Rupert Murdoch’s iPad newspaper The Daily is barely a year old, but they have their first publicly disgruntled employee scandal today, contra the company’s non-disclosure agreement. Luke Jerod Kummer tweeted on February 17, “@daily story on Iranian ninjas has nothing to do with my reporting. I object to it in every way. I wrote straight w/o absurd sensationalism,” and then he resigned. Jim Romenesko has the Daily’s forceful response.
An HR manager wrote to Kummer, in part:
As you should recall, when you joined The Daily, you signed a Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreement. In section 5 of that Agreement (see attached) you agreed that during your employment and for two years after, you “will not criticize, ridicule, or make any statement which disparages or is derogatory of the Company or its affiliates, or any of their representative employees or business products or services.”
It goes without saying that you are currently in breach of your contractual obligations to the Company. Should you engage in any further misconduct, you will leave The Daily no choice but to sue you for injunctive relief, money damages and attorneys’ fees, as provided for under the Agreement. While we have no desire to sue you, that is something only you can control. Please do the right thing and immediately refrain from any further breaches of your contractual obligations.
While the message in question still stands, Kummer doesn’t appear to have tweeted since, instead opting to take some form of revenge, and possibly risking legal action, by spreading the threatening e-mail. An earlier Daily story (and video!) titled “Iranian Ninjas” can be found here, but does not include Kummer’s byline. The tablet newspaper’s lack of an archive system or standard website works to both parties’ advantage in this case.