Sunday, March 22, 2009

A call for Ann Caulkins to resign

Jeff Taylor calls on Ann Caulkins, president and publisher of the Charlotte Observer, to resign:
Ann:

Please resign.

There is no delicate way to put this, you have run your paper into the ground. Worse, with your latest edicts on the “productivity” of your sales-staff — down to micromanaging the number of emails and phone calls they are to make each day — you have utterly cratered what was left of morale in addition to betraying your deep misunderstanding of the problem, let alone potential solutions.

Believe it or not, there is still time to save Charlotte’s daily newspaper. But only with new leadership that understands the new realities of our 21st century media landscape. You manifestly do not.

Please leave before it is too late.

Sincerely,

Jeff A. Taylor
First subscribed in 1978
The way the MNI layoffs are playing out, the people who ran the company into the ground get to keep their jobs.

Charlotte, by the way, is expected to announce layoffs tomorrow.
.

.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that Ann Caulkins should resign, but I would also add a few other people that should resign based on their disgusting work ethics at the Observer ... Victor Fields, Chuck Griffiths, Chuck Cole, Crystal Dempsey and Tamara Swan. The way the they jockey for position and move people around on paper like pawns on a chess board to protect themselves is disgusting. Ever heard of Karma? It's coming.

Anonymous said...

In fact, the entire leadership team, as they call themselves, should resign. They have ruined something that was once so good and they have wrecked so many homes, I can't begin to explain.

Anonymous said...

The entire leadership team and a whole host of overpaid middle management lackeys from all divisions.
Most all are Knight Ridder hold-overs, vestiges of a time when the main management style was delegate-delegate-delegate.
You have to wonder when the first widespread cost-saving measure at the main office was to close half the bathrooms. You can just imagine the jokes that flew around then.
But my, what it foreshadowed!

Anonymous said...

Crystal? Somebody's picking on the wrong person here. She's one of us--a terrific person, good journalist, and someone who's tried her best to make her assignments work. Now, I would suggest deleting some of the AMEs in the newsroom. If we have fewer reporters, copy editors and photographers, why do we need so many AMEs?

McClatchy Watch said...

Folks, I prefer names not be mentioned in comments, except for upper management and others who have chosen a high profile role.

Everybody else is entitled to privacy.

Anonymous said...

Still would like to know how many V.P.'s and directors etc will be involuntarily leaving each property. Remember that voluntary resignations, as in Miami, do not count towards the goal of 1600

Anonymous said...

More and more of us are wondering why those who managed their newspapers into near-extinction are keeping their jobs. How does that help the situation? Very disturbing and creating a fireball of animosity.

Anonymous said...

Several managing editors on the print side of McClatchy's largest papers should be unceremoniously blown out the door. Nobody is going to miss them, they've failed miserably and it saves big bucks. Not to mention, it will make all those who have no respect for them anyway, really happy. A morale booster that saves money and improves the prodcut.

Anonymous said...

All this talk of who should resign or who should stay is really just a discussion of who's going in the water first and who's going to cling to the back rail of the Titanic until the moment it slips beneath the surface.

The ship is going down. Not even heroic gestures, like Caulkins or her high-level cohorts being fired or submitting their resignations, can save it at this point.

Anonymous said...

You're probably right about it's just a matter of time. I would think any top-level manager with real talent would have already transitioned into another profession.
There's no way many of these parasites will last to the end of this year. Word is that many of these losers will be demoted, reassigned or fired by fall as the ranks thin everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Paydirt!

I have been reading this blog for months and we have a first class "Bob Woodward" style journalist here on post #6:27.

He or she is on to the biggest scam of all. Don't use names, just say initials of last names. Your story is just what is actually happening.

Good journalism is back.

MClathy Watch please let the truth come forward.

Anonymous said...

People at the CO who need to be fired ASAP:

MN
TJ
KS
MS

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:27
I agree with most of the people you mentioned but there are a few more that only try and save their own skin without trying to help the CO.And some of the other comments I disagree with as Charlotte can be SAVED as it is still a profitable entity in the McClatchy chain,but it would probably take someone coming in and buying the paper and making some changes in management and operating procedures.Tomorrow isn't going to be pretty at Charlotte,lots of GOOD people are going just because they want to protect certain workgroups and certain people as each manager has a role in who stays and who goes.If I lose my job tomorrow its been a great ride there.The people I've met and made friendships with to the people I have no humanly use for it's all been a life learning experience.Good Luck to all.DB we miss you taking care of us.

Anonymous said...

More CO:

LI
DF
AG
RS
BW
JM
JB
SM
GS

Anonymous said...

An ad salesperson at The Charlotte Observer told me their new performance requirements announced last week are a minimum of 12 face to face calls to decision makers every day plus 40 e-mail (or phone) calls to decision makers every day. This would mean a new sales call would have to occur every 7 to 8 minutes every work day in order to meet minimum standards....... sure, I can do that, but I'm omnipotent (just like Ann). What of the poor humans on the sales staff...

Anonymous said...

Note to 6:27....
Suffice it to say that one shouldn't ask to see a package and then be surprised when given an involuntary one.
TB= special kind of stupid.

Anonymous said...

Is Ann Caulkins a one-woman show at the newspaper? Surely there are others that made decisions for the company - the excutive group for instance.

Can the Observer be saved if top level management is gone?

Anonymous said...

One of McClatchy's biggest mistakes? Putting a Knight Ridder person in as publisher at The Observer.

Anonymous said...

Folks, I prefer names not be mentioned in comments, except for upper management and others who have chosen a high profile role.





I would think that high profile would include anyone with a byline. Correct?

Anonymous said...

I ask for the layoff package, but was given the involuntary layoff instead. I guess they needed to save a few $$$$$. I feel very bad for the people who have been at TCO so long they can't go any where else.

It's like being in prison, when they leave they can't survive in the real world.

Anonymous said...

I ask for the layoff package, but was given the involuntary layoff instead.

------------
I don't understand. I have heard this over and over again. Why do some get a buyout, while others just get canned? How do they determine who gets what? Is it one of those people who get buyouts are the people that are likely to sue?

Anonymous said...

15% will be let go in Charlotte tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I say use the names of the people that need to go. As a long time, hardworking, top producing employee who was laid off last year and not even given the dignity of my initials - I was just a tick mark on a page at the end of a day, I would like for them to be called out and reprimanded for a job poorly done.

Anonymous said...

to @1:15, I'm trying to guess your initials, this is quite fun:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

More CO:

LI - Liz Irwin (duh, VP adv)
DF - Darren Frank
AG - Anne Gordon
RS - ?
BW - Beth Whitehead
JM - Joyce Marco
JB - ?
SM - ?
GS - ?

here's some more initials, with (hints) after them! YOU fill in the blanks!!

RS - magazines editorial guy
CD - eye guessed it!
RT - none other than the ONE
DC - no bill is ever right!
KM - where's my rate memo ?!?
TB - oops, rook BEATS Bishop!
LF - real estate team pariah
JS - "it's great to have a big dick (van H) behind you at all times"

Anonymous said...

If it is 15%, that would be over 100 layoffs at the CO tomorrow.

This is going to be beautiful. Let the crying begin !!!

Anonymous said...

I think her VP of HR should be out the door right behind her. I have never met a more cold-hearted dragon in my life. It's obvious why she was brought in. I've heard story after story of her indifference to employees who are being let go. I honestly think she enjoys wielding the ax. I'm curious if those who were part of the previous layoffs have anything to add about how you were treated by OL or other VP's.

Anonymous said...

Le Melle deserves her own, special, hellish kind of thread. Maybe even her own anti-blog.
Complete w/ upside-down pentagrams and 666's.

Anonymous said...

Le Melle is a horrible person. Where do they get these mean and heartless people.

The one before her was a pitiful excuse for a human being as well.

You cannot make it up.

Everyone should have pity on the poor salespeople. They are treated like the Jews in Nazi Germany, They know they have to go but no one will take them. Pray for all of them as they are in an impossible situation.

Anonymous said...

"Mean and heartless" is a requirement for an HR job with McClatchy. They're unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

March 22, 2009 6:38 PM:

I'm thinking that RS must be Ron Stokes. Granted I was laid off last year so I only have experience from that time, but I remember Ron as being a great manager. He was easy going and always seemed to try and balance the unrealistic demands of LI with the realities of the economy. And he had a great sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

All of the leadership team should be fired. They ran the paper in the ground. Not only Ann, but the rest of the so called team.

They destroyed a good newspaper and treated the employees like @@##.

They are arrogant and care nothing about the workers, except for getting rid of them.

Unknown said...

Horrible customer service....no way to reach anyone locally. Customer service reps in Phillipines not well trained.

LM said...

I just bumped into these comments and understood the how much in need of a BIG change CO was in 2009.

What happened since then?