Monday, September 27, 2010

Why incompetent people keep their jobs

You can't work in this business without running into a few people whose continued employment boggles the mind.

Over the years I've worked with some incredibly smart people and others who might not defeat a crash dummy in an IQ test. And it always seemed that those managers who were lacking in smarts managed to keep their jobs. Low ratings? No problem. Staff hates your guts? Don't care. Management decisions that make absolutely no sense? Whatever.

Some of these people give new meaning to the words "Teflon" and "bulletproof." They drink and drive, make inappropriate comments, have a revolving door in the lowest rated newsroom... and still they don't get fired.

So what's the deal?

Bottom line? It's the bottom line.

You see, some companies don't care about the quality of the product or the working conditions of the employees. They only see one number, and it had better be in black ink.

Yep, you might have a GM or ND who makes Paris Hilton look like a Rhodes Scholar, but if said manager is turning a profit, well, said manager gets to keep the job. Even the lowest rated stations in the market can make a profit. Doesn't matter if the employees are miserable or the product is horrible, as long as the cash register keeps ringing.

So if you've every wondered why the mean or the clueless keep cashing paychecks, look no further than the balance sheet for an answer.

1 comment:

dagwood bumstead said...

Well - yes and no. Eventually they do get shown the door because their incompetence does catch up with them. The real problem is that while turning a profit in the short term - they are doing long-term damage to the overall credibility of the product. After years of abuse the audience shrinks to a point where managers notice - find the offending idiot and jettison them out the back door. Recovery is usually very difficult, expensive and often not successful on the first two or three tries.
To me the most amazing thing is that the idiot winds up at another similar job somewhere else. We all know of people fired for valid reasons resurfacing in the same job in a different town. What's with that? When a news director takes a station from #2 to #4 in a market you'd think they should never be heard from again (except when asking if you want fries or not).