Thursday, April 16, 2009

Employment in newsrooms falls 11%... biggest decline in 3 decades

Newsroom employments news from Fitz and Jen:
ASNE confirms with hard numbers the bleakness that was 2008. Newsroom employment dropped 11.3% to 46,700. It's the biggest decline since the organization started its census survey in 1978. I shutter to think about the numbers for 2009.

ASNE reported the salad days for newsroom employment was in 1990 -- the peak year -- with 56,900 newsroom jobs.

Hat tip: comments



Anonymous said...

Awww. Are more bias Marxists, who say they’re not bias Marxists, about to get their wings (pink slips)?

Anonymous said...

That darn economy, recession, business model, advertising plan, and not enough affirmative action hiring will do it every time!

But sir, it is NEVER about bias!

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of teabaggers.

Anonymous said...

ASNE reported the salad days for newsroom employment was in 1990 --

No, the MNI tossing salad and teabagging days are today! Just ask anderson "up the pooper" cooper.

Anonymous said...

Why do journalists need to find a job?

Obama is president.

Anonymous said...

You can only hide so many nationalizations in every spending bill. He should have two or three more this year so don't count them out just yet.

I can see it now. Gary Pruitt Secretary of The Department of the Unbias Press.

Anonymous said...

Peter Kafka, a jounalist blogger at Media Memo even knows there is suspicion of the media. We have lefty posters here that are still deep in denial. Just like trying not to see the tea parties.
Ethics Statement
Here is a statement of my ethics and coverage policies. It is more than most of you want to know, but, in the [age of suspicion of the media,] I am laying it all out.

Anonymous said...

More bad news for reporters.
Detroit reporter will have to sit for pretrial questioning
Detroit Free Press

A federal appeals court says Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter will have to sit for questioning by attorneys for a former federal prosecutor wanting to find out who leaked word that he was under an internal investigation. "We are disappointed," says Free Press lawyer Richard Zuckerman

Anonymous said...

The News & Record is making more cuts. More of the same old line, but if you read the comments, the paper has a liberal bias, and one poster doesn't believe a thing they print. Odd how they never address how to "Change" the dishonest reputation they have aquired. Until they do, there is no "Hope" to survive.
GREENSBORO — The News & Record is cutting 25 jobs in its latest step to reduce costs resulting from the recession and its impact on advertising revenue.

Anonymous said...

Unions seek freelance journalists

Self-described unemployed dad and freelance writer Aaron Crowe points out an interesting trend: as newspaper guild membership vanishes, some are opening up their ranks to allow in freelancers.

One such union is forming in San Francisco's Bay Area, where the California Media Workers Guild could see hundreds of new members.

The proposed changes haven't gotten off the ground yet, but the guild's had one open meeting to discuss the ramifications of such a move. The union's first task will be to negotiate a group healthcare plan, Sara Steffens, an organizer, tells Crowe.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:28:

Freelancers. And the Guild could see hundreds of new members.

The proposed changes haven't gotten off the ground yet, but the guild discussing the ramifications of such a move and negotiating a group healthcare plan.

Nice find. But No union hack willingly lets outsiders into their fold.

My guess is its all perfunctory window dressing, to be deep sixed later.

Anonymous said...

I think that 11 percent newsroom cut is way too low.

The Modesto Bee newsroom has shrunk by more than 50 percent during the last few years, mostly by volunteer separations. Building wide the staff has shrunk from 650 a decade ago to less than 170 today.

For decades The Modesto Bee was McClatchy's cash cow. Now it's just another sacrificial lamb.

The corporate headquarters, meanwhile, remains full of fat cats, greedy pigs and dumb donkeys.

(With apologies to farm animals everywhere.)

Anonymous said...

Time to sound off.

When McClatchy took over Knight Ridder and Gary Pruitt told us, "McClatchy isn't like other newspaper companies. We don't lay people off when there's a downturn," we all winked at each other and said, yeah, RIGHT. In KR on the business side jobs had been getting cut for almost 20 years. The newsrooms always seemed to dodge the bullet because they were so "integral to producing our product."

Now the double whammy. Not only is McClatchy laying off all kinds of folks, it's laying off all kinds of newsroom folks. And the former KR and "legacy" McClatchy newsrooms are freaking out.

It's a BUSINESS, guys. Pure and simple. To hell with all this Marxist vs. Right-wing crap that we get bored to death with every day on this blog when all we really want is good information about the company. The economy tanked, ad revenue tanked, and voila! layoffs, pay cuts and furloughs.

And as for all the blame being placed on the KR deal, y'all were certainly happy to pocket our cash flow until the shit hit the fan. Thank goodness McClatchy had the good sense to dump all the union shops in Knight Ridder when it bought the rest of the group. Too bad it couldn't do the same with its own union shops. Talk about bloated staffs bleeding the company dry. And then whining about cuts. Watch where you place the blame.

Whew. That felt good.

Anonymous said...

8:52 "It's a business" A FAILED ONE

Whew that felt good too

Look Around said...

>8:52 PM

I still work at one of the McClatchy papers (NOT in the newsroom, FYI), but I was personally uneasy about McClatchy going after KR's properties when they came up on the chopping block.

Because I have a unique perspective from my desk I knew circulation and advertising was falling off before it hit home with management. This was happening well before Pruitt cast his greedy eyes on the KR chain. Of course, sending up a red flag to someone would have been futile. It would have been news no one wanted to hear and I would have been called a cynical pessimist. I've been there before. Besides, my position is too low in the trenches to take seriously anyway.

My gut feeling was that Pruitt should have spent more time shoring up his own defenses better before buying more properties. Unfortunately it turned out his stomach wasn't as big as his eyes and he wound up eventually having to sell off many of his newly acquired acquisitions at a loss to try and cover his lack of capital in what came to be a "perfect storm" for the newspaper industry. The rest of the story we pretty much know.

Anonymous said...

It is probably too late in the strand for anyone to see this comment but the rumor was that Tony Ridder and old man McClatchy had a secret pledge to buy the other one out if either company got into trouble. Neighborly Californios and all that. Gary Pruitt followed through on the deal but I'm not convinced it was his idea originally.

Anonymous said...

Still wondering why so many people here take so much joy in watching other people lose their jobs. You might want to figure out what you're really mad about...

And yes, I work for Mclatchy, but no I dont agree with everything the company does. Mistakes were made, obviously.

That's not the point. The point is that a lot of the people out of work now had nothing to do with the decisions made at the top. They are good, hard-working people with families. Consider that next time you misdirect your anger on this site.

John Altevogt said...

These last few posts have been very informative. Often the people in the trenches realize what's going on before the insulated big shots do.

How stupid, for instance, do you have to be to gut your news staff while keeping your editorial staff pretty much intact (and an atrocious editorial staff at that). What's the one thing a newspaper can do better than anyone else if it chooses to do so? Commentary? Blogging? How bout national news?

Of course not. The one thing they have going for them is their own local news. National news for the most part is local news that attracts the attention of a large audience and now with the advent of the Internet, we can go where the "national" news is and read their local newspaper - if they have one.

John Altevogt said...

I keep pointing out that it's somewhat naive to come on here and try and portray yourselves as the innocent victims who are now out of work. For pressmen and support staff, I can buy that, but not as much for those producing the product.

The Kansas City Star has done untold damage to this community and seeing its ability to continue to do damage fall apart is what we celebrate, not the misfortune of those whose careers there have come to an end.

I have many friends at The Star and I go through much angst whenever the layoffs come around. But then I see endorsements like we just saw from Barb Shelly, once again promoting the corrupt and trashing reform candidates and I just want to see it gone.

Yes, there are many wonderful people at The Star, but the bottom line is that it damages our community and we will be much better off without it.