AP Business Journalist Slams Newsroom Leadership

Management became 'negative and mean-spirited'

Janna Herron, who worked for the AP for more than five years, attacked the organization's leadership in a resignation email to her colleagues, saying that the wire service's business department, which was full of “wonderful editors and teachers” when she started, “is not the department [she is leaving] today.”

“I’m the 56th person to leave since the newsroom’s management style turned negative and mean-spirited three years ago. And I’m sure I’m not the last. I just couldn’t do it anymore,” she wrote in the letter, published on Poynter. “So, best wishes to everyone. You’re all better editors, reporters, and writers than what you’ve been told, and you deserve better leadership.”

In February 2010, Gawker reported that AP Business staffers were planning to send a letter to business editor Hal Ritter accusing him of "installing a culture of fear.” Among their grievances was Ritter’s annual review process “in which the entire staff is slammed.” One theory behind the vicious leadership style was that it would allow the AP to get rid of more employees without having to pay severance, Gawker said. 

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