'Up-and-comer with Gannett' lands at Star

Dateline: Wed 22 Dec 2010

The newly named publisher of the Indianapolis Star is Karen Crotchfelt (ouch), 40. She comes to the Star (Star Media, if you believe the Gannett propaganda) from the Gannett papers in Phoenix and is a member of the tall, thin, leather-boot-kickin' woman's club. See the pix, judge for yourself.


Old publisher Michael Kane is dispatched back to his stomping grounds of Rochester, N.Y., which he's never really left, according to comments on Jim Hopkins' Gannett Blog. The dude took a limo every Friday to the Indy airport to fly home to his family. As the commenter observed, that little gig might have paid someone's salary.

As for Crochfelt, she sounds like she's some serious corporate stuff. 

“Karen has been an exceptionally strong leader in Phoenix and is an up-and-comer with Gannett and in the industry. Her combined business and strategic experience will enable her to provide outstanding service to consumers and advertisers in the Indianapolis area,” ((Robert) Dickey, Gannett grand poobah, said.

Crotchfelt also, yawn, "led The Republic’s unified strategic development of advertising, circulation, marketing and business development, and community newspapers. She began her career at Gannett in 1995 as a circulation sales manager for The Tennessean/Nashville Banner. From 1996 to 1998, she served as circulation director for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, CA, and as advertising director for the Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal from 1998-2002. In 2003, she became director of business development at The Arizona Republic and was named vice president of market and business development in 2005. In 2008, she took on the added responsibility of overseeing circulation and, in 2009 she was promoted to senior vice president/advertising and strategic planning, while assuming leadership for print and digital advertising sales.

"Crotchfelt is a six-time Gannett President’s Ring award recipient and holds a bachelor of science in journalism from Northwestern University."

This is all from a news release quoted on Gerry Dick's "Inside Indiana Business." Thank you very much

I guess the most obvious point is, she's a business type, not a journalist. Just what Gannett ordered to expand its empire. However, when I told one friend about all this activity, she dead-panned, "Is that thing (Star) still around?"

Well, yes, and if anyone cares, the company is doing a lot of power-shifting, moving its pawns here and there on the chessboard. Read more about all that jazz at Gannett Blog. See link off to side.

Good luck to those left behind...






John Howard [unverified] said:

I just had to giggle sophmorically at that surname.

2010-12-22 20:12:20

Jason [unverified] said:

Me too. At least the jokes at her expense may help out morale a little bit.

2010-12-22 21:20:21

ruthholl [Member] said:

Jim Hopkins' blog makes the point that it's often people with really awkward names who are successful, (As if they have to prove a point).
Jim Hopkins himself says:
"I've often wondered whether people with difficult last names are made tougher by the experience, so are better prepared to be leaders. I'm recalling that Gannett's former human resources chief is Dick Clapp. (Seriously.)"

2010-12-22 22:17:11

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

I read this article twice and related posts about her appointment. I then went to the Gannett website, and downloaded the annual stockholder statements, complete with executive pay schemes. Wayyyyy out of proportion. A cupcake Board evidently OKs these excesses.

Wow. These folks spend a lot of time patting themselves on the back for Draconian staff cuts, all the while whistling through the graveyard with huge salaries and benefit packages themselves.

It's actually kind of obnoxious. Her St. John suits are evidently the Uniform of Choice. Expensive tastes, justly rewarded.

I don't know what to do with this new knowledge, except maybe wretch a little. Again.

2010-12-23 05:04:20

news junkie [Member] said:

Whatever...I don't see her appointment as front page news, though. It's a business page story.

2010-12-23 05:34:59

hendy [Member] said:

I find it amusing to have found the story first in the IBJ. She can only go uphill from here.

2010-12-23 11:07:40

ruthholl [Member] said:

I found it amusing that she used the death word in this morning's paper ...
Sayeth she:"I'm a big believer not only that we are not dying...."
Oh, elephant (mouse?) in the room. And it's -- gasping for breath.
I mean, this was the first serious comment she's quoted on re: "the industry."

2010-12-23 12:24:24

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

A million years ago I was in Nashville soon after Gannett took over the paper, sitting at a table with a couple of advertising types just transfered to the Nashville Tennessean.

Who were comparing their six-digit salaries and moving expense payments. ("Gannett flew me, and my dog, in to check out my new job.")

I knew then that Gannett wasn't a newspaper but a business.

"Journalism" takes a back seat to profit -- as evidenced by the disparate pay for reporters vs. ad salespeople.

2010-12-23 12:44:51

ruthholl [Member] said:

Ms. C, you said a mouthful. But that cat is out of the bag; most people know the lay of the land, which is why many people won't subscribe to the Star.
I have the greatest respect for anyone who works for a living, but I often marvel that Dan Carpenter is still there -- I presume he chooses to support his family. Yet when he rails against various fat cats, I wonder how he can spare his own handlers.
I also want to make it clear: he works for a living, more power to him.
But there is a bit of a disconnect...

2010-12-23 13:25:43

Tell The Truth [Member] said:

Disconnect, maybe.

A living wage, maybe.

At some point, we all have to look in the mirror, huh?

He's trying to tilt at windmills. I wish him well. After awhile, I coudln't do it without slitting my throat while shaving every day.

But again, he has to eat...

2010-12-23 16:07:52

Tom Greenacres [unverified] said:

"I knew then that Gannett wasn't a newspaper but a business."

As long as we all acknowledge this, I guess there's no duplicity involved. We expect a lot less from a Business than from a Newspaper, and thus will not be disappointed when our lowered expectations are realized. As they have been.

Ms Crotchfelt- oh please, let's not refrain from the fun-- I once knew John Kanoff and Richard Head-- is here to plump up the turkey for sale, don't you think?

2010-12-23 20:45:07

Ms. Cynical [unverified] said:

Plump up the turkey for sale...to whom?

Who'd want it?

2010-12-24 09:45:41

Interrrresting [unverified] said:

Isn't this a demotion for our old pal Ali, moving to a smaller paper in Louisiana?

2010-12-24 13:28:39

ellen mckinney [unverified] said:

i remember the first time i ever heard of gannett. it was 1968, shortly after i came to the star.

esquire magazine ran a story titled "It's pronounced ga-NET, and it's VERY profitable."

i've been retired-by-layoff for two years now, and i don't miss working at all, though i miss several colleagues. i never needed to buy comedy club tickets when i worked there -- newspeople's humor kept me laughing. (good thing, cuz i couldn't have afforded the tix anyway.)

merry christmas!

2010-12-24 20:04:41

ruthholl [Member] said:

Merry Merry indeed.
To answer Interrrresting...yes, I think it's a step down for -- wasn't he dubbed "the fat puppet" by someone on this blog? Ali, they dunna love you no more...
Again, Gannett Blog carried some of the same speculation.
But hell, those managers are dog-eat-dog; Ali may indeed be devoured, but he may well be eliminated and come back as a new life and more powerful life form.
Sorry to be crude.

2010-12-26 12:52:54

Terry [unverified] said:

I am not far removed from most of the posters -- but gee, I knew it was a business when I started, and that was before Neuharth started USA Today and everything after. Still, the higher-ups everywhere used to be allowed to let editors and writers do their thing.
Now I wonder if the managers know what to do at all. Case story: only my oldest son, 23, ever looks at the printed paper. He actually reads the op-ed pages. He and his sister, 18, also follow HuffPo, thanks to their dad's fondness for it. Their middle brother sees news on TV if at all. But we are not the norm (we actually subscribe to a printed newspaper).
As they said during the 2009 Iranian elections, the revolution will not be televised -- it will be said in 140 characters.

2010-12-31 02:09:52

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