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sjr-124 pd staffers take on Soeteber over c tuft

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  • sjr-124 pd staffers take on Soeteber over c tuft

    Roy Malone reports in the St. Louis Journalism Review that 124 members of the pd staff signed a letter in a "stunning rebuke" to Soeteber using words such as "unwarranted", "Chilling" and "detriment of the readers".

    It has to do with Carolyn Tuft and her reporting about Joyce Meyers.

    Dennis Cutter, Vahe Gregorian, and Jeff Gordon were the only names I saw from the sports department.

    Horrigan, McClellan, Pennington and Deb Peterson signed.

    Frank Absher has an interesting take on KMOX's future. Maybe Infinity is going to invest a lot of money in new personnel---maybe they are going to just sell the station. Did not learn anything---except there is a wide range of possibilities of what could happen in the next year.

    The articles should be on-line, soon.

  • #2
    Kjoe, I'm out of the loop. What are these scribes protesting?
    When you say to your neighbor, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night if that's alright with you," what you really mean is, "We're having a loud party on Saturday night."


    • #3
      There is a back story. Soeteber is the editor in chief. Carolyn Tuft is an excellent reporter. A guy named Andy Schneider, who is a good friend of Soeteber, (so is his wife) left the paper earlier this year. Tuft had filed a sexual harrassment complaint against him. Pissing off Soeteber, no doubt.

      Tuft made a couple of minor mistakes in her reports about the Joyce Meyers ministry, but Soeteber and her bosses deemed them important enough to issue a mysterious apology and to suspend Tuft for two days without pay.

      The interpretations of why Soeteber did this range from being intimidated by the wealthy conservative religious group of Joyce Meyers, to getting back at her for the sexual harrassment complaint.

      My gut feeling is to not trust Soeteber.


      • #4
        Who would give to Joyce Meyers?

        There's a lot of stupid people out there who are parted with their money quite easily.
        The things that will destroy America are prosperity-at-any-price, peace-at-any-price, safety-first instead of duty-first, the love of soft living, and the get-rich-quick theory of life. -TR


        Madyaks2 Thought Of The Day: I'm just as dumb as madyaks1.


        • #5
          Originally posted by lasvegasreb@Sep 12 2005, 07:58 PM
          Who would give to Joyce Meyers?

          There's a lot of stupid people out there who are parted with their money quite easily.
          Tuft was pretty tough in her reporting.

          I can understand people being dumb enough to part with money---it is harder to understand responsible media kissing Meyers' ass.


          • #6
            Sounds like one of those things that happens at a union paper and not at a non-union one (For the record, I'm not saying that's a good thing or a bad thing.). They get worked up over everything down there -- it's always management vs. the reporters.


            • #7
              They put some stories on-line---not the story about Tufts:

              A revolting development
              Post reporters challenge Soeteber over Tuft suspension
              by Roy Malone
              In a stunning rebuke to their own boss, 124 staffers of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch signed a letter of protest to Ellen Soeteber, the editor-in-chief, which asked her to rescind the disciplinary action taken against reporter Carolyn Tuft.
              The letter called Tuft "one of our most respected and admired colleagues" and said her suspension "is unwarranted and may have a chilling effect on investigative reporting at the Post-Dispatch, to the detriment of our readers."

              This is Absher's article on KMOX:

              KMOX: What to do?
              by Frank Absher
              Now that it's certain his station won't carry Cardinal baseball games next season, Steve Moore is faced with a daunting, yet somehow enviable, task.
              Moore is the director of programming and operations at KMOX, and it's his job to remake the station's on-air sound, without the presence of baseball. It's the first time in more than 50 years that KMOX will not broadcast the Cardinals.
              The effect on the air won't be felt for a while-spring training games usually weren't heard until weekends in March. Some might assume the biggest changes at the station would be heard at the times the games would have been on, but that may not be the case.
              Moore will need to address other problems on KMOX at the same time. The station's ratings between 9-11 a.m. are the worst in recent memory. Rush Limbaugh's program, which is heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., still delivers a fairly strong audience, but its share is dwindling, and the presence of his political vitriol isn't necessarily good for the station's community image.
              If Infinity, the station's owner, is willing to provide Moore with the budgetary backing he'll need, look for the reworking of several parts of the KMOX broadcast day. He'll need to do a true nationwide search to bring in good talent. He also needs to develop a sort of farm club of talent in the station-second-string people who can slip into any on-air slot when needed.
              With the KMOX morning drive show leading the market, he has to bring strength to weak areas and remake the nighttime product. KMOX could consider getting rid of Limbaugh when his contract ends, or-though it seems unlikely the syndicator would approve-running a delayed broadcast of Limbaugh at night opposite Cardinal baseball. As it is now, KMOX gets complaints when Limbaugh's show is pre-empted by Cardinals' broadcasts.
              Marginalizing Limbaugh could give credibility to the station's motto, "The Voice of St. Louis," by giving listeners quality local shows that appeal to a more homogenous audience.
              Hiring program hosts who are intelligent, entertaining, informed and, well, fun should be a top priority. Instead of giving listeners a reason to tune in occasionally, KMOX should think in terms of avoiding reasons for listeners to tune out. Instead of losing listeners as soon as the morning drive ends, KMOX should give listeners a reason to keep the radio turned on all day.
              Some tips: Make the station sound friendlier. Get rid of the grating imaging voice and replace it with someone we'd like to talk to. Get rid of absentee fill-in host Michael Dixon and utilize someone on staff who's just as capable.
              Continue to aggressively cover news and sports and don't be afraid to make waves. Think in terms of what KMOX has meant to its listeners in the past.
              Give us back the only station we'll ever need, and let us know about it with external promotion that isn't limited to trade-out ads in the Suburban Journals.
              We don't need prima donnas. We need team players who can become community leaders, people we can trust to work in our best interest instead of hogging the spotlight for themselves or forcing some personal agenda down our throats. KMOX should once again become a sounding board for all opinion, not just one side.
              All of this may be of no consequence if Infinity is unwilling to invest in the station, and we've seen indications of that recently. It is possible KMOX is being prepared for sale or swap.
              There are several companies that have shown they know the value of heritage stations like KMOX. The Milwaukee Journal owns WTMJ, which dominates the market. WGN, owned by the Chicago Tribune, is consistently at the top of Chicago's ratings. Even WCCO, owned by Infinity, seems to have found its roots again in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
              If the "Voice of St. Louis" does get new owners, it could be a whole new ballgame for listeners, and the right owners could make it a rout.