Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Feb. 26 -- Got news or a question?

If you have news or a question, leave it in comments.

UPDATE: A question from comments: Where is everybody on the 3rd floor in the Star-Telegram building??


Anonymous said...

I still work at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (but not in the newsroom) and I made a trip up to the 3rd floor to just see what was going on.

Where are you people? No wonder there is nothing in our paper, there are no people working here. We are selling ads for a newsletter! Come on people, go work! And the few people I did see - looked like death was a step away.

Anonymous said...

Man, if true this is real bad. Nothing to see here folks. Move along, move along.yougl

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Red all over (No, not the usual MNI suspects)

The Boston Globe needs 50 buyout volunteers. So far, few are cooperating — and that likely means bloodshed on Morrissey Boulevard.

With staff reductions in 2001, 2005, 2007, and 2008, the Boston Globe certainly hasn't been immune. But the latest impending cut — targeting the Globe's newsgathering operation, which has already gone from a full-time staff of 552 in 2000 (not including the staff of to 379 today (including — is especially grim.

Anonymous said...

SF Union Hacks Surrender jobs to India, Canada and Houston

The SF Chronicle is already well on the way to implementing a plan to print the paper in a non-union plant in suburban San Francisco that will be operated by a Canadian company.

When the highly automated plant opens this summer, the members of the paper’s pressmen’s union will be out of thier jobs.

There are potential outsourcing opportunities for the newsroom, as well. One possibility would be to send copyediting, headline writing and page layout to India.

Alternatively, according to one rumor making the rounds today, those duties could be handled at the Chronicle’s sister paper in Houston.

Not only would labor costs be lower in Houston than San Francisco, but the difference in time zones would keep the Texas editors busy in the slack time between editions of their own publication.

Anonymous said...

5:01, Does your boss know you're wandering around acting all high and mighty? If you have no business on the third floor, stay off it. Better idea: Stay off it and actually worry about your own work.

Anonymous said...

More good news

Portfolio, Conde Nast's charity case, down 60% in ad pages

It was bad enough starting Portfolio, a business magazine that nobody wanted or cared about, and now the worst economic recession since World War II.

If any magazine should have "vanity" in the title, it should be this one.

The New York Post reports that Portfolio is down 60% in ad pages in the first quarter. That's on top of the fact the magazine had lost a lot of ads last year already.

Portfolio has been at the top of my Death Portfolio since before it even launched. If this magazine makes it to the fall, it would be rather miraculous.

In the meanwhile, Portfolio is Conde Nast's charity case because there's really no other reason to give it money.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:53. I agree. Keep your head in the sand and keep quiet.

Let the ny times leak national security secrets, not us.

Remember, it's our job to hide the truth! "Truth to Power"

Anonymous said...

7:58, You have no idea what you're talking about. Get back on the phone with those classifieds customers.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:01 Ok, I'll give you this much, THAT WAS FUNNY!!!

Good one, And yes I'll try to draw up more business!

Anonymous said...

7:53 AM

Kind of hard to sell to advertisers when the product sucks.

Anonymous said...

Reporters actually leave the building to find stories. Looking at a computer screen isn't where the stories are...maybe they were at city hall or a basketball game or school board meetings.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it in the Puget Sound area of Washington that the Olympian is going to be either cut down to a five-day-a-week publication (with subscribers getting The News Tribune on the weekends), a once-a-week special section to the TNT, or just completely absorbed into the TNT. There are subscription sellers in front of many Olympia-area grocery stores trying to sell subscriptions to both papers by first offering a free copy of either one. The TNT is almost twice as thick as the Olympian, and TNT subscriptions are cheaper -- how smart is that if they are really keeping the Olympian?

Also rumors are flying that all Olympian staff (except for perhaps a skeleton crew to operate a "local" office to take in-person classifieds and subscription payments, and a few local reporters) will be relocated to the TNT soon, with some positions being eliminated in the move (and others to be eliminated after things settle down and redundancies can be identified).

Anonymous said...

8:32 AM

The FWST newsroom has always been a lazy group. The NE staff kicks their ass on motivation on a daily basis. FW reports have the phone glued to their ear.

Anonymous said...

Things at The Olympian, which made a nice profit in 2008, are indeed bizarre:
There is no publisher or executive editor.
The paper is now printed in Tacoma.
Ad sales are based out of Tacoma.
Rumors have the copy editors taking buyouts or moving to Tacoma.
Olympian writers have stories in the Tacoma News Tribune almost every day.
Most of the Olympian's building is empty.

Anonymous said...

David Zeeck still claims the Tacoma paper is profitable. Since editor Dave Seago left the editorials have been far more balanced and usually deal with local issues. Perhaps they will be able to save themselves.

Which brings up the question.... what happens to papers that are functioning and making at least some profit? Do they go down the tubes along with the ones that are unable to show a profit?

Anonymous said...

SACRAMENTO, CA - The Sacramento Bee has been an institution in the Sacramento community for more than 150 years. But the economic downturn has the paper fighting for its survival.

I'm doing what I love, but lately, it's been difficult," said newspaper reporter Ed Fletcher. He also serves as the local president of The Newspaper Guild, the employee union.

Fletcher admitted that the union has been told the paper will hand out warning notices on Friday, telling them they could be laid off in 60 days.

"It's our understanding that there will be 50 layoffs, probably closer to 70 or more," Fletcher said.

Anonymous said...

Sacramento Bee in the news! Today from Chanel 10 news Sacramento...Sacramento Bee Fights for Survival
"It's our understanding that there will be 50 layoffs, probably closer to 70 or more,"
...In a statement, the newspaper's publisher Cheryl Dell said "Newspapers are tied to the market they serve. We are facing the same economic challenges as many other businesses in the area."

"While we are facing tough times, we will not close our doors," Dell said. "The Bee remains the strongest media in the Sacramento region."

What's next?

Anonymous said...

Where's all those big layoff numbers everyone was talking about? I guess you just can't believe what you read.

I guess McClatchy will live another day.

Anonymous said...

The Bellingham Herald is still turning a profit and currently operates with a skeleton news staff of 7-8 reporters and 3.5 editors, depending on how you look at it. Unsure how cuts will go in the newsroom, but they would have to be minimal because the cupboard is so bare, still. Advertising revenue (like everywhere else) has suffered a large downslide, according to an insider, and one would have to expect some fat to be cut from that area. The Herald is the real only paper in that area and has that to it’s advantage, but word is that cuts could still be fairly deep when announced, and will likely be somehow associated with the TNT and Olympian’s move towards consolidation of resources, as seems to be the case with papers here in the Midwest and other parts of the country.

Anonymous said...

The News Tribune being abbreviated to TNT, is Um-Er, Um-Er, damn teleprompter! It, is, let me be perfectly clear about this, it is Um-Er, Um-Er, damned nuanced. Take heart, maybe I can scam up a little ACORN action for you.

Anonymous said...

More bad news--

Gannett slashes dividend by 90%, to 4 cents per share

Associated Press
It had been 40 cents. Gannett will save about $325 million annually with the dividend cut -- the first in the company's history.

Anonymous said...

if MNI goes bankrupt, what happens to the papers? do we still get paychecks?

Anonymous said...

It all depends on which kind of bankruptcy. If it is chapter 11 MNI would have to have a reorganization plan approved by the court. This will likely result in drastic reductions in not only jobs, but benefits and pay of those who remain.

Chapter 7 means liquidation. The only paychecks being received then will be lawyers and the liquidation master.

Anonymous said...

Re: Reporters actually leave the building to find stories. Looking at a computer screen isn't where the stories are...maybe they were at city hall or a basketball game or school board meetings.
A teen can send a text message of the game results, and a couple of photos from his camera phone to the online site in a minute as pic for nics. Please get over yourselves, this is not brain surgery.

Anonymous said...

"Obama Lied" - Who ever thought you would see that in a McC paper?
-Clayton Cramer: Obama told Idahoans he wouldn't take away their guns. He lied.-
Idaho Statesman
Published: 02/22/09

Remember back in February 2008 when President Obama came to Boise and spoke at a big rally? He made a big point of saying, "I won't take away your guns," because those nasty, dishonest Republicans were saying that Obama was going to do that.

It sure didn't take long for Obama to reveal his intentions. The afternoon of the inauguration, the White House Web site's Urban Policy page admitted that he is indeed going to try and do exactly that. "

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but TNT is going down and quickly. Ad rev is down, poor adv management rules and morale is bad.

The sales staff doesn't truly believe in the product and their managers are second rate at best. Not a good combo. Conversely the online product is priced too high from a CPM perspective and the market place knows it.


Change out all existing adv management and either try to bring some past stars or others from another market. The Olympian managers brought in lack leadership skills and prefer a country club atmosphere, which won't work in this market. The previous TNT managers lack experience in motivating people and some of them shouldn't have been promoted from sales positions where they can do the best.

Mostly adv management is focused on tactics, not strategy, and there's been a history od keeping them on, even after periods of failure in times better than these.

In times like this, true leadership is what saves orgs and I hate to say, the TNT ad department is horribly lacking here

Anonymous said...

11:12 - DAMN. That kernel of truth kind of hurt. As a former 3rd-floorer I sometimes looked around and thought some of us should really get over ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Cheryl she still working for MNI?

I don't get it...

She wasn't sucessful at TNT for 3 of the 4 yrs she was there, yet she gets a promotion to the Bee???

No wonder we're at .54 ;)

Anonymous said...

To the guy or gal who says he/she still works at the paper and went up to the third floor to see no activity ... what time did you go up there, wise guy? 10 a.m.? Noon? 2 p.m.? Do you know anything about newspaper production? The desk doesn't get there until 3:30 and many of daytime reporters are out in the field collecting news. Did you also hear that there were layoffs at the Star-Telegram last year? Those, if you aren't aware, cut the editorial staff significantly. We shouldn't throw stones, but since I have the opportunity ... don't be bitter that you can no longer work your four hours a day and expense lunch, happy hour and dinner. Sweet gig, but the times, they have a changed, my friend. Your job is much tougher now, I know, but man up and do it or quit. As far as criticizing the editorial content ... well, take your opinions and finger-pointing down the hall to the executive offices. They have some answers and apparently The Joker is planning another scheme with the Cat Woman. Now go out and sell some advertising and do your job. And quit bitching.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like morale at the Star-Telegram south plant is at an all-time high. That, or they're drinking on the job. Maybe our crack inspector on the second floor downtown should go investigate. But, I'm telling you ... I don't know who this Paul cat is, but it sounds to me as if he's had the best year of any employee in the McClatchy chain: He scored some strange AND his wife left him. That's called lucky. Can it get much better than that? Even in a good year. He's probably now living under a bridge, but he was headed there anyway as a McClatchy employee. Go get them, Paul, and be careful out there. If McClatchy doesn't get you, a woman will. ... Now someone else mentioned a Northeast staff at the S-T. Is there still a Northeast staff?

Anonymous said...

Laughs at the comment about the bellingham herald, not enought reporters to write, come to the Star Telegram, not enough pressmen to print or enough maintenance to keep the press up. write all you want if you cant print and cant fix the press, unless you can write a hundred or thousand more copies, find other employment.