* GateHouse is such an awful company…
* Bruce Rushton with the story…
The entire State Journal-Register newsroom walked out today in support of now former editor Angie Muhs, who was walked out of the building this afternoon by the paper’s general manager after submitting her resignation on Friday.
In an impromptu show of solidarity, the staff accompanied Muhs as she left the building for the final time. “Everyone walked out with her as a show of respect,” reporter Dean Olsen said. “We all gave her a hug and applauded for her and thanked her for the stand that she was taking. … People are crying.”
Olsen said Muhs told her staff on Friday that she was leaving partly in hopes of avoiding more layoffs at a paper that has been decimated by staff cuts. “I think her hope was, by not having her salary to pay, her hope would be that there would be no layoffs,” said Olsen, who wasn’t present when Muhs announced her departure last week. “She was a very good editor, and she tried to promote good journalism in Springfield, despite some pretty trying circumstances that she had to deal with from GateHouse Media (the paper’s corporate owner).”
Muhs declined to say what she told her staff, but she said she wasn’t expecting colleagues to walk out of the building with her. “I was very touched,” Muhs said. “I didn’t expect that. … I have tremendous respect and admiration for the State Journal-Register staff. They’re dedicated. They’re hard working. They care about doing quality local journalism, and they persevered under some really tough conditions.”
Muhs lasted five years as editor of the State Journal-Register, coming to Springfield from a media company in Maine. For the second year in a row, the SJ-R this spring was named GateHouse Newspaper of the Year for its circulation division. In 2017, Muhs was named Editor of the Year in the SJ-R’s circulation division in a company-wide contest. GateHouse Media, which bought the SJ-R in 2007 and promised “hyperlocal” coverage, publishes more than 150 daily papers and is one of the nation’s biggest newspaper companies.
The paper is down to five news reporters. Ownership laid off the longtime photo editor a couple of weeks ago.
…Adding… The company makes money, it just spends it on the top dogs…
The company’s stock price is down 30 percent since February.