roger Rodoni was announcing that the NEC was getting money from Moscow, the first time I’d heard that since the 60’s. So how about it, Heraldo, are you getting money from Al and Edna Qaeda?

  90. the real mitch
    January 29, 2011 at 11:14 am

    I think Heraldo might be unable to see current pages, Walt. But Edna’s notorious for being tight with money.

  91. anon Juan
    January 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    TRM–How true but, the only help these people want is when the check comes in the mail from section 8 and there hasn’t been any upkeep in years and when asked about repairs the Land lord explains to the renter how lucky they are to have a place..and if they don’t settle down they soon, wont..Low income housing at its best..Where is floyd?

  92. January 29, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Running the Herald is the most lucrative job one could ever have. Aside from being an environmentalist, of course.

  93. john g
    January 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Still stunned by this, the day after hearing it. When it comes to interviewing San Francisco visionaries, I’ve heard more reasonable and even-tempered responses from Frank Chu.

  94. john wells
    January 30, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Anyone who spends time on the Journal’s site and local blogs could smell the bullshit a mile away, Matthews’ interview just confirmed it. Abate says as much in his response here: “I can tell you that John Matthews of KHUM tried to get the real story as opposed to our message (publisher Judy Hodgson was also on).”

    To all the people expressing excitement about the wonderful possibilities of this new arrangement, haven’t you noticed how silent the usually vocal Journal staffers are? Unlike Sims and Burns to not chime in/defend/explain or otherwise comment on all things NCJ.

    Gag order?

  95. January 30, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Perhaps they are simply gagging.

  96. Jacqbear
    January 30, 2011 at 11:51 am

    To Anonymous: You don’t know yet that government like nation states are corrupt? Where have you been? Change comes by seeing, considering, creating something new.

  97. Jacqbear
    January 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Anonymous says: “Jacqbear doesn’t want to hear about the past, only the new in news. Did you hear “the secret”? Bwhahahaha!

    “The rest of us want to know about corruption in government, because it matters.”

    Anonymous: I didn’t say I don’t want to hear about the past.

    While you can speak with authority about what you want to know, it’s hubris to speak for “the rest of us” .

  98. skippy
    January 30, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Yes, Heraldo, others pay attention to your site. Mr. Cleary was very well aware of this interview; he heard it in his car and was glued to the console as it happened, he related.

    As an aside, can I relate the 7-station radio workshop with Access Humboldt for others that happened Saturday?

    Readers, they’re going places, need volunteers, and building community in a big way. Tom Abate’s ‘hybrid journalism’ is already alive and and well here.

    Skippy’s report:
    Access Humboldt and the brilliant Sean McLaughlin (Charles Douglas and fellow staff) sponsored Community Radio Day at their very sweet and first rate Eureka High School studio, classroom, and theater. They got it going on, folks. $5 got you a fast moving and stimulating 5 hour conference, workshop, collaboration, even snacks; the $25 (an ongoing bargain, IMO) enrollment allows use of Access Humboldt’s space, training, and stellar equipment for a year). Yours truly was impressed.

    Reps from KHSU, KHUM, KMUD, Hoopa’s KIDE, Blue Ox School, 2 pirate stations (one far beyond ‘pirate’– more like guerrila radio on wheels), Patrick Cleary and others were there for an informational and entertaining Q and A panel addressing big plans– and how others can help or volunteer. The keynote speaker, Gavin Dahl, related serious national issues of import affecting the future of radio, the Local Community Radio Act, and investigative news reporting which looks bleak and beleaguered nationally but far stronger locally given our independent spirit of Humboldt community, values, and far-flung stations, Mr. Gavin noted.

    The latter part of the day split into two workshops: strategic planning and collaboration with the 7 community radio organizations; journalistic techniques, ethics, interviewing and hands-on practice using Marantz PMD660 audio recorders taught by the most capable, smart, and livewire news coordinator of KMUD, Ms. Terri Klemetson— who completely rocked in her vigorous presentation. KMUD staff were there, en masse, seeking more valued volunteers to obtain interviews for their expanded news coverage of Northern Humboldt; there are also other avenues of volunteer participation to consider as well.

    An exciting workshop and day– a unique collaborative and strategic planning with 7 of our local commercial free (more or less) stations and master mind conspirator Access Humboldt will certainly having an impact for the future.

    Consider volunteering or joining the above organizations if interested; they welcome everyone, were very nice and accomodating in their outreach efforts, and offer an invaluable learning experience with immediate immersion.

    To note, they didn’t blow up, stray off track, talk about personal issues, derail, or… sing. Thanks, Heraldo, that’s the community radio news; now back to the topic– Mr. Abate, radio, and the given trainwreck.

  99. Anonymous
    January 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Jacqbear, don’t bother using a pseudonym. I know your secret.

  100. Not Bob
    January 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    John Mathews is a jerk who works hard to trip people up and play “gotch-ya”. Tom was just a lot easier to do it to then most of his victims. These folks, including Sims, all deserve each other for being such a mean and nasty bunch. If all of this drives Judy to drink more, all the better. You can pretty well judge just how pathetic they all are by the vigor with which Rose Welsh defends them, no matter what they do.

  101. Anonymous
    January 31, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Was Judy drunk?

  102. Jacqbear
    January 31, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Anonymous: Using an an age old tactic; can’t meet the argument so change the subject. Enjoy reading about corruption then. I’m off to make the world new.

  103. Anonymous
    January 31, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    Judy and her husband run the Fieldbrook Winery. Ergo she’s a drinker.

  104. February 1, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Anonymous 10:44pm-
    Don’t listen to them Ergo! It doesn’t follow.

  105. Anon
    February 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

    John Matthews is such a doof! I hope he listens to this to understand why people react to him this way…

  106. Osprey
    February 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Abate is a f$%^ing dick! I see bad things for the Journal.

  107. Osprey
    February 5, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    judy AND tom are whackos! I say boycott the journal. Hank should start a new, REAL rag.

  108. Anonymous
    February 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    My gosh – finally listened to this! Abate seems slightly unbalanced. What the heck – he came completely unhinged for no apparent reason. I wonder what Judy really thought about that interview. Abate is both rude and unable to speak coherently…at least in the first 14 minutes. I can’t listen to any more? I do feel for John Matthews. He asked perfectly logical and pertinent questions.

  109. Anonymous
    February 5, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    Change comes by seeing, considering, creating something new.

    Has anyone noticed that Jacqbear is as nutty as Tom? Ignore the negative. We’re making a bright new future for ourselves. Yeehaw!

  110. February 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Calling people nutty or unbalanced misses the point.A bad intrview requires

    self-analysis and courage to go ahead with your job .Suggestions should be

    welcome and secondchances given.

  111. Anonymous
    February 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    No, the nuttiness is the point. You merely don’t like the point and want to change subjects so as to avoid further discussion. We don’t play that way here.

  112. February 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Not Bob at 8:26 is just mad that John Matthews, without even meaning to, showed Paul Gallegos for the idiot he is. He asked an innocent question, and discovered the real meaning of ‘there’s no there there.”

    Until this happened you guys were more than happy to blast away at Hank with all manner of insults. Now you have a new target

  113. suzanna feinburg
    March 4, 2014 at 10:02 pm


  114. suzanna feinburg
    March 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    Opps -sorry, wrong forum

  115. April 28, 2020 at 2:41 am

    TOP scout Lee Congerton is wanted in China and could join the money trail to the Far East.

  116. April 28, 2020 at 2:41 am

    Lemar has helped himself to ten goals and six assists in all competitions under Leonardo Jardim.

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