Monday, March 25, 2013

Tallahassee | Ouch!

"People who read the Democrat daily were surprised to learn that its editor feels he is in a position to be sanctimonious about anyone’s fact-checking."

-- Nancy Smith, executive editor of Sunshine State News, writing about Tallahassee Democrat Executive Editor Bob Gabordi. Last week, Gabordi slammed a local magazine over a story he said was riddled with inaccuracies. Among them, referring to the Democrat's owner as the Gannett Corp., rather than the Gannett Co.


  1. Blogging Bob. I recall reading an editorial that he wrote many moons ago. He was boasting about all the digital metrics the Democrat was hitting at the time: page views, traffic counts, maybe unique visitors. I thought to myself; this guy just wrote a boasting memo to corporate and turned it into an editorial, I shouldn't be paying for this drivel. I couldn't believe it. Many more followed over time, and the paper took a serious turn for the worse. Then they trotted out the pay-wall and all I could think about for months was Bob's boasts about internet metrics and then corporate slammed the door on the fun. I canceled the subscription and most of the people I know did as well.

    So you guys tried that and it really didn't work out. Bob is probably only responsible for a portion of the problems at the Democrat. I suspect the he is just doing the corporate bidding. Some of it is undoubtedly the new marketplace and all that, but I promise you that is not the majority of the problem, although the new marketers here will attribute all the blame to the digital marketplace. Seriously though, this is broken and Gannett should come up with a new strategy that focuses on actually researching and writing decent well researched articles. Two or three a day would be a good start. Relocate Bob and let him take the blame for the failed strategy and move on, or just sell the thing. This is not working and I cannot see you guys recovering with this team and this strategy. The product is absolute garbage and you cannot expect people to pay for this and actually increase your circulation. You could drop the price, but you guys are going in the other direction.

  2. You reap what you sow, Democrat. Faces would be red in the big office -- if those people were capable of shame.

  3. Amen, 12:29AM

    Make no mistake - Little Napoleon's reputation was set in stone when Audrey Post uttered her prescient prose circa 2006, summing up the paper's editorial content going forward: "It's all about Bob." Since then, they've lost more than half the full-time employees in the newsroom. Many of those duties now fall on FAMU interns (which costs them nothing) and beginning reporters. Out with the institutional knowledge, in with the impressionable skulls full of mush!

    The only paper in the Tallahassee MSA, which has over 130,000 households, has less than 17% penetration. Of course, the additional 50,000-plus students at the three campuses have no use for it.

    Internet metrics, 12:22AM? Well, they've gone to shit. Here's irrefutable proof of that: Compare
    to the top TV station in the same market:
    Under Little Napoleon, the paper has lost a sizable (pre-Gannett) lead over the top station in the market by a huge margin! Click on the tabs, the numbers all point to the same conclusion.

    After Dorsey started paddling his lifeboat to Sarasota, I heard that Little Napoleon had the audacity to move into the former publisher's office! When Gannett filled the position with someone way more qualified, they missed a great opportunity for page views by not running a photo gallery of him moving back into his old office, IMHO!

    When the Crystal Palace finally wakes up to the mess created by the North Florida Dictator, I suspect readers will have to endure yet another one of his blogs, that one on how tough the decision will be on his dog Hazel. That'll be the day the poor Democrat newsroomers party like those of us in Asheville did after his last exodus!

  4. He should be more worried about grammatical/factual errors in his staff email slams, as well as the ones I see online every day at

  5. Worst daily product in the state. 2nd worst is the Pensacola paper. Go Bob!!! More blogs baby, we need to get that circulation up. People don't want news, they want blogs about you Bob. They want weather videos, and soft stuff about social events they missed because they don't know what Facebook is all about. They like to read about the real news on the internet from places like Orlando, Tampa, NY, and DC. Those places do a better job at reporting what is really going on in your town then you do. Facebook kicks your tail on the soft crap. Who is left, old people that don't do facebook that want to feel connected to something?

    This whole thing is broken. Bulldoze the whole mess and rebuild.


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