Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Roanoke Times Editor To NYT's Bill Keller: Let Lady Gaga Do The Weather Report!
Dwayne Yancey, the senior editor of the Roanoke Times who developed that paper's TimesCast video in 2007, spent Tuesday trying to get NYT executive editor Bill Keller on the phone to discuss its curious resemblance to the NYT's own new Timescast video.
But Yancey couldn't get through.
"I tried calling you today but couldn’t get past your gatekeeper," Yancey wrote in an open letter to Keller, posted on the Roanoke paper's website late this afternoon. "Here at The Roanoke Times, the public can call our editor on her direct number; I was surprised to learn that’s not the case in New York."
Yancey's open letter includes, mostly, a critique of the NYT's Timescast.
Yancey notes the preponderance of white guys, correctly wondering why the women are all sitting in the back row of the front-page meeting. He also doubts -- correctly -- whether people really want to watch a meeting, anyway.
"Give people something they can’t get elsewhere," Yancey tells Keller.
Which is where Lady Gaga comes in.
After recalling appearances by a team of cheerleaders, a minister and Miss Virginia on the Roanoke Times's TimesCast, Yancey noted that in New York, the possibilities were limitless for an entertaining NYT TimesCast.
"Just imagine, say, Lady Gaga doing your weather forecast," Yancey wrote. "Now that would generate some traffic, and put a new face on the Old Grey Lady, don’t you think? (Umm, the Times, not Lady Gaga.)"
Now that is a great idea! Maybe.
Yancey reminds Keller to heed Bruce Springsteen's line: "“I learned more from a three-minute record than I ever learned in school.”
We still don't know what the NYT thinks about all this. Diane McNulty, the NYT's spokeswoman, wrote us an email yesterday afternoon saying she was "checking" on a response. No word since.
But we have learned that the editors of the Roanoke Times -- Carole Tarrant and Dwane Yancey -- are a pretty cool and smart bunch. We bet Keller could learn quite a bit from a conversation with them.
Posted by THE NYTPICKER at 9:22 PM