In an apparent attempt to neutralize a high-level critic, Journatic is now claiming it was about to fire an editorial executive who resigned from the company Saturday
The resignation of Mike Fourcher, who worked at Journatic for only 10 weeks, is the latest sign of increasing trouble at the company, which provides brief stories for Hearst-owned news organizations, Tribune properties, and until recently for the Chicago Sun-Times
, which both said they ended their contracts with the company.
After discovering that a Journatic writer had plagiarized a story
, Tribune announced Friday night that it would suspend work with the company, though it is an investor
and laid off about 20 journalists in April
when it shifted responsibility to Journatic for its TribLocal suburban websites.
It was Fourcher who dealt directly with the Tribune when it was discovered that writer Luke Campbell had taken material
from a Patch site and a Chicago Sun-Times hyperlocal suburban site, Fourcher told me by phone. It was Fourcher, along with another editor, who discussed the incident with Campbell and subsequently fired him, Fourcher said. And it was Fourcher who briefed CEO Brian Timpone on the firing Friday afternoon, he said.