CNC’s ‘urgent request’ to writers

“You are one of several CNC contributors who did not sign a release of rights at the time we published your work,” says a letter recently sent to some Chicago News Cooperative writers. “Though you were paid for your work at the time, we neglected to collect the appropriate paperwork. This oversight now is holding up payment to both freelance and salaried CNC colleagues who were owed money when we suspended operations a month ago.

“In exchange for your help in this matter, you will receive a check for $100. The Sun-Times will take this amount from the sum they are paying to help us cover our obligations and liquidate the Cooperative in an orderly fashion.” (Robert Feder reported yesterday that the Sun-Times is expected to take over CNC’s digital archives.) A former CNC writer tells Romenesko readers:

Everything anybody needs to know about the leadership of the Chicago News Cooperative — its exquisite combination of presumptuousness and incompetence — can be found in this email, and its contemptuous offer of $100 to help quickly clean up the mess of its own making.

Read the full letter from CNC managing editor David Greising after the jump. (I’ve sent him a comment invitation.)

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: David Greising
Date: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Subject: need your help
To:

Dear XXXXXXX:

The Chicago News Cooperative is close to a deal with the Chicago Sun-Times that will help us wind down our affairs and, most importantly, make certain all of our former colleagues get paid.

I am writing with an urgent request for you to help make certain your former CNC colleagues receive what is owed to them as promptly as possible. The Sun-Times is paying only enough to help us cover our bills, including the amounts owed to our former colleagues, but the Sun-Times will not release any money until it receives releases from 100 percent of the CNC’s former contributors.

You are one of several CNC contributors who did not sign a release of rights at the time we published your work. Though you were paid for your work at the time, we neglected to collect the appropriate paperwork. This oversight now is holding up payment to both freelance and salaried CNC colleagues who were owed money when we suspended operations a month ago.

In exchange for your help in this matter, you will receive a check for $100. The Sun-Times will take this amount from the sum they are paying to help us cover our obligations and liquidate the Cooperative in an orderly fashion.

To help make this happen we ask that you immediately do the following:

Download and print the attached form. Fill in the best address and sign it. Scan the completed form and email it back to me at [email address].

After you have emailed the scanned copy to me, please put the original into an envelope and mail it to the Sun-Times at the following address:

Jim O’Shea
[HOME ADDRESS REDACTED]
Chicago, IL 60614

Again, none of your former CNC colleagues will receive payment until we receive responses from you and every other contributor who did not complete the release at the time you first delivered your work to us.

If you have any questions, please email me or else phone my cell at: 312-XXX-XXXX.

Thank you for your help in this matter. Thank you, too, for your contribution to CNC. We did not make it in the long run, obviously, but thanks to your work and that of dozens of other colleagues, we believe we made an important contribution to journalism in Chicago.

Best regards,
David


David Greising
Managing editor and general manager
Chicago News Cooperative

Comments

comments

1 comment
  1. Anonymous said:

    Mick Dumke — the holdout.