Where Are They Now -- Remember Chris Peck? He was the editor of the Spokesman-Review who left after a flurry of criticism over the paper's handling of its owners' real estate deals and with budget problems leading to staff reductions. Peck landed in the Journalism Department of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
Well, it seems, the smell of fresh newsprint came a-calling, as the American Journalism Review is reporting that Peck will take over as editor of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tenn., starting January 1.
"The real fight probably has to be waged in newsrooms and in a real community," Peck told the AJR.
Since Our Story -- If you happened to catch our story on Crime Check in our Nov. 21 issue ("Busy Signal"), you would have met Robin Nutter, who has to contend with what she thinks is drug dealing in her trailer park in West Spokane. Well, the Spokane Police Department declined to comment on citizen complaints about Crime Check for that story, but they seem to have received the message.
We got an e-mail from Nutter, saying that after more activity they called Crime Check again. This time, however, the SPD sent out a response in 20 minutes -- leading to one alleged perp being hauled off the day before Thanksgiving. Nutter claims the police discovered an outstanding warrant, so their headache has cleared up for now. That's the way it's supposed to work!
$7.4 billion -- That's the best estimate for how much Americans spent shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, according to ShopperTrak RTC, a Chicago-based retail consultant. That's a 12.3 percent increase over last year. Still, Gloomy Gus financial types are saying it may not be enough, as the combined November-December increase over 2001 may only be about 2 percent. And we all know that a 2 percent increase is like getting a big fat lump of coal in America's collective stocking. How is anybody supposed to enjoy this holiday season with sales figures like that?
$150.9 million -- That's the estimate for how much people spent on Nov. 29 without having to hip-check fellow consumers on the way to $90 TV/VCR combos at Wal-Mart. Yes, the dot-com bubble has burst, but Internet sales were up 40 percent over last year, according to ComScore Networks, a firm that tracks sales at sites like Amazon and eBay.
$649 -- That's the average amount Americans are expected to spend on holiday gifts this year, based on a National Retail Foundation survey. Oh, and this just in from the Bush administration: If you spend one dime less than that, then you just made the list. And, no, it's not Santa's list. It's John Ashcroft's.