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MediaNews columnist goes off against ex-staffers, calls them ‘turncoats’

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Somebody hand this guy a chill pill. Long Beach Press-Telegram columnist Tim Grobaty comes down hard on the “turncoats” who used to work at the MediaNews Group-owned paper and who’ve found jobs at the competition, the new Long Beach Register. Here’s his Monday rant, the essence of which may be distilled into this quote: “Betrayed. Backstabbed. Sold out for some pieces of silver.”

The object of his ire, the Register, is a property of the Orange County Register, whose new owner Aaron Kushner is succeeding by spending heavily on staff and expanding coverage. As such, he’s maybe the antithesis of MediaNews Group/Digital First honcho John Paton and his slash-and-consolidate strategy. But is Grobaty going too far? Read one of his particularly outrageous rants against a departing female crime reporter and you’ll likely think so, after the jump.

Here’s his column after reporter Tracy Manzer left in May. Which kind of makes you wonder where standards are heading at a newspaper chain that tolerates this kind of stuff and which, locally, includes the Mercury News and its Bay Area editions. Excerpt:

It's not that we'll just miss Tracy's horrible stories and sickening language. She has been, for a decade, what we in cubicleville call our work wife. She has tarted herself up every day for our amusement, wearing stunning spike heels and, on special occasions, her "implied consent dress," which is a smart little outfit that explodes off the body like an airbag when activated.

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