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  • What happens to this forum, what's next?

    With the time for props on Antontio's new venture behind, I'm just curious about what appears to be a very disjointed, unorganized and frankly unprofessionally coordinated transition associated with this departure.

    No advance notice to your principal employer of 6+ years? The company who gave you the opportunity/platform to become what you are today. Really?

    Leaving them completely blindsided and in a horrible situation scrambling to fill a huge void. Really?

    A full blown website with every aspect in operational mode (or set up to be with a few add-ons) up and running within hours of the announcement? Really?

    Anyone else troubled by any of this?

    The more I think about it, the more questions about the way the entire thing has been handled arise. I'm witholding judgement in the absence of answers, but I think subscribers who have supported Antonio and the Wine Advocate deserve greater clarity.
    - rico
    ITB - Colorado Importer/Distributor

  • #2
    Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

    I think the best response to your concerns was offered by RMP in his post congratulating AG on his new venture.
    "The charm of German wines is in their sweetness." Max Zander

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

      Originally posted by rico thompson
      With the time for props on Antontio's new venture behind, I'm just curious about what appears to be a very disjointed, unorganized and frankly unprofessionally coordinated transition associated with this departure.

      No advance notice to your principal employer of 6+ years? The company who gave you the opportunity/platform to become what you are today. Really?

      Leaving them completely blindsided and in a horrible situation scrambling to fill a huge void. Really?

      A full blown website with every aspect in full operational mode up and running within hours of the announcement? Really?

      Anyone else troubled by any of this?

      The more I think about it, the more questions about the way the entire thing has been handled arise.
      Rico, we don't know (nor will we ever know) what was known by whom and when. Taking RMP's post at face value (and I have no reason not to), we know only that RMP did not know of a final decision until yesterday. But the contractor>employee issue has been brewing for months and one suspects that the new owners and the new boss were deep in discussions with AG about his status for some time. I doubt they were as blindsided as RMP's post might have suggested.

      Second, AG's website is only a shell as of this moment (unless I am doing something wrong); it has zero content.

      It is possible that things were handled poorly; it is just as possible that the transition was far more professionally handled than we currently are aware.

      The one piece that we know for certain (and it does upset me, as a paying customer) is that the announcement was made on the NYT and not here. That was poorly handled and is another insult to paying customers.
      A drunkard's dream if I ever did see one

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

        Michael, I've read the word-smithed paragraph a couple times now. Press releases aren't exactly known for transparency. They're sugar coated for obvious reasons. It's not outcome that concerns me in the least. To that I wish the best to both WA and Antonio. It's the way in which the entire matter has been handled/presented/announced. The absence of professionalism surrounding the who thing is really quite troubling.
        - rico
        ITB - Colorado Importer/Distributor

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

          Rico, My take on this whole situation from the beginning has been that the new management gave all the independent contractors a take it or leave it ultimatum: relinquish your current status and come under our umbrella , or leave. As one who has never really relished being given ultimatums, I think AG did what he felt necessary according to the circumstances that were handed him.
          "The charm of German wines is in their sweetness." Max Zander

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

            The Wine Advocate has not previously demonstrated skill in handling organizational announcements, so this was no different. I expect that a lot of us Italian wine lovers will be spending a fair amount of time on antoniogalloni.com My value from erobertparker has been the bulletin board, archived tasting notes, and new tasting notes on Italy and the Rhone.

            Byron

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            • #7
              Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

              Rico, specific to the title of your post -Antonio did a good job in responding to questions and participating in the discussions here, and at least for now I don't see someone who is (capable and ) going to take over this forum in content and definitely not in name.

              I have greatly enjoyed the interaction, and camaraderie on this section of the Forum. I suspect that for many of the regulars here, you included it has been the most civil and informative section. Lets hope that in the future we can continue the conversation with all our BB friends at the new site.
              I don't always drink fizz....
              but when I do, I prefer Champagne! - Stay thirsty my friends....

              ITB ( please see my TN's on CT under "Bon Vivant")
              "WOW -It's opening up !"





              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                Neal, of course all valid points and exactly as I suspect is going on behind the scenes. But, in the absence of fact, we're of course just speculating. To the end, I also suspect we'll never really know the truth.

                Michael, agreed, with the caveat that "doing what you "deem" as needing to do" isn't alway the right or responsible approach. To this Antonio (and the WA) not only answers to his own needs, but to the subscribers, to whom he has a fiduciary responsibility of transparency and honesty. This entire matter appears to have been handled in a far less than transparent fashion.

                Byron, I'm with you to the extend that polished professionalism has not been evident when it comes to policy and announcements from the management at WA. This BB is certainly of high value to me, but not the only thing of value here. Both the diversity of discussions on the varied forums (including the mood and general sense of mutual respect conveyed on those forums) and the broader sense of shared knowledge of the community here is what attracts me to be a member. Will that change significantly with Antonio's departure? Only time will tell.

                Paul, so my question remains: what's the fate of this specific forum? This is something WA needs to sort out. And as mentioned in our emails, it's no sure thing that I'll move over to Antonio's new site. Given how busy my professional and private life already are, and given the fact that I already subscribe to 5 different wine websites/reviews, I'm looking to stream line things, not add "yet another" website (+ cost) to visit and forum to participate in.
                - rico
                ITB - Colorado Importer/Distributor

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                  Rico,

                  I think you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I don't believe for a minute that RP and his new bosses didn't know this was coming. Lisa's comments in that earlier article made it pretty clear that Antonio would not be staying here.

                  The fate of this forum seems like a minor issue and is probably controlled by Mark Squires with some input from RP. Seems to me they could archive the entire forum after Antonio is done here or merge it into Wine Talk. I would bet on archiving.

                  I think we all need to remember that Antonio is/was an "independent contractor" here. That means he did not cease to exist as a separate entity while being here. It is quite understandable to me that he announced his departure to maximize attention to his new site. He is not leaving an employer, but rather going back out on his own. As Neal said, I suspect that RP knew this was coming.
                  Ken V

                  The Fine Wine Geek
                  "Don't be meek, embrace the geek."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                    First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me for all these years, first at Piedmont Report, then The Wine Advocate, and hopefully beyond.

                    Reflecting on my time at the Wine Advocate, one of the things I am most proud of is the success of this forum, which has always been vibrant and full of fabulous discussions, but with none of the vitriol that is so common in other places. I am sure that will continue going forward. By the same token, I will continue my efforts to broaden the dialogue on Italian wines, and all wines, for that matter, in my new home.

                    When I informed Bob I would be leaving at the end of the month, the first thing he said was that he was not surprised. Why? Because this was part of a much larger conversation that goes back several years. I have always been 100% transparent with Bob.
                    Antonio Galloni

                    http://www.twitter.com/AntonioGalloni

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                      Like Rico, I am saddened that this little drama unfolded as it did. I understand that Antonio's 3rd party announcement, and TWA's evident lack of preparation for it, seem to make it easy to ascribe blame to him for how it was handled. In my experience, business breakups are like marital breakups. They stew for a long time, and it's incredibly difficult to sort out "fault". I suspect that the events we observed came as the culmination of weeks or months or negotiations. We don't (and probably never will) know what went on during that time. Without that background, it's unfair to point to one party as the culprit in this messy breakup. I do know that I like both Bob and Antonio, and that I respect both Bob and Antonio. I have to believe that, if this had been resolved between the two of them--alone--we would have seen a more dignified separation.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                        Originally posted by Brian Jeffrey
                        Like Rico, I am saddened that this little drama unfolded as it did. I understand that Antonio's 3rd party announcement, and TWA's evident lack of preparation for it, seem to make it easy to ascribe blame to him for how it was handled. In my experience, business breakups are like marital breakups. They stew for a long time, and it's incredibly difficult to sort out "fault". I suspect that the events we observed came as the culmination of weeks or months or negotiations. We don't (and probably never will) know what went on during that time. Without that background, it's unfair to point to one party as the culprit in this messy breakup. I do know that I like both Bob and Antonio, and that I respect both Bob and Antonio. I have to believe that, if this had been resolved between the two of them--alone--we would have seen a more dignified separation.
                        That describes exactly what I think ... and all I wish to do now the break up has happened is support Antonio.

                        Mark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                          It looks to me like RMP made a decision he felt was best for himself when he exercised his rights, sold a chunk of TWA and effectively changed the conditions under which Antonio agreed -- as an independent contractor -- to contribute, which is Bob's prerogative.

                          In response, Antonio did likewise.

                          I wouldn't expect anything different.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                            Originally posted by Rob Becker
                            It looks to me like RMP made a decision he felt was best for himself when he exercised his rights, sold a chunk of TWA and effectively changed the conditions under which Antonio agreed -- as an independent contractor -- to contribute, which is Bob's prerogative.

                            In response, Antonio did likewise.

                            I wouldn't expect anything different.
                            I could'nt agree more.....

                            Federico

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What happens to this forum, what's next?

                              Rico,

                              You are one of my favorite posters, but I am somewhat mystified...it's fairly obvious to me that the sale of a big chunk of the WA changed the dynamic for Antonio. My assumption was that eventually The WA would be his (in some fashion) and with the sale to the Asian Group and Lisa, it was time to move on. Who cares if RMP and readers only got a month's notice? Antonio will have his reviews on line shortly, I am certain. No harm, no foul.
                              Alan Hirsch

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