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Posts Tagged ‘Wendy McCaw’

Santa Barbara News-Press Found Guilty of Multiple Labor Violations

The Santa Barbara News-Press, owned by Wendy McCaw, has become notorious for their poor treatment of journalists and lawsuit-happy ways. We’ll probably get sued just for blogging about it, but the news is too good to ignore.

Today the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the News-Press was guilty of multiple unfair labor practices. See, back in 2006 and 2007, management got a little thuggish during the newsroom’s union organizing campaign. Threats were made, jobs were lost. But today the paper was called to the carpet for their union-busting ways. They’ve been found guilty of illegally firing eight reporters for union activity, and were ordered to reinstate said reporters and issue them back pay.

The Santa Barbara Independent further details the News-Press crimes:

The News-Press violated federal labor law by threatening employees with discipline for engaging in protected union activity by discharging newsroom employee Bob Guilliano for refusing to commit an unfair labor practice; by engaging in surveillance of employees’ protected union activity; issuing letters of suspension for engaging in union activity; canceling Starshine Roshell’s column for discriminatory reasons; and giving lower evaluations to employees because of their support for the union.

The company plans to appeal the decision. The full decision from the NLRB can be downloaded here.

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Arbitrator Orders Santa Barbara News-Press to Pay Former Editor

citizenmccaw22222.jpgThe Wendy McCaw saga continues, AP reports:

An arbitrator has rejected the Santa Barbara News-Press’ $25 million claim against its former editor and ordered the newspaper’s owner to pay more than $900,000 in fees stemming from their dispute.

Arbitrator Deborah Rothman said Ampersand Publishing, parent company of the News-Press, believed it “lost prestige and credibility in the Santa Barbara community” from comments former editor Jerry Roberts made, and it went after the journalist in a “scorched-earth, take-no-prisoners, go-for-broke fashion.” She said the company spent about $2.4 million litigating the claim against Roberts.

Rothman decided that Ampersand should pay nearly $750,000 in legal fees Roberts incurred and about $167,000 in arbitration fees and expenses. Her 68-page decision was made available Friday; a judge will have to decide whether to confirm or vacate the judgment.


“The award is a decisive victory for ethical journalism,” Roberts said in a statement. “Ethics, not money, was always the issue for me.”

Now we just have to wait if a judge confirms the amount. Wow, even their media brawls up there are PRICEY. Yeesh.

Previously on FBLA:

  • Citizen McCaw Screened Despite Cease and Desist
  • ‘Citizen McCaw’ To Hit Public Television This Weekend
  • Wendy McCaw(ful) Destroys Yet Another Publication
  • Wendy McCaw(ful) is the Ted Haggard of the Newspaper Biz
  • NLRB Files More Complaints Against Wendy McCaw(ful)

  • Santa Barbara News-Press Fired Journos Lose in Court

    indy cover33333.jpgOur favorite newsroom fit-for-daytime drama has another chapter.

    LAT’s Carol J. Williams writes:

    Santa Barbara News-Press journalists fired in a dispute with the publisher over control of the paper’s news content lost a round in court Tuesday when a federal appeals panel declined to order them reinstated.

    The 2-1 decision by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was a legal victory for News-Press owner and Publisher Wendy McCaw in her ongoing battle with employees who contend her intrusions damage the paper’s journalistic integrity.

    The employees’ dispute with McCaw became public in the summer of 2006, when five top editors resigned to protest what she characterized as efforts to correct biased reporting.

    Dozens more journalists left over the next year and circulation dropped as writers and editors urged readers to cancel their subscriptions to show support for editorial independence

    SB media blogger Craig Smith writes:

    After 10 months of waiting, the wait is finally over. And, if you were rooting for the fired newsroom employees of the Santa Barbara News-Press, it was hardly worth waiting for.

    Read his full take here.

    Previously on FBLA:

  • Wendy McCaw(ful) Continues to Fascinate ‘Em in Santa Barbara
  • Wendy McCaw(ful) Will Have to Look Elsewhere For Kiddie Porn
  • Did Wendy McCaw Break the Law? Protest Planned for Valentine’s Day
  • Wendy McCaw Hired Lawyer Praised by ACLU to Sue Journalist
  • Wendy McCaw(ful) is the Ted Haggard of the Newspaper Biz

  • SB News-Press Editorial Page Editor is Gone

    citizenmccaw.jpgTravis Armstrong editorial page editor at Santa Barbara News-Press, owner Wendy McCaw lackey, has been fired.

    Barney Brantingham at the Santa Barbara Independent sums up the decline:

    Since then about 100 people have quit or been fired for union activity-illegally fired, according to a judge’s decision. McCaw has spent millions battling the newsroom unionization brought on by her own behavior that fateful summer of discontent. Reporters and others felt they needed a union to help protect them against what they considered a tyrannical, capricious owner. The paper is now a hollow husk of what it was then, not only an instrument of McCaw’s libertarian-style ideology but a vehicle of vengeance against anyone on whom she fixes an angry eye.

    Find the whole piece here.

    Previously on FBLA:

  • Citizen McCaw Screened Despite Cease and Desist

  • ‘Citizen McCaw’ To Hit Public Television This Weekend

  • Wendy McCaw(ful) Destroys Yet Another Publication

  • Wendy McCaw(ful) is the Ted Haggard of the Newspaper Biz

  • NLRB Files More Complaints Against Wendy McCaw(ful)

  • ‘Citizen McCaw’ To Hit Public Television This Weekend


    Sam Tyler, of Tyler Productions, Inc., wrote us to let us know about this must-see TV broadcast:

    I thought you might want to know that despite five letters threatening to sue us (from Wendy McCaw‘s attorney Barry Cappello), we are releasing Citizen McCaw to Public Television. The first broadcast will be on KRCB Channel 22 in the Bay Area this coming Sunday, November 4 at 8 PM. It’s a great time slot.

    More PBS stations will carry in 2009. The cover of KRCB’s program guide is attached as is one of Cappello’s letters. We ignored Cappello and have continued to move ahead.

    – Sam

    Earlier: Wendy McCaw–Now In Panavision, Cinemascope and Wide Screen

    McCaw(ful) Inspires Docu, Sequel

    wendymccaw100x125.jpgThe filmmakers behind a scathing docu about Santa Barbara News-Press destroyer Wendy McCaw are talking sequel.

    After spending what one of the filmmakers said was some $200,000 on Citizen McCaw, they admit they will have to update their movie, which premiered at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater to a sold-out crowd of about 2,000 on March 7. The films’s ending, however, is still unclear because legal disputes between McCaw and her former employees are still raging.

    Wendy McCaw–Now In Panavision, Cinemascope and Wide Screen

    Citizen McCaw is a documentary about the drama and the mama up in Santa Barbara. Back in July 2006, editor Jerry Roberts and five of his colleagues quit the Santa Barbara News-Press (the drama), owned by ethics-challenged gazillionairess Wendy McCaw (the mama). The film opens in Santa Barbara on March 7, barring intervention by McCaw’s legal team–who already tried to subpoena of all raw footage., a demand that was rejected by judge William Kocal.

    Producers (who include Rod Lathim, Peter Seaman and Charles Minsky) said that more than 80 hours of footage were shot, including interviews with the Washington Post’s Ben Bradlee, journalist Ann Louise Bardach, former NBC News reporter Sander Vanocur, Ronald Reagan biographer Lou Cannon, and Alex Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy.

    We hope the producers were able to license the Beach Boys’ oldie classic.

    Small Court Set Back For Santa Barbara News-Press

    Read more

    LAT in 90: Twists and Turns

    The Los Angeles Times, distilled.

    MIT Media Lab Meta Munchies
    Last week’s cheap eats feature was a big hit with readers, so Food Section editor Leslie Brenner kills that dangerous trend. Regina Schrambling writes about an AI geek with a software program and a palate of styrofoam.

    Baby Video Study: Junk Science
    Bruce Kluger’s op-ed on the academic study of baby videos has all the actual information on the methodology that that news story lacked. Gist: researchers never saw or listened to any children.

    Santa Barbara Slug-Fest
    The legal battle between Wendy McCaw and former employees of the Santa Barbara News-Press should serve as a cautionary tale for all those who wanted David Geffen to buy the LAT.
    James Rainey’s reporting is even-handed.

    A-1 With a (Would-be) Bullitt
    Dan Neil drives Steve McQueen’s Ferrari. Terrific piece, worst video ever. Why? Car not shown in motion–fast motion. Sitdown interview is static–the car owner should have been doing something. Once again: Net video should not look like tv.


    Jerry Roberts Answers Wendy McCaw /NRLB Hearing In August


    Jerry Roberts the former Santa Barbara News-Press editor, responds to publisher Wendy McCaw, in a web-only Blowback piece at the LA Times.

    Last week, she had a piece in the same section, but she didn’t mention that she’s suing Roberts in a contract dispute for $25 million. The kiddie porn charge was too salacious important.

    And in related news, the National Labor Relations Board’s general consul is prosecuting the News-Press on a number of charges, listed below. The hearing is set for August 14.

    The NRLB says that the News-Press violated the National Labor Relations Act by:

    Read more

    Did Wendy McCaw Break the Law? Protest Planned for Valentine’s Day

    The fun never stops up in Santa Barbara. The Independent reprints a leaked memo from News-Press Empress Wendy McCaw, ordering her san-serif serfs back to work and to ignore those Teamster bolshies. FBLA’s favorite part:

    Did Wendy McCaw break the law?
    No. Although the Teamsters would like our community to believe otherwise, no laws have been broken.

    Did Wendy McCaw break the law? makes a great chant. And since the National Labor Relations Board charged her with unfair labor practices, FBLA thinks everyone should practice chanting at the protest tomorrow.

    Circulation drops when all the writers get fired, too.

    (We can’t find a recent photo of her Highness, as you can see.)

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