SJ Nonprofit Newsroom’s latest departure gets radio silence

Another bit the dust at the San José Spotlight, adding to the list of writers, freelancers, interns and editors who have walked through the revolving doors of the local nonprofit newsroom.

(To be fair, there has been turnover in many newsrooms, including this one, in the wake of the pandemic.)

More recently, we noticed that Bob Staedler, director of Silicon Valley Synergy, no longer hosts the weekly podcast “Podlight”. The production, previously referred to as a “collaboration” between Spotlight and Silicon Valley Synergy, has since dropped any reference to Staedler.

Keen listeners may have noticed that the first episode without the well-known name, released after a two-week hiatus, is already a little different, with new introductory music and a drop in the quality of the sound recorded.

Despite being on the microphone since its inception in December 2019, Staedler’s departure was greeted with radio silence, without any recognition from editor-in-chief Nick Preciado, the show’s new host, or Ramona Giwargis, co-founder. and CEO of Spotlight.

Staedler confirmed that he and the management of Spotlight went their own way. He is currently still writing his monthly Business, Land Use and Development column, to which he has contributed since the launch of the news site.

Spotlight publisher and self-proclaimed podcast enthusiast Preciado said that after hosting the podcast as a guest, “SJ Spotlight’s management team decided to move things in-house and I took in charge of accommodation “.

Staedler declined to discuss the reasons for his depodification. However, local media immediately speculated that he could be another victim of salary theft, an allegation that quietly buzzed around the nonprofit media startup registered in Turlock, Calif., Where the writers said the ‘They worked long hours which are not always paid or are poorly classified. as independent entrepreneurs.

If this is true, that would be somewhat ironic since Spotlight has published dozens of articles on wage theft over the past two years and has close ties to unions, some of which give the news agency five-digit donations. Spotlight did not provide a copy of its Form 990 financial statements and directed Fly to the IRS, whose website has produced no record of Spotlight’s disclosures in its monthly indexes for the past two years.

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The Fly is a weekly column written by the staff of San Jose Inside that provides a behind-the-scenes look at local politics.

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