Gyllenhaal's Legacy

For those of you not up on your Romenesko, here's a link to the City Pages story by Britt Robson about the reaction of Star-Tribune reporters to the newspaper's sale by McClatchy, which owns the Miami Herald.

The reporters are raging against Gary Pruitt and Anders Gyllenhaal, who left the Star-Tribune before the sale to take the helm at the Miami Herald. Here's one quote from veteran reporter Rochelle Olson:

"There's a lot of derisive talk about Pruitt, because he was painted in other media as the golden boy, this tanned San Franciscan up-and-comer who liked rock and roll music and talked about a new paradigm. He and Anders led people to believe they cared about journalism. And when push came to shove, all they cared about was the bottom line."

This from reporter Doug Grow: "There is certainly some anger at Anders. Here is the ship listing, and there goes the

captain. And that certainly is a mighty fine-looking dinghy he's got out there."

They're still angry about Gyllenhaal's controversial redesign, which basically transformed the Strib more into a McPaper (as in McDonald's, not McClatchy, though that distinction seems to be narrowing by the week), with shorter stories and less emphasis on hard news. Said Olson:

"Anders came in here and said we were the flagship paper and, oh—we were going to work so hard to save journalism as we know it. Then they did the redesign first and asked questions later. Some of us had issues with that and weren't heard, in my opinion, and now they are bailing."

Gyllenhaal basically left a more corporatized, wrecked, sinking newspaper in Minneapolis. Let's hope he doesn't repeat his mistakes in Miami.

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