27 June 2007

Criminals in Journalism

This guy moved to a competitor, and stole proprietary data. He thought he could get away with it because of who his father is (see last paragraph).

I've always thought that the large corporate media chains were pond scum, and now it is confirmed.
Ridder says he shared Pioneer Press data
Publisher denies breaking noncompete pact
Pioneer Press
Article Last Updated: 06/25/2007 09:46:57 PM CDT

Star Tribune Publisher Par Ridder acknowledged taking confidential financial information from his former employer, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, to his new job at the Minneapolis paper; separately, he insisted his noncompete agreement with the Pioneer Press had been waived, making him free to go.

Ridder's videotaped testimony, played Monday in Ramsey County District Court, started a three-day hearing for a temporary injunction against Ridder's employment at the Star Tribune. The Pioneer Press has sued the Star Tribune over Ridder's departure in March and is seeking to hold Ridder and two other former Pioneer Press employees to their noncompete agreements, barring them from working at the rival paper for one year.

In addition to determining whether the noncompete agreements are valid, Ramsey County District Court Judge David Higgs must decide whether the spreadsheets Ridder allegedly purloined constitute trade secrets. The judge also must decide whether the Pioneer Press will be irreparably harmed by the Star Tribune's having them.

In a brief filed last week, the Star Tribune argued that the noncompete contracts aren't binding. It also argued that the electronic data Ridder and the other employees took may have been sensitive but weren't all that important. The Star Tribune said it didn't use the data and it didn't hurt the Pioneer Press.


Ridder said it was "inappropriate" for him to have taken Pioneer Press personnel paperwork - the disputed noncompete agreements - from the Pioneer Press building. He also said he told his new bosses at the Star Tribune "that I would do this differently," referring to loading up his laptop with confidential Pioneer Press financial information and then distributing it via e-mail to top executives at the Star Tribune.


Ridder testified that after speaking with Cartalucca about how to handle the paperwork, he called his father for advice. Ridder's father is Tony Ridder, former CEO of the dismantled Knight Ridder newspaper chain.



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