I guess the editorial boss is now breathing a sigh of relief with the last of the old curmudgeons finally gone from his newsroom. In fact, he said as much in a recent meeting with the reporters left behind.
Although he didn't actually refer to us as pond scum, I heard he referred to some of us as "characters," but said now that we were gone what was left was the "cream of the crop."
One of my retired colleagues was offended by the comment, I simply thought it was funny and very typical of someone out-of-touch with the news gathering process. I mean what editor wouldn't relish the departure of many of the most experienced employees with decades of institutional experience in collecting news and writing stories.
And while many of the folks still at the FJ are fine reporters and great writers, even they know that some of the cream has left.
Heck, some of the people the top editor tried to convince to stay as part of the "cream," walked out the door not convinced that he and his lieutenants had the competence or horsepower to make things work. I guess they weren't "cream" after all.
Truth be known, some of those left behind only wish they had been in a position to take the buyout and escape.
That said, many of us have friends, good friends at the FJ and we do wish them well and hope that they can find the winning combination to return the paper to profitability and greatness. We simply remain skeptical that the generals leading them into the battle are up for the job. (There's a little cliche of my own).
On the happy side, the editor wants to raise morale and increase fun in the newsroom with big raises and overtime. That's was a joke, what is proposed to raise morale are regular potlucks.
Yeah, a good meatball, celery tray or cheese and cracker spread beats a pay raise and overtime any day.
One of my former colleagues called me to relate some of the above and mentioned that "Mattel" must be branded on the editor somewhere because there is simply too much "plastic" coming out of his office.
Don't know if I would go that far, but there is a certain element of being "out-of-touch." My model for an editor with integrity was the recent Los Angeles Times editor who told his bosses to stuff it when they ordered him to dismantle his newsroom and retired himself. Of course, the bosses found another person willing to sell his/her soul to do the dirty work of cleaning house, but at least the old editor kept his integrity intact.