Saturday, January 28, 2012

Meet The New Chairman of The AP Board of Directors

The Gateway Journalism Review reports that Mary Junck was named the new AP Board Chairman. Apparently, she's been on the board for 10 years and has been the vice chair for 3 years.

Junck is also the CEO of Lee Enterprises, which owns the Post-Dispatch. I happen to think there are a lot of things to like about the Post-Dispatch, but the upper management of Lee Enterprises is certainly not one of them. Bill McClellan, in an especially courageous column, wrote about Lee laying off employees while Junck took in a salary of $833,000. McClellan suggested that Junck must be "too big to fail," and he said he wished he could say the same about some of his colleagues.

But what really convinced me of just how cold-heated Lee is, beyond the typical "management makes a lot of money while firing employees right and left" story, was the way Lee Enterprises explicitly promised health care to employees who agreed to an early retirement deal, and then went back on their promise. This heartless decision led to gut-wrenching stories like this from Show Me Progress:

I admit I don't much about the AP Board. Maybe they were already ruthless. Or maybe they don't have much influence on how cynically newspaper owners act. But I have to say I'm not very encouraged by this news.

h/t ForwardSTL.

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