Mar 7, 2008

O'Sullivan out*, **

Steve O'Sullivan is out as executive editor at the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group.

Frank Pine, senior managing editor at the San Bernardino Sun, will be taking a new position as senior managing editor for the Inland Division, with authority over all five papers. He'll now be based at the Tribune in West Covina.

Here's the story in the Pasadena Star-News.

** updated again


Anonymous said...

It's a shame that they hire another level of management and then kick Elise and Emanuel.


Lisa said...

Good luck Steve. Life gets much better beyond the confines of a Singleton newspaper.

Anonymous said...

So sorry you all have been hit with MN cuts too. Over here at the P-T and the LADN we're in mourning for our losses too. Its a sad time for us all.

We're trying to get an idea of how just many good people were discarded in this round of LANG bloodletting under the guise of "restructuring": at the Press-Telegram 8 lay offs and 12 transfers to the Daily Breeze; 9 laid off at the DB; 22 at the Daily News in a layoff/buyout combo and 31 at your papers. = 70. Right?

How many are left then, in your newsrooms?

Anonymous said...

In with the new boss, same as the old boss?

Anonymous said...

Not Pine!
God help the tribune guys.

Anonymous said...

Pine actually used to be a decent guy when he was working in the trenches with the rest of us. Apparently there's a requirement to hand in one's soul before moving up the MNG ladder.

Anonymous said...

Well, the meeting was like a funeral. Steve O talked first and said he had decided to go. For some reason or another. Then another steve talked about "rebuilding from the bottom." Another guy admitted LA dot com was a big mess and tons of advertisers were lost. Then Pine said we were journalists and that we all needed to get busy with that and not to worry about what's going on.or at least that's the impression i got. Then, Big Steve O's hand-picked editor, the one who took over poor old (not literally) P. Drake, began almost balling out-right about Steve O leaving. It was as if his lover had left him. Everyone could see his world crumbling right in front of him. It was one big, love fest of thank you for making me what I am and will be (At the cost of long time editor drake, who was beloved by all in the community and who, unlike many, knew most in the community because he was local, Drake was EVERYTHING LOCAL). But, I digress. Big O' protege continued and was to the point of professing his love for the big O. All that was left to do was plant one big a** kiss on the big O. But, fortunately, it did not get to that point. Only crikets and a pin drop could be heard. Then one big wig began a half-harted applause and so did many others. A few people asked a few questions, but the answer was usually a very generic one. "I don't know, it's possible and not possible." Same BS people get after big round of decapitations. The point was we have new people again who are going to rebuild from the ground up and the funny thing is, they don't even know where to begin. That's real encouraging. Ron Berry, seeing the writing on the wall, found himself another job a couple of weeks ago and today was his last day. Good for him.

Signed, anonymous #159

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Anon 159, for the report. I'm sure the decision was not O'Sullivan's to make, despite his claims that he's the martyr to save other jobs. If the LANG big-wigs wanted him to stay, he would have stayed. They wanted him out, either because he was making too much money, or they thought someone else could do the job better. Or both. (In my opinion, a doorstop could do a better job.)

Look at the quality people who have left the SGVN newsroom in the past two years, because of O'Sullivan. The best -- the only -- product a local newspaper can offer and can sell that's better than anyone else is local news. And, you're right, Phil Drake was local, and he was very good at what he did. He sold papers. O'Sullivan, with his MBA, was too stupid to realize that.

In addition to Phil Drake, SGVN lost an assistant ME, a news editor, two local news editors, several good reporters and several copy editors -- many of whom quit without even having another job -- primarily because of O'Sullivan. That's quite an accomplishment in less than two years.

Anonymous said...

When O'Sullivan came to the Daily Bulletin, I could never understand a word he said. He loved to hear himself talk and talk and talk. The daily budget meetings were a grind because he spoke in a language no one understood. Since his instructions were gibberish, we just went ahead with what we were doing anyway. I wonder why it took LANG so long to get the fact that he didn't know what he was doing. And when Pine took the job as the hand-picked ME, he had about four days of reporting experience. A great guy who would have made a great editor if he learned his craft a bit. But O'Sullivan got what he wanted: a yes man.

69 said...

I've worked at this paper for more than 18 years and I've seen lots of changes in the past but this is the worst i've seen yet and I too was at yesterdays meeting and it was alot of hog wash. Steve I wish you all the luck in the world and you will be missed. It's the rest of us that are still here that will suffer the most. It's too bad because this use to be a good paper and now I wouldn't use it to wash my windows .

Conor said...

Quoth anonymous, on the subject of Frank Pine: "A great guy who would have made a great editor if he learned his craft a bit."

I couldn't disagree more.

As a rookie reporter I couldn't have asked for a better editor than Frank, whose commitment to local news, nurturing young reporters and generally conducting himself as a stand-up guy is unsurpassed, as far as my experience in the world of journalism.

Nor was he a yes man.

On several occasions Frank went to bat for my stories when I disagreed with higher-ups. The only standard that mattered to him: who was right on the merits.

Anonymous said...

Fond adieu, Steve O. Don't let the door hit you you in the MBA on your way out.

Anonymous said...

I've been with this company many years..I won't say what department or what I do, cause I choose to remain anonymous. As one thats still in the trenches it saddens to see the loss of some really great reporters. It makes me feel like I'm the TITANIC slowly sinking with the ship with no life vest. 'nuff just had to vent. This place really is a depressing site.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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