Monday, September 25, 2006

San Jose Guild Meeting

"The Guild contended that the future of the Mercury News depends, in large part, on long-term investment in current employees, rather than on cutbacks."

With Singletown Singleton about to suck the life-blood out of the Mercury News, the paper's union is holding a key meeting on the issue:
Membership Meeting
6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2006. Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Center908 Bern Court. San Jose Map From MN

And of course most of the newspaper's readers are unaware how dire the situation is, since the Mercury News so far has yet to print one word about it-classic example of ownership control of information.
For more on the issue read:

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Singleton Sharpens the Knife

"Singletown" Singleton let it be known there is a new sheriff in town at the San Jose Mercury News. According to the guild,"Mercury News management opened bargaining today with a proposal that wouldcreate a two-tier pay scale, eliminate the pension plan, increase healthcare costs and cut many other contractual benefits and protections."
The guild also said the MediaNews proposals include:
  • In the event of layoffs, management reserves the sole right to determinewho is fired
  • Creating a two-tier wage system by keeping Guild members under the currentscale, but bringing in new hires at a scale management described as"market-rate"
  • Eliminate the defined benefit pension plan and replace it with a 401kplan
  • Eliminate all jurisdiction protections to essentially allow non-Guildmembers at other MediaNews Group papers to perform our work
  • Remove Sacramento Bureau employees as well as 35 lower-level editors innews, sports and business, and six additional business side employees
  • Advertising sales employees could be fired or disciplined if they do notmeet company-set goals in three consecutive months, or in four months in a12-month period

In response the guild said they will challenge these proposals and plan to meet with their members by the end of the month.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

LA Times Resists Staff Cuts

"To make substantial reductions would significantly damage the quality of the paper."
-Dean Baquet

In a rare piece of good news for print journalism, LA Times editor Dean Baquet has resisted his bosses demands for staff cuts. After 200 job cuts at the LA Times in the last five years Baquet told Times' management more staffers were needed to provide quality coverage of local, national and international issues.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Santa Cruz Sentinel up for sale

In this week's sign of the Bay Area media apocalypse, MediaNews is bidding for the Santa Cruz Sentinel-formerly owened by the Wall Street Journal. Bids are to be announced in a month.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New York Times on Knight Ridder breakup

"Today, many people in the newspaper industry are still scratching their heads over how and why a company with relatively high profit margins and a trophy case of 85 Pulitzer Prizes allowed itself to be wiped off the media landscape. "
Kathryn Seelye, New York Times

Kathryn Seelye explores in depth the demise of Knight Ridder in what she calls a cautionary tale tale, writing "Historically, the newspaper industry has produced even higher [profit] margins [of 20 %], which helped to raise expectations of investors ... despite the industry's problems. "

Seelye points out the role of the Internet in these problems. That role could get worse if legal ads are allowed to be published online and if the housing market-whose print ads help prop up local papers-also takes a dive.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


A little ironic its published in Media News' San Jose Mercury News but good to see the FCC is getting around to looking at media monopoly issues (in LA Oct. 3). If the FCC did something about media monopoly issues that would perhaps be even better news ...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Nosey News

Now that MediaNews is officially in control of its Bay Area newspaper acquisitions changes in the old papers can be expected. Word on the beat is new MediaNews flagship the SJ Mercury News is nosing around the former ANG papers, sniffing out adverstising accounts. The Merc has taken over a lot of advertising accounts in at the Silicon Valley Comm. Newspapers in the South Bay and started running their articles too in the Valley section, perhaps ANG is next.