An ode to the boss, or perhaps not: Carolyn who?

Guardian Media Group’s chief executive must have been thrilled to read a column dedicated to her own first name in this week’s Observer Magazine… Or perhaps not. The future of Kathryn Flett’s pay cheque is at the economising hands of GMG, but she couldn’t think of one famous Carolyn for her most recent OM article.

[context: Flett is opening the local arts festival in her town, ‘Random-on-Sea’]

“And all this before our charming mayor called me “Carolyn”, sending me into a tailspin of insecurity, if such a thing is possible, making me wonder which Carolyn had originally turned down the gig. Only I couldn’t think of a single remotely famous Carolyn – and if you type “Carolyn” into Google (yes, I know it’s sad but it had to be done for journalistic purposes) the first suggestion is the Washington Post’s agony aunt, Carolyn Hax – and quite obviously Ms Hax would have been far too busy helping the good folk of DC to visit Random for Coastal Currents, so I felt a bit better.”

Flett must have missed the internal memo when GMG chief exec Carolyn McCall (35th in this year’s MediaGuardian list) told staff that the Observer’s closure is one of the options being considered in the publisher’s operational review. It couldn’t be a deliberate lapse of memory on Flett’s part could it? Perhaps the column is more politically tactical than it looks…

And McCall – Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the year in 2008 – may need to work on that Google juice, if she wants the fame of WaPo’s Hax.


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