Readers hate change

ajc-criticCriticism is easy.  We should know, right?  It’s much easier than coming up with original material that at least passes for and is packaged as journalism.

How easy?  In his blog Certain Speculation, CB Hackworth demonstrates that criticism can be effectively delivered by a four-legged critter with a brain the size of a walnut and no computer skills.  This week, Hackworth unveiled his new media critic, a tabby named KC.

Hackworth has done some more serious analysis of the AJC’s new look.  In this piece, he’s actually got a kind word for Sunday’s front page layout and content.  In this piece, he notes that some of the folks responsible for the new layout have already been moved off the payroll.  (Hackworth also writes with shameless affection for the Star Trek franchise, something we’ve always kinda kept in the closet….)

The bloodletting at the AJC hits home when longtime readers view a list of those recently departed, as published in Mitch Leff’s blog / newsletter (Leff is trying to avoid a mistake that helped sink the newspaper industry– you gotta pay to read his stuff online.  We re-print this with his permission).  The list is ghastly.  The “Pearls Before Swine” comic at the end is genius — again, lifted from Certain Speculation.

• Rick Addicks
• Nancy Albritton
• Jim Auchmutey – working on a book and other writing projects. 29 years with the paper.
• Kevin Austin
• Moni Basu – Going to work at CNN
• Steve Beatty – moving back to New Orleans
• Wendell Brock
• Tasgola Bruner
• Celine Bufkin
• Mary Civille
• Brenda Coglianese
• Larry Conley
• Holly Crenshaw
• Michael Dabrowa
• David Deckert
• Lea Donosky
• Kevin Duffy
• Gerdeen Dyer
• Joe Earle
• Sandy Eckstein
• Ginny Everett
• Louis Favorite
• Ron Feinberg
• Vivian Flagg
• Cathy Fox
• Clark Freeman
• Phil Gast
• Steve Harvey
• Robin Henry
• John Hollis
• Joey Ivansco
• Drew Jubera
• Phil Kloer
• Mike Knobler – going to law school
• Montse Knowlton
• Pat Koester
• Conni Lawson
• George Leite
• Donna Lewis
• Rachel Lister
• Derrick Mahone
• Andy Miller
• Terence Moore
• Sonia Murray
• Doug Nurse – 12 years with the paper
• Thomas Oliver – (4-19) Oliver now says he’ll continue writing his Sunday biz column.
• Evelyn Amaya-Ortega
• Michael Pearson
• Kay Powell
• John Reiter
• Susan Reu
• Frank Rizzo
• Holly Roseberry
• Pierre Ruhe
• Jennifer Ryan
• Chip Saye
• Paul Shea
• Stacy Shelton
• David Simpson
• Ben Smith
• Jim Smith
• Kim Smith
• Lewis Sturm
• Ron Taylor
• Jerome Thompson
• David Tulis
• Chuck Turlington
• Melissa Turner
• Steve Valk
• Omar Vega
• Reagan Walker
• Harold Weaver
• Gayle White
• Janine Williams
• Schauna Wright


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Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form, zero, zilch, nada. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

10 thoughts on “Readers hate change

  1. Mr. Bear

    I don’t know about KC, but our calico fur units expect Scale, and residuals, too. I’m thinking of outsourcing.

    On a more somber note, that list of staffers who are leaving are not just isolated beings, they’ve got families and neighbors. This is hard.

  2. Don B

    Dam, I see alot of photographer friends on that list..I guess the AJC will be running more and more AP photos of that flooded steet in San Jose Ca…Sorry Guys..My hearts goes out to ya…….

  3. Sidmel

    In addition to the lack of depth that the newspaper is now displaying, with the departure of Terrance Moore and the re-assignment of Gracie Staples, the AJC apparently has NO local columnists of color. Come on now! This is Atlanta!!!!

  4. English major

    I was looking forward to emulating that couple in the AJC promotional video, sprawling around the couch spending a lazy Sunday morning perusing the paper…but my paper wasn’t delivered! I left a message on the circulation line requesting redelivery – when it still wasn’t delivered by 4pm I called back and got a new, special message for subscribers who were “experiencing delivery problems on May 3rd” that deliveries were delayed that day. So now I’m getting a credit, not the long-vaunted first “AJCSunday” paper. Whoo-hoo. Just a bit ironic…

  5. arky

    Terrence Moore is writing for AOL now. I wish him the best, but that kind of strikes me as moving from one sinking ship to another.

  6. B4Life

    The new AJC layout stinks (since I am respectful when posting I’m choosing that word)! I would rather the AJC fold shop than start producing crap. If you’re losing print readers and subscribers now, what makes you think a redesign will appease them?! Especially one that looks like that. There are many collegiate papers that look better than this. I personally like reading printed papers, but this new layout is making it very hard to enjoy. I hate cats, but this one was right!

  7. Kerry Driskill

    As K.C.’s Mom, I can attest to the undisputed fact that he is actually quite adept in his computer skills! You may want to do some fact checking next time…but thanks for the press just the same.

  8. Benj

    Around 1999 or 2000, I got out of newspapers and regretted it. Now, a lot of people that I worked with – either in college or at the newspapers I worked post-grad – are on that list.

    This whole situation makes me very sad.

  9. Pingback: 10 Atlanta media moments, 2009 « live apartment fire

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