On July 6, 2016, Gannett, the nation's biggest newspaper chain, paid the Borgs $40 million for North Jersey Media Group (The Record of Woodland Park, Herald News, NorthJersey.com, (201) magazine and 50 weeklies). Stephen A. Borg, publisher for a decade, oversaw the biggest downsizing ever. Local news declined, errors mounted and most employees were denied raises. Gannett replaced Editor Deirdre Sykes, revised The Record's website and redesigned the print edition, cutting another 350-plus jobs.
Here are two comments on posts about Francis "Frank" Scandale, editor of The Record since January 2001:
As pointed out once before, Scandale likes to take credit for the Columbine Pulitzer, but he wasn't in the office when the news broke and an assistant made the initial assignments, not paging Scandale until later. "All I thought," Scandale later complained to American Journalism Review, "is why didn't they page me sooner?" Right, it's always all about you, Frank! I can guess why they didn't page him sooner -- probably didn't want the stumbling glory-hound getting in everyone's way and making assignments based on office politics rather than ability to do the job. http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=514
Really, a story ending in mid-sentence falls under the category of "shit happens." But the gross underplaying of the Arizona shootings is chimpanzee-level news judgment. I wish I could honestly say this qualifies Scandale as the dumbest top editor for whom I've worked, but sadly he remains the second-dumbest (you would not believe the stories about the dumbest). He remains No. 1 in overestimating his ability, though. The dumbest editor at least would recognize a screwup in hindsight, perhaps days later and not necessarily learning from it. But when Scandale badly botches a call, he rationalizes it as zigging while other newspapers zag and gives himself a pat on the back. This was an unquestionably stupid news call, unless you are editing some shit-kicker paper in South Dakota, someplace like that.
Scandale was away at a conference when The Denver Post got word of the Columbine High School massacre in 1999. Here is the link to a long article on how the Denver paper and others reacted to big stories: