* Severance: The employees who lost their jobs yesterday were handed a white envelope, told to get their things and escorted out of the building. Here is how one now-ex-RJer described their parting gifts via email to me:
Wow. That's just heartbreaking. Just because the corporate bastards act like greedy asses who don't take any pride in the quality of their product doesn't mean the former employees will, even in the darkest moments of their professional lives. Such demeaning treatment at the conclusion of long and honorable service is depressing and, sadly, quite normal today.
* Silence: Bob Brown, the new publisher who was the ad director, has told KNPR that there will be no press release about the careers he just wrecked. He hasn't responded to e-mail or phone calls from me, either. But KNPR is undeterred and recognizes the importance of this news, so I'll be on State of Nevada on Monday at 9 am PT discussing the firings and what it means for Las Vegas journalism. This will be my second appearance since my farewell interview, which is kind of funny but also a bit of an honor. Also, while I do appreciate the traffic and attention, I think it's sad that the Las Vegas Sun's only coverage of this matter was to provide a link here.
* Sherm: In the wake of such emotional news, I yesterday laid into Sherm Frederick, the disgraced former publisher of the Review-Journal. I do believe he made several terrible decisions and is owed some of the blame. But I also have heard -- and I remember from my own time there in the 1990s -- that he was always a staunch defender of his journalists having once been one and probably kept some people on longer than he should have because he had a personal connection with and empathy for them. That all can be true and honorable at the same time as he coasted along during the Vegas boom years and took credit for profits that were inevitable in that economy. What he never did was prepare for the next generation of journalism in any meaningful way and he just allowed a moldy old system to roll along unabated. But mostly, if Sherm is unwilling to take any responsibility for the economic condition of the newspaper -- and he won't because he's too vain and proud -- then someone needs to sit up and acknowledge that he deserves to be held accountable, too.