Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Firing Jesus to Save a Buck...

Jim Logan from the Valley Voice tells The Independent that 'Wendy would fire Jesus to save a buck'. Quote of the Week.

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Blogger Bill Carson said...

Due to the recession, the nation lost 250,000 jobs in November.

Is this all somehow Wendy's fault?

12/03/2008 9:34 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Bill -- do you really think that spending hundreds of thousands (?) on lawyers helped her face the recession? Of course it isn't her fault we are in a recession but did she do much to help herself when she could? Doesn't seem like it to me.

12/03/2008 9:39 PM  
Anonymous wallfly said...

No-one is blaming Wendy McCaw for the economy or the credit crisis.

The Indy seems to be doing fine... is print media really dead around here?

Maybe it is just that Wendy isn't very good at what she does.

12/04/2008 4:19 AM  
Anonymous livingLO said...

I want to thank Wendy for prompting me to cancel my subscriptions to print media and making the move to digital.

I've learned that the internet provides effortless access to news from many sources and I'm saving subscription dollars while reducing my contribution to the landfill.

Originally, I thought that the answer was to "fix" the damage done by Wendy so that I could get back to reading my hometown paper. Now I realize she did me a favor by forcing me to seek out other news sources...and viewpoints.

Thanks, Wendy

12/04/2008 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Free Country said...

The last time I looked this was a free country.

Wendy can do whatever she wants with her paper.

So like it or lump it!

12/04/2008 7:56 AM  
Anonymous response to Wallfly said...

Whether Wendy is good at what she does, or not, is none of your business.
So, mind your own business.

12/04/2008 7:58 AM  
Anonymous The beat goes on said...

Wendy's trashed her businesses for the sake of her obsession with control, anti-unionism, and attacking her enemies. She and her lawyers bristled at the suggestion that her lack of journalistic experience or education tend to explain her incompetent handling of the content side of the News-Press, but that's part of it; journalistic ignorance and megalomania are not a productive combination. She is more about making sure employees know who's boss and whose "real estate" is the space in the newspaper, than in putting out a quality paper. Her finances have to be as skewed and off-kilter as can be, given her profligate and mostly unnecessary resort to lawyers, e.g., re: the Paterno libel suit (which resulted in her having to pay Paterno's lawyers as well as her own), the Michael Todd restraining order, the threats to local businesses that put "McCaw, Obey the Law" signs in their windows, the Indy lawsuit, a dozen bogus charges against the union filed with the NLRB, bogus objections to a union election win, and overlawyering its defense to ULPs (all of which could have been avoided). Since this is not about rational business judgment and is also not about rational journalistic judgment, and since we don't know what her budget actually looks like, the answer is, Yes, this latest move and her continuing reign of terror are her fault. She has control over all of this, and could settle virtually all of it in a heartbeat if she wanted to. So far, no sign that she does.

12/04/2008 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Peter Pan said...

If you want a daily local paper, subscribe to it.

Otherwise keep boycotting it, demanding union control of content, harassing advertisers, and dancing with glee at every economic downturn.

I hope Wendy closes the paper down. And I hope Von's closes their Victoria store because local users stuck a knife in their own backs when they boycotted the store during the last union thugging.

You know, the one where those who virtuously refused to cross union picket lines went to Trader Joes instead which is a non-union shop in the first place!

And Trader Joe responded to that outburst of new distorted loyalty by raising all their prices.

Liberal's distorted understanding of capitalism will be death to our nation's economy.

12/04/2008 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Not bloody likely said...

Free Country: Wendy can do what she wants with her paper, but she's not immune to criticism, since all others are free to criticize, in this wonderful country of ours. What Wendy doesn't have the right to do, FC, is screw other people because they chose to organize themselves into a union. That is illegal and should be in our free country. Her rights are not without limit.

Response to Wallfly, yes, Wendy is an incompetent obsessive boorish vindictive overly-entitled spoiled brat. If she weren't running a newspaper in that manner, most of us probably wouldn't know about those flaws. Since she chose that path, she has to live with the consequences of being a public figure running a public operation. . . into the ground. Pretty hard to say that a person running a newspaper shouldn't receive attention; what else is a newspaper about?

Peter, people want a local paper that is high quality, and treats its staff well. That actually goes hand in hand, as many enlightened employers can attest. Keep drinking the kool-aid about the union demanding control of content; that observation shows you're buying the SBNP line of b.s., and also that you don't understand the reporting/publishing process, which necessarily is collaborative. Reporters report, write, have story ideas, and then editors edit. So, until Wendy and Arthur and Trav are writing all the stories themselves -- which means overcoming their factually-challenged disabilities -- they will have to cede some degree of content control to the people who are actually doing the writing. Not ultimate, absolute control, but some degree, because they have employed others to do the writing, reporting and editing. I know it pains them and you that the reporters prefer to write for an ethical paper, and that they wish to protect their individual integrity, but most folks in the journalism world who aren't control freaks to the McCavian degree respect and even encourage ethical sensibility and accept basic human and employee rights, since it is the law of the land.

Finally, capitalism run amok is what's torn our current economy to shreds, and capitalist mindless control without conscience is what's turned the SBNP into a sad rag, though one that could be turned around if management would conduct itself in a manner consistent with labor law and ethical journalism. Can be done, and maybe some day Wendy will accept that.

12/04/2008 6:03 PM  
Anonymous wallfly said...

If Wendy were a private person, her incompetence would be none of my business.

But she is a public person, owning and running a newspaper that is deeply entwined with my community.

Without Tom Storke and the News-Press, we'd be Oxnard, or Long Beach.

So Wendy's incompetence is my business.

Oh sure, she owns it, she has the right to trash it. Doesn't mean she is competent.

12/04/2008 8:30 PM  
Anonymous We love you Wendy said...

We love you Wendy!

12/04/2008 8:37 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Based on what I rejected tonight, there are a few Blog Trolls or at least one person with an axe to grind! Of course Wendy can do what she wants -- that's not the point....Not Bloody ditto.

12/04/2008 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Adding it up said...

If Jesus was not pulling his weight bringing in classified ads, I'd fire him too.

12/05/2008 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Oh really said...

Adding it up, when Wendy starts firing people for legitimate -- as opposed to illegal -- reasons like the one you cited, and treats them humanely as they exit, then she can be left uncriticized.

12/05/2008 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Peter Pan said...

I want a paper where the staff treats its bosses with deference and respect. I don't want any paper where the staff is actively at war with its owners and trying blatently to bring it down. Staff with that little professionalism, self-control and bias cannot write what I want to read.

12/06/2008 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Humble Pie said...

Peter, you want a sycophant paper, you've got it. True journalists are skeptics, critical thinkers, people who question authority and don't stand for the b.s. they get from their bosses, the government, business leaders, or anyone else who's trying to promote something in the paper.

Sounds like what you want to read are press releases from pro-Wendy politicians, writers who suck up to the rich and famous, and are happy when the poor and downtrodden stay that way.

There doesn't have to be an "active war" between labor and management; that only happens when the bosses show absolutely no respect for their employees, lie to them, bait and switch them, keep demanding more work for the same or less pay, consider them interchangeable pawns with no independence or integrity, and tell the public that the editorial page is the only place where opinions should appear while pressuring employees to add management's opinions to the news. Not to mention committing blatant and repeated violations of employee rights.

If your vision of a paper where the staff cowers at the sight of authority were the norm, we'd never have offloaded Nixon, or exposed a single scandal.

When management resolves to show some basic respect for the law, the truth, and individual and institutional journalistic integrity, then there can once again be a quality newspaper produced from the building facing the Plaza.

12/06/2008 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Peter Pan said...

Wendy can't fire people for illegal reasons, so apparently she has done nothing wrong because none of these people have been re-instated. Stop lying about her.

12/06/2008 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Twisted said...

Peter, are you saying Wendy is a lawgiver, or above the law? Don't know what planet that statement comes from, but an administrative law judge said she fired 9 people for illegal reasons, and now the NLRB is going to prosecute her for a 10th. She has stalled the legal process, as she routinely does, delayed the remedy, but not forever. Wendy's more like a criminal who's committed many a crime, but has enough money to make bail, spin the heck out of the case and keep out of jail while her appeals go on and on (though she is actually a flight risk). But none of those delay gambits have anything to do with the fact that she's violated the law many times over, and not just by firing people. And she's lied under oath, bullied people, made her paper unethical, lied in full-page ads, and somehow labels herself "victim" when she is the perpetrator.

Justice, however, will be served.

12/07/2008 5:57 AM  
Anonymous Art said...

Advertisers continue to advertise with the NP, rather than switching exclusively to the Independent or the Daily Sound. And readers haven't exactly supported the alternatives financially the way they could--edhat shows very few paid readers, Noozhawk is actively soliciting donations, and the Sound now offers paid delivery. Former N-P readers can continue to complain about Wendy all they want, but the bottom line, literally, is in the financial support. One way to make the NP completely irrelevant is to strengthen the alternatives and forget about Wendy altogether. If the Sound, for example, received a huge influx of advertising and subscription dollars (that turned away from the NP)it would very well rise to the occaision and become the SB daily that truly serves the community. Just a thought.

12/07/2008 10:21 AM  
Anonymous PeterPan said...

The reason the Daily Sound is thriving is because it takes a more conservative slant than when the old fired Pravda hack crowd was at the NewsPress. The reason the NewsPress continues to thrive is because they got rid of the same crowd.

There is a lesson here. Print media readers tend to be conservative. Liberals and progressives are more into alternate media. Don't shoot your conservative readers if you want print media to survive.

12/07/2008 7:26 PM  
Anonymous Planet Earth said...

Peter, make up your mind. I know you want to disconnect the two (diminishing prosperity and the N-P), but this whole thread is premised on the fact that the News-Press isn't doing so well, and why that's the case. It certainly has lost circulation, it's laid off people, and it's complained of difficult times, changing its explanation with the direction of the wind. How much more of a downturn in the News-Press' fortunes do you need to accept that it isn't thriving?

Whatever you might say about it, you can't connect "success" with its current crop of reporters or opinion writers. And damned if I know where you got the idea that the Sound "takes a more conservative slant."

12/08/2008 8:07 AM  
Blogger Voodoo Picnic said...

Beach Boys' "Wendy"

Wendy, Wendy what went wrong, whooooah
You've screwed this paper up so long,
guess you were wrong...
I'm all for headlines big and bold
but the story's so two days old
Oh Wendy, sell it to someone who cares

(sing along part here)

12/08/2008 1:16 PM  

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