St. Paul editor blasts rival critic’s tweet encouraging Pioneer Press cancellations

This tweet from Minneapolis Star Tribune film critic Colin Covert “is a new candidate for low point of Twin Cities newspaper competition,” says St. Paul Pioneer Press managing editor Chris Clonts. “I’m appalled someone would do this to fellow journalists, especially since he well knows the newsroom did not generate the opinion he’s upset with.” (He’s referring to his paper’s controversial marriage amendment editorial.)

He sent a protest email to Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes and deputy managing editor/content Rene Sanchez, which is posted below:

From: Clonts, Chris
Sent: Tue 11/6/2012 12:16 AM
To: All News
Subject: FW: Classy: Colin Covert encouraging Pioneer Press cancelations

Folks: Some of you have pointed out this evening what is a new candidate for low point of Twin CIties newspaper competition. Colin Covert, our industry colleague and movie critic at the Star Tribune, took to Twitter to encourage people to cancel their Pioneer Press subscriptions.

Chris Clonts

I play as hard as anybody when it comes to tweaking our competitors. But we at the Pioneer Press choose to win subscribers, not kill them for the other team. I’m appalled someone would do this to fellow journalists, especially since he well knows the newsroom did not generate the opinion he’s upset with.

I sent the email below to Star Tribune leadership.

Please, please do not begin an “all news” reply fest on Election Day. I’m happy to hear from anyone, but email me directly or stop by.

–C

—–Original Message—–
From: Clonts, Chris
Sent: Mon 11/5/2012 11:55 PM
To: nbarnes@startribune.com; rsanchez@startribune.com
Subject: Classy: Colin Covert encouraging Pioneer Press cancelations

Nancy, Rene:

I’d like to respectfully call your attention to the following tweet from Colin Covert. He posted it tonight around 8:30 p.m.

——-
Colin Covert @colincovert
If you like to vote with your dollars, cancel your subscription to the Pioneer Press. (651) 222-1111 or infodesk@pioneerpress.com
——-

It has been retweeted multiple times by his followers.

Colin Covert

I guess he, like lots of folks, is upset with our editorial board’s Saturday editorial on the marriage amendment and the follow-up that ran earlier today.

He’s entitled to his opinion, of course. And this is a heated political season. But encouraging people to cancel subscriptions is far below the kind of dignified discourse I and others can normally expect from the Star Tribune and its representatives.

I’m not asking for any kind of response. Just wanted you to be aware of this.

I appreciate your time.

–C

Chris Clonts
Managing Editor
TwinCities.com | Pioneer Press

I’ve invited all parties to comment.

UPDATE: Clonts tells Romenesko readers that “I received — and very much appreciate — a genuine note from Rene this morning acknowledging the situation. Sincerely hoping the rest of the day (week? year?) we can all get back to journalism.”

Comments

comments