The New WoMag: Now With Less Faces!

Worcester blogs tend to alternate between two topics: complaining about anything and everything in the Telegram, and asking what the heck is going on at WoMag.  This one, obviously, will be about the latter.

It’s turning out that the one consistent way to keep track of the (all-too-frequent) staffing changes at WoMag is — as Victor found out — to take a periodic review of the Faces page.

The latest casualty in Gareth Charter‘s quest to not “have a reputation for laying-off employees and [not] want[ing] to earn one” is Sam Bonacci.

I don’t know Bonacci, and I don’t know Charter, but we already know that the latter lives in a land of doublespeak, where laying off employees is not “a reduction in the work force”, but “bringing resources to bear from a much larger company.”

Here are some suggestions for Charter:

When asked to explain why WoMag has had three editors in the two years since it was acquired by the Landmark, Charter could just explain that he’s keeping things fresh.  Really, really fresh.

When asked about his inability to keep young writers (O’Keefe, Cross, Bonacci), Charter can simply reply that he’s working on a plan to keep young writers for longer periods of time.  Because if you help interns get college credit, they’ll need to work at least one semester!

When asked whether he’s “suburbanizing Worcester Magazine“, he can say, Of course not!  We’re just trying out an experiment to see how many articles two people can churn out week after week before they pass out from exhaustion!

(Yes, we can have a more serious discussion about community newspapers, alternative newspapers, and what WoMag should be doing soon.)

8 thoughts on “The New WoMag: Now With Less Faces!

  1. Tracy says:

    Wait, now Sam’s gone? Already?

  2. Lance says:

    It’s not just happening at WoMag. Gareth just jettisoned the editor of The Landmark in the last couple of weeks. Pretty dissapointing…he’d been there just one year and was really doing a good job with that paper.

  3. t-traveler says:

    hope things are OK at the parents monthly!

  4. Cara says:

    Thanks for covering this Nicole. I’m friends with Sam, so I’m trying to give myself a little time to write a somewhat unbiased critique of the situation, but I just don’t understand how Gareth Charter expects to maintain the readership without giving talented writers/editors like Jeremy and Doreen the back-up to produce well-researched, hard hitting pieces. Community newspapers are competitive because they DON’T traditionally employ the same business practices that are killing big dailies. Too bad he’s digging himself a hole.

  5. JK says:

    I have never met any of the current people who work for Womag or own the company, but from the outside looking in, it seems like this Gareth guy is the problem. A meddling publisher never bodes well for a publication.

    Womag could be turned around if they manage to hire a strong-willed and experienced editor, and agree to give this person an employment contract with some real teeth regarding creative control.

    Otherwise you’ll see the revolving door continue to spin.

  6. […] Brendan praises a Worcester Magazine article on the struggles of local veterans. Mike speculates that working for WoMag is like alien abduction. […]

  7. I am SO glad I’m no longer the shortest-termed editor in Worcester Magazine history! It was one year to the day, but it was one fun year.

    One of the strengths of publications like Worcester Magazine has always been the ability to hire personalities — people who become ingrained in the city’s landscape. That takes a real investment in your staff — paying them respectably and empowering them to actually help shape the organization’s reputation. That is so much more difficult to do when you’ve got a revolving roster of faces. It also frustrates city officials and other regular sources who feel they have to “break in” the new guys constantly.

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