Salary du jour: Red & Black publisher Harry Montevideo, $189,545
By JIM WALLS
Aug. 17, 2012 — If there’s a better way to piss off students and journalists than letting a condescending adman tell students how to run their newspaper, I can’t imagine what it would be.
That, I would guess, is why UGA’s Harry Montevideo makes the big bucks.
Montevideo — publisher of the Red & Black, whose key editorial staffers walked out this week — collected nearly $190,000 in salary a year ago from the non-profit that runs the student paper, tax records show. About $16,000 of that was deferred compensation.
Red & Black Publishing Inc. spent $1,042,000 that year, so Montevideo’s salary alone made up 18 percent of the non-profit’s budget. Giving up one dollar in five to your top guy is uncommon, to say the least, in the non-profit world.
Student editors walked out Wednesday over a ham-handed effort by the Red & Black’s board to take control of the newspaper’s content. (Those editors have started publishing online at redanddead.com.)
Montevideo said later it was a mistake to let students see a memo by board member Ed Stamper that outlined the newspaper’s new direction, including instructions to eliminate:
Stories, especially on the front page, that are on topics that are clearly of limited interest to our audience. …
Content that is not understandable to the majority of our audience, would be judged offensive to members of our community, is inane, or is needlessly antagonistic, ie. cartoons that make no sense. …
Overly long stories that are not worthy of the space …
The memo also tried to draw a distinction between good and bad editorial content:
— Content that is ABOUT our audience doing something unique, helpful, outstanding n, dramatic, ie scholarships for freshman.
— Content that our readers have asked for, ie. how to save money, how to join a club, where to find a job, what’s going on (events), what’s new. We have a list to start. Build the list by talking to our audience.
— Content that catches people or organizations doing bad things. I guess this is ‘journalism’. I think we are aligned on Crime and “who started off the year with a police record”. And that the freshman class lacks some minority demographics”.
If in question, have more GOOD than BAD.
Stamper’s background might explain why he had to “guess” what journalism is. He was general manager of the Red & Black in 1979-80, then spent the better part of four years in advertising positions at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
He left the paper in 1983, eventually becoming owner and president of The National Business Crime Information Network Inc., later known as The Network Inc., a company that offered “risk management related information services and internal communication programs.” In other words, it helped companies combat employee theft. He sold the business in 2003 and is now a “sorta retired entrepreneur,” according to his LinkedIn profile.