Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ed Fletcher from the Bee Guild: 50 to 70 layoffs at the Bee, warning notices to come Friday

Reporter Karen Massie from filed this report:
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.

Like other media outlets, the Sacramento Bee is getting fewer clients to pay for revenue producing ads.

"If car dealers are struggling, then we're going to struggle," Fletcher said. "If people aren't selling homes in the paper, we're going to hurt. There's a trickle down effect and it's going to effect us."

Advertising assistance Cindi Taylor has worked for the paper for ten years. "It's pretty grim. It's hard to watch people lose accounts," Bee advertising assistance Cindi Taylor, who has worked at the Bee for 10 years.

Taylor also watched the paper lay off 86 people last summer, then another 44 people left with buyout packages in the fall.

She wonders if she's next. "It would be pretty scary," said Taylor "That's what all the staff is thinking right now. What would they be doing? With their skills, where else could they go?"

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."

Fletcher said more staff cuts could reduce the paper's ability to cover stories.

"We can't cover as many girls basketball games. We can't cover the city of Roseville or Elk Grove like we used to," Fletcher said. "We're going to be leaner and meaner and it's going to be a tough time, but hopefully, our readers stay with us."

Hat tip: comments



Anonymous said...

Yes, yes yes!. Ok its not a real orgasm.

But like most of MNI news, it's "Fake but accurate"

Anonymous said...

Debra J. Saunders of the soon to be defunct chronicle made the same argument:

As for those who only read their news online, here's a news flash: News stories do not sprout up like Jack's bean stalk on the Internet. To produce news, you need professionals who understand the standards needed to research, report and write on what happened.

If newspapers die, reliable information dries up.

Pardon me while I fart, puke and laugh in your general direction

Anonymous said...

Charles Foster Kane: You're right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars *next* year.

You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years.

Well, being that the movie was released in 1941, he came pretty close. Only off by 8 years.

(Not my quote or insight. But the pomp fits)

Anonymous said...

"We can't cover as many girls basketball games. We can't cover the city of Roseville or Elk Grove like we used to," Fletcher said. "We're going to be leaner and meaner and it's going to be a tough time, but hopefully, our readers stay with us."

Were DNC talking points and trinkets past out as parting gifts to staff after his little talk?

Anonymous said...

More layoffs:
San Antonio Paper to Slash Newsroom Staff
By Joe Strupp

Published: February 25, 2009
Just a day after the San Francisco Chronicle announced a potential shutdown due to economics, another Hearst Corp. daily -- the San Antonio Express-News -- is revealing plans to cut at least 75 newsroom staffers.

Anonymous said...

Re: “If newspapers die, reliable information dries up.”
Where was that reliable information about Barry Soetoro (aka) Barack Obama? Where is it now concerning the lavish government spending spree.

Obama Bend-over reporting-
the end can’t come soon enough.

Anonymous said...

When the media pimped themselves out to Obama, well, they became common pimps. Now they scream for the respect they lost. Sorry, a pimp is a pimp, ain’t no denying that.

Anonymous said...

Newspapers now have to compete and some will choose to go away because they haven't had to be competitive in 100 years. They no longer control the flow of information and they have prostituted their reputation for their own idealogical purposes. The end for most is well-deserved. They have been resting on their laurels for years.

Anonymous said...

Editorial does NOT make a paper. Don't forget the Circulation Dept. They are also getting the shaft.

Anonymous said...

@Fitz & Jen
February 26, 2009

-Internet is Primary Source of News, Sez Poll-

Jen: This just in from our friends across the aisle at Adweek. A new poll from We Media and Zogby Interactive reveal that 48% of respondents get their primary news from the Internet while only 10% said they get it from newspapers. And in case you are wondering, a Zogby spokeswoman said the newspaper category included print AND online.

Anonymous said...

..." Leaner and meaner " Hah ! The Bee will be even " Cheaper and deeper " in the tank for the Socialists bastards who are in charge...right now.

Anonymous said...

Rocky Mountain News is finished as of Friday

Anonymous said...

WSJ via Drudge. Will MNI report these facts? Of couse not, that's why they are laying off everyone!

The 2% Illusion Take everything they earn, and it still won't be enough.

President Obama has laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda since LBJ, and now all he has to do is figure out how to pay for it.

On Tuesday, he left the impression that we need merely end "tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans," and he promised that households earning less than $250,000 won't see their taxes increased by "one single dime."...

Anonymous said...

I find quite immature and downright silly that this site's purpose, the way I understand it, is to bring fellow MNI employees together and spread information about the coming and goings (mainly goings) of our dwindling company. Now all I read is a bunch of crybaby whiners blaming President Obama for everything. Here's a newsflash to you whiners... ad revenues plummeted well before Obama took office yet I read no one hear talking about our past presidency.

Get over yourselves and quit acting like a bunch of whiney little girls because that is how sound.

Unfortunately I see myself coming here less and less as an FWST employee because if I want to hear whining, I'll go home to my 2 children.

But kudos to you sir that put this site together, it has well been worth reading.

Anonymous said...

You see, that is where you F(*&ed up. You assumed this blogs purpose instead of reading the very first thing on the front page.

To Wit: "This blog is mainly about the spectacular train wreck at The Sacramento Bee and its parent company, the McClatchy Company. But I also post about current events, the Iraq war, politics, and anything else that interest me. Take a look around this blog, I hope you enjoy it."

You see, no where in there is written a damn word about bringing anyone together much less McClatchy Employees.

So, who is really immature? Them or you whining about someone not liking Osama?

P.S. It doesn't do you any good to throw rocks and then give a kudos. You're still a putz and your game is getting old. Prozac is your friend.

Anonymous said...

Background you won't find on the Happy Trails blog: The Sac Bee newsroom is an open shop yet the company continues to negotiate with the union. This is because MNI lost a federal case to the union in the early 90s over merit pay. MNI also continues with annual reviews that purportedly affect pay, even as it has a pay freeze and job cuts -- likely to defend the principles MNI went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to fight for. If MNI bypassed the union, it could trigger problems tied to the 1986-1992 federal court fight.
see -- National Labor Relations Board, Petitioner, and Northern California Newspaper Guild, Local 52, the Newspaper Guild, Afl-Cio, Clc, Intervenor, v. Mcclatchy Newspapers, Inc. Publisher of the Sacramento Bee, Respondent

Anonymous said...

...12:38, what a pleasure to find you will be coming here " less and less ". And you can take your BDS with you. Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya. Y'all don't come back now.

Anonymous said...

People who resort to firing off insult after insult tells me that you cannot have a mature, reasonable conversation. Just like the comment calling our president Osama. It's okay though, these are tough times and some people buck up and try to find solutions while others look to put blame on onto others.

Since you have turned the subject towards how bad our current president is, tell me how the newspaper industry flourished under our most recent president.

I'm sure that instead of having an educated discussion about it you will just go back to the insults which again tells me that you are much too young and uneducated to jump in the water with we adults.

Anonymous said...

People who resort to firing off insult after insult tells me that you cannot have a mature, reasonable conversation.

Who the hell are you to be complaining about anyone tossing insults or lecturing about mature, reasonable conversations when it was you that started the personal insults in the first place?

If you don't understand that Obamba is a public figure. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

First of all, let's all stop feeling sorry for ourselves and blaming mismanagement and the economy. Do you really believe that if you were running a company, you would take such a loss of revenue in this environment and not have to make tough decisions? Decisions like this are not fun and weigh greatly on the minds and hearts of those that implement them. We are losing some great people in the process and we know their lives may never be the same. How many times have you looked back on an event and realized if that "bad thing" had never happened, you never would have ended up doing xxx? When a door closes, you find another door open some place else and you find a way to survive. We all have an obligation greater than ourselves to contribute to the greater good of our industry and sometimes that requires sacrifice but most often it requires innovation and a paradigm shift in approach and culture. Change is uncomfortable for most but it is not a reason to whine and give up- that is laziness plain and simple. Quit being a victim and start being a trailblazer.

We can save this industry and weather the changes but it requires some serious application. These rants remind me of children- anything requiring effort means that it is difficult. We can transform ourselves into THE multimedia source that provides much-needed journalistic integrity, local perspective that nobody can touch, and a reach that provides results to the advertisers that finance our mission. If you're going to stay on the ship then roll up your sleeves and get to work and keep the ship rolling.

Anonymous said...

If you're going to stay on the ship then roll up your sleeves and get to work and keep the ship rolling.

Bad new Popeye. Ship rolling is a bad thing. So what's the deal? Is that the speech for who is left after the guillotine drops?

Needs work, but it's better than an outline.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:38 Don't let the door hit ya, where your Marxist god split ya!

Anonymous said...

I had to come back to see the incessant whining about the state of affairs in our country. The angst that so many of you have is completely laughable.

Woe is me. Waah, waah, waah. If all you are to do is complain and whine then perhaps going back to grade school is more suitable for you.

For the adults out there, I'm with the FWST and I feel for you my brothers and sisters in CA, keep the faith if you can. We're all expecting hatchet man Wortel to send out the quarterly layoff letter tomorrow.

Here's the crazy thing though. There was a product launch today for a new weekly. There had to be at least 80 people there. Everyone got 2 drink tickets and there was a happy hour type buffet and it started at 4pm.

The lunancy of the happenings here and elsewhere is unexplainable.

Anonymous said...

Those of us critical of your papers are adults. Has anyone made a study of the tone of McClatchy employees who post here? It's invaluable to get a firsthand look at the condescension that pervades your papers. I'm curious: On what do you base your superior attitude? Did it raise your circulation figures? How's it helping you now?