Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Jan. 11 -- Got news or a question? (updated)

If you have news or a question, post it in comments.

From comments, a plea for local automony from somebody who experienced what McClatchy's corporate approach did to one community newspaper.


Archer05 said...

Alan Mutter writes about the P-I employees learning some sad new via a news leak to a local TV station.

This is no way to treat employees. I really don’t fault rank and file newspaper employees. I do fault dishonest editors, and company executives for allowing a needed source of public information to become so thoroughly, and devastatingly polluted.
-Scoopless in Seattle: P-I beat on own sad news-
“The television station first broadcast the news of the impending announcement on Thursday night. The official word was not delivered to the [shell-shocked staff] until mid-day Friday, when Steven Swartz, the president of Hearst newspapers, delivered [a short, apologetic] announcement…”

Anonymous said...

Dave Zeeck, publisher of the Tacoma McClatchy paper has written about the Seattle PI.

Check the first comment... it is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

We have to share this comment:
“Great read, Dave. You should post a link on Craigslist so that people will see it.”

Hilarious, but true. BTW:
Headline: We'd be sad - and hopeful - if the Seattle P-I shuts down

How many editors did it take to come up with that headline?

Anonymous said...

May I start by saying that I’m a former employee of one of those K. R. newspapers.
I would rather stay anonymous for now, because I’m still in the process of transitioning out.
My career began in the mid to late sixty’s. I was not a newsroom employee, so therefore, I’m probably not as eloquent as some of your posters. Please bear with me.
I started out in a family owned operation. The paper I worked for has a rich tradition. We had our complaints, but had no idea what was to come. We had it good in retrospect, but folks are never satisfied. We were, and are, a money making newspaper. We were a community paper that served the community. We reported on graft and corruption. We kept politicians at bay. When a reader saw that we supported a particular candidate, they took notice. We reported on community events what ever they were. We reported on retailers that seemed to be “taking advantage” much to our advertising departments chagrin etc. Our publisher was involved in the community, not because it was his job, but because he genuinely cared. Not only did he care about the community, he cared about his employees. The paper prospered greatly, and employees prospered as well, with something called “profit sharing”. You’re now going to say “So, that’s what newspapers are supposed to be all about” and I will agree. Then came something called greed, and K.R. was at our door. We heard about it on the evening TV News. We had been sold!!!
We were assured that no changes would be made. Of course that was naiveté on our part.
No corporation buys another without making some changes “for the greater good”. We were skeptical, but we road it out. We continued to make a lot of money, and it was for the most part, funneled to the K.R. newspapers that weren’t doing so well. Someone noticed that Tony & company were still living pretty high, and the stock was flat.
He (they) decided something had to be done to get the stockholders more return for their investment. Nobody cared anymore that newspapers serve their community with a watchdog service that is part of the foundation of our constitution. It’s all about making big bucks.
Then along comes McClatchy. Why not? It would put us (McClatchy) in the running for the second largest newspaper chain in the country. BIG BUCKS!!! Oh we heard the same rhetoric. You have complete autonomy. You serve the community…. Yeah right!!!
Now what do we have?
We have an industry that’s on the verge of self-destruction. I feel sure that when radio came along, the newspaper industry thought, “This is it, we’re finished.” I feel sure that when television came along , “This is it, we’re finished”.
The print media is the only institution that has endured going against “The Big Guy” because we are guaranteed that fundamental right.
Do you really think that you can get “The News” on the internet???? Sure you can, but that’s because newspapers print their content there. The industry is evolving, but it’s not going away. The powers that be would like you to think it is. When you subscribe to the “Newspaper” you are inviting the news, and advertising into your home. When you look at it online, you are looking for news, not popups, intrusions, redirects, and in general nuisances. Why do you think McAfee, Symantec, etc. make millions each year, keeping that stuff off your computer? Now it doesn’t make any difference who subscribes. It’s all about the hits.
Anybody with an axe to grind can start a blog…. Is that news???
No that’s opinion!!
I don’t mean to belittle this particular blog. It’s doing a service in my opinion. I’ve voted for it several times, but it’s still opinion!!!
There are a lot of us “boomers” that like to hold the newspaper in our hands.
California (AKA Sacramento) thinks the print version is done. They need to spend some time out here. Autonomy my A$$.
Let some of the local newspapers make their own decisions based on their own markets.
You just might be surprised!!!!
I’m out of the mix now, but just thought I’d make a comment.
Best of luck & hope to see better times!!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing personal man, it was actually a pretty good rant. I'd just like to know however, how was it possible that you knew nothing of the deal until it popped on TV. I too was a Knight Ridder employee and shareholder. We knew about it long before it was announced.

Also, most everyone in the 1970's where I was, knew full well that print was dying and by the mid 80's one would pretty much have to have been brain dead or a McClatchy executive not to realize it.

Did those folks strap you with blinders? You should sue. I think that is illegal.