Terrance Eggers, the publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is leaving the newspaper effective May 19th. Last November, Ellen Soeteber resigned as Editor-in-Chief. It seems that Mr. Eggers is leaving for the same reasons Ms. Soeteber left - the Post has money problems, or as they described it, the paper faces a "choppy advertising market that prevented Egger from meeting modest revenue targets during his last year of a decade-long run in St. Louis."
I have to feel sorry for newspaper people these days - its the best of times as the internet beckons, and it is the worst of times, as the current advertising base dries up. Here we are in a robust expansion, and the ad revenue isn't coming back -- which means it isn't going to come back. I think this accounts for the generally unhappy outlook on the economy by the press -- their economy isn't good, so they assume nobody else's is, either.
Bill McClellan wrote about Mr. Egger's departure. Bill get's his facts right but his interpretation is way off: "An odd but endearing quality of newspaper folk is that we profess to know a lot about everybody else's business but know almost nothing of our own." It isn't odd but endearing - it's thoroughly annoying. And then he notes the big bucks Mr. Eggers has been paid ($3 million when Pulitzer was bought out, $675,000 retention bonus, and $1 million severance package) -- all the while his editorial page has been blasting other execs for similar excess. The press can't stand the same scrutiny and standards they hold everyone else to.