No bluff, no lie

For those who don’t read the New York Observer, our owner was quoted there today regarding matters here.

When asked by “Media Mob,” presumably the column writer John Koblin, if the threat of sale or closure was just a negotiating tactic, Mr. Newhouse responded: “We do not bluff or lie.”

Here is an excerpt:

Is it a negotiation tactic, or real?

That’s what Media Mob asked Advance publications president Donald Newhouse today regarding the memo that Star-Ledger publisher George Arwady sent out to staff saying that if a drivers union didn’t agree to a new contract, the paper would be in danger of closing.

“That’s what we’ve told our employees and we do not bluff or lie,” he responded.

Many of us have met Mr. Newhouse in passing at the office. I remember him pressing flesh with people in the newsroom whose salaries probably fell more than a few figures below his net worth. Can’t say I know him, but he is far more personable even than most publishers for whom I have worked.

Still, nothing about him would suggest he is soft.

As such, it would probably be a mistake to think talk of closure or sale is just a way of getting leverage.

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