Dan McFeely under the microscope

Dateline: Wed 08 Jan 2014

of the Indianapolis Business Journal.

Most in the journo world knew reporter Dan McFeely had left, as IBJ says, the layoff-prone Gannet-run Indianapolis Star last year to open his own public relations shop in Carmel.

But now IBJ's Chris O'Malley (himself a former Star employee) is reporting McFeely is making the really big bucks -- he "has the capacity to earn up $99,000 a year" -- as a consultant on economic development, working for the city of Carmel. His "services include writing press releases, tweeting and improving the content of Carmel's website," says O'Malley.

Some in Carmel are questioning the hire. Does McFeely, with a degree in theology and a newspaper background, have the chops to consult on economic development?

Carmel Council member Luci Snyder has publicly challenged McFeely's hiring, framing her argument in the context of Mayor Jim Brainard extravagent and often debt-ridden policies. 

Her beef is that Carmel already has too many consultants; O'Malley reports records show the city has 17 such individuals or firms under contract, with the potential for them to earn $806,670 annually.

McFeely is the third-highest paid in that chain. The first big earner gets $175,000 for providing audio-visual services.


Good story.

After you read the IBJ,check out the comments, especially the first one from a woman who complains McFeely refused to cover a highrise development that she and other homeowners in Carmel were against; the implication is that McFeely only wanted to write rah-rah Carmel stories (his beat included Carmel at the newspaper).

McFeely refused to comment for the IBJ.

My thinking is anyone who gets out of Gannett is making a good move. If McFeely can hitch his wagon to a star (Carmel), more power to him. But given Carmel's financial issues and some taxpayer disillusionment with the mayor there, Carmel's current leadership may well eventually be a falling star.

Here's the link:






Paul K. Ogden [unverified] said:

While I too don't blame any writer for wanting to leave Gannett employment, the problem is that the possibility of future employment at Carmel could have well influenced how McFeely covered Carmel while with the Star. This is a terrible trend in journalism. We need writers who will write critically of public officials. But too often they end up writing cheerleading, puff pieces in an effort to curry favor with politically powerful people who might give them a much better paying job down the road.

2014-01-08 13:02:26

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hendy [Member] said:

My take: Good spot. Find someone that understands the topics, the media, and works hard.

Being #2 is tough. Indianapolis is so incredibly stupid and infighting that Brainard doesn't have to work hard to produce results.

Indianapolis should do as well. Yes, Carmel started out as a bedroom community, then was filled with Caucasians leaving Indy to keep away from desegregation, etc. Now? It's thriving. Indy? SOSDD.

Dan will do well there. Lots of work. Money well spent. Pikers abound. To get return, you have to spend. You reap what you sow. Don't sow, don't reap, don't complain.

2014-01-12 20:26:57

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