Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Time to exit

Update: This blog is inactive but you can follow McClatchy Watch on Twitter.

After blogging for 27 months it's time for me to hang up my laptop.

I've wrestled for the past 2 weeks whether to keep blogging, and decided it's time to quit McClatchy Watch.  I have more responsibilities at work, and I have plans for more time with my family. I need a break, too.  No, this won't be a temporary break; I don't plan to start blogging again.

There is a definite demand for newspaper watchdog blogs. McClatchy has over 9,000 employees and I know from my stats that tons of them checked in here on a regular basis. My traffic also benefited from people -- plenty of them -- fascinated by the decline happening in the newspaper business.  Somewhere a blog will rise to meet the thirst for information.

There are only a handful of newspaper watchdog blogs: Lee Watch, Gannettoid, smaller ones here and there.  Jim Hopkins ended Gannett Blog in July.

Coincidentally, Jim Hopkins started Gannett Blog the same month I started McClatchy Watch. I consider it a minor achievement that I outlasted Jim by a few months. But Jim now says he might restart the blog.

Newspaper watchdog bloggers will mostly be hobbyists who don't do it for the money.  For the past several months I have averaged 2,000 hits on weekdays, about half that on weekends.  Not bad for this little blog but not a solid business model -- my monthly income from this blog was never more than about one sixth of my mortgage payment. 

Publishing this blog has been fun and rewarding.  Many thanks are in order.  I appreciate, more than I can say, my readers, especially those who posted comments, who emailed me with tips and articles and personal stories.  Thanks also to the other bloggers who linked here. 

I might post a handful of times between now and Friday but the shutdown has started.

Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas.

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72 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many thanks and Merry Christmas! You did a fine job and an important one. Best of luck in all future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking on a thankless task. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Both occasions now will be merrier and happier for the Keystone Kops of McClatchy.

John Altevogt said...

You will be missed. This is indeed a thankless task and one you have done well. Congratulations on a job well done.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. We appreciate your hard work and creating this environment. I get how demanding this can be...you will be missed.

T. D. said...

Thanks for the insight and information you have provided. You will be missed.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

the publishers will be glad your gone, which sucks. I was one of the 2000.

Anonymous said...

They're popping the Champagne in corporate right now.

Anonymous said...

Damn that is too bad, but, thanks for shining a nice bright light on the frauds at the KC Star where little to nothing would have been known about the nonsense they were up to without you.

Anonymous said...

There are many good people who work hard for their families in the McClatchy group. No agendas, just hard work to pay mortgages and feed their family. And I'm one of them. I work for the KC Star. I certainly don't always agree with the powers that be, but I'm grateful to be employed in this economy. Merry Christmas.

aquila6 said...

I, for one, will be sad to see you shut down. It was definitely a great blog while it lasted and I visited practically every day for over the past year.

Thanks for everything!

Anonymous said...

Didn't always agree with views here (I don't buy into the whole liberal/conservative BS since both parties are controlled and influenced by the same corporate banks) but in support of the first amendment and alternative sources in news it's important to support voices like this.

I think McClatchy's fate is probably sealed regardless. Newspapers in print are dying a slow painful death. We all slow down to see the car wrecks but you keep driving and focus your attention back to the road. Moving on is not a bad idea. Good luck and Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

It's time to go because the height of the industry - and its demise - is nearly nigh. Thanks for helping to keep us informed - as employees - as to what our company was doing.

Alas, 'rumors' were often true and at least we got to prepare ourselves.

Happy News Year.

Dave D. said...

..Kevin, you will be missed ! It was not a thankless job, I thanked you every time I opened up your blog, which was almost every day. I hope you prosper and I admire your evenhandedness and honesty. -Dave Dudley

Anonymous said...

Star-Telegram.com looks down.

An error occurred while processing your request.
Reference #97.5b302cc.1261604161.0

Anonymous said...

Looks like all of the McClatchy sites are down. How long now? Since before 4:30 p.m. at least.

Anonymous said...

That was eastern standard time.

Anonymous said...

Even the Iphone versions of the sites are down. Over 1 hour I would guess.

Anonymous said...

I hate it when bloggers do this. I've been following this blog for a year and appreciate the hard work. I just wish you would slow down to a post a week or something rather than disappearing. Nevertheless, thanks for shining some light on the corrupt enterprise which is McClatchy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear of the demise of the blog. It's been enjoyable to read nearly daily. I found out news here that I don't think anyone else would have told me otherwise. I hope some one else picks it up.

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Oh no. Did they not pay their web hosting bill? Or were they hacked by a disgruntled (former) employee?

Anonymous said...

Drat. I thought a good time to close the blog would be when McClatchy declared bankruptcy.

I'm another reader who disagrees with the politics of this blog, but as an inside source of information on the company, McClatchy Watch is invaluable. Very sorry to see you leave; but good luck with all your future endeavors.

Anonymous said...

Do you have to shut down the blog? The Blogger program lets you bring in other posters. Why not keep it and pass the heavy lifting on to someone else?

John Landsberg said...

It is always sad when a media watchdog site closes down. You did a fine job, and I sincerely appreciated your frequent links to my site.
Merry Christmas and best of luck in 2010.

Anonymous said...

No! You may not shut down. If doctors are going to be forced to care for patients and if I am going to be forced to pay those doctors to treat those patients, then you can damn well keep this blog going.

Your attempt to exercise your personal freedom is, like, so pre-Obama.

If you really want to shut down, it will require a 2/3rds super majority.

So there!

Anonymous said...

While I wasn't one of those commie hating posters, I do hope Obama just goes away and I did very much appreciate the McClatchy news and views.
I'd like to think McClatchy management got educated visiting this site and now know how they are unfavorably viewed by employees and the public. They desperately need a public relations overhaul.

War Pig said...

Sorry to see you leave, but I understand it is a lot of work. Thanks for a blog that was one of my must reads every day. Have a great Christmas and hope to see you around.

Anonymous said...

I'll miss reading your blog each day. And how will all of us celebrate when McClatchy finally goes down?

Have a good life.

Anonymous said...

Super sad to see you go. Wishing you and yours nothing but the best during the holidays and beyond. Thanks for all that you did for those of us who wished to know what the buffoons in Sacramento were up to

Anonymous said...

So long! Good Bye!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for everything you did, for holding the bosses accountable, and good luck in the future.

Anonymous said...

You will certainly be missed. I began my career with McClatchy at the Modesto Bee and you have certainly provided more info than I could have ever asked for.

Thanks for all the hard work and interesting posts.
Ken

Anonymous said...

McC W, I have been with you for a long time, and I will miss you the most. I will miss the other posters as well. Goodbye everyone & Merry Christmas.

♫ Archer05 ♫

ex-worker Bee said...

Sad to see you go. I thought you would outlast McCrappy News. I stop in a couple times a week. I too was one of the many McClatchy gave the boot to. It turned out well for me as I was able to go back to school and get the education I needed to change careers. I was recently hired by a local winery (second largest in the U.S.) and it looks promising for the future. Thanks again for (as Paul Harvey would say) the rest of the story. Maybe as a final farewell, you could give us a few highlights of the past year on your blog and some links we could go to for our media insider fix.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to quit completely. Keep the blog alive and just post perhaps once per week with the "best of" nuggets that come in each week from your sources.

This is a great resource. I can understand your need to focus on other priorities in life/work.

Just dial down your activity to once per week. You will miss this.

Anonymous said...

Another option would be to open it up to three or four co-bloggers that you trust. Allow some others to carry the load of "McClatchy Watch".

Give your users the ability to feed tips to your co-bloggers. Then allow others to continue this valuable website.

The manner that you exposed the pension losses and forced McClatchy to explain itself recently demonstrated the value of this blog.

It would be a shame to stop now.

Anonymous said...

While the conservative tone of this blog and many of its commentors irritate me, I do appreciate the insight of McClatchy Watch. I thank you for the service you provided and hope that things get better for McClatchy. I can't say I agree with everything you've posted, but I'm glad I stumbled upon this page. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

As many others have said, you would be doing a great service if you could somehow manage to do this blog on a part-time basis perhaps as a weekly summary.

Sure would be nice to be able to continue to know what the Sacramento idiots are up to behind the rank and file's backs

All the best to you and yours

Anonymous said...

I agree 100% with Anon 10:11 and would be happy to assist in keeping this blog going strong and continuing to expose the messiness of what remains of this company.

Anonymous said...

You're doing it right. Going out on a high note leaving them wanting more.

If you feel like leaving your personal history/legacy in the hands of someone else, fine, but I wouldn't.

Let someone start up something new if they want to. They are being selfish with your time suggesting you keep it going for them. It's not that hard to start something new. It just requires diligence you showed and some work and dedication.

Don't cave. Enjoy your next chapter.
Happiest of holidays to you and I wish you a prosperous new year.

Jim said...

I can so, so relate to your decision! I shut down Gannett Blog in July, when health problems made it impossible to continue. But now, even though I'm fully back on my feet, considering a restart of my blog wasn't easy.

Best of luck, and enjoy your new freedom!

Jim Hopkins

http://tinyurl.com/yzgx48r

Peter Weinberger said...

You have really done some fine work Kevin. The newspaper industry needs more people like you. Can you tell us one thing you like about Obama? Take care.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog...I jumped ship in the last buyout from The Bee and used your blog, as some other newspaper blogs to supplement my decision. Best move I have made, and I wanted to thank you personally. Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I admire your talent and time. Thanks for your service and know you kept many informed and thinking.

Anonymous said...

:p aka adventures of shark girl. when it comes to mcclatchy news your blog was very informative. Thank you for that and the opportunity for all of us to express ourselves politically and morally.

Anonymous said...

Your talents and passion are commendable. I wish more people had the dedication to keep blogs like this up and going. Apparently, blogs are as time consuming and even less profitable than newspapers. Blogging is extreme democracy in action, not to be confused with journalism.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Bradley J. Fikes said...

As a reporter myself, I much appreciate your work in giving the other side of the story most of the media won't tell. One doesn't have to agree with all the political views expressed in this blog to find it of great value, like I have. Merry Christmas and, Happy New Year's.

John Altevogt said...

Save the archives.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I enjoyed reading all the comments. The good and the bad. Good luck to you and your family. I will miss this site. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope this is a good year for the newspaper industry.

Anonymous said...

Save yourself and McClatchy Watch buy cutting the time consuming and irrelevant noise. The cartoons, the daily political junk, the free employment ads and concentrate ONLY on MNI news.

You don't have to post something everyday just the "good" insider stuff.

Whatever you decide, Good luck and thanks.

dan said...

one word and google it: snailpapers

those print papers that come our doors in the morning with news that is 12 hours late, and meant as a term of endearment on my part, since i coined it

Anonymous said...

With E&P closing and most other media sites just aggregators, it's going to be impossible to find out what is going on. The NYT and LAT, which used to cover media developments have become disappointments (though I like Carr's essays). Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

12:04: And that's just the way newspaper chains like it - nobody reporting on their dealings.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the blog for several months. I feel like it eventually became a place for people to root for the demise of the paper, which I feel is absurd since it is the employees who would be hurt most by that.
It's also ironic that the newspapers seem to be outlasting the blogs that predicted their deaths.
But all the best to you. Hope the New Year is a good one.

Anonymous said...

It's also ironic that the newspapers seem to be outlasting the blogs that predicted their deaths.


They do? What bubble do you live in?

Papers forced out of business 200+
Blogs forced out of business 0

Anonymous said...

Good point 8:15. When bloggers pull the pin it's voluntary, not a bankruptcy. That said, does anybody know another site half as good as this one that reports on newsrooms?

Anonymous said...

"Thank You" for all I have learned about the newspaper business. I am just an old fart reader of the Bee over the years and have watched it degenerate from OK/biased to disasterous/DNC mouthpiece. You turned me on to many other interesting sites with your cross links.

May you have much success and enjoyment in your new ventures. I will miss your insights and efforts. I have learned a lot from you and appreciate you immensely.

God Speed

Ed Murrieta said...

Viya con Dios.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the efforts you put into the blog. I'm among the crowd that didn't really go for the political aspect of it, but I appreciated your close eye on the corporate doings at McClatchy.

Anonymous said...

Like many others, I didn't buy into the whole liberal v. conservative comments, but otherwise I took away much from this blog, so thanks so much for that. And I certainly can't begrudge you for your decision.

I worked in the news biz for 20-plus years before being cast aside by my former newspaper over a year ago, along with many others. I've moved on, but you helped me stay informed about many issues that I still care about, and always will.

Best of luck, and again, thanks.

MaryAnn Chick Whiteside said...

Sorry to see you go. I understand why as someone who tries to keep on Advance / Newhouse changes. I feel guilty when I don't post, yet staying on top is so time-consuming.

Go gently where new priorities take you. I encourage you to leave the archives and don't delete this piece of Internet history.

Anonymous said...

be well-enjoyed ur blog.if ever in bilox-stop in and say hey!

Anonymous said...

Blogging on MNI and the newspaper industry will become fun again when the plunge resumes (and it will).

William Hader said...

Thanks for your hard work and dedication, Kevin. Inspired by your activism, a collective of former employees are launching a Star-Telegram watch this week. Stay tuned for STARTLEGRAM.NET!

Tim said...

Have a great 2010, thanks for your efforts. I, like many other, McClachyites, have also moved on to another publisher. Now my chain is being held by the Hearst folks. Good luck to everyone out there.

Anonymous said...

We miss reading the daily posts and comments on McClatchy Watch. Best of luck in the new year!

Anonymous said...

I'm late to the ballgame, but wanted to say great job and that you'll be missed. You became daily reading and did a great job exposing the utter nonsense at McClatchy (and McClatchy Interactive, the very dishonest operation where I used to work). Happy 2010

John Altevogt said...

just keep coming out of habit. Hope you change your mind and do at least a limited hobby type blog.

Anonymous said...

you will be missed. thanks for helping me get through the storm at my mcclatchy paper and giving us a safe haven to vent our frustrations.

Anonymous said...

Guess this site is pretty dead. That's sad because three weeks ago we find out douche bag Pruitt got himself a nice bonus (all those stock options) and today Jan 11, 2010 they start another round of lay-offs.

Anonymous said...

...Cest fini. It was a good run, but, it's over. I miss it and come back here often to see if Kevin has had a change of heart, but no. It is over. We can only appreciate it for what it was ; The best newspaper critique there ever was.
...Cest fini.

dan said...

Novelty Song About the Newspaper Business that is Making Waves Across
Intenet and soon to air on NPR, if they will have me on: the lyrics... See More
mention Bill Keller, Ben Bradlee, Maureen Dowd, Alex Beam and Neil
Steinberg and have already started making the rounds online. All in
fun of course.


http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2712867/novelty_song_about_newspaper_business.html
2 seconds ago ·

dan said...

lyrics by Danny Bloom go to link here at mp3 filesite and click on PLAY button, song is six minutes long, NSFW!
-------------------------------------------------------

O life is just one long newspaper caper
I just can't live without my daily snailpaper
"Crash blossoms" here ...atomic typos there
O where would I be without my dear snailpaper?

Maybe you know him, my DC pal Bradlee
Ben's the one sidelined Tricky Dick-ee
O Woodward and Bernstein of Watergate fame
There's nothing better than the newspaper game!

I think you know Bill Keller too
He runs the Times and knows old from new -- (media that is)
Maureen Dowd to the left of him, Dave Brooks to the right
If it's fit to print, it's in the New York Times tonight!

O life is just one long newspaper caper
I just can't live without my daily snailpaper
"Crash blossoms" here and small typos there
O where would I be without my dear snailpaper?

Now there's Alex Beam at the Boston Globe
He doesn't pull punches and he's really quite bold
The son of a diplomat, he's travelled -- literally -- the Globe!
The Globe is a snailpaper that'll never grow old

O life is just one long newspaper caper
I just can't live without my daily snailpaper
"Crash blossoms" here atomic typos there
O where would I be without my dear snailpaper?

In Chicago, there's Steinberg, Neil with a hat
He's a serious writer who never falls flat
Snailpapers help the Windy City unwind
My kind of town, what a newpaper mine!

O life is just one long newspaper caper
I just can't live without my daily snailpaper
"Crash blossoms" here atomic typos there
O where would I be without my dear snailpaper?