Friday, January 18, 2008

Dave Seanor Fired

That was fast...and inevitable. Gary Van Sickle with the details:

One day after PGA Tour executives threatened to pull their advertising because of a racially insensitive cover graphic of a noose, Golfweek magazine replaced its editor and vice president, Dave Seanor. first learned of the decision on Friday morning from a source on the staff of the magazine who was not at liberty to speak for attribution. Golfweek then issued a statement confirming the report and naming Jeff Babineau, a senior writer, as the new top editor.

"We apologize for creating this graphic cover that received extreme negative reaction from consumers, subscribers and advertisers across the country," said William P. Kupper Jr., president of Turnstile Publishing Co., the parent company of Golfweek. "We were trying to convey the controversial issue with a strong and provocative graphic image. It is now obvious that the overall reaction to our cover deeply offended many people. For that, we are deeply apologetic."

Dave Seanor clearly made a bad decision. It is strange because he is a very intelligent guy and largely has done a great job at Golfweek. The reaction today, though, to controversy in the media is to simply fire the point person for the controversy. Dave was and is that guy and therefore he was fired. In the grand scheme of things, the art cover of Golfweek was probably on par with what Kelly Tilghman said to ignite the controversy in the first place. If they are on the same level, then, shouldn't the punishment be the same - an unpaid suspension of some kind?

That may very well have been the case were in not for the monetary aspect of the situation. Turnstile Publishing knows that they're going to lose some significant ad buys in the wake of this scandal. Companies simply will not want to affiliated with the magazine with a noose on the cover. They have every right to feel that way and I certainly don't blame them in the event that they do pull advertising. The noose cover left me outraged and very curious why they would do such a thing.

The answer, though, to that is being spouted from every magazine and newspaper writer that is frank about the situation. Seanor was trying to get people to turn to Golfweek to talk about the Kelly Tilghman situation (which hypocritically, they asked us to let go a few weeks ago, but most of the public didn't know that). A magazine writer will tell you that the editor's job is to present a package that sells the most copies while getting the story right. Seanor erred too much on the side of trying to sell copies and that is what cost him his job.

Dave will be back. He is too talented not to be. But I find it very strange that he is the only person to lose his job in the whole Tilghman situation. Meanwhile, Kelly will be back to reasonable anonymity by the time the Masters rolls around in April. Then I GUARANTEE you that people will be interviewing Mike Tirico, Billy Payne, and anyone they can think of related to the Masters that might have been offended by Tilghman's antics. These things have a way of coming back.

No comments: