Monday, July 28, 2008

Goodbye Talent and Experience

Charlotte says she's sorry (sort of ) in this internal memo, but can apologies really make up for 153 people worth of bloodletting?

From: Hall, Charlotte H
Sent: Monday, July 28, 2008 4:04 PM
To: OSC DL Editorial
Subject: To the Staff

To All:
Today we completed the process of notifying employees whose jobs are being eliminated. They are talented journalists and represent decades of service to Sentinel readers. We are sorry to see them go, and we wish them well.

As we told you earlier, about 20 percent of newsroom positions were going to be eliminated this month. Eight of those positions were vacant. The open positions and people who asked for the severance package make up just over two-thirds of the job cuts. Altogether, 52 editorial positions have been eliminated, three of them part-time. Earlier in the year, four open positions were eliminated.

In all departments of the newspaper, the Sentinel has cut 153 positions since Jan. 1, slightly more than a third of them in the newsroom.

We want to thank you for your professionalism and patience in recent weeks. Even during a very painful month, you have produced terrific journalism in the paper and online. Though the newsroom will be smaller, it will be filled with skilled and dedicated journalists. We have much work ahead of us. Tomorrow at 5 p.m. we will hold a staff meeting to talk about moving forward and to announce some organizational changes in the editing staff.

Charlotte and Russ

What's funny about the memo is that I'm sure it was never really meant to reach the people Charlotte should really be apologizing to- the public and the most recent of the layoffs/ buyouts/otherwise volunteering to escape Sentinel wrath:
Judy Alderman
Joy Allen (Copy Editor)
Fran Coker
Lydia Enriquez (Photo/ Design)
Lee Fiedler (Photo Editor)
Julie Fletcher (Photographer)
Jennifer Greenhill Taylor (Orange/Seminole Editor)
Autumn Heep (Photo/ Design)
Anita Hardin (News asst. from Lake County)
Kamuri Kelley (Osceola)
Jim Leusner (Investigative reporter)
Edgardo Martinez (Copy Editor)
April Medina (Copy Editor)
Katherine Norris (News asst. from Downtown Orlando)
Barbara Perez (photographer)
Robert Sargent
Wes Smith
Valerie Turner
Dennis Wall (Photographer)
Tammie Wersinger

*If you see some names missing or notice some have disappeared from the list, please realize that some of the recently departed do not wish to be named.

** I hope that this time around the Sentinel did a more dignified job of notifying people than the nice little "hey you have no job" call at home. Best Wishes to all 153.

78 comments:

Anonymous said...

other than a couple of typos, are all of these confirmed? there are a couple of names here that i'm just seeing here for the first time.

Anonymous said...

My spouse was one of the ones that was kicked to the curb in today's cut. Although there was that evening phone call last night to tell us what was coming. There was no goodbye, good luck, kiss my ass or nothing, just "give us your card key and get out".

These people have no backbone and very little regard for any of their employees.

Anonymous said...

there were copy editors who are not on this list...

Anonymous said...

add to list:

Jim Leusner (longtime investigative reporter)

copy editors:
Janet Terrell
April Medina
Joy Allen
Edgardo Martinez

Anonymous said...

You show Leusner as leaving voluntarily, but I know that others on the list are leaving voluntarily too -- Kumari Kelly, for example, requested the "buyout." I bet others on the list did too. I don't think you need to single out Leusner. Each person represents a significant loss of talent at the Sentinel. And they're all leaving as a result of this new management. Even those who would have left on their own eventually, are most likely leaving now because of the circumstances there.

Anonymous said...

Questions I haven't seen addressed yet in these blogs: How many of the unfamiliar bylines I keep seeing in the paper are editorial interns? Also, what role did keeping a legally acceptable ethnic balance play in the layoffs.

Anonymous said...

What "legally acceptable ethnic balance." These people went for yers with no black reporter on the city desk staff.

Anonymous said...

So...just for anyone keeping score:

Somewhere around 30 newsroom positions were eliminated last June.

56 newsroom positions have been eliminated so far this year.

Extrapolating from the percentages provided in this round by management,that means the newsroom has gone from about 286 down to about 200 in the course of just 14 months. So that's a reduction of 30 percent, not 20 percent.

(And that's leaving out other open positions that quietly "go away" in little dribs and drabs that never get reported.)

Anonymous said...

Add Tammie Wersinger to the list.

Anonymous said...

And yet, if you go to the Sentinel website, you find this under "newsjobs" ...

The Orlando Sentinel: an outstanding newspaper covering one of America’s fastest-growing and most diverse cities, at the center of America’s newsiest state.
Can you imagine a more interesting place to be a journalist?

Whether you’re a student seeking a top-flight internship or a seasoned professional taking the next step in your career, the Sentinel offers great opportunities in reporting, editing, photography, design and graphic art. Whatever your specialty, you’ll be working in a newsroom dedicated to both enterprising journalism and professional growth.

The Sentinel has won three Pulitzer Prizes and many other national awards for newspaper journalism. But our writers and editors also take news and commentary beyond print every day as OrlandoSentinel.com innovates and expands, reaching a worldwide audience. They also deliver information on radio and television in both English and Spanish.

The commitment to delivering news through all media gives the Sentinel tremendous reach in Central Florida, a richly varied and highly livable area that’s much more than a top vacation spot. The newspaper covers six counties, with bureaus throughout its principal coverage area and offices in Miami, Tallahassee and Washington.

Explore the details at this site. You’ll find plenty of reasons to make the Orlando Sentinel your career destination.

I guess interesting depends on your perspective

Anonymous said...

I believe that's Katherine Norris, with an "s"

Anonymous said...

So…let’s all get this straight just so we can have some common ground of understanding.
Charlotte Hall, Queen Of Diversity, President Of the Holy Of Holies ASNE. Does this:
Hires Mark Russell to be her managing editor in the fall of 2004. Just (and only) because he is an accomplished African American journalist, and because she needs to burnish her rep as Queen of Diversity, so she can continue her ridiculous ascent to the increasingly irrelevant presidency of ASNE. (God, if you do exist, please fire her NOW).
So she then she: Totally marginalizes Russ as a true power in the newsroom, because she doesn’t really respect or trust him at all and knows she has put him into a position to fail. Because, after all, Charlotte is a total asshole who respects no one who works for her. She actually, at one point, makes Russ literally kneel before a whiteboard of stories because he is blocking her view. (Yes, that really happened, 2009 NABJ convention planners.) But, instead of letting him fail, publicly, she lets Ann Hellmuth really run the newsroom as her sicko, dysfunctional, consigliere and confidante. But the one thing none of the reporters or editors really understand is who the fuck Russ is or what the fuck he is about. Because Charlotte never established him as a leader. He’s just Charlotte’s ASNE lawn jockey.
And so now…Ann takes a buyout, and Charlotte decides to make Bonita Burton her new White Deputy ME Do Girl. So now Bonita, who is a gifted visual journalist who wouldn’t know news if it hit her in the face, is basically running the newsroom.
So where does that leave Russ? And where does it leave Orlando Sentinel readers?
He’s still just Charlotte’s ASNE lawn jockey. It’s a shame, because all the reports from Cleveland were that Russ was pretty damn good.
Charlotte: I hope you read this post. Because the bottom line is that you are the biggest racist of anyone the way you manipulated the system for your own ends.
And Russ actually was a pretty good journalist, until you got a hold of him.
So get lost, old lady. Please leave Orlando. I hope Newsday hires you again.
If you leave: Their loss. Our gain.

rknil said...

"And so now…Ann takes a buyout, and Charlotte decides to make Bonita Burton her new White Deputy ME Do Girl. So now Bonita, who is a gifted visual journalist who wouldn’t know news if it hit her in the face, is basically running the newsroom."

Wait. That can't be true, can it? Has journalism really sunk that low? The reincarnation of every Molly Ringwald character from every John Hughes movie is running a newsroom? What does she do, look for "cool" stories?

Anonymous said...

Yes, that Bonita Burton. A self-absorbed, power hungry piece who will do evil at no cost as long as it gets her to the top. Her track record very, very questionable in terms of managing her minions, and news-judgement non-existent, but let's promote her so she can do more harm, to an already injured org. It is widespread knowledge, that Bonita has been for a long time, the force behind a lot of bad decisions and will compliment idiot Charlotte perfectly. They do make a great team of incompetence and elitism. This whole thing has sincerely become corrupt.

Anonymous said...

So, Ann and Jane are retiring and Griff has moved on to greener pastures at Disney... Were any other editors lost in this round of good-byes? (Not talking about copy editors. I mean higher-paid newsroom manager types.) How can they still need all those editors -- including Dana in his new role -- when there are so few writers left?

Anonymous said...

More changes from the sentinel:

Newsroom reorganization 7/29/2008
Charlotte Hall and Mark Russell announced today some promotions and reassignments among our editors. All of the changes will be effective Monday, Aug. 4:
Bonita Burton has been promoted to Deputy Managing Editor/Presentation, a division that will combine visuals and the news and features copy desks. David Collins is moving to Presentation as Executive News Editor, reporting to Bonita. Matt Palm is being promoted to Executive Features News Editor, overseeing features editing and features design, reporting to Bonita.
Michelle Guido has been promoted to AME/Public Service. Sal Recchi is moving to the team as Education and Environment Editor. Bob Shaw will be the Politics and Government Editor and also oversee the Orange County communities? reporters.
Greg Miller has been promoted to Breaking News Editor. Kevin Connolly becomes Deputy Breaking News Editor. Kris Hey moves to senior producer online.
Kim Marcum becomes AME/Community Life. In addition to arts and entertainment and demographics, she will oversee our county bureaus.
Communities Editor Sharon McBreen will report to Kim.
Mark Skoneki moves to Consumer and Transit Editor on the Business/Consumer Team, reporting to Lisa Cianci.
Dana Eagles becomes Staff Development and Investigations Editor.
Reporting to him will be Vicki McClure, Mary Shanklin and Dan Tracy.
Food Editor Heather McPherson will add restaurant reviewing to her portfolio.
Some reporting assignments also are changing.
Jay Hamburg will join the Community Life Team and cover religion and elder affairs.
Jim Stratton will join the Business/Consumer Team as transportation reporter after the election in November.
Mark Pino becomes a senior reporter in Osceola.
Denise Balona will join the Public Service Team as Lake Education
Reporter.


Stuff We Like

Newsroom reorganization 7/29/2008
Charlotte Hall and Mark Russell announced today some promotions and reassignments among our editors. All of the changes will be effective Monday, Aug. 4:
Bonita Burton has been promoted to Deputy Managing Editor/Presentation, a division that will combine visuals and the news and features copy desks. David Collins is moving to Presentation as Executive News Editor, reporting to Bonita. Matt Palm is being promoted to Executive Features News Editor, overseeing features editing and features design, reporting to Bonita.
Michelle Guido has been promoted to AME/Public Service. Sal Recchi is moving to the team as Education and Environment Editor. Bob Shaw will be the Politics and Government Editor and also oversee the Orange County communities? reporters.
Greg Miller has been promoted to Breaking News Editor. Kevin Connolly becomes Deputy Breaking News Editor. Kris Hey moves to senior producer online.
Kim Marcum becomes AME/Community Life. In addition to arts and entertainment and demographics, she will oversee our county bureaus.
Communities Editor Sharon McBreen will report to Kim.
Mark Skoneki moves to Consumer and Transit Editor on the Business/Consumer Team, reporting to Lisa Cianci.
Dana Eagles becomes Staff Development and Investigations Editor.
Reporting to him will be Vicki McClure, Mary Shanklin and Dan Tracy.
Food Editor Heather McPherson will add restaurant reviewing to her portfolio.
Some reporting assignments also are changing.
Jay Hamburg will join the Community Life Team and cover religion and elder affairs.
Jim Stratton will join the Business/Consumer Team as transportation reporter after the election in November.
Mark Pino becomes a senior reporter in Osceola.
Denise Balona will join the Public Service Team as Lake Education
Reporter.

rknil said...

anon 10:22:

I'd love to hear some details. Send an e-mail to admin AT wenalway.com.

Stephen Komives said...

Bonita Burton is a thoughtful editor and leader, and an incredibly hard worker who improves the quality of our journalism every day. She meets challenges face-on and does not shy from difficult decisions. The Sentinel is fortunate to have her here, especially now; I stand by her, her staff stands by her.

Nick Masuda said...

I want to echo Mr. Komives' statements. To make comments about Bonita's capabilities in this newsroom without being here to see her, day in and day out, is irresponsible. Her commitment to this staff and this newspaper is unparalleled. And, her commitment to doing right by the news of the day is something we all can learn from. I believe that change scares everyone, but it is in these times that we need to embrace a shift in the power and open our eyes to what the world can become. And, Bonita's vision offers all of us a chance at recreating this world, and possibly save what has become of journalism. We lost lots of great people over the course of the past year, but those that remain would be quite smart to truly listen to Bonita, as she is nothing but a journalist with an unconventional vision. And, I too, stand behind her, through good and bad.

Anonymous said...

Please stop the circle jerk, design suck-ups. We're all about to vomit.

It's pretty obvious the people posting here about the newsroom are IN the newsroom because the description of the politics is dead-on.

Anonymous said...

I know there are names missing from that list, but my god is it overwhelmingly female. 80% or more are females and/or minorities.

Anonymous said...

Bonita and Sam Zell are not the saviors of journalistm -- say it all you want but that won't make it so.

I hope all the talented journalists who have been kicked to the curb can find an alternative to the current vision that has The Sentinel enthralled.

Anonymous said...

I'd be kissing ass too, out of pure fear I could be next without cause or reason. It should be obvious these comments are mostly coming from inside the newsroom, from people who see the leadership every day. It should also be obvious after all these cuts and all the politics that no one is safe from being thrown under the bus (not even the suck-ups). Has anyone bothered to find out what readers want? Wouldn't that be the true savior of journalism?

Anonymous said...

As should be clear to anyone reading this blog, it would be suicide to openly criticize Bonita, now that she is the queen of the newsroom. But the open praise for her is a bit much.

Bonita may know what visually appeals and what makes a good photo or illustration. But she isn't half the journalist of some of the talent we lost this month.

The people who left are good-old-fashioned muckrakers, people who understand how things work and how to get the news stories no one else can. Maybe they left of their own accord, but I bet that if the economic plight were better, they would have stayed until they were really of retirement age.

I think there is some resentment of Bonita, too, for a few of her Queen Bee stunts. Like how she set up a balloon drop over the newsroom to celebrate the redesign, without a clue of how arrogant that seemed in the face of all the layoffs that were pending. It was quite the Marie Antoinette moment.

Anonymous said...

Some kind words amid all the nastiness...

Friends and colleagues:
As you know, today (7/31) is my last day after nearly 30 years at the Orlando Sentinel. I want to thank all of you for being my professional family during that time. What a great run it’s been during the golden era of journalism, the post-Watergate period.

After I was hired here as a 23-year-old in early 1979, I was lucky to meet up with several incredible journalists who helped teach me the ropes. Paul Jenkins, Malcolm Williams, Jim Toner and Jim Squires all shared their vast knowledge or reporting techniques with me, which I have tried to share on stories and special projects or at my Sentinel Newsroom University classes over the years.

I was fortunate to work on so many great stories involving all kinds of subjects: mobsters, bikers, bad cops, serial killers, spies, militias, space shuttle disasters, defense contractors, terrorism/homeland security, corrupt politicians, greedy developers and the pioneers of International Drive. I learned something new every day and got to do interviews at the White House, CIA headquarters, aboard radar planes flying around the Caribbean or on Death Row.

Working with so many other talented Sentinel reporters also taught me a lot. They included: Roger Roy, Dan Tracy, Chris Quinn, Debbie Salamone, Mike Griffin, Sean Holton, Hank Curtis, Pedro Ruz, Tammy Lytle, Anthony Colarossi, Kevin Spear and many others, including the current members of the Breaking News Team.

I was blessed to have worked under the BEST line editors in the company -- Jenkins, Toner, Holton, Gary Gorman, Sal Recchi, Ann Hellmuth, Bob Shaw, Greg Miller and Michelle Guido. So many folks on the copy desk also made my stories better. The graphics folks, page designers and photographers helped illustrate those stories so well. I am grateful to all of them.

To be clear, leaving is my choice. I narrowly missed a buyout last year, but jumped at the chance for a severance package this year so I could go into business for myself after more than 31 years as a reporter.

Despite the rough waters our industry is navigating, you guys need to remember that the work you do is so vital to the democracy -- and history. It's made a difference to many people like my late dad, who educated himself reading the paper -- after dropping out of grade school -- to help his family during the Great Depression.

I wish all of you the best. My thoughts will be with you.
And if this note is too long, at least I was consistent during my Sentinel career!
Regards,
Jim Leusner

Anonymous said...

Bonita Burton is the man behind the curtain at the OS.
She and her design boyz are the "quick shine" of visual journalism. All shine no content. It will shine for a while..it will not last.
Eventually someone will find her out.
She will fail and fall hard.

Anonymous said...

"Kinds words amid the nastiness?"

Please, darlin', this is a nasty business anymore. If you want kind words, go watch Mr. Rogers' reruns.

Anonymous said...

There's actually plenty of kindness going on, and plenty of people still trying to do their job with pride.

Anonymous said...

the 153 people who have lost their jobs had plenty of pride. it didn't keep them or hundreds of other journalists from losing their jobs because of people who have no regard for talent or knowledge of how to move the newspaper into the future.

Anonymous said...

people who remain at the paper in the wake of departures often feel smug, especially the younger ones who think they "get it" and the folks who are getting the shaft are just the old cobwebs that need to be cleaned out because they resist the future and they're sucking up salary, anyhow.

i was amused to hear all of them breathe a collective sigh of "oh, that wasn't so bad" when they managed to hang on to their jobs this week.

just last week they were all fretting about the unacceptable diminution of journalism.

rknil said...

First of all, I commend the people who have responded negatively to the concoct-and-chant bullshit of Stephen Komives and Nick Masuda. People like Nick try to spin this into people being afraid, when in reality it's people being informed and NOT afraid to stand up to the design suck-ups and sycophants. (Of course, it would be even better if they didn't post anonymously, but there might be a good reason for that.)

The one certainty is that people like Bonita, Stephen and Nick are simply liars and frauds. They have no proof that anything they are doing has worked at any newspaper. It's not new or original, despite what they and nutcakes like Lee Abrams try to claim.

Right now, they have been given the mandate to wreck much of what was once good about journalism. But as one poster said, it will be short-lived; that you can count on. It won't take long for readers to realize they're getting a dumbed-down rag instead of a good paper.

It's disgusting to see these fraudulent amateurs dropping balloons and celebrating their utter cluelessness as they wreck the paper. And although it's so heart-warming to read that Stephen and Nick will fall into line, zombie-like, behind Bonita, "good or bad," I think they should prepare for their crushing demise.

Just as a preview for what's coming: Two of the people who were laid off were recently hired designers. One of them had been at the paper less than six months; another had been there for 10 weeks. Nice planning, Bonita!

Finally, I offer this: If anyone is willing to come to Chicago and stand up against the balloon drops and other self-centered, inconsiderate nonsense that is happening in Orlando, I would be more than happy to accompany them to Tribune Tower, if suitable arrangements can be reached. The Trib may have a newspaper monopoly in Orlando, but it doesn't in Chicago. I think a little media coverage of what's happening would be good right about now. Try spinning that into people being "afraid," little Nicky.

Bo said...

Um, wow.

Not that I don't appreciate the coronation, but let's be real. I can be a royal pain in the ass, but Queen of the Newsroom I'm not.

Yes, I publicly celebrated my team's exhaustive efforts on a critical corporate initiative. Yes, I lost good people in this round of cuts - 9 positions to be exact - who deserved better. Yes, my expertise is visual communication, not investigative reporting. And yes, my ambition is to take my staff all the way to the top.

Quite frankly, I'm as terrified as you that I'll screw this up. Ann Hellmuth has been a beloved mentor and friend since the day she persuaded me to join the Sentinel. If I could have foreseen the part of the plan that had her leaving her group in my hands, I'd have spent the past preparing differently.

Like many editors in the room, I've been asked to take on a new challenge that is out of my element. I'm acutely aware that the learning curve is steep. And that the newsroom is sore. And that Robert Knilands will stalk me online until the day I die. All I can do is bring my best to the table and try to bring out the best in others.

Working on the redesign taught me that today's Tower offers only two options: Get on the train or get run over by it. Maybe, with strategic leadership, we can actually drive it. In the midst of this week's staff cuts, Orlando began editing and designing the wire report for two other T6 papers. That's huge in a chain in which every property is jockeying for position.

None of us are happy with the bloodletting being conducted. But we're not dead yet. Instead of bemoaning our fate, may I throw out an alternative?

Be what's missing.

rknil said...

"And that Robert Knilands will stalk me online until the day I die."

Get a clue.

In case you haven't noticed, there are other people here criticizing your methods.

The rest of your screed is touching, but it falls flat in the context of your group's banner-waving in the wake of layoffs. Maybe if you hadn't dropped balloons after dozens of people were let go, you could come in and whine about how unsure of yourself you are. But when your minions stop by to lecture people here about how they're "afraid," you've probably lost much chance of winning this crowd over.

Just a small tip here, Bonita -- you're no longer at a design site where you can say dumb things and know you'll have dozens of drooling dolts to run forward and back you. It's too bad there wasn't opposition building to your nonsense years ago; maybe then we could have avoided the mess we have now.

Anonymous said...

"Be what's missing?" There are 153 people who are "missing" today from The Orlando Sentinel.

Jockeying for position? Yes, that's evident from the back-stabbing and the brown-nosing.

You say to get on the train or get run over? It's a runaway train. What's missing is a good, strong conductor.

Journalism that matters -- yeh, maybe that train has left the station after all.

And all you young, smug journalists left at the Sentinel? Let's just see what happens in the next round of cuts. "I hear that train acomin' down the line...'

Anonymous said...

Go to this story in Friday's Washington Post about how Zell's moves to sell Cubs could be drawing IRS attention

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/01/AR2008080102971.html?hpid=sec-business

Anonymous said...

Sooo....the only two people here to publicly defend Bonita Burton (Nick/Steve) report to....Bonita Burton?

That lowers your credibility a notch or two, Nick and Steve. Thanks for trying.

rknil said...
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Anonymous said...

Since Bonita is apparently reading this thread, I'd like to offer her some advice. Short of leaving and making the entire second floor of the building cheer, I suggest that she:

1. Try listening to people who know more than you do about journalism. Believe it or not, the people you work with know what they're doing. Then maybe they will listen to you when you talk design.

2. Stop playing people off against each other and slamming them to their co-workers behind their backs.

3. Quit playing favorites. (Yeah, it's obvious.)

4. Act like a professional. Hanging with your (favorite) staffers outside of work -- and then publicly broadcasting it -- is beyond unprofessional.

5. Own up when you make a bad call and stop blaming your underlings (again, behind their backs).

rknil said...

I deleted some posts, mainly because they were detracting from the point others are doing a great job of making.

Also, I should add to that last post: Bonita's minions (not the people who have posted here, just to clarify) also do a great job of trumpeting that they are the "in" crowd and how lavish these gatherings are, etc.

rknil said...

http://www.wenalway.com/survey/survey.php?s_id=23

That link will take you to a survey about a possible gathering at or near Tribune Tower to discuss the changes the company is making.

Anonymous said...

Let me chime in with agreement on a few posts about the circle jerk going on with the design team. This is a crew of people despite sitting next to each other in "The Pit" spend all day on Twitter slapping each other on the back. Just check out www.twitter.com/nickmasuda to see how much of a kiss-up these comments can be. Bonita revels in this sort of attention and even accepted the Employee of the Month parking spot from her employees. Excuse me? It's one thing for them to offer it to her, but it's quite another for her to accept an award senior management gives to employees.

One can only hope that Bonita will learn from the mistakes she's made and be a real leader who fosters more than fear from her staff. A leader who doesn't play favorites. A leader who inspires genuine praise.

rknil said...

I like this gem from Twitter:

"amazed at @bburton ability to look at something and make it a million times better. wish my brain worked like that."

I love me some Twitter! It gives us a great glimpse into how people "think."

Also, thanks for the fast responses to the survey. More, more!

NickMasuda said...
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Anonymous said...

Greatest hits:

nickmasuda: @bburton hang in there, we all believe in you. In Bo we trust. 3 days ago reply home fix threading

----------------------

bburton: Today was my short day - only 10 hours. Hoping for some R&R this weekend before the hell the next two weeks will bring. 21 days ago reply home

nickmasuda: @bburton enjoy it. enjoy everything about it. no one deserves it more. 35 minutes later reply home fix threading

----------------------

bburton: Boy do we need a party. Looking forward to tomorrow, hoping we don't get rained out. about 1 month ago reply home

nickmasuda: @bburton party time!!! 43 minutes later reply home fix threading

-------------------------------

bburton: Inadvertently stood up Trib EVP for drinks. Probably not the best climate in which to make such mistakes. about 1 month ago reply home
nickmasuda: @bburton every rockstar must make her entrance... about 2 hours later replyhome fix threading

----------------------------

bburton: Thinking that @toddstewart is on to something there. Hope we sell some papers tomorrow! about 1 month ago reply home fix threading

nickmasuda: @bburton tonight was one of the most fulfilling and extraordinary nights of my life. this team is special. it's 4 a.m. and not tired at all about 1 hour later reply home fix threading

-----------------------------


nickmasuda: The industry will never be the same! This team, this redesign, this moment...people will look back on it someday and say "wow" about 1 month ago reply home

rknil said...

"nickmasuda: The industry will never be the same! This team, this redesign, this moment...people will look back on it someday and say "wow" about 1 month ago reply home"

This one reminds me of the part in Westmark where they're toasting to the health of the chief minister. One guy pushes away his drink and says: "Drink to him yourself."

The response: "The health was not specified as good."

The industry might not be the same after this endeavor, and there may be some people saying "Wow." But the reasons will be another matter.

Anonymous said...

Re: Twitter BB-Love-Fest: I'm sadly disappointed in the OS design staff. I'm a former staffer and know many of those who were recently let go and some who are still around.

I'd heard a lot of sucking up and groupiness was going on on the design desk, but the Twitter Love-Fest is a new low. Insufferable and embarrassing.

rknil said...

Survey update: So far, the consensus seems to be for having several gatherings simultaneously at different sites. This will allow people to stay in their home area.

Sounds good. But someone will need to lead the gathering at each of those sites. And a date will have to be picked so the coordination process can start.

For now, I'll stick with the current survey and wait for more responses.

Anonymous said...

Those of you in attack mode in here are the people who are bringing down your own profession of journalism. Stop the personal attacks and start thinking of ways to do your job better.

Anonymous said...

How are people who are thinking critically about the structure of an organization that needs revamping bringing down an entire profession?

I can't imagine that the 50+ people who just left the Sentinel were doing such a shoddy job that they deserved to lose their jobs just so Zell could make an interest payment.

The best way to do your job better is to not have the work of those who are gone added to your roster. F**k trying to do a better job when there's room and/or time for only a brief for a story that just six months ago would have been pitched for front-page treatment. The pitches are all softball for easy packaging these days.

The office politics of any organization can be brutal when brought to light. Reporters expose corruption, incompetence, arrogance, waste and cronyism every day. It hurts when we practice that craft on ourselves.

Anonymous said...

"Those of you in attack mode in here are the people who are bringing down your own profession of journalism. Stop the personal attacks and start thinking of ways to do your job better."

Huh?! I know several people who were let got in the last year. They were top-notch editors and reporters, award-winning on national and state levels. They care deeply for their profession and have much to contribute -- but they were for no value to The Sentinel.

They long for a chance to help their profession, but were kicked to the curb. They aren't bringing down the profession, people such as Sam Zell are; people who think readers really will believe less is more.

Instead of berating those talented people, why not send an e-mail to Sam Zell and tell him what you just told everybody? Wake up!

Anonymous said...

Wow! The venom and anger is so thick on both side of this long-running, multiple-post screed that it’s getting scary. I can’t imagine that any single point of view or observation will convince either side, but here’s my take from someone who is probably going through survivor guilt for getting out before the redesign hit the fan.

The problem with the redesign strategy is the same problem as the staff cutbacks, is the same problem as taking the company private, is the same problem as the hyper-local news focus, is the same problem as the online blogs focus, is the same problem as the online videos focus, is the same problem as giving the readers what they want, is the same problem as . . . shall I go on?

The problem is that the leadership at the Orlando Sentinel and Tribune Inc. (including pre-Zell) want a single quick fix to a terribly complex problem. It is like believing skyrocketing gas prices can be fixed by allowing more offshore drilling or imposing more regulation of the oil futures trading alone.

Nick and Stephen, you may be sincere in your belief that re-packaging the content is the answer (or part of the answer), but you can’t seriously believe that shrinking content, going to smaller type and limiting stories to six or eight column inches on the front of a section is going to attract or even maintain readership. The redesign has made it harder to tell complex and important stories. Good design and intelligent graphics are supposed to ENHANCE the story-telling, not be the story.

I can’t imagine that the current state of affairs will change under the existing ownership. The only chance for the Sentinel is to be sold to a local group committed to covering local news. Until then, the Sentinel will continue to become less and less relevant to a majority of Central Floridians.

It’s heartbreaking.

Anonymous said...

Come on...the twitter back and forth between nick and bo have got to be a put on. Right? Right??

rknil said...

http://www.wenalway.com/survey/survey.php?s_id=23

Just reposting the survey link in the wake of the recent comments.

Anonymous said...

Do I dare step into the fray here? The comments on this blog are starting to be no better than the Topix message boards.

A couple of posts above had a few salient points. The venom and anger being expressed here and all the other journalism blogs is a symptom of an industry that is led by people desperate to hang onto a business model that no longer works. That's why they flounder from one idea to the next.

Those in the newsroom just over a year ago remember how online was the answer. Charlotte was tasked to focus on building up the site, which was led by a TV guy without a shred of HTML code in his head. He was our Saviour. (Replace TV with radio. Sound familiar?) Put Online Extras with all your stories. Create stale photo galleries. Fast forward to today, and you can hardly find a URL with any story because "our print audience doesn't go to the Web."

The problem isn't with the journalism that is being done, but it's the only thing editors know they can tinker with from day to day. The standards of good journalism never change, and there's even room for coverage of Britney when done correctly.

So, what does this mean for the Sentinel? Who knows, but we all better take advantage of our health insurance while we have it and get some group counseling. We've got hard work to do.

Anonymous said...

The financial reality is what it is. Auto factories don't keep workers around to build 100,000 cars if they can only sell 70,000. The journalist in me wishes that was the case, but it just doesn't fly.

If you think Zell is the only evil a-hole listening to his beancounters, you're SO sorely misled. Look around the state. Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tampa Trib, even the high & almighty St. Pete Times with its Poynter endowment: They're all laying off talented people. And a lot of them are people I consider good friends. It makes me sad. But the show must go on. That's our responsibility.

So when I say to focus on doing a better job, that means make the best of the circumstances -- instead of letting the horrible feelings fester day after day, make a positive change.

Anonymous said...

JESUSFUKINCHRIST.. for the people lauding BBURTON.. are you all on CRACK ? ROOFIES?
She once announced that she wanted to fire anyone over 30 years old.
Her news judgement is that of a rubernecking gwaker at a car wreck.
She is a backstabbing manipulator/

And really... has anyone looked in her eyes? There's nothing there..

Anonymous said...

As a former Sentinel employee I recently got the opportunity to see the newly redesigned paper and was shocked at what it has become. Not only have they shrunk the size but the design is WAY overdone and comparable to an elementary school textbook. And yeah, I have designed for other large newspapers. Give readers some credit, they can read above a third-grade level. People do actually want some news not all picture pages. I was shocked at the choice of stories and lack of real news. I used to be proud to say I was an employee there and can now say I am glad I got out of there when I did. Designers are not editors, someone should understand that because they obviously no longer do. They just continue to cut the people who have cared about the integrity of the newspaper for years. Sad.

Anonymous said...

Attacking Bo, calling Hall a racist, belittling Masuda and Komives for taking a stand really misses the point about what is happening to the industry in general. These attacks offer no solutions. The industry is in peril. Journalism is hemorrhaging talent. Instead of flinging insults why not offer solutions? It's so easy to point fingers. Yes, what is happening sucks. No I don't agree with the direction that the Sentinel, or newspapers in general are headed, but I'm not going to sit around and belittle. Where does that get us?

rknil said...

"Attacking Bo, calling Hall a racist, belittling Masuda and Komives for taking a stand really misses the point about what is happening to the industry in general. These attacks offer no solutions. The industry is in peril. Journalism is hemorrhaging talent. Instead of flinging insults why not offer solutions? It's so easy to point fingers."

Maybe these things wouldn't be happening if the wrong people weren't put in charge.

Maybe journalism wouldn't be "hemorrhaging talent" if the wrong people weren't in charge.

The idea, I think, is not to go gently into that good night. And in that vein, I have to say that if there aren't a whole lot more responses to the Trib gathering survey, then that idea will be crossed off the list.

Anonymous said...

Knilands, you are a pathetic, sad little man who apparently has nothing better to do with his time than troll around nearly every journalism blog on the face of God's green earth spewing your venom and hate.

Do you work? At an actual job I mean? Do you contribute anything positive to society as a whole? Why don't you leave your mom's basement once in a while for a breath of fresh air? Get a little sunshine on your mug every now and again instead of hunching over your computer 24 hours a day acting like you have a clue about what will save the newspaper industry.

Here's a hint for you.

You have no idea what you're talking about.

To lay the blame for the newspaper industry's woes on design or graphics or Bonita Burton or Sam Zell or the r-tards who were in charge of Tribune before him or your dog or your cat or your mom or whatever else your little brain can can cook up is moronic.

It ignores 40 years of history that shows readers started leaving a LONG time ago, back when your precious words carried the load for telling the story.

The industry is where it is because of the medium...the method of delivery. No one wants the newspaper today no matter how much great journalism is in there because it's inconvenient. It makes your hands dirty, it's awkward with all the folding and fumbling you have to do to try to read it, it's full of smug and preachy a-holes like you who talk down to people (although clearly they are people like you and not actually you as you spend all your time with your nose pressed against your monitor reading blogs all day).

Call back every single great journalist that has left the industry over the last 30 years and let them write as many great stories as fast as their little fingers can type them. Give them as much newshole as they need with no "interference" from designers and see if it makes a hill of beans difference.

Here's a hint for you.

It won't make ANY difference.

The problem, Bobby, is the medium. It's a medium that hasn't changed it's basic form since the very first newspaper rolled off the press. You actually expect people to buy a piece of wood pulp every day when they can watch their news on TV, listen to it on their radio, download it to their iPod, or select and filter the content on their favorite web sites and only take the cream?

Are you nuts? That's a rhetorical question, Bob. No need for you to answer. Besides I think we already know the answer.

Sam Zell is right about one thing. Everyone wringing their hands over the good old days better wise up.

Stop living in the past. The glory days are gone and they aren't coming back. Things change and there's rarely one single reason for that change.

Everyone here needs to quit pissing and moaning about how Sam Zell wrecked Tribune and the newspaper industry. He didn't. Neither did Bonita Burton, or the design staff, or Charlotte Hall or Dana Eagles, or the talent drain or the devil or Robert Knilands (much as it pains me to say it).

Get off your high horse folks. Get over yourselves and stop being so self-aggrandizing. It's not like the vast majority of you were writing about Watergate or exposing the corrupt megacorporation that was fouling the water table with toxic chemicals and covering it up by buying off politicians with smack and whores m'kay?

Most of you were writing about some old lady who made quilts or some little kid who could play Beethoven by farting into a tin can.

And you know what? There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Hell, I'd love to read about some kid who could do that. That'd be a great freakin' story.

Just move on. Jesus H. Christ maybe Sam Zell just handed you the opportunity you've been waiting for all your lives. Do something you've always wanted to do instead of bitching about something that's not going to make any difference.

Except for you Robbie. You keep on being you. Just try to get out a little more.

rknil said...

Thanks for the tips, anon, but I think I'll listen to people who have the guts to attach their name to a post.

The rest of your lengthy argument is simply the same empty rhetoric we can get from the current staff who, contrary to your erroneous beliefs, are hurting what's left of the industry. You can keep concocting and chanting, but in the end you have nothing to back what you say.

The facts are simply these: No redesign has boosted any paper's circulation for any length of time. They all have failed.

People like you choose to ignore those facts. If you want to be an idiot, that's your choice, but when you come in and slam anything that doesn't agree with your narrow, clueless, factless view, then that's a problem.

So, just to summarize: Put a name on a post. Don't cling to ideas that have failed for the last two decades. When you master those two skills -- and it may take you some time; you strike me as stubborn -- let me know, and we'll try again.

Until then, you should probably stick to something more your level, like a demo derby.

Anonymous said...

Whoever said something to the effect of "Jesus Fucking Christ, you're all a bunch of fucking idiots," I agree with you.

Geezus ... get lives, people. Take a walk. Go shopping. Feed your cat. Give your mom her nightly spongebath and rub her bunions (that's for you, Knilands). Hell, surf the Interblogs for porn. Anything but this.

The collective amount of time wasted here is absolutely ridiculous. And I'm just as guilty, because I just couldn't stop reading. Everyone's an expert. Everyone has the answers. Everyone's right.

Not so fast. Here's a few bits of what will probably be the closest things to the truth you'll read in this thread.

• The Sentinel redesign DOES leave a lot to be desired. I personally don't like it. I don't live there, so I don't have to. The Sentinel has to answer to its readers, and over time, whatever they do now will catch up to them, one way or another. Or maybe not -- maybe over time it will be universally praised down there. I don't know. You don't know. No one knows. That's why they took a stab at it.

• If today's visual journalists spent as much time nit-picking their pages as journalists as they did nit-picking the words they were trying to squeeze into Twitter posts, maybe they wouldn't get called out by people like Knilands. (Say what you will about him -- he's an absolute idiot who has nothing better to do than rip the people he's jealous of, but he brings up great points about designers needing to be better journalists rather than just putting their thumbprints all over each page they touch).

• Most of the anonymous posters on here are no doubt middle-of-the-pack journalists at best.

• And you're all dweebie-nerd-loser-dorks.

Anonymous said...

"And you're all dweebie-nerd-loser-dorks."


Sounds like somebody's nerve was hit.

Oh, well, ninner ninner booboo.

rknil said...

Still trying to work up the courage to post with a name, I see.

You're doing better with that second area, though. I like the part about the Twitter posts.

But you still have too many burned-out bulbs. All of that other rambling about useless stuff -- pathetic.

Anti-Knilands said...

Hey Bobby. I'm a wee bit disappointed in you. It took your nearly 45 minutes to respond to my post last night. Did you actually take my advice and go out for a breath of fresh air? Is that why it took you so long to respond?

If that's the case, good for you. It's a start to living a normal existence, and I'm proud of you. You'll get there one day buddy.

As for the anonymous post from this morning, well that wasn't me, but I do happen to agree with pretty much everything the person said.

Especially the part about you being an idiot, Bob.

Just so there's no more confusion I've attached my name to this post. I'm the Anti-Knilands. I'm everything you aren't Robert:

Rational, intelligent, reasonable, good-looking and I have a life.

Oh, just to clear up a point or two since you seemed to misunderstand my previous post. It's ok Robbie. I'll type a little slower for you this time.

1. I never said a redesign would save a newspaper or boost its circulation.

2. Let me quote you for this one:

"People like you choose to ignore those facts. If you want to be an idiot, that's your choice, but when you come in and slam anything that doesn't agree with your narrow, clueless, factless view, then that's a problem."

What facts would those be? The fact that papers have been losing readers long before the age of design was ushered in?

You see, Robio, unlike you I don't pin the industry's meltdown on what is really a pretty insignificant factor. I can see the big picture and realize that the reasons the newspaper industry is in the predicament it's in is due to a myriad of things.

There's no one thing that got us to this point, and if there is it certainly isn't designers (though I'm not suggesting design hasn't played a role).

You're the one who has the "narrow, clueless, factless view," Rupert.

Oh, and one last thing. My sister-in-law is coming into town today so I'll be busy enjoying her visit. You see my wife and I have made some plans to spend time with her so I won't be able to reply right away to whatever drivel you post five minutes after I hit the publish comment button. But don't worry, Roger. I'll take a look eventually.

Keep making the effort to get a little sun. Talk with you soon.

rknil said...

Still not enough spine to put a real name behind your blathering, though. Lots of cowardice there, my friend.

That anonymity sort of negates the rest of your post. I should take what you say at face value simply because you say it? Right. I'll get on that.

Also, you still cite no numbers for any of your claims. And we're talking about the design issue here because that's the one that's been mentioned in the posts. Reading comprehension, son, reading comprehension.

Finally, not that I really care about your slams, but based on the quality of your posts, I'd be amused to find what test would rate you intelligent and the rest of us not.

I could shoot down a lot of the rest of your stuff, too, but I think I'll just let you believe what you think to be true. Wouldn't want to miss the chance to make you look really foolish at just the right time.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Sentinel employee, not on the journalism side, and have no idea who this Masuda guy is. But from reading the Twitter kiss a$$ transcript, this guy is the biggest pu$$y I have ever encountered. I'll look up his picture on Triblink tomorrow and have a good laugh with my coworkers at his expense.

Anti-Knilands said...

Hey Bobby! Nearly three hours before a response this time. Good for you.

See! You ARE making progress. Before you know it we'll have you actually going out meeting people and talking with them just like a real-life human being.

Since you brought it up, let's talk about reading comprehension, Rupert.

First of all this post and the vast majority of these comments are about the layoffs at the Sentinel and the journalists who are now out of work.

The posts about design are really a secondary issue, but that's the one thing that really burns your pasty backside and the thing that you zero in on wherever you go. You try to make everything that's wrong with newspapers the fault of designers, but that only shows how moronic you really are.

Again, one last time, Roger, I'm going to say to you that there are many, many, many things that got us to this point. The emphasis on design has really played a pretty insignificant role (if at all) in the decline of newspapers, and if it has played a role it's symptomatic of larger issues in the industry.

If your warped head is too thick to understand that the industry's problems started several DECADES ago then maybe there really is no hope that we can turn you into a productive member of society.

Most sane people acknowledge this fact, and I really shouldn't have to provide you with any numbers or statistics. I'm not a freakin' librarian for crying out loud. Besides which there's this great little tool that's been around awhile. It's called the internet, and it was invented by Al Gore. Maybe you've heard of it, Boob?

Just take your little hands and type in a search for U.S. newspaper readership declines. I'm sure you'll find SOMETHING about it.

Just to get you started, there's a great report that was started back in 2004 by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. Here's the link: http://www.stateofthenewsmedia.com/2004/
then select the "audience" link under the "newspaper" section.

They've done the study every year since then, and you won't find them suggesting that design or designers or the other hair-brained excuses you normally cling to have anything to do with the industry's decline.

Know why?

Because they're intelligent, rational people. Unlike you.

So, now that I've given you solid reporting and seventh-level granite rock numbers, where's your data that shows design has wrecked the newspaper industry?

This should be good.

Oh, and as for my actual name on this post, I decided I'd go with Anti-Knilands again. As I said, I'm everything you aren't, but I also don't think I'd enjoy having your crazy ass slander me and stalk me all over the interweb the way you do Bonita Burton and Charles Apple (just to name a couple of the many unfortunate souls).

I so hope someone sues your ass for slander you twisted asshat.

And the day you make me look foolish is the day you get a girlfriend. I'm not worried about that happening.

Gotta go do this thing I like to call "work" now, Roscoe. Take care buddy.

rknil said...

Again, too gutless to post with a name. Again, no credibility, and thus no reason to respond to any of your off-topic ramblings. (I am warmed by your concern for my life, but I think I'll stick to listening to non-psychos who have enough backbone to say who they are and can make sense.)

Also, since you've brought up Bonita and Charles Apple, I think it's more than relevant to point out how they only present one side of an argument and never have the facts to back it up. Again, dude -- THAT is the point we're discussing here. You can bring up everything else under the sun and throw out all sorts of personal attacks, but you really show you have no clue.

One more time -- and try to pay attention this time -- designers are the ones claiming their approaches would lead to wild circulation boosts. People would be "dropping their cereal bowls" upon seeing the fabulous design, as the ads would say. It hasn't happened at any newspaper. There's your proof.

So you can run around with your head up your ass, just like any other day, pointing to all sorts of bullshit, but in the end, it all comes back to the designers who have lied.

Also, you've already cut your own throat in the "made to look foolish" category. Care to act like an adult now, or are you going to keep on with your sophomoric rants, thereby proving my point about the people who support the perpetually failing design-based approach?

rknil said...

Also, for the Sentinel folks reading this -- we seem to be getting away from the productive discussion of earlier in the thread. That's bad for those of you on the design front because I have a lot of e-mails I can repost here.

rknil said...

The best of the best recap begins:

"for the people lauding BBURTON.. are you all on CRACK ? ROOFIES?
She once announced that she wanted to fire anyone over 30 years old.
Her news judgement is that of a rubernecking gwaker at a car wreck."

Anti-Knilands said...

Damnit Roswell you've really fallen off the wagon, and you were doing so well. Three posts in a row?! I thought we agreed you were going to try to get out more?

I give you bedrock-solid data from a highly credible source like the Project for Excellence in Journalism and you come back at me with, "designers are the ones claiming their approaches would lead to wild circulation boosts... It hasn't happened at any newspaper. There's your proof?"

Ok Rover, you've convinced me with that precious nugget. How could anyone argue with that? Why didn't you just up and say that from the beginning? I mean Geezus here all this time I was believing the dumbasses at the PEJ. Man, do I feel like a total idiot.

Hey everybody! Rufus totally has the newspaper meltdown thing figured out! Damn, we should have a party and national holiday and name a few streets after him cause he just totally saved our bacon.

It's the designers! Freakin' a-holes have driven the industry right into the ground! Can you believe that? If only we had known it wasn't TV or the interwebs or iPods or retarded, unimaginative CEOs who were unwilling to change or any of that other crap the jerks at the PEJ and all those other professional industry watchers and pundits told us.

Ruprecht, you're like the messiah of newspapers leading us to the promised land, and all those damn designers are going straight to hell for the terrible things they've done. Fuckers!

Ok, in case you couldn't tell, Robin, that was me being sarcastic cause you my friend are just completely batshit crazy.

I have NEVER said I favored or believed in or thought the "design-based approach" was going to save newspapers. You've REALLY got to start reading these comments. I simply said it hasn't had the crushing effect on the industry that you seem hell-bent on trying to get everyone to believe. In fact it's probably pretty insignificant.

And as far as the anonymity thing goes, again, you've got the crazy eyes, Roderigo, and I just don't want to wake up one night from my blissful slumber to find them staring at me.

And if posting anonymously is such a big credibility loser for you, why are you holding up an anonymous post as the "best of the best?" Do you realize that 90% of the comments here are anonymous?

Maybe it's because everyone else here thinks you're one-ball short of a full sack as well.

Now, I want you to try and not post another comment immediately. I want you to go upstairs, get out of that dark, musty basement and talk with your mom. Maybe she'll let you loofah her stretch marks or something. Once you've done that, then and only then should you come back to your computer, let your eyes glaze over, start breathing through your mouth again and make your next comment.

It's for your own good buddy.

rknil said...

Good to see you've finally figured out I'm not reading your comments, you anonymous, gutless psycho.

Now I want you to get the mental help you so desperately need. Likely you're some designer who's even more stupid than the usual group. I strongly suspect you're the same guy who was thrown out of a paper for not being able to do the job properly. And as most papers are surprisingly lenient with the design crowd, you must have been a huge screw-up.

You can get therapy and move past this, though. Try to do so. But you need to come to grips with the fact I'm barely even skimming your posts. Try to do this so the thread can get back on topic. Save your psychotic, self-loathing rants for a therapy session or one of your bordering-on-sexual-assault evenings. That brings a great line to mind: What does your wife do, other than wake up screaming in the middle of the night? She must be SO proud of what she married -- a gutless, anonymous psychotic loser who couldn't handle even the most basic of responsibilities in an area with a ton of leeway.

There are also any number of psychosis-reducing drugs on the market, and you should look into these. Don't be afraid to take a lethal combination or to OD, as I'm sure the world will be a much better place without you in it. Your wife, for one, will feel much safer -- if that person even exists, as you don't have the balls to post with a name.

Anyway, I realize that as a wash-out on the design desk, you're likely not good for much in the world. Don't be afraid to walk out into traffic or something, although you might dent someone's car. Maybe a quiet overdose or a self-inflicted gunshot would be best for you. If you can, try to shoot through both jaws; that way your demise will be long and painful.

Also, here are some hints for you if you plan to continue showing off your lack of brain cells here:

(1) You need better insults. I think the 6-year-old down the street could do better.

(2) Learn to write. I know it's probably too late for you, but maybe the local elementary school can assist here.

(3) Try to let some oxygen get up to those few remaining brain cells. Do you feel light-headed about three sentences in? That's generally when I stop reading your nonsense. I think you're so lacking in mental ability that you don't realize your tiny balloon has deflated so quickly.

Anyway, I hope this advice can help you. Again, don't be afraid of suicide; I think it might be your best hope at this point!

rknil said...

To get back on topic:

I created another survey where people can share their stories about things that have happened in the newsroom. It's here:

http://www.wenalway.com/survey/survey.php?s_id=24

Anonymous said...

Any chance this thread gets back to bashing on Bonita?

That would be cool.

Robert said...

I could steer it in that direction, but then the resident nutcake would show up again.

Funny how that works: Whenever there's criticism of Bonita, some crazy person (whose IP address I have somewhere in my archives) shows up and tries to divert the discussion. What a coincidence!