Sunday, March 18, 2012

Millionaires in a World Gone Mad

It is 20 degrees Celsius and I am sitting overlooking the lake, reading and reflecting on the decline of the daily newspaper industry. The ice on the lake is blackening and perhaps will be out before April for the first time in history. Most of the snow is gone from the bush, unheard of in middle March.

A World Gone Mad
The world has gone mad, but it has little to do with the weather.

I am reading about the severance package handed out to Craig Dubow, former CEO of Gannett newspapers. Gannett owns USA Today and 80 other U.S. newspapers.

Dubow worked 30 years at Gannett, the last six as CEO. The Associated Press news service, on whose board he sat as a director, reported that Gannett's print advertising revenue dropped from $5.2 billion in 2005 to $2.5 billion last year. The company's stock price nosedived 86 percent while Dubow was CEO, dropping from $72.69 to $10.45.

He resigned at age 56 because of hip and back problems after having medical leaves in 2010 and 2011.

His severance? Thirty-two million dollars, a $6.2 million insurance policy, $70,000 in health insurance benefits, secretarial help, a home computer and financial counselling.

New York Times CEO Janet Robinson retired recently, snagging a $23 million adieu package.

More than three billion people in the world live on less than $2.50 a day. One billion children around the world - one in two - live in poverty.

Ontario is getting deeper into the casino-gambling business in a desperate move to keep the province from going bankrupt.

Truly, the world has gone mad.

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