Wednesday, September 06, 2006

THE LATEST NEWS-LEADER MOVE

Jenny Fillmer, reporter for the local daily, has accepted a public-information position with the county of Greene. Fillmer, who previously worked as a reporter for KSMU, starts her new job later this month.

Good reporter. Should make a good spokesperson. Sorry to see she's leaving the paper, however. The last thing the News-Leader needs is another vacancy in its reporting ranks.

112 comments:

Panhandlers Dig Freedom said...

Will the last person to leave the News-Leader please turn off the press? Ms Fillmer will be missed in the newsroom and the news pages of the daily rag. But perhaps the purposes of Ozarks news consumers will still be served with a vigorous commitment to open government and an actual voice for the Pooh-Bah's of commission-dom to their subjects.
Still and all, a loss. I want to know who has Abner's head. Smackout!

Panhandlers Dig Freedom said...

Breaking! Put up the siren, Ron. Features editor Elizabeth Kelly Klay is leaving the S N-L. Could this, on the heels of Fillmer's new job as flak for the county, bode further moves for government PIO types? Does LWhall want her old job back?
Only when Dave Coonrod ice skates on Fellows Lake in July.

Anonymous said...

Others have departed recently also. Rick Jackoway (metro editor) has left (and work is Claudete Riley is coming back). Matt Wagner left for the Springfield Business Journal. Several other reporters have also left in the past 2 months. Too many to name actually. Of course, at the same time, the News-Leader has added several new publications. Could the two be related?

Anonymous said...

Jackoway's departure was blessing. The other 6, 7, 8 (screw it, who's counting now?) lost since May are another story. But you can't blame folks for voting with their feet.

Anonymous said...

A follow-up to my earlier post ... no, I don't blame folks for voting with their feet. Actually, the depatures go back further than just this summer really. There has been a steady stream of depatures for over a year. Basically, everyone who is not near retirement. I guess as long as the ad sales keep coming in everything stays the same. But at some point, I would think someone might wonder about what role the editor or managing editor might be playing in this trend.

Anonymous said...

What can we do to help freeze Fellows Lake? Does Coonrod know how to ice skate? Does the N-L have the cash to woo Whall? Forget features - let's get her to take the newsroom editor's job! Watch the parade of old-timers return!

Anonymous said...

Hey. No more abusing the managing editor. The way I hear it, she's single-handedly keeping gaping blank spaces out of the pages of our beloved daily rag while keeping those reporters who HAVEN'T quit yet from launching a wholesale newsroom mutiny. ...On second thought, a Gannett rebellion does sound kind of fun!
As for HER boss, I challenge all you chatterbugs to find something nice to say.

Anonymous said...

The editor before this one was horrible to work with too (or so I was told). Now this one is turning out to not be so great. Is the problem with Gannett or is the problem with folks at the top of the profession? I'm just asking.

I know the editor expects reporters to live and breathe the newspaper and nothing else. He is also pinching pennies ... which is why the water cooler and coffee machine were taken out of the newsroom. Wow, things are getting bad when you take that sort of cost-savings measure.

Anonymous said...

No one said anything about the "managing editor," who is a "she." The managing editor is holding down the crumbling fort. The newsroom editor is a he. HE'S the one with the responsibility here.

Anonymous said...

Amen about Cheryl. She's good people. However, the executive editor can't leave Springfield soon enough.

Anonymous said...

I think he's about to do so poorly that a promotion is surly in order.
Hey can't wait to see that video production come on line. I know that's what I go to the paper for.

Anonymous said...

I do know that David Coonrod likes to brag about how in the late 70s he skateboarded down that ramp/sidewalk in front of Pummill Hall on the MSU campus. I'll betVincent David John Jacob Jingle Himerschmit Shotenkirk Shimmy Shimmy Ko-ko Bop Ramma Lama Ding Dong Do Wah Diddy Diddy Gidyup Ooomp Pompa Oooomp Pompa Mow Mow Hiyo Silver Away Banana Fanna Fo Fanna De Doo Doo Doo De Da Da Da (That's all I want to say to you)Gabba Gabba Hey Gabba Hey (Now you're one of us) two all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onion on a sesame seed bun, Itsy Bittsy Tiny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Jericho Joiner-Kersee Sammy Davis Junior couldn't do that. Desdinova the Eternal Light.

Anonymous said...

Seconds to the comments that Cheryl Whitsitt is good people, struggling to do right in an untenable job. On the other hand, if she's hanging in there for any reasons other than paying her bills, she's on a route to martyrdom.

Sadly for us, it ultimately matters not whether Bookstaver or Wyatt are toast because of the mass exodus in the newsroom. History shows that every 18 to 36 months, Gannett likes to flush its toilets, sending the likes of Bookstaver and Wyatt on down (or sometimes up) the corporate sewer to new jobs in brand new towns where they'll have the chance to demonstrate their same old absence of smarts and human relations to entirely new readerships. And then, by the power of Gannett, we'll most likely get two fresh dolts to take their place. Anyone who expects this cycle of mediocrity to change under Gannett is better off wishing to win the lottery.

"Meet the new boss...same as the old boss..."

Anonymous said...

The "jumping ship" habit at the News-Leader has a lot to do with Gannett's hunger for HUGE profit margins. Not reasonbile ones ... but huge margins that are 30 to even 50% returns, much higher than the hated oil companies. Gannett's emphasis on margins means reporters are paid poorly and get poor benefits. Which is okay when you are starting out. But, after several years of long hours, working for jerks and then having small children, the money and schedules elsewhere start looking good.

Every reporter I know is either getting ready to leave or looking for a job to leave for. Ah, the News-Leader, proving grounds for most of the public relations folks in Springfield.

Anonymous said...

Boy they would have some rich contacts in public service if they could just keep someone in the news room who knows these people.

yetipelt said...

Ahoy there, Desdinova .... forgive me for raining on your parade ... but do you think your ongoing VDJ name-rant has perhaps lost a touch of its fine edge? It was amusing the first 50 times I saw it ...

Anonymous said...

If i haven't seen it, it's new to me! (And I haven't seen it. So it is.)

Anonymous said...

On the phone Fillmer sounded good---but in person she looked and acted like a college student.

We need more seasoned reporters and fair newscoverage---just do not hold your breath

Anonymous said...

Hot tip: Just move on past Desi's name rant. It was actually only funny the FIRST time. But she's not all dull. News to me about Coonrod skateboarding at Pummil. But did you hear the one about the time he ...

Back on topic, yes, Wyatt will eventually be out of here - through a promotion. Gotta love Gannett. God save the news print biz.

Anonymous said...

You're all being too hard on Don. He's a good Christian and family man. Just look at his photos on flickr -- www.flickr.com/photos/76862473@N00/

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 5:55,

Way to be a superficial asshat. My money says you have no clue what it takes to be a reporter, let alone one as thorough -- and experienced -- as Ms. Fillmer.

maddawg said...

Somebody start a new newspaper. Really. I'll even give you some money.

Anonymous said...

If Ms Fillmer is such a great reporter then why is she leaving the ranks of journalism? I do wish her the best but it does seem like an odd fit for the county. And that last post seems like something she or a friend would post.

There are, by the way, other newspapers in Springfield (Community Free Press and Springfield Business Journal for two). They face a tough road though because Gannett's business practices are not always fair or ethical. Don't believe me? Read the book "The Chain Gang" then.

Anonymous said...

I think we can all agree Gannett sucks, and so does the newsleader management. Should there be any question why its journalists are leaving in droves?
And it's not just Fillmer. When was the last time you saw any of these bylines in our daily rag?
Nina Rao
James Goodwin
Matt Wagner
Mike O'Brien
Karen Culp
Andrew Tangel
Remember them? Go ahead, check today's paper... they're not there.
Am I missing anyone?

Anonymous said...

Mike O'Brien had been semi-retired for years. Karen Culp works on Signature Magazine, the Gannett and News-Leader product that competes with 417, and Nina Rao moved back overseas. Wagner is at the Springfield Business Journal.

You are missing a few from the list. Metor Editor Rick Jackoway has left and Elizabeth Klay, features editor, is leaving in 2 weeks.

Anonymous said...

"Superficial Asshat" is my new favorite phrase. Whoever that asshat is doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. But I'm sure you think you do, don't you, asshat. By the way
if by "overseas" you mean meadowmere st., than yes she is overseas.

Anonymous said...

Not sure what caused the name calling. But, I'll take it as a compliment.

If Nina Rao is still in Springfield then I stand corrected. I thought she gotten a grand/fellowship to go overseas and work/study. At least, that was in the News-Leader at the time of her departre.

I don't see anything else that I submitted in the previous comment that deserves name calling though unless I accidently hit some sort of nerve. Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

No nerves her just love the phrase asshat.

John Stone said...

Itsy Bittsy Tiny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Jericho Joiner-Kersee Sammy Davis Junior couldn't do that.

No .. but I bet he could lie down and roll all the way.

BTW ... ask Coonrod about the day he and Dr. Mantei were so wound up playing hackysack in the airport that they wound up on the wrong airplane ... going to the wrong city ... at the wrong time.

Anonymous said...

Here's my tally of newsroom employees who have quit or announced their resignations (and two who were fired) over the past year. The list also includes people who have switched jobs within the News-Leader, many of whom haven't been replaced.

1. Andrew Tangel
2. Robert Leger
3. John Dengler (moved out of editorial to Ozarks Signature magazine)
4. Karen Culp (to Ozarks Signature)
5. Bob Linder (to Ozarks Signature)
6. Michelle Rose (to Ozarks Signature)
7. Mike Kelly
8. Mike O'Brien
9. Nina Rao
10. James Goodwin
11. Christian County reporter (formerly Didi Tang, who moved to business)
12. Matt Wagner
13. John Lechliter
14. Jennifer Phelps
15. Claudia Beasley
16. Rick Jackoway
17. Tresa McBee
18. Jenny Fillmer
19. Elizabeth Klay
20. Copy editor (formerly John Taylor, who moved to night cops)


To quote my third most favorite Swedish musical act:

We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back
To earth, who can tell?

I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?

It's the final countdown

Duh nuh nuh nuuuh, duh nuh nuh nuh nuuh

Anonymous said...

Here's my tally of newsroom employees who have quit or announced their resignations (and two who were fired) over the past year. The list also includes people who have switched jobs within the News-Leader, many of whom haven't been replaced.

1. Andrew Tangel
2. Robert Leger
3. John Dengler (moved out of editorial to Ozarks Signature magazine)
4. Karen Culp (to Ozarks Signature)
5. Bob Linder (to Ozarks Signature)
6. Michelle Rose (to Ozarks Signature)
7. Mike Kelly
8. Mike O'Brien
9. Nina Rao
10. James Goodwin
11. Christian County reporter (formerly Didi Tang, who moved to business)
12. Matt Wagner
13. John Lechliter
14. Jennifer Phelps
15. Claudia Beasley
16. Rick Jackoway
17. Tresa McBee
18. Jenny Fillmer
19. Elizabeth Klay
20. Copy editor (formerly John Taylor, who moved to night cops)


To quote my third most favorite Swedish musical act:

We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
And maybe we'll come back
To earth, who can tell?

I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground
Will things ever be the same again?

It's the final countdown

Duh nuh nuh nuuuh, duh nuh nuh nuh nuuh

Anonymous said...

Well Cheif, Why is the NL not filling these positions? Don't need too? Don't want too? Can't? Shouldn't?
Even player pianos need maintenance to work.

Maybe the somewhat open hostility is because the folks from this area who have worked for the NL care. They are not transplants looking for the next promotion. Perhaps they are on the wrong side of history here, but what happened to giving a damn about what your doing. I have never been employed at the paper but I have grown up with those who have and know scads of them well. Almost all of then cared about the job they were doing and the community, as well as the papers place as the most respected journalistic force in town. That has gone by the wayside in the last few years. The corporate machine has driven those values out of the newsroom along with the people. In my buisness I know that what it takes to make a company run is people. Not just warm bodies. People who care and feel cared for. If you like the results of the past year keep it up. And soon maybe if we're lucky Mclatchy or someone else will buy the paper on the auction block and make some changes.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Claudia Beasley is coming back.

As for selling, as long as the News-Leader can sell ads and make a huge profit the corporate heads don't care.

Circulation has been flat for years. Journalists like to think they are doing great work for the community (and they are) but newspapers are businesses and Gannett is owned by stockholders and guided by lawyers and accountants. As long as the money for ads keeps piling in, things won't change. Heck, they are actually spinning off new publications now in hopes of making even more money.

Thanks for the impressive list, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Ron: Can you give us some more "inside the News-Leader" gossip. It is obvious from these posts that there is a lot of interest... and perhaps a little anger. What is going on with the big cheese over there? Does leadership have a clue or do they even care? Seems like depatures have been going on for 2 or 3 years, how is this recent rash of departures any different? Can you help us out Ron?

Anonymous said...

What we are witnessing right now with the massive departures from the newsroom is hardly unprecedented since Gannett purchased Springfield Newspapers, Inc., from the Watsons more than a quarter century ago. A similar exodus occurred around 1980, then again just a few years later when the Leader & Press (that was the name of the evening paper, for you kids too young to remember) was killed off (or, as the corporate bullspeakers referred to it then, "merged with the morning Daily News to create an exciting consolidated news product"). Another wave came around 1990, and again about six years later.

A key difference this time is that budgets have never been squeezed by the Big G like they're being squeezed now. As a result, the size of the "news hole" (the physical space that is NOT devoted to advertising) has never been smaller in the paper's history. The corporate formulas that dictate how many humans should be paid to fill the news hole have driven standards of quality to all-time lows. And as it has been for several decades now, there's a huge market of willing entry-level reporters and copy editors, all full of piss and vinegar, from which Gannett can hire. Upper newsroom managers simply don't have to care about retaining talent. As they see it, it just costs too much.

Anonymous said...

well bully for them. Vampires.

Anonymous said...

robert keyes--school district
louise whall--city
jenny filmer--county

Anonymous said...

Why don't we cancel our subscriptions, and tell 'em why? It won't matter, I know, but it's about all we can do.

Anonymous said...

I thought journalists hated PIO and PR people. I thought that was the dark side. Can't be too dark when/if most of leave to go into that line of work.

Anonymous said...

People who are fed up with News-Leader need to hammer Gannett and demand a whole new management team!

They the paper is the watch dog of the citizens!

Of course another paper would be the best thing to do! Because changing the News-Leader would take more than an act of God!

Anonymous said...

anon at 4:19

Wasn't the old (pre-Gannett) Leader and Press at least partially responsible for bringing about Missouri's sunshine laws?

Anonymous said...

That might be a stretch of credit. Several Missouri's newspapers at that time were pushing hard for it. The Watsons did their share, but so did the Pulitzer family in St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

Others within the last 2+ years:

Eric Eckert--reporter (PR at Missouri State)
Scott Puryear--sports columnist/de-facto face of the paper (SID at Drury)
Liam Truschard--metro editor (transfer)
Jonathan Groves--assistant managing editor (as I understand it, this one was a big morale sapper, teaching at Drury)
Chris Something-or-other--Sports editor (transfer)
Eric Bailey--college sports reporter (still in journalism I think)
Laura Johnson--assistant news editor/copy editor (transfer)
Connie Farrow--live-in AP reporter (dunno)

Anonymous said...

Oh, the big wigs have a clue. They just don't care. The editor is so concerned with how he looks to corporate that he will walk over you to achieve his goal. Many reporter positions and an editor’s position will be left open to save money. It's the bottom line; money over real news coverage.

Gannett has changed its focus from daily products to non-daily, such as Signature magazine. You will see more and more magazines until they've officially drained local advertising budgets dry and less focus on the daily paper. They just got through shrinking the paper. Did any of you notice?

They truly are vampires sucking the life out of the local market with sub par publications. The newsroom is not a happy place to be right now and, while Rick Jackoway's exit helped tremendously, there's still work to do.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else noticed that, not only is the paper thinner (a 4-page B section?)and narrower (go ahead, measure it against your recycling bin pile), but the masthead seems to have shrunk? What is up with that?
Budget cits apparently did not stop at the watercooler... the News-Leader now refuses to pay for the ink it takes to print is own name in 124-point font.

Anonymous said...

vive la revolution!

Anonymous said...

Here's another one: Al Carlson, sportswriter, now at Free Press

Anonymous said...

Connie Farrow works for the group advocating for the Stem Cell amendment (sort of a PR position).

There was the former sports reporter turned news reporter (Jeff ?) who left about 1.5 years ago too.

Has anyone read the book, "The Chain Gang." It profiles Gannets history of draining ad revenues out of a community while also running other newspapres out of business with less than honest business practices. Good read ... it also suggests there is hope.

The bottom line (profit) is all that matters. Bookstaver doesn't care if everyone in the news room leaves as long as profits go up each month.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps what we're witnessing is the beginning of Gannett's preparation to dump their newspaper division.

That may sound preposterous at first, but a couple of years ago who would've thought that Knight-Ridder would bail out?

Gannett's corporate CEO is a television guy, not a newspaper guy. If he were thinking of getting out of the newspaper game, he'd try to make that division look as profitable as possible to potential buyers.

The recent corporate-wide emphasis on "non-daily" publications, such as the Ozarks Signature magazine here, has boosted advertising revenues without significantly increasing overhead.

One way to interpret the callous disregard for the dwindling staffs at the News-Leader and other Gannett newspapers is that corporate honchos plan to soon let new owners deal with the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Actually while we are at it lets expand into all the local media too!

Hated to see Tony Beason go. But we need new editors producers at all the tv stations. They should let fresh bood in. They all report the same things and do not want to upset the apple cart. They need to move on and all new ideas on fair news coverage.

Actually KSPR 33 and KTTS are doing pretty good jobs. The rest need house cleaning and yes new anchors.

Anonymous said...

Many of you seem entirely too close to this issue - and a bit bitter. I think it's a good paper that's had many, many great people come and go ... and many of them have left for really good jobs at other papers ... Remember the Marymonts? Or Ol' Ron Davis himself. And in a troubled industry of print pubs, they HAVE to count on advertising -- come on ...you can't print a paper or hand out paychecks without revenue.

Anonymous said...

I thought the county didn't have any money...where did they find the money to hire a PIO? Not that they don't need one... but I'm not sure ex-reporters make the best PR people. Whall is a nice person but the city has had a long string of bad press. And Keyes seems to have struggled to find his legs at SPS. Time will tell...BTW -Wyatt stormed into this community and pissed off a bunch of key leaders and has never been able to mend the fence. Isn't our 18 month mandatory sentence with yet another Gannett climber about to end? Please!!!!!

Anonymous said...

No one is saying Gannett needs to print a newspaper without revenue or profits. What some have said is that the profit is obscene and comes at the expense of the community and reporters. Most reporters at the News-Leader are paid poorly. I know of one who left after having been at the News-Leader for 20 years. I took a job that was paying $30,000 to start and that was a big step UP in pay.

Secondly, the profits of Gannett are obscene. I've seen reports of their margins being 50% and more. Folks (including the news media) say the oil companies are making too much money and the margins of "big oil" come no where close to the percentage margins of Gannett. Ad revenues and profit is needed, just at the expense of what?

Anonymous said...

Here is another one ... Bob Edwards left for MoDot (a PR position).

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll bite. Which key leaders did DW piss off? I must've missed that episode.

Anonymous said...

Laurie Glenn Frink Cunningham left the newspaper around 1989 or '90 and went to work in PR for Cox Medical Center, and Chris Whitley left the paper around '90 to be press secretary to the U.S. Attorney in Kansas City. Whitley's back here now working for Laurie at the hospital. I think at least a couple of other News-Leader refugees are at Cox now, too. Or were, anyways.

notafinga said...

I don't think you can blame the bad press that the city of springfield has gotten on its PR. I mean for gods sake whoever stole all the money didn't check with whall to see how it would play in the press. Good PR cannot fix policy blunders, just look at the republicans.

Anonymous said...

What. The. Hell. How can everyone forget Ron "Sly" Sylvester (Stallone), now scribing in Wichita?

Heh-heh-heh-heh-heh.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Portman was the most real, caring, truthful, etc. person at the paper.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:19: Huh? No, seriously. Huh?

Anonymous said...

I think 9 out of 10 panhandlers would agree with anon 1:19. Maybe only those who love freedom?

Anonymous said...

Would you consider the job Cox is doing in managing image and message to be anything other than disastrous? The News-Leader bit on the DeLois Weeks spin story - within a week the real story was out and so was Weeks and her cronies.

Anonymous said...

The Weekes story was manufactured by Weekes herself in a pathetic and ultimately unsuccessful effort to stave off her own whacking. It was a major unpleasant surprise to the Cox adminstration when that story appeared in the paper. The administration already had Weekes' number.

Talk about pathetic, if Kathleen O'Dell had bothered to really ask around about Weekes before she wrote her story, she would have had no shortage of sources to tell her what a mess Weekes really was. Instead, O'Dell took the lazy route, took Weekes and only a couple of other sources at their word, and never took the trouble to find out what had really been going on at the college. Have you seen Ms. O'Dell write anything since this story broke about the real reasons Dr. Weekes is no longer with the college? No, you haven't. She's probably too embarrassed about being suckered. If the egg is on anybody's face, it's O'Dell's.

Anonymous said...

The bizarre sequence of stories in the News-Leader about DeLois Weekes appears to have started with an experienced journalist making a rookie mistake by failing to contact Weekes' bosses for corroborative quotes. That inquiry, had it been made, would've warned the journalist that Ms. Weekes' record may not be exactly as she and her cronies claimed. The News-Leader comes away from this fiasco looking worse than Cox.

Anonymous said...

What is the reason Weekes left? Does anyone know?

As for O'Dell, even a great reporter gets the life sucked out of them. Usually she's dead-on; could be an overworked reporter with too tight a deadline - or deadlines. O'Dell seems to be carrying hard news for the N-L right now. Funny to mention "rookie mistakes," as that's what the new reporters will make after the seasoned ones are wrung dry.

Anonymous said...

When your staff disappears, yet you keep adding tabloids and other publications and duties, you get reporters who are overworked. They then look for shortcuts and then that is when mistakes happen.

Someone mentioned Jennifer Portman leaving. She and her boyfriend left together. He was the business writer and metro editor. For some reason I can think of his name right now.

Anonymous said...

His name is Paul Flemming. He and Ms. Portman were wed after they moved to Florida, and since have become parents.

They tried to return this summer when Paul applied for the job of News-Leader editorial page editor. Instead we got stuck with Phony Messenger with his incessant self-promotion and his bleatings about Columbia, the Denver athletic teams and other longings from his well-traveled past.

Anonymous said...

He's Paul Fleming. His leaving was worse than Jennifer, as he has special attributes, he says, that transcend journalism.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like Ron needs to start a News-Leader only blog. With all of these comments there is obviously a strong readership. Employees and other could submit in-house gossip, stories about editing and reporting problems and maybe even a few complaints. Because, as you know, the News-Leader does not publish letters or complaints about their own business practices. What do you say Ron?

Ken said...

Sorry excuse for a newspaper!

Anonymous said...

Are you there, Ron? Still with us?

Anonymous said...

Again, why should it be up to bloggers to tell the story of why Weekes got fired -oops I mean, why she resigned? That is what ticks me off most about the News-Leader editors and quite frankly, its crew of lazy reporters. There has been a pattern in reporting over the last few years of one sided, one dimensional stories. No trying to get another perspective, no going beyond the surface, no attempts to show the complexities of what is being presented. It wouldn't have taken much to find the long line of long term faculty and staff that Weekes had forced out of the College through assorted means -none professional and some probably illegal. She and her cronies made life miserable for many good people - but in the end, she died by the sword she used to slay others!

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean regarding one-deminsional reporting. I've been witness to it myself. For example, a News-Leader reporter basically does the PR work for an area city. In a story with some controversy the reporter simply took the city's word for it. When the lies were pointed out to the reporter, no follow up was done. Personally, I think the reporter is more interested in keeping a smooth working relationship with these city officials (in order to have story ideas handed over) than interested in doing some real reporting. If I see this happening with local city stories then I wonder how much more this happens with some of the bigger stories. Plus, the reporter may do this for self-preservation ... too little time, too much to do, etc.

Anonymous said...

The media should report news like it is history. Not report news to change the way people look at life on a daily basis.

With Robert Leger leaving there is a power vacuum since he was the main person who Gannett had run things. Why did he really leave?

Good reporters and news producers realize that they may or may not be stars—but the way they report stories and how they go about it effects and changes people lives in some cases forever.

Anonymous said...

The Ledge run things? ok.

Anonymous said...

back on the TV side, Laurie Patton'as on the way out at KY3, for a fundraising job at Chldren's Miracle Network I think.

Anonymous said...

Ledger didn't run things at the News-Leader. There were some who liked him but my take has been that a majority of the reporters did not. He left for Arizona to take a job there at a bigger newspaper, and to be closer to family. That was the official word. Unofficially, I heard he wanted a pay raise and Bookstaver said no ... but then ultimately ended up paying Messenger more than what Leger was requesting. But Leger didn't have any influence on the news content ... editorial page only.

Anonymous said...

I think though that most people liked Ledge. Although the award he won for "best of Gannett" was not received well due to the botched story it was associated with. If you recall the paper made a big deal of the city cruelly throwing people out on the street on christmas ever or something similar to that. Problem was is the building was unsafe as hell and ther were three feet of standing sewage in the basement and it was illeagal. So what was the city supposed to do? Bottom line was the city took the tough but correct action and the paper squealed all the way home.

Anonymous said...

leger ran things? ROTFL. there may be a vacuum associated with leger, but it has nothing to do with power.

Anonymous said...

What about a staged walk out---then they would listen!

Anonymous said...

The news media seems to support the idea of unions at Wal-Mart and everywhere else. What about at the News-Leader. Can the staff there form a union?

Where is Leger at and what is he doing?

Anonymous said...

Robert Leger sure did suck like a power vaccuum. Professionally speaking, I mean.

Anonymous said...

From the Society of Professional Journalists:

After 25 years at the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, former SPJ National President Robert Leger is leaving to become assistant editorial page editor at the Arizona Republic. His first day on the new job is Feb. 27. It looks as if Robert will be duking it out editorially with SPJ Membership Chairman Mark Scarp, an editorial writer for the East Valley Tribune in Scottsdale. We’ll keep you posted as the battle ensues...

That newspaper can be found online at http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/

Anonymous said...

What an amazing discussion. I worked at the N-L from 99 to 02, and you could have had this exact exchange at any point during those three years (boo Gannett, boo Ledford/Marymount, "everybody's leaving," etc.). If I didn't mind working bad hours for bad pay, I would have happily stayed forever.

Did Denise leave with Chris? She was nice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:36 is right on target. Touche. True then, true before then, true now. Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Republican Greene County Headquarters right next to a strip club---Glenstone and Sunshine
Now that is a story!

At least they do not have to walk far!

Anonymous said...

This has been an amazing read, Thanks Jenny for being a catalyst for this, but after failing to figure out what the hell anon 2:30 is refering to and why whatever is is has anything to do with PEOPLE LEAVING THE NEWS LEADER AND OTHER MEDIA, like a kid in the back seat of the family car I have to ask: Are we there yet?

Anonymous said...

Anon 1043: Not quite there yet, but it's a fun ride for sure.

I worked at the N-L from 99 to 02, and you could have had this exact exchange at any point during those three years (boo Gannett, boo Ledford/Marymount, "everybody's leaving," etc.).

To Anon 1236 I have got to ask -- you worked at the News-Leader for four years and you don't know how to spell Kate Marymont's last name?

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Ron Davis site catching fire---doing a public service.

I saw Tony Beason after Dylan concert---he said good---different. Y the way the new Dylan is a must for people to get---I have bought records sine 8 years old---this is the only lp---cd I ever could not stop listening to.

Dylan really talks of life---getting older---the end and God---all in a happy way.
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As far as Tony Beason---most of us love him---good posting sorry to see it head south.

As far as Huda goes---we need more press at City Hall---apartment Moratorium was almost story of the year until Millionaire Mayor stepped in at 11:55 to stand up for those renters---or builders!

The News-Leader---WELL!

rex said...

I'll be sorry to see Jenny and Laurie go. There are reporters and anchors here I'd buy a one way ticket. That Forhetz guy looks like a drag queen and his side kick on the desk is a mess. She couldn't report her way out of a paper bag. She sounds like someone pretending to be an anchor.

Anonymous said...

I think that is fair criticism, frankly. But now watch out, those touchy journalists are going to get mad at you for saying that!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1049. Ouch - You got me! And to think Kate actually hired me to be a copy editor.

Sheesh.

Anonymous said...

Kate Marymont hired more than one person who couldn't spell or use correct grammar. You're not the Lone Ranger.

Anonymous said...

Jenny "Edwards," formerly Filmer, formerly with the News-Leader, will now be a "funnel," says Greene County Presiding Commissioner Dave Coonrod.

Anonymous said...

One of the sadder aspects of the switch from journalism to PR by Ms. Fillmer/Edwards is that the county's $37,918 salary represents a pay raise sufficiently substantial that it lured her from a calling that she literally was born into. Someone with Jenny's talents and local experience (a rarity in Gannett newsrooms, where the door revolves at dizzying speed) should've been better rewarded. However, I doubt that she left the News-Leader solely because of pay.

Anonymous said...

Jinny Filmer Edwards? Who did she marry anyway?

Anon 9:31 makes an excellent point though, which has been stated elsewhere on this same post. Reporters at the News-Leader are not paid enough to prevent the revolving door. They can leave for PR type jobs and raise their pay a lot. I knew a News-Leader veteran of 20-years that left and increases his pay when he took at $34,000 a year job about 10 years ago!

Desdinova the Eternal Light said...

REX - DON'T EVER LET ME HERE YOU SAY THAT ABOUT CARA - SHE'S THE ONLY WOMAN I LOVE (okay besides Felicity Kendal and Amanda Blake)! BTW REX, what TV station do YOU report for or are you an appliance repair man who thinks he knows about the media? Even worse you are probably (everyone sing along) Vincent David John Jacob Jingle Himerschmit Shotenkirk Shimmy Shimmy Ko-ko Bop Ramma
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Anonymous said...

Desdinova: Rex is bitter because Cara Connley turned him down for a date. She probably said "Ron, you know I don't date WEATHER GUYS."

DocLarry said...

I have nothing pithy to say or any opinion to add. I just want to see 100 comments posted on Chatter.

417pundit said...

Taa-Daa!

Anonymous said...

It's fascinating to hear who's holding things together in the newsroom now. Things must have gotten really bad there if her typical behavior is what passes for boosting morale.

Anonymous said...

Going from working for Gannett to working for Dave Coonrod - yikes, now there's a decision I wouldn't want to make. Things must be really bad at the Mis-Leader!!!

Anonymous said...

This one is so losing steam ... time to get a new topic going ... go to top of blog.

Anonymous said...

Susan Wade -- PR at Convention and Visitors Bureau

Donna Barton -- PR at Cox

Tammy Something-or-other -- PR job with Teamsters

Laura Bauer -- By far the biggest reporter loss of them all.

The list goes on and on and on...

Anonymous said...

It's far too much fun to nag on terrible bosses

Anonymous said...

Delois Weekes is the devil

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Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me the starting salary for reporters at the N-L? I have 12 years newspaper journalism experience in Missouri, so if the pay is right, maybe they are ready for me.

Anonymous said...

Well, Delois Weekes did it again. After 10 months at Clarkson College, she was given the choice to either resign or she would be fired. If better reporting had been done regarding her presidency at Cox College, maybe another college would not have had to have gone through the misery of DeLoris Weekes. She forced out faculty and Administration without "firing" them. And when the Controller left because she didn't approve of Weekes conduct, you knew things were going down the tubes fast. She is a liar, she never stands by her promises, and destroys the moral of all employees under her. If you show any form of caring or emotion, you do not belong in her organization, and are encouraged to resign. In education, you need to care about your students and fight for them. She disposed of time honored traditions because they did not fit with her religious observances and then lied about the reasons why when we all knew it. The college is Episcopalian, it is not her place to change such traditions. She stopped the flow of communication throughout the college, maing everything pass through her for approval. We felt like we were in prison. However, she is certainly a good actress when she wants to be. A warning to any future colleges, avoid this woman at all costs.

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