Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday March 17 -- Got news or an update?

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

Anonymous said...

I'm a McClatchy employee who is on the chopping block, and I was attending a support group meeting for something else I'm involved with on Monday night, and when I told them what was going on with the newspaper I work for, someone suggested that our city needs a new newspaper. I'm guessing a LOT of cities need a new newspaper, one that's locally owned (and not corporately owned)... although I don't honestly see anyone stepping up and doing it any time. Newspapers could still be profitable, but the fat absolutely needs to be trimmed -- and that doesn't mean cutting the people who actually do the work of getting things done every single day!

Anonymous said...

So how many papers are left to still hear something about lay-offs? What's the tally?

Anonymous said...

The LE cut the ones who do the work again.....

Anonymous said...

Kevin ..Is there some way to find out the department cuts for the KC Star? So far all we have is the newswoom.

Anonymous said...

If there's any way you can post or link to lists that identify newsroom folks who have been laid off, that'd be helpful. We've in in this business for decades and know people all over the country, and it's difficult to find out who's been let go. Thanks for the KC and Sacramento lists; any for Wichita, Idaho and Raleigh? And thanks for writing this blog! You're doing a great job...

Anonymous said...

http://bottomlinecom.com/kcnews/kcstaremployeelist.html

Has the current list but keep in mind that one reporter confirms this morning that the Star does not distribute a list of their victims. All names are collected via the grapevine.

He believes that all victims have been notified, however several names have yet to be released.

Keep in mind that the Star goes to great effort to prevent the release of any information on the subject so getting it out of the building is a fairly difficult task that carries with it the threat of retaliation.

Anonymous said...

The Star lost one more person in
Ad Services. I won't release the name since there is nothing to gain ... people don't know those names anyway, so what's the point in outing them?

It sounds like they got off easy, but they were cut to the bone with the outsourcing to India before the layoffs even began for any of the other departments at the paper.

Anonymous said...

people don't know those names anyway, so what's the point in outing them?


The only people being outed when you release the names of the victims is the offending management. By keeping their secret you play right into the hands of a dishonest publisher because he knows putting a name to the victims gives them a human quality and garners great sympathy.

If he keeps it quiet, it is just a faceless body, a statistic.

McClatchy Watch said...

5:55 -- As far as publishing names of laid off workers, for the most part I leave that to other bloggers. Bottom Line Communications is publishing employees leaving the KC Star; the Bee Guild published names of employees leaving the Sac Bee. I'd be happy to link to other sites listing names, though.

Anonymous said...

7:17 Thanks. I was more interested in the count by departments not names.

Anonymous said...

KC Star Production numbers aren't final yet, as they are still informing some that they've been cut. What I've heard though so far is 7 out of P&D, 10 out of the Pressroom, which includes the white paper crew. Word is the midshift press crew will also be ditched, not sure how many of those guys are left from the last cut though.

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, The Miami Herald is taking 5% from the $25k - $50k crowd and 10% from the $50k - $100k crowd.

Anonymous said...

And those over 100k get a pass?

John Altevogt said...

One of the things knowing the names tells you is the criteria for elimination, and I guarantee you that at KC it is not merit based.

Indeed, in the editorial department reverse discrimination seems to have reared its ugly head.

Another has already been stated. Knowing the victims puts a human face on the statistics. I disagree that it's less important to list the names of the pressmen, people in sales, etc. because then people realize that it's not just that reporter you didn't like who got the axe, it was also the guy in the press room you go to church with and the sales guy whose kid plays with yours.

People tend to see newspapers as monoliths, often based on the views of the editorial boards which often are not representative of their communities. That's no better than trying to judge by race, or ethnicity. Knowing the names forces you to confront the humanity of the people losing their jobs, even if you don't know them.

Anonymous said...

The problem with listing the names is what's happened twice in KC. The name is listed before the person actually finds out he or she has been laid off. That happened to DeeAnn Smith yesterday, and to Les Weatherford last year. That shouldn't happen at all.

Anonymous said...

No, that should not happen.

I don't see the need for names, I can empathize with their situation without that detail. And chances are, most people won't recognize names from another paper anyway.

Anonymous said...

It's common knowledge, or should be, that decisions on whom to cut in a companywide layoff are heavily based on avoiding discrimination claims. They have to come up with criteria that set percentages in workgroups, factor in seniority, etc. and back those up with business reasons that can be defended in a dispute. Of course the process can be gamed to some extent, but I imagine department heads are being told who's off limits and who's fair game, and their preferences don't cut much ice.

Anonymous said...

That happened to DeeAnn Smith yesterday, and to Les Weatherford last year. That shouldn't happen at all.



No it shouldn't but imagine the glee the company would find with the knowledge that no one had a clue as to who it was that they axed. No backlash, no public sympathy for the victims, just business as usual for the perp.

Because the Star neglected to inform her in a timely manner is hardly an excuse to keep their activities a secret. You already know for a fact that they do not hesitate to use intimidation and threats to silence disclosure.

Why would you help them by using the excuse that someone found out from friends instead of the employer, so that is reason for no one to know.

That is just crazy. If I were the Star and thought that would work, I would hold back notifications every single time just so someone would find out elsewhere. Then I could say, "Oh the humanities! We can't disclose this information because we are sensitive and caring"

What a load of crap.

Anonymous said...

7:42 What is the "P & D" department? What about "pre-press" any numbers there?

Anonymous said...

P&D is what they call the mail room now.

Anonymous said...

It sickens me to see all of this coming down but the reality to me is the newspaper business has done this to themselves. In the business for 33 years has taken me down many roads and all of them ended with the greed of big corporations buying all of the small papers. When families owned papers, the amount of money made was sufficient for all. Employees were treated with respect and like family...then greed stepped in. The family owners saw the big bucks being waved in their faces and jumped on it. Now owned by greedy corporations, the money being made became not nearly enough for these people and that led to getting rid of workers so corporate profit could be higher. With all of us aware of this mentality, I place my blame on the original owners of these papers who became so money hungry that they forgot what got them there....good employees. I have read alot about Pruitt, all bad but if he wasn't doing what he is doing here, he'd be doing it somewhere. I truly wish some of these papers could become employee owned. There is enough money to get back the reporters, advertising revenues would rise, circulations would stabilize and all would be fine. We seem to have given up the fight. This is our chosen vocation and we are letting corporate america walk all over us. Lets take back what we do. This is a comment from a devoted newspaper fan and employee and not a rumor. Employee owned is the way to go!

Anonymous said...

I understand the desire to see the names of people in editorial. You see the quality of their work. You see the volume of their work. You can make an educated determination of whether or not they deserved to go.

That is not the case with other departments unless you work not only at the paper but probably IN that department and if that is the case you already know they are gone.

If I name a person in ad services that was let go, you are not going to know if they made 0 mistakes a year or 10 or if they created 20 ads a day or 1.

It personalizes things, but that is not MY place. If they want their name known, they can make it known.

Anonymous said...

It personalizes things, but that is not MY place. If they want their name known, they can make it known.

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No one was criticizing you or your decision not to release the name. It was only a matter of wanting you to recognize the driving force behind that position, and how it serves to contribute to the delinquency of a publisher.

Many things in the world of Political Correctness have noble sounding logic behind truly evil intentions.

Anonymous said...

I think MOST people are only interested in the departments and the numbers for each. I don't know why anyone would object to that.

Thanks 10:30.

Anonymous said...

I'm growing old waiting for this blog to load these days. Is it my computer or is anyone else out there having the same trouble?

Anonymous said...

it's your pc (or mac)

Anonymous said...

Still no word in Anchorage...

John Altevogt said...

Strange, they posted what was going on with Len Dawson at Channel 9 (and used his name), but nothing about what went on at The Star yesterday. So I asked in the comments below, and it disappeared. Maybe they did that to protect DeAnn Smith's feelings.

And, I imagine this is loading slow because there are a lot of people interested in a topic that our newspaper isn't covering.

As for employee owned, I think you can buy a used press for about 150k and if you're not demanding a 40% ROI every year you can probably put out a pretty decent product

I'm a conservative, but I get most of my local news from The Pitch simply because they do a better job about the things that concern me than The Star. I don't care what your politics are as long as you do your job. The Star doesn't, and it is not the fault of their reporters that they don't.

Buy a press, round up your pals (there's a hell of a talent pool available) tell me what the hell is going on in my community without favor and I will buy your paper.

Anonymous said...

We're getting ready to have our staff meeting in Raleigh. I swear if John (Drescher) says, "Well it's been a tough week. We've made some hard decisions and lost a lot of good friends, but we will continue to put out a great newspaper every single day"....I'm going to walk across the room and punch him in the face.

Anonymous said...

Actually, If you find out the cost of run the Star would probably print your product for you. It could still be profitable and you wouldn't even have to own a press.

Anonymous said...

if somebody buys a press-ill work for ya--got experience on goss headliner and metroliner 3:2 folder--i was born to print!

Anonymous said...

LOL .. Go find yourself a nice gig on a Mark Andy in a tape and label shop. They're going to be the only one's left soon.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has run newspapers both with and without presses ... you are better off outsourcing your printing unless you can build a reliable commercial print business on the side.

By the time you buy the press, buy or rent the space to put it in, do the maintenance, pay a press crew and get the insurance your cost will be equal to or higher than the cost of outsourcing the job in the most cases.


I would not want to be trying to do that these days.

Anonymous said...

If you punch Drescher in the face, I'll give you a brand new, non-McClatchy job right now. Doing what I'm not sure. But I'd love the video of that.

Anonymous said...

Anchorage Daily News just purchased and installed a very expensive Computer To Plate technology system to remove the human factor and expense in the stripping plating area. How many people will be lost? How can a company in such dire financial dis-stress spend this kind of money?

Anonymous said...

The properties I have not heard anything about yet are:

Anchorage
Charlotte
Lexington
State College
Olympia

Anonymous said...

To 1:50 p.m. commenter -

I heard Anchorage currently has 11 or 12 in its prepress department and will be able to go down to 4 or 5 employees in that group because of the change you mentioned.

Anonymous said...

The KC Star terminated 150 employees. What departments? What kind of hits did the Press Pavilion take, if any?

Pg1News said...

1:33 Go find yourself a nice gig on a Mark Andy in a tape and label shop. They're going to be the only one's left soon.
*******************

Mark Andy just had massive layoffs ... there is talk of closing its doors.

Anonymous said...

Everything except Editorial and Management. Press Pavilion best guess so far was about 17, but it is just a guess because the only way to know is look around and see who's missing.

Anonymous said...

Mark Andy just had massive layoffs ... there is talk of closing its doors.
----
No Stuff? It's all good. A high school industrial arts kid can rebuild one and there are spare parts to last for the next 100 years. Even if they're gone they won't be gone.

Hell, I still have table top model made out of a pressed steel frame that does a better job on a pharmaceutical label than some of the newer models. Of course it uses only the highest quality duct tape and bailing wire ever made.

McClatchy Watch said...

1:52: The Olympian laid off 15. No word yet on the others you mentioned.

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

Previous comment removed because it was a personal attack. Follow the rules.

Anonymous said...

3:36 Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If you truly want to see how cruel it can be at the KC Star, go to "Bottomline" and read about Andy Marso they let go.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see names. Maybe it's because I'm a masochist. I know there's at least one very important reporter still at the Star-Tele who is lucky to have 12 bylines a year. Meanwhile, those with 20 times that have been let go. I just want to see it in black and white...

Anonymous said...

8:33 PM Funny how that works isn't it? I know of one at the KC Star that shows up in a byline once every blue moon, but, he sends his wife around slandering any of Zieman's victims and promoting him at every turn.

He's still there, nice and cozy. Great Job Joe!