Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The week after some serious cuts were made at the Orlando Sentinel and the paper came under fire for not disclosing them, Editor Charlotte Hall is nowhere to be found. Well, she's at least not found in Orlando or the Sentinel building. The current word on her whereabouts is that she's attending a conference and will not be back until next Monday.

Now, maybe her attendance at this conference was planned and arranged many months prior, but would it be completely unheard of to cancel a cameo because your paper's having crisis?Especially, when whatever conference you would be attending is likely full of talk about the newspaper business or at least journalism, both of which are best practiced actively rather than in theory. 

Yet, even in theory--in a hypothetical situation, it does seem like Ms. Charlotte Hall should be (A)  at the Sentinel, instead of (B) at some conference. By definition, an editor is responsible for guiding their staff and the paper through dicey situations. The national coverage of cutbacks at the paper and the management's covering up of those cutbacks seems like a dicey situation. So, it seems like she should be present right now.

But, she's gone and I don't foresee anyone commanding her to return immediately. Therefore, she will remain gone until next week, when she's hopefully helping guide that long awaited "Sentinel cutbacks" report.

Still is it really fair that Ms.Hall can brandish a "get out of jail free" card, while everyone else remains in fear behind bars?


Anonymous said...

Is she at the UNITY conference in Chicago with the editor of the Amazing Shrinking Los Angeles Times?

Anonymous said...

The only thing that can save the Sentinel is for all the knowledgeable staff to walk out and start their own paper. Zell is ruthless, capable, and blind. He is a 1929 style reductionist/capitalist titanic hellion and nothing can stop him. Run while you can, you'll be writing stories about swamp gas and running pictures of cute little puppies before Christmas. Find a local rag and take over. Build up the badd ass writing and reporting I know you've always had and sink his ass--then wait until he sells and buy it back.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else wonder why papers like Hartford and Allentown were allowed to have reporters cover the Zell/Michaels conference call this week about the dire straits that are pulling down Tribune Co. papers and their communities? Yet no Sentinel reporter participated -- at least not to write a story.

I hope CJR is preparing the biggest dart in its history for this disgrace.

Anonymous said...

According to this link, Charlotte Hall is on a Friday panel at Unity.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte's never shown any leadership before; why would she start now? That woman is a Zell yes-man through and through, and as long as her own linen-pants-suit covered behind is ok, then she'll happily run off to conferences, long lunches (on the company's dime, of course) and other events, while her staff panics, morale sinks and the paper grows thin and irrelevant. Don't expect leadership from Charlotte; in fact, having her out of the newsroom and away from the real decisions is probably the best thing for everyone.

Anonymous said...

And Charlotte spent the days after 9-11 monitoring the situation from the Adirondacks. Now THAT'S leadership... And just for fun, check her byline count from her days at Newsday.

What's next, Charlotte? Sending people door-to-door soliciting subscriptions for the newspaper?

Anonymous said...

That's funny about the Adirondacks. She was also in the Adirondacks during the Orlando hurricanes. Which is why the paper's coverage kicked ass. Ironic? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte didn't work at the Sentinel during 9/11. She was still at Newsday.

She was at her cabin in the Adirondacks when Hurricane Charley struck in August 2004, and stayed there for several days. Then she had to attend to her dying mother, and then go to the funeral in Iowa.

The metro desk ran the Charley story with no "adult supervision" for about a week to 10 days. Then Charlotte was back in time for Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Those are the basic facts. It's pretty hard to criticize someone for attending to her dying mother.

Anonymous said...

there are also other numerous AMEs and managers at Unity. Costing our company thousands of dollars.