Story spills the beans on former Missoulian editor


Not quite a rock-solid organization these days.

The Missoula Independent is reporting some details about the Missoulian editor who resigned earlier this week, after being suspended for bringing a gun to work.

From the sounds of it, Matt Bunk’s brief tenure at the newspaper was such a disaster that his showing up in the newsroom packing heat gave the powers that be an opportunity to get rid of him with little fear of being sued again.

Here’s the key paragraph: “Current staffers and former reporters who spoke with the Indy this week describe a newsroom that was nearing revolt against an editor who they say bullied reporters and routinely threatened their jobs during disagreements. Some say they expected further resignations, or even a walkout, had Bunk been permitted to return.”

Much of the blame lies with Missoulian Publisher Mark Heintzelman, who hired Bunk seven months ago after demoting longtime editor Sherry Devlin, who later resigned and sued the newspaper for wrongful discharge.

The story also points out that one of the newsroom employees who called it quits because of Bunk’s management style was Martin Kidston, who subsequently started his own online newspaper, the Missoula Current, and then broke the story about Bunk’s suspension.

My own favorite line from the story was this: “An online job posting for the Missoulian‘s ‘top editor’ says the company is ‘seeking a proven leader’ who is ‘looking for the opportunity to prove yourself.'”

Wait a minute. If you’re already proven, why would you have to…

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