More questions, some answers

By JEFF INGLIS  |  April 4, 2012

SUSSMAN HASN’T BEEN TO THE PRESS HERALD OFFICES yet. “He hasn’t set foot in the office yet,” Kesich said Friday. “I’m hoping that he will,” because employees whose jobs he saved want to meet him.
Say what you will about Richard Connor (we’ve sure said a lot here) and no-longer-prospective owner Chris Harte: both are extremely experienced at running profitable news operations. Their plans (Connor’s as implemented; Harte’s as proposed) included major changes that reduced the power, scope, and financial commitment to the union and its members. Which means they either saw NO WAY TO PROFITABILITY WITHOUT CUTTING union-related costs, or saw other ways but chose extended combat with the union as the easiest. Sussman has no experience managing a media company; will he find a way to preserve the union that the other guys, with decades more experience, couldn’t?

And lastly, WILL RICHARD CONNOR GET AWAY WITH HIS PLUNDER? He purchased the company for cheap, sold off almost all its real-estate, cut costs, allegedly rearranged the books to his own advantage, and then left town. Does he have personal — or criminal — liability for changes at the paper that slashed jobs, the salaries of those remaining, the paper’s reputation, and ultimately the community’s well-being?

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