Monday, July 21, 2008

Axe Falls at The Morning Call: 35-40 Newsroom Jobs Cut, Bureaus Closing

The Morning Call is eliminating 35 - 40 newsroom jobs and closing down several bureaus, according to a report just released by Editor & Publisher. What's more, that axe may continue to fall. Here's an excerpt of a memo from Publisher Tim Kennedy to newspaper employees today. Amazingly, corporate assholes are letting reporters sweat it out until the weekend before dropping the axe.

How nice!

The planned reductions in newsroom labor and newsprint are a required response to the punishing economics that we face. Also on display around the building are our financial results through June. Cash flow was down 27% on an 11% decrease in revenues. Our outlook for the second half of 2008 is not much better. More than ever our financial results reflect the broken business model of the past.

While our plans are not final, I want to share with you some major decisions that we have made.

First, we plan to reassess and evaluate all newsroom bureau assignments. We will close our Quakertown and Lehighton bureaus and consolidate our Northampton County offices. While some of these positions will be eliminated, a significant portion will be reassigned. We have no intention of abandoning coverage of these areas. Major news will be covered through assignments from the Northampton bureau or the main office in Allentown.

Second, our editorial zoning strategy will change in order to streamline news production in the Local section. Two zones – one for Lehigh County and one for Northampton County - will replace the current five-zone approach. For the vast majority of our readers (current 3rd, 4th and 5th editions) there will be little change to their daily Morning Call. Zoning for advertisers will remain unchanged.

Third, 35 to 40 positions in the newsroom will be eliminated. Some of these reductions will be achieved through the elimination of open positions but the majority will be achieved through involuntary terminations. If anyone is interested or would like more information, please contact a senior editor before Wednesday.

We expect to finalize this over the next 2-3 days. Supervisors will contact affected employees this weekend. These employees will receive an enhanced pension benefit similar to the package that was offered in the first quarter of this year. The enhanced pension benefit is equivalent to one week of pay for every six months of completed service. Indications are that this package may not be available in the future.
Update: In a midnight report, The Morning Call acknowledges "involuntary job cuts" of nearly a quarter of its newsroom staff.

54 comments:

Bill Villa said...

Dear Morning Call Editorial Board:

I would be available to meet with you this weekend if you're not busy or unemployed.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I find it difficult to feel sorry for this paper; I blame them for enabling so much of the bad government we have experenced here in the city.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

They have been very selective in their news coverage of politicans over the years. They love Stoffa so they ignore his blunders. They hated Reibman and Seyfried and went after them with gusto.
They should close the entire paper and dump the columnists.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Like you were dumped at NC? A little bitter, aren't we?

Anonymous said...

I'm told that business is on the chopping blocks and that travel, sports and am magazine will be shrunk (but that they are next). Also, look for the op-ed columnists to be done away with. We can probably also expect the harrisburg and DC staff to be slashed.

Sad days indeed.

Anonymous said...

Agreed both parties suck at it!

Anonymous said...9:40 PM

Frankly I find it difficult to feel sorry for this paper; I blame them for enabling so much of the bad government we have experienced here in the city.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I have no sorrow for any difficulty the Morning Call now faces. I DO have sorrow for those employees who labored on behalf of a management that "blew it" in this market.

For several years now, the Morning Call's management has been complacent, it's editors aloof, naive, arrogant, and indifferent to the positive role its publication COULD have played in the advancement of its reader's quality of life.

Too bad the "little guys" will be taking the fall first.

The Peter Principle has demonstrated its accuracy once again.

A.J.C. said...

...No wonder they don't care about anything, including accuracy!

Anonymous said...

They were enablers of bad government everywhere and its good to see them going down.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I doubt that the enablers will feel the pinch - but I'll bet that many good reporters will suffer.

Anonymous said...

"More than ever our financial results reflect the broken business model of the past."

This says it all. A top management that has no concept of a business plan for the company yet they stay while firing the people who actually produce the content for the paper.

Any manager in any business who admits that they have no concept of a business model for their company should be fired on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Anyone of you could have taken a leadership role and started your own paper.

You all chose not too!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, your all Einstein!

Not.

I happen to agree with some of the postings!

Anonymous said...

Why not raise the price of the paper another 50%? Stupid move.
I wouldn't buy a paper with such a liberal bias even if they reduced the price to 25 cents.

Also keep an eye on legislation in the state house sponsored by Rob Wonderling which will allow municipalities to advertise public meetings on their web sites. Currently municipalities each spend thousands annually on ridiculously expensive classified ads in newspapers like the Morning Call.

Anonymous said...

The quality of content of the MC has steadily deteriorated and their biases have become brazen to the point of ridiculousness. I'll bet nobody will see a marked difference in either (i.e. they couldn't get much worse). I feel insulted almost every time I read the rag.

Bob said...

Before cutting reporters they ought to cut their editorial staff including Kranzley. He more than anyone is responsible for for their loss in credibility. His close relationship with Pawlowski seems to endure regardless of the mess the city is in. God bless us one and all

Sam Zell said...

"advertising, the lifeblood of a newspaper. Kennedy said"

Aha! There's our problem! The lifeblood of a newspaper should be great reporting. Subscriptions and advertising will follow. Kennedy, you're fired, and take these bums with you: Ardith Hilliard, Dave Erdman, Glenn Kranzley, Mike Miorelli, Paul Carpenter, Debbie Garlicki, and Bill White. And somebody tell that wide-load idiot DA Jim Martin that he's on his own now; no more protection cover from The Morning Call and let's change our name to The Mourning Call.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anyone of you could have taken a leadership role and started your own paper.

Why should anyone start a business model doomed to failure? According to a recent post from Bill White, newspapers have ten years to go. They will be replaced by online versions and blogs.

It's little surprise that the MC would be the first to have massive layoffs. Its management has been unresponsive and slow to change. It heralds its "Head to Head" feature as though it is something wonderful, but it's nothing different than the ususal LTE. If it really wanted to go "Head to Head," it would do so as on online and interactive feature, once every week, with the readers.

As far as doing something myself is concerned, I've been blogging now for two years. I've been working on creating some hyper local blogs that will enable readers to tell us what is going on in their community.

Although I'm not ready to unveil it, I've created northamptoncountyspotlight.blogspot.com. The idea is to enable readers to point out something that is going on in a municipality that they think we should know about. I'll be doing that for Lehigh County, too.

Anonymous said...

The Morning Call could never do anything for themselves. Pulse Weekly came out and the Call followed 2 years later with an inferior product. Now they're cutting the size of their paper and NOT reducing advertising rates. So basically they are raising rates without letting their advertisers know. SNEAKY.

Chris Miller said...

Bernie
It is a shame to see the MC going down the tubes but they brought a lot of this on themselves.
There are models out there that they might have wanted to look at. The Washington Times, while conservative, is constantly increasing its circulation numbers. They even supply a weekly edition.
Let me also note that the Express Times does a very good job. I wish they covered more international and national news but locally they are on the job. Their editorals have gotten a lot better in recent months with a more even handed approach.
Finally let me point out that last summer, about this time of year, I received an invitation to subscribe to the Wall Street Journal for $99 a year delivered to my home from Monday-Saturday. It arrives around 6AM and comes through the MC. Not only that, they allowed me to extend for the same rate for another year at the same price.It is a great paper covering the nation on a multitude of issues. They did a clear, conscise explanation of the subprime mortgage issue, I am a realtor, and continue to update that on a regular basis. The editoral page is outstanding, but them I am a conservative, and the letters to the editor are top draw. No, there is not a comic section, dang it. I was also given a membership, free, to the online WSJ and I get updates to my cell. If they offer it for another year I will take it.
I really hate the idea of online papers. I much prefer sitting at the breakfast table paging and reading through my morning paper. Reading them online is just not as much fun.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I disagree w/ Bill White's "10yr" timeline - as long as there are men's rooms, there will be newspapers!

Good luck on the local-focus blogs, great idea!

I continue to believe though that there is room for local papers like the Presses (East Penn, Parkland, etc.) that do a great job on what's going on in each town. I think your blog idea in partnership with a true local paper would be a powerful combination.

The Banker

Bill Villa said...

"northamptoncountyspotlight.blogspot.com. The idea is to enable readers to point out something that is going on in a municipality that they think we should know about. I'll be doing that for Lehigh County, too."

This is very cool and exciting, Bernie. Thank you. Greatly looking forward to eye-balling the unveiling ...

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention his close relationship with Karen Beyer; she worked with them. Yeah! decision decision what a wicked web of decisions. I agree these decisions have lead to a great down turn into
our economy and these decisions are part to blame.


Bob said... 7:57 AM

Before cutting reporters they ought to cut their editorial staff including Kranzley. He more than anyone is responsible for for their loss in credibility. His close relationship with Pawlowski seems to endure regardless of the mess the city is in. God bless us one and all

Bernie O'Hare said...

The idea is a region-specific blog that lists community specific blogs. I'd like to enlist people from different areas to blog about what is going on in their community.

SPIKE ROGAN From Easton,PA said...

Its a shame MCall reporters in the Easton were far more detailed then the Express who often just quote government officials and candidates.

In the years I attended city council the three diffrent reporters the Mcall sent were all A+.

Maybe if the print media was run by more folks under the age of 50 they would know how to make money off this whole internets thing.

I mean they charge for the print edition which is loaded with ads like a free publications yet you can go online and read most papers for free.

The NY Sun and NY Times both make more money off of online subscriptions.

While the Sun is a far right propaganda paper you don't hear of job cuts there or the Times. Why some young thinking folks who don't need the grandkids to open their "Dot Com mail" did the biz model.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad the Morning Call is making cuts... maybe they will cut out some of their extremely biased political reporters.. they take sides with the bad people and then make huge problems for good people to get good press.

Bill Villa said...

"I'd like to enlist people from different areas to blog about what is going on in their community." -Bernie

Bernie, I'd like to volunteer to cover the Lehigh County District Attorney's office beat. As you know, I have 2.5 years of experience and The Morning Call never covers DA Jim Martin unless you count covering up for him ...

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

I honestly believe people DO want news, particularly local news they might not be able to get anywhere else. I also think they value accurate and honest descriptions they can trust rather than "slant."

They don't want to think certain details have been omitted, certain stories ignored, others sensationalized beyond their relevance.

Reading the Morning Call Forum today, I see VERY LITTLE love for that company. It seems more than 90% of posters have taken a "good, serves them right" attitude about the Call's struggles.
This kind of overwhelming negative vibe did not just spring-up today, it's been around for a few years.

Who's REALLY been asleep at the wheel here, management or labor?

Make necessary cuts, but only make eliminations that leave the door open for a more desirable product.

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

"Why should anyone start a business model doomed to failure? According to a recent post from Bill White, newspapers have ten years to go. They will be replaced by online versions and blogs."

Moving to a successful zero newsprint delivery modal should not require reductions in content. Content is king. Give the public content that they know they require and they will subsidize whichever delivery modal they choose.

The big problem for local newspapers is bringing the public into a subscriber based online system. There is only one way to do that. CONTENT. The strength of local newspapers is their content. Circulation should be simply a matter of providing multiple packaging to accommodate the multi-tasking culture of the 21st century.

This paper is destroying its ability to produce the most valuable commodity it has, local news content. They need to find new revenue streams for the original content that only a local news organization can produce.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Content is king. Give the public content that they know they require and they will subsidize whichever delivery modal they choose.

I agree that content is King. My interest is local news. Some may prefer sports. Others may like the entertainment deatures. Most polling indicates it is the local content that draws the reader to a local paper.

I can think of few papers whose content is better than the NYT. It did require its readers to subscribe for online content. I know bc i was one of them. But it also discontinued the practice bc it was losing money. The WSJ, on the other hand, seems to be doing well and it requires payment for online content.

I agree that, before cutting newsroom staff, the paper should consider other alternatives. I also believe its stodgy management is part of the problem. They are completely unresposnive, not just to Bill Villa, but to anyone who feels passionately about anything.

I honestly don't see a liberal or conservative bias. But I alwyas get the impression, when I'm speaking to one of the higher ups at that paper, that they feel they are condescending when they talk to me. I am by no means alone in that observation.

O do not think Kranzley is part of the problem. I believe he is one of the people who has actually tried to make the paper more responsive. Like it or not, so have Bill White and John Micek. With the exception of Bill Villa, they have engaged readers.

Sadly, the only ones among us who are truly free are the very rich and the very poor. So when bosses say jump, these people must do so. So do must of us.

donmiles said...

New Tribune Co. owner billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell telegraphed his intent to gut his newspapers' newsrooms on his tour around his news empire earlier this year. A man with no journalism experience but with a reputation for cutthroat business dealings, Zell has little understanding of what makes a good newspaper.

Two quotes from Zell's entry on Wikipedia:

"On January 31 2008, Zell hosted a Q and A session with the staff at one of Tribune's properties, the Florida Sun-Sentinel, as part of a good-will tour to all of the Tribune properties. After testily answering a question from a Tribune's staffer (who he refers to as "partners"), he was caught muttering an expletive under his breath which underscored his scorn for journalism."

"In a sharply critical June 2008 opinion piece for the Washington Post entitled, "The L.A. Times' Human Wrecking Ball", veteran Los Angeles-based editor and columnist Harold Meyerson took Zell to task for "taking bean counting to a whole new level", asserting that "he's well on his way to... destroying the L.A. Times."

The Morning Call has often been arrogant and self-righteous in my dealings with them over the years. They often abused their near-monopoly news media status in the L.V. to throw their weight around.

That said, they employed many good people over the years as reporters, folks who knew good journalism and were fair and thorough. I'm thinking of reporters like Dick Cowen, Ron Devlin (both now retired), Tim Darragh, Dan Hartzell, Steve Esack, Maddie Mathias, Geoff Gehman, Don Bostrom.

So, of course, it is those real journalists who will likely be the first to be axed by Zell's ruthless drones. I feel no sadness for what is happening to the M.Call as a corporate entity and often-bullying L.V. presence, but I am saddened by what is about to happen to a lot of good, professional reporters.

Let's hope online folks like Bernie and others can help fill the local news void that will be left when, as will no doubt happen soon, Zell's M.Call is sawed-up and its pieces sold for scap to further pad his billions.

Bill Villa said...

"With the exception of Bill Villa ..."

Whoa. Bernie, I doubt many people would see me as an 'exception' to The Morning Call's 'rule' of doling out overall sweetness and light niceness. From what I've learned over the past few years, and oftentimes via your blog, The Morning Call treats a LOT of people jaw-droppingly shabbily, not just me. I've maybe articulated their lousy treatment louder and more persistently than most of their victims do. And possibly, that's having some effect. Also, in a world that makes sense, Glenn Kranzley and Bill White would be among the first to be fired this coming weekend but I wouldn't bet on it since smart managerial (or editorial) decisions are not TMC's forte.

Anonymous said...

Bernie:

I agree 100% on your 1:16 PM post. Especially about the arrogance of the upper management.

That "liberal media" political bias in nothing more than left over McCarthyites who have demonized and turned the word 'liberal' into a slander. They screech 'liberal bias' at any excuse in their never ending effort to SHOVE all media to the right. Demagogues who are taken serious by the publishers and editors because they are so loud.

A friend, who was a web designer for the NYT in the 1990's, was among those who insisted that the public would never accept buying online content. the result is that it is far harder today for content producers to get the respect that their original product deserves by getting an online subscription for it.

I would like to see the paper explore distributing e-readers that subscribers could move around home or travel with as conveniently as a newspaper under the arm. But smaller, less functional and much cheaper than a lap top. This way people could sit at the kitchen table or on the porch with morning coffee. Its paperless.

The Inquirer is selling PDF only subscriptions. Its a new program so I don't know much about it.

I think that the auto-translation programs should allow the Morning Call to produce a subscriber based web site in Spanish, German and French with minimal live editing.

Since many really poor people in this community can't afford any news other than the hard copy paper. And many of them speak Spanish. I would use the resource of the Morning Call's targeted distribution system to include in the daily an abbreviated version of the paper in Spanish. This would be distributed to interested subscribers on a request basis. People can read it in Spanish and if they want the whole story they can get a family member or friend to read the full English version. As a subscriber request only product the newsprint use would be regulated while offering the paper to a wider audience.

No other business relies on a single revenue stream like the newspaper business depends on the classified ad stream. This is the demon that is chewing away at the soul of daily newspaper evolution into the 21st century. I believe that newspaper industry could and should wage a public relations war with the Craig's list free-be's and self-publishing job ads on corporate sites. Define the distinctions and advantages over depending these limited trust and integrity alternatives. Either that or give up on that revenue stream. Go on to something else already.

Anonymous said...

While I often disagree with Kranzley, White and Carpenter....... That is their purpose. Provoke debate and encourage people to air differing opinions. This is how journalism engages the people in a democracy.

If you don't like their opinions that is your problem.

Debate them. Refute them.

Attacking them, denouncing them and wishing them ill, is mindless hate-mongering demagoguery.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bill Villa,

I agree the MC upper echelon is arrogant, condescending and unresponsive. They have been that way, not just with you, but many others. Their refusal to even discuss the hate on the reader forum is evidence of that.

But I would not be hard on people who are under orders not to engage you. Not everyone is independently wealthy. Some of us need jobs. It's pretty apparent that the deletion of your comments on MC blogs do not come from Micek or White, but MC management. Micek and White apparently did not even know it was occurring.

For some reason, management views you as a threat. And they should, because you've been on to them from the beginning. Whether you are right or wrong about DA Martin, you've cast a spotlight on an all-too-cozy relationship between MC management and the establishment.

But please don't punish good people who are doing as they're told. I realize you don't care for Kranzley or Bill White, but I think they basically try to produce a good product. And they are much more willing to accept constructive criticism than many of us, including me. If they were told to slime you or something like that, I think these workers would say no. I'm sure they don't like being muzzled insofar as you are concerned. It's not in their nature.

But management's attitude towards you is a reflection of what is wrong at that paper. Unless that attitude changes, the paper is headed for oblivion.

Bill Villa said...

... well-said Bernie, I'm with ya ...

Bill Villa said...

... except for the Bill White part. Worth repeating, from LV Ramblings 6/25/08 ...

"Until recently, columnist Bill White has denied Villa's comments are deleted. "I have never deleted any comment by Bill Villa. If he tried to post a comment and it didn't go through, it's because of the same occasional glitch that has blocked me from posting comments on my own blog on several occasions, always from home." Yet just last week, Villa was again blocked from commenting on a Bill White blog. This time, there was a different explanation. "Mr. Villa is engaged in a dispute with our editors, and I'm not going to inject myself into it or make this a forum to debate it." So the local paper apparently is blocking comments from the father of a drunk driving victim while enabling the Aryan Nation. I have one question - are these people out of their frickin' minds?" -Bernie

Bill Villa said...

"If you don't like their opinions that is your problem. Debate them. Refute them."

Anon 2:42pm,

I'm speaking on behalf of everyone who The Morning Call treats like crap when I say: It's pretty hard to debate them or refute them when they ...

* Don't acknowledge your phone calls
* Don't acknowledge your e-mails
* Delete & Block your comments from MC blogs
* Delete your comments from TMC Forum
* Ignore your relevant Letters to The Editor
* Refuse 138 polite requests for a meeting
* Ban you from entering their building
* Don't have any reaction when DA Jim Martin bellows at you, "I'll come after you! I'll come after you in the media!

Anonymous said...

I sure wish the ax would fall on this clown's blog.

Anonymous said...

I am SO glad to be an internet blogger at this point. It seems WE have readership than the Morning Call. Go figure...

Alfonso

Anonymous said...

TO: Bill Villa said... 3:37 PM

Right or wrong it is their ink barrel. Personally I think any and all censorship is undemocratic.

Martin and Morganelli are both authoritarian thugs who would not survive in a truly democratic country. So I don't doubt their having inordinate support among big political players in the community like publishers.

It sounds like you have let this get personal which gives the paper the excuse to claim vendetta on your part and ignore you. I don't know who is right and don't really care. It is not the topic of this forum.

If you have claims on the paper that are not slanderous you can always buy an ad space and air your argument in the Morning Call or the Express. That is how it is done when the media is not giving up space to the causes of people.

Bill Villa said...

Anon 5:11pm,

thank you for your suggestions and you've hit one squarely: The Morning Call is definitely using "personal/vendetta" as their excuse for not meeting with me. They have told local elected officials who have offered to mediate my meeting with them exactly this.

I don't deny having a personal vendetta against DA Jim Martin. If Martin didn't even try to conceal his sympathy for the homicidal drunk driver who killed your only daughter, you might have one too.

But here's the thing: why would having a personal vendetta rule out the possibility that I also have excellent evidence against DA Martin? It was the personal vendetta that gave me the endurance and the persistence to hang in there against long odds and piece things together via interviews and investigation. It's been a great asset, my personal vendetta.

What I have found out about Jim Martin and The Morning Call will soon be in the hands of a state-sponsored lawyer review and disciplinary action board.

I couldn't care less that you don't care.

Anonymous said...

"What I have found out about Jim Martin and The Morning Call will soon be in the hands of a state-sponsored lawyer review and disciplinary action board."

Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of Glenn Kranzley would be a step in the right direction. Through his actions Glenn has antagonized many community activists here in the city; our sin was to criticize the powers that be in Allentown. He has used his position as editorial page editor to be a cheer leader for the last two Democrat Administrations.
If you doubt me do the research, check out the “Call’s” editorials these past seven years. It is an appalling record.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Scott wile your personable, your more like a Republican troll.

All roads lead to neo cons with you.

Anonymous said... 9:20 PM

Scott Armstrong
community activists

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey Scott, you may be a Republican troll, but at least you're personable. That's a step up. I want to be just like you, but I do like Kranzley. I don't think the paper is dying bc off its editorial positions. I think it's dying because it has become aloof and arrogant. Few of the staff are that way, but the people on top call the shots. Glenn is not on top.

Bill Villa said...

"Glenn is not on top."

(!) Bernie .. Glenn G. Kranzley is #3 on the Morning Call Masthead. Only Ardith Hilliard and Tim Kennedy are above him. And they're both out of towners. Kranzley's been a Morning Caller for 30+ years.

It is Glenn G. Kranzley who speaks for (and ignores for) The Morning Call Editorial Board.

It is Glenn G. Kranzley who is the newspaper's agenda framer and opinions gatekeeper.

It is Glenn G. Kranzley who decides which letters to the editor get printed and which ones ... do not.

It is Glenn G. Kranzley who over edits every letter so it reads like it was submitted by Glenn G. Kranzley.

It is Glenn G. Kranzley who embodies the worst qualities of The Morning Call: its arrogance, aloofness, ignorance, and infallibility.

Sam Zell, this weekend, make the best and most immediate improvement to The Morning Call you could possibly make:

fire Glenn G. Kranzley first.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think your different from Scott?

I would consider both of you matching bookends?

Bernie O'Hare said... 9:28 PM

Hey Scott, you may be a Republican troll, but at least you're personable. That's a step up. I want to be just like you,

Bernie O'Hare said...

So I'm personable, too? Thank you.

Bill Villa said...

"I don't think the paper is dying bc off its editorial positions. I think it's dying because it has become aloof and arrogant."

Bernie, if MC rank & filers like Bill White & John Micek & Paul Carpenter are free from blame ... and #3 on the Masthead Glenn G. Kranzley is a peach too ... who exactly are the "aloof and arrogant" parties at the MC you refer to as killing the newspaper?

I've experienced a deeply ingrained corporate culture of aloofness and arrogance at The Morning Call ... one that certainly all 4 of the above-mentioned men embrace outwardly gleefully and that a high percentage of MC employees also cloak themselves in like a spoiled brat heir.

How do you see it? Who are the guilty parties at The Morning Call who are killing our hometown newspaper ...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bill, I don't share your opinion re Micek, White, Carpenter or kranzley. I don't doubt their integritry nor do I consider them aloof or unresposnsive, at least nopt by my own experience.


The person I consider most responsible - the bad guy - is David Erdman. I am prepared to be corrected about that, bbut all indication is that he is the one responsible for the atmosphere we all notice.

Bill Villa said...

"David Erdman"

I dunno, Bern ... awful big job for one guy and he hasn't been there all that long. Plus, who's this effective, solo. But anyways, here's hoping he gets a pink slip FedEx this weekend ...

Bill Villa said...

"I don't doubt their integritry"

Bernie, I thought I was picking up some integrity doubting (just a little maybe?) of Bill White on 6/25/08 at LV Ramblings ;) no?

"Until recently, columnist Bill White has denied Villa's comments are deleted. "I have never deleted any comment by Bill Villa. If he tried to post a comment and it didn't go through, it's because of the same occasional glitch that has blocked me from posting comments on my own blog on several occasions, always from home." Yet just last week, Villa was again blocked from commenting on a Bill White blog. This time, there was a different explanation. "Mr. Villa is engaged in a dispute with our editors, and I'm not going to inject myself into it or make this a forum to debate it." So the local paper apparently is blocking comments from the father of a drunk driving victim while enabling the Aryan Nation. I have one question - are these people out of their frickin' minds?" -Bernie

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bill Villa,

When I put Bill White's two statements together, it was not my intention to question his integrity. If Bill White was not blocking you and your comments were being blocked, it necessarily follows that someone else is blocking your comments.

I suspect those orders come from the managing editor or editor. Glenn Kranzley would have no jurisdiction over Bill White's blog.

This weekend, when the phone rings at the homes of various good reporters, the calls will be coming from the people who are responsible for the paper's sad state of affairs.

I spoke to some good reporters today. They do not even know if there is a target on their backs or not.

True, some of these reporters won't answer you. But they need their jobs, Bill.

Bill Villa said...

" ... they need their jobs, Bill."

Yes. I know. I have friends at The Morning Call (I won't identify them; enough jeopardy flying around them already; no point in waving a FRIEND OF BV red flag at their bosses) so I realize the whole barrel isn't rotten. There are some good people there. And some good reporters, too. I keep canceling my subscription and then re-ordering it. I like the tactile-ness of a newspaper and a coffee cup. I just hope whoever is doing the firings this weekend fires the right wormy rotten apples. I want a meeting with the New & Improved Morning Call Editorial Board and I'd rather not have to make 139 polite requests again.