Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The employees didn't create the mess

Writing in The Boston Globe about the decline of the GateHouse newspaper chain, columnist Steven Syre has a reminder about who created the disaster:

"The GateHouse papers have serious problems of their own. That's true of every newspaper, including The Boston Globe. But the people working at and managing GateHouse's papers didn't make the decisions that put their parent in such a deep, deep hole."

I'd add this: some publishers at local papers -- Zieman at the Kansas City Star, for example -- have alienated readers and caused low morale among employees by poor decision making.

As far as McClatchy's deep, deep hole, Gary Pruitt is the man who saddled McClatchy with $2 billion in debt by engineering the ill-fated purchase of Knight Ridder. But he hasn't paid any price for his folly, beyond taking a pay cut this year -- the real price has been paid by hundreds of MNI employees who've been laid off. Anybody have an explanation for why he is still employed?

Hat tip (and graphics credit): Fitz and Jen

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