This week's Independent Weekly cover story on Gannett Co., the Virginia-based media giant that owns The Daily Advertiser, was picked up yesterday by Gannett Blog, run by one of the chain's former editors. The blog wrote, "In a heartbreaking story worth reading to the very last sentence, The Independent Weekly tells a harrowing tale about Gannett's stewardship of The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette, La. The 143-year-old daily got swept up in the $1 billion Thomson Newspapers deal in mid-2000."
That post has since set off a firestorm of responses, one calling The Independent a "bitter publication trying to take ad revenues from the Advetiser (sic)."
There is also this:
this story is the same for many many gannett papers. a small paper in the midwest ranked in the top 5 for profit in gannett in 2005 and 2006. Now it is nearly dismantled.
But many of the posts -- all anonymous of course -- get mighty personal, especially when it comes to Daily Advertiser Publisher Leslie Hurst, who did not return The Independent's phone or e-mail requests for an interview for the story.
Leslie Hurst has got to be the WORST Publisher in company. When she came to Lansing the 1st thing she did was to fire her admin assistant and hire someone with a different look, the new one wore high heels and shorty suits.
She then instructed all department heads to inform thier (sic) employees never to come into her office when she was not there (she changed the locks) and if she was there not to talk to her directly. She has a closed door policy. Not what you would expect in a publisher.
Another blogger wrote:
Gosh, I just feel so bad for the people in Lafayette. I was there when she had her way in Huntington. She was so hard on the little people, especially in production and classified.
Read 'em all here and check back later cause they're coming in at a pretty steady pace.