Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I leave you guys alone for two years ...

I swear, I can't turn my back on these people for a minute. When I left Lee Enterprises back in January of 2007, their stock was worth $30 a share. Now, according to this story in Editor & Publisher, it's down to $1.58 and they're in danger of being de-listed by NYSE.

Somehow, my departure was not listed as a cause. Dunno how they missed that.

It would be easier to laugh if the idiotic decisions being made in the boardrooms of major newspaper chains didn't trickle down to those of us who are actually trying to do things right -- in the form of things like lower advertiser confidence in the medium and higher paper costs.

But it's easy enough to laugh, when you've escaped from people who keep issuing chirpy reports about how well the company is doing while they are cutting your resources, laying off people, freezing pensions and benefits, degrading the quality of the product and generally trying to sneak into the lifeboats before the passengers and crew notice.

And it's especially easy to laugh when you cashed out all your stock before you left, at the aforementioned $30 a share. I know people who are likely still holding a large wad of the stuff, purchased at a discount that now seems laughable ... as long as you're out of the path of the landslide.

We're all in for tough times in the next couple of years, and I don't know many companies where there isn't a careful watch being kept on expenses right now. That pressure intensifies when others in your sector are failing.

Still, when stupidity and greed are prime ingredients in the mix, the schadenfreude of watching a former, unloved employer sink is sweet indeed.





(We now return to a more civilized take on the world.)


Ronnie said...

How sweet it is...

Your very own deranged fan

JByrd said...

Well, I left in the fall of 2006 and cashed out at $37 a share, so maybe I was the tipping point. It was clear to anyone with a brain in their head that no one at corporate had an ounce of personal or professional integrity. Remember the little "prayer cards" they issued every quarter? Gimme a break!

Brian Fies said...

I think you earned that gloat.

ronnie said...

Little prayer cards?? Ye gods. No wonder you jumped. Good on you, too.

My rule is that schadenfreude is just fine, when they deserve it (cf. Republican Party).