May 08 2008
• A minor development in the Gordon Edes-to-Yahoo! Sports soap opera: Edes filed his appeal last Friday and is expecting the New York Times Company’s ERISA Management Committee to hear the appeal in the coming days. That committee was scheduled to meet this week, but as of Thursday night, the Edes appeal had not been heard.
“Generally, in any ERISA governed employee benefit plan. . . there is a right of appeal granted to an employee if the initial decision is unfavorable to him or her,” wrote Rosenberg (a prolific blogger, it should be noted and appreciated) in an email. “The appeal is to an internal entity charged under the ERISA plan with making final decisions over requests for the benefits in question, which in this instance is participation in the buy out. The ERISA Management Committee is presumably the entity named in the governing plan documents as having the authority to hear and decide appeals, and issue final determinations.
“From there, an employee, if still unhappy with the outcome, could normally seek review in federal court.”
Rosenberg then addressed what the appeal would likely be judged upon by the committee:
“Generally, the entire issue should be decided solely on the exact written terms of the buy out/retirement plan, and whether the particular individual employee qualifies for the buy out under those terms,” Rosenberg said. “The plan itself should lay out in writing exactly when a person qualifies, and thus also when they do not. The Management Committee to which the appeal is presented is charged with deciding whether those terms are satisfied with regard to that particular employee, and thus he or she is entitled to the buy out, or are not satisfied.
“The possible reasons for denying the buyout will vary, and simply depends on what was built into the plan as the framework governing who is and who is not eligible.”
. . . Shots is now being told that of the 26 buyout applications submitted from the editorial side, just three people were denied – Edes and two business writers. It is not known whether either of the other two will appeal, but it is reasonably safe to assume that new WBUR FM hire, Sacha “Pulitzer” Pfeiffer was one of the rejected.
All this comes in the week where the Times executed layoffs and Globe bigwig, Alfred Larkin announces his retirement. One Globie, who was under the assumption Larkin took part in the the buyout, suggested that the whole acceptance/denial line process was arbitrary at best and suggested that all three who were denied are long-tenured employees with a decade-plus of service to the company.
Aside from the ill-will the Edes incident is probably fostering on both sides, the process is also delaying the Edes jump to Yahoo! Sports. At this rate, Edes will be lucky to be in the Big Y!’s uniform by the All-Star break. Each of the other “finalists,” we’re told, were ready to jump ship post-haste.
• My next blog, in my next life, will be called, as Michelle Tafoya uttered from the lips of Danny Ferry on Thursday night, “A Moment of Vertigo.” My life has been a series of those moments.
Jackie MacMullan is long gone and talk of a pending (and prosperous) book deal has already passed through the Shots lint trap. We’re told it involves Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and we’re told Bird insisted on having Jackie Mack.
. . . The sad thing is that if you strictly read the Globe’s printed and web pages, you would probably think a black hole on Morrissey Boulevard sucked the suddenly gone writers and editors into oblivion. There hasn’t been – to our knowledge or through our searches – an explanation of who was leaving, when, why and maybe even a short goodbye from Joe Sullivan or the writers/editors themselves.
Here’s what you do, Sully: Instead of another metsa-mets Stan Grossfeld Sunday snoozer picture, you use that half page for 300-word goodbyes from the Laymances and the Fratuses, not to mention the Mays and JMacks. Anything that feels the least bit open and transparent about the transformation that the Globe brand is undergoing. Anything at all that lets us know that you still appreciate our 50 cents a day or our patronage at your website. . . An editor’s note? A blog entry? Anything, really.
Just some level of transparency and informing your customers of what amounts to MAJOR changes.
• Bowling on CBS this weekend. Oh my.
We have faith that Red Sox Nation can remedy that situation and send that Feinfellow free-falling down the chart.
• The commenting took away from it, but this was a fairly important and worthwhile post at The Big Lead on Thursday.
• Save the date to meet the new UMass head basketball coach: May 21 at Quincy Market.
• To The Shirl and all the girls who get called “Mom” – enjoy your day. To the rest of us, make sure they get to enjoy their day.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.