It’s been a solid four months since the board at Lee Enterprises has handed out bonuses to the executives who’ve run the newspaper chain to ground, so there was little surprise when a new round of lucre, totaling $1.1 million was handed out to two executives on Friday.
Lee, which reported an 18% profit decline in February, has regularly given raises and bonuses to Junck and her associates while the company lays off journalists, including the top editor at its Provo paper. In 2012, the Post-Dispatch’s leading columnist advised Junckto put more distance between her layoff announcements and her bonuses.
Meanwhile, reporters at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch are being paid less than they were six years ago.
It’s part of the same, disheartening pattern that gets repeated every few months at the Lee papers. Experienced reporters are pushed out, news desks are stretched thin, advertising is outsourced and the local product’s credibility gets destroyed.
As a result, as hopefully to get Ms. Junck another well deserved reward, I plan to kick off my “One Week in the Independent Record” feature. I’ll buy a copy of the local paper of record every day this week and we’ll take a look at what kind of coverage a bare bones shell of a paper, hollowed out by corporate greed, gets the local consumer.