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Ex-Tribune subscriber sticks it to Zell

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Andy _ Kent, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member

    For what it's worth, this lady proves that there are readers out there who know when they're being duped and can see the results of all of this slashing and dashing:


    Here's one tasty quote from the article that stuck out to me:

    "We'd been [tribune] subscribers for 12 or 13 years," she told me. "Obviously we've seen changes we weren't thrilled by, but the last redesign was the final straw. It was sound-bite journalism -- all pictures, no stories."

    Unfortunately, the final response from the Tribune manager also proves yet again how willing the powers that be are to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the situation.

    P.S. Be sure to click on the "correspondence" link for some excellent reading as Ms. Davison exhibits her flair for writing, which actually might have gone over the heads of some of the suits.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I like this woman. We need a whole bunch like her to stand up to the bean counters and tell them why they're canceling their subscriptions.

    Now if only a bunch of businesses could go tell the bean counters "give us a quality product and we'll advertise in it"...
  3. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    That "standards editor", I believe, was the sports editor or ME for sports when I first graduated from J-School.

    I wrote to every big paper in the U.S. after graduating, with clips - nothing to lose. Everyone replied, there was some interest, all were gracious and many kept in touch.

    She basically told me I had no business even wasting her time with my stuff, suggesting I apply to "smaller papers instead so I could build my clips." Not particularly polite about it. It was devastating, but it motivated me. She was out of sports shortly after that.

    Thank you, Margaret, 15 years later. I've done okay without you.
  4. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    She makes a lot of valid points, but the fact that she chose The Wall Street Journal tells me she's in that segment of the population that isn't interested in where they actually live. They're always going to have a thousand other options, and they are going to be fickle. The WSJ pisses her off, she'll subscribe to the NYT. The NYT pisses her off, she'll read The Washington Post online.
  5. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member

    Frank, couldn't you have waited at least 10 posts in before making such a valid point? ;)

    All kidding aside, I see what you mean but I don't necessarily agree that it means she's in the segment of the population that doesn't care where they live. I think her points about the dumbing down of all of the news pertained to the local copy as well, and that if she had seen the Tribune make an effort to improve the quality of the writing and the presentation in all sections, she would have stayed on.
  6. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Well-Known Member

    Margaret Holt was the SE who, soon after taking over, ordered the TV removed from the sports department because it was a "distraction" to the night copy crew. That led to a near-revolt and a critical message sent with flowers by one staffer (whom I think she banished or demoted for it).

    Then there is this, a recent and timely item from retired Tribune sportswriter Bob Markus on a blog that he still writes:

    The next year we had a new sports editor, Margaret Holt, the first and so far only woman sports editor the Tribune has had. I liked Margaret and she always treated me with respect. The day she was removed as sports editor she called me at home to tell me and I thought that was a classy thing to do. But our relationship did not start out so well. Shortly after her arrival she invited me to lunch at the hotel dining room next door to Tribune Tower and wasted no time in telling me: "You're not going to Daytona. The Orlando Sentinel (owned by Tribune Company) has an auto racing writer and we'll use her stories. Now you've got five minutes to get mad and get it off your chest and then I don't want to hear any more about it."

    A few weeks later I was at home when I received a call from the copy desk. "Neil Bonnett just got killed at Daytona, can you make some phone calls and get us a story on it?" "No," I replied. "You've got a writer from the Orlando Sentinel covering. Use her story."

  7. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    It's misleading to say she's not interested in where she lives. she's talking about a newspaper she's going to PAY for, not read. She can read the Sun-Times and Trib online for free, along with the Daily Herald, Northwest Herald or whatever. Obviously this person cares enough about being engaged with a newspaper that she's still willing to (gasp) pay for one, and she thinks the WSJ is more worthy of her money than a dumbed-down Trib.
  8. Charlie Brown

    Charlie Brown Member

    I'm surprised we're not having fun with the fact that the Wall Street Journal took out the ad in the Sun-Times that dogged the Tribune.
  9. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    I heard all those stories as they were going down.... shivers.
  10. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Great ancedote by Bob....
  11. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    I feel better now. Maybe she didn't want another chick on her turf, lol.
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    If she were here, I would kiss the woman for saying this. I've been arguing this point for a long, long time.
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