Saturday, February 18, 2006

Stueber fallout

("Where are they now?" will return next week.)

It appears an employee complaint led to WBRE's sudden decision to fire news director Paul Stueber yesterday. According to insiders, HR and corporate felt the complaint was serious enough to warrant the unceremonial "perp walk" out of the building. Employees were soon told of the decision.

Though Stueber was known to be abrasive at times, a lot of employees have defended him. "He did nothing out of malice," said one. And Rick Gevers, a talent agent, called him "one of the good guys in our business."

What's next for WBRE? Nexstar has pushed executive producer Ron Krisulevicz to acting news director, with WYOU news director Frank Andrews helping as well. Nobody knows how soon a new hire could be made.

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does it matter what their next step will be? Isn't it all rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic anyway?

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Stueber one of the good guys? Absolutely, but it depended on the day or the year you worked with him. Paul can also be abusive and threatening.

Most people don't realize Paul is a terrific news writer. His talent as a journalist shouldn't be questioned.

But his trouble at WBRE seems to be a repeat of why he had to be fired by WNEP. He was also absent a lot of days at 16.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul is honestly the worst human being I have ever (and hopefully will ever) come in connect with. I don't know about the past, but since his reign of terror at WBRE he's been nothing short of the devil. I know this board isn't about bashing, but isn't only fair to represent both sides of the story?

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's karma. Ask Earl!

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's disappointing to see Paul Stueber fall like this. He may have been aggressive, arrogant and demanding, but I was fortunate to see Paul's big heart.

I worked for Paul. This man deeply cared about the viewers.

Yes, we journalists often get shafted when an ND takes the side of a viewer, but Paul was always fair and deliberate with me. He took time to correspond and never left me hanging.

Be Fair. Be Gentle. Paul preached these words--- did he live them ? I think there are more who would say yes, than would disagree.

Paul may have been a tough read to possibly half the newsroom, but he trained a lot of stellar reporters and journalists in his day.

Paul crapped lightning and thunder on disagreeable and incompetent reporters.

Perhaps the Journalism Giant will land again on-his-feet. Or maybe this is it.

We're all in this journalism business in some form... one day king, the next day... a pauper. It's a cold deal. Paul did not have to be tossed out like he was-- in front of the entire team, but he was, and he left with his head high.

We feel badly, maybe he's glad. But there's no argument to the fact this man is part of a dying breed. The old-school newsman... when you could say something and not have the ACLU up your back or a lawsuit down your throat.

Farewell, Paul.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with Paul. I had absolutely no problems with him, and in fact, I liked working with him, one of few people that I did like at that station. Unfortunately, that shows you that no matter what position you are at, at a television (or radio station) you ARE expendable no matter what you do there. I do wonder what the complaint was, heck, if I knew I could get some things done like that, I would complain to corporate and get some people out of there that I don’t like. I also wonder who made the complaint. Unfortunately, the good ones always leave or get fired, and the bad ones stay and just bring down the station. Good Luck Paul, God Bless You. You did a good job while you were here, we will miss you.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I likewise worked with Paul. I likewise had zero problems with him, he always treated me warmly, cordially, and with kindness. Others, not so. Others did have problems with the man. What exactly his criteria for treatment of subordinates was, I don't know. However, I will speculate.

Paul is a bright man, a very intelligent man, he may be Mensa-Material, he doesn't suffer fools easily. He also feels a responsibility to sheperd those with raw talent towards success. Simply put, if Paul felt you had what it took to be BIG, he wasn't about to give you a pass while you were at WBRE. If you were a young turk who Paul didn't ride, you had a problem, because it meant he wasn't high on your ability and talent, so he'd leave you alone. This is for you ex-WBRE staffers - if Paul wasn't a thorn in your side, perhaps you should learn a trade, find another career, make another life-choice to make a buck.

Some day, somehow, somewhere, a lot of youngsters whose lives passed beneath the guiding eye of Richard Paul Stueber will realize he had their best interests at heart. All in all, a good, decent, charitable, and caring man. I will end by saying that Paul is a teacher, and he is a teacher from whom we could all learn enormously. And to echo the sentiment of another, be well, Paul, please be well...

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All this praise amazes me. Clearly these people are living in the past. Anyone who's worked with Paul in the last few years will tell you he's clearly lost his mind. He never watched the newscasts, rarely read scripts, called in sick at least one day every week. He spent all his time answering viewer e-mails and passing out newspaper articles as his "story ideas." He insisted on covering stories that affected no one and interested no one... "Why has Wilkes-Barre left a stop sign in place of the broken light on South Franklin Street for three days?" Paul was only worried about packages, filling holes in the newscast. He didn't care if there was video for the story or only one side was represented. Heck, he didn't know because he never watched. He fought with reporters who had to fight to cover real news, big news because he was only worried about reporters bringing home two packages. He fostered lazy producers who just plugged in packages. Paul was full of it and fooled many of you. He was fired from almost every job he had. That is not a badge of honor. He was a manipulative monster. He's a sad man. Congratulations WBRE. I know many of you can't wait for the new work week.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've already posted here FOUR POSTS BACK.

I completely disagree with the last post.

Am I living in the past ?

Paul did read my scripts. But it was because I asked him. He was interested in fostering talent-- when he was involved and asked.

Paul did watch the newscasts. The man often came in at 6am-- that put him in the building for nearly the entire cycle, except for the 11pm.

I often reached Paul at home for guidance on "touchy" matters.

Perhaps he was out sick a lot, but none of us knows what kidney failure, a heart attack, a stroke and other ailments can do to a man's system.

Yes, Paul had a way, a knack of rubbing a lot of workers the wrong way. Almost everyday he carries on a pissing match with production.

You all should have seen the smiles on one production employee's face when Paul was walked out. There's no doubt this vindictive person had something to do with his firing.

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a better broadcaster because I worked for Paul Stueber.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When he was "on", he was the best writer I've ever seen. When he was "off", look out! He was without a doubt, the worst manager I've ever worked for. In a word: inconsistent.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those who think Paul was the worst, I have one piece of advice; be prepared for a lot of heartbreak, pain, and misery, as you continue with your career.

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is an arrogant bag of gas who deserves what he got.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those of you who call Paul Stueber a great leader???
When a fellow employee parked behind Paul's car in the lot, Paul's quote to that person was,
"If you ever park behind me again, I will bash your skull with a tire iron" This is a leader?
When reporters were tired of copying straight from the newspaper articles Paul would hand out, his quote
"There is no such thing as a bad story, only bad reporters"
This is a leader?
When a reporter called out sick, Paul's quote
"I don't believe you, go flush your toilet so I know you're home"
This is a leader?
I'm sure Paul Stueber's file in Human resources was so thick they needed suspenders to keep it closed - we can only guess the recent incident was about to cost Nexstar money and that is the only reason for his firing.
I echo the previous posting about Paul's lack of concern for the newscasts. I don't think coming in at 6am automatically makes you a "great newsman." If he came in at 6am and was dedicated to changing things for the better, that would be understandable. He didn't care about the quality of stories or the newscast.
Anyone with any sort of good news judgment - all you need to do is look at any WBRE newscast under Stueber's reign.
Did WBRE NEWS improve under Paul Stueber? Absolutely not.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul did the best with what he had at WBRE. It's hard to improve the newscasts when you work for a company that cuts corners.

If you gave a damn about your job, then Paul gave a damn about you. He was always available to answer my questions and review my scripts. Never once did he turn me down when I asked for his help. Sometimes I didn't like what he said, but he always told it like it was. Not many people do that, because they're too afraid of offending someone.

Hopefully, Paul will jump back into the game. He's trained a lot of great reporters and producers, and I'm proud to say I'm one of them.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

***When reporters were tired of copying straight from the newspaper articles Paul would hand out...***

And just what kind of reporter would copy straight from any newspaper piece? That would be you, right? Glass houses, stones, you know the rest, don't you? Come to think of it, maybe you don't. Just a wild guess here - you were one of the fools that Stueber couldn't suffer.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stueber couldn't suffer bringing himself in to work. Maybe that's one of the reasons he's out.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul was out a lot... I dare say he was absent more than any other employee in the building. But what is more telling... you are never sure if you were better if he was there or if he was not. Kudos to Ron K., he's done so much more than he should have had to so far and so much more to come.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nextstar has a way of humiliating people, especially of you are ill. If you do become ill, your out the door for sure. You only get a short time to be absent and then they send you a registered letter to fire you. They don't care if you have cancer or something else. They are one of THE worst places to work in.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judging from all the dancing on the grave of Mr. Stueber, it's a shame that people can't privately gloat over someones misfortune.
No matter what the man was to you personally, for all the haters I've got two words...Al Zobel!

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's what I got. I met Zobel once. Seemed like an ass. Only met him once. Maybe it was me.

And Stueber was responsible for causing one female employee to leave and go home crying in the middle of a show.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea, Zobel was an ass and still is. He left WBRE and went to Wisconsin so he can penny-pinch up there. Zobel's Assistant News Director in Wisconsin was a producer at WBRE, who "hated" Zobel. The producer's wife was the co-anchor at the time. The story was they both couldn't stand Zobel. When Zobel took the job in Wisconsin, the producer followed him up there and now is Assistant News Director. I don't know what the producer's wife is doing. Last I heard, she was still waiting tables in Wilkes-Barre or went back to Milwaukee.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Normally, I don't like to bash someone in public, but because Paul Steuber made me a subject of public ridicule on more than one occassion, I'll make this exception for him.

He is a nasty, mean man especially to those who have talent are motivated and ambulatory. Unfortunately, Paul is no longer any of those things. I know many of you are talking about the great newsman he once was, but let me assure you, no one I know who has worked under him in recent years would call him anything close to great.

This "newsman's" default story idea is a follow-up to nothing, which his reporters have nicknamed the "Hey how's that going?" story. "Hey how's that going?" would apply to everything and anything in Steuber's eyes from pothole patching to the delpletion of the ozone layer. To him, it's all about filling the hole--not the ozone--the time in show.

Steuber's on NO ONE's side...to say that he was connected and or committed to the viewers is absurd. You clearly never read a Steuber response to even the most innocent of viewer emails. He enjoyed berating these people from the comfort of his dark, smarmy office--for no reason!

His leaving is ONE of the best things that could ever happen to WBRE and I think one of the current employees put it best when they said, "the only thing I'll miss are his free gumballs."

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll be brief. You, whoever you are, are out of touch with reality, you're walking on your own planet. His firing is the best thing to happen to WBRE? Give it ninety days, and if you happen to work there, let's see if you still feel that way.

Most current employees are very, very disturbed by his being fired. And more than a few of them are plain scared. Get a grip, get a life, realize that for whatever reason, Paul Stueber just didn't like you, probably because you were clueless and inept.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If evil has a face, name, and geogpraphical coordinates, then Al Zobel is it. The most toxic individual you would ever want to meet, a walking "Love Canal." Pure poison for most anyone who ever had to deal with him. He came out of market E-I-E-I-O because Nexstar couldn't find anyone else to take the job. He then proceeded to destroy what was once a decent, proud, and competitive television station. You only need consider this; in five years, WBRE has lost two-thirds of it's audience. All of it due to Al Zobel's magic. By the time corporate swallowed hard and admitted their mistake, it was way too late. You can likely blame testosterone for most of it, no males at the top of the heap were willing to admit that Zobel was the mistake of a lifetime. Stueber inherited that, he most assuredly did not cause it.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's easy to read between the lines and see these negative Stueber posts are the work of a boisterous and pathetic reporter who once worker for WBRE and now finds herself at another station in the market.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it...Stueber was/is a mess. That being said: WBRE was the right place for him. He gets more bitter after each episode that causes him the loss of employment. So, God help those at his next stop.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

***It's easy to read between the lines and see these negative Stueber posts are the work of a boisterous and pathetic reporter who once worker for WBRE and now finds herself at another station in the market.***

Agreed 100%.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I worked with Steuber during his kinder and gentler days. Even he admitted that prior to that he was a bitch to work for and with. I would not be the journalist I am today without his guidance and mentoring.

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps he could've been a bitch to work for... hell I would've hated to be on his bad side, but, I was fortunate enough to turn some tense situations with him into learning experiences.

A news dog is only as good as his last story... Paul's tempers became fleeting moments. You just had to be worldy and mature enough to understand that.

Paul came from times when you could call someone out on the carpet for a screw-up. It's probably why he got canned... doing something the old-fashioned way, raising hell, being bold and ultimately paying for it with his job because he was too stubborn to do it any other way.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zobel is an ass, but at least he didn't humiliate you in public. If he had a problem with you, he would take you aside at tell you. Stueber got off on humiliating you in front of everyone - especially if you are female. He is a rotten bastard who got everything that he deserved! WBRE may be a sinking ship, but it is sinking alot slower since that waste of human life is gone!!

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WBRE began to sink when Nexstar took over. Who the hell are you bullshitting? I'm not defending Paul, but the sinking WBRE ship is NOT Paul's fault. I feel bad for him for working for such a horrible company. I'm glad I got away from WBRE when I did.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WBRE started to lose it long before Nexstar. The station lost its focus when Micah Johnson left as news director. However, Nexstar gave it a nice hard push down hill.

12:16 PM  

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