Old-school media watchdog Jim Romenesko kicked off his eponymous new website over the weekend by detailing his unceremonious parting with Poynter, which published his blog for twelve years. In the inaugural post, “How I ended up leaving Poynter,” Romenesko gets into specifics about the little flap earlier this month, in which Poynter editor Julie Moos questioned her star writer’s media story summaries for their “pattern of incomplete attribution.” Romenesko writes now that the road had been bumpy for some time before that post (which stirred up outrage online from many of Romenesko’s colleagues and subjects), with his contract set to expire at the end of the year. At the beginning of this month, he confided to a friend, “I think Poynter’s going to fire me, and try to ruin my reputation so none of their advertisers will go with me on the new site.”
Indeed, Romenesko’s rule-following was questioned on Poynter and he subsequently resigned, something he’d tried to do previously. His 82-year-old father supported him in a Facebook wall post: “Hi Jim, It looks like your Journalism friends are backing you 100% as are your family members. We’re all very proud of you. Dad.” Romenesko then admits that his “intial suspicion” about Moos jockeying for advertisers was probably wrong.
But Romenesko did go on to threaten Poynter with legal action if they failed to re-brand the section of their site named after him. They quickly did, and then they made a final push for reconciliation, meaning Romenesko will be compensated for his recent frustrations:
(I want to note that a few days later, I got another call from Poynter’s attorney who said that Karen Dunlap wanted to show her appreciation for my work and pay my salary through the end of the year. I told the lawyer that the skeptical journalist in me wondered: What strings are attached? None, she said. I then accepted Karen’s gracious offer.)
This morning, he’s back to work.