Thursday, February 28, 2008

Commentz Korner: Phoenix shielding Dickey?

Batting three for three, The Arizona Republic appears to be protecting another top Gannett executive from embarrassing online reader comments. The paper published its story about newly appointed newspaper division President Robert Dickey (left) -- without allowing comments at the story's end.

Dickey, 50, the Republic' s chairman, replaces retiring Sue Clark-Johnson, 61 -- another former Republic executive.

The Phoenix paper -- Gannett's second-biggest, after USA Today -- allows commenting selectively. At the moment, for example, readers can leave comments on a Dunkin' Donuts story, or on another, about Honeywell laying off hundreds of Phoenix workers. On that story, one reader comment calls Honeywell executives "liars."

But when it comes to influential Gannett executives, editors apparently fear similar, nasty remarks. The no-comments-allowed decision happened twice before: In the Republic's Second Coming of Sue story, and when Editor Ward Bushee quit.

OK. That's three examples; I've got a trend story! Quick, get me trend expert-futurist Faith "Most Overquoted Trend Expert" Popcorn, so I can spin this sucker forward!

Got an offensive or just-plain-crazy comment that made it past your Gannett site's filters? Use this link to e-mail Commentz Korner suggestions. See Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the sidebar, upper right. Or leave a note in the moderated comments section, below.


  1. I have to laugh.
    This is so typical of Gannett's top local managers. Do they really think the public gives a damn about the company's corporate structure of who's coming and who's going?

    I'm guessing if you polled residents of Phoenix outside the country clubs and Rotary Club no one could tell who Robert Dickey is and most have never heard of him. But it's this false sense of self-importance that just indicates how much company execs are out of touch with reality.

    But OK, let's say I'm wrong and that Dickey is well known around Phoenix. Was he that much of a butt-head that people would spend the time to leave such horrible comments on The Republic Web site about him?

  2. In the Republic's story about Sue Clark-Johnson retiring -- the one I call the "Second Coming of Sue" -- the paper managed to squeeze a warm-fuzzy quote out of the Arizona governor's press office. Is that a business-friendly state or what?

  3. Um...the reason the gov's office is so friendly is that Sue Clark made it a point to suck up to Gov. Napolitano from Day 1 of her election. The first year in office for the governor, the Arizona Republic's fawning coverage of her was sickening and uncritical. When the gov was going to be at the gridiron dinner/show one year, the Washington reporter at the Republic was ordered to cover her and write about what the governor was wearing!!!!!!!!! The two are friends. It has nothing to do with business and everything to do with Sue Clark's awe of the rich and powerful and her desire to do anything to be in their good graces.


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