Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Frankly, you're fired: four of the five reporters at Halifax satirical mag are gone

Four of the five reporters who worked on Frank magazine in Halifax are gone in a major shakeup at the satirical biweekly and website.
The mass exodus was precipitated Monday night. according to a story carried by The Chronicle Herald when Mairin Prentiss was dismissed and Dan Walsh, a seven-year-employee quit, apparently as a direct result.
Two other reporters, Neal Ozano and Jacob Boon, walked out in solidarity and were fired for insubordination the next morning when they returned to work. 
Andrew Douglas, the magazine's managing editor, said he was unable to comment on the emptying of his newsroom. [It will not be lost on readers the irony of "no comment" from a gossip magazine.]
But the owner of Frank, Parker Rudderham, said the dismissals were Douglas's decision but that they had been planned for some time.
“You can’t just go around and fire your newsroom and expect to be up-and-running,” he said. “When it’s a massive … termination it has to be planned.”
Rudderham is a native Cape Bretoner, based in Montreal, who bought the tabloid magazine late last fall from then-owner John Williams, who after six year said he wanted to free up some time from runing  it to devote to his startup magazine Gaze, a local gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgendered publication.Rudderham is  president and CEO of Pharmacy Wholesale Services Inc., the largest privately held wholesale distributor of medical diagnostics -- principally diabetic supplies --  in North America.  
Frank has been published for 23 years in a somewhat schizophrenic form. It was started in late 1987 by David Bentley, modelled after the iconoclastic British weekly Private Eye. This is what came to be called the "Atlantic Frank" when in 1989 Bentley, in partnership with Michael Bate, launched an "upper Canadian"  or national version, based in Ottawa. Bate later bought out Bentley and ultimately closed the Ottawa-based national magazine in 2008; it was said to have 5,000 circulation when it died.

In what ME Douglas said was an unrelated move, the dismissals came on the same day when the magazine launched its paywalled website, which offers online access for $4.99 for 7 days, one year for $54.99 or two for $99.99 In a note on the magazine's site, Douglas said:

Both longtime Frank fans and new friends will love, which combines all the pleasure of reading Frank Magazine without first having to go downstairs and retrieve it from the mail slot, or, worse, having to get dressed, leave the house and drive to the store.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of Frank Magazines woes are because we as a society are demanding more.

We no longer laugh when a pie is thrown at a clown's face.

Frank magazine is not getting with the times. They are no longer fresh!

4:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL "Frank has been published for 23 years in a somewhat schizophrenic form" are they talking about Frank or Rutterham?

7:19 pm  

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