Mary Junck

Recent Posts

Lee brass insulated from ‘change of ownership’ impacts


Finally, some good news from Lee Enterprises. In the midst of stories about layoffs, cutbacks, consolidated “design centers,” smaller papers and higher prices, we learn that there is enough money floating around Lee to upgrade the top executives’ parachutes from golden to platinum. In truth, I don’t know how big the upgrades are, and I suppose it is even within the realm of possibility that the rewards for these folks have been reduced. But that would run counter to every single action taken by the company’s board of directors in the last 15 years. Here’s what we do know: Jim Romenesko, the mostly retired media blogger, reported last week that under an SEC filing dated Dec. Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Don’t blame Lee’s bad moves on the Web


I suppose it’s still possible that Billings Gazette editor Darrell Ehrlick, in his Sunday column, will formally salute Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, the two experienced reporters whose last day as employees of Lee Enterprises was Friday. With more than 70 years of reporting experience between them, Lee’s Capitol bureau team certainly deserved a proper send-off. But because Lee treated them so shabbily, and because it seems to believe that closing the bureau is merely a cosmetic change in the way it covers the news, a proper tribute seems most unlikely. (more…) Continue Reading →

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Prairie Lights: Good news, bad news & lipstick on a pig


There’s lots of news about the news in Montana, though some of it is rather old by now. The most surprising news, to me, is that the Montana Standard in Butte has hired David McCumber as its new editor. The Standard, where I landed my first newspaper job 35 years ago, has had a lot of editors in its long history, but for decades most of its editors have come from within Lee Enterprises, the Iowa-based chain that owns the Standard (and the Billings Gazette). (more…) Continue Reading →

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Carpenter quits St. Louis newspaper over Lee bigwig’s bonus

This is too good to pass up: Jim Romonesko, the media blogger who rightly gave the Billings Gazette grief for getting all squeamish about posting the affidvait in the Jason Priest assault case, is now relaying more news about Lee Enterprises bonuses. It seems that the head carpenter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, like the Gazette a Lee-owned newspaper, recently quit in disgust because of the $700,000 bonus award to CEO Mary Junck. First of all, what? A head carpenter? Continue Reading →

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Another day, another dollar for Lee’s top exec

When I saw the news yesterday that Mary Junck, CEO of the newspaper chain that owns the Billings Gazette, had received another substantial bonus, I didn’t think I’d write anything. I mean, this is the news business, right? Mary Junck getting a substantial bonus for questionable work stopped being news a couple of years ago. I was also hesitant to say anything because I don’t want the scent of sour grapes hanging over Last Best News. As I have said before, I have few regrets about my nearly 25 years with the Gazette. Continue Reading →

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