Dec 1, 2011

Press-Enterprise editor heads to Tennessee

Maria De Varenne will become the executive editor of The Tennessean after 10 years as editor of the Press-Enteprise in Riverside. Nels Jensen will takeover duties at the P-E.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Poor Nashville.
Something wicked that way comes.

Anonymous said...

something much worse coming to Riverside

Anonymous said...

How does this POS keep floating to the top?!

Anonymous said...

Not floating, climbing.
On the bodies of the people not sophisticated enough for her special brand of award-winning, hyper-local, multi-platform digital journalism.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure everyone she has not fired at The P-E is relieved. The only people she was decent to were those who kissed up to her. She couldn't put together a typo-free note, but she was sure good at making people miserable. She relished torturing people; I witnessed this firsthand. It can't be easy uprooting with children that age and moving to a new place. I hope she was nudged out. I don't wish them well.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if she is dragging dead weight into the Tenn. photo department. Just what you don't need is another self-serving; award winning photographer who floats on his wife's tail.

Anonymous said...

In my experience, which I admit is more than 5 years ago now, Nels is a good, level mind with good judgment to lead the newsroom. Like basically everyone else, I thought he cowered under the vicious, ruthless and tyrannical management of Maria. All in all, I would see this as a huge positive for The P-E newsroom. The question is whether so much damage is done that it can't be rebuilt by someone from within who probably is not willing to make huge changes. Again though, my firsthand experience is several years old now and I don't know how round after round of gutting has changed Nels and others at the P-E.

Anonymous said...

4:45 couldn't be more right.
She loves torturing people. She is small, vindictive and will not be remembered for anything but her petty cruelty and utter lack of basic journalism skills.
But if your a realtor in need of a free ad, I mean community news coverage, just give her a call ...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I mean you're. Too many bad memories, not enough coffee.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, sounds like i was lucky I worked at LANG.

Anonymous said...

Nels has overseen the demise of The Business Press and most of the other departments he's overseen have been dismantled. Good luck PE newsroom, you're going to need it.

Anonymous said...

is the Tennessee paper considered a step up? A step sideways? or downward? I can't believe she would uproot her family to go somewhere bad....unless she was forced to

Anonymous said...

Nels is a good dude. He was the only one who ever stood up to the editor and did not automatically defer to her. He was outspoken and said things others only thought of saying. Nels came from Dallas and had plenty of contacts there. I wonder if he expressed his misgivings to the brass enough times that they finally gave her the boot. One can only hope.

Anonymous said...

Those of you defending Nels - or maybe it's Nels himself or some of his pals posting these glowing accolades in his defense - Nels is a backstabbing, unprofessional piece of work who will pull the rug out from under you, if you even give him half a chance. I wouldn't trust him anywhere behind me or out of my range of vision.

Anonymous said...

So now all of Maria's pals who were protected by her and got to keep their jobs because they were close to her and sucked up to her, I hope they're quivering in their boots. I hope they get laid off because such is long overdue. They no longer have the torturous Maria to keep them off the chopping block.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with Nels. I had a decent relationship with him. I still think he's a better bet than his predecessor.

Anonymous said...

I think Nels had to have a positive relationship with Maria to have lasted this long. I agree with whomever said there is a God for not giving the position to John Gryka -- what a cretinous lizard, but lizards are generally less repulsive and cretinous than John Gryka.

Anonymous said...

My feeling about Nels is that he has no news sense, tells people what they want to hear, is just smart enough to know how stupid he actually is but too stupid to change, but that he eventually got enough power that he wields it over people below him, forcing them to kowtow to him. I think that this is at best a lateral move for the newsroom. But if he DOES have connections to Dallas, I'm hoping he uses them for good instead of evil. I'm praying for the newsroom. Maybe some of the formerly protected folks will be unearthed as the awful employees they are. Let's get some real journalists back in there.

Anonymous said...

10:59 AM Saying that Nels is better than Maria is like saying eating solid crap is better than eating diarrhea. Both are awful propositions and one is worse than the other.

Anonymous said...

11:25 AM Why the bitter bashing of lizards? Lizards are great little reptiles, and they eat up bugs.

Gryka is a stink bug, once surrounded by other stink bugs. It's a good thing that he and Maria are gone. Now it's time to get rid of the remaining bugs.

Anonymous said...

shit is shitnno matter what the form. as far as tennessee, i would say a step up in size and scope...go figure.

nice to see all the venom is not unique to lang.

Anonymous said...

P-E whiners. Not quite up to LANG standards but getting there. You all have a great, happy weekend hanging out on this site. Bye bye.

Anonymous said...

hey there 2:11, LOOKS LIKE SOME OF YOUR TIME SPENT HERE TOO...ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me y'all Riverside Press Enterprise folks what had it good for a long time with your big circulation and fancy building and high class Belo ownership and journalism awards, and looked down on us Lang people like we was hill billies with our old beat up buildings and lil individual circulations and shabby Dean Ray Don Jack Kent Singleton owners. Now, we knows that our editors was much worser than yours, so we feel your pain and all, but whoever this Maria shriver person was cant be be worse than all the bad editors we had. Maybe y'all spoiled? A little? Y'all dealt with a little back stabbin' and neppytism, but we was kicked and scratched and run gauntlets and pepper sprayed and peed on just coming to work every morning and if your dragged feet got laid off just for being slow. Never met no one here made more than minim wage and had to pay seat tax for working telephone and chair not broke and no flush toilets or nothing.

Anonymous said...

of course ol' maria and the gang came from the sun. Not lang, but always close enough.
that's when belo poisoned the water hole.

Anonymous said...

2:11 PM What does it say about you that you came to this site, clicked on this link, read the comments and then posted a comment of your own? It speaks more than you'll probably ever cop to.

I'm surprised you didn't do all those things just to say "Who cares?"

Anonymous said...

Boo, hoo, hoo, hoo. I work for the PE and it's so hard here because, because, well, Maria's mean to us, and, and, well, it's just bad. Poor, poor us.

Anonymous said...

oh maria ...

Anonymous said...

Good comeback, 5:57.

Anonymous said...

Hi 5:35 PM, or should I call you 2:11 PM?

How's your weekend shaping up? I thought you were just too cool for school to ever come back to this thread again.

Anonymous said...

5:01, I wouldn't fix your chair or your toilets with all the crap you dish out. If Maria left she probably knows something is coming and it isn't going to be pretty. The tide had changed and you need to stop thinking your job is secure. Lang doesn't need all the petty editors they have who think they are all that!

Anonymous said...

That, unfortunately, is probably true. Belo's squeezed every drop of blood out of that place and if maria is leaving, it's not because they suddenly care about the people who work there.
She just deserves so much less than a promotion and a new start. A lot of people remember the pe as a pretty decent place. Times change, of course, but maria and her little gollum, gryka, were something special.
So you'll understand if those who lost jobs because they rolled their eyes at one of maria's great ideas or have friends whose careers were cut short and families harmed so a fortunate few hacks could play reporter are venting a bit.
She and her buddies have 10 years of terrible damage on their hands. Just because lang has been getting the shaft for years doesn't make this any less terrible.
It's a big sewer sandwich, and we all get a bite.

Anonymous said...

wow. i thought LANGers were the only angry and bitter folks.

Anonymous said...

Wow, am I sensing a little bitterness in these comments? LOL

Personal feelings aside, none of these managers (not even Redfern) is responsible for the downward spiral of the Press-Enterprise. At one time, the PE was a big money maker. That's because the IE was growing by leaps and bounds. Realtors, car dealerships and other businesses took out a lot of ads, some of them huge. Now, the IE has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Car dealerships went out of business and foreclosed homes are sitting vacant. The majority of ads are foreclosure and bankruptcy notices. With all this going on, there was no way the PE would be immune to the cuts newspapers around the U.S. have suffered the past three years. Granted, everyone was miserable during the downsizing process the past three years. My guess is that misery started in Belo corporate and rolled downhill, increasing in mass as it hit the PE minions.

Anonymous said...

Howdy Doody can manage in great economic times. A manager needs to earn their stripes when business is bad. How you treat people, handle adversity, show leadership, and motivate your staff are key when times are tough, like the past several years. Sadly, most in this business don't know a thing about doing what they should.

Anonymous said...

4:04 am said it best. Most managers (and regular folks too sorry to say) are mostly looking out for themselves, and that's understandable. They just don't know how to handle the pressure. And many of them don't have time to learn on the job because their bosses say "cut" -- so they do.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for those in Tennessee who soon will be at Maria's mercy.

Throughout many years of working at The P-E, I was baffled at some of my co-workers' bitter attitude toward her. Until it was my turn.

Turn of the Screw, that is. Why torment a person for months in order to force him to quit, when you could just get it over with and lay him off? Why crush good workers into the ground like insects?

As with Maria, a little power is an ugly thing.

Anonymous said...

Amen.

Anonymous said...

It always makes me feel sad when coworkers are treated like crap by anyone. It shouldn't happen, but, it does. I understand the fact that bills need to be paid, mortgages/rent met, kids in school. Once it happens you know the outcome so why stay and put up with it? You will be gone anyway. And a note to those jerks who treat people like shit, it doesn't take much to treat them with dignity and respect. It is amazing how much more productive people can be when they feel good and valued. Also, nothing wrong with terminating a not so good employee if deserved and done correctly.

Anonymous said...

You people are all fucked up and need to get a life!

Anonymous said...

you're right, Mark Z. and maybe you need to get a job (away from the wife's coattails)

Anonymous said...

Lee Enterprises filing for bankruptcy relief. The writing is on the wall folks. Do people really pick up a newspaper these days? Either get technologically savey or try another profession. Maria decided to jump ship after how many years with the company? That should tell you something. As far as managers knowing how to manage,there are some that even have the management education and still can't manage their people. They talk down to them, curse and treat them rudely then expect to have respect from them. Some just come to work drunk, high or both and give their staff no direction whatsoever. Lang should clean house and get new blood with fresh new innovative ideas on getting the news out to folks.

Anonymous said...

once again the talk goes from Belo and the P-E to talk about lang....I guess lang folks always want to make it all about their troubles

Anonymous said...

I think you could put Lang in one smallish room at this point, and maybe they will. DOesnt look like there's much management left. Some of the Lang bashers have been gone more than a year or two and don't realize how few people remain.

Anonymous said...

4:18 AM Well said, but as is the case at the Press, it's often the not so good employees who get to stay and survive round after round of layoffs while the hard working ones get laid off.

Anonymous said...

in a ship of fools, you are just biding time as to who gets to go first. as to get a life...seems like you are spending time here too. people still get a paper delivered or buy single copy, but, their numbers diminish each year. and, as stated prior, can't make delivery economically feasable for much longer. newspapers as we knew them are sinking into the quicksand quickly.

Anonymous said...

When the economy comes back, I'm going to reapply for my old job.

Anonymous said...

Maria cared nothing about treating people with dignity and respect. Both she and Gryka seized upon the negative with glee and truly seemed to enjoy ripping people new ones or making their lives hell. There was virtually no recognition of good, only the highlighting of bad. The management team was like a bunch of high school bullies. Sounds like Gannett is full of people with little regard for others, so she'll fit right in.

Anonymous said...

She was tied for second best among all my bosses...all the rest were tied for first. Sorry about the repeated phrase...I could not resist.

Anonymous said...

Maria is in no way responsible for the economic downfall of the paper - just as she was in no way responsible for the good times a decade ago. She is similarly not responsible for the gutting of the news budget.

That said, what the leader of a newsroom can't offer in economic benefits, she could offer in working environment, motivation and other areas. Writers, photographers and editors are almost hard wired to work long hours for relatively low pay. Newsroom leaders get to channel that energy and are challenged to funnel the quirky (and sometimes difficult) personalities that are attracted to the lifestyle to support the mission of journalism.

Maria didn't create a workplace that supported journalism. She didn't even create one that was neutral to it. She built one that worked directly against the independent, inquisitive and iconoclastic minds that power the best of journalism. Strong, veteran voices were not just set aside, they were smothered in garbage, tortured, drawn, quartered and added to rotting heap of discarded scraps.

To be sure, some people were burned out bulbs who, in the end, didn't need to be working at the paper any more. Not every fired employee was undeserving. However, the newsroom understood that merit was secondary - if not altogether superfluous - to other considerations when it came to your standing with Maria. As a result, it was difficult to keep journalism and quality of work at the top of your mission if you worked in that newsroom.

In the end, I just don't feel she was put on this earth to lead a newsroom. Unfortunately, that's the authority entrusted to her. That's now for the employees of the Nashville Tennessean to work out.

Anonymous said...

To 1:59:

Thanks for your insightful comments. I don't work at your paper, but I can relate to what you're saying. I used to work at the Daily News under Ron Kaye and a horridly bitter, gossipy city editor who never stood up for her reporters.

Unless you were a reporter who chased stories that only Ron Kaye found worthy of telling, he would pretty much ignore you. There were reporters there who wrote so well, but because their stories involved independent thought, he never entered those stories in contests, gave those reporters much credit, or worked to help them become better

I'm not sure what the situation is like now at the old DN. But it's a shame when editors can't see beyond their own self serving agendas. It's been years, but I still feel the scars of being cast aside, as if I had nothing worthy to contribute. However, I hope you and your colleagues and those whose names I still recognize at the DN remember that nothing bad lasts forever, even though it feels like it sometimes.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid this bad will last forever. This change at newspapers will not find the rainbow or the pot of gold at the end. The landscape has changed forever and newspapers have clearly shown their inability to change and manuver to the current competitive arena. Smal profits, inadequate news coverage, shrinking circulation/readership, and a dying core of subscribers. Not a pretty picture for a future.

It also seems like the people in charge haven't a clue of what to do, or how to run the business, including getting the most from their staffs. A sad ending.

helena said...

But, this little investment could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars- not to mention countless hours of stress and anxiety wondering what might happen.
nevada bankruptcy

Anonymous said...

helena, please pander on some other appropriate site.

HcoRealEstates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I'll get right on it.

Anonymous said...

Good-bye to the Wicked Witch of the West. Her broom has landed in Nashville. Those Southern folks will really hate Californial once they are subjected to her digusting behavior and vile existence. Funny how the evil people in the world get promoted. I guess they do have a pack with Satan.

HOA Management Services San Diego said...

something much worse coming to Riverside