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Sports columnist latest casualty in Santa Barbara

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mpcincal, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. mpcincal

    mpcincal Well-Known Member

    The most recent news to come out of the Santa Barbara News-Press is the firing of six staff members for their part in a demonstration last week in which employees protested at the overpass of Highway 101 with signs encouraging passing motorists to cancel their subscriptions to the paper.

    One of the six was sports columnist John Zant, who's been in the sports department for 38 years and has been pretty much the face of the section.

    Here's the story from the paper farther up the highway, because you're definitely not getting a story on this in the News-Press (and if you did, you'd have to pay to read beyond the first paragraph):


    Also, some comments from Craig Smith, a Santa Barbara lawyer who writes a blog and has actually done a really good job keeping track of the whole News-Press affair:


    Also, thought I might just put up for debate the reason for the firings: Management (or at least the lawyer who's speaking for it) says the employees were intentionally trying to hurt the paper's business by telling people to cancel their subscriptions, while at the same time drawing a paycheck from the company. I'm actually trying to look past my hatred for Wendy McCaw and her cronies and wondering if they do have a point.

    Your thoughts?
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I think in a normal world, telling people to cancel their subscriptions while still an employee would be grounds for firing.
    However, in this case, not only is it an attempt at union busting, but cause for a union grievance...
    I've never understood that tactic... tell people not to take a paper, then expect them to come back after contacts are settled. It's still the same fucked up situation, essentially.
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    From what I've read of the bitch running this paper, she had this coming.

    When you've got a staffer of 38 years protesting you in the street -- along with several others -- you're fucking imcompetent.

    Good luck to all the folks in Santa Barbara.
  4. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    A friend of mine was one of the first to lose his job up there. It's a shame what's happening there--under the NYT the paper had improved quite a bit. I understand that they're down to two metro reporters now. How the hell do you put out a paper with that?
  5. 805atHeart

    805atHeart Member

    A sad way for Zant's career to end. Like Smith's blog said, his firing might be the last straw. The locals love him.

    Back when I was a punk UCSB kid, I called up Zant one day at the N-P to try and dig up some information about Gaucho sports in the 70's for a historical feature I was working on. He didn't have to, but he gushed for a good half an hour about every little detail I needed to know. Staffed a handful of events with him, too. Always helpful.

    Bottom line, good guy. What a shame.
  6. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    Relatives have lived there forever and never subscribed to the paper. For a cosmopolitan city, paper has been anything but; now it's just a shell of that.
  7. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    When I worked in Santa Maria I enjoyed reading him in the N-P. Good luck, John.
  8. It's just a fucked up situation up there and a reminder of how childish adults can be ... ladyboss needs to go.
  9. Piotr Rasputin

    Piotr Rasputin New Member

    I dreaded opening this thread . . . . .

    Well, damn.

    While reading last month's American Journalism Review, with an excellent story on the Santa Barbara debacle, I told my wife that "at least John Zant is still going strong."

    Yes, it is reckless for an employee to do something like that. But the situation in Santa Barbara has forced journalists to decide which side they are on. And he stood with his colleagues for what he felt was right.

    This pisses me off to no end. 38 years in the business, always chatted up a young dork like me when I saw him. Truly a good guy, and a madman on his beat.

    Fuck Wendy McCaw. Fuck her right in the ear.
  10. boots

    boots New Member

    In case you haven't noticed it. Women are flocking to journalism more than men. I believe it's one reason why the business continues to pay low wages.
  11. Claws for Concern

    Claws for Concern Active Member

    The News-Press hasn't been important since the first wave of this stuff. Same shit, different day.
  12. gauchoguy16

    gauchoguy16 Member

    Truly an awful way for Zant to go out.
    A class act in the truest form. He helped me out tremendously in my time in SB (at the college paper and in my one year working at the NP).
    Everytime I saw him in subsequent years we would always sit and chat, and he took a real interest in what was happening in my world, always remembering where I worked and what I was doing and he was as classy as always.
    Too bad. It's a damn shame.
    I hope Wendy McCaw dies of gonorrhea and rots in hell.
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