Thursday, June 19, 2008

At the N&O: job cuts; then a scolding

At his eponymous blog former N&O columnist G. D. Gearino posted about a “surprise scolding from the boss.” Here are excerpts from Gearino's post, with my comments below the star line.

When the News & Observer’s journalists gathered Tuesday afternoon for a post-layoff talk with publisher Orage Quarles, they surely expected some combination of condolences on the loss of 16 people from the newsroom and pep talk as they head into a still-uncertain future — with perhaps a word of thanks for good work under trying circumstances thrown in for good measure.

Boy, were they wrong.

Instead, a visibly angry Quarles scolded the news staffers at length.

He didn’t like the fact that somebody from the newsroom had apparently talked to WRAL television, which last week featured a story on the N&O’s then-pending layoffs.

He didn’t like what he saw as a lack of enthusiasm about the announced merger of some news functions with the Charlotte Observer, the one-time rival and now uneasy corporate bedfellow. . . .

Gearino’s entire post is here.



If you’ve already read Gearino’s post, you’ve seen his civil email intended to give Quarles a chance to respond to N&O staffers with less heat and more light. And you’ve seen Quarles’ response which can fairly be called "dismissive."

Quarles’ response led me to leave the following comment on Gearino's post thread:

The treatment N&O staffers are complaining about is a lot like the treatment many N&O readers have received from senior editors and Mr. Quarles.

Anyone who doubts that can read the comment threads at the Editors’ Blog.

Threads of posts having to do with the N&O’s biased, often wrong and racially inflammatory Duke lacrosse coverage are especially revealing.

John in Carolina
One more time: Gearino’s post.


Anonymous said...

Did anyone tape Quarles' comments?

Archer05 said...

You just can’t feel sorry for these newspapers going out of business,can you?
Chicago Tribune: Giving Away Obama
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“Remember how the media claims they are fair and balanced?

Remember how "journalists" say that all they do is "report the facts" and that their overwhelming lefitism is left at home when they ride their eco-friendly bikes to work?

Remember how they claim that they are the "watchdogs" of politicians and don't involve themselves in politics..."
Article has actual pictures.

Archer05 said...

McClatchy is under a mountain of debt, but keeps a stiff upper lip.
"We continue to expect our debt balance at the end of 2008 to be approximately $2 billion," said McClatchy CFO Pat Talamantes.

Anonymous said...

John: This is OT, but check out James Kirchick's column in the June 16 edition of the LA Times. He is asst editor of The New Republic, and his piece is about the "lies" told by GWB in the run-up to the Iraq invasion.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...


I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating.

The sooner the N&O disappears from the landscape, the better it will be. It is rotting from within.


f1guyus said...

Mr Quarles is afraid he's going to lose his job. Tough times for folks in the print media right now. It's just too bad they decided in the 60's to be "crusading liberals" instead of objective reporters. The internet still would have happened but if they (the newspapers) weren't seeing things through an us/them lens they might be better positioned to lead the info revolution instead of being run over by it.