Sunday, April 20, 2008

McClatchy’s still five stars for some

Last Thursday I posted At the N&O job cuts loom.

McClatchy News, the parent company of the Raleigh News & Observer whose biased, frequently false and racially inflammatory Duke lacrosse "rape scandal” coverage did so much to launch and sustain the Nifong/DPD frame-up attempt, has huge financial problems.

McClatchy’s stock has plummeted, Moody rates its bond “junk,” and top executives are cutting jobs at the N&O and other papers in its chain.

But you may be asking: “What about McClatchy’s senior executives? How are they doing? I hope they’re at least doing well.”

Yes, Virginia, they are.

This year McClatchy’s board of directors voted CEO Gary Pruitt a six figure performance bonus from stockholder funds.

And now we read at Kevin Gregory’s McClatchy Watch:

A McClatchy executive with expensive tastes created a stir when he visited the Raleigh News & Observer last week.

McClatchy employees in Raleigh are a little stressed, and who can blame them. McClatchy's stock price is down 70 percent over the past year, the company has instituted cost-cutting measures, and layoffs and buyouts are in the works at other McClatchy papers.

Last week executives in Raleigh spoke with staff about stiff measures including possible layoffs. It's no big surprise that morale is awful.

So when Howard Weaver, McClatchy's Vice President for News, visited The News and Observer last week, employees were more than a little miffed to learn he was staying at the pricey and luxurious Umstead Hotel and Spa.

The Umstead Hotel and Spa is definitely a luxurious place to stay. Web site here.

At a meeting with local McClatchy employees, Weaver was called out by Joseph Neff, who happens to be an investigative reporter for the News & Observer.

Neff asked why he was staying in a five-star hotel while the company was having financial struggles and low-level employees were being asked to sacrifice.
There’s much more to Gregory’s post, including Weaver’s explanation that his Umstead stay was really a "cost-cutting" move.

Read all about it here and look for more soon.

Meanwhile, a big hat tip to Gregory for an outstanding post filled with news I doubt we’ll read in the N&O.


Archer05 said...

Someone at the ‘Free Republic’ site pays close attention to the decline of the media. They headline the news articles with (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™.)

When you see the statistics of layoffs and declining readership in boldface, it paints a clearer picture for the future of print media.

kbp said...

It's really rather sad to watch where the press is helping to take itself.