TROY – On Wednesday, the Miami County Bugle Caller (MCBC) announced that hundreds of employees would be laid off by the end of March, reducing the total employee count to 4.
MCBC’s co-founder and CEO, Davis Wong, announced that the company needed to make drastic changes in order to afford website fees and weekly employee wages of $2 a piece.
“Look, the money is just down this year. When Miami County Singles was shut down in an FBI sting operation, we lost our biggest source of ad revenue. We’ve done our best to stay afloat, but it’s pretty hard to swim without money,” said Wong.
In spring of 2020, a large media conglomerate offered 3 million dollars to purchase the Miami County Bugle Caller, but the offer was immediately rejected. According to the article, MCBC executives did not even bother to inform the lawyers before declining the offer, as “such a small amount of money would never be enough to hand over the keys to Miami County’s most trusted source in the news.” Today, the company is nearly bankrupt.
Reports also indicate that the Miami County Bugle Caller brought in over 2 million dollars in ad revenue in 2019. Employees are now wondering what happened to these profits, and why the company tanked so quickly.
Former MCBC accountant, Nelson McBrunner, stated that he found receipts for numerous trips to Hard Balls Casino, many of which included expenses of over $50,000 on cocktails and slot machines.
“I showed the receipts to numerous Bugle Caller executives who told me to go back to my cubicle and find something better to do. I was fired within the week,” said McBrunner. Now, he is suing the Bugle Caller for unlawful termination, in a suit that could land him nearly $500,000 if successful.
“Even before the Bugle Caller, people thought our websites were a complete joke. When they came in and started actively making fun of us, that hurt even more,” said Tim Huston of Miami Valley Today. “We even posted our annual website stats on their Facebook posts in an attempt to stand our ground, but we quickly realized that the Bugle Caller was miles ahead of us in all of those metrics. So if they close doors, that’s nothing but great news for us.”
With the restructuring, the publication will undergo significant changes to content generation, largely relying on a team of “community contributors” that will reduce costs to virtually zero. These efforts will largely help to line the pockets of MCBC’s mysterious chairman of the board, who has never been able to be reached for questioning, and owns a majority stake in the publication.
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