Thursday, June 7, 2007

Merc editor disputes layoff number

Carole Leigh Hutton (pictured), the new executive editor of the Mercury News, called a staff meeting on Wednesday to confirm that there would be cuts in the newsroom, but she didn't know how many, according to a report on the Ghost Word blog of Berkeley author Frances Dinkelspiel. San Jose State professor John McManus posted an article May 31 that said the Merc planned to cut 60 of its 250 newsroom positions — 24 percent. McManus attributed the figure to John Bowman, who resigned two weeks ago as San Mateo County Times executive editor, who said he was present at a meeting at the Mercury News when the cuts were discussed. But on Wednesday, Hutton said she didn't know where those numbers had come from, and she was at the same meeting as Bowman. Hutton said the final figures are still being worked out as managers prepare budgets for the new fiscal year. Every group of employees, from Guild members to managers, are at risk, Dinkelspiel reported.


John said...

Carole Leigh was indeed at the meeting at which Susan Goldberg said the Merc would have to eliminate 60 jobs in the newsroom, a number that mentioned more than once and which was not disputed by George Riggs, who also was present. Funny how Carole Leigh didn't dispute this number on May 31 when she intially responded to the layoff "rumors" in a memo to the Merc staff that also was published on this site.

John said...

Another plan discussed at the meeting was to consolidate the Merc copydesk with the ANG papers, probably early next year. One idea to which no one in the room objected: Eliminate all the Merc copy desk jobs at that time and force their copyeditors to reapply for them at much lower MNG rates (about half as much). Perhaps Ms. Hutton has no memory of this either.

Anonymous said...

Since when did "copyeditors" become one word? Maybe "John" needs a copy editor.