Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Arrivederci

Beginning Tuesday, newsroom -- excuse me -- information center employers were being informed on the acceptance of buyouts. There were 60 buyouts, more than the 50 asked for, and 15 in the newsroom. Jim Borgman is among those leaving. He was a giant in the newsroom, the best journalist in the Enquirer's employ, and it's telling that in the story the Enquirer published, his is the only name they felt was worth mentioning among those leaving.

There are other good people leaving. There are some unexpected decisions, and some who've been refused will not be happy. And, it's going to be shocking and upsetting just how badly this will affect the breadth and quality of the Enquirer's coverage.

82 Comments:

Blogger Bubba, Zeke and Me said...

Sad to see Borgman leave and how much worse can the Enquirer get?

8:52 AM  
Anonymous mr. whig said...

I'm really sorry to see Borgman go, too, but after 32 years, and the only Pulitzer the Enquirer will ever see, he's really earned it. He really was a treasure.

Who will make fun of Cincinnati now that Borgman and Burbank are gone?

9:28 AM  
Anonymous mr. whig said...

and don't say Peter Bronson for Christ's sake.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Borgman isn't leaving entirely. He's just going to weekly. Read the story.

Doesn't make this any less sad, of course. And Borgman is just the first of what will eventually be dozens of talented people to leave, whether they're bought out or not.

Really, it's surprising he didn't leave years ago. He could've afforded to. He's stuck around mostly out of sheer civic pride and duty.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, who else is leaving? Anyone have a list?

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one person not on the list to leave is MB's, and to many, she should.

The number of positions lost under her well exceeds the number who are "voluntarily" leaving now. At this rate, she truly may be the last one out to turn off the lights.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell just hire the kids from UC,NKY and the Mt. to re-write the wire stories- that is all that they do anyway- look at the money they will save. I will miss having a paper- but I think I've said that for about 5 years now

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newsache,

Loyal readers want to know what other reporters will be living. Please fill us in.

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd rather know who's leaving.

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good lord, how can there be no blog with a list of names. I checked Newsache, Gannettblog, Cincinnati Blog, Porkopolis, Daily Bellwether. Nothing. This partial list was posted by a commenter on Cincinnati Blog: "Jim Knippenberg, Joy Kraft, Margaret McGurk, Sara Pearce. Altogether it's supposed to be 15 total from news, including several veteran copy editors and page designers." Get on it, people. This is why people read your blogs.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

William Weathers

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The shame is that the decline has been continually evident for ages now. I first noticed the change when Margaret McGurk was no longer doing movie reviews. I thought how Mickey Mouse is this? We don't even have our own movie critic? And Kiesewater pulled from the TV writing.

I've noticed Borgman taking a day off from time to time and an out of town cartoonist running and now we won't have our own local cartoonist. And a long, long tradition of great cartoonists at the Enquirer will end.

My wife is from a smaller town in Missouri. I've noticed how much the Enquirer is resembling a small town newspaper.

The Sunday forum section has only been four pages for the longest time.

What a shame.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Good lord, how can there be no blog with a list of names. I checked Newsache, Gannettblog, Cincinnati Blog, Porkopolis, Daily Bellwether. Nothing. ... Get on it, people. This is why people read your blogs."

Ah, what you want is REPORTING. I.E., a professional is paid to go out and find, verify and publish reliable information.

What you have here is BLOGGING. I.E., anybody who wants to sets up a site online and waits for someone else to provide "news" or "facts" on which to base "opinions."

This is why blogs as we know them are a long, long way from replacing newspapers.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave my sweat, blood and tears to that paper for 20 years and left of my own accord last year for greener pastures. I truly feel bad for the solid folks left behind in some divisions including News. I hope they wake up and get out like I did. There is no saving that place, Gannett cares about profits, not people. I will say I am surprised about Jim leaving, don't blame him. Nice to NOT be associated with the Enquirer.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Cristal said...

OMG. The only thing I ever read remotely associated to the Enquirer is Borgman's blog and NewsAche.

Oh, how terrible...It feels like a punch in the gut. Borgman, even only weekly Borgamn...it can only be a matter of time before he's gone altogether.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How will the consolidation of resources begin to take shape?

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Consolidation of resources? Do you mean putting Callinan and Towns on regular copy desk rotations and weekend duty? Or sending Bronson out to cover church festivals? Or the "Get Published" plan calling for readers to write up their own news, while Enquirer reporters do video and take ad orders? Or the plan calling for everything to be consolidated into Cincymoms.com and retiring the Enquirer name?

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which beats are going to get eliminated?

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The names were just posted over on CityBeat's blog.

http://blogs.citybeat.com/porkopolis/2008/09/the-enquirers-d.html

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Betty Barnett
Jim Borgman
Martin Eggerding
Ann Haas
Ann Hicks
Allen Howard
Jim Knippenberg
Tony Lang
Alan Vondarhaar
William Weathers
John Wolfe
Joy Kraft
Jennifer Schwertman
Margaret McGurk
Sara Pearce

9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like much of the features department is leaving. Several people in the IT department took the buyout too. Like the finance department, computer support will move to corporate too.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finance and customer service are being consolidated at other company locations in other states. Ad design has been outsourced, health/retiree benefits has been outsourced, IT is more and more corporate-directed, and news/photo is being farmed out to the general public. You've got to wonder what will go next? Selling the printing plant to a contractor and thereby dumping all those union obligations? Automating classifieds into online Craigslist-style order forms? Outsourcing ad sales to third-party boiler rooms and call centers? Someday soon nothing will be left of the Enquirer but a web site, someone to count the money from ads, and someone to tell corporate how operating costs have dwindled to almost nothing but her salary.

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of dumping Union obligations, The entire pressroom is currently working without a contract. I would be MB's salary they never get a new one.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This paper brags "local local" and lets its Editorial Cartoonist (local opinion) leave. Jim has been a great ambassador for the Enquirer. MB basically gutted the newspaper since taking over as a Publisher. If cutting employees is the only business strategy she can come up with, I can do her job.

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone comment on the giant loss of reporters in features? How will coverage be impacted? Will dull freelancers now be assigned stories on arts, literature, homes, concerts, nightlife, etc.? The Enquirer is becoming more and more pathetic every year.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't just that A&E reporters are leaving -- it's that their buyout applications were accepted in the first place. Strong indicator that the genre is essentially dead in the emerging Enquirer view of its world.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Features is losing three writers -- Knippenberg, Kraft & Pearce -- and getting one new one in return. No replacements announced so fr for the editor, copy editor and artist who are going. That tells you what you need to know about the mgmt view of that dept.

It seems the long-term strategy is to turn the the whole section into a stripped-down mega calendar fluffed up with with the occasional courageous-victim story, wire features and little nubbins of info in place of most substantial arts and lifestyle coverage. Is that what readers want? Really?

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am curious about CSO coverage by the Enquirer-I always found it astonishing, given budget restrictions for all other departments, that travel expenses were authorized for a reporter to travel with the symphony. Is there an explanation?
Did the paper pay all reporter expenses for recent trips to Europe and China?

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and yet Peter Bronson stays. I was so hopeful.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have a list of those that are leaving outside of the newsroom?

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It isn't just that A&E reporters are leaving -- it's that their buyout applications were accepted in the first place. Strong indicator that the genre is essentially dead in the emerging Enquirer view of its world.

Look, cuts had to come from somewhere. Would you prefer they come from Metro or Biz? Or Sports?

Yeah, it would be nice if we could have our own movie reviewer, book reviewer, TV beat reporter, and so on and so forth.

But, in the words of Dennis Leary, "I thought I was gonna play centerfield for the Boston Red Sox. Life sucks. Get a fuckin' helmet."

Metro/Biz are the lifeblood of the newspaper business. Our Biz dept. is already being given last rites, do you want to slash that some more so we can have a movie reviewer?

Sports is far and away the No. 1 traffic generator on the web site. That's what the readers read, in other words. You know, our customers. Do you want to take away what they want so we can give them more of what you want?

That makes no sense.

I think the losses in A&E are regrettable. I also think they were totally predictable -- and, under the circumstances, appropriate.

Gelfand to Japan to write stories nobody reads? What?

"...emerging Enquirer view of its world." How about, "Emerging Enquirer view of its reality?"

11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music and TV are going away?

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is this newspaper does not know what it wants to be. "Local-local-local" is a bumper sticker, not a vision for reinventing the news.

And if the only measure of success is Web traffic, then might as well shut down everything except Mommies, sports, obits and freaky crime.

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Sports is far and away the No. 1 traffic generator on the web site. That's what the readers read, in other words. You know, our customers."

most well-informed convergence journalists know that web readership and print are often two different demographic groups. While web readers might prefer sports, it's quite possible print audience (well over 400,000 by audited calculations) actually reads classical music reviews.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the marketing spin, but I think 8:22 am has a point.

The few, well informed advertisers who want to reach that niche audience easily recognize that the Enquirer provides a very poor ROI for trying to reach them. So, instead of continuing to dilute the Enquirer’s shrinking resources to cover expensive niche content areas like this, it would be far better off using that money to deliver more news and information that a broader audiences of readers, and ultimately advertisers, want.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46 wrote:

"most well-informed convergence journalists know that web readership and print are often two different demographic groups. While web readers might prefer sports, it's quite possible print audience (well over 400,000 by audited calculations) actually reads classical music reviews."

No. Internal numbers show otherwise. Only a handful of people are reading classical music reviews and breathless paeans to the CSO, Pops, ballet, etc. A handful. Why should these extreme niche readerships get better coverage than local news?

I suspect a few of the commenters here shilling for A&E are A&E staffers. It's doubtful that any of the relatively small readership for their work has found its way here.

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh please, what impact on depth and breadth? Isn't that the point of this blog - that the Enquirer is the worst paper on Earth and thus its staff is the lowliest batch of incompetents? Why shed tears for anyone leaving when this blog has argued again and again that there's not one whit of useful talent in that fishwrap?

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46

You don't live in Indian Hill, do you?

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add two more. Buchanan eliminated two OC positions yesterday, VP of IT and VP of circulation. These cuts are part of the 100 or so senior level positions that Gannett cut yesterday.

Buchanan says the change is about reallocating and better aligning her resources to accomplish their goals. If that's the case, then why didn't she just leave DiSanto's position vacant when he left earlier this year? Yet another example of where she fails to look ahead and where she has to have McLean tell her what to do.

Talk about failed leadership.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Newsache said...

I have never argued that the Enquirer is staffed by incompetents. There are many good people working in the newsroom. What has made the Enquirer so terrible is incompetence where it matters most -- at the top. Gannett isn't concerned with quality journalism, so the Enquirer has never been resourced in a way that allows it to produce a quality product. Tom Callinan is disinterested as an editor, and a cheese coney has more news judgment than his top lieutenants. The difference this makes in newsroom talent is that the Enquirer's national reputation is so terrible, many good journalists won't consider working here, even those within Gannett. There are, though, a good number of talented people in the newsroom. It's the atmosphere created by Gannett that keeps their talent from shining through.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the names of the VPs of IT and Circ?

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the item over on the Cincinnati Blog about the article on the East Price Hill drug bust in the Enquirer?

The lede is VERY unprofessional. As a commenter points out on the article itself, how did a lede like that make it through the editors.

It's like either everyone is asleep over there or no one gives a f**k anymore.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's backtrack a minute on the features department.

Someone noted that it is getting a reporter to replace one of the three going. That's not really the case. The deal was already in the works and it was to replace Chuck Martin who left a few months ago (his wife got a new job out of state). Now, the position will go toward picking up some of Jim Knippenberg's coverage of the zoo, museum center and freedom center (all local-local).

But add Chuck's loss to the earlier departures this year of the WEEKEND section editor and a part-time copy desk editor - both positions were not filled - and a picture emerges of a gutted department that won't be able to manage the workload.

That's a surface picture though. With a reduction in its reporting staff over the past four years, the drastic cutback in the size of WEEKEND, the dropping of two daily feature sections (Friday and Saturday) and the weekly food section and the shrinking of the rest of the sections, the department had been top heavy for some time.

Some editors have been supervising 1-2 reporters. Piece of cake. As it is, they have three editors left for - I think - just seven reporters. And the copy desk picks up much of the wire copy selection that editors and some reporters used to do. The editors do have some online posting to do now but it's still minimal - and with so few print stories to edit,they should have even more time for online.

The section's decline comes from meddling from the top, no clear understanding of what constitutes a vibrant features section and at the departmental level, the lack of attention the editors pay to what their few reporters are actually turning out.

In addition to the gavel-to-gavel coverage of classical music - yawnnnnn - you have Demaline reviewing the fringiest theater productions, plays that maybe a few hundred people will see.

The core g.a. lifestyle reporters have been coasting for years (not the food and home writers, they have busted their butts).

An entire position has been almost wholly devoted to reporting on the paper's on air news competition! There's much more to the world of local media than TV or TV news: blogs, magazines, web sites, new ways of communicating and delivering entertainment. Social networking is as much a media phenomena as watching Fox 19. Why isn't Kiesewetter covering all the Twittering going on during sports games? By people of all ages, including the paper's core audience of older - and sports - readers.

New thinking has to be brought to what they want the feature sections to be and to what the remaining features reporters are, and are not, doing. In short: they reporters need to be, ah, managed. Good luck with that!

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

City Beat's story about the Enquirer's web site - which cites Chris Graves's report, doesn't say much about the content effort put into it let alone what people really seem to want - more pictures and lots of gossip by local moms. Sad.

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer. What a pretender. Today's front page promo on the 7th anniversary of 9/11 is billed as a "premium in this edition," which I understand allows the paper to jack up its circulation numbers through free giveaways. When you take a look at that content, you see it's a few wire stories. The only local contribution is a calendar listing of local events. The sports pages ropes in Ford for some bookend ads around auto racing coverage that is all wire service except for a few small boxes of facts on local races.
The Enquirer of the future is going to be more like the Enquirer of today. Why should I buy the Enquirer when there's barely anything original in it?

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problems in features and other departments has everything to do with leadership, or what many would perceive to be a lack thereof.

Is the Web site important? Yes. Is the print product important? Yes.

But what's the number one priority? Figure it out. And it can't change from day-to-day or editor-to-editor. You have reporters writing for print demographics. Online, we all know, is different. Tell me how that makes sense?

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kiesewetter doesn't get it. He's a nice guy, but unless it's a story about Nick Lachey, Carmen Electra or George Clooney, he's not on it. (When anything related to Cincinnati ends up on TV, he's like a dog with a bone.) Let's hope that Demaline, who is unbelievably rude to both sources and colleagues, has to cover more than theater so she'll learn to be nice.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree, Newsache. When you point out idiotic story premises, poorly written pieces and the like, that's not commentary on the machinations of executives in Va., that's going to the heart of editorial operations in Cincy. So to label something the worst paper in the country and talk about bad reporter/editor output, you can't then have it both ways and say 'the people are good but business deicisions mean this stupid story is on 1A.' Newsache is about pointing out why the paper stinks as you see it, and thus by direct causality why the people behind it from the reporters to the ownership stink too.

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Won't Kiesewetter likely get a new assignment, given the short-lived restructuring that found him on the city desk a few years back?

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And they've cleaned up the lede that Alex Shebar used on his story:
after: http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080910/NEWS0107/809100362

before:
http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080909/NEWS01/309090047&s=d&page=2#pluckcomments

9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:12 has a point. the reporters cry "victim" and pay lip service to wanting to produce good work but do they fight for it, go the extra mile and produce it anyway, or just throw up their hands and do as told to get the paycheck (and health benefits)?

these are pretty cushy jobs, people. great pay in the newsroom. plenty of perks in the form of freebies. long-timers get a month of vacation. everyone gets 3 personal days, a bunch of holidays and up to 7 paid sick days (not counting extra days for illnesses that last more than 3 days).

editorial standards are low. anybody on a number of pr lists who also reads the paper can see right away who's just picking up releases - one so-called "columnist," a high-profile critic and others, too - and sticking their byline on it. the pr people love it. why wouldn't they? but it demeans, and overshadows, the little good work being done.

the newsroom is filled with white collar, self-interested, highly-educated, mid-to-upper middle-class people clinging to the past. they need a wake up call. send them out to work at some blue collar job - delivering papers or manning a press - and see if that gives them a new perspective.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the person who asked the names of the VP's. Here is the mail that went out. I don't know anything about the Circ VP, but the IT VP chopping of head was long in coming! Save any tears for them for I am sure they got some cushy package.


To: All Employees
From: Margaret Buchanan


I have some difficult news to share with you today. Due to a company-wide management restructure, two positions on our operating committee were eliminated today. The affected positions are VP of I.T. Terri Hovey-Randell and VP of circulation Mike Womack.

The restructure is about reallocating and better aligning resources to accomplish our goals. The functions of the I.T. division will be split between VP of production Dave Preisser and VP of finance Dave Wuertemberger. The functions of the circulation division will be split between Dave Preisser and VP of advertising Carol Hahn.

As we transition to our new structure, I will be scheduling small-group employee meetings over the next week. More to come on this.

We owe Terri and Mike a great deal of gratitude for their contributions to our company over the years. If you have the opportunity to wish them well, please do. Terri will be here through Friday of this week, and Mike will be here through January 1, 2009.

As I’ve mentioned before, economic conditions and the state of the industry have forced us to examine all parts of the organization, and to rethink the way we do business and the way we’re structured.

If you have any questions as we navigate through these changing times, please feel free to contact your manager or me.


Margaret

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow anon @9:18, you really don't know anything about what it's like to work at the Enquirer. Great pay? Freebies? Vacation?

Who has time to get vacation when you are doing the jobs of a half-dozen unfilled positions? Not only that, I work 50 hours a week at a minimum - and don't even ask about overtime.

I don't make much money and have practically no vacation compared to people my age in other industries - but at least I'm here and I work hard. This certainly isn't the best newspaper around or the happiest place on earth of late - but what would you have me do, Mr. Expert? Get a job somewhere else? Have you seen journalism job boards? They're empty.

Not everyone here is content to sit back and coast until retirement - especially since some of us are still in our 20s and trying to make something of this place.

So instead of giving up as you seem to suggest - I stay here and try my best to get something good going.

And I'm not alone. There are people at the Enquirer who fight every day for their stories - and they almost always lose. They keep fighting until they inevitably find other jobs or get fired. At least some of us on the inside are trying to make something better instead of just posting hateful, uninformed comments on someone's blog.

Out of the two of us, I'd say you are the pathetic one that needs to get a real job.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:18 is uninformed. He/she likely missed a few steps in education but appears to be intelligent and able to grasp concepts.

Reporters don't make much in the way of salary on the onset. A lot of failures happen but reporters that influence people to talk, can succeed and can influence opinion. To get to the point of influencing opinion takes a lot of time, diligence, research, knowledge and time. It is not as easy as 1, 2, 3. It also take getting advertising off their back back to enable "real" talk.

Gannett and it's insane expectations makes that impossible on the long term. Yes, it is possible short-term but it is a crash and burn situation for anything less than a super-human.

A brand-new-straight-out-college-bachelors-degree-journalist makes far less than anyone. That includes the janitors!

Big salaries for reporters are earned in on a hard path.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it true Enky is really thinking about killing its own blogs? The new formats have not done well, but killing them seems extreme.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did the Enquirer deliver any additional papers to harder hit areas of the tri-state to at least help keep those people without power informed of what’s going on or does it just reserve the practice of delivering extra "bonus" copies for raising money?

7:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the enquirer's storm coverage was pathetic, with more emphasis on the Edge outages than the damage to Cincinnati institutions like Grammer's (the building next to it caught fire) and Findlay Market

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who’s calling the coverage of this event at the Enquirer, former FEMA managers who failed to recognize the totality of Katrina on New Orleans?

This is the Enquirer’s chance to shine online, on mobile devices and in print. Yet, their response and coverage to what will likely be called one of this area’s worst natural disasters (600,000 people still without power at this writing) pales to what they even normally do for snow storms and that is truly pitiful. Way to lead MB, not.

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The paper's pathetic showing points directly to Callinan and Towns' refusal to spread more workload to the dead-weight elements in the newsroom. Everyone but the people in the glass offices knows who's putting out and who's simply punching in and out. Line editors never assign those people when there's breaking news to get, but those same people stand there with their hands out when the paychecks go out.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me, Anon at 7:15 AM? Looks like you were up bright and early with power. Glad to see you made good use of it.

We really need a new post, NewsAche, because these comments are just getting tedious.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

12:09 - There are many reason's why the company uses bonus days, and using it now would bring additional benefits, not the least of which would include better positioning the Enquirer with non-readers. I used my mobile connection to see what was going on, others don’t have that option. At least with print, you don't need power.

Yet, its narrow views like yours that will keep those job cuts coming.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ding Dong

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw this on City Beat's blog...

Enquirer's Top Editor Leaves

After nearly 4½ years as The Cincinnati Enquirer's managing editor, Hollis Towns is leaving the newspaper for a job in New Jersey.

Enquirer employees learned today that Towns has accepted a position at the Asbury Park Press. Amid cost cutting at Gannett-owned newspapers nationwide, Towns' position at The Enquirer won't be replaced, sources said.

The Asbury Park Press has fewer readers than The Enquirer, according to recent reports from the Audit Bureau of Circulation. The New Jersey paper has 145,508 daily readers and 192,581 on Sundays. By comparison, The Enquirer has 206,320 daily readers and 290,500 Sunday readers.

Towns joined The Enquirer in May 2004 after a stint as the managing editor at the Kalamazoo Gazette in Michigan. He started his journalism career as a general assignment reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 1988, where he held a number of positions during a 12-year period there, including general assignment reporter for zoned editions, Olympics reporter, and covering the housing and civil-rights beats.

During his time at The Enquirer, several reporters and editors complained about Towns’ management style, calling him aloof and disconnected from the community and the newsroom.

With Gannett’s stock price falling in recent months, the company has begun trimming positions at its newspapers. The Enquirer recently accepted applications for voluntary severance packages from 60 employees, including 15 in the newsroom.

— Kevin Osborne

1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance to Hollis Towns! He was a one-man wrecking crew. That arrogant asshole won't be missed for a minute. He cleared out his office in the dark of night so he wouldn't have to face the minions in the newsroom.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is the reorganization going? What changes are happening with beat / reporting systems?

10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddance to Hollis Towns! He was a one-man wrecking crew.

Yes! Because HE was the reason why The Enquirer has been stinking up the place for so long! Excellent!

Look out Pulitzer! Here they come!

Idiots.

12:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calling Newsache! You have posted no comments regarding recent events. The elimination of two VP positions and subsequent restructuring of Circulation and IT departments signal a significant shift in the traditional newspaper business model. Circulation split into two entities with Single Copy and Circ Sales/Marketing reporting to the VP of Advertising; while Home Delivery and Community Press go over to the Production VP. What will be the long term effect on Single Copy and Circ Sales? Will Ad cannabilize the Circ groups in order to improve ad sales?

Some of IT reportedly going to the VP of Finance. How does that play into the reported outsourcing of Finance in the near future?

So many questions and no place to post...Surely Newsache does not subscribe to the belief that unless it happens in the newsroom it isn't news??

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed!
Where should I go for this info?
Citybeat blogs?
Too much happening..and asleep at the wheel.
Tisk tisk.
Gannettblog has been on top of all this more than you.
Saddens me.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. Hollis Towns is gone and NewsAche has stopped posting. Do you think???????

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever originates this blog does it as a sideline, not a fulltime job. NewsAche (he or she) is probably on vacation or something.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was IT ever a factor in gathering content? Other than getting in the way of gathering and reporting?

Maybe the IT TH-R boot was the best thing possible (and a long, long time in coming)

1:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:17 AM:
Yes, now that the VP of IT is gone, your content gathering efforts will really take off. I am sure she was holding you back. Look out world, the EQ news gathering and reporting beast has been unleashed!

Take off your blinders 1:17! There is a world outside the 19th floor. Maybe the parochialism you demonstrate is what really hinders content gathering.

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is IT ever a factor in gathering content? Are you kidding? In the 21st century there's no way you could do your job without IT. Get over yourself, and try working with IT instead of complaining about them.

Now, as far as the VP getting kicked to the curb, look out on Elm Street - you'll see the few remaining IT folks out there dancing. She's a typical Gannett exec (leadership by fear and intimidation). Good riddance.

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer excepted a total of 60.

11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When will the new changes be announced? New assignments, etc.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect Newsache is one of those taking a buyout from the Enquirer. If I'm right, they very likely were asked to sign an agreement that would keep him/her from blogging like this. We may never hear from Newsache again.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Newsache, hello?

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like the suggestion NewsAche took the buyout, and is legally bound not to offer criticism of or a platform for criticism of the company might have merit. If his/her identity is outed, big bucks could be at stake, albeit there would be an interesting 1st Amendment fight.

Arrivederci, it would seem, is NewsAche's farewell.

An outcome the Enquirer probably did not anticipate but doubtless is smiling about. In buying out someone it silenced the prime vehicle for critique of its product.

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe, but long-time readers of this blog may remember that the Enquirer allegedly fired him months ago and the blog kept ticking back then, albeit with less frequent posts.

And, even if that were not true, and that he took this package it’s doubtful that Gannett paid extra and/or had clauses regarding non-disparagement.

Plus, let's not forget there are a lot more former employees out there now than ever before who could pick up where he left off...if indeed he did.

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Newsache is Borgman? It makes sense...

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to 8:47 a.m.
re>doubtful that Gannett had non-disparagement clause in their packages

Are you kidding?! Why do you think all of those reporters who disappeared over the last couple years kept silent? Certainly not over any misplaced loyalty to Gannett.

8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that it's less a decision/agreement to remain silent about Enq's wrongdoings and more that it takes too much energy to bitch once you're out.

11:15 PM  

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