Tony Curran's big staff reshuffle— musical chairs at the Manawatu Standard, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Curran’s constant use of the words “temporary acting” to describe the positions of his minions, presumably to give them a feeling of insecurity, didn’t pass unnoticed. Another Curran tactic was to create positions with parallel or overlapping duties, so that the appointees never knew exactly where they stood in relation to each other. A case in point was the creation of the position of "Contents Editor", the sole purpose of which seems to have been to undermine the position of "old-guard" news editor Mike Griffin. That’s why, on Griffin’s departure, the post of Contents Editor is declared to have "reached its sell-by date". Its irrelevance is underlined by the fact that Curran, though pathologically meticulous in his construction of hierarchies, seems to have forgotten that the post was originally (and more properly) described as that of "Content" (without the "s") Editor. Since the early 2000s, further forays in the field of nebulous nomenclature have brought us "news director" and "chief of staff" — titles that sound important, but which have little meaning. Both can be seen as symptomatic of the inexorable breakdown of the print medium.