August 1, 2013 2 Comments
Random thoughts about recent media news…since we have more time…
THE PAIN FEELER: The pain was felt by dozens of staffers at the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Wednesday, which dropped the job axe on a large number of its editorial staff as it prepares to go to four-day-a-week home delivery.
From the Newspaper Guild union’s “Save The Plain Dealer” Facebook page:
Today, The Plain Dealer eliminated the jobs of approximately 50 journalists whose dedication produced one of the country’s best newspapers. The layoffs abolished more than one-third of an already depleted newsroom staff.
Many of those let go will be familiar names to readers – reporters, columnists, photographers and artists whose bylines have accompanied some of the paper’s finest content, and whose expertise touches virtually every subject the paper covers, from transportation and investigative reporting to education and sports coverage. Many others, though less well-known publicly, have been every bit as essential to the quality of The Plain Dealer. They are editors, page designers and others whose skills have ensured a high-quality daily newspaper.
We have no doubt that the gifted Plain Dealer journalists whose jobs were spared will continue to do good work. But they will do so in spite of, not because of, the radical changes that Advance Publications is imposing on its newspapers.
Scripps ABC affiliate WEWS/5 “NewsChannel 5″ reporter John Kosich reports that employees who didn’t get a last day at work – they were informed of their layoffs by a phone call Wednesday morning telling them not to come into work – got together on the steps of the newspaper’s Superior Avenue building for goodbyes among themselves, and commisseration from those who were spared.
The newsies then went to Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland’s Ohio City area, where they were treated to free drinks…courtesy of newspapers, employees and friends from across the country:
This is pretty amazing. Our phones have been ringing off the hook all day from other newspapers and individuals all across the country and even Norway offering to buy rounds of beer for The Plain Dealer journalists laid off today. The support is touching and really show how important our Local newspaper is!
The impetus for the generosity was most likely a tweet from Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, picked up by the Poynter web site:
Fellow journos: Pls join me & call 216.621.4000 to pay for a brew or two tonight for laid off Plain Dealer staff. Thnx @Mrkt_Grdn_Beer.
And we aren’t the only ones to notice the irony at the page carrying the Poynter article on the PD layoffs. Look, over there to the right!
Northeast Ohio Media Group
Northeast Ohio Media Group
The Northeast Ohio Media Group is the new digital entity overseeing the future of Advance Publications’ operations in Cleveland, particularly the online content which will become more important with a revamped cleveland.com (and less Plain Dealer content and employees).
A quick look at one of the job ads shows a very different job description than what the departed PD journalists worked under. For one, we bet the need to know SEO (Search Engine Optimization) principles was not in the print newsies’ job descriptions.
Some of the layoffs were voluntary, hoping to spare others from losing their jobs. Among those on that list, according to NewsChannel 5, were reporters Tom Breckenridge, John Mangels and the face of the Newspaper Guild union in all this, Harlan Spector…
ARIEL: It’s been the “Ariel Castro Show” all morning on Cleveland TV all morning, with all four local newsrooms airing live coverage of the sentencing of the man who kidnapped and held four people hostage for years – Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight, and the young child born in captivity to Ms. Berry.
It’s been wall to wall on all stations, and all news operations are also offering a live video feed of the proceedings.
And one station, Gannett NBC affiliate WKYC/3, is offering a separate online feed labeled “Warning: Unedited Live Castro coverage”…