Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Executive at failing newspaper chain offers Random Pixels some free advice

When last we heard from Anders Gyllenhaal in 2010, he was hightailing it out of town, leaving the Miami Herald where he had been the paper's executive editor for roughly three years.

In Oct. of 2010, the Herald's parent company, McClatchy, named Gyllenhaal vice president, news and Washington editor.

During his tenure at the Herald, Gyllenhaal oversaw massive staff cuts and one of the steepest circulation declines in Herald history - a decline that continues unabated under his successor.

In 2012, Miami New Times reported that Gyllenhaal was pulling down a salary of $375,000.
He went home with $56,000 in "incentive compensation" last year on top of his $375,000 salary, according to new filings obtained by Riptide. Along with stock awards and "other compensation," he nearly made $1.3 million last year.

So, we were more than a little surprised the other day, when the highly-paid, big-shot editor Anders Gyllenhaal took some time out of his busy schedule to fire off an email to us.

While he didn't come right out and say it, Gyllenhaal was apparently annoyed with my latest post that criticized Herald managing editor Rick Hirsch and executive editor Mindy Marques.

Click here to enlarge.

Here's the email:

I received your most recent email and would like to make a couple of points. I think you know from our years of discussing coverage issues in Miami, the editors at the Herald and the leaders of the company read and do our best to respond to criticism and complaints from everyone who writes. None of our newspapers is perfect, and we work through issues with readers and critics on a regular basis.

But I have to tell you, your emails and blog have become so vicious and personal in respect to the editors in Miami that they do not merit response. The posters, name-calling and ridicule have no place in media criticism. While the Herald and McClatchy are open to all kinds of questions about coverage and individual stories, we cannot respond to diatribes like these.

Bill, look around at what media blogs elsewhere are doing and how they approach their topics. There're plenty of issues, questions and concerns in coverage issues you can dig your teeth into without the kind of weird personal assaults you resort to.


Gyllenhaal is a prime example of why newspapers, like the Herald, are failing miserably. Gyllenhaal still doesn't realize that this is no longer 1985 and that newspapers no longer control the dialogue.

There are two lines in Gyllenhaal's email that prove how out of touch he is...and also prove that he wants it both ways.

"The posters, name-calling and ridicule have no place in media criticism," writes Gyllenhaal.

Gyllenhaal apparently never got around to reading Herald Star Columnist Fabiola Santiago's attack on filmmaker Billy Corben last year. In her column she called Corben a "tweeting twit."

From Miami New Times:
[S]he uses her column for a full-out ad hominen attack on Corben. She makes a point of using his legal name, "William Corben," like she was an angry mother reprimanding her son. She calls him "condescending," and a "bad-boy" narcissist, and chides his "stupidity" and "runaway self-promotion." Never mind that Santiago herself comes off as condescending and slightly stupid.

And I'm pretty sure Gyllenhaal never saw Santiago's column last February where she bullied, ridiculed and name-called a teen girl struggling with dependency issues who happened to get on the wrong side of a hot-headed judge with issues of his own.

But my favorite line in Gyllenhaal's email is the one where he advises me to "look around at what media blogs elsewhere are doing and [see] how they approach their topics."

Imagine that...Anders Gyllenhaal, an executive for a failing newspaper chain, and the man who single-handedly drove some of the few remaining nails in the Miami Herald's coffin, offering me advice on how to do anything.

Thanks, but no thanks, Anders.  I think you have your hands full taking care of your own crumbling empire.

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