Thursday, January 04, 2007

Dave Iseman out at the TL


Holy shit. Ding dong, the witch is dead, part two. Iseman "no longer works at the newspaper." Way to tell the whole story, fucktards. The Times Leader is on its way to becoming indistinguishable from the CV, one of America's worst dailies.

Update: Some classic file art came in. Thanks.

  • Read the TL's exceedingly brief brief
  • 79 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    This is crazy. Since July, the TL has lost:

    Pat McHugh - publisher
    Matt Golas - editor
    Dave Iseman - managing editor
    Sue Kahlu - vp, sales/marketing
    Donnell Giles - vp, circulation
    Brian Malina - newsroom editor
    Todd Meyers - newsroom editor
    Kurt Kanapek - newsroom editor
    Stacey Kanapek - designer
    Mike Liechty - head copy editor
    Dave Janoski - top reporter
    Bret Shoemaker - circulation
    Diana Kurutz - commerical print
    Art Smith - finance
    Amy Gates - HR
    Frank Prest - circulation
    John Ryan - IT manager
    Kevin Kazokas - reporter
    Amy Hoosnic - distribution
    Amy Savage - circulation/marketing
    Casey Jones - featured columnist

    Are there more??????

    That's probably well over $1 million in salaries. Some quit. Some were let go. Most were good people and good at what they did. What is going on at that crazy place? What is it's indentity? What happened to the notion that the sale to Connor was a good thing for TL workers?

    Anonymous said...

    Anyone who saw the private equity money and local investors behind Connor knew two things: (1) he's was going to slash payroll and (2) he'll be gone in 3-5 years. Selling the TL is his retirement plan.
    #1 is happenning.
    #2 will happen.

    Anonymous said...

    It IS a much different place these days. It appears that the focus is on revenue, at any cost, including the reputation and ethics of the paper.

    So sad....but hey, as we're seeing now, money is power. Employees may need to think hard about being part of this new standard of journalism.

    Regardless, any new hires will be sure to have the same "vision" as the top.

    Anonymous said...

    "It IS a much different place these days. It appears that the focus is on revenue, at any cost, including the reputation and ethics of the paper."

    So they are following the Times Shamrock model?

    Anonymous said...

    So sad....but hey, as we're seeing now, money is power.

    Money is your job dude. If the paper makes lots of it, you get to keep your job.

    You're fooling yourself if you think newspapers are different from any other business that needs to make a buck.

    Anonymous said...

    Is there anyone in the TL newsroom who can break down Iseman's departure? Many inquiring minds want to know. Quit? Fired? Left in a huff? Did he throw his pager at Joe Healey? Hand Girl Scout cookies out as he left the building?

    Anonymous said...

    The TL has turned into the Nexstar of print. It's sad, sick, and twisted; the public gets NOTHING from this.

    Anonymous said...

    Obviously these people sucked or they would still be working there. And didn't Malina bolt before the sale?

    Anonymous said...

    Voice has a piece in that says basically nothing except that Iseman refused to comment when reached.

    http://www.citizensvoice.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=17668765&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=455154&rfi=8

    Anonymous said...

    Obviously these people sucked or they would still be working there.

    Obviously, that's a really dumb statement to make.

    Anonymous said...

    I'm shocked at how naive you people are. Iseman's status is a personnel matter, and violating conditions of personnel matters could result in a big ugly suit. That's why your former employers can only release so much information about you to prospective employers. There's no huge conspiracy here, folks. And, there's always the possiblity that confidentiality agreements were made, which could be why Iseman won't talk either.

    As person from the outside, just seems funny that Iseman - who often crucified people for not speaking - has a zipped lip.

    Tom Carten said...

    2:47 said I'm shocked at how naive you people are. Iseman's status is a personnel matter, and violating conditions of personnel matters could result in a big ugly suit. That's why your former employers can only release so much information about you to prospective employers.

    I'm so shocked that I can barely type. Whew! Kee-rap!

    Dear 2 & 47: Don't you think that's a hint to disgruntled (and maybe even gruntled) employees to leak? Especially here; you can couch it in, "I heard that..." and keep the Big Bad Lawyers at bay.

    Anonymous said...

    What about that Knight Ridder dog Prashant? Is he still kicking around the TL?

    Anonymous said...

    Someone asked, "What about that Knight Ridder dog Prashant? Is he still kicking around the TL?"

    Ask anyone in Operations, like the pressroom or mailroom or even IT.... From what we hear it's pretty bad. Not a happy environment.

    Anonymous said...

    Confidentiality agreements are usually made to protect the company from future litigation, chiefly age or gender bias litigation.

    Confidentiality agreements are typically accompanied by a severance package, which is the incentive to shut up and walk away. How old is Iseman? Once you're over 40, age-bias becomes a factor in any dismissal.

    Anonymous said...

    "Iseman's status is a personnel matter, and violating conditions of personnel matters could result in a big ugly suit."

    God forbid anyone ever asks any tough questions.

    Yup. Iseman's departure is nobody's business, and I still believe we'll find WMD in Iraq.

    I weep for the stones-less state of journalism in the valley.

    Anonymous said...

    "...Violating conditions of personnel matters could result in a big ugly suit."

    You don't know what the fuck you're talking about. Iseman may have taken a severance package that stipulated everyone keep their mouths shut. Barring that, employers have the same First Amendment rights and responsibilities that everyone else does -- including the right to say why someone was fired.

    In fact, former employers can say whatever they want to a prospective employer.

    Regardless, Iseman should have had the stones to turn down the severance agreement and speak his mind. Of course, that would require real courage. What a chickenshit.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman won't comment because he'd rather eat dog shit than talk to the Voice or TT. Do you really think Connor would print anything he had to say in the TL? People who worked with Dave either loved or despised him. If there's one thing everyone should agree about, 'though, is the man gave 100 percent every single day. He eats, breathes and sleeps journalism. It will be a real shame if he leaves the biz, but at this point, I wouldn't blame him.

    Anonymous said...

    I hate to agree with a blogger, but 719 is right: Iseman is a true journalism guy. I kinda hope he goes for the Pocono Record job. He only gave good advice while at the TL and, for the sake of journalism, I hope he finds somewhere else to keep doing it. The only folks who don't like him are those who were clueless and didn't like to work.

    Anonymous said...

    I'd like to see that cunt Fennick go next. Nothing but a rotten, stinking sneaky bitch.

    Anonymous said...

    The guy who said the TL is as bad as the CV is right. That speaks volumes about the way that fuck Holeva is running the place. Nothing but a worthless cocksucker. That goes for the publisher too.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman may have eaten, slept and breathed journalism, but none of it was any good. "Let's throw something out there and see what sticks." The man who brought us Sayso.

    Don't confuse passion with competence. Iseman will be lucky to go to the Pocono Record. He'll never go any higher. Wilkes-Barre was his level of incompetence.

    Melissa Janoski said...

    It is shameful that some posters - communications professionals - no less - can't go a paragraph without obscene words and blunt personal attacks. I want to stick up for Renita. She is a lovely, talented,lady who doesn't deserve such insults. Iseman, also, has a lot to offer. Even SAYSO - a terrible mistake - was launched with the good intention of bringing more voices into the paper. I am glad to see Renita flourish, but sad to see Iseman suffer. I'll sign my name, and dare foul-mouths to do the same. -- Melissa Janoski

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman is a true journalist and a great leader. Journalism in NEPA will suffer without him.

    Anonymous said...

    Agreed. Renita is a great lady and is good for the newsroom. And Iseman deserved much better.

    Just a thought .... with Pat, Allison and Dave now all gone- all of whom Steve seemed to have problems with toward the end - and with Casey Jones also gone, does this open the door to Corbett II?

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with Melissa. Anyone who worked at the TL likely had issues with Walzer, Iseman and even Janoski at some point. Anyone who doesn't think the three of them were talented, aggressive journalists who put out an unusually newsy and investigative small paper have no understanding of the business, regardless of where they have or have not worked.

    Anonymous said...

    I worked with Allison and for you to say she was talented is an insult to me and every other hard working journalist in NEPA. She was a first rate cunt.

    Anonymous said...

    Do you not understand how someone could be both? Are you actually unaware that the two traits often go together in newsrooms?

    Anonymous said...

    How ironic. People complaining ANONYMOUSLY about sayso.
    If you could get off your highhorse long enough, and took a look at the media landscape, you might have a different view of sayso.
    It did bring lots of voices into the paper, and apparently everyone read it. (Years later your still talking about it).

    Anonymous said...

    SAYSO was a blatant ripoff of WNEP's "Talkback."

    And it was funny as hell.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman, you will be missed.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman was a cancerous tumor. He will not be missed.

    Anonymous said...

    "Some quit. Some were let go. Most were good people and good at what they did."

    I have to disagree. Many were imcompetent. The good ones are Ismean, Malina, Knapek, Janoski, Gates, and Savage. The TL is better off without the rest

    Anonymous said...

    Leichty was an excellent copy editor. He did, however, leave on his own.

    Anonymous said...

    I only get the TL on Friday's strictly for Dave's column. The rest of the time I get CV. I think that with Dave gone, it is a blessing in disguise. Dave is better off. I bet you he is getting offers left and right. If he wasn't a crucial part of the community, then there wouldn't be all this fuss about him losing his job now would there??

    Anonymous said...

    Crucial part of the community? Offers left and right? Is this the same Dave Iseman whose wife was working double shifts at General Hospital so they could build the rainy day account?

    Anonymous said...

    these days with five kids, both parents have to work. And let's face it a managing editor of the TL isn't raking in a whole lot of dough. You do what you have to do. If there is one thing you know about Iseman from his writing is that he is a true family man.

    Newsboy said...

    Before you start feeling so sorry for Iseman, don't forget all of the people he stepped on over the years. He has a great nose for news but only the sensational stuff like crime stories and dirty politicians. He ignored the business, features and hometown news sections even though it was his job to oversee all of these departments. He is a good reporter but a terrible manager. He overlooked the bad things that his favorites did and invented problems about the people he did not like.

    Anonymous said...

    What took Connor so long?

    Anonymous said...

    The TL can now hire 3 reporters for Iseman's salary

    Anonymous said...

    with iseman gone, corbet may come back now, too.

    Anonymous said...

    Good luck Iseman. You're the best!

    Anonymous said...

    Final word about this subject ...

    Dave is a great guy and a great journalist, but, he is not a manager ...

    And that is what he was being asked to be. He was not good at that, and that is what gave him his walking papers.

    But, if you ever worked for Dave (and were not fired by him) you would know that he is better than ANYONE you Times Shamrock gonads have in your stable.

    Peace out

    John Mitchell said...

    I've never worked with a great journalist who was also a great manager. Different set of skills entirely. It's like saying he's a great quarterback, but he's not a great salesman.
    That's why you have newspapers run by great journalists who aren't managers or Times-Shamrock-style "managers" who aren't very good journalists.
    The ones who can do both are as rare as Ben Bradlee or as two-sport major leaguers or successful politicians who can also write or beauty queens with high IQs. You don't meet many of those in your typical newsroom.

    Anonymous said...

    But, when you're asked to be a manager, you have got to do it.
    He didn't know how to handle people maybe in a friendly way but not as a manager. He blabbed about private situations of workers. Not professional. He told a pregnant photographer who was afraid to shoot football games that she could get hurt driving a car. Mr. sensitive he was not. He was Walzer. He made a sports columnist get a lawyer and take sensitivity classes because he did not agree with a column he wrote about girls sports.
    It was Iseman's way or no way.
    Same thing with Connor only Connor owns the paper.

    Anonymous said...

    Isn't that the Catch-22 in lots of professions? You're good at what you do, you get a few promotions, you start to make some decent money, but you are taken further and further away from what you do best. The best cop becomes the captain, but he misses the streets, and he hates managing people. The best teacher becomes the principal, but he misses the classroom and hates all of the bullshit that comes with running the school. Maybe the best reporters also become editors, but they get stuck in the office at the desk, sometimes plowing through schlock and lousy stories they know they could have done better. But this little thing called life gets in the way of your passion, and the responsibilities of a family might make you need that salary of an editor. It sucks, but that's how it is at a lot of jobs.

    If nothing else, there is at least some intelligent discussion on this board again.

    Anonymous said...

    So true. Ask any editor if he/she could keep their salary and, instead of being an editor, go out and write five or six big 1A stories a week, and most would take the deal. Titles mean shit to most people.

    Anonymous said...

    whatever -- already there are serious editing problems since Iseman's departure. At least three articles Sunday started the lede with questions. Poor writing or lazy editing? And the TL has been improving over the last four months, at least as far as positivity (under Golas, you could almost read his sneers in TL articles), but the odd thing is there still is way too much wirefor Connor's vision of a more 'local' paper, particularly too much wire in the features sections.

    Anonymous said...

    what happened to Bonnie Adams?

    Anonymous said...

    Could Fennick be named managing editor?

    Anonymous said...

    Butkiewicz or Fennick could be the ME but they don't want it. I worked with all of those people at the TL. Iseman, too, he was a good friend. We hung out and he was always great to my face.When I had to leave, he all of a sudden had all this sh*t to say about me. Never knew. I still stop in and I hear everything from a big mouth on the night side. Who likes who, who is honest, who you can trust.
    Same thing happened to Fenick. She asked to be CE under Golas when Malina and Myers left. Iseman stepped in and said she couldn't handle it. I don't know if she can but the reporters there aren't complaining too much about here.
    But, if you ask her, she thinks Iseman was a good friend and trustworthy. Go figure.
    Glad I don't work there anymore but maybe that kind of crap won't be acceptable anymore.

    Anonymous said...

    410 = pure bull.

    Anonymous said...

    Big mouth on the night side? That has to be Joe Healey.

    Anonymous said...

    Well? Where is Iseman working this week? You would think someone who "is a great asset to the community" would have accepted one of those many offers coming from left and right.

    Guess his wife is back to working double shifts at the General.

    Anonymous said...

    The big mouth must be Healey. Last I knew, he gossipped worse than an old lady.

    tom carten said...

    4:10 - She [Fennick] asked to be CE under Golas when Malina and Myers left. Iseman stepped in and said she couldn't handle it. I don't know if she can but the reporters there aren't complaining too much about her.

    I spent some time working under her at the CV when she was doing either "Weekend" (the Friday entertainment section, not the TL Weekender) or the back-of-paper entertainment stuff itself.

    She knew her stuff, had all her ducks in a row, had things planned out in advance, never caught short, was good to work for with one exception: Her way or the highway.

    It's been a while since I've had daily contact with her, but her managerial skills --at least then-- were good. Except for the highway stuff; negotiation was not a strong point.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman was brilliant in a narrow, focused way. He had a lot of passion for newspapering and for defending the underdog. He loved to really dig into a story. I saw less malingering from him than anyone in that newsroom.

    He just didn't know beans about editing or leadership or people. He was like a baby, saying the first thing that came into his head during a debate or discussion.

    Iseman could have -- should have -- been an outstanding metro columnist. With the right editor and the right direction, I seriously believe he could be one of the nation's premier metro columnists if only because he gets out of the office and genuinely won't take no for an answer. He's a brawler, as a colleague once said.

    But man, in the TL newsroom, he couldn't lead a three-year-old to the crapper. Other than hounding the two Toms out of office (three, if you count McGroarty) the newspaper never accomplished anything during the Iseman Regime that you could see his stamp on. Never got an incictment. Never really laid a glove on Kanjo. Never nailed down the Theta Land story. Never got the goods on McGroarty. Never went after Uncle Louie.

    I hope Iseman does OK, but he got what he deserved. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    Anonymous said...

    the chumster bulletin board -- it's back up!!

    Anonymous said...

    FROM THE CLASSIFIEDS

    Are you a sad and pathetic journalist obsessed with taking anonymous cheap shots at your co-workers or fellow writers that you have probably never even met? Is your life so devoid of any joy and creative fulfillment that you somehow need to validate yourself, yet you only have the courage to do it through the cowardly veil on anonymity? Are you a bitter, shitty writer that nobody cares about or reads, and you need a place to attack those that have found success in the profession? Do you look to people who are incarcerated and envy their active social lives? Have you not had sex with another person in at least 10 years? Are you looking for a forum for your thoughts, yet you only want them to be read by a few ostracized creeps who have been whipped into submission by life and visit an obscure website between porn breaks and cack-offs?

    Do you have no fucking life at all?

    If so, visit the NEPA MEDIA NEWS AND GOSSIP PAGE. There, you will find a haven for your useless existence and you will meet at least four or five other people just like you. New members are welcome.

    Anonymous said...

    Funny, and mostly true. I feel like a loser for coming here just once a week. But seriously, speaking of classifieds ... why, whenever the TL has a job, is it advertised in the paper for weeks and weeks and weeks? The sports writer and business writer jobs seem to have been in since long, long before Christmas, as well as some of the other positions at the paper in other departments.

    tom carten said...

    You somehow need to validate yourself, yet you only have the courage to do it through the cowardly veil on anonymity?

    Well, 7:06, that's exactly what you are doing. Got a name? I do.

    mike rosato said...

    Carten's a dork.

    Anonymous said...

    Only on a bad day. On a good day, I'm right up there with the best of them. On an average day, very little dorkiness but lots of quiet creativity.

    Anonymous said...

    TL "job postings" are published repeatedly to a) fulfill equal opportunity employer status and b) to give the impression of a thriving, growing business. Methinks most of the positions are being filled from within.

    Anonymous said...

    It can backfire, too. People might wonder why they can't hold onto their help. WNAK is forever advertising for sales reps and you wonder what's up.

    Anonymous said...

    Reporters at the TL, ad reps at WNAK, editors at the Times Tribune. They're endangered species.

    Anonymous said...

    Well, it's been a week. Where has Iseman landed? You know Iseman, the asset to the community who will be getting offers left and right?

    Anonymous said...

    Lay off, asshole. What's Dave, about 50 years old, from a blue collar family? He's probably been working every day for 30 years. If I were he, I'd take a month or two off - or more - collect my money, recharge my batteries and heal some more from my surgery. He will land on his feet somewhere in the world of journalism soon enough.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Dave. Thanks for letting us know what you're up to.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman did not post that comment. I did. And it's the truth. Let the man be.

    Anonymous said...

    On the other hand, I'm reasonably sure that Ed Christine posted the "big fat fuck."

    Anonymous said...

    Is it true that when given the news that he was being let go, Iseman went off the deep end and was heard screaming "this paper will be nothing without me?" It is my understanding that he was escorted from the building. Is that true as well?

    Anonymous said...

    None of that is true.

    Anonymous said...

    Somebody better tell the advertising reps then, that's the story on the street. And knowing Iseman, I find it very easy to believe. When the mighty fall, it is usually accompanied by a loud noise. And Dave definitely felt he was mightier than all.

    Anonymous said...

    Evidently Dave got on his high horse about the direction the paper was taking both on the editorial page and generally speaking. He butted heads with Rich Connor and was thanked for his services and asked to leave.

    Personally, I think it is great that he is gone. On the whole, I think that the paper is much more balanced in the types of stories and a whole lot less petty.

    Anonymous said...

    He walked out of the building quietly with a few things from his office. End of story.

    Anonymous said...

    Iseman going softly into that dark night? SAYitain'tSO.

    Anonymous said...

    It's been over two weeks. How are those job offers coming along, Dave?

    What? No one wants your one-dimensional arrogance and self-righteousness?

    I'm surprised. Maybe Melissa Janoski can get down on her knees one more time and get you a job like she did for the other Dave.

    Or you can just have your wife continue to work double shifts at the General.

    Anonymous said...

    Taking cracks at Iseman's managerial skills... Meaningless. Taking cracks at Iseman's introduction of SAYSO...hilarious. Taking cracks at Iseman's wife. Dangerous