Friday, October 30, 2009

Body Count


The merger of WEHCO Media, Inc. and Stephens Media, Inc. is in full force, marking, if not the end of newspapers, the end of competing efforts to gather the news and competing ideas on the editorial page. Like most corporate mergers it is about market share and profits, not about delivering an improved product. Employees are merely costs to be controlled, not people to be nurtured and respected. Many have been fired, and you can see the names on the wall at Ozarks Unbound. Many of them are my friends, so perhaps I have difficulty in offering any objective analysis of why some were fired while others remained on the corporate payroll. My heartfelt condolences to the journalists and their families.

9 comments:

  1. You need to get your mind around why the ADG fired George Arnold and replaced him with Mike Masterson. That will be the key to understanding the policy in play.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some of the traits most obvious in the work of George Arnold were honesty, intelligence, ability to write clearly and accurately, command of the language, willingness to analyze facts and share them.
    The problem may be that the people in charge don't want employees who are able to think better than they can.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Re: George--The usual *don't rock the boat* writ large.
    I had a friend who worked at the dog. Her non-Christian beliefs made her employment there brief.
    What seems like an innovative bus. model (charge for everything, including web content) is just a reflection of their state-wide monopoly, now complete.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am told Nate Allen is also a casualty of this merger. No more "Hog Calls" in our local paper is a HUGE travesty! I'll be watching Monday's paper hoping this is just an ugly rumor and that Nate's insight will grace the pages as always. Fingers are crossed but I am NOT optimistic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just think if one day all newspapers become obsolete and only tv and internet news are left. How easy will that be to control, monitor, or shut down...

    ReplyDelete
  6. How can they justify keeping an asshole like Harton and getting rid of a fine reporter like Nate Allen?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Scariest Saturday night trick you'll see on Halloween - from your "local" daily headlines (NWATimes, Oct 31, A1)

    "NEWSPAPER JOINT VENTURE KICKS OFF SUNDAY"

    (Then, on A6) -- but only after questions about coverage of comics and Razorbacks:

    Q. " WILL EACH PAPER HAVE ITS OWN VOICE?"

    A. "THERE WILL BE A SINGLE EDITORIAL VOICE FOR ALL FOUR LOCAL DAILY NEWSPAPERS THROUGH A COMMON EDITORIAL BOARD."

    (Merged papers include the Norrhwest Arkansas Times, Springdale Morning News, Benton County Daily Record, Northwest Edition of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, plus associated weekly newspapers -- not to mention the electronic media).)

    If that's not enough of a knee-knocker, how about this from the sibling ADG today (Oct 31 -2D)

    THE ARRANGEMENT STIPULATES THAT STEPHENS MEDIA WILL OVERSEE THE NEWS CONTENT OF ALL PUBLICATIONS EXCEPT FOR THE NORTHWEST EDITION OF THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE."

    Bradbury, Orwell, and Orson Welles -- eat your hearts out.

    Might as well move J School to the Walton Busines College.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The media ghouls are howling tonight -- all the way to the bank. Now they, too, are too big to fail!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rusty Turner is the worst ever, and they kept him because his Oklahoma Outlook on politics is exactly what the Stephens media masters want.

    ReplyDelete