Friday, July 02, 2010

Publisher bungles editor's resignation

Nobody likes getting scooped. But it's even worse when the competition gets the scoop out of your own newsroom.

That's apparently what happened at the free circulation San Francisco Examiner when executive editor James Pimentel resigned on June 18.

For whatever reason, Publisher John Wilcox didn't run a story saying Pimentel was leaving the paper. Pimentel had been the paper's top editor for four years and had worked at the Examiner since 2001.

Four days later, an online newspaper, SF Appeal, reported that Pimentel had departed the paper and that Wilcox had held a staff meeting to tell employees about it.

The SF Appeal story left the impression that Pimentel was shown the door.

The next day, probably in response to the SF Appeal's report, the Examiner ran a story saying that Pimentel had resigned as editor but will remain with the Examiner's parent company, Clarity Media Group, to work on a redesign of its newspaper websites.

It's a shame Wilcox couldn't have printed a story about Pimentel's resignation/promotion earlier, instead of being scooped by an online newspaper that appears to have been incorrect in some of its reporting. If the resignation/promotion claim is true, then Wilcox botched the announcement, needlessly damaging Pimentel's reputation.