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Newspapers are not the exception

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Sometimes on these threads, I get the sense that we think newspapers are somehow the exception in a tidy world, because we're so tightly focused on how stupidly they are (often) operated.

    Variations on this theme will tend to focus on how stupidly all chain papers are operated, or how stupidly a particular chain's operations can be.

    I'm here to argue against exceptionalism in any of these cases.

    This observation is occasioned by news from a family owned community chain I used to work for, where the longtime general manager's 30th anniversary in the business was celebrated by a company party. Then, just in advance of the holidays, they fired him.

    (I can imagine how this worked. The old bastard who owns the company probably got home from the party, decided to look up how much the GM made, decided it was too much for what he was doing for the company and decided to can him. So it goes.)

    This is the same company where I hectored a full year for a raise, only to be informed on my last day that my severance check – the stub of which I still carry in my pocket, as a reminder – reflected, at last, my requested raise.

    So even well-run family chains -- and, on balance, I have to say it was pretty well run from an outsider's perspective -- are not immune from the kind of silliness we often attach to CHNI or Boone or, for some of you, Mother Gannett.

    And, I suspect, we would find others in other lines of work with equal experiences. My time in PR underscored that from my perspective, and memories of my parents – who worked both in the health care field and the federal government suggests the same.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You have a point, HH. In a more corporate shop, they would have canned the geezer before shelling out for the party.
  3. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member


    The guy wasn't quite ready for geezerdom either, having started working there when he was a teen, as I recall.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I really do have a problem with newspapers talking the talk but really not walking the walk.
    You'll read stories about layoffs at other businesses or scandals going on and yet the newspaper company is doing the same thing and getting a pass because it decides what to put in the paper. We're great at pointing out outrageous things and talking about ethics and doing the right thing, but don't have a problem busting unions or cutting coverage because "we're a business."
    It strikes me as especially troubling when an employee at a news operation, say ESPN's Harold Reynolds, is the story and the crack investigative team that we're accustomed to getting news from, will accept a "no comment" from their boss and not push further.
  5. On a slightly different note, I think it's ironic that a lot of the papers/publications I've worked for refuse to shell out money to advertise and promote themselves. And then we're incredulous when folks don't advertise with us. But I digress...
  6. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

  7. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    So true. Many papers i n our compnay (CNHI, okay insert your own joke here) have a marketing budget of ZERO. Every few months the corporate office sends out memos about not being able to buy us office supplies, trash can liners, tissue paper for the bathroom, etc, because our profit margin goal has not been met. Yet, when you have no marketing budget, how exactly are you supposed to meet profit margin goals that are get larger with each passing year? Why folks who control the coin purses at the coporate level don't get this is beyond me.
  8. alleyallen

    alleyallen Guest

    Because, as you may or may not know, CNHI is part of a retirement investment group. Never let old people's financial needs dictate your corporate future.
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