Friday, July 31, 2009

More gravy...less news

Two bits of news that sum up so much of what is wrong with the current business models in media reach us. First amidst the Guardian Media Group's poor results today is the fact that Mark Dodson, the man who has overseen dozens of job cuts and the closure of offices across Greater Manchester and the halving of staff at Channel M has been rewarded with a massive bonus, equivalent to 10% of the company's profits. What a disgrace.

Then the row erupts between Chris Bullivant and Trinity Mirror in the Midlands over the future of some of the titles shut this week. Chris Bullivant claims he could have saved them. Trinity Mirror denies this and would rather close them - and stop any competition. Whatever the merits or otherwise of Chris Bullivant's claims the fact that Trinity Mirror aren't forced to divest themselves of these titles is another disgrace.

Communities are suffering, staff are being axed but the gravy train rolls on and shares rise. Treble gins all round...


kensington andchelsea said...

I think columnists such as Littlejohn get too much money even though they do not work the guardian. But they pay high fees to.

Helen Gavaghan said...

I have two comments/questions.
1. To what extent are the Trinity directors concerned that webstats are not easy to reconcile with abc figures? I have promised to let Adam Christie (NUJ NEC, freelance and Yorkshire Post) have a background briefing on this, probably by the end of September, which will help me also because I am publishing a new online magazine that I would like to see also go into print. I (personally, for what I envisage in my subsector might be possible) would, as of now, like to see a break even from ad. sales in print and on line combined for what I publish, and using that to leverage awareness raising of the title and print sales. But I am sinking beneath the need to figure
out legal deposit in electronic format, publishing and royalty contracts and how to join the FSB or work with Buisness link and all on a budget of zero and how to collect accurate data for selling.
I would prefer that anyone I succeed in employing (and I do not yet see how I will accomplish this) not end up in prison for fraud. Especially given the 2006 Company's Act and the onus on managers.

2. Employment Law and the NUJ's own conduct. Why did you oppose Tim Gopsill staying on until 2010? On the face of things after 21 years you are not being fair. I knew nothing of this internal Union wrangle until I checked on the copy I filed about the NUJ's meeting about the BNP in Manchester where you spoke. I was checking in The Journalist on how Tim had used what I filed about the BNP meeting. Given that the Union would take up a case like Tim's, I hope, on behalf of a member I think you owe the membership an explanation of your course of action as it is currently reported in The Journalist.
Helen Gavaghan.
Freelance journalist, and publisher and editor: Science, People & Politics (ISSN 1751-598X)
Member of the NUJ (63622) and also of the Association of British Science Writers.

Anonymous said...

Bullivant crowing he will save papers? I nearly choked on my tea when I read that...
Didn't Bullivant once claim he could take over the Mail/Post/Mercury - then later he folded the Observer Standard group?

Bullivant pays his reporters utter peanuts, even when taken amongst the naff pay local reporters get anyway - that's the value he places on his own hard-working hacks.

For him to now claim hsi firm were going to ride in to the rescue of some of Trinity's weeklies like some white knight leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

If he's got some spare cash to back a takeover or 10, maybe he should invest it in the assets he's already got.

I've no problem with the sentiment of saving newspapers, but Bullivant should put his own house in order before he starts touting about saving jobs elsewhere.