Star-Telegram Editor’s E-mail of the Month

Got this from our comments, and it’s too good to be buried. Jim Witt, the S-T’s executive editor, pushed the wrong button and sent this memo to all employees. I don’t know who the named recipients are, but I’m betting they are McClatchy bean-counters trying to get rid of the more expensive reporters. No reason for Witt to be embarrassed, though. If I were an employee I’d like to know my editor is fighting to keep the best talent in the building.


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16 responses to “Star-Telegram Editor’s E-mail of the Month”

  1. Grammar Police says:

    It doesn’t sound like he’s trying to keep ALL the talent in the building. More like he’s trying to figure out which higher-paid reporter to let go, then how to get the one that remains to be more productive.

  2. Media Watchdog says:

    Here’s Witt’s response to his own goof:

    From: Witt, Jim
    Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2009 4:21 PM
    To: edit-all
    Subject: Oops!
    Importance: High


    Well, boy am I embarrassed. By now you have probably already read the e-mail I sent to the publisher concerning Gil Lebreton, Jim Reeves and Jen Engel. Not sure how “edit-allʼʼ got into the CC field, but it did.

    Anyway, by way of explanation, I was talking to Gary Wortel this morning about about the recent announcement that the Star-Telegram and the Dallas Morning News were going to start sharing some sports content. As you may know, part of that agreement is that we are NOT going to be sharing columnists.

    I told him that we had also put Jen on the list of stuff we would NOT be sharing and he was asking me what was the difference between what she does and what someone like Revo or Leb does. I was trying to spell out those differences in my e-mail.

    A lesson here for all of us that I will never forget …


  3. julie says:

    Sounds like hard-working lil Jen needs to figure out who Lilly Ledbetter is….

  4. Jesse says:

    Why don’t they fire that goofball Jim Witt and I bet they could afford to keep Jen AND Gil.

  5. JS says:

    Ah, reminds of the good old days when lawyers could refer to each other as “middle man monkey” and “money effin scribe”

  6. JS says:

    Oops, should have said the voicemail was NSFW.

  7. sis says:

    It doesn’t sound like he’s defending the experienced reporters at all to the ‘bean counters.’ It sounds like he’s pointing out they have a workhorse who’s grossly underpaid. (I also take issue with the notion that frenzied production means a better reporter; usually, it means quality is sacrificed for volume. Not to mention burnout…)

  8. Nancy Nichols says:

    Jen totally ripped off that Bride-to-Bride idea from me.

  9. Tim Rogers says:

    The way I see it, Jen Engel, if she’s any good at negotiating, gets a raise today. And Jim Reeves and Gil Lebreton have their lawyers contact McClatchy brass about the trauma their clients have suffered, blah, blah, thereby guaranteeing their job security in perpetuity.

  10. Guilty Bystander says:

    What Witt’s “explanation” e-mail doesn’t explain is why his e-mail to the publisher about what 3 columnists was copied to Darla Ruiz, who I believe is in Human Resources. If the publisher needed an FYI for journalistic (content sharing) purposes, why was someone in HR copied?

  11. Sean says:

    As a former Startle-Grammer and part of the team that sent the evil empire out of Arlington, I’m giggling my butt off. And you might want to visit this too: It’s McClatchy Watch. Lots of good comments.

  12. Doggy says:

    Did anyone get the e-mail from Bob Mong that pointed out how more valuable Kevin Sherrington was than Tim Cowlishaw and Jean-Jacque-Taylor?

  13. JS says:

    Doggy, the deposits that you leave on my lawn are more valuable than JJT. He has to be the worst sports columnist in the area.

  14. Neal says:

    This internal newspaper memo (to the staff of the South Bend Tribune) is even worse, and it was sent intentionally:

    (Courtesy of

  15. doggymaster says:

    js, you are wrong.
    jjt has ‘value.’ he doesn’t have ‘talent,’ ‘work ethic,’ ‘connections,’ ‘experience’ or ‘instincts.’
    but he has ‘value.’

  16. This topic is quite hot in the net at the moment. What do you pay the most attention to when choosing what to write about?