Time to Occupy Newsrooms

Where unfair bonuses are concerned, media firms rival Wall Street: David Carr
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 11:16 AM CDT
David Carr: Time to Occupy Newsrooms
Gannett headquarters in McLean, Va.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, file)

USA Today applauded Occupy Wall Street for attacking firms that give “huge bonuses” to execs who makes terrible decisions. The paper’s right—but it’s being hypocritical. Gannett, owner of USA Today, is a champion of “bonus excess despite miserable operations,” David Carr writes in the New York Times. Gannett's recently-resigned CEO Craig Dubow oversaw the loss of 20,000 employees, and "strip-mined its newspapers in search of earnings"—yet he departed, because of health problems, not performance issues, with some $37 million in benefits.

And Gannett’s hardly alone among media firms “where the consequences of bad decisions land on everyone except those who made them,” Carr notes. Some 4,000 people lost jobs at the Tribune Company, which is now exiting bankruptcy in a deal that pays tens of millions in bonuses. With newspapers struggling, “the people in the industry who are content to slide people out of the back of the truck until it runs out of gas not only don’t deserve tens of millions in bonuses, they don’t deserve jobs,” Carr writes. “Forget about occupying Wall Street; maybe it’s time to start occupying Main Street.” Click through for Carr’s full column. (Read more newsroom cuts stories.)

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