Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Smaller newspapers have self-inflicted wounds, too

I got offered a job, then had it pulled back away, all in just six hours, yesterday.

I had a phone interview to be named the editor, and general manager in training, at a weekly paper near Dallas. Ideal!

Was tentatively offered the job over the phone, then the publisher said he'd like to meet in person just to give himself final assurance.

No problem, I said. I'll drive to Dallas this weekend.

Well, less than five hours later, I get this message in an e-mail:
The powers that be with the chain have decided to move things in a different direction.

Oh, and that was after being told on the phone five hours earlier that "the powers that be" had been pushing to get this position filled.

It's the second time in 10 months I've had an "interesting" interview situation with this newspaper chain. The first time, the company's flagship daily, on the west side of Houston (you TPA members, figure out who, I don't have the Heart to tell you) offered me a job -- a job somewhat inchoately defined as far as duties, and very inchoate as far as other things.

Like how much they were going to pay me. Whether it would be on salary or wage.

So, exactly what happened yesterday? Who knows. I do know, though, that I'd look long and hard at any other jobs this company advertises.

Nor is that the first time, or the first newspaper company, that hasn't been 100 percent up-front, or organized, or both, or whatever, about a situation.

That said, I don't know whether the track record is better or worse than other small businesses, small businesses as far as the individual outlets/franchises, at least. Maybe they're better, maybe they're worse, maybe about the same.

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