Home > Humboldt County, Media > Abate out at NCJ

Abate out at NCJ

The revolving door in the editor’s office of the North Coast Journal just took another spin.  Tom Abate, who replaced Hank Sims in January, has left the building.

Reporter Ryan Burns is now acting editor.

See the Journal announcement.

  1. March 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm


  2. March 23, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    What happened when Judy told Tom? Did his face go white?

  3. March 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Those responsible for sacking those who have just be sacked, have been sacked…

    This comment was made by a reader calling himself Moose Bites. The best comment I have read in a while!

  4. March 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm

    What happened when Judy told Tom? Did his face go white?

    He probably broke out into song.

  5. tra
    March 23, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Well, that didn’t take long.

    By the way, I’m a big fan of Ryan Burns’ work. He seems like a good choice for acting editor (and maybe more if things go well during his tenure).

    Good luck, Ryan!

  6. Anonymush
    March 23, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Somebody must have started losing money, huh?

  7. Moose Bites
    March 23, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    You’re welcome. :)

  8. Plain Jane
    March 23, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Holy Crap! Now I sorta feel sorry for the guy. How humiliating to make such a big splash and then sink so fast.

  9. March 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Usually a big splash precedes a fast sink.

  10. Eric Kirk
    March 23, 2011 at 1:37 pm


  11. Innocent Bystander
    March 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Good. Now Judy needs to make amends with Hank.

  12. Eric Kirk
    March 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Ditto what tra said re Ryan. Good for him.

  13. Plain Jane
    March 23, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I wish someone had a pic of Hank’s face when he heard. What do you think his expression was?

  14. March 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I’m so confused…

  15. Julie Timmons
    March 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    Congratulations, Ryan.

  16. March 23, 2011 at 2:04 pm


    This is why I frequent the blogs, for piercing insight from people like Eric Kirk.

  17. the unreasonable anonymous
    March 23, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Get Sims back, so we can all look back on the Abate reign like it was a parenthetical blip.

    I wonder if it was his last article…where he said “I” 27 times in a half page piece. I counted, just for fun.

  18. longwind
    March 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    If only the paper were this exciting!

  19. March 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Whoever wins (and keeps) the editorship, the Journal needs to realize that this saga will qualify as one of the top Humboldt County stories of 2011. We’ll be watching for it in the NCJ’s annual list.

  20. longwind
    March 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm


    At last, something to look forward to in the Journal!

  21. Not A Native
    March 23, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    The result here is good for HumCo, but there has been damage. Its too bad people’s lives and careers were upturned for no good reason or purpose.

    The real fallout is that this kind of thing has a chilling effect on people who work at NCJ, their willingness to take chances and push the envelope. Sadly, the tradition of HumCo is employees being cowed by imperious, arbitrary and capracious managements who choose to exert control rather than inspire employees to perform at their utmost.

    Personally, I think that in the spirit of “healing”, Judy Hodgson owes NCJ readers some explanation of her actions and thinking here. I’m waiting to see if she has the humility and modesty needed to do that.

    My thinking is that Hodgson isn’t especially capable as an executive and this debacle reflects weaknesses in her ability. I hope she really reflects on her role in this and her decision making process. Both she and Abate need professional help, though of different kinds.

  22. tra
    March 23, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I agree with NAN that Hodgeson ought to explain what’s happened. But given the silence or carefully crafted non-explanations that so often characterize the resignations or firing of high-level employees, I’m not going to hold my breath.

  23. longwind
    March 23, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I’ll stop pissing on Ryan’s new perch now, I’m happy for him too. I’d been surprised to see Tom was a pretty good journalist, except that he thought he knew what he was talking about.

    I liked the Journal better when it couldn’t get into the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, since it wasn’t one. Since they snuck in I’ve wished they’d act like one. I fervently hope Ryan can sneak a little of that attention to real issues and unkosher perspectives past the ownership.

  24. High Finance
    March 23, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    “qualifies as one of the top ten stories of 2011”

    Uh, no. Not even one of the top 100 stories. Interesting but not important.

  25. March 23, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    You think all the NCJ top 10s are “important” stories? Ha!

  26. Eric Kirk
    March 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    This is why I frequent the blogs, for piercing insight from people like Eric Kirk.


  27. Mitch
    March 23, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    I propose HiFi for editor. (No offense intended to Ryan.)

  28. Mitch
    March 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Eric, like Joel, knows that brevity is the soul of wit. And let’s face it, a “huh” from some folks conveys more than whole paragraphs from some others.

  29. Important news
    March 23, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    HiFi isn’t good at keeping track of news events. I wonder if he has learned yet about the little problem in Japan. You know, the Martians landed! Someone, quick, tell HiFi!

  30. High Finance
    March 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Mouse, you just aren’t funny !

  31. March 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Where are the Abatistas? Where is the outrage?

    This will get very interesting s the whole story leaks out.

  32. March 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    HiFi, 3:25 is not Mouse. Believe it or not there is more than one reader here who likes to poke fun at you.

  33. Anonymous
    March 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Will we see a new KSLUG interview?

  34. skippy
    March 23, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    With Mr. Abate’s departure, the NCJ suddenly began updating their Blogthing column yesterday after an unusual nodding off of the past 10 days with a small piece written by Mr. Burns. Previously deleted or disappearing comments somehow, miraculously, also made a mysterious comeback to the columns. Coincidence?

    In other small town news, Mr. Sims has a guest editorial in the Times-Standard, “The Coin’s Other Side for Possible Rail Use,” today. However, the T-S has cleverly chosen not to link it for our enquiring readers.


  35. Hank Sims
    March 23, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Skips, it’s part of the deal with the four papers running the column that we at Lost Coast Communications keep Internet publication rights.

    And what are we going to do with those rights, you ask?


  36. March 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Mr. Sims has a guest editorial in the Times-Standard, “The Coin’s Other Side for Possible Rail Use,” today.

    So this would be the second guest piece by Sims in the T-S that was only in the paper and not available at t-s.com. Meanwhile, it appears no one has written a letter to the editor since March 19th because the most recent letter on the website is a four day old thumbs up from NCJ columnist Amy Stewart praising the T-S for running Hank’s column.

  37. March 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    it’s part of the deal with the four papers running the column that we at Lost Coast Communications keep Internet publication rights.

    Mystery solved.

  38. Hank Sims
    March 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I live to serve.

  39. lurch
    March 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I read Hank’s piece in the T-S today as at least in part a response, and correction, to Abate’s not all that well informed profile of Chris Weston, the Eel River trail advocate. Putting those pieces side by side provides a powerful picture of Hank’s relative strengths as a local commentator, whether you agree with his conclusions or not.

    The bottom line on the Journal, though: wow. Someone needs to step up and buy the damn thing from Judy and turn it, per Longwind’s excellent point above, into a real alternative newsweekly. Emphasis on the real, the alternative, and the news.

    It’s now abundantly clear that Judy isn’t terribly interested in any of those things. Personally, I’ll keep reading the Journal as long as Amy Stewart and Bob Dornan are still contributing. But the gap between what it is, and what the region needs, are enormous. Ryan and Heidi could help to fill it, but not when the publisher doesn’t want to go there.

  40. Anonymous
    March 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Who cares. You folks need to get a life.

  41. Andrew Bird
    March 23, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Lurch means Bob Doran not B-1 Bob.

  42. Andrew Bird
    March 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    I hope.

  43. BAh BAh
    March 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    First off Ryan Burns is whole unqualified to be anyone’s editor. I’m a bit surprise at the support for him.

    Secondly It would be nice to hear from Judy on this, but then we never even heard from Hank on his own saga with the NCJ. If only there was another Hank to do a number on Hank like Hank would have done on anyone else who went through such an ordeal, and give the public the inside scoop. Someone needs to feed Judy a few glasses of wine and then get her back on John M.’s show!

  44. skippy
    March 23, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Yours truly will stay tuned.

    Having read the original NCJ’s 2 articles on Mr. Weston and the Eel River Trails Association (ERTA) recently, hearing his comments during Congressman Mike Thompson’s recent informational session and meeting with Mr. Weston, and reading Mr. Sims’ personally descriptive take of him compared to my own observations– Mr. Sims is characteristically accurate and qualitatively right on the mark. But what did Mr. Sims write? Sorry, those rights are reserved. One should buy the T-S to find out… it’s worth it. And stay tuned to what Lost Coast Communications is hatching up.

    Now back to our NCJ story… and the continuing saga.

  45. Reinventing The Wheel
    March 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    How can we get John Osborn back?

  46. Wonder Bred
    March 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    There must be some confusion. Tom Abate is a big city journalist who has won four Pulitzer Prizes, one Emmy and a Golden Globe. He is a pioneer in the field of Techno-Goulash-Hybrid-Journalism of the highest order. He probably left for a job offer at The New York Times. Damn, all the good ones always leave Humboldt.

  47. Anonymous
    March 23, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    The real reason for Abate’s departure will be surprising to you all.

  48. the boot
    March 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    Surely i’m not the only one thinking Judy needs the boot?!

  49. Mike Buettner
    March 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Ger er done… Lost Coast Communications needs to own the LCJ.

  50. get off the couch
    March 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    …Congressman Mike Thompson’s recent informational session and meeting with Mr. Weston, and reading Mr. Sims’ personally descriptive take of him compared to my own observations– Mr. Sims is characteristically accurate and qualitatively right on the mark. But what did Mr. Sims write? …

    Who cares? Want to know What is going on with the Eel River trails? Contact Mr. Weston, and find out How, Where and When you can get involved.

    Do we really need the (all rights reserved) Sims filter to live in Humboldt?

  51. Mike Buettner
    March 23, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    “Want to know What is going on with the Eel River trails?”

    Nothing. Warm southerly breeze with intermittent lightning storms. Nothing more.

  52. get off the couch
    March 23, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    Mike, YOU in particular should get off the couch more often.

    Sour grapes, Mike?

  53. Mike Buettner
    March 23, 2011 at 8:32 pm


  54. skippy
    March 23, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Dear get off the couch: thank you. For the record, yours truly already has. Mr. Sims offered complementary additions for collaborative consideration. Who cares? The best of leaders know that our strength is in our partnership.

  55. the hat
    March 23, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    “The real reason for Abate’s departure will be surprising to you all.” -7:12

    uh huh.

  56. lurch
    March 23, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Lurch means Bob Doran not B-1 Bob.

    er, quite. Thanks, Andrew.

    Okay folks, it’s time for the Humboldt Names Edition of Damn You Autocorrect. We’ve got “C” – Cheney/Cherney and “D” – Dornan/Doran.

    Who’s got an A?

  57. skippy
    March 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    In the land of blogs a journey of a thousand words begins with the first step. Ok, why did he leave? C’mon, folks, everyone’s mum on the matter but someone knows– and they ain’t sayin’. We are anonymous, more or less. “When the pony dies, the ride is over.” Had to throw that one in.

  58. Mr. Nice
    March 23, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Indie > Trader > Journal > Redwood Times > Times-Standard > Tri-City > Arcata Eye

  59. AJ
    March 23, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    into a real alternative newsweekly. Emphasis on the real, the alternative, and the news.

    Howard Seemann (journalism professor and Journal copy editor, deceased) said more than once that he told/encouraged Hodgson that a news publication which focused on human interest stories would be successful.

    An updated mission statement is in order, if only to assure that the next editor is on board with Hodgson’s vision. Is the Journal about safe people stories or stories that challenge people?

  60. March 24, 2011 at 2:44 am

    The Journal clearly declined in the few short weeks with Abate at the helm. Though it will never, ever make up for the stupidity of demoting this county’s best journalist, this at least makes me think the out-bleeding at the paper may have been “Abated.” Now, bring back HANK! In any case, Burns is a sharp guy who will certainly uphold the NCJ to its former glorious standards and intelligence. I feel like the hooks have been removed from my back, and I may now once again pick up the NCJ without groaning.

  61. BAh BAh
    March 24, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Hanks Sims writes a great column, but to suggest he is a great “journalist” shows a disregard for the word and the profession (Hank learned about Journalism at the feet of AVA publisher Bruce Anderson who is always entertaining, but objective and detached he’s not) . I would argue that John Osborn and Thad Greenson are much better examples of “journalist”. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading Hank’s columns/editorials and look forward to the next one. As to Burns, he is an up and coming cub reporter who may well one day grow into a competent journalist, but in no way is this kid qualified to be The Editor. Sounds like Judy’s only planning to have him in that role until she sobers up enough to find someone more qualified, so that’s somewhat reassuring. Saw Matt’s straight coverage of the story in the today’s TS, but what we really need is a muckraking columnist like Hank (or Bruce A.) to cover the story of both Hank’s departure and the current turmoil, if we want to ever hear all the really juicy gossip!

  62. March 24, 2011 at 9:48 am

    HiFi @ 3:32…No, that wasn’t me. Unlike you, I’m only able to drop in once in awhile. Maybe you could try Vitamin B-12 or cafeinated coffee to perk you up.

    Sorry 3:25 that you had to take the shot. HiFi uses a wide-spread shotgun sometimes.

    The NCJ will continue or not depending on its owners and their actions. If we like it, we’ll read and support it. If we don’t it will either change or fade into the sunset. It was ever thus.

  63. Mitch
    March 24, 2011 at 9:58 am

    From Hank’s mysteriousness, I can only assume that Patrick Cleary and he will be launching a primarily internet news outlet. I hope they don’t fall into the trap of trying to do it in print as well; that would just drag the whole thing down. Perhaps they’ll do an alliance with the Arcata Eye and McKinleyville Press and offer a home to those outlets once they abandon paper. Maybe even the T-S will be involved.

    I wish them luck, but I hope they are (1) more willing to offer equal opportunity muckraking than has been the case in local outlets, and (2) more open-minded and focussed on getting information out let the chips fall where they may. (I know, pot, kettle, black.)

  64. Goldie
    March 24, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I am waiting for Seven-oh-Heaven to report on this. When I wish to survey all the complexities the Truth holds, I turn to them.

  65. get off the couch
    March 24, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Skippy says “The best of leaders know that our strength is in our partnership.”

    True partnerships are made with face to face building of trust and exchange of real stuff — knowledge, work skills, shared goals. Hank can describe the little corner of reality he sees. If you make Hank your scout or spokesperson, on any issue, you are in trouble.

  66. AJ
    March 24, 2011 at 11:15 am

    once they abandon paper

    Will they? Publishers have dreams for how online news delivery will be a panacea for the ‘problem’ of print delivery, but it sure seems like web news is a bigger problem because it’s rarely profitable. This is the same industry that was an early adopter of the web and shot itself in the foot by teaching generations of young adults to view news as a free commodity.

    I expect print weeklies will continue for many years to come, shrinking in size due to online competition, but not going away. The same could be said of print books vs. ebooks.

  67. Mitch
    March 24, 2011 at 11:22 am


    I’ve got to run, so I can’t continue any sort of dialog. But my understanding (and I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong) is that subscription and newsstand prices generally pay for the cost of printing the paper, not for the cost of gathering the news. Most print publishers, like online publishers, are in the business of creating enough of a spectacle to gather a crowd; they then make money by putting paid advertising in front of the gathered sightseers.

    Google is making a fortune by doing this — instead of news they provide a unique service which benefits from network effects that newsgatherers do not have.

    There is no law of capitalism that people are entitled to make a living or make a profit doing some task they want done. The trick in publishing has always been the care and feeding of journalists so that they provide enough content that publishers can gather their crowd, while not paying them so much money that they get uppity.

    The internet offers a far lower barrier to entry to a group of journalists who actually wanted to pursue their profession; they only need to get funds from advertisers or supporters to pay themselves, and have no need to buy or rent large presses and buy reams and reams of newsprint. On the other hand, because of the low barrier to entry, there’s competition, and it’s hard to gather that crowd.

    Heraldo’s managed to do that. Watch and learn.

  68. AJ
    March 24, 2011 at 11:45 am

    subscription and newsstand prices generally pay for the cost of printing the paper

    That’s my understanding, too. News producers depend on advertising whether in print or by website. Except, local web advertising is a hard nut to crack in terms of attracting local advertisers.

    Heraldo’s managed to do that. Watch and learn.

    Attracting an audience and profiting from that audience remains a huge problem for news websites and all websites in general. For every profitable content producer (or should I say, audience gatherer), there are 50, 100, maybe 1,000 who are not. From my end, it looks like newspapers are placing a lot on faith that if they keep giving away their product for free online, they’ll eventually find a way to profit from the audience they’ve built. That could mean a very long time waiting for a paycheck.

    How much money have local newspapers paid for their web presence to date, and how much money have they earned from their web presence? A business owner in almost any other enterprise would sober up when answering that question. I’d stick with what works until there is a plan for how paychecks will be covered in the magical online world of tomorrow.

  69. Plain Jane
    March 24, 2011 at 11:45 am

    You all probably know the NYT is going to start charging for access of more than 20 articles a month. It’s pretty steep – the same price for full access as to have a paper delivered to your home. When my special pass expires at the end of 2011,(thanks Lincoln) I’ll have to decide if it is more valuable to me than the 3 alternative news sites I voluntarily contribute to each month. Of course, I can still read them for free; but if people like me start buying the Times instead, they won’t survive for long.

  70. AJ
    March 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’ll have to decide if it is more valuable

    It sounds reasonable, allowing access to news articles for random Internet users who would never subscribe, while dangling a carrot for the website’s regular readers.

    If you want to shut down the telemarketing firm when they try selling you a Times-Standard subscription, simply respond, “I read the newspaper’s website for free.”

    (I have a subscription because I support the reporting staff, but still, there is no comeback when you make the issue financial.)

    I’d like to see a newspaper use its website to supplement its print product, offering exclusive content and services to subscribers. If you can transition most of your existing paying print customers to online news consumers, then maybe you’re in a position to make money. For starters, the Times-Standard’s e-edition could be free for print subscribers, along with the back-issue archive. Although, checking just now, it looks like the archive is a free service again.

  71. Surely You Jest
    March 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm


    One of the reasons for the NCJ’s popularity is that they occasionally infer potential muck.

    Filing for an investigation to reveal who was behind “Eureka Coalition For Jobs” would have been considered a routine responsibility for “community media” in another era, and we haven’t seen anything like it sense.

    The thousand pound Gorilla dominating local politics, filling every public hearing on the GP Elements, impacting every community and individual, rarely merits investigation. We had to wait decades for John Osborn to do a little digging in “Interested Parties”. Will We wait decades more for follow-ups?

    You knew muckraking died when the word “conspiracy” developed its mysterious discredit, although, we can still see the human-conspiracy gene at work on Wall Street, Main Street, and every playground of 9 year-old’s.

    The homeless camps are safer for reporter’s careers than the development community’s lairs, as long as the focus is “positive human interest” and all those “negative” REASONS for so much grinding poverty… foreclosures… bankruptcies….disease…corruption….job losses… extinctions…remains censored.

    For truth to be believed, it must be repeated.

    Instead, local and national media, academia, and politics are awash in harmony ideology, i.e., thoroughly distracted by the “positive” fantasies serving the plutocrats.

  72. the hat
    March 24, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    It seemed to me that the problem with Abate was that he was embarrassed to be here. His desire to be a national player was apparent from his jabs at the Tea Party – an entity that, while present locally, doesn’t really make a lot of noise in Humboldt. If you want to live here, then live here. Ryan Burns is a local boy, I think. That will help.

  73. BAh BAh
    March 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I hope the do NOT do primary an online news source, but rathe build PRIMARILY a broadcast radio news department that will be carried a couple of time a days on all Lost Coast Communications stations. To also supplement that with an online version is great and it seems clear that they are going to give the Eye, the Press and the TS free access to the print version. Having Lost Coast offer the community another news outlet is only a good thing all the way around. Whether or not the daily news shows will always have Hank and or Mike’s snide edge is another matter, but hopefully they will in time hire some straight journalist to produce much of the content of the “news” and allow Hank (and Mike) to do what they do best, which means we a big chuck of inflated ego along with the commentary, and that’s just fine.

  74. BAh BAh
    March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Surely You Jest,
    Are you suggesting that the NCJ reveled who was behind the Eureka Coalition for Jobs? Please reference that information, as my recollection was that they uncovered nothing on that story (not the we needed anyone to point out the obvious).

    BTW, who’s heard about the latest tool of the right to throw her hat in the ring for 1st dist. sup and who will be running her campaign?

  75. Mitch
    March 24, 2011 at 1:46 pm


    Excluding KMUD, I’d always thought radio station news in the area was rip-and-read. But I don’t listen to most local stations, so I wouldn’t know if there were actually a reporter at one of them. Is there?

  76. the hat
    March 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    BAh BAh’s idea of a perfectly run media outlet sounds really boring. “Straight” news, thankfully, is no longer profitable.

  77. Another Bob
    March 24, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Howard Seeman? Are you kidding me? Howard was a nice enough guy and a fairly good teacher, but his opinion on local journalism? Judy is doing great without such advice. Yes, it was an unfortunate situation with Hank Simms and the choice of Tom Abate didn’t pan out. I’m sure she’ll figure out how to right the ship and get moving again.

  78. Surely You Jest
    March 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm


    It was my recollection that the NCJ filed a complaint with the FPPC to find out who was behind “Eureka Coalition For Jobs”, with the result that it was a Sacramento attorney sworn to silence….an attorney known to have been hired by Arkley in the past…I think the TS also filed a complaint.

    Now that unlimited and anonymous political media ads are legal, we need far more investigative, critical, public-interest reporting than before!

    Hell, I’d be happy if we had ONE local reporter willing to ask 2010 candidates for the source for their (primary) campaign platform STILL claiming that big boxes (Marina Center) and sprawl (GP Alternatives “C” and “D”) are good for rural economies!!

    And repeat the question until it’s answered!!!

    Imagine that.

    It might even inspire the other majority to register to vote.

  79. skippy
    March 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    “… ”The only thing I can say at this point is that he [Abate] is no longer with the company,” Hodgson said, adding that it was still too early to say how long Burns would serve as editor. “It’s going to be at least a two-month period. We’re just going to take our time with that…”

    “Hodgson would not say Wednesday if she would be looking for a replacement for Burns, one of only three staff writers.”

    More in Matt Drange’s Times-Standard article,
    “Tom Abate No Longer Editor,” found here.

    But, readers… still no reason given as to why…
    The mystery continues.

  80. Goldie
    March 24, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    See page 11 for the answer to the mystery.

  81. mynextex
    March 24, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    gone before I even got a date :(

  82. Judy please return to basics
    March 25, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Much as I enjoy some of the antics of the Alexander Valley Advertiser’s muck-racking approach, I think the time is past for the “old school” reporter who trades on “insider” knowledge.

    You could get far using the Internet and public sources to unscramble some of Humboldt’s current worst messes. No Norman Mailer-, Tom Wolfe- or other outside vanity sized-egos required, thank you!

  83. snoopy
    March 25, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Welcome to Humboldt!!! We don’t want anyone here who was big somewhere else or has a list of credentials. We don’t want anyone who has worked in a big city.

    Personally, I don’t think we had a chance to form an opinion about Abate. I am surprised that in the few weeks he was here and writing for the Journal people filled their hearts with such venom and have to pour it out. Hanks Sims was often very disappointing as he would venture off on something interesting and just drop it. Ryan Burns is a wonderful writer but sometimes misses the mark. This only means that I don’t agree with them all of the time. I still respect them, like reading their columns and stories.
    Their contribution to the Journal was and is valuable.

  84. Anonymous
    March 25, 2011 at 2:12 am

    BAh BAh says:
    March 24, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    BTW, who’s heard about the latest tool of the right to throw her hat in the ring for 1st dist. sup and who will be running her campaign?

    Ryan Sundberg’s boy Richard spills the beans at the 48:40 mark…

    Jimmy Smith’s opponent in 2012 will be Annette De Modena. And whiz bang Mostranski will be going for a repeat win.

  85. Plain Jane
    March 25, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I don’t think people held Abate’s experience against him, Snoopy. He shot himself in the foot with the Matthews interview, sounding bitter, easily combustible and not quite balanced. I had high hopes after his apology that the interview was a bad fluke, but maybe it wasn’t.

  86. skippy
    March 25, 2011 at 8:17 am

    “Burns, meanwhile, is now the third Journal editor this year, following Abate and Hank Sims, who served as editor of the Journal for more than five years before Hodgson hired Abate last January. Sims served as Web editor under Abate before leaving the paper in February to work as the director of new media and co-director of news for Lost Coast Communications. Sims said he heard the news about Abate Wednesday morning. “It was a short but eventful reign,” said Sims, who remains a shareholder of the Journal’s stock.

    Abate’s short-lived tenure at the Journal was greeted with much publicity after his live interview with KSLG’s John Matthews was posted on the Internet, including various blogs. A version of the interview, dubbed “Tom Abate, the remix,” garnered more than 600 views as of Wednesday. A comic depicting the interview ran later in the pages of the Journal… “It’s a personnel issue,” Hodgson said. “I just can’t talk about that right now.”
    (March 24, Times-Standard article by Matt Drange)

    In Heraldo’s words, “Please, oh gods, let this be the final remix.” Maybe. One more memorable reminder of the tortuous infamy?

    Heraldo’s roriginal John Matthews/KSLG interview link here
    and the much shorter ‘remix of the gods’ here.

    Sweet Jesus and Holy Cow. Can’t some people leave well enough alone?

  87. March 25, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Snoopy should speak for himself. And who are the “anyone who has a list of credentials” that he’s yammering about?

  88. Anonymous
    March 25, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Apparently not.

  89. Owltotem
    March 25, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I was looking forward to some Abate antics.

  90. Longtime Observer
    March 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Hank was a probing journalist and overal smart guy, but way too often let his ego and insecurities take over. He couldn’t even handle young kids and little old ladies write contrarian letters to his paper without slapping snide titles on them, as if they had insulted his mother.

  91. skippy
    March 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Still no details of Mr. Abate’s dismissal or what straw broke the camel’s back. Maybe it was all of them. Here’s a splattering of others’ comments carried in the North Coast Journal on-line:

    “I’m pretty sure my jerk comment about Tom being a jerk is what did it. I knew my hypocrisy would pay off someday!”

    “It’s great that the job is safely back in the hands of another hat-wearing man. Congratulations Ryan.” (Kevin Hoover)

    “I wonder if Judy has so little to say because she has a mouth full of crow. Glad to see Abate go and looking forward to seeing the NCJ crawl out from underneath the mess. Good luck Ryan!”

    “Judy wrote: “ …we had one person on the editorial staff off on vacation, another at the dentist, another one on deadline for this week’s cover story, and our ace HSU intern on spring break.” Does this sound like adequate staffing is an issue at NCJ?”

    “Show ‘em what you have Ryan, and perhaps you’ll become the permanent editor. There’s nothing like good local experience and a righteous track record. Best wishes.”

    “I would like to see the Journal become community oriented again, publish articles that are truthful, relevant, important, entertaining, supportive of the arts, and informative.”

    “I want my Hanky back.”

    “You know who needs to be thankful for all of this drama don’t you? Dell’Arte!!!! Their next opera just fell into their laps.”

    “Even the great George Steinbrenner didn’t go through managers like this.”

    “Abatistas of the world, unite!”

    “Uh oh. Is this new Burns guy going to demand funnier cartoons?” (Joel Mielke)

    “I was thinking of consolidating (cartoons) to eliminate redundancies. How do you guys feel about “Wabash Willie o’ Heaven”? (Ryan Burns)

    “Andrew, don’t be dissing on Family Circus, it’s adorable! NCJ cartoons contribute to the decline of western values.”

    …Congratulations, Ryan. It is good to see you recognized for your work. We all wish you the best for the future. The latest issue looks good.

  92. Kipper
    March 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    This is the most popular the NCJ has been in some time. Maybe Judy realized the appeal of reality TV and decided to apply it to “journalism”. This whole dramatic episode has more people talking about the Journal than anything they’ve written in recent memory. Sims got voted off the island and now Abate is relegated to return to the “edge of Silicon Valley” to ponder his broken life and ruinous career.

    Meanwhile no one is at the helm of the ship! Gosh, what’s gonna happen next?! Can I text my vote to GENIUSJUDY 005?

  93. Hank: The Bugaboo of Snark
    March 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I vote Hank off Humboldt Island and back to the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His short fuse is way more appropriate to Bruce’s style of editoring. Over time, his good qualities came to be seriously overshadowed by his shortcomings. Judy recognized it and fired his ass.

    Walk the plank, matey!

  94. Random Guy
    March 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I’m sure he’s a great guy and bla bla bla…but abate’s a city slicker who watches too much cnn. His few editorials were boring and irrelevant.

  95. Random Guy
    March 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    …I should add that until I decided to pay attention to the local political scene, I thought the town dandy was exceptoinally boring. But slowly came to realize it had a wealth of info, regardless of hank’s own take on it.

  96. Not A Native
    March 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Hank is snarky, snide, and dismissive. Thats a style with a long jouralistic history. When there’s a turd in the street, Hanks the first one who points it out and comments on its characteristics while others pretend its not there and they can’t smell it.

    You want politeness, orderliness, and decorum? Well then, read the Eureka Reporter. Oh, but wait, they couldn’t muster enough readership! Nuff’ said.

  97. The harder they come...
    March 26, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Hank’s take on it is that he’s God, and that nobody better dare question his opinion.

    Problem was, he had a boss, who got sick of his shit.

  98. The harder they come...
    March 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    NAN: You can point out that there’s a turd in the street, but you don’t need to be snarky, snide and dismissive to all when pointing it out.

    If Hank had realized this even a year ago, it’s pretty clear that he’d still be steering his old ship.

  99. Not A Native
    March 26, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Well, when everyone else is ignoring the turd in order to appear liberally tolerant or to not upset the powerful person from who’s ass it came, snarky and snide seem appropriate to me.

    But then thats just me. Sometimes it takes a 2X4 in the forehead to get my attention. Heck, you can still read ‘Ain’t it Good’, if you want your turds sugar coated.

  100. Goldie
    March 26, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    This is sort of like listening to people talk about sports, ‘cept it is a newspaper.

  101. skippy
    March 28, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    But Goldie, don’t hate the player… hate the game!

    Speaking of which, Mr. Hank Sims is back in the house… his House… staying tuned and living to serve, Hank was found at

    the Lost Coast Outpost here

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s