Saturday, April 26, 2008

New Petfinder Editor

Today's interesting news is my old colleague Marty Beneteau, now of the Windsor Star, is going to be named very soon to the top editorial job at the Ottawa Citizen.
Beneteau sort of replaces former Citizen editor Scott Anderson, who is now in charge of the national copy boiler-room in Ottawa (until the Aspers find a way to outsource the work to India).
Beneteau beat out the slimy Graham Green, Anderson's hatchet man and much-loathed newsroom beancounter. Late this week, Green sent out an e-mail chastising hacks for their many typos. It was mocked by reporter Gary Dimmock, who probably already knew Green's inside track position on the top job had been hexed by publisher Jim Orban.
Orban apprently looked at feedback comments submitted to management consultants by Citizen reporters and editors. The evaluations were a stream of denunciations of Green's weird and unpleasant management style.
Allison Uncles, former Citizen sub-editor who perfected the paper's story-torquing style under Neil Reynolds before heading to the National Post, will now have to stay put at the Toronto Star, where she's being blamed for the near-collapse of the Sunday paper's circulation.
Other Petfinder insiders who were passed over will swallow their pride and stick around. The country is hardly awash in $100,000-a-year non-challenging newspaper sinecures.
Whether Marty will change the Citizen's circulation-killing editorial combo of eyesplitters targeted at awards judges and skeletal local coverage remains to be seen. The paper's aging newsroom shows little interest in the city, preferring to grind out yawners about their kids, their rural homes, pilgrimages through Spain, tours of the Underground Railroad, Papal encyclicals, cats, etc. Anderson has no use for the city either and put all his money and time into the tedious series that seem to attract award nominations at the expense of readership. And, since he's still the Big Boss of CanWest's rapidly-deteriorating print business, he'll have a lot of say at the Petfinder.
Hang on, Marty. By 2010 CanWest and Anderson will be gone.

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