Monday, December 19, 2011

Brevard | Publisher Mikolajczyk quits for tech job

Mark Mikolajczyk, Florida Today's publisher since 2006, is leaving the newspaper to take a position with Craig Technologies, the Cape Canaveral-based engineering and project management company, the daily is now reporting.

The four-paragraph story doesn't say anything about his replacement.

Today's announcement follows more than a week of speculation on Gannett Blog about impending changes at the Florida paper, which has been roiled by summertime newsroom staff job cuts amid a slowing local economy.

Related: Here's an updated version of Florida Today's story.

78 comments:

  1. I see this paper becoming a Sunday only paper by 2013 and online only by 2014.

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  2. Ft is still a good paper with reasonably good circulation. It is a countywide paper, not just with city or town coverage. Hopefully Gannett will not turn her back on what used to be an award winning paper and enable Ft to get a publisher who still knows how to put out a paper. We have a long way to go before we succumb to the fad of today.

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  3. I'm speculating that this position was part of corporate restructuring and that he chose to resign rather than be cut loose. I say this because he's never worked for anyone other than Gannett and to give up this cushy gig now after 25 years is odd. With a rumored move of printing to Orlando sometime in the new year, this news comes as the paper's circulation continues to dwindle to less than 60K and quality has been sharply reduced by major staff cuts. A severe lack of advertising hasn't helped.

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  4. The rumored printing move has been squashed. No one who should know has seen or heard anything. Would be interesting to know if he left on his own or was ushered out.

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  5. 3:07 you are wrong. But way to be snarky.

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  6. He was probably just upset that with all the web-width reductions, they couldn't fit his name on one line any more.

    Word verification: comedis

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  7. 3:16 if you believe the quality of Fla Today has improved, you are mistaken. Ask any reader their opinion of the product and you will get an earful of how lousy the newspaper has truly become. Print operations may indeed be consolidated, with those announcements to be made early in 2012. It's not just at Brevard alone, but throughout Florida and elsewhere in the US Community Publishing Division. That was stated by Martore and staffers last month. Bottom line with Mikolajczyk is that he's leaving as the storm clouds are gathering intently. Wasn't this mentioned previously on this blog not long ago. Think the other item also suggested the executive editor at Brevard may be moving on as well. Sounds pretty astute to me and it would not surprise me if Bob Stover ends up vacating his corner office too. So let it be written, so let it be done...

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  8. Mark Mikolajczyk succeeded a tough act in Mike Coleman. He couldn't turn things around and stop the slide so now he's gone. If they do indeed name a new publisher two names to watch for -- Pete Zanmiller and Greg Watson. Each has intimate knowledge of Brevard and could step in there. But no matter who replaces Mikolajczyk, they have a really tough path ahead. The paper is reeling and taking on water. Can see why Mikolajczyk bailed.

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  9. When the publisher quits, you KNOW it's time to go!

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  10. Good riddance to an avowed "compassionate conservative." He brought nothing to the table. Lead, follow or get out of the way.

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  11. Handwriting is on the wall for Florida Today. It's an inferior publication in one of the worst areas of the nation hardest hit by the economy.

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  12. OK direct from the frontlines: Folks at FT are in a state of panic and rumors are flying that Stover's a chop too.

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  13. Speaking of ushered out what about the do nothing know nothing management on the GPS side of side of FT. Our maybe they could named publisher.

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  14. Sad to see another blow to this once-proud and thriving newspaper. A mixture of Gannett's austerity moves and poor newsroom management threaten the livelihood of every journalist working here.

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  15. Hope Stover has easy access to 401K, he's a goner.

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  16. Mark is a very smart and good person. I worked with him in one of his prior Gannett positions. He is a first class person. I wish him well in his new position. Gannett continues to lose talented people.
    Good Luck Mark.

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  18. I don't think ft is an inferior paper...it used to be tops and Mike Coleman was the best publisher they have had, well Vega was more fun but Coleman had it together. The way things are moving now I don't think they will last another year or online. With the Space program done, thanks to our ignorant President, there isn't really much to report on but they are trying their best, one of the biggest problems is the circulation department getting the paper to your door. Good luck and if you want a vacation stop your best bet is to ask your neighbor to pick your papers up for you.

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  19. 5:10 is an expert on ignorance. Nice off-topic comment, tool.

    4:05, 4:15, and 4:34 are experts on inferiority. They should hit themselves with hammers instead of posting.

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  20. Jim,

    Like several weeks ago, rumors are again flying about top editors at FT? What are your sources telling you? There cannot be so much smoke without fire.

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  21. 5:48, you make me laugh. Jim has no sources. Like most people here, he throws crap at the wall to see what will stick.

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  22. ...and yet you continue to frequent Jim's site 5:52 PM despite what you complain about. Now, that's LOL funny.

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  23. It is funny, 5:59. People like you make it funny. I consider it a source of entertainment, as I read posts from people like you who think Gannett could be better if it only listened to you.

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  24. Pot, meet kettle.

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  25. Jim Hopkins and Bob Stover were my first two editors as a newspaper reporter, at the Arkansas Gazette. They were both great editors and I loved working with them. Just wanted that comment to be on the Internet somewhere.

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  26. The elimination of the shuttle program will remove 10-15,000 jobs from Brevard, minimum, including ancillary positions. With the economy already circling the drain, Orlando could eat their lunch it they wanted to.

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  28. Mark had a tough act to follow, and kept walking in Mike Coleman's shadow.
    He never could fill Mike's shoes, and never really tried. Where Mike was open and personable Mark was/is moody and close minded. I am not suggesting that he had any choice in the layoffs, as far as numbers go, but he did have a choice of who was let go, and there he made some grave mistakes. The view from the top is nice, but you really don't get to see the details, and that was Mark's biggest problem.
    There was no dialog between him and the managers and the people below. Only OC members had his ears, and it shows on the staff left behind.
    If I had my wish, we would dust off Mike and bring him back. I just hope that Corporate can find someone of Mike's caliber to steer the ship at FT.
    I hope Stover is not on the short list, because he is nothing but a spineless and lying corporate suit. Don't trust him and never will.
    Pete Zanmiller is a very good fit, and I would welcome him back with open arms.

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  29. The dominos are starting to fall. With the publisher departing, the next logical person to hold accountable for the failure to retain readers is the top editor. By the look of things, Florida Today could have all new leadership for 2012.

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  30. There comes a time to lay the cards on the table. FLORIDA TODAY is uninteresting in its present form. Readers are not buying the newspaper and subscriptions are plummeting. Online traffic is off more than 50 percenbt from a year ago. No one watches the TV show produced by the paper using considerable resources and manpower. All indictaions are this is a sinking ship. Stover does not care, he's pulling in as much $$$ as he can before tugging on the ripcord of his golden parachute. Of course, he will retire before being ousted, that's the Gannett way. Sorry to see Mark go, but his passive nature allowed Stover to run roughshod over everyone and bully managers into accepting his flawed logic and mean-spirited managemrnt style.

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  31. Coleman was not that great of a publisher.
    Michalob was a dud.
    Vega was a BLAST!
    Florida Today would do just fine without a PUB.
    they are going away anyway!
    Isn't Michalob getting divorced?

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  32. Stover's reign of terror extends to his team of managers. They have to be the most disfunctional group of misfits running departments ever assembled. Just shows that surrounding yourself with cronies and ass-kissers leads to unhappy employees and people telling you only what you want to hear. It's not always the truth though.

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  33. This is just another example of the daily drama called Florida Today. Every day it's something new. Layoffs, furloughs and executive changes keep the staff in perpetual crisis. No wonder so many good people are leaving or have left.

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  34. There you go again 5:52 PM….acting directly in a manner (your 6:04 pm post throws “crap at the wall” as you know nothing about me) that you complain about.

    Again, that’s LOL funny.

    However, rest assured that my experience and the view afforded to me by Gannett ensures that when I comment it’s not to “see what will stick.” Though admittedly, adding a few to poke fun at contradictory posts does make good sport especially yours in that Gannett’s culturally inability to truly listen to employees is key to why it struggles today and why talented employees throughout Gannett flee when they can.

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  35. Mark is a decent guy and his departure will leave a void in the community and is major loss for the paper. I sure hope they bring in someone new, Stover would be a disaster.

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  36. Stover was kind of a noser, when I first met him he wasn't that good of an editor, I guess it's who you nose! Get rid of all of them they didn't do a great job anyway! Save money!

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  37. Hope my AD applies and gets this job. We need fresh blood.

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  39. Spiral will continue. Florida real estate market, like Nevada, shows zero signs of recovery.

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  40. Hey gang, let's reverse course and bulk up print so we don't lose wealthy, women and baby boomer subscriptions at the expense of digital! Even in the best of times this is a bad idea. But have no fear, with scant content and a diminishing voice and footprint in Brevard, going to a paywall will help us recoup our losses. Right?

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  41. I really like Mark and can't blame him for what happened. That blame goes to corporate for ill conceived consolidation of services and the loss of staff due to layoffs. I'll bet that staffing is less than 50% of what it was 3 years ago. No wonder we're losing circulation and advertisers.

    Mark, I hope you the best in your new endeavor!

    By the way, if there are additional positions open, let us poor SOBS left behind know.

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  43. Holy shit, that's 2 OC members and a publisher to leave Gannett in less than a year.

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  44. @9:57: perhaps they are smarter than we gave them credit for.....

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  45. MM couldn't have known what was going on under him. Any and all problems were covered up, then whatever word was passed up was what he wanted to hear. There are a couple of circulation people who have been there way too long.

    For the off topic remaks, the paper, even with the press being late most days (not all mind you), the paper still gets out in good fashion...especially how it used to be.

    FT still has a good sized market and there are a lot more who would buy the paper if it was worth what they are asking people to pay for. Putting back some of the lost content and drop ad prices and some of it's glory would return. Just depends if Gannett really WANTS the paper to survive.

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  46. Another Brevard industry down the tubes Craig Industries polluted by Gannett. Are local economy simply can not afford this kind of foolishness.

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  47. We can have a good paper, but right now we are on life support....Is there a doctor in the house?

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  48. People still need the paper to catch paint drops, line bird cages, wrap mullet, pack up fragile items, and swat a fly. FT has no content! The read is not there anymore. The photos are too big and not engaging. They hardly put the FT logo any where! Sounds like the publisher jumped the ship before it stank- I mean sank- rats are known to do that!
    At least the comptroller got smart and left early also, he looked around and saw the empty building leaking!

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  49. 7:13 It's called grave digger!

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  50. It is going to be interesting to see what they do with the place now that the Publisiher is gone. As someone stated earlier, there is only one logical choice for a replacement, therefore, it won't happen. It took Corporate approximately four years to kill what was once a gem in Gannett. One down, how many left to go? No Aps, no reporters, no vision. It's all within reach, Gracia!!!!

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  51. Is it any coincidence that the owner of Craig Technologies and the publisher are also close friends? Sounds to me like one friend bailing the other from a sinking ship! It is too late for the paper, unfortunately. Deal Chicken, content changes, all of that came too late. By the time they started to sink, they looked around for the people who could help pull them out and realized they laid them all off or they left on their own accords. Poor management started the downward spiral and the local economy with the space layoffs accelerated it.

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  52. Mikolajczyk may not have been the savior, but Stover and the paywall are. Good times are just around the corner again,

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  53. I considered myself lucky to have survived the August massacre. Many outstanding journalists were cut loose. Mark Mikolajczyk could have intervened to retain many of those on the layoff list, but he instead deferred to Stover, who used the occasion to jettison those he personally did not like, regardless of their ability. So what I'm saying is the entire dual-interview scenario was less than honest. Stover had decided long before August who was going and who was staying. Mikolajczyk showed a lack of backbone and integrity in preventing Stover from cutting decent hard-working people. Therefore, I am skeptical about Mikolajczyk's motives at this point. There probably was some truth to an earlier post that mentioned he was leaving before being forced to go. I myself am looking for another job, as many of us staffers still here are. This place has become a hell-hole, ruled by incompetent management and King Stover. I am glad to see Mikolajczyk out of here, wishing hard that the executive editor and his band of idiot supervisors are next in line.

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  54. 10:41 why didn't you quit so one of the great journalists cut could have stayed? Why are you still there? Since you are still there you must be one of Stiver's favorites right?

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  55. Oops I meant Stover's

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  56. Mikolajczyk may not have been the savior, but Stover and the paywall are. Good times are just around the corner again,

    Were you over Stover house for dinner, and he put something in the food to make you crazy ?????

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  57. 1:49, no favorite, just fly below the radar.

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  58. 2:33 so you fly below the radar and disparage folks with real talent. Now I get it. You will never quit. That takes courage.

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  59. Real talent? Cmon, don't make me laugh. Isn't the freefall in circulation to under 55,000 or the 50 percent reduction in daily online traffic an indication that the "talent" remaining is clueless and lacking?

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  60. I like Mark Mikolajczyk. He was handed major problems and did the best he could. I am still of the opinion it's not hopeless and that Florida Today is still a great place to work. Why does everyone complain so much? Don't they realize we are all in this together?

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  61. Michalob, Stover, and the other half - operations- have left Florida Today in shambles. All of this management are incompetent people. There is also Vizzini who doesn't have a clue! GPS Campbell who doesn't know how to treat an employee without yelling! (he is a real asshole) For Pete to include him in processing the GPS is a farce! Bad call!!!
    Florida Today would be a lot better with out these people.
    My co workers and I are sick of the bull!
    Work hard and get shit!

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  62. Jim.... Have you heard anything about possibly changing the executive editor in Brevard? The rumors throughout the building here have been flying for weeks and Bob Stover looks like a deal man walking.

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  63. 5:03 I've heard nothing.

    But I would be surprised to see any involuntary executive changes anywhere on the operating committee before the appointment of a new publisher/general manager.

    Mikolajczyk's resignation appears to be a singular event.

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  64. To the one stating that Michelob let Stover fire those he personally didn't like all comes down to what I meantioned above (12/19 6:56). He simply doesn't have a clue what happens below OC. Mark was looking at $$$, and when the departments came back with their quota, Mark was happy. This was what he was told from the Glass House, to cut money, and so he did.
    The problem with that was, that he relied on department heads to cut the $$$ and took their suggestions to heart.
    As far as Stover already knew who to keep and who to let go, was based on perception and not by the needs of the paper. Can't confirm this, but I was told, that someone without any prior management experience was told by Stover to apply for a specific management position. This person thought this was beyond him/her, and never considered it until nudged by Stover. Wouldn't you know it, he/she got the job.
    If this is true, don't think for a moment that the cards weren't stacked, and your ability in your job had less to do with the process of getting rehired, than how far your nose we up in the department managers rear end.
    That 3:36 fly under the radar may be the best advice yet at this place.

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  66. Dave Patrick for Publisher or maybe Dale Dukes

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  67. Why not they are both currently not doing any thing

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  68. 6:58PM, I know for a fact that one current employee was told that he had the position he applied for before the interviews started.

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  69. 5:02 PM, Come on now, Bob can run that press all by himself with one arm tied at 70K impressions and not miss a beat!

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  70. I think Campbell has a hard time of getting his layed back feet off the top of his desk, to run the press he would have to ask one of us press guys how to do it!
    I second that nomination for Patrick to be publisher, he's got the time! Him and Campbell can hold each others hands.

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  71. Campbell does have one hand tied behind his back its the hand with the leash that is tied around Hollands neck.

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  72. Campbell does have one hand tied behind his back its the hand with the leash that is tied around Hollands neck.

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  74. Come on guys, Bob could run the press blindfolded with both arms tied. He's our savior!

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  75. Actually Bob is the problem!
    Gannett just keeps letting it manifest!
    I'd pat Holland on the back anytime and give credit where it's due!

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  76. I was being sarcastic with my Bob could run messages. We all know that Holland is the one getting the paper out. The poor guy can't even take a vacation without being called in 2 or 3 times in a week. Why can't Bob take care of the problem? He's the one with 40+ years of experience.

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  77. Because know one knows that Campbell is not working, who sees that? Does HR come back? Does Publisher come back? Who sees that he's not working? No one , except all the employees!
    We would get are heads put in a bucket if we did nothing like he does.
    Holland on the other hand should reap all benefits Campbell has.
    Campbell has got to go--wasted space!
    That is one reason why we know that management at GANNETT is incompetent, they keep the same arrogant assholes at the helm!
    I used to love working for FT but tired of Campbell, what an asshole!

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  78. Best layoff ever. Making double my old pay, And little tyrants like Campbell can continue to run their little fiefdoms nose first into the ground, kamikaze style. Sayonara sucker!

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