A Booth employee wrote me off line expressing frustration with the tone and lack of response to the news of the pending plans for the newspaper.
The plea from the employee is that the time-honored secrecy and closely held management of the Booth chain might benefit at this crucial time from first, a little honesty, and second, and more importantly, a little more collaboration and idea sharing throughout the chain, from top to bottom.
"If people could simply get their egos out of the way and admit that perhaps someone lower on the ladder than them might have a better idea of how to save the newspapers, the online product and help us in the future, we might have a chance."
I'm only really familiar with the Flint Journal, but what the person said is true. I've written previously about the abrupt and arbitrary way that management moved around reporters and beats. You're probably tired (and I know they are) of me explaining how promotions are handed out without any competitive process or postings.
So it's not really in the DNA of Booth management to really reach out to its employees and say: "Here's the problem, here's the solution as we see it, but we are open to other ideas on how to move forward."
That would involved hundreds of minds, many of them new and young minds, with perhaps forward thinking ideas that staid old reporters (like me), editors and managers haven't yet considered.
I mean what would it hurt to open this process up to everyone? With the nuclear option on the table, as the reader said, put some high-priced egos aside and see what other ideas might be out there.
What have you got to lose that you don't already plan to lose?
Now, I'm going to the window of my in-laws Buffalo home and watch as the pigs fly by.