Haliburton Highlands just signed off to execrable rags

Maple Key Media now owns Haliburton and area… What me worry?

Columnist Bam! Mego – MythBuster Editor

I have no idea who owns Maple Key Media in Haliburton Highlands.

I do know that this happened this week:

Haliburton-based company Maple Key Media announced its acquisition of the Haliburton Echo, Minden Times, Bancroft This Week, and Barry’s Bay This Week from Sun Media Dec. 16. It has also purchased The Highlander Newspaper.

Maple Key Media’s director, Bram Lebo, will head up the group as publisher. He confirmed the company will retain existing staff and has no plans to close any of the newspapers.

“We are excited to bring these papers back under local ownership,” said Lebo. “These newspapers are vital to our communities and we accept that responsibility. Our focus will be on delivering the news through quality and innovative editorial content.”

My namesake Bram Lebo says he is focused on “delivering the news through quality and innovative editorial content.” Whaaaaa?

Forgive me but Bram Lebo used to own the Haliburton Highlander an execrable rag at the best of times. Mr. Lebo wouldn’t know a newspaper story if it hit him flush on his dour puss.

Plus and this hot off the press and from Facebook. We have news of at least one staffer from the former Sun Media group papers The Echo/Times/Bancroft This Week jumping ship already. Mr. Lebo. Let me assure you and I say this because I know you have trouble grasping certain issues. When staff start to resign on Facebook? You do not have a resounding vote of confidence. And I can only see this farce devolving from here.

I am guessing that a number of other staffers will be following the editor of the Minden Times. Rather than work for Mr. Lebo. You see, the Echo and Times under the aegis of Sun Media put out quality content. The Highlander has a paucity of passable journalists on hand.

So Maple Key Media? Be careful what you wish for. You see, no matter what you think about PKP (Pierre Karl Peladeau the honcho in charge of Sun Media Quebecor Ltd) you have to admit that he is an astute businessman. If PKP is getting out of the weekly news business? He’s doing so for a reason.

I’m guessing it’s because he wasn’t making any money. Newspapers are going out of business at a chock-a-block rate and Maple Key Media is purchasing newspapers? Good luck. Optimism is a good thing. Unless it’s wielded with a Luddite’s anachronistic spanner wrench.

The more glaring tidbit in this whole shebang? The fact that Bram Lebo, a man with no publishing chops, has been handed the reins of this enterprise.

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I am guessing that most staffers would rather come in to work for this guy… than the new director and publisher of Maple Key Media. Okay so it’s Chuck Bukowski and of course any writer worth his / her salt would gladly work with Charles.

Here’s Lebo on how it’s going to happen:  “Lebo confirmed the company will retain existing staff and has no plans to close any of the newspapers.” Pshaw! If you believe that piece of hunkey-dorey? Well I’ve got a leaky dory in Newfoundland that I’ll sell you for a song.

It’s not true. And what’s worse? Mr. Lebo knows it’s not true. It’s a de rigueur bit of puffery and excrement that must be told in these situations to prevent a wholesale exodus. See Warren Buffett for further clarification on this salient point. So if you are an existing staffer at one of those papers? Let me be the first to wish you luck. Because ain’t gonna’ be no union where you’re goin’. My suggestion? If you don’t like guided boat trips down the River Styx? Follow the lead of your colleague from Minden.

I will repeat. My advice? To those left at the Sun Media papers?

If you value your sanity? And your principles? Get the hell out of dodge.

Because if there’s one thing we know about Mr. Lebo? What he says does not always translate to a straighter line of reality. Or maybe I should rephrase that. And let me say that I am writing from experience.

Mr. Lebo has his own take on reality and we are not really sure where it lies. So okay… If you believe in Peter Pan? Succumb to the siren call. If not? Depart from that fairy tale. Because it ain’t writ by CS Lewis. But by the Brothers Grimm.

I have my own take on Mr. Lebo’s management style and I can assure everyone reading this: What Mr. Lebo promises and what Mr. Lebo delivers? Is asymmetrical. But that’s just one man’s experience.

Maybe Mr. Lebo has done a Dale Carnegie Course. Maybe he’s had an epiphany. Maybe he has been inhabited by The Borg. Maybe an alien came and performed an anal probe. And replaced his brain. (I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that’s where it’s located.)

Lots of things could happen. But I prefer to support the good judgement of that young man who resigned on Facebook. He’s read the tea leaves. And Ms Watt and Mr. Galea who have also resigned rather than work for Maple Key.

And good for him. And Them!

Unfortunately the county being served by this new group?

Can’t resign.

Ah and I will end this column the way I end ’em all.

Thank God I live in Halcyon and not Haliburton. And by the way. Haliburtonians? We have plenty of room. Why not join the exodus and come live where freedom rings and newspapers are full of bullshit and vinegar. As God intended they be!!!

From the Editor – Terrance Gavan –

Any and all parts of this column are completely endorsed by the And the editor…

BAM! Mego is a proud Halcyon-adoe. He eschews any notion of Haliburton as anything but a second rate Highlands. “Halcyon… Up our Republic… and Haliburton sucks!”

Mr. Mego’s salutations. Not the Opinion of The[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]