(Well, he’s always versus somebody, isn’t he?)
I spent $7.86 of my last 20 bucks on the Summer 2008 issue of Ryerson Review of Journalism. I’ve read it for years and have a stack of back issues. I didn’t attend this year’s release party, ensuring I would not leave the place almost in tears.
The RRJ issue contains “On Trial” by Rachel Barsky, a feature article on our Übergruppenführer Richard Stursberg. In it, Stursberg’s truculence and assholism attain new levels. Stursberg is clearly a Fred “Cuntz”–like figure – a boss who fancies himself a kind of J. Jonah Jameson (but with balls!), reacting to any hint of mutiny or critique with “Not onboard with my decision? Fuckyez!”
Note that he almost refused to entertain Barsky’s follow-up questions after initial interviews. Many sources refused to be quoted by name. Some were quoted saying they were afraid to be quoted. In what respect is Stursberg’s reign not one of terror? CBC: A hostile work environment from the top down.
As the issue is not yet onliné, I shall précis certain Stursbergian bons mots and pensées.
What would Stursberg say to employees still angry about the lockout? “Get over it,” he says quietly, then, almost shouting, “Get over it! [...E]ither they were going to strike at a time of their own choosing and cause real serious damage to the Corporation, or we were going to lock them out in a way that caused less damage. So everyone should be happy to have less damage rather than more.”
“No one inside will agree f they were here and they agree with that view, then why would they be here? therwise... we’d all be running off in different directions, instead of the recipe for success.”
I tell Stursberg that this isn’t what others have said.... “Give me their names.”
“Maybe... they like failure.”
Stursberg denies there’s been any budget cutting. But David Studer of The Fifth Estate “won’t deny a figure of 20% of the production budget.”
Stursberg seems to want to divert money from Newsworld to CBC, in contravention of CRTC “expectations.” Barsky does not follow up on the fact that an “expectation” means nothing; only a condition of licence does. “Stursberg’s response, according to Burman, was ‘Fuck the CRTC.’ ‘You can’t fuck the CRTC as long as I’m still around.’ ”
Here’s a ringer from ombud Vince Carlin, who “understands the negative side of the ‘lifetime employment’ previously attainable at the network: It requires better management to deal with people who can’t be fired, and most managers aren’t good at it.”
Three words: Paris Hilton Inc.
Julian Sher: “Current affairs doesn’t exist as a current-affairs department.” [...] Former journalists’ work “still airs on the networks sometimes, but they don’t work for the Corp because ‘there are no shows to work for.’ ”
Esther Enkin, deputy news editor-in-chief, goes on at length about how she doesn’t understand Stursberg’s news plan (using variations of the catchphrase “it’s early days yet”).
Here is the list of “charges” against Stursberg that Barsky investigates, using original reporting and whatever tiny morsel of a response Stursberg deigned to give her.
What are your charges?