Why GateHouse ended its relationship with Journatic

Media Nation
Dan Kennedy has published a memo from GateHouse Vice President David Arkin, who told Poynter earlier this week that the company would transition from Journatic to its own centralized content hub by the end of August. Here’s what Arkin told staff in an email about the change:

We decided to end the relationship with Journatic for a few reasons:

— Journatic had trouble providing the kinds of content that our newspapers really needed. They provided a lot of content but weren’t successful in choosing the right kind of calendar items and news briefs.

— We spent too much time centrally and locally addressing errors with their content.

— We discovered we could produce process-oriented content that our newspapers really wanted at a more economical price than Journatic.

Journatic CEO Brian Timpone responded by email: “We enjoyed working with GateHouse and wish them well.”

The Chicago Sun-Times also announced this week that it was ending its relationship with Journatic after fake bylines from sister company BlockShopper made their way into stories published by the Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle and Houston Chronicle.

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  • nobody here

    They should end their relationship because of WHO they are dealing with – not just WHAT they are doing.

    Timpone (Journatic CEO) never had ethics.  For years, he ran (and continues to run) blockshopper which posts people’s personal real estate transactions to the web – so that one google search for your name shows the world exactly what you paid for your home with the address, and even a picture of your face w/ some info stolen from linkedin about your occupation.  He calls  it “news”…it was also written by Filipinos who were paid pennies & has many errors.  If anyone (even people in occupations where they needed their information concealed…or people who were stalked) asked timpone to remove this information – he refuses. I guess he never posted enough info about reporters because the outrage never reached this level.  There are over 200 complaints all over the web about blockshopper from people who have asked Timpone to remove their names / addresses.    He does not care about other people or privacy.  He has no ethics or moral standards. The $2 in ad revenue was more important to him.   He will not take a listing down for ANY reason…except that of his father – of course – who is not listed on blockshopper.  His father, Leonard, was disbarred in the state of Illinois for being corrupt and having “moral turpitude” – (this is all public information) quite amazing – you can see where Brian Timpone got his ethics. It’s not so easy to get disbarred in Illinois!I have dealt with him personally and I consider him a textbook sociopath (this is not a “personal attack” or name calling – it’s a diagnosis)… he is charismatic like a typical sociopath but has NO ethics or moral reasoning capabilities.  So, he’s ideal for convincing major media companies to go to his absurd business model…a pure salesman who made the biggest newspapers in the world sign a deal with the devil without even knowing.  And still, people like him – because people always get charmed & conned by sociopaths…even the girl who did the original interview that exposed this was saying how much she “genuinely liked him” – yep, I’m not surprised.  It takes a lot of experience to know this personality type.  She said, in the interview, how he went on and on about how great her website is and how much he loves her interviews (typical sociopath BS). 

  • Anonymous

    “after fake bylines from sister company BlockShopper made their way into stories”

    Bylines can’t make their way into anything.
    People make decisions that result in them being used.
    Attributing the decision-making to the byline is not journalism.

    Here is more thorough coverage of the story by Ryan Smith who blew the whistle on Journatic.

    My adventures in Journatic’s new media landscape of outsourced hyperlocal news

    I went public about my experience at Journatic because people should know how their local newspapers are being hollowed out