A reporter’s critical tweet about The Daily‘s editing–published only after he’d tendered his resignation–activated News Corp.’s super-vindictive N.D.A squad, Romenesko reports.
“@daily story on Iranian ninjas has nothing to do with my reporting,” politics reporter Luke Kummer tweeted Feb. 17. “I object to it in every way. I wrote straight w/o absurd sensationalism.”
The same day, News Corp. HR manager Lainie Bontzolakes emailed Mr. Kummer to remind him of the non-disclosure/non-compete agreement he signed.
As you should recall, when you joined The Daily, you signed a Non-Disclosure/Non-Compete Agreement. In section 5 of that Agreement (see attached) you agreed that during your employment and for two years after, you “will not criticize, ridicule, or make any statement which disparages or is derogatory of the Company or its affiliates, or any of their representative employees or business products or services.”
It’s not that News Corp. wants to sue lowly reporters, but they leave them no option!
It goes without saying that you are currently in breach of your contractual obligations to the Company. Should you engage in any further misconduct, you will leave The Daily no choice but to sue you for injunctive relief, money damages and attorneys’ fees, as provided for under the Agreement. While we have no desire to sue you, that is something only you can control. Please do the right thing and immediately refrain from any further breaches of your contractual obligations.
We trust Mr. Kummer forwarded this insanity to Mr. Romenesko for reasons other than “to criticize, ridicule, or make any statement which disparages or is derogatory of the Company.” Nothing to see here, H.R.