Pensacola Paper Shows Bitterness towards Southwest

by November 2, 2009 • 11 comments
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In an article in the Pensacola News Journal, writer Carlton Proctor is open with his resentment towards Southwest Airlines in an unrealistic bash on the popular airline.  Southwest Airlines recently chose the New Northwest Florida Panama City International Airport as their newest addition to an already vast portfolio of service areas.  Proctor uses casual banter and poorly researched and inaccurate facts to make an argument that is neither relevant nor credible.

Read on to see how I break down his “paper.”


Proctor starts out by discussing that the Southwest/Panama City deal was “locked down” months ago.  In his explanation towards agitation that Southwest “led” Pensacola Regional Airport to believe that they were “still in the game” he explains that Southwest should have told Pensacola officials that they didn’t have a chance.  Proctor, it is obvious that you have no understanding on how exactly publicly traded companies work.  It is in their best interest and the best interest of their investors to cloud all negotiations in secrecy so as avoid any insider knowledge trading infractions.  If you don’t like this, talk to the SEC.

Proctor goes on to explain that Southwest had abandoned their business model and agreed to be bought for $65 million by St. Joe.  So what?  Times are changing and you have to be willing to look at things differently if you want to stay competitive.  Besides, what’s wrong with a company taking advantage of a subsidy offered to grow?  If you had the opportunity to make more money and a third party was willing to mitigate the risk, would you not do the same?  This is virtually a no risk deal for Southwest. And, where did Proctor get the $65 million number?  By all accounts, I can only seem to come up with $26 million, with an option to share profit with St. Joe when Southwest is successful.

The writer speaks of St. Joe as having “deep and cavernous pockets.”  Funny how one statement can completely discredit an entire article.  “Deep and cavernous” is so much an unrealistic exaggeration that it is difficult to even debate; maybe this statement could be compared to debating the reality of the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.  Of course, for all of our young readers, surely dismiss this statement as their existence is definitely irrefutable.

Proctor explains that St. Joe owns 600,000 acres around the new Northwest Florida Panama City International Airport.  Really?  Don’t check your facts much, do you Proctor?  Even if they owned every acre in Bay County north of Highway 388 (east of Highway 79) and west of Highway 79 (which they don’t), they would hold only 108,000 acres.  This is true that they are the largest single owner of land in Bay County (and previously all of Florida, although just ousted from that standing recently), 600,000 acres around the new airport site would be a far stretch.  Maybe he’s confusing this number with the total number of acres owned by St. Joe in ALL of Florida.

He closed stating that the “Southwest dance” is over for now, “it’s time to move on.”

Original article can be read here.

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1 Jeff November 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

The only thing that Proctor was right about was that for him “it’s time to move on.” I will refrain from making an obvious proctologist joke.


2 Justin November 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Envy, jealousy, whatever you want to call it, we got what they wanted and will never get it.


3 John November 2, 2009 at 3:37 pm

DUH, Proctor – you have AirTran over there in PCola.
You want TWO low cost airlines going head to head
so you can have them both loose money ??


4 Marion November 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

“Reporters” like him give journalism a terrible name. Basic fact checking was totally ignored. Shame.


5 Bernard Jean November 2, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Get over it. Business is business. Southwest made the choice based on the better and less risky offer. St Joe may have deep pockets, but it’s due to sabbee and hard work. He reminds me of an high-school football fan. His team loses so he blames the other coach and the referees. Old proverb: It’s easy to spot the splinter in someone else eye and miss the tree in your own.


6 Troy November 3, 2009 at 9:28 am

That picture is hilarious!


7 jordan November 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Airlines have received subsidys from local businesses for years. Ski areas and local businesses in Colorado guarantee airline revenues to some carriers during ski season so that airlines will create seasonal routes and fly in from places like Texas.
This is the same theory just on a bigger scale. I am always amazed at how St Joe is portrayed as the evildoer with a a Snidley Whiplash mustach by those who dont understand how business people get things done. As a disclaimer I know no one at St Joe and have no interest in their business except as one who will benefit from Southwest coming to our humble town.


8 Lauren wilson November 4, 2009 at 10:10 am

if we could only make both sides of the story satisfied…


9 Tom November 4, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Thank heaven Southwest is finally here. For years we have needed a low cost carrier to service our area. This is the solution to filling our empty rooms and reviving a once thriving area with a better clientele needed to resurrect our area. Who cares about the “deal”. Its all legal and good business for everyone involved. The free market works if we give it a chance!!!!