I buy it that something to that effect was said, but I don't buy that anything has changed with the dubs and preaching. 8 or 9 years ago the assemblies, circuit and special, as well as Pioneer meetings had parts with presentations and experiences that all referred to the preaching as a "gleaning" work because of the rarity of bible studies.
This word "gleaning" took hold for about a year with lots of speculation amongst those who actually listen and take notes (LOL) as an indication that the "work" was slowing. Then we had a zone visit with a hard hitting talk that dispelled the rumors. Something to the effect of "we are in the center of the harvest, great influx of new ones" etc etc.
So if this information is true, that is likely part of the spin here. Dub elders can say whatever they want up there. We have all seen it and heard it happen. You will never hear a retraction and any damage control will be behind the scenes. There is also the aspect of doing crap like this just to get a reaction from the rank and file. They love twisting everyone up in knots, CO's, DO's & elders especially.