Russ Stanton, the VP for content at KPCC (and former editor in chief of the Los Angeles Times) had an email exchange with The Wrap reporter Sara Morrison over her recent story about the station. In the email he takes a few shots at the Hollywood and media site created and run by Sharon Waxman, and offers Morrison some unsolicited career advice — while dinging her for what he calls arrogance and ignorance. She sticks to her guns, though it's not really clear how much ammo she is holding.
Excerpt from The Wrap's coverage of the exchange:
"The best advice I can give you, Sara, and I mean this in all sincerity, is to take a cue from two very highly regarded editors (Ms. Fung and Mr. Thurber) and get the hell out of there if you still have something resembling a positive reputation. Because no credible news organization is going to hire someone with a portfolio of clips like the one on KPCC." (Former Times staffers Lisa Fung and Jon Thurber are former editors at TheWrap.)
Ouch. The backstory?
TheWrap's investigation of KPCC found that individual gifts and membership support dropped from 2011 to 2012 by almost 8 percent, even though overall revenue rose.
Stanton claims that revenue from individual donations rose -- but that's only true if you count money that was committed in previous years. So to gauge how the station is doing, TheWrap compared individual donations made in 2011 for that year to donations made in 2012 for that year. Those have in fact declined.
Fung and Thurber were former Times editors who tried out working at The Wrap but didn't stay long. (Fung the longer of the two.) Stanton gets personal with Morrison about her job prospects coming off a stint at The Wrap:
On this issue, you (or your editor) have (has) now combined arrogance with ignorance. Those are two highly combustible traits for anyone to manage, particularly a person of your age and experience. Best of luck navigating those to a successful career in journalism.
One of the hallmarks of a credible news operation is its ability to admit its mistakes, and actually correct them. You guys are batting .500 on this story, in a game that requires an average of as close to 1.000 as humanly possible. So pass along my thanks to whoever is responsible for confirming my impressions of The Wrap's news report.
I'm on the record saying I didn't find the original Wrap story laden with much heft, and I still don't see why they call it an "investigation."