Friday, September 19, 2008

What we're hearing about layoffs

Certain newspapers in the Bay Area have changed their policies about announcing layoffs publicly. While these newspapers still report layoffs by local businesses, they've stopped reporting layoffs in their own newsrooms. But here's what our readers tell us:
    • BANG-EB, the group that includes the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune, laid off four newsroom employees last Friday (Sept. 12) — a graphic artist, a copy editor, a sport desker, and a local editor.

    • The Examiner has laid off several employees in the past month. At least two in production (Steven Kleiff, Alejandro Marroquin) and at least one in sales (Bill Stutphen). Management also hasn't replaced several employees who resigned. The belt-tightening is curious since the Examiner is owned by one of the world's richest men, billionaire oilman Phil Anschutz.

    • The recent transition of the publisher at the Marin Independent Journal resulted in one less senior position: Publisher Mario van Dongen went to the Santa Cruz Sentinel as the new publisher. Matt Wilson became publisher at the IJ, Doug Bunnell replaced Wilson as executive editor and Brad Breithaupt became (once again) editorial page editor. Breithaupt's column will disappear. Also, long time IJ ad sales manager Melody Konte has accepted a buyout and will be leaving by the end of the month. Her husband is a writer at the paper, Joe Konte.

    • At the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, we hear two copy editors will be laid off later this year. On top of that, management at the New York Times Co. newspaper announced that the four-day work week will be eliminated in 90 days. That announcement, we're told, came after management visited the Contra Costa Times last month to meet with MediaNews management to find out how they run their operation. We're hearing that the loss of the four-day work week has a large portion of the copy desk ready to walk.
If you hear any information, e-mail us at sfpen-pressclub@sbcglobal.net.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure about the Examiner or the Marin Independent Journal, but I believe that BANG-EB and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat union papers aren't they?

What's the point of shelling out union dues paycheck after paycheck after paycheck if management is still able to run roughshod over employees with layoffs and radical changes to the work week?

It appears that employees would be better off fending for themselves without losing their money to the union for overhyped, under-delivered protection from shoddy management.

Ray said...

For those that need it...About.com just added 3 new jobs sites to their top 10 job site list:

www.linkedin.com (networking)
www.indeed.com (aggregated lists)
www.realmatch.com (matches you to jobs)

Whole Top 10 list here:
http://jobsearch.about.com/od/joblistings/tp/jobbanks.htm

Anonymous said...

Correction: Joe Konte is the News Editor at the IJ. (He runs the universal production desk of copy editors, page designers and the wires.)

I'm also not sure it's accurate to say Breithaupt's column will disappear. He's already written at least one "All About Marin" since taking over the editorial page.

For previous Anonymous, the IJ isn't union.

Anonymous said...

There were announcements of several newsroom staffers being cut today at the Marin IJ, affective Oct. 3.

Sara Steffens said...

The most recent layoffs at BANG-EB were outside our new guild unit -- managers and so on.

We have heard scattered reports of additional layoffs of managers, but have not been able to confirm them.

We hope any of those affected will contact the guild -- we want to help however we can, even if it's just answering questions about unemployment forms and adding you to our job seekers lists.

You can find our contact info at www.OneBigBang.org.

--Sara Steffens, BANG-EB Unit Chair, Northern California Media Workers Guild