By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,532)
Carol McCracken, of the MunjoyHillNews, resigned as a blogger for the Bangor Daily News (“BDN”) website, effective Friday, October 4, 2013. The reason for the resignation was a salary dispute about which the two parties could not agree. The announcement was posted that same day and removed from the BDN website hours later.
During the summer of 2012, the Munjoy Hill News, (“MHN”) was asked by the BDN to become a website blogger at a salary of $100. per month. MHN accepted the offer. The reason given MHN for the offer was to increase the news presence of BDN in the Greater Portland area and challenge some of the local press coverage by the “Portland Press Herald” specifically. Until earlier this year, the policy toward bloggers was definitely “hands off” – or “leave the bloggers alone.” This policy worked well for a long time, but MHN noticed a high rate of turnovers in web coordinators during this time. However, this spring a new coordinator took over the position. The policy reversed itself. “Hands on” became the new policy. Digital expert Patti Reaves became the web coordinator and aggressive in her dealings with bloggers.
Last Friday, October 4th, MHN emailed the BDN asking for a $50. per month wage increase. The response from Cheerleader Reaves was a slap in the face. MHN wasn’t doing enough to market the blog and needed to come up with a marketing plan to expand the reading audience. Additionally, I needed to write about more of Portland than just Munjoy Hill. And that wasn’t all. The list went on ad nauseum and became increasingly annoying. Alas, MHN was the blogger, not the marketer! Furthermore, MHN has always focused on the Hill. There was never intent on McCracken’s part to expand this one woman show into Greater Portland and beyond. McCracken resigned after that slap in the face!
At 10:30 pm, the same evening, October 4th, McCracken received a telephone call from recently hired BDN editor Tony Soprano. “I just wanted to make sure this is a professional transition,” he told McCracken several times. In a second and lengthy telephone call to McCracken the following week, the controversial new editor said he wasn’t interested in the volume of stories written; only the number of views recorded. “I’ll be watching closely what you write,” the 40-ish Soprano said before he hung up the following Monday morning.
That’s like Coach Bill telling quarterback Tom Brady that he didn’t really care whether or not he won the hard-fought, down to the final five seconds, game against New Orleans on Sunday. Coach Bill only cared about the number of viewers! Moving the goal posts in the middle of the game is not an option for MHN.net/com.
No Shock Jocks here at mhn.net. Only boring news!
So far, archival material for the past almost six years of MHN articles has not been emailed to MHN’s new web designer as requested. So, in reality, all the past articles appearing on the mhn blog are lost to viewers.