Reader: Wilmington newsroom gets a shake-up

Wilmington News Journal Managing Editor Alecia Swasy left that job abruptly on Friday, a reader tells me, with Editor David Ledford telling the staff in an e-mail yesterday only that she had “resigned.” Swasy had held the job at the Delaware newspaper only since January.

Managing editors typically are the No. 2 executives in newsrooms. Yet, as Gannett saves money by combining more jobs — such as production and IT directors — I wonder when managing editor posts might be eliminated altogether, too.

Has your paper eliminated the managing editor’s position? Leave a note in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, use this link from a non-work computer; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today’s News Journal, Newseum]

16 Responses to “Reader: Wilmington newsroom gets a shake-up”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    pamela fine’s old m.e. job in indpls hasn’t been filled. but then, that slot’s been empty about 25% of the time since gannett bought the star in 2000. while she is missed, theothers mostly were not.

  2. mr. whig Says:

    Nice lady, Alecia; she spent most of her time beating up The Cincinnati Enquirer at its own game…which shoulda been covering Procter and Gamble.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Forget that mess Alicia…Houston, we have a bigger problem…LOOK!!!

    Gannett Co., Inc. Releases May Statistical Report
    Tuesday June 17, 5:41 pm ET

    MCLEAN, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI – News) reported today that total pro forma operating revenues for the fifth period ended June 1, 2008 declined 10.9 percent compared with the same period in 2007. For comparison purposes, the exchange rate of the British pound decreased compared to last year. If the exchange rate had remained constant year-over-year, total pro forma operating revenues would have declined 10.7 percent.

    Publishing advertising revenues in May were 14.3 percent lower compared with May a year ago. On a constant currency basis, publishing advertising revenues would have been down 14.1 percent.

    Retail advertising revenues declined 9.7 percent in the fifth period. In the U.S., across all products, the decline was led by softness in the department stores, furniture, consumer electronics and telecommunications categories.

    I wonder how much the stock will drop tomorrow!!!

    More bonuses please for Mr. Dubow and Mr. Martore!!!!

    Gannett will need to layoff at least 15% of the company to get the costs in line. This is horrible!!!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Managing Editor? Whazzat?

    Tucson has a (now-departing) Editor and Publisher-in-one. And a couple of senior editors. The hierarchy’s gettin’ flatter all the time.

    Don’t know if that means we’re getting one step closer to Craig, or slipping further into the murky deep.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Eliminate ME jobs? Who, then, would prepare the Well Done and Best of Gannett contest entries, track corrections and compile the statistics on diversity, mainstreaming, all-America and any other politically correct head-counting initiatives concocted by Corporate?

  6. Anonymous Says:

    @12:09 hit it on the head. If we could get rid of all the bullshit paperwork we could eliminate a hell of a lot of headcount without actually impacting revenue or news.

    From the advertising side, it’s impressive the amount of time we spend chasing down $45 credits, or waiting for G2/Genesys to let us enter a ticket, or wading through the process of creating rate proposals, or GOD FORBID, trying to get a new customer created and credit approved.

    We’ve added ‘inside sales reps’ and shared admin asst’s to fight the demands of the AdDirector for up to the second revenue information.. and still our ‘outside’ reps are in their desks until 11 trying to get on top of their paperwork, and back at 3 to order any sales they may have fallen over.

    We might be better than McClatchy for now. But I’m not leaving my 401(k) money in stock for some future turnaround.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    She was a whack job! Glad she is gone. A huge embarrassment for us in Wilmo.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    If they are eliminating or not filling ME positions, then what chance does Springfield have in filling an assistant ME post? One of about a dozen openings there, by the way.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    We have lost the m.e. and asst. m.e. positions. The corporate paperwork still seems to get filled out, but we have no one left to focus on writing/content of stories. It’s a crime.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Interesting post…Ironic, too, given that at The Arizona Republic, Randy Lovely, recently promoted to editor and veep, pretty quickly filled his old job–executive editor. So, now we have an editor, exec editor, two managing editors, countless senior directors, a zillion directors….and it goes on. Meanwhile, the peons do all the work. And are the most subject to layoffs. To say it was shocking that Lovely filled the exec ed job is putting it mildly, given that conventional wisdom said he got the title some years back so he would feel valued. It is utterly ridciulous.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Here’s why Gannett is such a train wreck right now. Take Springfield.

    We are all busting our butts covering john McCain’s visit to town but our editor is p**ing in his pants about how neat it is to have live streaming video. He says in his blog:
    “I’m pleased to tell you about a milestone that we’ve reached here at Today’s live, streaming video coverage of Sen. John McCain’s town hall forum at Missouri State is our first effort using our growing multimedia capabilities to bring you exclusive video coverage of a southwest Missouri news event.
    And as always, you will find a robust conversation about the visit and the issues at
    After the show, drop me a line and let me know how it went. We’re always looking for ways to improve the way in which we bring you news and information.”
    The show? Who is this guy? Merv Griffin? It’s a news organization not Wheel of Fortune!
    And do you think he could throw a crumb to the readers of the NEWSPAPER… like “Look for more coverage in tomorrow’s News-Leader.
    Hell no! Wyatt doesn’t want the print version to grow. He never allows online to refer to the newspapers despite the staff’s pleas to do so. He’s a geek who loves playing with his tech toys while the paper’s circulation drops like Gannett stock.
    It’s the same at other Gannett papers too. Personnel is cut so the remaining staff has to do more with much of the emphasis on online.
    Online becomes the crutch where everything they don’t feel like putting in the newspaper can end up to the demise of the newspaper.
    Technology didn’t cause the sudden drop, drop in circulation and advertising.
    Gannett did.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Re: “Managing editors typically are the No. 2 executives in newsrooms. Yet, as Gannett saves money by combining more jobs … I wonder when managing editor posts might be eliminated altogether, too.”

    But who would run the newspaper when the exec. ed. is on vacation for 2-4 weeks a year???

    And, um, what does the managing ed. do the rest of the year?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Re: 6/18/2008 12:09 AM


  14. Anonymous Says:

    In Phoenix, editor and veep Randy Lovely typically is off a lot more than 4 weeks a year. Many Mondays he is gone, having left early on Friday to head to his place in Palm Springs. And he takes WEEKS off at a time. As noted above, there are two m.e’s in phoenix, an exec ed, senior directors, directors ad nauseum. It is just plain ridiculous.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    So if eliminating MEs is the next big trend, anyone know how we can put the accelerator to it? We could buy three reporters with that money.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Quick, last man out please turn off the lights. Riddle is driving the paper into the ground. He is a dipshit. How many years is Gannett going to let this man screw up? He’s not very bright, dedicated or innovative. He’s a ball washer… nothing more. It’s time to move him to corporate until he leaves to “pursue personal interests”.

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