Monday, February 23, 2009

What are you hearing?

If you have news or info, leave it in comments.

UPDATE: From comments, Sacramento Bee management has a meeting scheduled with the Bee Guild this coming Friday.

UPDATE #2: This is from the Bee Newspaper Guild's web site:
After several days of mixed signals about buyouts, we just got word management will try to accommodate employees willing to accept the terms of the layoff voluntarily. They said they are working with legal to ensure people taking the buyout will be elegible for unemployment.
.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely nothing, that is the problem!!

Anonymous said...

This is the calm before the storm.

Anonymous said...

Nothing yet in Lexington. I guess they're going to drag out the agony a little longer. And I guess we'll have to wait a few more hours for west coast people to report in. Fun, fun.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody help me with this question? What happens to the stockholders when they go bankrupt? Will the McClatchy family lose all the value of their stock?

Anonymous said...

Bankruptcy for MNI stock, in this case, since it is at .51 at this second, means that the stock should immediately drop to say about .05 cents.

Where creditors could then buy the entire company at a single stock price, say .05 cents, and investors could also then “cash out.”

But with what 2 billion in debt, in essence, stock holders get wiped out.

An example is today’s Philadelphia Enquire. It had only say 500 million in debt and about 300 million in assets, and their stock quietly traded in the pink sheets for months at .03 cents before its death.

So, yes all the stockholders get wiped out, even Les

Anonymous said...

7:32 Thanks.

Anonymous said...

7:32 Do you think that is what the McClatchy family wants to buy the whole ball of wax for .05? What would then happen to the $2B dollar debt?

Anonymous said...

When your neighbor loses his job, that’s a recession. When you lose yours, that’s a depression. When a newspaper goes out of business, that’s justice.

(stolen quote alert)

Anonymous said...

The creditors or holders of the 2billion in debt, now "own" the company.

Like circuit City, they can get together and "Buy" the company at the lower price and write off the debt.

But like circuit city, the debt holders made more money by parting out the carcass.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right Bank America is the one holding the debt and we know what shape they're in.

Anonymous said...

No word yet out here in the West. Depressing not knowing what our fate is...

Anonymous said...

Brian Tierney publisher of the Philadelpha Inq. said today on CNBC that they have to have a printed paper because they can't make enough advertising dollars online. Advertisers won't pay much for ads online.

That means shit for McClatchy. I guess Brian needs to talk to Gary.

Anonymous said...

You're not going to here anything here at the sacbee till after the Guild meets with management on the 27th.

Anonymous said...

8:29am... so those of us who don't belong to the Guild, what does that mean for us?

Anonymous said...

This waiting stuff is crap. To tell us three weeks ago this lay off was going to happen and still nothing. I can and will not go through this every quarter. Tell me where to sign, I want out.

Anonymous said...

Take it from someone whose position was eliminated in June, stay where you are until you find another job...it's a tough world for journalists now.

Anonymous said...

8:47 - Me too! Sign me up!

Anonymous said...

I will go flip hamburgers for a living. My stomach is wasted with all of this stress. Can not and will not go through with this again. Show me the money.

Anonymous said...

8:47 - I am with you! I am so stressed out, waiting for the word on who is next to go in Myrtle Beach (we laid off 50+ people a couple weeks ago, which does not count toward the McClatchy $110M-cut mandate). Why keep us non-union employees hanging?

Anonymous said...

Entrepreneurship... take the buyout, start manufacturing Malox in salt lick form and sell it back to the folks still working for MNI.

Anonymous said...

Wall Street Journal article shines a little more light on the current bankruptcies and fate of shareholders. Not kind to McClatchy and others.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123524807032741025.html?mod=wsjcrmain

Anonymous said...

WSJ article exerpt:

Newspaper companies have been pounded by spiraling advertising declines, but many of their wounds are self-inflicted.

New York Times Co., McClatchy Co., Journal Register and others plunged into newspaper deals that now look ill-conceived as falling profits undermine their ability to repay debt.

Bankruptcy hasn't proved to be an ironclad shelter. Companies including Circuit City Stores Inc. and Mervyn's LLC have been forced to shut down in recent months after bankruptcy protection proved inadequate.

Journal Register's banks have agreed to a prearranged restructuring plan, which would reduce debt by $420 million and leave the company's stock in the hands of its lenders.

Oh... Goodnight and Goodluck

Anonymous said...

What Happened to the Hopemonger?

Real Clear Politics
by David Paul Kuhn

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Anonymous said...

How smart does Tony Ridder look these days! Now that should be a WSJ story.

Anonymous said...

They can't really do a, "Ridder is smart" article. Back then they were busy doing articles about how they were resisting the sale and dragging their feet. WSJ knew full well that the sale was strictly shareholder driven.

The shareholders were geniuses. Ridder, not so much. He just got to ride their coat tails.

Anonymous said...

And sail off in the sunset a rich man - and richer.

Anonymous said...

Hey, he isn't the only one. A whole lot of people, myself included had a huge payday. It was never Knight Ridders intent for any of their shareholders to put money into MNI. That was why they structured the deal to be almost entirely in cash.

Anonymous said...

The way the stock market is getting pounded once again today (down more than 200 points), I wouldn't be surprised if McClatchy cut to the bone this time around. The economy is not only tanking, it's at the bottom of the tank. They'd be justified to do severe staff reductions and with bare-bones severance packages.

Anonymous said...

"TIME is recalling their Jerusalem correspondent, Tim McGirk because of budget concerns."

Has McClachy recalling any super expensive bunker boys yet?

WHY NOT?
Gary Pruitt is not seriously cutting expenses. What a total 'Schmuck' he is.

Anonymous said...

will not be televised is calling out the Scar to start talking about their own dire straits . pretty funny and angry stuff.

http://willnotbetelevised.com/tv/2009/02/23/it-is-news-after-all/

Anonymous said...

Has McClachy recalling any super expensive bunker boys yet?
--

McClatchy has no bunker boys. McClatchy has Collaborator Carla's.

Anonymous said...

Gary Pruitt, a big jerk in his Ralph Lauren designer clown pants.

Anonymous said...

On Sunday, the KC Star profiled a down-and-out unemployed local goof. (The story was terribly depressing.) The Star could have saved time and money by having the reporter profile one of his former staffers. But then again, the Star has NEVER reported on its own demise. They let the community believe the Star is in great shape and is here to stay. I say it will file for bankruptcy by the next fiscal quarter.

Anonymous said...

McClatchy's bunker boys my ass, Tokyo Rose in drag, is more like it!

Anonymous said...

Where is that poster that always says the Gannett blog is so great? I took a look recently, and the hatred for Gannett on that blog was so strong, it was astounding. A place to vent is okay, but I enjoy other subjects thrown in, and the jousting between liberal and conservative thinkers. That felt like a place for bitter laid-off employees only, to me.

Archer05 said...

The layoff- tedious scripting - boilerplate language

NEWSPAPER LAYOFFS: A firsthand account. It is sad, but it probably is a good glimpse into a situation facing so many. He is a good writer, I’m betting he willl land on his feet.
--------
Life With Father
Excerpts:
I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG when my boss led me past her office, past the lunchroom and the accounting department, to the publisher's office where I noticed the company HR person and the union shop steward already waiting.

Why, I practically shouted, couldn't I just go back and clean out my desk on my own? It would be so much more efficient, and we could get this all over with now.

No, they said - it would be a "bad idea" for me to go back to the newsroom now.

http://www.rickmcginnis.com/lifewithfather/2009/020509.html

Anonymous said...

NEWSPAPER LAYOFFS: A firsthand account. It is sad, but it probably is a good glimpse into a situation facing so many.
---
It was actually a mild rendition that he described. I saw one at the Star where they sent two thugs into the office where they slipped up behind a guy and said, "You're done." They stood behind him arms crossed like Black Panther thugs, and waited for him to pack his personal items. They even tried to prevent him from talking to anyone or say goodbye before their hands on escort down the stairs.
These people are paranoid and they fully expect to see a repeat of what happened when the Postal Service started firing all their workers and replacing them with part timers and illegal aliens.
They think they are preventing something, but they don't realize that newspaper people are not the same breed as ex military vets the Post Office used to hire. They will end up provoking serious retaliation before it is over.

Anonymous said...

Well, I just think it's not right to tell us this is coming and then leave us with NO CLUE when it's going to happen. We're human too, just like the Powers-that-be and this is just too much stress to have to deal with. I HATE McClatchy for this. I wish they'd have just called me at home one morning and told me not to come in.

Treat us with an OUNCE of respect and let us in on what's going on and we'll stay with you until the ship slips beneath the waves but don't treat us like this.

Anonymous said...

1:45 I don't know what "Star" your talking about but it's not KC unless he was fired for good reason.

Anonymous said...

1:50 You have had many chances in the last year to leave. You stayed so quit crying a sad song.

Put your name on your post and I'm sure they'll call you. Or you can just tell your boss to call you.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 1:50. I would love to ask one of the PTB's why they took this approach.

1:54 -- you don't know that someone else had "many chances to leave". Where I am the market was bad way before this. Options are limited and we weren't offered buyouts. Believe me, I would grab one with both hands and not look back.

Anonymous said...

"1:45 I don't know what "Star" your talking about but it's not KC unless he was fired for good reason."

Yes as a matter of fact it was. Just not upstairs where people are treated differently because they have a voice. Twenty three years and not a blemish on his record and he got, "You're done. Pack your desk."

Anonymous said...

They probably don't know the difference on days. Next to Deffenbaugh, the Star is one of the largest employers of common criminals in the two state area.
They really preferred Illegal Aliens, but they had to do a mass firing of them a few years ago before immigration showed up.

Anonymous said...

1:50 Have you told your boss to call you yet?

Anonymous said...

* FEBRUARY 23, 2009, 3:54 P.M. ET

UPDATE: Bankruptcies Threaten To Shrink Newspaper Industry - Dow Jones Newswire

More analysis with more of the doomed Media News Group featured.

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,BT-CO-20090223-713472,00.html?mod=wsjportfolio

Anonymous said...

2:19 Exactly what department was that? "Just not upstairs" where is upstairs, Heaven?

2:30 Good one. I guess that's why they need the "black Panthers".

Anonymous said...

2:19 Exactly what department was that? "Just not upstairs" where is upstairs, Heaven?

2:30 Good one. I guess that's why they need the "black Panthers".

Anonymous said...

"2:19 Exactly what department was that? "Just not upstairs" where is upstairs, Heaven?"

That was in the Mail Room. About the same time the part timer was murdered if I recall. Upstairs was anyone that is not in the mail room, press room or across the street.

There used to be the most interesting stuff that went on around there. Like the new hire all wound up on PCP and trying to break the window out of the office with a chair so he could get to an assistant foreman. I'd imagine the suits were pretty much terrified to even walk though the place most of the time.

Anonymous said...

1:50 Have you told your boss to call you at home yet?????

Anonymous said...

Insiders at Star-Telegram think it'll be two weeks longer for next round here. Old Arlington office shut down last week, so the group moved into the NE office for now.

Just one, big, happy family, aren't we?

Anonymous said...

This post is almost as pathetic as actually being at the Star these days.

Anonymous said...

Oh joy! Everyone ought to be wound up tighter than a long tailed cat in a room full of rockers by that time.

Get ready for the new phenomenon, "Going Reporter" Postal workers, redemption is at hand.

Anonymous said...

It's a new parlor game. Who will it be? Who is protected by the higher ups? Who deserves it? Who has been too lucky so far?

Pin the pink slip on the reporter!

Anonymous said...

I also heard a rumor today at the Lexington Herald-Leader that it would be 2 more weeks before an announcement is made. Anywhere other than the Star-Telegram hearing this all of a sudden too? Last week everyone was saying it would be before the end of Feb - now we're talking middle of MARCH?? Just keeps getting better and better. I used to think our publisher was a great guy. Now I just resent him for drag this out w/o out giving us any kind of timeline. Other publishers have said more since the original announcement - why aren't they all giving us an ETA on D-Day?

Anonymous said...

I don't know how many saw it this morning but it was like slumdog millionaire at 7th st entrance this a.m. Folks from India were in the lobby waiting to be escorted in so finance & billing could start training them. What a slap in the face 1st thing on Mon morning...Jerks! I know I wasn't the only one who saw this; there were several coworkers coming in @ the same time.We ate cow for lunch! YUMMY!!!

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know a good massage therapist (for free?) My neck is killing me from the stress.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that nobody else saw the replacements in the building today. They ushered them in like a herd of cows! No pun intended, yeah right!

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:32 LOL Very Funny!

Anonymous said...

I know I wasn't the only one who saw this; there were several coworkers coming in @ the same time.We ate cow for lunch! YUMMY!!!

***
Check to see which of your bosses are sucking up and assimilating. You'll know when they start drinking their own urine with the guests.

Anonymous said...

`We are also hearing rumblings that no news will come from the Star this week and it may be another one to two weeks before there’s an announcement. It would appear that the cuts there were planning was not as enough to as they thought. The selling staff is in crisis mode to see as much as possible to make the numbers.


We may have been led down a path that’s bigger than we thought when McClatchy said they were going to cut between 100 to 110 million in additional cost cutting. That number could be as high as 125 million now given the market value of the company since the Q4 media call and the value of the stock going south.

Anonymous said...

I see updates from KC and Sac Bee, but what's going on in Raleigh?

Anonymous said...

yea,whats going on here in raleigh!

Anonymous said...

What's up in Raleigh? We put out one hell of a newspaper today. And we'll be doing it for quite a while, I hope.

http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=NC_NO&ref_pge=lst

Anonymous said...

Flippin Hamburgers isn't even an option right now around my area there are no openings anywhere-
not even any paper routes.....

If you are still in the building start now making plans as if you were out cause it is where we are all going to be sooner ? or Later? and the later is going to be pretty darn stress filled days

I would recommend while you still have a paycheck start planning how to live cheap before it is gone,as you see they are not giving any advance warning just boom call you in and escort you out.

Anonymous said...

1:50 I guess we can say at this point that your a fraud. You wanted to be called at home and let go. I told you to post your name and paper you worked for with that request. I also said that all you had to do is request that phone call from your boss.

We're still waiting for you to come back here and prove that you did it. You won't because you're one of the crying ass babies still working and really want to.

Are you a liar and a cry baby? Yep! We all know it.

Anonymous said...

I hear an announcement is coming this week at our paper.

Anonymous said...

Will somebody please figure out that "our paper" means nothing to anybody. If your going to post start using the NAME OF THE PAPER.

Anonymous said...

6:18, irony on line 1.

You demand that 1:50 post his/her name, call them a names, then post anonymously yourself. LOL!

Obviously, it's suicide to request a buyout, you're just as likely to be greeted with a layoff instead. It's smarter to try to wait it out.

Anonymous said...

It's smarter to try to wait it out.
--
Actually it isn't, but you're not organized enough to affect the change necessary to prosper. It would require forcing layoffs at the top, not the bottom. It would also require forcing an objective agenda and rigorous sales campaigns at reduced cost. You're not able to do that however as your staff are not educationally equipped to operate as a business.

Anonymous said...

8:56, who is the "you" in your post? Who isn't organized enough, etc?

What I meant was something different: if you're hoping for a buyout, it's smarter to sit tight and wait and see than it is to announce to your boss that you want one. Then you'd get "don't let the door hit ya" and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

5:58, I wouldn't say you continue to produce good papers there in raleigh. I'd say you continue to produce the same paper you were producing 12 years ago. Same format to story selection. Thinking people care about Ira David Wood. Dig at Gitmo. Yep, you've accomplished your checklist.
The design is weak. The writing is boring. No one cares how much of a man's brain he uses to absorb art. This is why your paper is failing. Well, that and the incredible top-heavy salary distribution and low-producing writers on beats that are no longer justifiable.

Anonymous said...

Well, each to his own, of course.

But our circulation has held up well, considering, and the web site remains hot. So I think the paper's doing pretty well journalistically, despite the cuts. Lots of nice thoughts from the readers.

And no, no one cares about Ira Wood. They care about his daughter.

Anonymous said...

So, let me see. Raleigh has on its front:

-- Dirtbags poisoning sick people with tainted medicine.

- Mentally ill kids stashed in roach-infested barracks by the states.

-- A starlet!

What else were you wanting?

If that kind of newspapering is wrong, then, baby, I don't want to be right.

Anonymous said...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Troubled-San-Francisco-paper-apf-14459615.html

Wholly Fuck!