Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Casualty Count At News-Press Continues To Rise

Carol Warner had been with the News-Press since the days it was owned by the New York Times Company. She had been the publisher's secretary under Steve Ainsley and remained so even through owner Wendy McCaw's assumption of those duties.

After the resignations of top editors and others in July '06 and the turmoil that followed in the immediate aftermath of those departures she became less comfortable in her position. She sympathized with the employees who sought to unionize. She eventually transferred to the paper's Human Resources Department.

More recently, there was an opening in the newsroom at the copy desk, a place of constant turnover. She had prior experience editing and proof reading some of the paper's editorials so she filled the vacancy and started working as a copy editor.

Once she moved upstairs to the newsroom, someone in management ordered that the computer she had left behind at her workstation in HR be examined. Management accused her of deleting files from her computer and she was escorted out of the building.

Reportedly, she has denied deleting any files or doing anything improper.

So, another long-time employee of the paper becomes a victim of what must at times seem like a witch hunt that is going on inside the News-Press building.

* * *

Meanwhile, last Thursday at a law office in Santa Monica, another witch hunt continued. This time for the identity of the person or persons who gave Nick Welsh of The Independent the draft copy of Scott Hadley's article on what occurred in the newsroom on July 6th of last year when Jerry Roberts and other top editors of the paper resigned.

Former reporters Melinda Burns and Rob Kuznia were required to appear at a deposition and answer questions about whether they had any knowledge of who may have leaked the Hadley article. Neither did.

Burns also corroborated what is believed to be Welsh's testimony, given in an earlier deposition, that he never had possession of an unpublished article written by News-Press reporter Vlad Kogan about the arbitration between the paper and former editor Jerry Roberts. According to Burns, Welsh called her to ask how the heck the L.A. Times had gotten a copy of the article, to which she replied, "I don't know."

* * *

Over at Edhat, David Pritchett has posted an article where he gets to the bottom of the question that apparently has been keeping News-Press editorial page editor Travis Armstrong up at night; why does the name of city council member Helene Schneider's husband, but not that of Schneider herself, appear on paperwork for a building permit for their family home?

Paul Casey, the City's Community Development Director, told Pritichett that the City receives its property ownership records from the County Assessor's office and those records, where there are multiple owners of property, typically only list the name of one owner.

Well, I'm glad someone got to the bottom of that!
© 2009 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com