Post It Notes, Plus: The Budget

Intriguing changes at the Connecticut Post. Long-time Editorial Page Editor Steve Winters is retiring after roughly 35 years with the paper in a variety of roles.

Steve will be replaced officially in a week or so by Michael Daly, the paper’s managing editor, the number-two position in the news operation after Editor Tom Baden.

Winters is a prince of a guy, level headed, smart and fair. I worked with him (ouch) 30 years ago when he covered the state legislature. Back then it was Underwood typewriters, carbon paper and guys yelling copy in a newsroom loaded with characters. Steve moved up to city editor for many years before appointment to the editorial page. CT Post owner Hearst announced a buyout offer to newsroom employees a few weeks ago.

For most lifers in the news business, serving as editorial page editor is the ultimate job–a study in power, persuasion and personality–where the voice of the newspaper pokes politicians, raises awareness and reflects the agenda of the paper’s ownership through editorials, letters, and special commentaries. It’s also a magnet for community whiners and complainers unhappy with editorial positions. The job requires patience and a thick skin. It’s power journalism at its best while anchoring the Post’s Editorial Board that comprises Publisher John DeAugustine, Baden, the managing editor’s slot occupied by Daly, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Hugh Bailey and Photo Editor Catherine Zuraw. The new guys in town DeAugustine and Baden seem to be well-liked at 410 State Street.

Daly’s promotion is a nice fit for a paper that could be tracking toward a consolidation of pubs to create one Fairfield County paper. Hearst owns daily papers in Greenwich, Stamford, Bridgeport and Danbury, a news triangle that covers most of Fairfield County, the wealthiest county in America. In time you may see four daily papers with different front pages but the guts nearly identical.

Meanwhile, in Daly, the paper has someone with a reservoir of experience, history of the region, and a writing touch alien to most of us industry mortals. Michael is not prone to knee-jerk response and has a good nose for bullshit. Michael was the guy who challenged John Fabrizi to agree to an on-the-spot drug test following the former mayor’s admission that he had used cocaine on occasion recreationally. Fabs passed the test.

He’s also the guy, in an editorial board meeting with Bill Finch, that reminded the mayor he had promised to relinquish his state senate seat if elected mayor. Finch ditched his thoughts of keeping both jobs until the expiration of his senate term.

Daly also has an interesting collection of friends that run from well-heeled corporate executive to urban warrior, to psycho blogger, a nice balance to maintain perspective.

An OIB salute to Winters. Check out his weekly radio show Profiles in Folk on WSHU, Friday at 10 p.m. If you’re having a bad week Steve’s soothing voice will calm your nerves.

Budget Time

Mayor Finch  submitted his budget to the City Council Monday night. Who knows, maybe in this economic environment the mayor will present his budget and declare victory. The council will play around with the budget before it goes back to the mayor for potential veto action and then back to the council for setting of the final mil rate in June. Meanwhile the council’s Budget and Appropriations committee will host  public hearings and budget sessions to figure it all out.

See a schedule of those meetings below. The Wheeler Room is located on Lyon Terrace in City Hall, legislative office in City Hall Annex on Broad Street.

By the way, happy Holy Week.

Date Time Subject / Dept Location
Tuesday, April 7 6:00 pm Mayor’s Recommended Budget Wheeler Rooms A and B
Wednesday, April 8 6:00 pm Health Department Wheeler Rooms A and B
Thursday, April 9 6:00 pm ITS / City Attorney Wheeler Rooms A and B
Monday, April 13 6:00 pm Fire Department Wheeler Rooms A and B
Tuesday, April 14 6:00 pm Public Facilities Wheeler Rooms A and B
Wednesday, April 15 6:00 pm Capital Budget Discussion Wheeler Rooms A and B
Thursday, April 16 6:00 pm CitiStat / Library / Clerk’s Wheeler Rooms A and B
Friday, April 24 6:00 pm Finance Department Wheeler Rooms A and B
Saturday, April 25 11:00 am Budget Overview Legislative Services Office
Monday, April 27 6:00 pm Police Department Wheeler Rooms A and B
Wednesday, April 29 6:00 pm Public Hearing BOE / City Budget City Council Chambers
Thursday, April 30 6:30 pm OPED – All Divisions Wheeler Rooms A and B
Friday, May 1 6:00 pm CAO / OPM and Budget Overview Wheeler Rooms A and B
Saturday, May 2 11:00 am Budget Overview / Capital Vote Legislative Services Office
Tuesday, May 5 6:00 pm Budget Overview / Capital Vote if needed Wheeler Rooms A and B
Wednesday, May 6 6:00 pm Budget Discussions Wheeler Rooms A and B
Thursday, May 7 6:00 pm Budget Discussions Legislative Services Office
Friday, May 8 6:00 pm Overview / Possible Committee Vote Wheeler Rooms A and B
Saturday, May 9 11:00 am Overview / Possible Committee Vote Legislative Services Office
Monday, May 11 (Sp. Meeting) 7:00 pm Tentative Full Council Vote – Gen. Fund City Council Chambers
Tuesday, May 12 (Sp. Meeting) 7:00 pm Tentative Full Council Vote – Gen Fund City Council Chambers


  1. The Post isn’t all that much of a rag. It’s homey, that’s for sure; and it ain’t the Des Moines Register (an outstanding newspaper, actually), but it fills an informational need. The editorial policies do need some reevaluation, however. The paper has been critical of the political establishment in the city but has only employed vitriolic language when the targets were softened. Remember when Ernie Newton pled guilty? His evil deeds were duly reported to the community, including his notorious “Moses of my people” remark. Where were the reporters when he was actually taking bribes? Remember when Joe Ganim was tried, convicted and sentenced? Where were the reporters when he was taking bribes and kickbacks? It weren’t no secret that Joe was working the pay-to-play book, so it came as no surprise that he was as guilty as sin. So what were the Connecticut Post reporters working on while ol’ Joe was dining at Morton’s Steak House on Lennie Grimaldi’s nickel?

    Maybe this change in the paper’s editorial staff will go some way toward making their reporting a little more investigative.

    1. BTW,

      I’ve lived in towns where the local Daily Bugle was only eight pages long, including the sports section (Ottumwa and Oskaloosa, Iowa; Galesburg, Illinois). So at least we’re getting more bang for our news buck.

  2. Dear Grin Reaper,
    Thank you for the following comments:

    “The reason that the government does not go after the employer is because there are a lot of big businesses involved in the use of illegals and it would be bad for the economy. Place all of the blame on the individual and none on the business and you will be sure never to stop the flow of illegals.”

  3. The Gossip of The Rialto!

    Good luck to Steve Winters. He was always a four-season guy. His columns were never “Blowin’ In The Wind”!

    If Hearst keeps up with this pace we’ll all be singing “Where Have All The Reporters Gone?”

    Glad to see Mike Daly is still there.

  4. Newspapers are a very unique private business. I know of no other private business that generates the emotional and strong (both good and bad) feelings of a newspaper.

    Having said that, be glad Mike Daly is the new editorial page editor. I freely admit here he’s a long time friend, but more than that, a true “stand-up” guy.

    The public needs that in its newspaper people. Inside the walls of 410 State Street–and every other journalistic outlet–exists a very unique world. Stand-up guys are rare; cherish the ones you have.

    Go get ’em Mike!

    Best of luck!

  5. The Connecticut Post elicits an emotional response from me every day I pick it up lately. It is normally something like “What a piece of &*#@^] garbage. And now they are charging $1.00 for Saturday’s paper to throw in the same ads from Sunday’s paper that they are now charging $1.75 for!!!”
    Soon it will be adios Bridgeport Post! What a rag!

  6. Wait a second … Mike Daly has “a nose for bullshit” and he’s Lennie’s friend? Something doesn’t add up here …

    Good luck to Steve Winters, an all-around good guy and a true professional.

    And congratulations to Daly, another good guy even though he never met a Testacrat he didn’t like.

  7. Count me as a non-rag reader … I gagged as they kissed Ganim’s ass and puked as they kissed Johnny Fabulous’ … I’ll take a real unbiased paper like the Courant any day.

    1. The Hartford Courant was my daily paper for almost thirty years. That paper’s political reporting is light-years better than the Post’s. It was a Courant reporter that uncovered the hot tub at Johnny Rowland’s Bantam Lake cottage, paid for and installed by the Tomasso family.

  8. *** Best of luck to Señor Daly, always a gentleman plus still remembers my name whenever we meet! I think he’ll bring more of a local hometown feeling to the editorial policies of the paper as well. *** As far as the Bpt. fiscal-city budget is concerned, seems like most depts. will probably be getting “0” on any type of increases. In fact many will be getting more cuts & possible layoff projections after July 1st 2009? Only “pet-pee” Mayor priority projects may be getting any “$” from either the stimulus package, project grants or hidden pots of gold money that’s been forgotten about, or earmarked for certain area projects during Fabrizi’s last budget but never done. And the B.O.E will have their usual Ed. carnival on Public Hearing night, with their signs, flyers, etc. for the news media. *** It’s not going to be pretty, that “OIB” bloggers can bet on! ***

    1. Mojo, I think you meant to say the mayor’s “pet” projects. Pet peeve would mean that he didn’t like them. Or maybe “pet pee” has another meaning that I’m not aware of? No matter, I get your point.

      I hope that Wondering (is he the one who wants Rich Paoletto’s council seat?) attends the budget hearings. It will be a good learning experience, I promise. The council members will swallow everything that Sherwood spoon-feeds them. And it will be very obvious which depts are in favor and which are not.

  9. Does anyone remember back in the day, the paper “Bridgeport Light?” There was a young Latino reporter (can’t remember her name) who was extremely aggressive. She was always in City Hall (when there was only one) looking for a scoop. She wrote some good stories about what really goes on inside those walls. We need more of that from the Bpt (OOPS) CT Post.

  10. *** Pet-pee is a marked territory or project, etc.; same as animals marking or leaving their scent. (e.g. Mayor’s ideas for urban green projects in the Park City!) *** Also, I was not aware Fardy, I mean (Wondering) wants a council seat? Sometimes change can be good, if it’s for the right reasons! *** Aaron Leo is a quiet laid-back sort of guy that even if he does an embarrassing story on someone, he keeps it simple & to the point without being too over the top or negative! *** Entire council budget procedures should go very quick & back to the Mayor this year. No increases, some areas stay the same & most get more cuts and possible projected layoffs depending on what little the State gives up, or is received from the stimulus package in general. “No Frills Budget” for 2009-2010. ***

  11. *** Aaron Leo is a quiet laid-back sort of guy that even if he does an embarrassing story on someone, he keeps it simple & to the point without being too over the top or negative! ***

    I take that as he is a simpleton who is too afraid to dig for the truth or print the facts because they may not blow the way City Hall or a certain demographic expect them too.

    Oh well, Samey Same.


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