Zlotnicki was one of 10 N&O employees laid off last week -- and the only newsroom employee to get axed.
Zlotnicki had been with the N&O for 17 years, the last five in the sports department where he has produced, written, edited and helped design the very successful Outdoors section. The reader says the Outdoors section pulled in money and readers for the N&O.
If the N&O wanted to ramp up its local news, it would have recognized Zlotnicki was a valuable asset that should be kept.
The reader says,
“This weekly feature was chock full of LOCAL features about fishing, hunting and other outdoor adventures. It was one, if not the most successful sections of the paper in these lean times. Mike "Z" (as he is referred to) had a network of contacts around the state second to none and was always ahead of the curve on stories the readers wanted. He is truly a "good old boy" something of a rarity in the newspaper business.”
Apparently there are two or three other sportswriters at the paper with less seniority -- and less of a following -- than Zlotnicki, but they get to stay.
More odd: a movie reviewer with less longevity gets to stay.
The reader says employees are wondering why the N&O didn’t pink slip the movie reviewer. The reviewer has been with the N&O less than 5 years and hasn’t exactly impressed fellow employees with his work ethic.
“Not to mention the fact that he writes movie reviews which is something that can be out sourced without any effect (after all movies aren't something locally produced and critics are a dime a dozen). The word is he is totally protected by Linda Williams… she is loathed by EVERYONE in the newsroom and will try and destroy anyone who stands up to her.”
The reader also says word around the newsroom is Linda Williams and Zlotnicki have had several arguments over the years and this was her chance to get even.
Seems like a loss to the N&O and to readers. (You can see a video of Zlotnicki talking about the Dixie Deer Classic earlier this year here.)
Ah Linda Williams. Affinitive action hire, simply protecting her own interests. I’m sure her eunuch (bobbin head) boss was in full agreement.
Continue to dumb down your writing staff, and readers who won’t be dumbed down, stop subscribing.
Would like to know the logic behind this one. I know the outdoors section at our paper is highly read, and consistently accounts for spectacular numbers on the Web site.
Williams is watching all her work to get Barry elected go down the toilet. She doesn't realize she is circling the bowl herself. Flush!
Not all readers know what they are talking about.
Just because you have ONE reader complain, doesn't mean that the other thousands that waste their money on the paper actually care about that section.
Top editors seem to still think that winning that Pulitzer with long, unreadable, multi-part series are more important than simple/local beats the public enjoys and subjects that sell ads. It's all politics and me-me, instead of reader-reader. And some still wonder why newspapers are failing? Look to your clueless newsroom management.
Right on 7:09! McClatchy still has slugs whose byline appears once a year on some crap "expose" that drones on page after page. These same drones get paid more than those putting out the daily copy. It's a bad joke among staff and to the point nobody even chuckles about it anymore. What a morale killer and a free ride for these grifters.
He wrote about hunting and fishing not flowers and bath houses... and you wonder why he got fired ? It was politics.
I don't know Linda Williams. I know Mike Z. I know the N and O Sports section has never been good, and is even worse in its NFL coverage. Many men, yes men, followed Mike's outdoor writing and only bought the paper for that purpose. I do know that Mike had a very large following, was a quality employee and an excellent ambassador for the N and O and helped the paper make money. I'm not sure how others contribute nearly as much. It makes one wonder what possible justification could we use to elimante someone of his high moral character and overall contribution to the paper.
And don't for the advertisers. How much ROP column inches was the sports section drawing?
Remember at MNI is it about big account advertising. Doesn't matter what piddly readers want, if a section can't hold a yearly contract major account, it's toast.
Well, we're dropping our inserts over it and that I am sure covered his wages at least.
Another fine example of our quality leadership...win the battle, loose the war..
rumors rumors--did LW even have anything to do w/ MZ being let go? Was she the only one involved? movie reviewer is black, someone wrote, its because of race. But he works under a diff. group selected for lay-offs. this site is crazy. but raleigh is one segregated place to live, so i understand the comments.
MNI gives the finger to its employees and to its readers but, hey, we had a good quarter. Does anything else matter?
Not to MNI.
It sure is a shame the dive the N&O has taken. But, once again, they alienate their (once) loyal customer base. Maybe we'll see another UNC fluff piece tomorrow?
Pickeral should have been booted before Zlotnicki.
The N&O is pink-slipping itself.
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