Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Would you like to sign our ad? By the way, today's payday, right?

This just in from a citizen stringer -- it seems none of you read the News-Press anymore! I'm surprised I didn't hear about this earlier...

Today's paper has a full page ad extolling the wonderfulness of working at the News-Press, signed (many illegibly) by about 30 employees (?). There are no printed names under the signatures.

The best line starts "We thank Wendy McCaw for... ."

Any thoughts as to whether the employees signed on willy-nilly?


Anonymous allegro805 said...

I have no doubt that many if not all of the signers agree with the "we are fed up" with the protests sentiment.

However, the fact that there's a need for an ad like this speaks volumes ("Look! There are employees that love working here!!! They really do!") and it's of a piece with the whole tone that's been perpetuated of "the other side is just a bunch of bitter troublemakers...."

Funny how so many "troublemakers" could be so concentrated among the ranks of just one employer. You don't see any other local business generating so much buzz and brouhaha over the state of employee relations, for what, seven months now? Wonder why that is.

Oh, that's right... it's a "smear campaign" orchestrated from within the walls of City Hall and the Independent... and the LA Times, of course, and the American Journalism Review. I'm sure I left someone out. Yes, yes, this whole "so-called problem" is a complete fabrication. Don't be fooled by the malcontents!

2/14/2007 4:24 PM  
Anonymous harping said...

Sounds like something Kim Jong-Il would require his servants to sign.

2/14/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


That almost seems like selling one's soul to satin.

Sign here and you can keep your job!

2/14/2007 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I saw this page at my office. If it's for real and all of the signers agreed wtih the statement, it would be very surprising. I sure wish one or more of them would post and let us know how this all went down.

My thinking is that didn't put their heart into it. But maybe there's a story I have been missing. If your sig is on this page, please post and let us know why you signed!

2/14/2007 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would one print something like that? true or not.
That is not something you print in a newspaper and a newspaper should not to have do.

Next time get a Hallmark it's like $3-$4.

2/14/2007 5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the question is who wrote it? We? all those who signed it? there's that word "loyalty" again..I'd much rather have honest employees than loyal ones (my dog's pretty loyal!) sounds like Travis is trying to pull rabbits out of his hat!

2/14/2007 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty pathetic that Wendy and the Red Baron are now playing the non-newsroom vs. newsroom staff card. "Ja Wohl! You vill write zeese artikles about ze vunderful vild pigs of Santa Cruz Island, or vee vill shoot that circulation grunt over zere!"

Please NLRB, save us!

2/14/2007 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put [Wendy, the NP ?] back together again. circle the wagons, because ALL these other folks aren't right, they are just haters. you're either Wendy or not Wendy, now THAT'S her reality.

2/14/2007 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sara! you got scooped .... lol lol.
I guess maybe there is a need for the News Press.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day.

p.s.. I'm sure you won't let that happen again.

2/14/2007 5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just heard Travis has been using the AM 1290 airwaves explaining the Constitution and how employees current and ex, don't have freedom of speach rights!

2/14/2007 6:13 PM  
Anonymous dd said...

Did you guys ever think that maybe they needed to fill a page (as in, it's blank 'cause there's no news fit to print or the advertisers have fled). :-) dd

2/14/2007 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:13 that is soooo funny.
It's as if this can't get any better but it does.
This is gonna make one funny movie.

2/14/2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They handed me a 6 pack and said I could have it if I signed a blank piece of paper. I just thought Wendy wanted my autograph... cheers!

2/14/2007 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's what? Where are the podcasts to refute this?

2/14/2007 6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Changing the subject slightly: fascinating article in the San Francisco Chronicle about citizen journalists.
[SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle 2/11, AUTHOR: Joe Garofoli]
Clear Channel's KFTY-TV in Santa Rosa (CA) has fired most of its
news-gathering staff and, over the next few months, will be asking
people in the community -- its independent filmmakers, its college
students and professors, its civic leaders and others -- to provide
programming for the station. Will they be paid? That's being worked
out. Who will cover the harder-edged stories? Some will be culled from
local newspaper and TV online sites and "other sources" that are still
being discussed. "There will be a loss in local coverage, I'm not
going to lie to you," says a Clear Channel executive. "But there are a
lot of other places to get most of that information."

2/14/2007 7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 30 out of 200 employees? That is pretty sad! I can remember when we all stood outside for a huge employee photo with big smiles on our faces. We really were happy to be working there! I think about 100 showed up and most that didn't work nights and were sleeping or were off. That wasn't too many years ago either. If someone could decipher the signatures, I would like to know how many are actually management versus rank and file. Anybody from production know the actual count?
This might be more revealing than they expect it to be...

2/14/2007 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had to go find a paper to see what ad you were talking about.

“We Speak – Over the course of the past seven months you have heard one side of the story,” it says. “You have heard little of us and our continued loyalty.”

How come?

If the “non newsroom” people haven’t been heard from, it’s because Wendy McCaw never told their story.

McCaw refused to speak with the New York Times – she could have told their “side” then, across the country.

Same with the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, American Journalism Review, and so on.

For crying out loud, Wendy owns a newspaper and a radio station – she could have used those -- anytime -- to make sure her non-newsroom people were “heard.”

She writes front page “letters to readers.”

She has a daily newspaper editorial.

She can run full page ads like the one today.

She hires professional “spokepersons.”

She could have told the pastors and priests who wanted to meet about her loyal employees.

She could have had her pals Michael Douglas or Rob Lowe give a speech about them.

She could have called a press conference. Anytime.

And McCaw can’t get the word out on behalf of her loyal non-newsroom employees?

Is she totally incompetent?

Or is she just spinning again -- like with her “Ten Commandments” memo yesterday?

Maybe “non newsroom” people would have been able to tell their own “side,” if McCaw had allowed them to speak.

What would Randy Alcorn have said, before being fired, after decades of loyalty to the paper?

How about Raul Gil, before quitting, after decades of loyalty to the paper?

What about Sarah Sinclair, before quitting, after decades of loyalty?

Toni MacDonald?


McCaw even threatened to sue the AJR reporter if the reporter kept calling the paper, trying to talk to someone. Anyone.

The employees signing the page with 600 years of experience should be fed up at what a rookie like McCaw and the food writer from the newsroom have done to 100-year old newspaper that those employees have served so well for so long.

They should be really fed up.

The whole town is.

2/14/2007 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:36 well put.
It' what everone thinks that is able to.

2/14/2007 11:19 PM  
Anonymous Stay tuned said...

i second anon. 11:19 & 9:36 comments. i couldn't resist picking up a copy of the emaciated n-p just to see that full-page ad. it is so pathetic. i wouldn't be surprised if they got the janitors to sign since some of the "signatures" appear to be illegible initials & as reported there are no printed names beneath. what's really odd, though, is that although the n-p has failed to include any coverage or letters about the news-mess, the ad says "over the course of the past 7 months you have heard one side of the story." where would readers have heard "one side of the story" except for what the n-p originally spewed? and they never even explain what "story" they are they referring to, so this will simply confuse the dwindling subscribers they have left who either don't have access to other media or haven't cared enough to follow the story via other sources. how idiotic. but i'm sure more idiocy will follow, so stay tuned.

2/14/2007 11:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:36, that was well put. I was thinking "right on" the whole way through.

7:23, you are right. I too stood for those photos. And we were very very happy to be working there. Uuggh.

To those who signed the pro-McCaw ad, please do tell us what went down. What was your thought process as you picked up the pen and added your name?

- a recently departed employee

2/14/2007 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't think for one minute that the NP isn't --

1) taking note of those who failed to sign the ad, and

2) strongly suggesting that anyone who doesn't sign is disloyal and therefore not long for the scrap heap (which is how management thinks of people it has no further use for).

This "circulation" of a loyalty oath may well be an unfair labor practice, given the established pattern of a "hit list" for union supporters.

2/15/2007 5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More people fired today? Happy Valentine Day. Unbelievable.

2/15/2007 8:34 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Can anyone confirm?

2/15/2007 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 4:25 says "That almost seems like selling one's soul to satin."

Well, I suppose that's certainly better than selling out to polyester.

2/15/2007 11:53 AM  
Anonymous harping said...

Anon. 11:53: I had tried to think of something funny to write about that "satin/satan" post but gave up. Yours gave me a chuckle.

2/15/2007 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I thought satan wore Prada - doesn't that come in polyester?

2/15/2007 7:35 PM  
Blogger M. L. said...

What nobody has mentioned in all this evil from the NewslessMess, is that McCaw and her henchmen have REMOVED OUR VOICE from the local forum. Isn't that illegal? Shouldn't it be??
What gives her the right to DENY WE, THE READERS, our own FREEDOM OF SPEECH?? As it is, we may write letters to the editor, but unless they agree with McCaw's distorted reality, they won't get published.
WENDY, YOU DON'T BELONG HERE. GO AWAY and leave us OUR newspaper.

2/20/2007 10:29 AM  

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