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Date Posted: 19:06:26 05/03/16 Tue
Author: DK: A Friend of the 412
Subject: Hired Hands, Fired Hands

Don't miss the latest post up at DK on Pittsburgh Sports, your local outlet for journalism jobs that will quickly teach you how to handle your own firing ...

http://dkpittsburghsports.com/2016/05/03/national-search-underway-for-pitt-reporter/

Alan Saunders is out. A top NATIONAL name, like all the rest, will surely replace him. Pretty cool thing to do to a guy whose been shuttling around the continent covering Riverhounds games for you, and whose little family still is dealing with a tragic loss this spring.

https://twitter.com/ASaunders_PGH/status/703354268976189440

If my body count is correct, that's Nate Barnes, Neal Coolong, Dave DiCello and now Saunders sacked since July. To say nothing of the college kids who were giving away coverage for free for DK to tuck behind a paywall. Sounds like a good place to build a career. Good luck to the rest of the staff as they repair their badly damaged resumes and are shown the door.

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Replies:

[> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- A Casual Observer, 05:23:55 05/04/16 Wed [1]

The funny this is that there are a few people in the Cult of DK that actually tried to call him out on the turnover, but he just brushed it aside.

He is getting quite the reputation as someone that messes with people's lives very haphazardly.

Also, you mentioned a body count, but don't forget before that it was John Perrotto, Dave Metzer, hell his original programmer moved FROM GERMANY to handle the site full time only to be canned a few months later

As long as the lunatics keep fluffing him, he will be blind to how he is being perceived.

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[> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- Good Job, Good Effort, 14:05:14 05/04/16 Wed [1]

Go figure. Mr. Transparency going silent when asked what happened. I imagine Saunders wasn't pleased with being demoted to covering third-tier soccer, and I can't blame him for leaving if that's the case.

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[> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- High Turnover, 15:33:58 05/04/16 Wed [1]

DiCello, at least, was a mutual agreement to part ways. DiCello didn't have sports experience and he wanted to focus more time on his gallery.

Saunders' departure is surprising. He had been part-time for a while. And he was just promoted to full-time in March.

Regardless of the reasons, it sure doesn't look good for DK that people are accepting full-time jobs and then are out the door a short time later.

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[> [> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- Fired, 06:13:00 05/05/16 Thu [1]

This wasn't a mutual parting of ways - Alan Saunders was fired. And he was fired via text message.

And then when he called and tried to talk to DK about it, he was sent straight to voice mail.

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[> [> [> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- If That's True, 17:28:57 05/08/16 Sun [1]

If that's true, that's incredibly low class.

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[> [> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- 1st Time Caller, 05:58:19 05/09/16 Mon [1]

And the first social media girl. And the "business manager" who was on board for maybe a week. Missing any others?

I originally thought Alan was generating some quality content considering he was an unknown.

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[> A question -- Inquiring Mind, 20:09:26 05/04/16 Wed [1]

Are people so desperate to become sportswriters-bloggers or to punch a ticket on their way to some imagined "big time" that they'll sign on knowing how he operates and being aware DK never quite lived up to his self-hype?

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[> [> Re: A question -- Benjamins, 03:42:49 05/06/16 Fri [1]

Have any of these "full time" writers ever said how much DK paid them?
Also how much does a guy like Yohe make? Are his expenses all covered?

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[> [> [> Re: A question -- An insight, 01:36:06 05/08/16 Sun [1]

You don't make a living and pay the bills writing for an operation like this. Huffington Post it's not.

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[> [> [> [> Re: A question -- Bad business model, 10:45:03 05/08/16 Sun [1]

Low subscription numbers behind a paywall. Smart.

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: A question -- Inquiring mind, 19:34:38 05/08/16 Sun [1]

Call that strategy posturing and you'll have it right. That is DK's real specialty.

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[> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- A Casual Observer, 08:55:18 05/10/16 Tue [1]

It just dawned on me.

Neal Coolong was a 'major' sport hire (Steelers) that didnt' last long either, just like Saunders.

Could it be that Mr. Anti-newspaper Kovacevic doesn't trust people that come from non-newspaper environments? Coolong was replaced by former Trib guy Mackey, and the nameless college kid for Penn State was replaced by Audrey Snyder

If I was Matt Gajtka, I'd watch my back.

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[> [> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- NotaChance, 21:16:33 05/11/16 Wed [1]

No way Gajka is in trouble - he is an ultra-Riverhounds nerd and still broadcasts some of their games and the Riverhounds are a major funder of the DK project!

That guy has more job security than anyone other than Dejan and Dejan's wife.......

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[> Re: Hired Hands, Fired Hands -- MMPgh, 17:27:00 05/15/16 Sun [1]

That's a shame, Alan's a great guy and did his job well. But it's not terribly surprising considering the DKOPS site staff track record now. It's a full blown "reputation".

I was wondering how Alan was going to do there because he was so different from the rest of the crew. Professional, not a ridiculous self-promoter, doesn't engage online fights, isn't trying to be a digital "brand" but a sports writer who puts the sports first. I was concerned being friendly with him, but really happy he was getting a big platform. I hope there are good things in the cards for him elsewhere.

I agree- there's clearly no one safe but for Gajtka who's DK's protege or whatever, and perhaps Yohe because he's cut from the same cloth as DK (confrontational) and has a big base of "fans" of his own. Jason Mackey is the one I would warn to have an exit plan in mind. He's covering a different sport than what he made his first Pgh impression in. And like Alan, is a sports-first, no "media persona" BS kind of guy.

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