Sunday, January 16, 2005

Donald Trump is on line 2

The call came this Sunday morning. I'm fired.

The reason, he said, was because I had published my columns on my blog, a violation of my contract which sells electronic rights to the newspaper. They'd better be firing other columnists who have done the same thing.

So, I hung up the phone then got into the truck with hubby and met WTVD at the Herald-Sun driveway, as we'd previously arranged. I told them the next news development (my termination) prompting snickers.

I wonder if these guys know anything about the news business. Anthony Wilson (WTVD) said that when he talked to Bob Ashley last week, his only comment about my protest was "That's her right."

(And by the way, it's completely their right to terminate my contract because they feel like it ... it's telling that they're so foolish as to attempt to hide behind this premise, however)

As we stood by, a Herald-Sun employee in a panel truck came out to the driveway and picked up the half-dozen or so papers that were there, grumbling all the while. (Channel 11 got video of all this) He said there had been about 17 so far.

A car left the employee parking lot and its driver dropped a paper off (all on camera).

After my roadside interview, a car approached, slowed down, and the passenger tossed six or seven papers out, then the passenger thrust her fist into the air (on camera).

So, I'm in the market for a new print space, but in the meantime ... watch this space for new developments.


alex said...

Sorry to hear about the column loss. Hope it's a blessing in disguise as you move to better things.

Jean Bolduc said...

Thanks, Alex. From your lips to the ear of several editors in the area ...

Anonymous said...

The question from one longtime H-S writer who lost her job recently: "Who was that crazy woman on the news?" That pretty much sums it up. Jean, we Herald-Sun employees past and present don't appreciate you hijacking our little crisis. You weren't an employee, you weren't "fired" and very few of us even know who you are. Why do your little publicity stunt in front of the H-S building? You never appeared in the H-S to my knowledge, only in the CHH. I guess your ego doesn't allow you to believe that the decision to stop buying your column was made by people who were here long before the Paxton purchase because you couldn't be bothered to follow your contract.

Jean Bolduc said...

I regret that anyone past or presently employed with the Herald-Sun would imagine this to be a publicity stunt for the gratification of my ego. It is not. As I've said repeatedly, I was not an employee of the H-S and I was not taking a degree of financial risk that would make my actions heroic. I wanted to take advantage of my position to speak out against Paxton in a manner that an employee could not, even though it likely meant losing my contract.

As for the "violations" that the H-S cited in terminating me, the anonymous writer should look up "estoppel by silence." The Herald-Sun has ignored the provision of that contract that they now pretend to enforce. I wish they had simply had the anatomy to say "We choose not to buy your column any longer." Pretending that my termination is for cause is just as cowardly as the rest of the "this-is-coming-from-corporate" nonsense they've wrapped themselves in.

The anonymous writer suggests that my work never appeared on the pages of the Herald-Sun. This is not the case. Do I know everyone there? Of course not. So what? Do you?

The writer does confirm, however, what I've said for years about how some in the Durham staff have thought of and treated their colleagues in Chapel Hill -- like unwanted step-children.

Anonymous said...

Well, as one of the newsroom people who was shown the door, I had no problem with what Jean did. I only wish more people knew about it so participation would have been bigger. I suspect that others gladly would have participated by already had canceled their subscriptions.

I'm conflicted because I have good friends who survived the bloodbath and don't wish any ill will toward them. But I certainly have no love for classless Paxton and its minions who were sent down here.

Heck, these idiots can't even hire somebody local to try to sell subscriptions. They've hired some call center in Arizona (I know because they called me.)

I understand that the newsroom was too big for a 50,000 circulation newspaper. The industry standard is about 60 and they've gone from 87 to 70. But where was the class? I suppose you can't show it if you don't have any.

Anonymous said...

I would think in a news division of less than 90 people, few if any would not know who all the other employees were. The few exceptions would be recent hires. News employees would be less likely to be familiar with paid-by-the-piece columnists, particularly those whose work did not appear in the main publication. As to the CHH receiving less attention than the H-S, well, about 50,000 people buy the H-S. Maybe 20 percent of them -- those living in Orange and Chatham counties -- get the CHH thrown in at no additional charge. So why, again, should the CHH be treated as an equal?

Jean Bolduc said...

Yah ... I think my point is made.