Monday, December 8, 2008

Editor out and up as of January 1

As I hinted earlier, there was an announcement this morning that Tony Dearing, the editor of the Flint Journal, will be moving on to a new assignment as of January 1.

Also, as I predicted, he will land on his feet in the Advance Internet (read MLive - the lamest newspaper website you can find) staff.

Supposedly he will be in charge of all online content. If this weren't so pathetic, it would actually be funny. This is the guy who once said that we might have to look for people "who wear their baseball caps on backwards" as examples for the direction we should take.

Maybe Booth thinks that the editor can do for MLive what he has done for the Flint Journal. Oh wait, that didn't go so good, did it?

In his place, to prove that the Peter Principle (edited from my earlier spelling) and the Brown Nose Principle (also edited from my earlier spelling - see I do need an editor once in awhile) are alive and well at Booth, will be the current managing editor. That will mean at least one or more of the managing editor's favorites will also survive. Word is they may even bring back an editor from another Booth publication down the road. All while they slash and burn the staff that actually produces the newspaper.

Whether the managing editor keeps the post permanently, or not, remains to be seen. I guess they say they are looking "outside" for a new editor. Yeah, there's an idea, hire another management person in a room already top heavy with them.

In the words of one of my friends: "Always remember the Flint Journal maxim - It can always get worse."

I have never felt worse for my friends left behind than I do at this minute.

I ask again: Is anyone in top management at Booth or Newhouse minding the store?


Anonymous said...

Booth: Where incompetence and failure is promoted!

Anonymous said...

I hear Tony used to run his college newspaper. I bet it had more readers than the mess he is leaving behind.

Too bad for those who'll now be working for Captain Queeg ... I mean the current, East Lansing-resident ME.

Yep, it appears as though being a top editor at Booth means never having to say you're sorry.

Anonymous said...

If this doesn't seal the deal on the current buyout offer for those Left Behind, nothing would.

It also seals the deal on mlive.

It does fit with Advance's plan to shift operations around the state — the new Flint editor lives in Lansing!

Unless he gets Tony's old palatial digs next to Mayor Williamson.

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Anonymous said...


You keep mentioning male managing editors. The only managing editor I was aware of at The Flint Journal in the last decade or more was female.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who have friends at the Flint Journal and would like to see it succeed hoped at some point it would hit bottom after the declining quality of so much of the reporting and editing.

But, Jim, this is grim news for what's left of the news and photo staff.

Don't get me wrong, the fact that this particular editor is leaving truly doesn't mean much, it's just what it portends. As you have say, the unofficial staff motto -- "It can always get worse" -- has never been truer with the coming asendancy of his right-hand bully to the running of the news operation on an interim basis.

Like so many times in the past, we're talking mediocre writing and reporting ability, poor-to-middling editing (on a good day), lack of imagination, stilted or stupid story ideas, lack of understanding of the community, etc. etc.

When you consider all the poorly reported- and half-reported stories these days, skinbacks, corrections and the fact the local style book has been designated to the trash heap of history, you really could have no expectation that the question of who was in command at the Journal would make an positive impact as far as leadership and readership was concerned.

But a negative impact? Just watch and see. Can you say "train wreck," boys and girls?

Blog fan

Jim of L-Town said...

There is, as far as I know, one male managing editor, the former metro editor.

There was a female managing editor who took care of the actually putting out the newspaper - and she was a decent editor - but she was encouraged to take last year's buyout.

In the big picture, she would have been the one to encourage to stay, but the editors there are surprisingly difficult on most women editors.

From my observation anyway.

Anonymous said...

good news for mlive staff:

buyouts are coming their way soon!

Anonymous said...

Is Tony going to run mlive? Or is he headed elsewhere within Advance Internet?

Jim of L-Town said...

Re: MLive question.

Don't know. Just know that Advance Internet is the umbrella organization for MLive.

If anyone knows specifically, please let us know.

Anonymous said...

Tony Dearing, editor of The Flint Journal, will join Advance Internet as special projects content coordinator to work on an unnamed project, it was announced jointly today by Dave Sharp, publisher of The Flint Journal, and Peter Weinberger, president of Advance Internet.

Right out of the Urinal.

I'm not even sure this is a promotion? Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

"special projects content coordinator"

Sounds JUST like a guy who would wear a backwards hat and tennis shoes.

(If mlive's dress code permits it.)

Anonymous said...

OK ... this is the mission. Forward that FJ link around to everyone you know, even if they don't read newspapers, and have them click on it. Let's make the story No. 1 on MLive. And don't be afraid to blow up the comments section.

Anonymous said...

Why do we need this as the #1 Mlive story? We already have the woman with 10 kids -- the first FJ story ever to top Mlive's rankings state wide.

HEH, Go Flint. I'm so proud of you.

Anonymous said...

Hey is that house (Tony Dearing's) something he bought, or did the Journal "help" him like they did Roger and now Sam Harris, who got that house, courtesy of the Journal, for a mere pittance.

Anonymous said...

wait! Now I get it!

Tony was virtually an editor in Flint.

Now he IS a virtual editor!