Courant trying to salvage reputation by publishing Sleepy's investigation column

Embarrassed by public disclosure that Courant management – for the first time in its history – is holding up a story of a state investigation into one of its prime advertisers, the nation’s oldest newspaper is now scrambling to get it into print.

The column was written by me last month, was scheduled to run Aug. 2 but without an explanation it was held by the top managers at The Courant. I was then fired on Aug. 3.

The column was published this week on Ctwatchdog.com, our new website.

Courant business editor Dan Haar has been given the unenviable job of getting the column into print with some additional information to make it look like it was being held for good reason.

A couple of problems with train of  logic:

Chief editor Jeff Levine told me he wanted a “short” column without a lot of explanation.

There were no pending questions when my direct editor approved the column.

It could have run as a straight news story, since it had no opinions, just facts.

It will be interesting to see how the Courant management tries to wriggle out of this one.

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8 Comments on "Courant trying to salvage reputation by publishing Sleepy's investigation column"

  1. Good for you! we wish you luck in the future.

  2. Sleepys is an awful store!

  3. +1 4 George | August 18, 2009 at 10:25 pm |

    It does no good to be the oldest continuously published paper in the country if this kind of stuff is going on behind the curtain. The best thing about Sleepys was the jumping girls commercials. I’m beginning to understand why the girls quit that gig.

  4. I want to thank George and the many folks including the retailer whom
    chose to disclose the truth about how used mattresses are really
    disposed of. I appreciate that he informed us on this website that he
    used to sell to mattress rebuilders and that these rebuilders are selling to less discrimating customers in major urban centers. while
    those $99.00 discounted queen mattress sets seem like a great bargain
    to urban residents, they really are not and I am glad he admits this.
    The problem with this is that these people don’t realize that they’re
    sold a bill of false goods and they don’t realize that they are
    getting a used mattress set because thats not how they are being
    advertized to city customers, the used merchandise is advertized as
    new mattresses that were never taken out of their boxes and were factory overstocks. These companies are able to fool city residents into believing that they really will get a new mattresses when they buy from them. thankfully, I bought my queen sized mattress set from a reputable company that’s been in our area for a long time and it cost me more than $700.00 on sale from $1000 but worth every penny I paid for it and I am getting a twin bunkbed set for my grandchildren I know that they will be sleeping comfortably on that set. Thank you for educating us customers about the hazards of companies selling used
    mattresses to unsuspecting customers under deceptive business preactices.

  5. Thank you for pursuing your findings on Sleepy’s. I wrote to you about a year ago about their deceptive operations…or just plain thievery….and you were quite helpful in getting my refund. Yes Sleepy’s has been “asleep at the wheel” – and it is unfortunate for consumers affected…but awesome that this company is finally getting theirs – in print.

    As for the Courant -this once respectible giant in media has gradually whittled away a seasoned, highly-professionally workforce of ad reps, journalists, reporters and others – to become a training ground for inexperienced 20-somethings who work for half the wages. In their penny-wise and pound-foolish complescence, they have not only lost respect and readership, but they are nothing more than a pennysaver daily, with revenues from what few advertisers are left – and, of course, the $400 fee they skim from grieving relatives placing obituaries.

    Keep writing, George – we will find you wherever you are published!

  6. George:
    My daughter, Cassandra Corrigan, a former Courant staffer who left two years ago, sent me the website address of CTWatchdog (I’m in West Virginia having left Connecticut for job reasons some seven years ago) and I must say I am amazed.

    The Courant was always a major force in my life growing up in CT, and was a place my family was connected to and respected (My uncle Pete Tchakirides worked there for many years before his retirement). When I ran my two Hartford businesses, U-Design and Hybrid Communications in the 80s and 90s, it was the Courant whose business section was my source for marketing and which covered my companies.

    To see the depths that the Courant has fallen to, and to realize that it has achieved such lows by violating the editorial honesty which. at one time, made it one of the great newspapers in America, is a source of depression for me.

    Please keep up your good work… and I am adding CTWatchdog to the News Blogroll at Under The LobsterScope where I still have several hundred Connecticut readers.

    -Bill Tchakirides

  7. Why not do like this reporter did when the New Britain Herald fired him for doing a story on the mayor.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7WZVPAn6m0

  8. Thanks for this disclosure about Sleepys. I will be looking for new bedding in the next year or two, and I might have considered buying from them had it not been for this revelation. No way I will set foot in their store after this news.
    Also, thanks for all of your previous articles. Your column was one of the few things left in the Courant that I looked forward to reading. Mass media in general is highly influenced by the corporations that own the media outlets, and good honest reporting of facts is almost impossible to come by anymore on radio, tv, or the newspapers. Its really a shame.

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