Shakeup at Journal Sentinel
Publisher Elizabeth Brenner of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel presided over the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre at Fourth and State last week when she announced to the staff that Mark Thomas, Tom Pierce and Deb Jubera had all left their posts at the publishing firm.
Thomas was senior vice president for circulation at the daily newspaper whose circulation has been declining. He was listed fourth on the newspaper’s list of Officers of Journal Sentinel, Inc., published daily on page 2. The company has instituted a nationwide search for his replacement.
Pierce, a competent marketing executive who was perforce out of place at the communications behemoth, was thirteenth on the corporate masthead. Deb Jubera was in charge of consumer marketing and sales.
The changes were announced in an email sent to “Everyone JSI” by Brenner. The text of the email is here:
From: Elizabeth Brenner
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2005
To: #Everyone JSI
Subject: Personnel changes
I wanted to let you know that Mark Thomas, senior vice president for circulation, Tom Pierce, vice president for marketing services, and Deb Jubera, director of consumer marketing and sales, are no longer with the Journal Sentinel. Rich Dobson, senior vice president sales & marketing, is now the senior vice president of advertising. We immediately will post a position description and begin a nationwide search for a senior vice
president of circulation to lead that department. If you would like to apply or recommend a candidate, please let Jim Spangler know. In the interim, the following temporary reporting relationships will be in effect:
- Single copy, direct sales, NIE and third party will report to Jeff Sewell.
- Customer service, telemarketing and retention will report to Tammy Salzieder.
- Marketing and Research will report to Sebastian (Saj) Thachenkary.
- Direct Response/E-Marketing will report to Tom Martin
- All circulation distribution functions will be continue to report to their respective managers.
- City Zone Manager Steve Dykema will oversee distribution areas, including operations, state and suburban, business systems, MKE and field services.
- Transportation will report to Royce Miles, vice president of manufacturing.
We thank Mark, Tom and Deb for their many years of service to the Journal Sentinel. We wish them well in future endeavors.
“Pressroom Confidential” is one of Milwaukee’s signature columns, and has occasionally been reason enough to pick up Milwaukee Magazine. It originated in the capable brain of Jim Romenesko who has since gone on to become a critic of the national media scene. For the last couple of years, it has mostly been written by Peter Robertson; for the last couple of months, Robertson has written the column from his home – in Madison.
“I moved to Madison in October,” Robertson tells milwaukeeworld.com. He said his girlfriend and he had received job offers in Capital City, and they pulled up their east side stakes to move to the promised land.
It is difficult to imagine that Robertson could possibly be fully immersed in his work. Much of Milwaukee’s media these days consists of free weekly and monthly newspapers, neighborhood newsletters and bits and pieces of news that float for a few miles and then settle down pretty much where they originated – all a considerable distance from Madison. With the exception of WTMJ-AM 620, Milwaukee’s electronic media do not make it to Dane county, either.
Robertson says he does get into town from time to time, adding, “I do subscribe to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,” which would make him approximately the only person in Madison to do so.
Since a column like Pressroom Confidential ideally derives much of its vigor from being written by an individual immersed in the subject, it is hard to imagine that Robertson, in Madison, could bring to the column the sort of information it deserves.
Yet the very next day, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had absolutely no coverage of the suicide in West Allis, which was at the very least notable because it took place after a police stop and in a vehicle on a public street.
At the very least, one would have expected the paper to have written a brief police blotter item.
Instead the paper was silent, and not a word appeared in the newspaper of March 10th .
As it turns out, the man who killed himself was Bart A. Ross. In his van was a confession that he had killed the husband and mother of federal judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow. The unusual suicide in a van that the Journal Sentinel had ignored turned into a nationwide front page story.
The above is an example of the kind of story that Pressroom Confidential, when it was locally-written, used to excel in. Since the writer is out of the city the nuances of the story are lost to him – and to us.
Badger Mutual Insurance Company has its headquarters at 1665 W. National Avenue in one of the city’s finest Art Deco buildings. For the past couple of years the firm has leased an adjacent 11,000 + square foot parking lot from the city. It now proposes to buy the parcel for $70,000, or about $5 per square foot, about the average for commercial property in the neighborhood.
According to information from the city, “the company employs approximately 118 people at its headquarters at 1665 West National Avenue. Roy Bubeck is President and Chief Operating Officer. Badger Mutual will continue to use the property for employee parking. The lot also will be available to other businesses during non-business hours. Badger Mutual plans to make fencing and landscape upgrades to the site.
“The City will provide the buyer with a Phase I environmental assessment at no cost. If testing is recommended, Phase II costs would be shared equally with the buyer. Closing shall occur within six months of Common Council approval, unless extended by the Commissioner of the Department of City Development due to environmental or title matters. The deed of conveyance will prohibit sale of the property independent of Badger Mutual’s office building without the prior approval of the Common Council.”
Former Milwaukee Alderman Paul Henningsen has recently been moved from in a federal prison facility in Yankton, South Dakota to a community corrections facility in Milwaukee. Henningsen remains in Federal custody with a scheduled release date in September, although a release may come earlier. The relocation to the community corrections facility is a step at easing the inmate’s return to society.
Milwaukeeworld.com reported last week that former Alderman and federal inmate Paul Heningsen had moved on March 10th from Yankton South Dakota to Chicago, Illinois. This information appears on the Bureau of Prisons website (www.bop.gov), in the inmate locator section.
Milwaukeeworld.com wrote by electronic mail to the BOP on March 18th at the Chicago address given for Henningsen with the following question: “When was Paul Henningsen relocated to your facility?”
A response from the BOP on Monday, March 21st, said that “Inmate Henningsen arrived at the Parsons House on 3 / 10 / 05 from our Federal Prison Camp in Yankton, South Dakota.”
The author erroneously assumed that the Parsons House was in Chicago. In fact, it is located in Milwaukee at 2930 N. 25th St.
Milwaukeeworld regrets the error.
(Updated March 22, 2005)