What do small-town publishers rake in?

“It’s a familiar story these days: Top executives reaping disproportionately large salaries and mind-boggling bonuses while executing poor business strategies and laying off hordes of employees,” as AZ Capitol Times reports.

“It’s happened in the finance industry, construction, automobile manufacturing, computer software and beyond. But now, we can count the newspaper industry among them.”

Yes, it also applies to small-town newspaper publishers:

“Julie Moreno, who became the publisher of the East Valley Tribune in 2008, was paid more than $334,000 in salary, benefits, bonuses and expense reimbursements during the past year, according to Freedom Communications Inc. bankruptcy documents filed Oct. 31,” as the “watchdog” publication reports.

“As part of that package, Moreno was paid a lump sum of $57,949 to relocate to the Valley from Yuma, where she was publisher of Freedom Communications’ second-largest Arizona paper, the Yuma Sun. Yuma, by the way, is 203 miles from Mesa.”

Earlier this month the 118-year-old East Valley Tribune newspaper said it would close at year-end.

Do these kind of big six-figure salaries exist in other small-town newspaper markets throughout the county? You bet.

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About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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3 Responses to What do small-town publishers rake in?

  1. Chris Howard says:

    Jeff . . .
    You do your readers a disservice with your headline “small-town publishers rake in?” Your implication is there is some connection here to The Union. There is not. The Union is so much smaller. Your sentence: “Do these kind of big six-figure salaries exist in other small-town newspaper markets throughout the county?” is laughable.

    I encourage your readers to hit the link . . . The market the East Valley Tribune covered is not “small market” As the story noted, Moreno had other executive responsibilities for Freedom besides the Tribune.

    The implication in this blog is completely unfair.

    The only connection here to anything local is Terry Horne — a former Swift exec.

  2. jeffpelline says:

    Chris,
    Show me a small-town publisher (in any chain) that does not make a six-figure salary. And show me a small-town publisher that did not reap big bonuses on top of that six-figure salary in better times — climbing well into the six-figure range. For what it’s worth, a small-town newspaper editor makes in the mid-five-figure range, typically without bonuses — if they can afford one. Here’s an example of a chain that filed for bankruptcy and shut down its East Valley Tribune operation and paid its publisher all that money. You’re sounding a little defensive here. Are you carrying water for somebody or just being altruistic? I always find it ironic that newspapers like to scrutinize other profession/government salaries but never their own. Maybe they should publish them in the paper, alongside the others, w/bonuses, benefits and other perks. I never heard of Terry Horne but thanks for the insight. Sounds like he was overpaid too, given the outcome at Freedom. Here’s a related post: http://jeffpelline.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/bankruptcy-of-appeal-democrats-parent-downplayed/

  3. Gloria Zane says:

    We know what the implication is, Chris, and Ackerman is worth every penny — minus a penny for every time he’s scooped, runs a late story, infuses the chamber’s interests seep into stories, and makes excuses with potshots and personal attacks.

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