Simon: ‘Painful end of a terrific publication’

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No one thought it would end like this, because no one wanted it to end, like this or any other way. But when Thoroughbred Times was closed on Friday, our owner filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, it marked a painful end (at least for now) of a terrific publication. I know this because I was the editor on Friday, as well as the founding editor in September of 1985.

From the beginning, when Dick Broadbent hired me to start the Thoroughbred Times, as a weekly newspaper, we sought to make it a leading publication through great, independent reporting, thorough, helpful and proprietary statistics, timely news, and industry insights to help our readers — fans and industry insiders alike — understand, appreciate, and enjoy their participation in this great sport.

I hope we accomplished that for the vast majority of our readers, and if we did it was because of the contributions of many, many talented and enthusiastic staff members and contributors who brought the game to our readers daily and weekly (and, of course, biweekly at the end), through our website, our daily e-newsletter Thoroughbred Times Today, and through the print edition of Thoroughbred Times.

I am extremely proud of the fact that the Thoroughbred Times has, over the decades, been a starting point for many top young writers and editors, as well as providing editorial space for some of the best established journalists in the business. To mention just a few of the talented members of our editorial staff, at one time or another: John Sparkman, Ray Paulick, Tom Law, Frank Angst, Matt Hegarty, Glenye Cain, Ed DeRosa, Amy Owens, Don Clippinger, David Heckerman, John Harrell, Ron Mitchell, Tom LaMarra, Bill Mooney, Jeff Lowe, Alicia Wincze, Mike Curry, Myra Lewyn, Marianna Haun, Michelle MacDonald, Patrick Reed, and Pete Denk. Heck, even Kent Hollingsworth and Ed Bowen pulled tours of duty on the Times’  staff. Most recently we had been blessed with a pair of rising stars in Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo.

And the most noteworthy of all (unless I plan to spend the next year on the couch), and there from the very beginning, is my wife, Mary, a stalwart and constant contributor, even though she was never officially on the staff. But she did as much as anyone, writing, editing, copy editing (particularly my stuff), proofreading, and even writing advertising copy at times. And in 2000, she won an Eclipse Award for feature writing for her 11-part series on racing that would later become the book Racing Through the Century.

Mary’s was one of five Eclipse Awards earned by Thoroughbred Times in its 27 years, the others being Tony Leonard and Frank Anderson for photography, Billy Reed for a Guest Commentary, and current (at least as of last Friday) staffers Tom Law and Greg Charkoudian for multimedia.

Then there were those 16 American Horse Publications awards for General Excellence, along with dozens more earned for writing and design. And those random Red Smith, Bill Leggett, and Charles Engelhard awards. …  And not to forget that we inaugurated a biennial fiction contest, which included as its first winner an eventual O Henry Award winner as one of the best pieces of American short story writing of 1993. And we co-sponsored with Castleton-Lyons for more than half a decade the $10,000 Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award, in an effort to honor full-length literary works on horse racing. (Our winners included a National Book Award winner.)

As for non-staff, regular correspondents, the list of talent is both impressive and intimidating. While time and space are limited, special acknowledgement goes to Steve Haskin, Jay Privman, Bill Leggett, Steve Myrick, Bob Ehalt, Bill Heller, Neil Milbert, and Steve Schuelein. I consider them not only great writers but great friends whom I met because of Thoroughbred Times. And we had a number of regular, specialized contributors, on veterinary topics and farm management, and there are no better than Denise Steffanus, Brent Kelley, Cynthia McFarland, Ken Marcella, and Liane Crossley.

And, last, but not least, a name that will always be associated with Thoroughbred Times is Z, not as well known by her full name, Enzina Mastrippolito, who was our staff photographer and public face for decades. She was an invaluable contact with all our clients and always willing, cheerful, and game for any assignment or challenge.

You make a lot of friends in racing, and it’s those bonds that make this game great. The horses may have brought us all together, but it’s the people we meet, work with, and even compete against, that make this such a terrific pursuit. Racing, at its core, is a game of people, and I’m reasonably sure it’s had more characters, protagonists, and antagonists per capita than any sport that ever existed, and that includes owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, track executives, etc.

Writers were mentioned first, because they are the most visible faces of the publication, but we also had terrific staff on the business, art, and advertising sides over the years, people like Publisher Joe Morris, Art Directors and staff Jeanette Vance, Gail Burge, and Betty Gee; gifted artists like Tami Zigo; advertising account executives John Hamilton, Kirk Nixon, Jim Cox, Scott Rion, Kari Simon, Dee Dee Douglas, and in the business office, Judy Faulconer. When our very first production manager, Susanna Thurston, passed away in her mid-40s, I was devastated. She was so special …  and had been the first person I hired for the Times. It makes you understand that the Times, like all businesses, is only as good as the staff.

It takes a village to put out a publication. And all those people and hundreds more over the past 27 years have made this a most enjoyable, dizzying, and wonderful experience.

I do not know what the future has in store, whether or not someone will step in, buy the Thoroughbred Times’ assets, and resurrect all or parts of it. But I do know its loss does not bode well for the sport in general. If racing is to retain its centuries-old status as a major sporting entity, it will require a vibrant, competitive press — both hands-on and electronic. Local newspapers and national general-interest magazines simply won’t cut it – they’ve largely lost interest in our sport, except for such special events as the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup.

The Sport of Kings deserves more than that … better than that. I’m convinced that good industry-based publications — those that report the news, tell the stories, investigate the problems, ask the tough questions, chronicle the history, and show the pictures of a complex sport of rare beauty and passion — are an absolute necessity for racing’s long-term survival. But these days, they are fragile and endangered, and as of Friday, Sept. 14, such publications took one step closer to extinction.

I will always be proud of what we accomplished, but sorry it had to end this way.

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  • Kerry Fitzpatrick

    Who’s the youthful looking guy with the mustache in the middle of the back row???

    • RayPaulick

      Kerry, I barely recognize that person myself!

      • wallyhorse

        Which shows how few men (relatively speaking) have mustaches anymore, and most who do are now older.  You can also tell how different the fashions were when that picture was taken in 1990 as opposed to now for instance.

      • Don Reed

        What a rogue!  Obviously crashed the party.  Riff-raff.

  • Kerry Fitzpatrick

    Who’s the youthful looking guy with the mustache in the middle of the back row???

  • RayPaulick

    Kerry, I barely recognize that person myself!

  • Louise E. Reinagel

    My hat’s off and heart’s out to you. I still have a few issues, even of Thoroughbred Record. Great doing business with you through it all.

  • Louise E. Reinagel

    My hat’s off and heart’s out to you. I still have a few issues, even of Thoroughbred Record. Great doing business with you through it all.

  • Patti Dietz Davis

    Thank you to Mark Simon and everyone at Thoroughbred Times for all those many years of enlightened and educational journalism and racing/breeding statistics that brought me closer to this industry and helped me decipher it. May the wind be at your backs.

  • Patti Dietz Davis

    Thank you to Mark Simon and everyone at Thoroughbred Times for all those many years of enlightened and educational journalism and racing/breeding statistics that brought me closer to this industry and helped me decipher it. May the wind be at your backs.

  • Bbfq

    My heartfelt appreciation and admiration to you, Tom, Sparky, Frank and everyone–I am shocked, and proud to have been part of the team in the past.  Godspeed to all.

  • Bbfq

    My heartfelt appreciation and admiration to you, Tom, Sparky, Frank and everyone–I am shocked, and proud to have been part of the team in the past.  Godspeed to all.

  • Larry Ensor

    Mark, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Times since its inception. And for the last 5 years it was the only one I subscribed to. The editorial was always top notch fair and unbiased. It seemed to catered to all of us in the sport and business not just what is going on in Kentucky. I read every issue cover to cover. And thought the new format was even better. A personal thank you for the feature you did on our farm recently it was quite an honor. My mornings are a bit out of kilter now that the Daily News is no longer waiting for me. I clicked the check mail button repeatedly Sunday morning.
    It is my hope that someone comes along picks up the pieces and put it back together again.

  • Larry Ensor

    Mark, I have thoroughly enjoyed the Times since its inception. And for the last 5 years it was the only one I subscribed to. The editorial was always top notch fair and unbiased. It seemed to catered to all of us in the sport and business not just what is going on in Kentucky. I read every issue cover to cover. And thought the new format was even better. A personal thank you for the feature you did on our farm recently it was quite an honor. My mornings are a bit out of kilter now that the Daily News is no longer waiting for me. I clicked the check mail button repeatedly Sunday morning.
    It is my hope that someone comes along picks up the pieces and put it back together again.

  • Kellye Pikul

    I am so honored to know many of the people mentioned in this article. I worked at Thoroughbred Times in the research department and as a copywriter from 1994 to 2000. I loved every minute of it. My sympathy goes out to everybody affected by this very sudden turn of events. You deserve so much better. The lack of respect shown to all of you is beyond disgusting. The more I think about how it was handled, the madder I get. My hope is that you all find a way to continue to do what you do so well, and what you all love so much. You have contributed great things to the thoroughbred world. That cannot be taken away from you.

    Best wishes,
    Kellye

  • Kellye Pikul

    I am so honored to know many of the people mentioned in this article. I worked at Thoroughbred Times in the research department and as a copywriter from 1994 to 2000. I loved every minute of it. My sympathy goes out to everybody affected by this very sudden turn of events. You deserve so much better. The lack of respect shown to all of you is beyond disgusting. The more I think about how it was handled, the madder I get. My hope is that you all find a way to continue to do what you do so well, and what you all love so much. You have contributed great things to the thoroughbred world. That cannot be taken away from you.

    Best wishes,
    Kellye

  • Alison Thompson

    Excellent journalism. It will be missed. I hope another door will soon open for the many who brought us this publication. Thank you all. (and thanks for rembering John Harrell who was a great donor of his racing blood and a superlative person).

  • Alison Thompson

    Excellent journalism. It will be missed. I hope another door will soon open for the many who brought us this publication. Thank you all. (and thanks for rembering John Harrell who was a great donor of his racing blood and a superlative person).

  • Deanna Bowden

    Very well said, Mark. I loved my job and feel honored to have copyedited some truly great writing during my 11 years at the Times. I know good things await you, whether that’s at TTimes 2.0 or with some other venture.

  • Deanna Bowden

    Very well said, Mark. I loved my job and feel honored to have copyedited some truly great writing during my 11 years at the Times. I know good things await you, whether that’s at TTimes 2.0 or with some other venture.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/MyBig-Red/100000980578079 MyBig Red

    So sad……I pray, someone will purchase the publication and give it another chance. I enjoyed reading the Thoroughbred Times, since it was one of my favorite sources of information in Horseracing. Eveyone at TT did an outstanding job, keeping us updated on important racing news around the world. You will me missed :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/MyBig-Red/100000980578079 MyBig Red

    So sad……I pray, someone will purchase the publication and give it another chance. I enjoyed reading the Thoroughbred Times, since it was one of my favorite sources of information in Horseracing. Eveyone at TT did an outstanding job, keeping us updated on important racing news around the world. You will me missed :(

  • Bernie Dickman

    In 46 years as a turf writer, I’ve watched with great dismay as too many staunch advocates of the sport have fallen by the wayside, e. g., the NY Herald Tribune and Daily Mirror, and the Miami News, to name just a few. The loss of the Thoroughbred Times compounds the felony, and, Mark, you didn’t do it justice by calling it “terrific,” it was more than that (despite our difference of opinion a decade or two ago about whether Harry T. Mangurian Jr. should have been named “outstanding” breeder). Like the others, here’s hoping this is not the end of TT.

    Bernie Dickman 

    • Larry Ensor

      You left out The Morning Telegraph, the “other” racing form. I was just a little kid but I still remember the feeling I had when it when it folded. It just didn’t feel right…..

      • Don Reed

        I too have trouble folding newspapers.  I wish the printers would be more careful.

        (Sorry, but I can never sit still during funerals.)

        • Stanley inman

          Bravo,

  • Bernie Dickman

    In 46 years as a turf writer, I’ve watched with great dismay as too many staunch advocates of the sport have fallen by the wayside, e. g., the NY Herald Tribune and Daily Mirror, and the Miami News, to name just a few. The loss of the Thoroughbred Times compounds the felony, and, Mark, you didn’t do it justice by calling it “terrific,” it was more than that (despite our difference of opinion a decade or two ago about whether Harry T. Mangurian Jr. should have been named “outstanding” breeder). Like the others, here’s hoping this is not the end of TT.

    Bernie Dickman 

  • Don Clippinger

    The one person that Mark Simon did not mention in this thoughtful reflection was Mark Simon. Through good days and bad, Mark was always the guiding force that kept the magazine moving forward, even when the staff was being whittled down to a very hard-working few. At Thoroughbred Times, he always had the creative vision of what the magazine could and should be, and he had the steady manager’s hand that kept the publication on an even keel. 
    For myself, I truly cherish the years I spent working for Mark, first at Thoroughbred Record and then three or four tours of duty at Thoroughbred Times. (What is it that they say about a bad penny?) His knowledge of the sport and the trade magazine business were unsurpassed, and his judgments were always on the mark.
    My one regret is that he did not have the opportunity to reflect on the publication’s past on his own pages. More credit to Ray Paulick, the good-looking guy at the back of the 1990s photo, and the Paulick Report for providing Mark with the opportunity to say a fitting farewell to a unique publication.
    I don’t know if anyone will pick up the challenge and resume publication of Thoroughbred Times. It’s a different era we live in now than even 2007, when the first retrenchments began. The future clearly is electronic, in publications such as the Paulick Report. But, to quote Times correspondent Bob Wisener, we had a helluva run. 

    • wallyhorse

      Very classy write, and as others have mentioned, you deserve much of the credit for how Thoroughbred Times became the success that it did.  It also was clearly obvious you did not deserve the end you did, and hopefully, someone will step in and allow the publication to continue (Mike Repole has been suggested in other articles as someone who could do it and I agree with those who said that previously).

      • Stanley inman

        Wallyhorse,
        The repole suggestion
        was a joke, it’s called sarcasm.
        (What planet are you from, uranus?)

        • wallyhorse

          Didn’t realize that was a joke.  There are those of us who don’t say things like that unless we really mean it.

          Joke or not, it did seem like a good idea at the time.

  • Don Clippinger

    The one person that Mark Simon did not mention in this thoughtful reflection was Mark Simon. Through good days and bad, Mark was always the guiding force that kept the magazine moving forward, even when the staff was being whittled down to a very hard-working few. At Thoroughbred Times, he always had the creative vision of what the magazine could and should be, and he had the steady manager’s hand that kept the publication on an even keel. 
    For myself, I truly cherish the years I spent working for Mark, first at Thoroughbred Record and then three or four tours of duty at Thoroughbred Times. (What is it that they say about a bad penny?) His knowledge of the sport and the trade magazine business were unsurpassed, and his judgments were always on the mark.
    My one regret is that he did not have the opportunity to reflect on the publication’s past on his own pages. More credit to Ray Paulick, the good-looking guy at the back of the 1990s photo, and the Paulick Report for providing Mark with the opportunity to say a fitting farewell to a unique publication.
    I don’t know if anyone will pick up the challenge and resume publication of Thoroughbred Times. It’s a different era we live in now than even 2007, when the first retrenchments began. The future clearly is electronic, in publications such as the Paulick Report. But, to quote Times correspondent Bob Wisener, we had a helluva run. 

  • Ida Lee

    To say I was shocked when I read of the demise of the TT is to put it mildly.  But, even more troubling to me is what this means to horse racing. When a magazine like TT who provides just about everything you need to know about an industry goes down, it most certainly does not bode well for that industry. Basically, it means that less and less people are interested in what you’re writing about. Not good, not good at all…And may I take this moment to vent again…when an industry looses most of it’s superstars (Union Rags, Hansen, Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, Paynter etc etc) whether through injury or whatever, it does not bode well for that industry either. So far this year has been the pits…

  • Ida Lee

    To say I was shocked when I read of the demise of the TT is to put it mildly.  But, even more troubling to me is what this means to horse racing. When a magazine like TT who provides just about everything you need to know about an industry goes down, it most certainly does not bode well for that industry. Basically, it means that less and less people are interested in what you’re writing about. Not good, not good at all…And may I take this moment to vent again…when an industry looses most of it’s superstars (Union Rags, Hansen, Bodemeister, I’ll Have Another, Paynter etc etc) whether through injury or whatever, it does not bode well for that industry either. So far this year has been the pits…

  • Mary Lou Lee-Butte

    Mark and staff, thank you for all that you did to help Blue Grass Farms Charities.  We could always count on the Thoroughbred Times to promote our fundraising events with free ads, help from the design department, and articles to help us get the word out about our charity. While the loss of this publication will be felt throughout the industry, right now, all I can think about are the employees who have been left out in the cold.  My heart hurts for each of you.

  • Mary Lou Lee-Butte

    Mark and staff, thank you for all that you did to help Blue Grass Farms Charities.  We could always count on the Thoroughbred Times to promote our fundraising events with free ads, help from the design department, and articles to help us get the word out about our charity. While the loss of this publication will be felt throughout the industry, right now, all I can think about are the employees who have been left out in the cold.  My heart hurts for each of you.

  • Melissa Humphrey

    My 17 years at the Thoroughbred Times were sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes indifferent, sometimes tragic. But they were never boring, and the Times became my second home. Everybody there was my family, and I will miss you all dearly.

    I stayed to the bitter end because of all of you, my fellow employees, even though there were a lot of times in the last 6 months it was a real effort to convince myself to come back in after my days off. The atmosphere, to put it politely, had become toxic. However, I couldn’t stand the thought of bailing out on my friends and family, so I stayed to the bitter end and went down with the ship.

    As Don Clippinger mentioned, it really was a helluva run.

    Thanks, everybody.

  • Melissa Humphrey

    My 17 years at the Thoroughbred Times were sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes indifferent, sometimes tragic. But they were never boring, and the Times became my second home. Everybody there was my family, and I will miss you all dearly.

    I stayed to the bitter end because of all of you, my fellow employees, even though there were a lot of times in the last 6 months it was a real effort to convince myself to come back in after my days off. The atmosphere, to put it politely, had become toxic. However, I couldn’t stand the thought of bailing out on my friends and family, so I stayed to the bitter end and went down with the ship.

    As Don Clippinger mentioned, it really was a helluva run.

    Thanks, everybody.

  • Larry Ensor

    You left out The Morning Telegraph, the “other” racing form. I was just a little kid but I still remember the feeling I had when it when it folded. It just didn’t feel right…..

  • Scott Rion

    Well said Don. Mark Simon is the Thoroughbred Times, the face of the publication, and the backbone. It takes a lot of backbone to withstand the many, many changes over the years. Several owners, very different owners I might add, and Mark was always up to the challenge. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked past his office wanting to talk about another idea in my head, but I couldn’t interrupt him because he was pounding out copy. Mark, I’m pleased you had a chance to say a proper good-bye. I hope our paths cross again.

    Scott Rion

  • Scott Rion

    Well said Don. Mark Simon is the Thoroughbred Times, the face of the publication, and the backbone. It takes a lot of backbone to withstand the many, many changes over the years. Several owners, very different owners I might add, and Mark was always up to the challenge. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked past his office wanting to talk about another idea in my head, but I couldn’t interrupt him because he was pounding out copy. Mark, I’m pleased you had a chance to say a proper good-bye. I hope our paths cross again.

    Scott Rion

  • wallyhorse

    Very classy write, and as others have mentioned, you deserve much of the credit for how Thoroughbred Times became the success that it did.  It also was clearly obvious you did not deserve the end you did, and hopefully, someone will step in and allow the publication to continue (Mike Repole has been suggested in other articles as someone who could do it and I agree with those who said that previously).

  • wallyhorse

    Which shows how few men (relatively speaking) have mustaches anymore, and most who do are now older.  You can also tell how different the fashions were when that picture was taken in 1990 as opposed to now for instance.

  • Alvan124

    As a relatively newcomer to the sport, the thing that frustrates me more than anything is the association of a personality to follow. 2011 brought Hansen, a horse that should have excelled, but appears to be mis-managed for the derby run and an owner that wants the glitz and glamour, and if the horse doesn’t win, blame the trainer. This year, the big names are dropping like flies, either to persue a breeding career, or they were injured. Just a shame, so who do I root for? Who does the gen pop root for? Hell this years breeders cup may be filled with allowance racers. Nothing wrong with that, but I like football, but if there is no fantasy implications, no money on the game, and my team not in the game, I don’t really care. And people who watch racing don’t bet on every race and enjoy the sport of kings. Too many kings to keep up with.

    • Ejb3810

       I have subscribed to both the “Blood Horse” and “Thoroughbred Times” print editions in the past, although not in the last couple of years. It was always my impression, at that time, that the “Blood Horse” was a better source.  However, in the last couple of years I have read the internet editions of both publications and was far more impressed with the content and layout of the “Thoroughbred Times” publication.
      A publication such as these lives or dies with the advertising revenue that it is able to generate?  The sales department is as important as the creative and reporting functions.  I believe there has been a long term bias within the industry toward the “Blood Horse”, probably based more on political and long term relationship aspects than much else?
      It is unfortunate to hear of it’s demise, and I hope that it can be reorganized and people find a viable source of employment.

  • Alvan124

    As a relatively newcomer to the sport, the thing that frustrates me more than anything is the association of a personality to follow. 2011 brought Hansen, a horse that should have excelled, but appears to be mis-managed for the derby run and an owner that wants the glitz and glamour, and if the horse doesn’t win, blame the trainer. This year, the big names are dropping like flies, either to persue a breeding career, or they were injured. Just a shame, so who do I root for? Who does the gen pop root for? Hell this years breeders cup may be filled with allowance racers. Nothing wrong with that, but I like football, but if there is no fantasy implications, no money on the game, and my team not in the game, I don’t really care. And people who watch racing don’t bet on every race and enjoy the sport of kings. Too many kings to keep up with.

  • Don Reed

    I too have trouble folding newspapers.  I wish the printers would be more careful.

    (Sorry, but I can never sit still during funerals.)

  • Don Reed

    What a rogue!  Obviously crashed the party.  Riff-raff.

  • Ejb3810

     I have subscribed to both the “Blood Horse” and “Thoroughbred Times” print editions in the past, although not in the last couple of years. It was always my impression, at that time, that the “Blood Horse” was a better source.  However, in the last couple of years I have read the internet editions of both publications and was far more impressed with the content and layout of the “Thoroughbred Times” publication.
    A publication such as these lives or dies with the advertising revenue that it is able to generate?  The sales department is as important as the creative and reporting functions.  I believe there has been a long term bias within the industry toward the “Blood Horse”, probably based more on political and long term relationship aspects than much else?
    It is unfortunate to hear of it’s demise, and I hope that it can be reorganized and people find a viable source of employment.

  • Concerned observer

    This article is a memorial to the fallen magazine. All the fallen farms and stables did not get such a hallowed tribute.

    To the  fewer and fewer  remaining horsemen.
    We all  need to quit whining about the end of a magazine and start doing something about the end of the sport. This is just a “wake up call”.

    Especially, all the periferal hangers-on are going to get a rude awakening… if nothing changes over the next few years.

  • Concerned observer

    This article is a memorial to the fallen magazine. All the fallen farms and stables did not get such a hallowed tribute.

    To the  fewer and fewer  remaining horsemen.
    We all  need to quit whining about the end of a magazine and start doing something about the end of the sport. This is just a “wake up call”.

    Especially, all the periferal hangers-on are going to get a rude awakening… if nothing changes over the next few years.

  • Tammy

    Sad day.
    subscribed to the Thoroughbred Record, then the Thoroughbred Times which
    became one of the best horse publications anywhere. my Mailbox is not the same
    without my issue of Today in it. We can hope someone will buy the Times and keep
    its legacy going.

    Thanks to all the staff. your work was appreciated by many.
    I

  • Tammy

    Sad day.
    subscribed to the Thoroughbred Record, then the Thoroughbred Times which
    became one of the best horse publications anywhere. my Mailbox is not the same
    without my issue of Today in it. We can hope someone will buy the Times and keep
    its legacy going.

    Thanks to all the staff. your work was appreciated by many.
    I

  • Lparkerfedak

    As as a former subscriber who had to give up this publication due to job layoff and lack of funds, I am heartsick! I really enjoyed every issue, and was treated by extremely friendly and helpful customer service people whenever I had a question or was missing issues. Another great equine magazine bites the dust… I just don’t know what to say. Except that I hope everyone survives this and good luck to you all. I really hope that things change for the better and the Times can come back. And if it does, please bring back as many former employees as possible!!! God bless you all.

  • Lparkerfedak

    As as a former subscriber who had to give up this publication due to job layoff and lack of funds, I am heartsick! I really enjoyed every issue, and was treated by extremely friendly and helpful customer service people whenever I had a question or was missing issues. Another great equine magazine bites the dust… I just don’t know what to say. Except that I hope everyone survives this and good luck to you all. I really hope that things change for the better and the Times can come back. And if it does, please bring back as many former employees as possible!!! God bless you all.

  • Kates Race

    Mark Simon you are one classy guy. Obviously more so than Mr. Ridker. Times is a one of a kind product. I am certain that someone with some foresight will bring this back to us. I have every confidence that we will be hearing from you and your EXCELLENT staff very soon. Raise your glass, here’s to hope!

  • Kates Race

    Mark Simon you are one classy guy. Obviously more so than Mr. Ridker. Times is a one of a kind product. I am certain that someone with some foresight will bring this back to us. I have every confidence that we will be hearing from you and your EXCELLENT staff very soon. Raise your glass, here’s to hope!

  • Jon Luman

     It’s one of the great oddities of our time… nobody wants to do anything different, yet the world seems to be in a constant state of change. It seems to me that Thoroughbred Times is being buried alive here.

    What is stopping you from circulating the Enewsletter and building that subscriber base to the point that the TT former employees can buy the TT assets and bring back the monthly magazine.

    Instead of the internet killing TT, it could be bringing it back, and taking horse racing to new hieghts. There is no longer any obstruction between the producers of Thoroughbred Times, and the consumers of it.

    • Don Reed

      “Nobody wants to do anything different[ly]…”

      The story is about why TT will be missed, and one reason why this is so is that it featured great writing. 

      If we can’t match it, let’s not insult it.

  • Jon Luman

     It’s one of the great oddities of our time… nobody wants to do anything different, yet the world seems to be in a constant state of change. It seems to me that Thoroughbred Times is being buried alive here.

    What is stopping you from circulating the Enewsletter and building that subscriber base to the point that the TT former employees can buy the TT assets and bring back the monthly magazine.

    Instead of the internet killing TT, it could be bringing it back, and taking horse racing to new hieghts. There is no longer any obstruction between the producers of Thoroughbred Times, and the consumers of it.

  • Rufus T Firefly

    I cannot speak to the first decade of BowTie’s ownership of TTimes–obviously circulation increased substantially and there were many years of healthy profits. However, during the past half-decade as technological innovation intensified and social media became central to news delivery, BowTie’s corporate indifference to both hampered TTimes. The company’s web-oriented achievements during this time (from breaking Barbaro’s passing to recent high-quality “It’s My Job” series) are borderline miraculous considering the primitive tools TTimes was supplied with.

    In general, BowTie was an absentee owner in every sense of the word–most directly the one relating to what my grandmother used to call a state of “non compos mentis.” The owner and his West Coast sycophants were content to ride the irrational exuberance of the bloodstock market during the mid-aughts and did make several expense-reducing moves when the recession struck (such as laying off employees during medical leave and maternity leave) in an attempt to stay out the market dip, but overall during my observation BowTie seemed to regard the Thoroughbred industry the way too many trainers at the most recent Aqueduct meet regarded their claiming horses.

    Thoroughbred Times always stood out from their other publications, as BowTie’s “specialty” over the decades was and is in celebrating, via the written word, the frolicking of house pets as opposed to reporting on an international sport and investigating with a critical eye a multifaceted entertainment/agribusiness industry.

    Still, as others below have noted, the infrastructure for a top-flight industry news organization remains. A cursory examination of the bankruptcy filing reveals that if the owner did not place TTimes in debt to himself and his other entities–i.e., if he hadn’t ransacked the company ledger to help stave off disaster for his overall portfolio–the company would still be in business.

    Change the magazine to a monthly, feature publication as per Mr. Irwin’s suggestion, revamp the newsletter, make a more substantial investment in technology/web elements… TTimes could rise again. The dedication and passion for the Thoroughbred industry that was evident every day among the Lexington staff, under the leadership of a like-minded owner, could work wonders.

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      new format is the BOMB Baby!!!…a little more History on ”THE GAME” & all its Charming Stories wouldn’t hurt…ty…

  • Rufus T Firefly

    I cannot speak to the first decade of BowTie’s ownership of TTimes–obviously circulation increased substantially and there were many years of healthy profits. However, during the past half-decade as technological innovation intensified and social media became central to news delivery, BowTie’s corporate indifference to both hampered TTimes. The company’s web-oriented achievements during this time (from breaking Barbaro’s passing to recent high-quality “It’s My Job” series) are borderline miraculous considering the primitive tools TTimes was supplied with.

    In general, BowTie was an absentee owner in every sense of the word–most directly the one relating to what my grandmother used to call a state of “non compos mentis.” The owner and his West Coast sycophants were content to ride the irrational exuberance of the bloodstock market during the mid-aughts and did make several expense-reducing moves when the recession struck (such as laying off employees during medical leave and maternity leave) in an attempt to stay out the market dip, but overall during my observation BowTie seemed to regard the Thoroughbred industry the way too many trainers at the most recent Aqueduct meet regarded their claiming horses.

    Thoroughbred Times always stood out from their other publications, as BowTie’s “specialty” over the decades was and is in celebrating, via the written word, the frolicking of house pets as opposed to reporting on an international sport and investigating with a critical eye a multifaceted entertainment/agribusiness industry.

    Still, as others below have noted, the infrastructure for a top-flight industry news organization remains. A cursory examination of the bankruptcy filing reveals that if the owner did not place TTimes in debt to himself and his other entities–i.e., if he hadn’t ransacked the company ledger to help stave off disaster for his overall portfolio–the company would still be in business.

    Change the magazine to a monthly, feature publication as per Mr. Irwin’s suggestion, revamp the newsletter, make a more substantial investment in technology/web elements… TTimes could rise again. The dedication and passion for the Thoroughbred industry that was evident every day among the Lexington staff, under the leadership of a like-minded owner, could work wonders.

  • Don Reed

    “Nobody wants to do anything different[ly]…”

    The story is about why TT will be missed, and one reason why this is so is that it featured great writing. 

    If we can’t match it, let’s not insult it.

  • Don Reed

    Why not corral Steve Crist, Charlie Hayworth [sic?], & Mike Repole for a resurrection? 

    The first man named might just be itching to do something different after all these years.  And in an industry infamous for attracting sets and groups of useless prima donnas that can’t work with each other, Crist and Hayworth’s past successful partnership stands out quite clearly. 

    Hopefully, in the past, the 2nd man’s chemistry with the 3rd man has been good.

    (If Repole isn’t up for the gamble, then see if Orson Welles is still bouncing about.)  

    Seriously, if Repole is intent upon giving the KY Derby a run for its money by trying to instuitute a rival Triple Crown series of races, owning his own media platform would have to be an essential component of any such plan.

  • Don Reed

    Why not corral Steve Crist, Charlie Hayworth [sic?], & Mike Repole for a resurrection? 

    The first man named might just be itching to do something different after all these years.  And in an industry infamous for attracting sets and groups of useless prima donnas that can’t work with each other, Crist and Hayworth’s past successful partnership stands out quite clearly. 

    Hopefully, in the past, the 2nd man’s chemistry with the 3rd man has been good.

    (If Repole isn’t up for the gamble, then see if Orson Welles is still bouncing about.)  

    Seriously, if Repole is intent upon giving the KY Derby a run for its money by trying to instuitute a rival Triple Crown series of races, owning his own media platform would have to be an essential component of any such plan.

  • John Scheinman

    When the Thoroughbred Times announced its bankruptcy, I wrote a blistering letter to Mark expressing the anger and frustration of a freelance writer who had not gotten paid. I did my best to make sure it cut well. The grumbling among the ranks had been going on for a long time, and writers around the tracks regularly asked each other, “When was the last time you saw any money?”

    Many promises and assurances were made and not kept, many polite inquiries about getting compensated for work were ignored. When this goes on across a couple years, it is demoralizing for a freelancer. It also fouls up your taxes. The work I continued to do, I gave it my professional best, but I became far less aggressive in developing stories than in the past because the Thoroughbred Times was swirling in a morass.

    When the bankruptcy petition recently was released, the list of who was owed what became available for all to see, and I felt lucky to come away comparatively unscathed. Some writers are out more than $4,000 and there was a daunting list of others awaiting outstanding pay.

    Assignments continued to be passed out virtually up until the end, and some writers, against their better judgment, continued to take the work.

    This evening I had a conversation about all this with someone whose wisdom I value deeply. What she said was: “You have no clue how hard he was fighting behind the scenes to
    get you paid, and they were probably telling him that you would get paid any day
    now. Sounds like no one there knew how bad it really was. He was likely duped
    too. And does he have a job now?” Then I came onto Ray’s site and saw this column by Mark, taking a final bow for the Thoroughbred Times and passing out thanks, and it moved me to sadness. Suddenly I felt misgivings. Had I been wrong to send my barbed letter? Was I not seeing the picture correctly? Was I not shading the situation with the nuance it deserved? What I know is that the trouble with money was not articulated candidly to the freelance writers. Yet we all could see the staff departing – those people are our friends and colleagues – so it’s not like any of us were ignorant to the issues at hand.
    Right now, however, I am no longer confident that Mark and company weren’t doing their level best to do right by us. So, I would like to apologize publicly on here to Mark for what I wrote him, hoping he will see this, because I did not give him the benefit of the doubt. If he was in there swinging for us and trying to save the Thoroughbred Times, he deserves thanks. 
    The truth, we don’t always know. I do, however, know this: The people I worked with at the Thoroughbred Times really knew what they were doing. They made for a crack outfit that relished all aspects of our sport and it showed in the product. They lived their jobs with gusto. We all know racing is the greatest game, and I remain proud to have been a part of that team. My heart goes out to the readers because they’re the ones who lose a friend. And my best wishes for a smooth landing to all who have lost their jobs. I met some of my favorite people through the Thoroughbred Times and did some work I am proud of. I’m lucky for that.

    • Mary Simon

      John,
      Thank you for that. You have no idea … I watched my husband die by inches this past year, fighting every which way he knew how on behalf of correspondents, freelancers, and staff–all while trying turn out a high quality product. Which the Times was, against monstrous odds, right to the bitter end.  … The lies and deceit coming out of California on a daily basis, the un-returned phone calls, the mystery of the disappearing accounts receivables, the burden of having to subsidize not only the Times, but four other BowTie magazines that landed in our building, the constant, constant worry … were taking their toll on one of the best human beings I’ve ever known. As an irate, overwrought wife, I told Mark several times to just walk away … to tell Ridker he could take an express elevator to hell for what he was doing to a great publication, and more importantly, to a great group of people–including the best correspondents and photographers in the business. Mark’s sense of honor and responsibility wouldn’t allow him the coward’s way out, so he continued on, doing his best right up to the minute that Fed-Ex form letter landed on our front porch. In fact, he’s still on the job … not in a literal sense, of course, but it’s going to get interesting from here on out. Oh, and this will thrill you all–Norman’s put himself in line with the rest of us unpaid correspondents. I’m personally owed $14,000 according to the books–and that doesn’t count the past year and a half when I voluntarily worked for no pay to help the company. Think I’m pissed? You betcha. Stay tuned.)

      • John Scheinman

         Funny how I’ve received emails from insiders since writing this that I should not believe the hype and that the freelancers weren’t being fought for that hard after all. Very confusing situation to know who to trust, and I always want to take the high road and believe the best in people . . . I’m very troubled by the entire situation and don’t want to see anyone – even on here – glorified or put into the Hall of Fame for anything they don’t deserve. I do know there is plenty blame to go around and my normally sharp instincts are having an unusually difficult time knowing where to lay it.

        • Mary Simon

           Boy, John, I’d love to know who those “insiders” were, though I know you’d never betray your friends. Clearly, they had no idea what they were talking about, and they can join Norman on his express elevator to hell …  I hope they do. Karma’s a bitch.

        • Mary Simon

           Oh, John. Shame on you. And shame on those “insiders” who said such things. I was closer to all of this than anyone else. You can believe what you want. I simply can’t imagine why anyone, “insider” or not, would say what you posted above, unless they’re just mean-spirited, hateful and bitter individuals. They can join Norman in his express elevator, for all I care.

          • Mary Simon

             Again, it’s easy to be vicious under the veil of anonymity. Cowards who say ugly and unfair things about people who don’t deserve it, then hide behind a pseudonym, or are described simply as “insiders.” Why protect these people, John. Who said this? Allow us to respond to them in kind.

          • Mary Simon

            I have a pretty good idea who at least one “insider” might be. And trust me, if it’s who I think it is, this person has a longtime reputation as a chronic and mean-spirited complainer, a bitter, self-pitying piece of work who can and will stab people in the back with no qualms whatsoever. This person is all of those things–I’ve been around said person for years–but  certainly not an “insider.” I’m so tempted to out this person … but hey, no worries. Rest easy, my friend.

          • Don Reed

            Mary!  STOP.  Take a 24 hour break from this fiasco.  John is a reputable person who would never harm anyone or be a gullible conduit for  baseless rumors.

            Hop in the car, go out for dinner or just for a drive, clear your head, get away from that computer terminal.  Take 48 hours.  You deserve a rest from the hurricane, the origin of which you did not create, but must withstand.

          • Mary Simon

             Don–I did just what you suggested. And I know John’s a good person … and Mark respects him very much. Clearly, the trust isn’t returned. … You say John wouldn’t be a gullible conduit for baseless rumors–and yet, he freely passed them on in a public forum. Does this mean that you believe them, since they couldn’t possibly be baseless?

        • Barbara

          John, I have worked freelance most of my career. If someone doesn’t pay me, I stop working for them.  End. As for this public airing of dirty laundry here, I have no doubt that Mark “fought” for the freelancers to be paid, hell, he stuck around himself and is left between him and his wife with almost 30k out and NO JOB. Your apology, but oh, wait, maybe not, is pointless and beneath you.

          And who cares who is to “blame”? Clearly in the end, the blame goes to the guy that owned the mismanaged company, not to his loyal employes that tried to keep the ship afloat. As for any ignored calls or emails among so many where Mark would have to repeat himself for the umpteenth time, give the guy a break. Now that they have declared BR, all of the freelancers can move on and stop worrying about whether or when you will get paid (you won’t) and who’s fault it is. (Possibly your own. For continuing to work beyond a reasonable point for an entity that owed you that much money. Although I saw that list, too, and as you note, some of the amounts owed are jaw dropping for a niche sport freelance writer to absorb.)

      • Ida Lee

        It was painful reading your husband’s story of the demise of this wonderful magazine and reading your comments gave me a little more of a personal insight into how all this came about and how it affected you and your husband and what misery you have been living under for way too long. But, one thing for sure, your love and admiration for your husband is obvious. I wish the best for you both.

    • Larry Ensor

      No disrespect but now you know first hand what many of us that train and or raise/board horses have had to deal with the last few years. Promised checks that never show up. Horses walked away from and left with the farm owners to look after and deal with. Suppliers ragging that they haven’t been paid, etc. At least the meter has stopped spinning for you guys. We still have to feed and care for until something is worked out, like getting title so as to be able to give away if we are that lucky. IME nobody walks away from a horses that are worth more then they owe.

  • John Scheinman

    When the Thoroughbred Times announced its bankruptcy, I wrote a blistering letter to Mark expressing the anger and frustration of a freelance writer who had not gotten paid. I did my best to make sure it cut well. The grumbling among the ranks had been going on for a long time, and writers around the tracks regularly asked each other, “When was the last time you saw any money?”

    Many promises and assurances were made and not kept, many polite inquiries about getting compensated for work were ignored. When this goes on across a couple years, it is demoralizing for a freelancer. It also fouls up your taxes. The work I continued to do, I gave it my professional best, but I became far less aggressive in developing stories than in the past because the Thoroughbred Times was swirling in a morass.

    When the bankruptcy petition recently was released, the list of who was owed what became available for all to see, and I felt lucky to come away comparatively unscathed. Some writers are out more than $4,000 and there was a daunting list of others awaiting outstanding pay.

    Assignments continued to be passed out virtually up until the end, and some writers, against their better judgment, continued to take the work.

    This evening I had a conversation about all this with someone whose wisdom I value deeply. What she said was: “You have no clue how hard he was fighting behind the scenes to
    get you paid, and they were probably telling him that you would get paid any day
    now. Sounds like no one there knew how bad it really was. He was likely duped
    too. And does he have a job now?” Then I came onto Ray’s site and saw this column by Mark, taking a final bow for the Thoroughbred Times and passing out thanks, and it moved me to sadness. Suddenly I felt misgivings. Had I been wrong to send my barbed letter? Was I not seeing the picture correctly? Was I not shading the situation with the nuance it deserved? What I know is that the trouble with money was not articulated candidly to the freelance writers. Yet we all could see the staff departing – those people are our friends and colleagues – so it’s not like any of us were ignorant to the issues at hand.
    Right now, however, I am no longer confident that Mark and company weren’t doing their level best to do right by us. So, I would like to apologize publicly on here to Mark for what I wrote him, hoping he will see this, because I did not give him the benefit of the doubt. If he was in there swinging for us and trying to save the Thoroughbred Times, he deserves thanks. 
    The truth, we don’t always know. I do, however, know this: The people I worked with at the Thoroughbred Times really knew what they were doing. They made for a crack outfit that relished all aspects of our sport and it showed in the product. They lived their jobs with gusto. We all know racing is the greatest game, and I remain proud to have been a part of that team. My heart goes out to the readers because they’re the ones who lose a friend. And my best wishes for a smooth landing to all who have lost their jobs. I met some of my favorite people through the Thoroughbred Times and did some work I am proud of. I’m lucky for that.

  • http://twitter.com/Equarius_Bldstk Alistair Brown

    Well written Mark!

    I fervently hope that, like the Phoenix, a new ‘version’ of the Thoroughbred Times will arise from the ashes of the old, and that the demise was not, as Mark Simon feared, “one step closer to extinction”!

    Mark Simon is right – the industry does need a medium that will convey, to the world,  the beauty, passion, and excitement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing.

    From conception, foaling, the early years on the farm, to the track, and, hopefully, the winners enclosure – and then beyond – few sports offer so much scope for capturing and captivating new followers as does the world of the Thoroughbred!

    According to legend “the Phoenix is a bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and
    scarlet” – here’s hoping that something is stirring in those ashes, and that what will arise will be as spectacular!

  • http://twitter.com/Equarius_Bldstk Alistair Brown

    Well written Mark!

    I fervently hope that, like the Phoenix, a new ‘version’ of the Thoroughbred Times will arise from the ashes of the old, and that the demise was not, as Mark Simon feared, “one step closer to extinction”!

    Mark Simon is right – the industry does need a medium that will convey, to the world,  the beauty, passion, and excitement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing.

    From conception, foaling, the early years on the farm, to the track, and, hopefully, the winners enclosure – and then beyond – few sports offer so much scope for capturing and captivating new followers as does the world of the Thoroughbred!

    According to legend “the Phoenix is a bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and
    scarlet” – here’s hoping that something is stirring in those ashes, and that what will arise will be as spectacular!

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    new format is the BOMB Baby!!!…a little more History on ”THE GAME” & all its Charming Stories wouldn’t hurt…ty…

  • Mary Simon

    John,
    Thank you for that. You have no idea … I watched my husband die by inches this past year, fighting every which way he knew how on behalf of correspondents, freelancers, and staff–all while trying turn out a high quality product. Which the Times was, against monstrous odds, right to the bitter end.  … The lies and deceit coming out of California on a daily basis, the un-returned phone calls, the mystery of the disappearing accounts receivables, the burden of having to subsidize not only the Times, but four other BowTie magazines that landed in our building, the constant, constant worry … were taking their toll on one of the best human beings I’ve ever known. As an irate, overwrought wife, I told Mark several times to just walk away … to tell Ridker he could take an express elevator to hell for what he was doing to a great publication, and more importantly, to a great group of people–including the best correspondents and photographers in the business. Mark’s sense of honor and responsibility wouldn’t allow him the coward’s way out, so he continued on, doing his best right up to the minute that Fed-Ex form letter landed on our front porch. In fact, he’s still on the job … not in a literal sense, of course, but it’s going to get interesting from here on out. Oh, and this will thrill you all–Norman’s put himself in line with the rest of us unpaid correspondents. I’m personally owed $14,000 according to the books–and that doesn’t count the past year and a half when I voluntarily worked for no pay to help the company. Think I’m pissed? You betcha. Stay tuned.)

  • John Scheinman

     Funny how I’ve received emails from insiders since writing this that I should not believe the hype and that the freelancers weren’t being fought for that hard after all. Very confusing situation to know who to trust, and I always want to take the high road and believe the best in people . . . I’m very troubled by the entire situation and don’t want to see anyone – even on here – glorified or put into the Hall of Fame for anything they don’t deserve. I do know there is plenty blame to go around and my normally sharp instincts are having an unusually difficult time knowing where to lay it.

  • Ida Lee

    It was painful reading your husband’s story of the demise of this wonderful magazine and reading your comments gave me a little more of a personal insight into how all this came about and how it affected you and your husband and what misery you have been living under for way too long. But, one thing for sure, your love and admiration for your husband is obvious. I wish the best for you both.

  • Larry Ensor

    No disrespect but now you know first hand what many of us that train and or raise/board horses have had to deal with the last few years. Promised checks that never show up. Horses walked away from and left with the farm owners to look after and deal with. Suppliers ragging that they haven’t been paid, etc. At least the meter has stopped spinning for you guys. We still have to feed and care for until something is worked out, like getting title so as to be able to give away if we are that lucky. IME nobody walks away from a horses that are worth more then they owe.

  • Don Reed

    April 23, 1966.  The Herald Tribune
    is shutting down.  From “The Paper,
    The Life & Death of The New York
    Herald Tribune,” Richard Kluger (p. 733):

    “[James] Bellows [the last NYHT editor] from [Washington] Bureau:

    “For I am already being offered & the time of my departure is
    come.  I have fought the good fight, I
    have finished the course, I have kept the faith.   II. TIMOTHY 4:6″ — 3:23 pm

    “To New York Herald Tribune, New York City:

    “How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I shall but love thee
    better after death.  ELIZABETH BARRETT
    BROWNING…” — 3:32 pm

    “To everyone in New York:
    I will instruct my sorrows to be proud: for grief is proud, & makes his
    owner stoop.  WILLIAM
    SHAKESPEARE…” — 4:24 pm

    “SS New York
    from SS Washington Bureau:

    “We are taking on water slowly. 
    Power almost gone.  List
    increasing.  Understand your situation
    similar. Morale good here, considering. 
    Reports some drinking below decks, but crew still loyal & mutiny
    unthinkable.  Some fear about casting off
    in lifeboats on icy seas, unknown waters. 

    “But what the hell.  She’s been
    a good old ship which kept afloat long after finks ashore said she was doomed
    to sink.  So down we go, lads, but with
    our ensigns flying & guns firing.  Go
    to hell, New York Times… & may truth in print, & honesty in
    reporting, & integrity in publishing reign
    foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…” — 5:10 pm

    • Stanley inman

      Don,
      My nomination for best ever post on paulick report.
      Brilliant

    • Yo soy fiesta

      Damn Don! You are on one brother. That’s some good stuff. Now get back to snide attacks on integrity of other posters (yes desertrailrat is dead, prefer my non gramatically correct new handle, also have been using my droid instead of laptop). SERIOUSLY though, just awesome all the way around Don. I used to drive to the University area newsstand to get TT, and somebody needs to make this right. Hey Repole, pull this off and I’ll buy a bag of Pirate’s Booty per week. I’ll put that in writing. And to all the great writers and staffers, make the best of this time. Decompress, enjoy the things a hectic media job makes you miss out on and sometimes forget. Go fishing (Dale Hollow!), drink (Boulder Mojo IPA is my new fave), sit on that beautiful Kentucky grass with your dog, it will get better!

      • Mary Simon

         Whoever you are, Yo, I like you. Your post made me smile for the first time today.

  • Don Reed

    April 23, 1966.  The Herald Tribune
    is shutting down.  From “The Paper,
    The Life & Death of The New York
    Herald Tribune,” Richard Kluger (p. 733):

    “[James] Bellows [the last NYHT editor] from [Washington] Bureau:

    “For I am already being offered & the time of my departure is
    come.  I have fought the good fight, I
    have finished the course, I have kept the faith.   II. TIMOTHY 4:6″ — 3:23 pm

    “To New York Herald Tribune, New York City:

    “How Do I love thee? Let me count the ways… I shall but love thee
    better after death.  ELIZABETH BARRETT
    BROWNING…” — 3:32 pm

    “To everyone in New York:
    I will instruct my sorrows to be proud: for grief is proud, & makes his
    owner stoop.  WILLIAM
    SHAKESPEARE…” — 4:24 pm

    “SS New York
    from SS Washington Bureau:

    “We are taking on water slowly. 
    Power almost gone.  List
    increasing.  Understand your situation
    similar. Morale good here, considering. 
    Reports some drinking below decks, but crew still loyal & mutiny
    unthinkable.  Some fear about casting off
    in lifeboats on icy seas, unknown waters. 

    “But what the hell.  She’s been
    a good old ship which kept afloat long after finks ashore said she was doomed
    to sink.  So down we go, lads, but with
    our ensigns flying & guns firing.  Go
    to hell, New York Times… & may truth in print, & honesty in
    reporting, & integrity in publishing reign
    foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…” — 5:10 pm

  • Mary Simon

     Boy, John, I’d love to know who those “insiders” were, though I know you’d never betray your friends. Clearly, they had no idea what they were talking about, and they can join Norman on his express elevator to hell …  I hope they do. Karma’s a bitch.

  • Mary Simon

     Oh, John. Shame on you. And shame on those “insiders” who said such things. I was closer to all of this than anyone else. You can believe what you want. I simply can’t imagine why anyone, “insider” or not, would say what you posted above, unless they’re just mean-spirited, hateful and bitter individuals. They can join Norman in his express elevator, for all I care.

  • Mary Simon

     Again, it’s easy to be vicious under the veil of anonymity. Cowards who say ugly and unfair things about people who don’t deserve it, then hide behind a pseudonym, or are described simply as “insiders.” Why protect these people, John. Who said this? Allow us to respond to them in kind.

  • Mary Simon

    I have a pretty good idea who at least one “insider” might be. And trust me, if it’s who I think it is, this person has a longtime reputation as a chronic and mean-spirited complainer, a bitter, self-pitying piece of work who can and will stab people in the back with no qualms whatsoever. This person is all of those things–I’ve been around said person for years–but  certainly not an “insider.” I’m so tempted to out this person … but hey, no worries. Rest easy, my friend.

  • Seawave121

    REALLY REALLY Sad to see this.. this Magazine was truly Frist Class!
    I went to it Immediately if I needed any  info on Over Seas Racing.. I and many
    others will be lost now.. really sorry for this.

  • Seawave121

    REALLY REALLY Sad to see this.. this Magazine was truly Frist Class!
    I went to it Immediately if I needed any  info on Over Seas Racing.. I and many
    others will be lost now.. really sorry for this.

  • Don Reed

    Mary!  STOP.  Take a 24 hour break from this fiasco.  John is a reputable person who would never harm anyone or be a gullible conduit for  baseless rumors.

    Hop in the car, go out for dinner or just for a drive, clear your head, get away from that computer terminal.  Take 48 hours.  You deserve a rest from the hurricane, the origin of which you did not create, but must withstand.

  • Jamie A Murphy

    those (deleted) let me pay for a subscription last week and 5 days later they close down.  am i out the money they charged me?

    • Don Reed

      Unfortunately, considering the odious tone of your message, you didn’t subscribe for a non-refundable ten years.

    • RayPaulick

      Jamie. If I were a betting man, I’d say you are out $49.95 or whatever the subscription rate was. The (Deleted) you may have talked with is likely out of a job, and I am certain that the person had zero knowledge that the end was imminent. I’m not sure that person deserved being called a (deleted).

      • Mary Simon

         By the way, Ray, the actual “word” used by Jamie came through in the email. Person couldn’t even spell a simple profanity correctly.

      • http://twitter.com/EJXD2 Ed DeRosa

        It’s unlikely that the person who took the subscription out of a job since fulfillment moved out of the TTimes office, but you’re right that it’s doubtful s/he knew the end was nigh.

        • Mary Simon

           How come Ed’s name gets to be in red?  I know he’s special, but what about ME?  :)

    • Mary Simon

       Take it to Norman Ridker, Jamie. But then again, don’t. He really doesn’t have time or concern for the likes of you … or me. Or any of the staff who lost their jobs on Friday. Or the correspondents he so royally ***** over. (I know Ray wouldn’t let me say want I wanted to here, but you can fill in the blank.) I hate to be the one to tell you Jamie, but you simply aren’t the center of the universe, the world won’t spin off its axis, and the sun won’t rise and set on your $49.95 loss. Stop behaving like a self-centered jackass and try to act like a real human being, one possessed of at least an iota of class and heart. If you’re capable.

  • Jamie A Murphy

    those (Deleted) let me pay for a subscription last week and 5 days later they close down.  am i out the money they charged me?

  • Stanley inman

    Wallyhorse,
    The repole suggestion
    was a joke, it’s called sarcasm.
    (What planet are you from, uranus?)

  • Don Reed

    Unfortunately, considering the odious tone of your message, you didn’t subscribe for a non-refundable ten years.

  • RayPaulick

    Jamie. If I were a betting man, I’d say you are out $49.95 or whatever the subscription rate was. The (Deleted) you may have talked with is likely out of a job, and I am certain that the person had zero knowledge that the end was imminent. I’m not sure that person deserved being called a (deleted).

  • Stanley inman

    Bravo,

  • Barbara

    John, I have worked freelance most of my career. If someone doesn’t pay me, I stop working for them.  End. As for this public airing of dirty laundry here, I have no doubt that Mark “fought” for the freelancers to be paid, hell, he stuck around himself and is left between him and his wife with almost 30k out and NO JOB. Your apology, but oh, wait, maybe not, is pointless and beneath you.

    And who cares who is to “blame”? Clearly in the end, the blame goes to the guy that owned the mismanaged company, not to his loyal employes that tried to keep the ship afloat. As for any ignored calls or emails among so many where Mark would have to repeat himself for the umpteenth time, give the guy a break. Now that they have declared BR, all of the freelancers can move on and stop worrying about whether or when you will get paid (you won’t) and who’s fault it is. (Possibly your own. For continuing to work beyond a reasonable point for an entity that owed you that much money. Although I saw that list, too, and as you note, some of the amounts owed are jaw dropping for a niche sport freelance writer to absorb.)

  • Stanley inman

    Don,
    My nomination for best ever post on paulick report.
    Brilliant

  • Mary Simon

     Take it to Norman Ridker, Jamie. But then again, don’t. He really doesn’t have time or concern for the likes of you … or me. Or any of the staff who lost their jobs on Friday. Or the correspondents he so royally ***** over. (I know Ray wouldn’t let me say want I wanted to here, but you can fill in the blank.) I hate to be the one to tell you Jamie, but you simply aren’t the center of the universe, the world won’t spin off its axis, and the sun won’t rise and set on your $49.95 loss. Stop behaving like a self-centered jackass and try to act like a real human being, one possessed of at least an iota of class and heart. If you’re capable.

  • Mary Simon

     Don–I did just what you suggested. And I know John’s a good person … and Mark respects him very much. Clearly, the trust isn’t returned. … You say John wouldn’t be a gullible conduit for baseless rumors–and yet, he freely passed them on in a public forum. Does this mean that you believe them, since they couldn’t possibly be baseless?

  • Yo soy fiesta

    Damn Don! You are on one brother. That’s some good stuff. Now get back to snide attacks on integrity of other posters (yes desertrailrat is dead, prefer my non gramatically correct new handle, also have been using my droid instead of laptop). SERIOUSLY though, just awesome all the way around Don. I used to drive to the University area newsstand to get TT, and somebody needs to make this right. Hey Repole, pull this off and I’ll buy a bag of Pirate’s Booty per week. I’ll put that in writing. And to all the great writers and staffers, make the best of this time. Decompress, enjoy the things a hectic media job makes you miss out on and sometimes forget. Go fishing (Dale Hollow!), drink (Boulder Mojo IPA is my new fave), sit on that beautiful Kentucky grass with your dog, it will get better!

  • Mary Simon

     Whoever you are, Yo, I like you. Your post made me smile for the first time today.

  • Mary Simon

     By the way, Ray, the actual “word” used by Jamie came through in the email. Person couldn’t even spell a simple profanity correctly.

  • wallyhorse

    Didn’t realize that was a joke.  There are those of us who don’t say things like that unless we really mean it.

    Joke or not, it did seem like a good idea at the time.

  • http://twitter.com/EJXD2 Ed DeRosa

    It’s unlikely that the person who took the subscription out of a job since fulfillment moved out of the TTimes office, but you’re right that it’s doubtful s/he knew the end was nigh.

  • Mary Simon

     How come Ed’s name gets to be in red?  I know he’s special, but what about ME?  :)

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