Reporters invited to park the boss’s cars in Longmont

Media writer Mike Roberts over at Westword frequently delivers good nuggets, like his report today about how staffers at the Longmont Times-Call recently were invited to pick up some extra cash by working as valets at a private Christmas party for the newspaper’s owners. And two staffers, Roberts noted, have already taken them up on the offer.

The Lehman family, which owns the Longmont daily as well as the Loveland Herald-Tribune, includes 51-year publisher Ed Lehman; his wife, Connie; and Ed’s son Dean, the paper’s editor and president, who reports that “valets are needed because many of the guests are elderly and may need a little extra help.”

“So, too, do small-market journalists in a struggling economy, so Lehman saw it as natural to give Times-Call workers the chance to earn a little extra cash as Christmas approaches,” Roberts notes. “[Lehman] says valets will earn the same rate of pay they receive at their day job for the hours they work.”

Not surprisingly, Roberts’ retrieval and public airing of the internal memo immediately made its way to Jim Romenesko, whose media industry column at the Poynter Institute is a must-read for news junkies.

Judging by the comments, most of the readers of both Westword and Romenesko don’t seem to think much of Lehmans’ offer. Among them:

Is this what I have to look forward to after I finish my j-degree?

Does the newspaper get to write this off as job retraining?

I just shared this with my publisher who is in his 11th year running two monthly neighborhood mags and a bi-weekly biz paper. He was understanding with my statement that if he were to ever pull this on us, that I would vandalize every single car I had to park. He felt that was just.?What a stogy old prick Mr. Lehman must be.

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Cara Degette

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