Whither the County Voice – Laryngitis?

The Irvines – brett and joanne – have left the building, yet again

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Gav is smiling. But he's not happy. Self Portrait.

BY TERRANCE GAVAN – HALNEWS.CA MEDIA REPORTER

Apropos of nothing – except backroom insight vis the inner workings of a twisted  and juvenile journalistic mind – I had the over under on joanne irvine’s tenure at the County Voice pegged at September 10, 2011.

The Voice reports this week (Sept 15) that joanne and brett irvine have left the building. The decision apparently given the blessing by The County Voice majority owner Chad Irvine. That would be brett’s brother and joanne’s brother in law. The exact date has not been confirmed but I’m darn close.

Move over “Jimmy the Greek.”

I have no idea what’s gone on at the Voice since I walked out the door shortly after joanne irvine walked in – again.

I do know that publisher/editor-in-chief Stephen Patrick, three ad people, and myself left shortly after the new general manager joanne irvine was installed back in June.

Put your own hidebound imprimaturs on that mass departure. I know why it happened and, as I said, I predicted joanne irvine’s departure date. Almost to the day. Call me Nostradamus. Or just tap your nose “Sting-Style” and say, “I get it.” Paul Newman not the singer knuckleheads.

I removed myself from the joanne and brett equation without fanfare immediately, because I disagreed vehemently with the hiring of joanne irvine as general manager.

In my own opinion the restructuring – involving the installing of previous Voice owners joanne and brett irvine as managers – was shortsighted and based on some very unsettling logic. I stand by that judgement.

This opinion based strictly on my own personal judgement re prior dealings with the couple. I retain solid misgivings regarding the workplace milieu and joanne forced my hand in three telling interactions I had with her in the first two days of her return to the Voice. Thus when I left, on good terms with owner Chad Irvine, I simply made it clear that I could not work with the new management. Period. And I love writing. But principle and sanity comes first – and must will out. That courtesy of my shrink, Dr. Vicky Schadenfreude. Yeah, whatever. That’s her real name knuckleheads.

Chad Irvine, to his credit, wished me well, and said he understood. (For the record, your agent left the Voice on a previous occasion during brett and joanne irvine’s origninal ownership. I resigned, citing irreconcilable differences with the ownership team. We’ll leave it at that. But it must be laid out to put perspective on the context of this screed.)

Now comes a story on Page Six of the Voice, an unsigned and mysterious denouement on brett and joanne’s shortened return to the County Voice.

“The County Voice would like to express their gratitude and appreciation to former owner and most recently general manager, joanne irvine for her tremendous contribution and generosity during the last three months,” says the unsigned honorific. I think I recognize the hyperbolic ramble and ad hominem verbage. But we’ll leave that for the nonce. It’s pure speculation on my part. We’ll continue to the nuts and bolts.

“She stepped in when we most needed her expertise and vast knowledge of the Haliburton residents and businesses and gave of her time and energy to help restructure the paper and keep us afloat,” writes our unknown author.

Here’s a hint Voice. Grab some cohones and tell us who wrote this. Put a name to it. It’s not labeled as an editorial. It’s placed on a news page. As they say at the opera! Author? Author? Author!

Kill the tenor! – oops! That’s what they yell at Italian Operas. Sorry. About. That.

But we’re not finished yet. Yes I know. Ouch! But I committed to writing this editorial and I will have to carry through with an airing of the salient evidence. So buckle up.

“Putting aside her own two new business ventures – ed’s note… here’s one of the j and b irvine business ventures http://www.addmemobile.com/  – she has now completed her task and will be returning to contine her new enterprises with her husband, brett irvine. She has left the Voice in a very positive, forward-moving direction and feels confident it can carry on without her leadership. We are most grateful that she took this time out of her very busy schedule to dedicate time to assist the management and staff at the Voice.”

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Me and the dog are going for a walk. I must ponder life and aha moments. And things that go bump in the freaking night! Photo courtesy of Rottweiller Rescues.

Really? Okay. I’ve read reviews re Washington Post Managing Editor Ben Bradley that fell about 999.5 yards shy of that glowing and grandeloquent piece of glad-handed purpled-prose. It’s a wowser isn’t it? Pinch me. Did Ghandi die? Again? Did joanne and brett just win the Order of Canada?

Over to you County Voice!

Yo! Next week could the acting editor – because apparently they haven’t had an editor there in three months – please apprise this gobsmacked rival and a grasping reader base with an idea as to who penned this? Just askin’ that’s all.

Because the article is vaguely reminiscent of several recent eulogies for Jack Layton for gosh sakes. I knew Jack Layton. And? Believe me folks. joanne irvine is no Jack Layton. Yes I stole that line. Everyone has.

Where were we? Ah yes para two in which the recently departed general manager is quoted by our mystery writer. The cha-cha exit line.

“I agreed to put my business ventures on hold until the fall of this year to help in the restructuring of the Voice. The staff worked hard along my side to help create a new and exciting Voice and now that fall is here, I must return to my own business ventures and continue in their growth,” says joanne.

Holy cow. Never before in my life as a newspaper writer and editor have I ever, ever, seen a pile of congratulatory rhetoric strung so concisely into the constricting space of a three paragraph news story.

Gobsmacked, am I. Sorry when I start to tear up with emotion I resort to channeling my inner Yoda. Sad am I  now. That Saviour gone is. Strong the force was in that old Jedi?

We leave you in teary discombobulation at para three, the final “for whom the bell tolls” moment with our two protaganists as they ride into that Haliburton sunset.

“Her 25 years of experience in the newspaper industry was beneficial in keeping the County Voice as a “voice” in Haliburton County. We wish joanne and brett all the very best and every success in continuing their own business ventures and we will always be a strong supporter of any of their ventures. Sincerely the management and staff of the County Voice.”

Sniffle. It just came to me. What  this inflated and exceedingly plump eulogy stirs in my own narrowly-notched noodle. Cue the cannons!

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
`Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Thank you Sir Alfred Lord Tennyson. For clearing that up for us.

I must go now to walk the dog and ponder this.

I hear that the County Voice has requested no wreaths be placed at the Voice offices, but mourners can send a cheque to the Old Editors Never Die Retirement Village.

I have a two room apartment with a view of the Pacific there on Saltspring Island.

gav@pardontheeruption.com twitter.com/terrancegavan[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]