Star editor Mike Fannin’s most recent mug shot
These are desperate times for newspapers…
And while I seem to be in a minority when it comes to optimism about their survival, that has zero to do with critiquing the current product, which most people seem to agree somewhat sucks.
That’s not sour grapes because I used to work there either, it’s simply a statement of the obvious.
In no small part because I too am a paying newspaper customer – just as I was while working there 16 years. And like other subscribers, I’d like to get my money’s worth. The frustrating fact being it wouldn’t take that much to turn out a far better end product. It’s merely a matter of setting a smarter course and steering the news ship in the right direction.
And while the solution is multifold, let’s not make this overly complex.
Quite simply the newspaper needs to hire and position the right people at the top which obviously it has not at this point in time. Painfully obviously.
Having worked directly under him, I was very optimistic when Mike Fannin was made the editor.
He’d obviously done a good job following Dinn Mann‘s lead in riding herd over the sports section of the Star. Then again, it was Mann who set the tone and installed the twin towers – Jason Whitlock and Joe Posnanski.
And while I know Fannin has felt burdened by a newsroom both run and overrun by old timers – Baby Boomers largely – he’s had six years to clear the decks and field a team more to his liking. Yet other than in the sports section, he’s failed miserably.
However, unlike television and radio, nobody up top gets held accountable in the newspaper world. That’s a tradition that continues to this day. You have to really mess up to get fired from the upper echelons of a newspaper. Not being successful is no big deal.
Make no mistake, Fannin’s a nice guy and outside of a couple DUIs, an assault conviction and an extramarital affair with one of his direct subordinates, there’s little not to like about him. Continue reading