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Posts Tagged ‘Diane McNulty’

Times Scoop on David Paterson Reveals PR Struggle

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After weeks of speculation, the “bombshell” profile about New York Governor David Paterson dropped today in The New York Times, on page A1, above the fold, no less.

Except, the profile is about David Johnson one the two close advisers that are giving the Governor bad advice, sources close to the administration say.

It was revealed that Johnson, at one time Paterson’s driver who worked his way up to a six-figure salaried director of executive services, is in fact a convicted felon, and may have problems with violence against women. The revelations were not enough to force Paterson’s resignation today as predicted in the meta-story that has been unfolding over the past week about what exactly the smoking gun was.

The meta-story of Times + tabloids vs. Paterson aside (you can review the chain of events on FishbowlNY), there are two PR-related elements that emerge: Johnson is definitely acting in a communications capacity, and the story itself was handled well by whomever is in control of Paterson’s image. The former, critics argue, has divided the staff and contributed to a deep hole Paterson has to dig himself out of if he has any hope for re-election against the well financed Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

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New York Times Layoffs Underway; Speculation Ensues

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The New York Times is in the midst of finalizing the layoffs of 100 newsroom employees. New York magazine has a partial list of those laid off, and reports 74 employees took buyouts, leaving 26 spots for management to cut.

As usual, the Times is not commenting on personnel mattes. Per the following email sent by Times Executive Director of Community Affairs and Media Relations Diane McNulty to Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan:

Hamilton,

As you know, The Times does not and will not discuss personnel matters, nor reveal any names or numbers relating to the current staff reduction. As a result, The Times cannot and will not comment on the list of specific names you picked up from NY Magazine, except to say the list is in error, as is the information you posted about our blogs. There have been no decisions about shutting down either of those blogs.

Thanks,
Diane

From a PR perspective, would the Times be better off just putting the list out there to end speculation, or are there legal or other reasons for them not doing so? “It’s unethical to release the names of people you laid off, and most companies recognize that,” one PR executive familiar with the Times told PRNewser.

Regardless of HR practices, “it’s not fair to anyone who’s being laid off to have the company announce that,” they said. Another PR exec said that the responsibility for getting the world out falls on the journalist, “to let people know they are on the market.”

Another option would be to “ask the employees if they’d like their names to be released…you know other people are going to report on it anyhow,” said one reporter.

When BusinessWeek recently announced layoffs in conjunction with their acquisition, many laid off reporters announced the news via Twitter. So far, we haven’t seen that happen with the Times.