Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

NP CFO Randy Alcorn Let Go

Randy Alcorn, Chief Financial Officer of the Santa Barbara News-Press, was let go yesterday according to Craig Smith's Blog. You are either with us or against us at the News-Press and they clearly will take no dissension at all.


Anonymous David Pritchett said...

Obviously, finances no longer matter there. Considering how the loss of paying subscribers and high-quality writers worth reading no longer matters to the NewsPress, why would they still need a Chief Financial Officer??

SBChannels-17, community-access cable TV-17, has added more showings of the employees march and rally that occurred last week on Wednesday. This was a Blogabarbara topic on 10th Dec.

Here is the new schedule for Channel 17, now including some fantastic family viewing for Christmas Eve.

Wed., Dec. 13 at 5 PM and 10:30 PM
Thurs., Dec. 14 at 8 PM
Sat., Dec. 16 at 11 AM
Sunday, Dec. 17 at 10:30 PM
Monday Dec. 18 at 11 AM
Tuesd, Dec. 19 at 7 PM
Wed., Dec. 20 at 9 AM and 10:30 PM
Sat., Dec. 23 at 10:30 PM
Sunday Dec. 24 at 9 PM

12/12/2006 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


12/12/2006 11:07 AM  
Anonymous news guy said...

The firing of Randy Alcorn is so mind-boggling that you have to wonder if McCaw is trying to kill the News-Press.


12/12/2006 1:08 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

I too agree the Newspress mess is rubbish in Santa Barbara.

Why do these meaningless five and fewer word spin bombs keep getting authorized for posting?

12/12/2006 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

So long Randy. I did not always (or often) agree with you, but I always read your thoughful well-written opinion pieces. The few times that we exchanged e-mails debating your points, you were always articulate and civil. I would hope that the Independent would see fit to give you some column space periodically so that we can continue to ponder your point of view. Good luck and fair wind.

12/12/2006 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Faithful Reader said...

If the Indy needs anything, it is definitely a Libertarian columnist.

How many billable hours does Huff charge for trolling Blogabarbara and entering such one-word gems like "Rubbish!"?

12/12/2006 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved Randy's columns.
I love Travis's columns.
I can't stomach Doc Laura.
I'm afraid that Wendy is not too smart,
and that the bloga-gripers are taunting her into madness.

12/12/2006 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Nelville Flynn said...

The News-Press is continuing its program of top-to-bottom improvements, including more engaging page layouts, tighter and brighter investigative reporting, and most importantly, the removal of bias from news reporting.

Unfortunately, forces both inside and outside the newspaper are trying to thwart these goals for their own reasons. Inside the newspaper, subversives have been identified and dealt with appropriately -- in some cases removed from employment while other cases are pending. For some reason, a few critics and bloggers seem to expect the News-Press to tolerate subversives while any other company is free (indeed expected) to terminate employees who work from within to sabotage the company.

Make no mistake: This has nothing to do with "bias" at the News-Press or working conditions. The unionization campaign began shortly after employees of another midsized newspaper, the Patriot-News in Pennsylvania, voted to decertify their union. The Teamsters then sensed an opportunity to avenge this loss by teaming with developers and politicians with their own narrow agendas against the News-Press. They succeeded in creating an atmosphere of mistrust and continue to push their agendas, sometimes with the complicity of News-Press employees.

Although steps have been taken to deal with this problem, it remains to a small extent. This is obviously unacceptable to News-Press management and will continue to be addressed.

12/12/2006 8:22 PM  
Blogger passing-by said...

I concur with eckermann. About 85% of the time I found Alcorn's column annoyingly wrong-headed, although the remaining 15% he was exactly right. No matter what, though, Mr. Alcorn seemed to be a thoughtful, straight-ahead guy who actually meant what he wrote. He'll find a better job soon, I suspect.

12/12/2006 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nelville says: "The Teamsters then sensed an opportunity to avenge this loss by teaming with developers and politicians with their own narrow agendas against the News-Press."

If this is the case, why haven't I met any of these developers or politicans at union meetings? All actions of the Teamsters are by consensus of those who attend union meetings.

Obviously, Nelville hasn't attended any union meetings. Well, I have.

12/12/2006 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nelville says: "The Teamsters then sensed an opportunity to avenge this loss by teaming with developers and politicians with their own narrow agendas against the News-Press."

Geez... I voted for the Teamsters, and I have yet to see a developer or politician at any of our union meetings.

And the Teamsters take no action without a majority vote of those attending the meetings.

12/12/2006 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alcorn was dead wood. His reports were dead. He was an over-paid CFO that could not balance his check book. His only saving grace was that the NY Times was 3000 miles away, and did not or care not to look into his TOTAL lack of knowledge. Thank you Wendy for making the hard choices.

12/13/2006 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is more house cleaning that needs to be done to improve the paper.

12/13/2006 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Alcorn was so bad, as 7:59 a.m. suggests, why did Wendy wait six years to get rid of him?

12/13/2006 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Another Ex said...

Whoever wrote the dead wood comment clearly is part of the NP smear machine. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I worked with Randy for many years and was on the receiving end of some of his infamous flaming-arrow missives.
We bumped heads more than once, but ultimately grew to a grudging respect..
Having worked at a number of newspapers, I can tell you that Alcorn knows as much about the business side of our business as anyone I've ever dealth with. He can be a jerk, but incompetent he is not.
Randy got the ax because, like so many of the rest of us, he represented accountability and adult supervision in this increasingly soiled sandbox called the News-Press.
As for hard choices, the one Wendy and her cohorts face constantly -- and seem to always decide wrongly -- is how to treat others with decency and respect.
I've said it before: All the money in the world won't buy integrity.

12/13/2006 11:00 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Re: 8:41 am's post: "If Alcorn was so bad, as 7:59 a.m. suggests, why did Wendy wait six years to get rid of him?"

For the same reason it took 6 years to get rid of Melinda Burns & all the other "subversives." And that reason is... well, we're still waiting to hear the answer. Please, Nelville, won't you enlighten us?

12/13/2006 12:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Another Ex. Randy always was a total professional The company thrived for many years under his financial management. Being upper management and in charge of the money, Randy made difficult decisions that were often unpopular but he had to follow the company line. He is one of those unique people who can totally separate the personal from the professional on the job. It is how he has survived over the last few years. I think anyone who has ever had the pleasure of having a one on one with him can attest to the fact that beneath the steely exterior is a pretty neat guy. Randy has been the voice of reason in a psychotic enviornment and has probably provided more of a buffer than people realize. Things can only digress faster now that he is gone.

12/13/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Alcorn, Chief Financial Officer, was terminated on Monday, December 11, 2006.The termination was performance related.

As this is a personnel matter, we decline to provide more details about the specific reasons or circumstances that led to his termination. We are confident that any responsible business leader faced with this type of situation would have made the same decision we did to its interests.

It's unfortunate that terminated employees can characterize their departure from a company any way the choose. The paper stands by its decision and will continue to make personnel decisions that safeguard and improve its operations.

12/14/2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger cookie jill said...

Heard that Sara Sinclair was booted.

12/14/2006 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that an employer generally can not disclose personnel related information. But that begs the question how it can release the following without breaching the employee's right of privacy "The termination was performance related." The statement essentially says Alcorn did a poor job, which is classically the type of personnel information that may not be disclosed. If untrue, it is also defamatory. But where have such concerns that stopped the SBNP from making disclosures under circumstances it would decry when applied to itself?

12/14/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

But where have such concerns that stopped the SBNP from making disclosures under circumstances it would decry when applied to itself?

cf. Agnes Huff-and-Puff's Press Release regarding Melinda Burns's termination, which certainly crossed the line in terms of disclosing details from a personnel file.

The usual hypocritical BS.....

12/14/2006 6:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:48 ...

You are reading an anonymous blog comment. Though it is written in a corporatese, if you will, that a contemporary company would apply to this category of communication, no method exists to prove this blog comment taken at face value originates with Blogabarbara, Wendy McCaw, Agnes, Nipper, Spendy McFlaw, The SS, Dr. Laura, Dr. Suess, Starshine, Lambchop, Barney or any other agents or affiliates presently or formerly -- or not -- connected in any way shape or form with the Santa Barbara News-Press. Thank you, and have a nice day.

12/15/2006 12:02 AM  

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