Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough ...

Former Star staffer TJ Sullivan, in reaction to the news that the Albuquerque Tribune will be sold or closed, writes on his blog about a day nearly 13 years ago when the then-editor of the Tribune, Tim Gallagher, left the Tribune to come to The Star. Here are a few snippets:

"I worked for Gallagher at both The Trib and the Star, and was often advised by him to focus on what I could change, which was what the staff of The Tribune did best. ...

"Trib staffers didn't just look out their windows, they examined their own operation as aggressively as any. This was the culture during and after Gallagher. When I was a part of it, the staff questioned its bosses as aggressively as it did bureaucrats and business leaders. So when Gallagher decided to leave, and a corporate VP dropped by to make it official (and to introduce the new editor, Scott Ware), the staff fired away. People wanted to know if this was the beginning of the end.

"The matter was also addresed frankly in that December 30, 1994, story, which I pulled out to review this week and found the following Gallagher quote regarding the circulation situation:

"We're fighting an uphill battle here, the trend away from evening newspapers. I quit blaming myself for it. I went through the Stuart Smalley 12 steps. I'm doing what I can, we're putting out a good newspaper, everybody knows it's a good newspaper [SNIP ...] Don't get worked up about these numbers. This is still a very profitable business."

"Gallagher's departure was not the beginning of The Trib's end. It has continued to publish for the past 12 1/2 years since he left. And although the staff size has been considerably diminished during that time, along with circulation, The Trib's product has continued to be recognized with national awards.

"Quality, however, doesn't always sell."

You can read the entire piece here.