Press or Protection Racket?

As much as I enjoy watching large corporations swirl down the crapper because they responded to a little adversity with a lot of fuckery, I almost hope this story isn’t true [via the AssPress]:

Less than a year after Tribune Co. launched an innovative plan to combine the newsrooms of The Hartford Courant and a local TV station, a columnist is alleging that the new management forced him out because he wrote unflattering news about a Courant advertiser.

Dude, really? Really?

If it weren’t for passages such as this:

The company announced bold plans to combine the newspaper and TV news operations by building a new studio in the Courant’s newsroom. Tribune called it “the future of media.”

I’d say there was no way anyone at the Courant would be dimwitted enough to think they could fire a 40-year veteran for such a bullshit reason and expect him to go without a murmur.

Gombossy said Levine first expressed displeasure in his Watchdog columns in May, when Gombossy wrote critically of a plumbing contractor. It’s not clear whether the company had already advertised in the newspaper, but Gombossy said Levine told him the plumbing company’s displeasure would be costly for the Courant.

“He said, ‘Do you want it on your head if we lose $200,000 in advertising and I have to lay off reporters at the Courant?’ When someone makes a comment like that, it’s pretty clear where we’re going,” Gombossy said.

Hey, HC management here’s a money making idea. Take your bold new approach to the next level. Oh, there are so many things you could do with this! The HC could offer its silence on inconvenient matters in exchange for advertising revenue. I can see the schedule of rates now:

Insect in food: $50,000

Rodents in food: $100,000

Body part in food (smaller than 3″): $200,000

Body part in food (4″ – 1′): $300,000

Head, limb or torso in food: $500,000

And that’s just for restaurants. Why stop there?

Employees assaulting clients: $500,000

Employees murdering clients: $750,000

Employees unleashing Armageddon: $1,000,000

But if that is too blatant, the HC could create a new “Advertising Sales Force” that approaches potential clients and discusses what a shame it would be if something were to happen to their nice little business because they didn’t advertise in the HC.


Gah. Fuck.

I can’t even enjoy snarking about this shit. Anyway, Gombossy’s  website is here. What little I’ve read confirms that Tribune Co. is in financial trouble because it stinks on ice.

[This post has not been proof-read. Proofing will occur after I’ve had some sleep. Snicker at the typos while ye may. -ed.]


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