Friday, January 30, 2009

Goof!... editor accidently sends embarrassing email to all employees -- the email lays out reasons a particular reporter should not be laid off

An email containing sensitive personnel information -- inadvertently sent by the executive editor to all employees at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- has raised speculation the Star-Telegram is on the verge of additional staff reductions.

The email, sent by senior vice president and executive editor Jim Witt, appears to be an explanation why a particular reporter, Jen Floyd Engel, is more valuable to the newspaper than another reporter, Gil Lebreton. A third reporter, Jim Reeves, is also named. Thanks to an anonymous tipster, here is the email:

From: Witt, Jim
Sent: Thu 1/29/2009 3:37 PM
To: Ruiz, Darla; Wortel, Gary
Cc: edit-all
Subject: Gil LeBreton

Darla:

Here's some reasoning on why Jen Floyd Engel is different than Gil Lebreton (or Jim Reeves)

* Salary - Gil makes 65 percent more than her and Jim makes twice what she does. They are the "senior'' people and she is jr. - just like the difference in a senior photographer vs. a regular photographer.

* Experience - Gil has 29 years, Reeves has 40 and Jennifer only 12.

* She blogs multiple times daily online on any number of topics. Because she's always at practice/games, she provides insider information on all of the teams we cover. Colleges, too. (Leb doesn't blog; Reeves just started contributing to our Texas Rangers baseball blog for the upcoming season).
* She writes twice a week in print and once online. Leb/Reeves write 4 times in print only.

* She does her weekly video with Randy Galloway (Leb or Reeves don't do anything in video).
* She does her weekly podcast, available through iTunes (Leb/Reeves don't do podcasts).
* She's regularly hosts breaking news chats or live game chats from events. Leb/Reeves don't do.
* She produces a weekly mailbag column, answering e-mails from her readers all over the globe. (Literally - all over the globe. She gets e-mails from places you wouldn't believe - Egypt, Japan, some places in the Middle East.) She has quite a following.

Here's something else - she contributes things for Your Life, too. She has the Saturday centerpiece this week for example where she rates local chicken wing establishments for Super Bowl parties. And she's doing some online stuff with called Bride-to-Bride. It's a mailbag/advice column for brides-to-be on Star-Telegram.com.

What do you think? I asked Jim Witt via email if he wants to make a comment.
.
.

101 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, this posting is cruel. It is inappropriate to post since it names individuals. You should delete it. These folks have done nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

The email was made public. It's funny who when media people are part of the news, all of a sudden they cry foul. But when you "got" someone else, its fair game.

McClatchy Watch said...

Anonymous 9:28 -- I suggest you read the comments at any McClatchy newspaper's web site if you want to see cruel and inappropriate.

The email I posted has no personal attacks, and Witt doesn't say anything degrading about any of the reporters. Chill yourself.

Anonymous said...

Melanie Sill at Sac Bee mistakenly sent one of these embarrassments out after her features department was named one of the best in the nation. Since she hates features sections, she emailed another manager that this was proof national awards are bogus. Unfortunately, she also sent the email to everybody in features! Huge embarrassment and a real downer to the entire Bee newsroom. I was told she did a half-baked apology to the staff, but the damage to morale was huge.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 9:28 AM,
Hey, I heard the e-mail was found in a dumpster outside Go. Palin's home. Doesn't that make it fair game?

Anonymous said...

I think it is important for other newsroom employees to have this glimpse into the thinking of retaining one employee over another. Be afraid.

Anonymous said...

What's reprehensible is that the "junior" reporter who is working her a$$ off, writing, blogging, posting videos, etc is paid SO much less. Yes, seniority counts — I left the biz with more than 25 years in — but if the company values production and convergence, it should compensate fairly for it!

Anonymous said...

Who is to say this wasn't sent out "accidentally on purpose" ? Seems like a pretty clear memo on what is expected of reporters who want to keep their jobs at this paper!

Anonymous said...

"You should delete it."

If the newspaper deleted all the CRUEL things they said about Gov. Palin before the election, their faux newspapers would have been blank. Get real, the editor is yet another fool on display.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone has an age discrimination claim. Fire the older senior employee making more money so you can keep the employee making less.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Melanie Sill been laid off?

Anonymous said...

I notice that in his comparison of reporters' work, there was no mention of the QUALITY of the work, nose for news, etc. Just who is paid less, likely to have more work years ahead, and who feeds the online beast. (One guy is starting to, but that was dismissed out of hand.)

Anonymous said...

Frankly, this posting is cruel. It is inappropriate to post since it names individuals. You should delete it. These folks have done nothing wrong.
-----------------
This is just precious. Bwhahahha

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it, that j-school students are being told they will fill the new media journalism jobs. No mention of the thousands of employees displaced. Colleges need to take some of the blame for wreaking a profession. Are they so blind, so stupid, such money-grubbing charlatans, that they didn‘t see this coming for the last five years? It would seem so.

Anonymous said...

If this is real, it sure wasn't making a buzz in the Star-Telegram sports offices last night, though maybe everyone who read it thought it was too disgusting to discuss.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Jim Witt sent out an e-mail explaining the original e-mail's comments. He seemed genuinely embarrassed. I was embarrassed for the writers he mentioned. So, I second the comment from 9:28 that you remove the writers' names. These people have careers to think about. Please be considerate.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
To be fair, Jim Witt sent out an e-mail explaining the original e-mail's comments.

SHUT UP and go get a job picking up trash!

Anonymous said...

Damn that ol gotcha journalism when the "got" is one of their own. Funny how that works.

Also it would seem that the young lady in question (as per Lilly Ledbetter) should sue them because she is paid less for doing more.

One liberal victim groups eats another liberal victim group for lunch. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Sure he was embarrassed. Embarrassed he got caught RED HANDED outlining the McClatchy age discrimination policy which is in stark contrast to federal law. (Just ask Meredeth Corp)

No need to be embarrassed for the reporters. Their jobs are now sealed till the day the doors close!

As for feces face witt, I wouldn't give a witt for his job right about now.

The names should stay. You can't make a decision to become a slander sheet and then suddenly pick and choose what is proper. Every one of these people need to be exposed for what they are.

Anonymous said...

If this isn't job security for the three people mentioned, I don't know what is. This e-mail just confirms what a number of people at the Star-Telegram already know: Jim Witt is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

And all those who kiss his ass in his Elvis club better get some empty boxes soon. THE GOOD TIMES HAVE ENDED, now its a level playing field for all of us. Not just those selected few who get to laugh at Jim stupid jokes poolside at his house listen to bad elvis music. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ALL ARE!

Anonymous said...

So is it black monday, tuesday or what? whats the word at your MCT papers?

Anonymous said...

The irony that senior managers of MNI, who shall lead the transformation of media ( according to Weaver ), lack the required skills for email privacy.

Anonymous said...

Anon. said...
“..maybe everyone who read it thought it was too disgusting to discuss.”

Do you think they might have been too damn scared to discuss it?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
“And all those who kiss his ass in his Elvis club….”

You are being too kind, and everyone knows it.

Anonymous said...

11:37 - Maybe, though I haven't known the desk guys to be that shy and paranoid before. Then again, no rumor this ridiculous has ever been circulated around before.

Anonymous said...

Jen, Gil, Jim,

Give us a call. WE'LL GET MONEY FOR YOU!


Regards,

Shakem, Fleecem, & Brown

Anonymous said...

Anon says, “I second the comment from 9:28 that you remove the writers' names.”

So, you want us to believe, a reporter would kill information rather than hurt someone’s pride? What paper does that? What editor demands only gentle reporting? No wonder the old media is dying!

Anonymous said...

11:37 - Maybe, though I haven't known the desk guys to be that shy and paranoid before. Then again, no rumor this ridiculous has ever been circulated around before.

How does the sand taste in your mouth?

Anonymous said...

So, you want us to believe, a reporter would kill information rather than hurt someone’s pride?
--------------
No, I want you to believe that what I would do to you should not apply to me because I am a professional. This is my job, so I should be shielded when I do it.

Anonymous said...

With all the layoffs looming, no one has your back, believe me, no one. So far, the rumors I heard are coming true. The brass tried to hide the truth, not wanting to hurt our feeling and all, but that was a bullshit front. millionaire Pruitt feels my pain? That will be the day!

Anonymous said...

On Jim's email: Salary - Gil makes 65 percent more than her and Jim makes twice what she does. They are the "senior'' people and she is jr. - just like the difference in a senior photographer vs. a regular photographer.

On Jim's follow: we were talking about content sharing. BULLSHIT JIM

Anonymous said...

Anon. 12:04, that's why the subject of the original email was Gil, because they were talking about not sharing Jen's stuff. Bullshit. Witt really could have come up with a better cover for himself.

Anonymous said...

this makes those three bullet-proof forever

rknil said...

"And she's doing some online stuff with called Bride-to-Bride. It's a mailbag/advice column for brides-to-be on Star-Telegram.com."

Wait? She's aiding Bridezillas, and that's a justification for who-knows-what?

That should be a firing offense right there. Next she'll be posting on nutcase mom blogs.

"Since she hates features sections, she emailed another manager that this was proof national awards are bogus."

Features sections are generally crap. This time of year is a prime example. First the insecure bats in the newsroom will analyze how to make the right type of cocktail weenies for the Super Bowl. In a couple of weeks, they'll agonize about V-Day.

"Rumor has it, that j-school students are being told they will fill the new media journalism jobs. No mention of the thousands of employees displaced. Colleges need to take some of the blame for wreaking a profession."

Yeah, the young journos are buying this stuff. They think their Ring of Bling is the salvation. I try to record the names so I can see what these people are doing when they're 30. Likely they'll be in PR or out of journalism.

Anonymous said...

Compensation and retainment should be based on productivity, not age. I feel sorry for those who work 5x as hard, have 5x the output, yet make substatially less. Watch out McC, even in this economy top talent can be hired away.

Anonymous said...

Does Don Witt have skeletons in his closet? I’ll bet he does. Let’s go back years and years to get the truth of who would write such an e-mail? Is his wife his age? What does he spend for his suits? Does he hunt? All these things must be explored before we can make up our minds. I vote to fire him. Fire him today, and stop the bleeding.

Anonymous said...

Edit: Jim Witt not Don

Anonymous said...

Be careful for what you wish for. If Witt is gone, we get Ellen as our editor and hopefully she can bring her ex-lover Raben with her.

Anonymous said...

New low reached. Even for this site.

Anonymous said...

Agree, irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

12:39 New low reached. Even for this site.
12:41 Agree, irrelevant.
-*-*-*-

Save it Jim. Cat's out of the bag.

Anonymous said...

Sex discrimination. The volume of work that she's doing compared to the guys. Witt should go.

Anonymous said...

"...Gil makes 65 percent more than her and Jim makes twice what she..."

That sounds like a math problem.

PorkyPig said...

"Sounds like someone has an age discrimination claim. Fire the older senior employee making more money so you can keep the employee making less."

Actually, she could make the claim that they are paying her less b/c she is a woman. Sounds like she is working circles around those geezers.

Left Arlington in 2005 said...

Do you think Rex Seline and Gary Hardee are laughing their A$$es off right now? It's a big serving of schadenfreude. And one local media outlet is having a field day with it.
Thank yuh! Thank yuh very much!

Bethany Anderson said...

Are any of you journalists? Because the shaky grasp of grammar in the comments is making my head hurt.

InkStain said...

As if professional journalists are immune to having shaky grasps of grammar?

Anonymous said...

This is the McClatchy Way:

Here is what happened. They are doing it at all the locations.

Gil: Old reliable, always on time, loyal, makes too much money. Never ask if she would like to train on new technologies. Good Journalist. Left Out altogether as planned by management. "Never had a chance".

Reeves: Way too old. Very knowledgeable. Could unturned many stories that stink right in his home town. Has contacts in place to do good journalism and uncover good stories for the paper. He wasn't included in or "guided" by management to enter new technologies. It was time for him to go. Too Old.

Jen: Cute. Picked from the start to advance into web production. Easy business but you have to take time to learn. She is given all the breaks to show other people how valuable she is to the company. She probably can't spell or know where the Mississippi River is but that doesn't count.

McClatchy wants to hire young people and get rid of the folks that have worked for them for years. They have no loyalty to their employees and the older you are the more they want you to leave.

Example, Jen VS Gil and Reeves.

People who advance at McClatchy are hand picked and trained. Others are left out. Can you spell cronyism?

Age Discrimination. Check it out next week.

Anonymous said...

Age Discrimination. Check it out next week.
--------
You don't have to wait. It is well documented throughout the company over the past year. This is just the first time that senior management has provided the evidence necessary to prove systemic violations. This is actually almost a mirror image of what happened to Meredith corporation after firing hundreds over the age of 40. One executive screwed up and opened his mouth and the rest fell like a house of cards. Settlements everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Class Action?????

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the e-mail from Melanie Sill, the Sacramento editor? I know there are people in Raleigh who would love to see it.

Media Malpractice said...

Has anyone thought of guiding Jim towards the WITTless protection Program ?

FormerSTWageSlave said...

Anon 2:38, you've clearly never set foot in the S-T newsroom. For starters, Gil is a dude. And Jen definitely knows where the Mississippi is, because she's from St. Louis.
Don't insult people without some grasp of the facts, some... what's the word... uh... reporting.

Anonymous said...

3:27 - Folks in Raleigh could use a little something. The managing editor gathered the newsroom yesterday for a list of possible cuts, including more jobs.

Anonymous said...

Bethany Anderson said...
Are any of you journalists? Because the shaky grasp of grammar in the comments is making my head hurt.


How does an empty head hurt?
Bwahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Careful, she is a self described journalist and part time assassin.

Anonymous said...

Good sources say layoffs at the Star-Telegram are set for early next week.

Anonymous said...

Boeing needs people with math skills, Burger King needs people with grammar and spelling skills.

That should make your head feel better.

OvertheST said...

Anon 2:38
You really don't know what your talking about. Jen is far from cute.
And ageism? Hogwash. A lot of youngsters got laid off the first time around.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that Jim Witt doesn't know grammar: "Gil makes 65 percent more than her and Jim makes twice what she does."

Gil makes 65 percent more than SHE, Jim.

And SHE should ask for a big big raise. They could lay off Gil and the other dude to pay her. Sounds like she's working harder than both of them put together.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:38 has got it right, but this is likely happening at all newspapers, not just McClatchy owned papers.

The issue of how to migrate local news content, the backbone of every newspaper if they know it or not, to the Internet and into the "New Media" has always been the unsolved problem. They'd have to solve that problem first, then they could train and focus the talent into using it.

Anonymous said...

You really don't know what your talking about. Jen is far from cute.
And ageism? Hogwash. A lot of youngsters got laid off the first time around

Got to agree, she has NEVER been something to look at.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Has this really dissolved into whether or not Jen is cute? Let's focus here people!

Anonymous said...

Some of the seasoned journalists working today came in just with skills and natural talent at the time of their being hired, and that was good enough to get by. So now they feel threatened because younger generations have either educational or technical training to supply what employers are looking for? There's no age discrimination here, unless it's working the younger reporters too hard to produce for the online engine.

Anonymous said...

Management has to communicate relevant information in making strategic decisions. No doubt, the executive editor would rather not have deal with this, but he does. Everyone's aware that print is going to hell and online is helter-skelter.

Generally, to stay in business, revenue must consistently exceed expenses (excepting GM and Chrysler).

rknil said...

"Some of the seasoned journalists working today came in just with skills and natural talent at the time of their being hired, and that was good enough to get by. So now they feel threatened because younger generations have either educational or technical training to supply what employers are looking for? There's no age discrimination here, unless it's working the younger reporters too hard to produce for the online engine."

Dumbest post of the entire thread.

So you think youngsters should be hired simply because they talk up their Ring of Bling? We're talking about people whose journalistic skills are seriously lacking.

"Careful, she is a self described journalist and part time assassin."

As opposed to someone who posts anonymously and gutlessly.

Anonymous said...

Scattered thoughts: I worked a stint at the S-T alongside Leb and Revo. I don't know Engel, but as much as she works as an apparent do-everything, does her byline attract the level readership that Leb's and Revo's do? No way. They happen to be very good columnists with strong voices. Since when does being a jack- or jill-of-all-trades doing anything and everything in sight justify a higher pay above your top columnists? If that's the case, you should be paying your hungry, 100-hours-a-week entry-level folks 100 grand a year. Just crank that stuff out, huh? Priceless. What's an honest appraisal of the quality/readership level of Engel's work compared to Lebreton and Reeves? By the way, it sounds like if Engel is working so hard and therefore so many hours, the S-T might be violating some hour-and-wage laws for non-exempt employees, which I assume Engel is based on job description.

Anonymous said...

I think this is why they call him "Nit-Witt"

Anonymous said...

"Careful, she is a self described journalist and part time assassin."

As opposed to someone who posts anonymously and gutlessly.
----
Ah, like you?

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:58:

Actually, most readers don't even know Gil LeBreton exists. They think the three Sports columnists at the S-T are Galloway, Reeves and the Little Ball of Hate.

It that's not an indictment of LeBreton's worth, or lack thereof, I don't know what is.

And if you've ever worked with Gil, you would know that he's notorious for not answering the phone when anyone calls (be it the SE or anyone else), filing 10 minutes before deadline and ignoring all interaction with beat writers.

Nice guy? Sure.

But with the S-T only being allowed to send columnists to cover two pro teams in their own market, he is a major liability -- since he never leaves his own house to cover a team ... unless paid travel is involved.

Anonymous said...

Dude, it's too late to slander the guy now and try to change the story. The barn door is opened and now he is untouchable short of triple damages in a major civil rights suit. In fact, all three of them have you all by the balls. Anyway, they would if Pru Bear allowed balls in his domain.

rknil said...

"Ah, like you?"

Says the one posting as (all together now) Anonymous.

Only amateurs offer a response that can immediately be turned back on them.

Next time, take a few breaths before posting. Try to let the oxygen reach those suffering, underused brain cells. Breathe in. Breathe out. Right a-circle. Left a-circle.

Now show me: A post with some sense!

rknil said...

http://eatdrinkmarry.blogspot.com/

BTW, I rate this as a 5 on the Bridezillas Make Me Puke scale. It could be worse.

Now, with the Internets, Bridezillas can do more than simply annoy people at work! Hallelujah!

Anonymous said...

hold on a second. i've worked with her. just because she's from st. louis doesn't in any way mean she knows where the mississippi is. do not assume the obvious, oh, smart ones. we're talking some weird shit out of her. just ask about 100,000 readers and the 20 viewers each week on that silly web cast or some such.

Anonymous said...

oh, hold on a second. i guess i neglected to account for her fans in the middle east. so the 20 or so here in america and bin laden and his right hand man, i guess we're talking 22 web viewers. a week. must be web viewers; we know they're not reading.

what are they worried about; when they witness her blather, the radical islamic tribes must realize america is no threat.

Anonymous said...

I worked with Melanie in Raleigh, and she was an idiot there too.

rknil said...

"I worked with Melanie in Raleigh, and she was an idiot there too."

And yet you post anonymously to tell us this.

Puzzling.

Anonymous said...

People, let's not be naive here. (Dim)Witt obviously manipulated and seriously misstated the facts in building the case for keeping his pet over one of his "senior" columnists. LeBreton and Reeves have established reputations over decades of work. They've risen to the top because they are hard workers and because they're good-to-great writers. I've worked with both of them and I don't know of a single time either of them was asked to do something and didn't do that and more.
LeBreton has produced reams of copy in covering the Olympics, sometimes by himself, filling up an entire page. Reeves has written on everything from the Gulf War to 9-11, and I don't know how many Super Bowls, World Series, etc. He had his own Sunday page until it was taken away from him, despite the fact that it was one of the most well-read and anticipated pages in the paper.
It's true the S-T has tried to make an online star out of Engel but I can guarantee you, LeBreton or Reeves would give them exactly the same (except better quality) if they were asked or had the opportunity.
Witt's bungling has trashed both their reputations and that's a travesty.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand a newspaper that would make a star out of someone by referring to them as "hate". I think that says a lot about (Dim) Witt and the mangement at that rag.

Anonymous said...

To RKNIL: You're not funny, you're not clever. You are, however, annoying. I believe the proper term is a "troll."

rknil said...

But you are gutless and anonymous.

P.S.: The (Dim)Witt joke is not exactly a laugh riot. Maybe a little funny the first time, but not so funny the 150th time.

Anonymous said...

RKNIL, aren't you a brave one. Who the hell is RKNIL? I can read a number of these anonymous posts and know through their writing who is speaking. I haven't a clue who you are, other than the typical self-righteous, do-gooder journalist. Have you been too busy to grow up? Get a grip on your life and offer a legitimate opinion instead of your I'm-such-a-noble asshole with designs on saving the world. If you haven't figured it out yet: the world doesn't embrace douchebags.

rknil said...

Your last post is amusing for many reasons.

But you want a response. OK.

I just enjoy watching the people who claim they are out to save the world come slinking in to post as "Anonymous" and throw a rock at someone. What are they trying to accomplish, if anything?

"If you haven't figured it out yet: the world doesn't embrace douchebags."

But does it embrace cowards who post anonymously, with the apparent goal of trying to outsnark the previous posters with F-list insults such as (Dim)Witt? I mean, the 6-year-old down the street is more cutting and clever.

Anonymous said...

There is not a person in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram newsroom (including me) who does not think Jim Witt should resign. Many people (again, including me) respect and like him, but his credibility and trust has been blown out the window. He walked around the newsroom Friday, like nothing happened. Come on Jim - you need to go. We don't trust you.

Anonymous said...

rknil, Let me get this straight, you are hiding behind a moniker, saying an anonymous poster is hiding his identity?
Brilliant deduction Watson, brilliant.

Anonymous said...

"And all those who kiss his ass in his Elvis club better get some empty boxes soon. THE GOOD TIMES HAVE ENDED, now its a level playing field for all of us. Not just those selected few who get to laugh at Jim stupid jokes poolside at his house listen to bad elvis music. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ALL ARE!"

It is hard for me to believe this kind juvenile drivel could have been generated by a professional journalist. You should be ashamed. So you didn't get an invitation to the 7th grade dance. Big deal. Get over it or wallow silently in your self pity without dragging the rest of us into your hole.

Enough with the threats, finger pointing and name calling. EVERYONE working at the S-T had better be planning their own bailout plan. We've all seen this coming for a very long time. If you should find yourself unemployed tomorrow with no prospects or contingency plan, you have no one but yourself to blame.

rknil said...

"you are hiding behind a moniker"

Says someone posting as (all together now) Anonymous. The hilarity never ends.

"It is hard for me to believe this kind juvenile drivel could have been generated by a professional journalist."

Actually, not hard to believe at all. This person's unedited copy is probably worse. Dirty, little secret: Many of the people who say they have ink in their veins cannot write.

"Enough with the threats, finger pointing and name calling."

The name-calling is fun. Well, it could be if people could do better than (Dim)Witt.

Anonymous said...

rknil is a well know web troll, full info below. ignore him.

Robert Knilands
211 S. Maple St.
Piper City
60959
IL
UNITED STATES
rknil@tm.net
+1.2178418690

Anonymous said...

RKNIL serves no purpose on this board other than to ridicule others. Can this site see fit to blow this worm out of the posting process? He/she adds nothing to the mix except to rip into others and derail the train of thought on each thread.

rknil said...

Well, which is it? "Hiding behind a moniker" or not?

The gutless, anonymous posters will have to puzzle that one out. Maybe they can do that while they hide in the shadows and throw stones.

rknil said...

Also, I find it entertaining that people who post gutlessly and anonymously to name an editor and to call that person an idiot somehow think they are not trolls.

Anonymous said...

The poster who mentioned Witt's Elvis club is dead on. Notice how NONE of those people were touched. NOT ONE. And most of them are average employees. It's really sad, but he played favorites during the layoffs. I'd like to see his ass canned.

Anonymous said...

For those of us who don't work there, who's in the Elvis club?

Anonymous said...

test

Anonymous said...

What you have here is a subtle (or maybe not-so-subtle) form of railroading.

They don't give the non-favorites the opportunity to blog or do goofy Internet pieces.

Then, when layoffs arise, the ones they don't want are more vulnerable.

It happens when human resources reads an email about how you can't teach new tricks to a bunch of unproductive, over-paid old farts.

I have to agree that posting the email has secured the jobs of all of these names until the doors close.

If I were them, I'd broadcast it on the television news, too.

Anonymous said...

"They don't give the non-favorites the opportunity to blog or do goofy Internet pieces."

Exactly!

Anyone who believes favoritism, whether by "clubs" or by cliques, isn't practiced every day in the newsroom is delusional. Editors dole out the better assignments to their pets, raising their profile while the equally qualified yet unwashed masses are left to squabble over the scraps; beggars at the banquet. As a result talented people are labeled as "average" and served up on a platter when the suits call for heads to roll.

With all the back stabbing, character assassination and outright lying sweeping through the newsroom these days, perhaps they should just be rid of the whole sanctimonious lot.

Anonymous said...

Coming from the other side of the building, don't think this kind of favoritism only happens in the newsroom, Advertising Graphics lost some of its best designers in the switch to India outsourcing while people that went to school with the managers (but couldnt tell you the difference between bold type and reversed boxes) are still here, and doing worse than the India designers too.

Favoritism is a plague on the S-T and it will bring the whole paper down around us.

Anonymous said...

I'm a longtime reader of the ST, and I think that the work of Reeves and Lebreton is worth at least 50 to 65 percent more money than Engel's work.

Every time I try to read one of her columns, it seems to me that she's simply filling space, vamping, and not really saying anything. And her attempts to be the female Galloway (using words like "dog-butted," etc.) are sort of pathetic. If she's the future of the sports page, I'll subscribe to the Morning News in a second.

Anonymous said...

For a very long time -- until fairly recently, actually -- I would have killed to work at the Star-Telegram. Not so much anymore from what I've been hearing over the last year about their operations.

pweinberger said...

It's unfortunate the email went public. But no one knows the entire story. It sounds like he was trying to keep a productive employee. Especially given her involvement with other kinds of media. Yes salary was mentioned, but it's naive to think this won't make a difference when making your case with the publisher or finance manager. I'm sure Witt was told he had to cut something, which is where this all got started. As one Knight Ridder editor once told me, "We are all middle managers."