SEAMUS O’BRADAIGH – SHRIKE MEDIA EDITOR
So you were wondering how long Maple Key Media could continue as a viable entity after it printed three absolutely putrid newspapers on its first run as a company?
The answer is less than a month. Yes that’s right. (I lost the staff pool by 2.3 weeks! Ratz!)
This marriage between Bram Lebo and his as yet unnamed partner lasted about as long as a Mickey Rooney Las Vegas Special![/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][pullquote_right]”I sure feel dumb as a bag of bricks,” said editor Terry Gavan. “It took me five months to go nuts. Stanton figured it out in one. I think… I really think I’m a sucker, a patsy and stupid as a stump. Oh and Seamus you may quote me.”[/pullquote_right]
Arghh! Bram Lebo is back writing editorials for The Highlander. This week’s high school screed was about the collapse of his ersatz empire. As it turns out it was never his empire, but a pact formed with his unnamed partner who is in fact the actual owner of The Minden Times, The Echo, and the Barry’s Bay and Bancroft papers. The unnamed partner decided to part ways with his Director of Slim Pickins’ after this rag launched its verbal broadside on the state of journalism in the Haliburton Highlands. (Ed’s note. Seamus is dreaming if he thinks this online rag had anything to do with this nut.)[/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
This is the first of two exclusive stories on the breakup. Mr. Lebo did not name his partner, but instead went on to extol the heroic work of his valiant staff. For the three ugly as sin papers that his staff put out. (For reference see this story.)
You can’t call yourself a journalist or a publisher or a news man or an editorial writer if you start your golden parachute concession speech with the following:
In early December, I got a call from a man who had been trying to do business with me for over a year. We had discussed partnership in The Highlander; I didn’t need a partner. We had discussed helping him with his other papers in the GTA; I wasn’t interested in working outside of the county.
But this time, he had a surprise. He had bought the Echo and Times (and Bancroft This Week and Barry’s Bay This Week) from Sun Media. Would I like to put The Highlander into the group and be partners?Like many things, it seemed like a good idea at the time: bring the Sun papers back to local ownership and the Echo and Times back to their roots serving Dysart and Minden Hills.
Turns out, it wasn’t. (Bram Lebo, Highlander Thursday Jan 16, 2014)”
“I got a call from a man.”
Jeezuz. What a pile of horseshit. Mr. Lebo will not, has not and still won’t include a name. He had a month. For fuck’s sake. No name? Just “a man.” Christ! Lebo! Mr. Maple Low Key! What’s his goddam’ name? No wonder the Haliburton Highlander is predisposed to cozy obsequiousness and underwhelming editorial content. They have an owner who won’t name names. It’s a foundation of news reporting Bram. But I get it. You’re oblivious. So. J’accuse! Does “the man” work for the fucking CIA? Is the man a Russian Cosmonaut? Is a man a Leper? Is a man predisposed to mood swings. Is a man a Mafia Don? Is he an Elephant Man? Is a man a brain eating zombie?What’s his goddam name?
Journalism 101. If you begin a story about the break up of a partnership? You give us the story. Or you don’t write a goddam’ thing. Capiche? It’s a fairly universal principle of journalism.
Anyways. Lebo goes on to relate how he may have been misled by his “a man” re Sun Media’s slow pullout. Of resources and capital. Really Bram? Did you think that Pierre Karl Peladeau was going to give you free rent? That he wouldn’t charge for a website? That he would not remove his publishing staff? Oh right. I get it. You think that you’re a start up. We have heard that riff before! You have a website built for free and I guess you figure that everyone is as stupid as that sadsack who constructed that website. For zero recompense.
Well, Mr. Lebo. Things aren’t so pretty in the real world are they? Ain’t Karma Just a sun of a beetch? And really? Does it surprise you that “a man” would pull the plug as soon as he realized that the managing editor, Jenn Watt and Times Editor, Chad Ingram did not want to work for or with you? They remain’ a man’s’ only hope now that ‘a man’ has seen the light.
“I sure feel dumb as a bag of bricks,” said editor Terry Gavan when I gave him a call today. “It took me five months with the Highlander to go full flight batshit crazy. “A man” figured it out in less than four weeks. I am jealous. I think… I really think I’m a sucker, a patsy and stupid as a stump. Oh and Seamus you may quote me. By the way… who is a man?” ARRRRGGGGGH!
The guy who bought the other papers and decided in error that the Highlander staff could actually put together five papers when it can’t do a credible job with the Highlander has to have a name. But never mind all that. Guess who gets a free skate on all these shenanigans? Well, here’s what Mr. Lebo gives us by way of explanation.
Essentially the issue was that the Echo and Times (and Bancroft This Week and Barry’s Bay This Week) had not been assembled in Haliburton for years. Many steps in the process had been split up among various parts of the Sun empire, in several locations, directed by people not part of the Haliburton or Minden teams.
It was as if someone had purchased a car dealership and then assumed they could build cars, not realizing the assembly line was somewhere else. (sic – bullshit metaphor! Ed) Normally in these types of deals, there would be contractual arrangements to ensure a smooth transfer of the critical systems and data necessary for the operation: client lists, ad bookings and ad management software, design software, accounts, templates, supplier contracts, subscriber lists, route delivery instructions and much, much more. I was assured these would all be taken care of and, since I had not dealt with Sun directly, assumed they would be.
They were not. BRAM LEBO – Former Maple Low Key Media Director. Explaining how he was? Misled? Suckered? Schtupped? Screwed? Clusterducked? Moronically inept?
Poor poor poor poor poor poor me!
Karma. Yes Bram, Karma.
Ain’t it a bitch?
(Ed’s note… Part two of the breaking news will be out as soon as Seamus O’Bradaigh wipes that smile from his ugly Irish Mug!)