Letter to Romenesko: ‘Out came the non-competes’

From JODIE O’BRIEN: So I see the famous non-compete (thanks to Michael Redding) has raised its ugly head following the sale of the NYT Regional group.

A few years ago, before Halifax Media had the name it now does – I worked at a small daily in Central Florida. It was then owned by Better Built Media and was bought by a company headed by Michael Redding.

Michael Redding

Out came the non-competes. Some people left (oh they weren’t just for journalists, they were also for advertising staff, etc). and some were stuck there. All were angered and demoralized. I do not know one journalist who remained with that paper following this sale – mostly by choice and disgust. Fortunately for me, I was already in the process of moving elsewhere.

Anyway, a number of my esteemed colleagues then went to work for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. A short while later, maybe a year – guess who came along and bought the N-J from the established owners of many decades? Yep, a company headed by Michael Redding. In both papers, not only did the non-competes come out, he also wanted reporters to sell subscriptions!! Such is the demise of journalism, with people like this man heading such companies.