Fired!
My publisher, Greenwich Post, has just fired me – according to the owner, it came down to a choice between my readers, who liked me, and certain real estate agencies who did not. The latter pays bills, the former does not, so I got the heave ho. Fair enough, but I question the wisdom of eliminating one of the few items in a newspaper that, according to my readers,anyway, made the paper worth perusing. If you have no readers, who will advertise? Oh well. I’ll be punching up my posting activity on this site, so please check in regularly for truthful reporting on the real estate scene. If you’d like calm, reassuring news that your real estate investment in Greenwich is doing just fine, feel free to check the Greenwich Post each week.

News Flash
One reason I was dumped was, I believe, my reporting a New York Times report that Realogy, parent company of Coldwell Banker, Century 21 and Soetheby’s, was in danger of going bankrupt. I hear from other agents that staff members of at least one of those firms haven’t been paid in 4 weeks – they got flowers on their desks this past Friday. That’s a nice touch, but try placating your landlord with a bunch of wilted orchads.

19 Comments

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19 responses to “

  1. lr mann

    I am very sorry to hear you were let go. I only wish I had a subscription to the Greenwich Post so that I could cancel it.

    The only way for America to dig its way out of this mess is for the facts to come out… Which ultimately they will and the sooner the better.

    I commend you for your honest reporting.

  2. Anonymous

    Chris,
    Keep up the good work. Your column is a great resource for us Greenwich real estate obsessed.

  3. Anonymous

    I am going to “fire” the Post. The only reason I had a subscription was to read your column. I will look forward to your online posts instead!

  4. Anonymous

    I am canceling my subscription. Your article was the only reason I subscribed. I am looking forward to more frequent postings!

    Those real estate agencies need to get a grip. People (especially those who make enough money to afford a house in Greenwich) are not dumb – no amount of rose tinted glasses are going to cover up the true market conditions. Keep up your reporting!

  5. Anonymous

    What a bunch of cowards. As if not reporting the news means it doesn’t happen.

    What is the email of the Greenwich Post’s publisher? I would like to write him.

  6. Anonymous

    The contacts at the Post can be found here: http://www.acorn-online.com/news/publish/greenwich-staff.shtml

    Below is an email I sent to the Editor and the advertising reps along with a response I received from one of the latter.

    If you go to the Post’s website, you will see some web ads inserted on the right side. Sadly, this confirms how important real estate-related advertising is to a publication like the post. Given the live or die by their sold ad space, I would not expect much to come from my complaint.

    Chris, keep up the blog posts and let’s hope you get picked up by one of the other publications.

    Tom

    ——————-

    Subject: Canning Chris Fountain

    Editor:

    Please register my complaint on your decision to fire Chris Fountain. While Chris mocked the pricing of a house that I purchased in early 2004, I still enjoyed reading his column to keep me up on what was going on in town-related real estate. His candor was always appreciated, even when it may have been “politically incorrect”.

    I have no reason to doubt, as Chris suggests on his blog, that “according to the owner, it came down to a choice between my readers, who liked me, and certain real estate agencies who did not. The latter pays bills, the former does not, so I got the heave ho.” That you appear to have caved to pressure from other realtors is disappointing to say the least. Sure, advertising is the lifeblood of publications such as yours and no one should expect any sort of journalistic moral code from you, but to cave in so publicly is an embarrassment.

    Did you stop to ask where those current advertisers would go if they pulled their ads from your publication? There are only three publications that find their ways into most Greenwich homes and onto local newsstands and I seriously doubt the realtors would be willing to give up 20-30% of their local “eyeballs” over this issue. Frankly, the only reason I read the Post was for Chris’ column and the real estate ads and you have removed the more important of those reasons. My kids may read the sports columns but their ability to put money into your advertisers hands is limited at best.

    I would ask that you reconsider this decision and reinstate Chris’ column.

    Tom……

    The response which I received within minutes of sending this morning:

    Dear Tom,

    Thank you for your email. I’ll be sure it gets into the hands of the Editor and Publisher here at Hersam Acorn Newspapers.

    Dana Gaccione
    The Greenwich Post
    Hersam Acorn Newspapers

  7. Gideon Fountain

    I agree the Post has made a tragic error but let’s consider their position: having a wildly popular real estate columnist (“The only thing I ever read in that paper”, I am told over and over again by clients and friends)and an angry bunch of brokers who represent the paper’s single most important source of advertising. What to do? Commit commercial suicide, apparently.
    And speaking of real estate, last Friday (April 25) the MLS reported 5 contracts signed. Today, 8 were reported including one involving a weekend bidding-war on an Old Greenwich waterfront parcel. This is some slow-down, pardner!

  8. Anonymous

    Gideon-

    Of the 8 reported signed contracts
    3 were for out of Town properties listed on The Greenwich MLS. Just a little slowdown in Town!

  9. Anonymous

    The only reason I read the Greenwich Post is now gone? What a mistake. I hope you keep blogging. Get some ads here, we will still happily read you thoughts.

    Sorry the Posst made such a big mistake.

  10. Anonymous

    The real estate market in Greenwich has started its “spring surge”; to deny this is silly. The wise man* say: Sometimes it is the pessimist who is the naïve one.
    *or was it the wise “guy”?

  11. judy

    Chris,

    I just sent off an email to cancel delivery . . . just kept it simple – No Chris Fountain; No Post, thank you.

    Having grown up in town (a couple of years behind you), I enjoy your musing about the way things have changed just as much (if not more) than real estate news.

    But I am happy to hear you will be continuing to blog here!

    Judy

  12. Anonymous

    why not publish yer column as a paid ad?

  13. tpjudge@aim.com

    Chris there is only one way to stick it to them….sell more real estate and blog more.

    I have always been a fan of the column and have often used it as my second opinion of the market.

    Lets kick it up a notch. I have a a few ideas on how to help.

    Tim Judge
    Judge and Associates Inc

  14. Anonymous

    Chris, you didn’t deserve this. You merely reported the news gathered by a major publisher and widely reported elsewhere. Its not as if you sourced it from conversation overheard at a cocktail party.

    This loyal reader hopes you will continue your witty, insightful and honest column online.

    By the way, don’t you think its time the Greenwich Post adds the “This is a Paid Advertisement” disclaimer to all of its so called reporting and columns? Based on there decision to fire you, it’s probably dishonest not too.

    -Jason
    Cos Cob

  15. Anonymous

    Like many others, your column was the reason I read this weekly. One can easily understand by newspaper circulation is declining in the entire country (see NYT article last week). When publishers catered to their advertisers and ignore the reality of the environment, their readers will go elsewhere. We are fortunate to have the internet where we can read your what really is going on.

  16. Anonymous

    Chris Fountain:

    Add me to those who only opened that paper to read your column (well, used to read the traffic violations, but they disappeared, too, a few weeks ago – I suspect that move lost the rest of the “readership”)

  17. Anonymous

    Chris,strong honest columns(such as yours) support the integrity of the Post just as they support the integrity of the houses you wrote so well about….Without them they will both collapse….Wish you well.See you one Sunday in Starbucks I hope..JeremyB

  18. barry montgomery

    I own the building known as 32 Field Point, Greenwich. I’m negotiating a lease extension with Coldwell Banker, NRT, Realogy, Apollo. Can, or would anyone like to tell me more about the boys who run this show? Thanks, Barry
    5.29.8
    barrymonty@aol.com

  19. katharine

    DaDDY!! for some reason I´ve lost your email so I looked up your blog. Happy Fathers Day! You are a WONDERFUL father and an amazing person! I´m sorry we wdid not get in contact before I left for Costa Rica. If you email me that would be nice because then I would have your email again. I love you so much, and think the world of you. Thanks for bringing me into the world!! Much love,

    Katharine