Bob Dickey promised he would "be sharing the financial hardship" after furloughing his workers. He warned the Tucson Citizen might shut. Then he joined fellow Gannett bigwigs at a golf resort.
On Friday, Dickey was telling dozens of Tucson Citizen staffers they'd be out of jobs in March, unless someone steps forward to buy the paper. That was after making all Gannett staff go one week without pay this quarter.
This week, the newspaper division president is competing in the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic, in which he will be paired with professional golfers to help improve his swing. His entry fee is either $12,000 or $25,000, reports Gannett Blog, to say nothing of travel costs, expenses for fellow newspaper division exec Michelle Krans, or costs for honchos from Gannett's Desert Sun, which is sponsoring a pricey hospitality suite.
Obviously, Gannett insists the whole thing is for charity and business development and whatever, not to give ole Bob the chance to play with the likes of golf pros like Bubba Watson, Wes Short and Martin Laird.
This is the same excuse corporate execs have been using for their perks — it's for the good of the company! — since forever, regardless of whether it's true or not. In this case it seems pretty obvious the newspaper chain doesn't need two national executives, including one on the course, plus the Desert Sun people, to butter up advertisers in Palm Springs, California.
The takeaway for newspaper executives: Don't let your employees find out about your fun "business" trips. Not because the scared-for-their-livelihood journalists will dare to write you up in their own papers, but because they might leak word to one of those parasitic, good-for-nothing bloggers.