In your fabulous Thursday media column: John Madden retires, newspapers just falling apart everywhere, Martha Stewart gets a fat contract, and Fiji's version of The Onion:
Pro football commentator extraordinaire John Madden has announced his retirement after more than four decades in football, first as an NFL coach and later as an announcer for ABC, CBS, and Fox. He's quite a lovable figure, but never before has one man become so famous for saying so many obvious, uninsightful things. Perhaps that is what America needed, though. Good luck in your future bus travels and video game making, Madden, you hoagie-eating platitude spouter.
Your daily ominous newspaper industry news roundup: massive newsprint manufacturer AbitibiBowater is going bankrupt, for obvious reasons. USA Today publisher Gannett announced a 60% decline in first quarter profit. More cuts at the Orlando Sentinel, and the Boston Globe is still writing stories to drum up sympathy for its own plight, and can you blame them?
Martha Stewart is making that fat motherfucking bank! Her company just gave her a three-year contract extension worth at least $2 million per year, with up to $4.5 mil in possible bonuses and a $3 million retention bonus. She also gets a car and driver. Strangely, not one cent of her salary will be spent on office supplies. SAY SOMETHING BACK MARTHA WE DOUBLE DARE YOU.
Fiji has apparently been placed under martial law and its press is being heavily censored (you learn something every day!). The Fiji Daily Post's solution: publishing idiotic Onionesque news stories to fill the space, with headlines like "Paint dry" and "Man gets on bus." Today we are all Fijians.