WEST PALM BEACH — Right on time for the holidays, The Palm Beach Post and its sister paper in Palm Beach have fired several more employees, including two of its last high-profile reporters.
Post Tallahassee Bureau Chief John Kennedy was shown the door after five years of loyal services.
And the Palm Beach Daily News got rid of 21-year veteran David Rogers, one of the town’s best-liked ink-stained wretches.
Merry fucking Christmas!
In Tallahassee, the corrupt members of the state’s political elite will be dancing extra-hard in their private end-of-year parties as Kennedy’s departure will shed even less light on the backroom goings-on that influence how $82 billion in taxes are spent.
And it’s the first time in its 100-year history that the once great Atlanta-owned Post is left without a Washington, D.C. bureau (gone two years ago), and a state capital presence.
Here’s Kennedy Facebook posting about his departure:
Dear Friends, The Palm Beach Post has decided to close the Tallahassee bureau. The paper’s future is local and digital, and coverage of the goings-on in the state Capitol don’t meld as well with this direction.
The Post has been gracious. And we’re working on a plan for me to provide some coverage through the ’17 session. But all told, I’ll be ending a fabulous, five-year run with a great paper, working with some wonderful people. I’ll miss it. And them.
State government and state politics have a profound impact on the lives of Floridians, even though papers are struggling to make things work. Watchdogs are needed to bark and growl at this $82 billion enterprise called Florida government.
I think I made a difference with the questions I asked, and the stories I wrote. I don’t plan to go silent.
As always, Kennedy’s toeing the company line which, if history is repeating itself, dangled a few weeks of pay in exchange for Kennedy’s “positive” attitude.
But more than 200 readers sounded off on Kennedy’s page, including this wise one: All politics are local and local politics are important especially in these times. Shame on the Post.
At the so-called Shiny Sheet, the billionaire owners targeted local government reporting with Rogers’ departure. Unlike the rest of the staff, Rogers was less impressed with Palm Beach society and more concerned about town hall and the numerous commissions that run the island.
Here is his Facebook announcement: Just found out that my writing position at the Palm Beach Daily News, has been eliminated effective immediately due to budget cutbacks. So … I am taking the opportunity to move forward (2.5 years ahead of schedule) with starting my own company, focusing on writing, editing, social media content producing and videography. I’m especially interested in producing videos for different clients (society, biographical, marketing, etc.) Please send referrals/ideas to me via private message or by phone. Twenty one years with the same company. This is a good time to do for myself and follow my own interests.
For more than 12 years Cox Media Group, which owns both newspapers, has presided over the gutting of both staffs on the account of an advertising slow-down and changing readers habits.
At the Post today, it’s radio silence. While it aggressively covers the financial woes of other local businesses, the Post refuses to cover its own.
So we’ll do it for them!
While the Post continues to increase its subscription for delivery of the newspaper and has the gall to ask online readers to pay for that content, the amount and quality of news it provides has become abysmal. The cuts in government reporting are particularly bothersome at a time when the lack of proper political reporting has given this country a president elect unfit to hold any political office.
By the way Cox Media Group, whose decision it is to cut staff at the Post, is owned by Jim Kennedy, America’s 39th richest man with $10.8 billion to his name, James Chambers, No. 62 on the richest list with $7.2 billion on his numerous bank accounts.
This is how we see it: Readers should cancel their subscription immediately. Only morons would agree to less of a product for a higher price, and continue to line the pockets of billionaires who couldn’t care less about their duty to Palm Beach County.
And switch your online habits to local non-Post products, including Gossip Extra. We are the only ones who stood by readers all these years.
You can live without the Post or the Shiny Sheet in your life.