Monday, December 08, 2008

Morning Call Parent Contemplating Bankruptcy


A few weeks ago, I met a former Morning Call editor for lunch. He teaches at a local college and let me sit in one one of his journalism classes. He's still in his prime and his students really enjoy him. But he is is one of the 25 to 30 newsroom staffers victimized by last July's Black Friday. He's actually one of the lucky ones who retired early. Some had to sit by the phone on a Sunday night, waiting to learn whether they still had a job.

Of course, the paper continues to go to Zell-hell. Meetings go uncovered. Allentown's budget, for example, was adopted at a meeting covered by a stringer. Not long before that, Lehigh County's Board of Commissioners rejected a grant for trees during a meeting in which there was no coverage at all, not even from a freelancer. Morale is obviously bad. Reporters are clearly stressed. Unfortunately, it's going to get worse before it gets better.

Media mogul Sam Zell, who cobbled together this disaster for The Tribune, dismisses claims of weakening news coverage as "journalistic arrogance." To make sure he's understood, he adds a "Fuck you" at the end of his remarks to a bunch of Zellions who actually applaud this idiot.

And he is an idiot. Both The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are reporting that Morning Call parent Tribune is considering filing for bankruptcy.

The Tribune has rid itself of its most valuable asset - reporters. It's already established that it's morally bankrupt - the rest is just paperwork.
Update: Tribune directors have approved a decision to seek Chapter 11 protection.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

An S&P analyst said in June that Tribune would file for bankruptcy sooner than later and targeted December as when they would.

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'hare, disbarred Attorney, calling someone morally bankrupt?!!!!
LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pot, meet kettle!

Anonymous said...

Who cares

Anonymous said...

Anon 623am - The Tool strikes again. Go back to the Troll site tool, and take your robot wife with you.

Anonymous said...

bernie,
wd u post an email addrs we can use to send private message?
thank you.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Zell warn Morning Call reporters this summer, more firings to follow? Who can work like this? Imagine sending a stringer to the most important meeting of the year. Great for city fathers, not-so for tax-payers.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:08, My email addy is located at my profile, which is on the top of this blog. It is BOHare5948@aol.com.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Didn't Zell warn Morning Call reporters this summer, more firings to follow?

Not sure if it was Zell, but the word is there will be deeper cuts.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is the MC sucks, it hasn't been doing its duty for years. If someone wants a real story find out how much the executives were paid over the past few years as the industry took a dip. You will be shocked.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Give us the "real story."

Anonymous said...

Well I don't have figures but Susan Hunt was making close to $225,000 when she left. And every executive vice president (of which there are a few) each have a secretary. They might have been cut in the last round but probably won't survive the next round of cuts set for this month.

And why do the same posts keep repeating here?

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:09, aka Tool - please leave. Your wife needs help on her blog (even though she is the most exceptional, brightest, best, etc), go over there.

Anonymous said...

I'd be ok with no Morning Call anymore.

All they do is look for reasons to put their own community down. They are a real drag on the mentality of the area.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:13,

Those comments are being posted, over and over, by Bill Villa. Yesterday, I deleted close over thirty comments. Some days it is fifty. One day it was 500. He has been charged with criminal harassment.

He rarely signs his name, but posts anonymously and uses pseudopnyms like Joshua T, Hogan, Broadway Jim, foo foo, etc. He also will misappropriate the identities of regular commenters on this blog. He even misappropriated the identity of a Catholic priest.

But he is not the topic here, nor does he have anything meaningful to add to that topic. Do me a favor and just ignore him. I will get around to deleting his comments as time permits.

Anonymous said...

They filed a few minutes ago.

Somehow they kept the Cubs out of it, according to the Tribune Website.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks for the update.

Anonymous said...

Tribune filed bankruptcy today.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, the only thing I'm glad about it that media companies haven't put their hand out yet for a bailout.

The fact remains, poorly run companies need to go away. Propping them up does no good. This applies to Detroit as well.

As to the impact on the Morning Call, I can't imagine it getting any worse. I hope I'm not wrong.

The Banker

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