Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jackson, Miss. | No. 8. What is your city's name?

The following memo this morning to employees of The Clarion-Ledger is apparently real, so I'm now posting it in this more prominent position. The author is Brian Tolley, who in February was named executive editor/director of audience growth and engagement. He arrived in Jackson, Miss., amid a round of buyouts that targeted about 20% of what was then a 50-person newsroom.

From: "Tolley, Brian"
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 10:42:45 -0400
To: JacksonMS-News-Email
Conversation: About metro jackson
Subject: About metro jackson


Need some help. The folks who are writing ads for our new subscription model are seeking answers to the following questions to help them understand our market better.

Any suggestions and other help are appreciated.

1. What is your town famous for?
2. What are the local sayings unique to your community?
3. Is there a famous landmark not for tourists, but for locals?
4. Who are the personalities known by everyone in town?
5. Who are your local heroes -- and why?
6. Who are your local villains?
7. What events only happen in your community? (charity events, yearly runs/walks not associated with national programs)

Earlier: Clarion-Ledger seeks writers for prominent column -- so long as they're willing to work for free.


  1. Four months is plenty of time for Tolley to find out the answers to these questions on his own. Does he spend all his time in an underground bunker?
    For shame.

  2. 6. Brian Tolley

  3. Doesn't get more generic than that.

    This reminds me of what often happens in TV when a new anchor/personality comes to town, and they don't know the local peculiarities and pronunciations.

    Years ago here in Phoenix, a new sports anchor referred to local owner/icon/god Jerry Colangelo as "Jerry Colon Jello".

  4. Who are your villains? What does that even mean? Is the paper going to label good guys and bad guys now? One person's villain is another's freedom fighter ... The only real villains everyone can agree upon are murderers and the like, and I doubt the ads are going to focus on them ...

  5. My guess, the marketers are outside the time zone and have put together a Mad Libs style campaign for every local paper, but can't be bothered to actually, you know figure out stuff like this on their own.

  6. This guy needs to find his Purpose Wall.

  7. Here's a suggestion...hire local.
    Oh, wait, this is Gannett. I forgot.

  8. Tolley lost me at "gang."

    What a punk-ass, unprofessional way to address your staff ...

  9. I totally agree with the poster at4:41! This guy Tolley is no newsman. He is obsessed with numbers only, i.e., videos submitted, social media posts,etc. He doesn't know the area because he's not from here. He and his minions have run off what few journalists remained at the C.Ledger and replaced them know-nothing, white out-of-towners. I'm white and I noticed this right off. Here's an example of Tolley's "leadership"... he put the computer guy over the photo staff. That went so well, the computer guy quit! That is the truth. The new, so-called "editors" with convoluted titles, consists of some loud moron from a university in the northern part of the state and a clueless Republican Party reject. The news hole has been shrunk to drivel,flowery suburban crap and he's flat out stated he's not interested in spot news. Can you imagine what the paper is like now? Then there's the nerve to charge $1 for the M-F paper and the Sunday edition is $2!! They are too chickenshit to post the cost of the paper on the paper! The website (that hardly had viewers to begin with) is now a pay site! The publisher is nowhere to be seen or found. The entire place is mired in fear, low morale and dispair.


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