Arnold Schwarzenegger describes California state workers’ million dollar benefits

The moderate Republican governor of California, “Arnold” has an above the fold opinion piece in the Aug. 27, 2010 Wall Street Journal describing the shocking hold state employee unions have on the Golden State’s taxpayers. 

A graph looks shows 1,200,000 private enterprise jobs lost in CA while the high paying state employee ranks have lost close to zero from 2008 to 2010.

“Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that’s effectively the retirement account they guarantee to many government employees,” said Schwarzenegger on a report from the California Department of Finance. 

Former mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, (Democrat), said in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year that approximately 80 percent of every government dollar goes to employee compensation and benefits. 

Can you imagine the awakening the poor working stiffs in the news media may have when they realize that the liberal one party system they have supported through the years is what set in place the system in California of paying out 100 percent salaries to state workers after 20 years of service. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of loyal journalists who worked 10- and 12-hour days for 30 years face early retirement with pay outs half that of Wal-Mart part-time workers.

Will the media report that?  

Instead, the governor is being lambasted in the media for bullying state employees to cut back on their gold-plated benefits paid for by taxpayers.

“For years I’ve asked state legislators to stop adding to retirement debt. They have refused to listen. Now the Democrt leadership of the assembly proposes to raise the tax and debt again…” 

How will this end? 

My prediction is that the Dems and state workers win again. California’s taxes are going up.

But look, there is more

 

Nearly 10,000 more Americans fled Florida than moved in, according to the U.S.  Census. That followed average gains of more than 200,000 a year from 2001 through 2006.

“It looks like the first time in recorded history that Florida lost population,” Beveridge said.

California also saw a decline in the number of people coming to partake of its sand and sea. Only 1.3% of California residents moved in from out of state in 2008. That’s off from 1.4% in 2007.

For years, Americans have been fleeing the Golden State. The population kept growing only because of foreign immigration and births. All through the 2000s there has been a net loss in domestic migration, with 800,000 more Americans leaving than moving in during the three years ended in 2007. As it became more difficult to sell homes, that out-flow eased. That, combined with the newcomers, meant the population fell by only 144,000 in 2008.

The housing bubble bust, and the harm it did to employment, seems to have pushed more people to leave hot markets like California and Florida than have been drawn in by more affordable home prices.

“The Florida economy is based on growth and home construction,” said Lang. With building projects dying on the vine, unemployment soared to 7.6% for the state in 2008. It’s now up to 10.7%.

The same job problems plague many California cities, especially Central Valley towns like StocktonFresno and Merced. Construction-related job losses helped send state unemployment to 8.7% by December 2008 from 5.9% a year earlier. Today, some cities report breathtakingly high unemployment rates: 30.2% in El Centro; 17.6% in Merced; and 17.2% in Yuba City.

So, where are they moving?

So, if people aren’t heading for the good life in California and Florida, where are they going?

D.C.Alaska and Wyoming. (Seriously.)

The nation’s capital saw 7.6% of its residents arrive in 2008; Alaska attracted 6% more people to the Last Frontier (up a full percent from 2007); and 5.2% more people wanted to be Wyoming cowboys.

The basic trick of statistics is that small populations in these places make modest in-migration increases into large percentage gains. They’re each among the smallest states in the U.S. That’s just the opposite of California and Florida where each percentage point represents hundreds of thousands of people.

Don’t mess with Texas

In terms of net migration — those moving in minus those leaving — Texas was the star performer in 2008, with the population growing by 140,000.

That meshes with what moving company Allied Van Lines experienced. “We moved more people here than anywhere in the U.S. in the last several years,” said David King, general manager of Berger Transfer and Storage in Houston, Texas, and Allied Van Lines’ largest booking and hauling agent.

The moving company recorded 5,891 inbound shipments and 3,988 outbound shipments in 2008, a net gain of 1,903. That was just slightly lower than last year’s net gain of 2,041.

That influx may be due to the state’s employment picture, which has remained rosier than most other places thanks to the energy industry and a welcoming business climate. Plus, home prices never cycled through a boom-bust period: They’ve remained affordable, which facilitates mobility.

The story never published about the liberal millionaire who ruined the LA Times and Times-Mirror empire – Otis Chandler

Today the newspaper industry bible–Editor & Publisher was shut down.

The 12-page 8×10 inch magazine was a joke inside the industry it covered. Not always, of course, or the trade mag covering mini-monopolies wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. The past five years, E&P’s circulation was mainly online and didn’t earn the money to pay for postage or the paper it was printed on. Many blogs earn more in advertising revenue in one day than E&P did the past five years.

The same week with the earliest snowfall on record for Houston — the first wave of elite liberals fly to Denmark for the Global Warming Summit to drink Champagne.

Now another wave of layoffs begin at newspapers large newspapers. With more copy editor and page design jobs going to India at about 60 percent less, in the age of Web-based publishing.

Imagine if newspapers had been more balanced in their coverage and actually had moderate and conservative content? Would readers and advertisers be dropping off like they are? Or is it just the medium that is the problem?

Liberals at the Los Angeles Times and the vast Times-Mirror media holdings have long praised the legacy of an eccentric, big game hunter, millionaire, car collector and liberal Democrat,  publisher Otis Chandler, the surfing heir to an empire that he knew nothing about. Otis set the liberal sharp turn left at the  LA Times, which was immediately followed by the media giant’s other holdings: The Dallas-Times Herald, Denver Post, Houston Post, Baltimore Sun and New York’s Newsday, soon after the title was granted to him by his father.

Otis like many spoiled trust fund kids turned on dear old dad and granddad and imitated the New York Times leftist, socialist dogma. It started in the late ’60s and kept up the pace until the mid-’80s when the Times-Mirror board finally fired him.  The board remained out of the public eye and sat on their hands watching the largest, most profitable media company attack the  advertisers in Dallas, Denver and Houston who had a choice, they easily moved all their advertising and public event support to the  more dominant papers in the markets: then the Dallas Morning News, Denver Post and Houston Chronicle. Liberals hate business and economics with a passion. 

The Chandler’s board got rid of the brat and some 15 years later sold out to Sam Zell of Chicago. They unloaded well before the death spiral of the industry. 

Sam Zell is playing out a Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western on the bloated staff at the once glorious flagship, the LA Times.

“Sudden Sam” Zell fired more than 400 employees since assuming ownership of the paper a few years ago. You know there are some hearty laughs over fine cigars and California merlot in the the rolling ranch lands of Southern Cal.

Unlike Otis Chandler, Zell has no regard for the Pulitzer Prize committee, the supreme soviets of mainstream journalism, who only bestow honors on the most progressive and liberal newspapers left in the land. Zell made it clear right off the bat,  that he found the paper’s New-York-Times-of-the-West pretensions, worthless and boring. He has said openly that he doesn’t even bother to read the paper unless he happens to be passing through L.A.

In a New Yorker Magazine profile, Zell described himself as an “economic conservative” and confessed that he likes the columns of Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks but thought the “rest of the New York Times’s columnists are preposterous.” He had no use for Hillary Clinton either, according to the piece: “At a recent dinner party, the mention of Hillary Clinton’s name prompted him to use a four-letter obscenity to describe her.”

Times staffers must have shivered when they read in the New Yorker profile that Zell once sent a music box as a gift to friends and colleagues that played a song deriding the Sarbanes-Oxley Act: “Sarbanes-Oxley/ They’ve got moxie/ But for businesses/ Their act is toxic/ It’s not rocket science/ We’re killing profits with compliance.”

Addressing a University of Hawaii business class a few years back, Zell said: “The idea that somehow or other the business community is full of all these greedy characters — you should see the greed in teachers’ unions! You should see the greed in any political organization!”

Chandler’s era was  “hyperpartisan,” biased and “parochial” in support of Jimmy Carter and on constant attack mode against California Republicans Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. That was the final straw for Otis.

Otis went on to killing real elephants and lions on extravagant safaris. Did you know that? Google it, there may be some bits and pieces on the web. 

Chandler and his liberal successor, Tom Johnson, (who was publisher at the Dallas Times-Herald) focused on winning the approval of East Coast socialites/socialists, had endlessly commissioned left-wing articles, boring local readers who dropped their papers in droves for the more moderate Orange County Register and in Dallas, the more conservative Dallas Morning News. In Houston, the readers left the Post and went with the Houston Chronicle. (The Post is long gone and the Houston Chronicle is among the most profitable major newspapers in America). 

The LA Times  acquired a reputation as the “velvet coffin,” a place where liberal reporters could leisurely cover topics of interest to them, (smear energy companies, HMOs, etc.)  and paint beautiful portraits of their elite friends, but of little interest to the paper’s readers and local businesses.

I know plenty of stories abut the velvet coffin. I was young bastard who worked tirelessly for the honor of being in the inner court of the Times-Mirror estate. I stood shoulder to shoulder with the powers that were. They were a smug group, flying off to Davos every year with Pinchy of the NY Times and George Soros. 

I admire the intelligent courage of the Chandlers for giving Otis the boot and later dumping the media mess he left behind. They could see that the entire industry was following the liberal lead of Otis. There are better investments to be made such as in Apple, HP, or any number of consumer products.

http://newsosaur.blogspot.com/2009/12/next-for-outsource-news-production-jobs.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1004052655

Investment guru Warren Buffett’s outlook on newspapers is dismal

In fact, Warren Buffett has said don’t buy newspaper stock at any price. The days of the monopoly newspapers huge readership and advertising revenue are long gone.

What happened? Take a look at this modest blog’s stats: The 7-day traffic average is now passing hundreds of thousands of hits.  The majority are college graduates and in their peek buying years ages 25-55.
I predict the Boston Globe will go online with just a Friday/Sunday printed and delivered paper. 

It’s time to stop the global warming propaganda machine while we still have freedom of speech

A few years ago was when Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s leading physicists, began publicly stating his doubts about global warming and backing them up. Tip: The socialists have changed the term from global warming to “climate change.” Watch the tea parties around the counrty for political climate change.

Speaking at a summit on the future at Boston University, Dyson said that “all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated.” Since then he has only heated up his misgivings, declaring in a 2007 interview with Salon.com that “the fact that the climate is getting warmer doesn’t scare me at all” and writing in an essay for The New York Review of Books, the left-leaning publication, that climate change has become an “obsession” — the primary article of faith for “a worldwide secular religion” known as environmentalism.
Among those he considers to have been drinking the KoolAid, Dyson has been particularly dismissive of Al Gore, whom Dyson calls climate change’s “chief propagandist,” and James Hansen, a government (tax-payer funded) employee of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and an adviser to Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Dyson accuses them of relying too heavily on computer-generated climate models that foresee a Grand Guignol of imminent world devastation as icecaps melt, oceans rise and storms and plagues sweep the earth, and he blames the pair’s “lousy science” for “distracting public attention” from “more serious and more immediate dangers to the planet.”
William Gray, hurricane expert and head of the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University, in a 2005 interview with Discover magazine:
“I’m not disputing that there has been global warming. There was a lot of global warming in the 1930s and ’40s, and then there was a slight global cooling from the middle ’40s to the early ’70s. And there has been warming since the middle ’70s, especially in the last 10 years. But this is natural, due to ocean circulation changes and other factors. It is not human induced.
“Nearly all of my colleagues who have been around 40 or 50 years are skeptical as hell about this whole global-warming thing. But no one asks us. If you don’t know anything about how the atmosphere functions, you will of course say, ‘Look, greenhouse gases are going up, the globe is warming, they must be related.’ Well, just because there are two associations, changing with the same sign, doesn’t mean that one is causing the other.”
Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in an editorial last April for The Wall Street Journal:
“To understand the misconceptions perpetuated about climate science and the climate of intimidation, one needs to grasp some of the complex underlying scientific issues. First, let’s start where there is agreement. The public, press and policy makers have been repeatedly told that three claims have widespread scientific support: Global temperature has risen about a degree since the late 19th century; levels of CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere have increased by about 30 percent over the same period; and CO2 should contribute to future warming.
“These claims are true. However, what the public fails to grasp is that the claims neither constitute support for alarm nor establish man’s responsibility for the small amount of warming that has occurred. In fact, those who make the most outlandish claims of alarm are actually demonstrating skepticism of the very science they say supports them. It isn’t just that the alarmists are trumpeting model results that we know must be wrong. It is that they are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn’t happen even if the models were right as justifying costly policies to try to prevent global warming.”

U.S. Senator Ted Stevens ‘assassinated’ by Democrat Party prosecutors and media alliance

A political assassination took place last year, and America’s “journalists” failed to report it.

Did you read about any of this in your major daily newspaper?

At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

The straw that apparently broke Holder’s back was the discovery of more prosecutorial notes that were not turned over to the Stevens defense team as required by law. The notes were discovered by the new prosecution team, which was appointed in February.

With more ugly hearings expected, Holder is said to have decided late Tuesday to pull the plug. Justice Department officials say Holder wants to send a message to prosecutors throughout the department that actions he regards as misconduct will not be tolerated.

 

 

In a move first reported by National Public Radio, NPR, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he has decided to drop the case against Alaska’s former U.S. Senator, Ted Stevens, Republican, rather than continue to defend the conviction in the face of persistent problems stemming from the actions of prosecutors.

“After careful review, I have concluded that certain information should have been provided to the defense for use at trial,” Holder said in a statement Wednesday. “In light of this conclusion, and in consideration of the totality of the circumstances of this particular case, I have determined that it is in the interest of justice to dismiss the indictment and not proceed with a new trial.”

In a separate statement, Stevens’ lawyers praised Holder’s decision and said it was “justified by the extraordinary evidence of government corruption in the prosecution of Senator Stevens.”

The lawyers, Brendan Sullivan and Robert Cary, called the case “a sad story and a warning to everyone. Any citizen can be convicted if prosecutors are hell-bent on ignoring the Constitution and willing to present false evidence.”

The judge in the Stevens case has repeatedly delayed sentencing and criticized trial prosecutors for what he has called prosecutorial misconduct. At one point, prosecutors were held in contempt. Things got so bad that the Justice Department finally replaced the trial team, including top-ranking officials in the Public Integrity Section, which is charged with prosecuting public corruption cases.

 

Statement From Ted Stevens

“I am grateful that the new team of responsible prosecutors at the Department of Justice has acknowledged that I did not receive a fair trial and has dismissed all the charges against me. I am also grateful that Judge Emmet G. Sullivan made rulings that facilitated the exposure of the government’s misconduct during the last two years. I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come.
 
“It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair. It was my great honor to serve the State of Alaska in the United States Senate for 40 years.
 
“I thank my wife Catherine, as well as my family, friends, and colleagues in the United States Senate who stood by me during this difficult period. I also want to thank the great number of Alaskans who offered their prayers and support.”

Newspaper journalists and most broadcast news departments are not the government watchdogs they promote themselves as. In fact, they are fascilitators and  often public relations agents for the Democrat Party.

This is why online Webs, blogs and social communications sites have become so popular.

Chronicle to purge 150 starting April 1 — A cruel April fools joke?

The SF Chronicle’s carbon footprint is getting smaller, about 150 people smaller.  Some may feel a little foolish now about turning off their lights for Earth Hour, especially when they learn that Al Gore kept the lights on in his 9,000 sq ft mansion. California’s power use didn’t budge. It was a dim idea. 

Back to the lights out on newspapers top heavy with executive editors: 

“Until the current newspaper crisis, you rarely heard politicians or activists bleating about how important newspapers were to self-government. They mostly bitched about what awful failures newspapers were at uncovering vital data. The only group that holds a consistently high opinion of newspapers is newspaper people,” Jack Shafer.

He cites a recent Pew study that shows most people don’t care if their local newspaper folds, and he says they have a point — few of the stories printed every day “are likely to supercharge the democratic impulse,” and even the ones that do, generally fail to spur voters to do anything.

 

Slate‘s Shafer laughs at the high-minded talk of the critical role newspapers play in a democracy, declaring, “I can imagine citizens acquiring sufficient information to vote or poke their legislators with pitchforks even if all the newspapers in the country fell into a bottomless recycling bin tomorrow.”

Shafer shows that some of the people arguing for the importance of newspapers — academics and liberal activists — have shown little love for them in the past.

CHRONICLE UNIT BULLETIN — It’s official!

More than 80 Chronicle staff members took the severance deal on March 31, 2009. The overall number will be 150 in the next two weeks. Is anyone keeping a talley? Has it been 500 cuts the last four years? That’s my estimate.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Because of the large number of employees volunteering for termination during The SF Chronicle’s voluntary termination period, the WARN Act provisions requiring 60 days advance notice of involuntary layoffs is not valid. That means that after April 1, another 80 will be given their walking papers.

The company would have no legal need to give the 60-day notice provided for under the WARN Act.

Some members have said that they would not apply for the voluntary termination package and would, instead, wait for the layoff in order to get 60 days notice and the additional pay involved. Given the current situation, however, the Guild advises against taking this course of action because it appears there is a good possibility that the 60 days additional notice with pay won’t materialize. Remember that after April 3, 2009 no member regardless of age can receive the Supplemental Pension Benefit as a lump sum and all will have to take it as a monthly annuity. So if the Supplemental Pension Benefit as a lump sum from the Guild Pension Plan is important to you, and if the 60 days notice you were counting on is no longer a solid possibility, and you are certain you want to leave The Chronicle, we suggest that you should strongly consider volunteering to terminate your employment by the 5 p.m. March 31 deadline.

So, if another 50 or more rush to get your modest buyouts. The remainder who wait very well could end up with an extra 60 days pay.  Not a bad bet. And there are still 60 days of skiing at Heavenly and Squaw Valley.

 “Until the current newspaper crisis, you rarely heard politicians or activists bleating about how important newspapers were to self-government. They mostly bitched about what awful failures newspapers were at uncovering vital data. The only group that holds a consistently high opinion of newspapers is newspaper people,” Jack Shafer.

 Names of Chronicle staff taking the buyouts are piling up like winos in front of the Salvation Army food kitchen.   

Some of the paper’s veteran reporters and biggest names are leaving. It looks like music, books and arts coverage will be hit hard, as well as the photo department.

 Here are the names so far:

 Joel Selvin, who has covered the rock and roll scene for 30 years or so.

 Carl Hall, a longtime science reporter currently on leave.

 Tom Meyer, editorial cartoonist.

 Zachary Coile, a long-time reporter in the Washington D.C. bureau.

 Nancy Gay, who covers 49ers football and other major league teams. 

Three of the papers top culture writers are departing, including:

 Jesse Hamlin, Edward Guthmann, and Heidi Benson. They frequently profile authors, actors, and musicians.

Sabin Russell, who has covered science for decades.

Alison Biggar, the long-time editor of the Chronicle Magazine.

Sylvia Rubin, who covers fashion.

Bernadette Tansey, a biotech reporter. (She has been writing a new feature each Sunday that I love, a round-up of books on a particular business topic, but done in a very clever way.)

The photography department will take a big hit as six photographers, including Pulitzer-Prize winner Kim Komenich, are departing. The others include Michael Maloney, Craig Lee, Eric Luse, Mark Costatini and Kurt Rogers, a sports photographer

Other departures include:

Kevin Albert, editorial assistant

Greg Ambrose, copy editor

Charles Burress (who has covered Berkeley for years.)

Peter Cafone, sports copy editor

Ken Costa, graphic designer

Elizabeth Hughes, copy editor
Leslie Innes, Datebook editor
Timothy Innes, foreign news wire editor
Rod Jones, copy editor, news
Eric Jungerman, designer
Kathy Kerrihard, library researcher
Simar Khanna, editor of Home and Garden section

Even lower level employees are taking the bum’s rush:

Bonnie Lemons, copy editor, news
Glenn Mayeda, editorial assistant, sports
Johnny Miller, library researcher
Dan Giesin, sports night copy editor
Janice Greene, editorial assistant on the op-ed page
Shirley-Anne Owden, copy editor, features
Courtenay Peddle, copy editor, news
Lee Sims, copy editor, news
Michelle Smith, a sports reporter who covers women’s basketball
Patricia Yollin, metro reporter

There are many, many more. Please post what you know on comments.

 So the list will grow longer. Hearst wanted to lay off as many as 225 workers, (and threatened to shutter the paper) but backed off after the Newspaper Guild agreed to cuts in vacation time and seniority rules.

I wonder how these soon to be retired professionals feel now about their liberal politics, the kind that use their taxes to pay for the Mayor Gavin Newsom to fly off to Davos, Paris and London to mingle with the rich and powerful world leaders, while the “good people” work 50-hour weeks and pay nearly 50 percent of their wages in tax?

This is a profile of journalists in Gawker:

“While journalists might continue to forge forward despite workload, deadlines and salary issues, they will not stand by as the foundation of journalism crumbles beneath them. At that point, they will quit,” the study concludes. Hey! Anyone want to start a rock band or a truffle farm with me? Clips not required.



 

Dems to ban modern firearms, labeling them assault weapons?

This is the big one. Hillary is discussing how the Mexican border is our problem because so called “assault weapons” are flowing from the USA to Mexican drug lords. 

Funny, I call them home defense weapons.

Here comes the government gun grab, take away Americans’ Second Amendment rights to own firearms and protect their family’s lives and do it for Mexico? How gullible do they think we are? 

We all know that the Mexican drug gangs have military, fully automatic weapons from China and Eastern Europe and are exporting tons of drugs and scores of people every day over our borders. Why would banning modern home defense firearms from Americans stop or even slow the drug violence and human trafficing? 

It’s “new speak” coming from the Obama/Orwellian Big Brother/Big Sis government. 

The progressive Democrats are going to ignore a major tenant of the Constitution out of fear, I believe of a civilian backlash.

Tip of the day: Buy guns and bullets. They are the new gold. 

 

 

The Obama administration didn’t waste more than a month to seek to reinstate “the assault weapons ban” (really the modern home defence firearm band) that expired in 2004 during the Bush administration, Attorney General Eric Holder said today.

PHOTO Wednesday Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Obama administration will seek to reinstitute the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 during the Bush administration.
Wednesday Attorney General Eric Holder said that the Obama administration will seek to reinstitute the assault weapons ban which expired in 2004 during the Bush administration.

(AP Photos/ABC News Graphic )

“As President Obama indicated during his campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Holder told reporters.

Holder said that putting the ban back in place would not only be a positive move by the United States, it would help cut down on the flow of guns going across the border into Mexico, which is struggling with heavy violence among drug cartels along the border.

Really, why can’t we stop the flow of humans and drugs along the border?

“I think that will have a positive impact in Mexico, at a minimum.” Holder said at a news conference on the arrest of more than 700 people in a drug enforcement crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S.

How are Americans to defend themselves, with only 150-year old gun technology against Mexican drug runners and a well armed new U.S. socialist police state?

Imagine the government making a law that kept new computer or cell phone technology from the public?

Which country’s citizens is Obama concerned about?

New York ABC radio newsman George Weber was a gay pedophile, killed by his boy date. Sanchez, the gay pedophile train engineer was texting teenage boys seconds before he crashed and killed 25 people in LA

The mainstream news has been filtering the news and making everything nice and PC for the dumbed down readers. They only report what fits the “progressive” agenda. 

With the rise of blogs, the truth can now be reported. Did you know that the longtime New York radio newsman was paying teenage runaways for gay sex? George Weber was found stabbed to death in his Brooklyn apartment Sunday morning, cops said. Now we find he was accidently killed by a troubled teen, paid to have rough gay sex with the radio newsman. 

The bloody body of Weber, a passionate liberal fan of the city who spent a decade doing local news on WABC morning radio, was found just after 9 a.m. when he didn’t show up for work. It can now be told that Weber, an outspoken Democrat, was a gay pedophile. He was a chicken hawk who paid teenage boys, often runaways money for sex. A boy who just turned 16 accidently killed Weber during a session of “rough” gay sex.

Weber, 47, was freelancing at ABC’s national radio network after being laid off last year.

 

What kind of books or DVDs did Mr. Sanchez have in his home? Doesn’t the media look into these things? Oh, wait, Sanchez was a gay pedophile Democrat, not a Christian Republican.

The first results of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation are in. Surprising no one, it’s now confirmed that train driver Robert Sanchez was sending text messages moments before crashing a train full of people into an oncoming freight train, killing 25 people. His last text message was sent 22 seconds before the two trains collided. Sanchez was an outspoken Democrat and Obama reporter with a keen interest in teenage boys.

While we’ll likely will never be able to definitively say one way or the other due to the lack of eyewitnesses, those 58 seconds between received message and sent message are likely the reason why Sanchez missed the “red lights” on the track as the freight train approached. Shouldn’t we know what Sanchez was texting? What if it was something like “the brakes don’t work well?”

The cellular network clock and the train’s onboard computer clock are almost certainly set slightly differently, so the final, incoming text message may have arrived somewhat earlier or later than 22 seconds before the crash. If the timestamps are reconciled exactly, the NTSB could then use information about the speed and location of the train to determine exactly where Sanchez’s train was when he took his eyes off the track ahead and whether that is what likely caused him to miss the signals. The content of the message is important, also. If it was a urgent warning, rather than just a friendly “HOW R U?” Sanchez shouldn’t have had to rush back with an answer. Was he having text sex games with the teenage boy?

Why didn’t you read about this in the LA Times or San Francisco Chronicle? How about this?

There is a dark side to the tragedy

Sanchez’s “partner,” Daniel Burton, allegedly hanged himself in the garage of the home they shared in Crestline, a community in the San Bernardino Mountains about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.

Burton’s sister, Carolann Peschell, said she suspected foul play and never believed her 39-year-old brother, who was HIV-positive, would have killed himself. He had found a job at a gourmet restaurant and sounded well when she spoke to him two weeks before his unusual death.

“He was doing fine; he was happy, no signs of depression,” Peschell said. “We didn’t feel my brother was capable of doing this to himself.” He was a gentle man and hanging is a brutal way to kill yourself.

Peschell, who described Sanchez as “very odd, very strange, and obese” said her suspicions were not investigated throughly by San Bernardino County sheriff’s investigators.

A coroner’s report said the two men had argued the night before Burton’s body was found; Sanchez had told Burton they should break up. That would draw attention by a professional CSI team.

Peschell kept her brother’s purported suicide note, which read: “Rob, Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you. Please take care of yourself and Ignatia. I love you both very much.” Ignatia was their dog.

From KFI radio, the John and Ken Show, Los Angeles

Newsman Eric Leonard reported on KFI radio (3:15 PT today) that the driver in the LA Metrolink crash last week, Robert M. Sanchez, is suspected of having killed his male lover 5 years ago. Leonard reports that the that the family of the lover, Daniel Charles Burton, has always believed that Sanchez killed Burton. The Burtons tried to get the police to investigate their son’s death as a murder to no avail. The death appeared to be a suicide, but the family has handwriting experts who say that the handwriting on the suicide note was not Burton’s. The family also told the police that Burton was HIV positive and that he and Sanchez had a fight right before the “suicide.” More recently, the Burtons called Metrolink to warn them that Sanchez was unstable.

Eric Leonard also reports that “it looks clear from [Metrolink's] review of the [train] controls, that Sanchez did actually apply some speed controls within seconds of the crash but never braked.”

Would Sanchez have lost his home? That could be a motive. Was Sanchez a chicken hawk preoccupied with teen texting? He was arrested and plead guilty to theft of expensive electronic gaming equipment. And on Sept. 2 his train killed a pedestrian. Was Sanchez texting then too?

California dream turning into a nightmare for middle class

California has turned into a high-tax, socialist state where the working middle class has to support millions of illegals and highly paid government employees. The state income tax has now broke the 10 percent barrier. The number of people leaving has for the first time in 70 years outpaced the incoming number, (including illegals).

Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida had the nation’s top foreclosure rates. In Nevada, one in every 70 homes received a foreclosure filing, while the number was one every 147 in Arizona. Rounding out the top 10 were Idaho, Michigan, Illinois, Georgia, Oregon and Ohio.

Among metro areas, Las Vegas was first, with one in every 60 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. It was followed by the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area in Florida and five California metropolitan areas: Stockton, Modesto, Merced, Riverside-San Bernardino and Bakersfield.

The Scobleizer has written a good blog post on the subject. Scoble is an IT and social media guru in Silicon Valley who often visits Texas. He interviewed the Texas governor, Rick Perry and they Twitter each other. Even after the real estate bubble burst in 2005-06, and homes fell in price by 20 percent each of the last three years, homes are still overpriced and only 10 percent of California  households can afford median-priced homes. Nationally, 50 percent can afford the median-priced home.

The state of California has lost it’s glamorous image. I think of it now as a congested, welfare state with the highest taxes in the United States and the largest “public” workforce to support. Did you know that most of the government employees retire at full pay after 20 years of service?

http://scobleizer.com/2009/03/24/is-california-is-setup-for-a-brain-drain/comment-page-2/#comment-2008731

Joel Kotkin of the SF Chronicle wrote this piece in 2007.

California has been losing ground in the new millennium. In 2004-05, it fell to 17th, behind not only fast-growing Arizona and Nevada but also Oregon, Washington and rival “nation-state” Texas.

Job creation has been even less impressive. In the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it can only be considered mediocre or worse. If not for the strong performance of the interior counties of the state — what Bill Frey and I call the “Third California” — the state already would be rightly considered a laggard when it comes to creating employment.

More disturbing, as California’s population has grown — largely from immigration — per-capita income growth has weakened. From the 1930s to as late as the 1980s, Californians generally got richer faster than other Americans. In 1946, Gunther reported, Californians enjoyed the highest living standards and the third-highest per-capita income in the country.

Today, California ranks 12th in per-capita income. And it’s losing ground: Between 1999 and 2004, California’s per-capita income growth ranked a miserable 40th among the states.

This slow growth reflects a gradually widening chasm between social classes. Although the rest of the country has also experienced this trend, the gap between rich and poor has expanded more rapidly in California than in the rest of the country.

Today, notes a recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California, California has the 15th-highest rate of poverty of all American states. When cost of living adjustments are made, only New York and the District of Columbia fare worse. Tragically, many of California’s poor are working. Somehow, this does not seem the best road to the governor’s dream of a “harmonious” society.

How did this happen to our golden state? There are many causes.

Certainly poverty has been greatly exacerbated by huge waves of immigration, particularly from Mexico and other developing countries. But other states — including Texas and Arizona — have also absorbed many immigrants, as well as people from the rest of this country, and have not experienced similarly strong jumps in their poverty rates.

Changes in the economy are clearly suspect. From the 1930s to the 1980s, California created a broad spectrum of opportunities for white- and blue-collar workers alike. Even the 1990s expansion, suggests Debbie Reed of the policy institute, helped reduce poverty by expanding a wide range of employment opportunities.

Today, economic growth in California — like that in much of the Northeast — seems tilted largely toward elites. Once a state known for its relative social democracy, the Golden State is becoming what Citigroup strategist Ajay Kapur has dubbed a plutonomy, dominated largely by a small wealthy class and their spending.

For example, despite all the hype about the renewed Internet boom in Silicon Valley, there has been only modest expansion of employment, even in the past year. Undoubtedly lavish takings by a relative handful of engineers, managers and investors are boosting high-end restaurateurs in San Francisco and revving up BMW sales, but benefits don’t seem to accrue as much to assemblers, midlevel managers and other high-tech workers.

Similarly, the governor’s entertainment industry friends, as well as art and developer elites close to Mayors Antonio Villaraigosa and Gavin Newsom, may feel these are the best of times. But Los Angeles and San Francisco, along with Monterey, now suffer a poverty rate of more than 20 percent, among the highest level in the country.

Parallel to these developments, California is losing its once broad middle class, the traditional source of its political balance and much of its entrepreneurial genius. Outmigration from the state is growing and, contrary to the notions of some sophisticates, it’s not just the rubes and roughhouses who are leaving.

Indeed, an analysis of the most recent migration numbers shows a disturbing trend: an increasing out-migration of educated people from California’s largest metropolitan areas. Back in the 1990s, this was mostly a Los Angeles phenomena, but since 2000, the Bay Area appears to be suffering a high per-capita outflow of educated people.

This middle class flight is likely driven by two things: greater opportunities outside the state and the cost of housing in-state. Over the past 50 years, housing prices in coastal California in particular have grown much faster than elsewhere; the Bay Area’s rate of housing inflation over the past 50 years has been twice the national average.

Given the shrinking per-capita income advantage for being in California, moving elsewhere increasingly makes sense, particularly for those who do not already own homes and don’t have wealthy parents. In some parts of the state, barely 10 percent of households can now afford a median-price home; in the rest of the country that number is roughly 50 percent.

These trends suggest that California could be devolving toward an unappealing model of class stratification. As educated white-collar and skilled blue-collar workers leave, businesses in the state will be forced to truncate their operations — perhaps having an elite research lab, design office or marketing arm in California but shunting most midlevel jobs elsewhere.

Newspaper editors purged MBAs from management years ago

Newspapers have not been blessed with the best and the brightest managers. Why? The executive editors sabotage real management and have purged MBAs from their ranks. Kill off the competition.

This is from the WSJ Deal Journal column, a Q&A with Mr. Knee, a highly respected  investment consultant

DJ: What would be your advice to newspaper owners?
Knee: You have seen people outsource everything from printing to editorial and indeed, any kind of journalism where your scale in the local community does not provide you with an advantage should be gotten elsewhere. If you find out how many people the large papers sent to the national conventions, you would wonder whether that’s economically justified. You have to focus on your competitive advantage, which is local. When the smoke clears, the local newspaper, which may not be the sexiest part of the newspaper industry but is overwhelmingly the largest and most profitable part of the industry, will be a smaller and more-focused enterprise whose activities will be directed to those areas where their local presence gives them competitive advantage and they will continue to generate as a result better profits than the supersexy businesses in the media industry asking for government or nonprofit help like movies and music.

The newspaper industry has not been blessed with the best managers, and generations of monopoly profits do dull the senses. On the journalism side, I think many managers would rather have avoided a fight with journalists than actually force them to think harder about what their readers want, rather than what they want their readers to want. In the economic environment we’re in, newspapers can’t afford to do every six-part investigative series they could have done before.

Meanwhile, the rank and file newspaper reporters who were busy covering their beats, don’t make much compared to the executive editors. 

Moma don’t let you’re kids grow up to be newspaper reporters. Have them study business, engineering, law or sales, even bar tending would earn them a better living. The executive editors who scratched their way to the top make big bucks for a while, until the host dies from bad management anyway. 

Ever wonder what kind of money the nation’s top newspapers pay their best journalsits? The top rung of the latter is set by the Newspaper Guild. Once you’ve lasted five or six years after about four years at a small daily and tuition of at least $20,000 a year at a respected J-school, this is it.

New York Times pays the most, $1,675.28 a week after two years. But that’s where it stays fixed until the next Guild negotiations. Of course, New York City has the highest cost of living expenses in the U.S.

Reuters pays $1,587.93 a week after six years.

The San Francisco Chronicle pays $1202.24 a week for six years of journalist experience. I know that is top for the Guild scale, but many of the hard workers, who put in more than 38 hours a week get additional pay above scale.

Consumer Reports takes the No. 1 position with $1,80410 a week scale after four years of experience. The union-biased “non-profit” magazine pays more that the New York Times or San Francisco Chronicle for their pro-union advertorial reports on products.

Can new online newspapers chage for its content? Jeff Jarvis of the LA Times says “No!” And he explains himself very well:


How’s that for a direct answer? Every rule has its exceptions — this one only a few: The Wall Street Journal (paid by expense accounts), Consumer Reports (which serves reviews, not news), iTunes (we may play a unique performance over and over, but I don’t read even my articles more than once) and porn (which is suffering the same problem newspapers are thanks to free competition from, uh, amateurs). But the rule of the new, post-scarcity economy is clear: Charging for news online is dangerous folly. Why? Let me count the reasons if not the dollars:

Once news is known, that knowledge is a commodity and it doesn’t matter who first reported it. There’s no fencing off information, especially today, when the conversation that spreads it moves at the speed of links.

There will be no limit to competitors. Readers, like water, will follow the path of least inconvenience. It’s impossible to compete against free. Have papers learned nothing from Craigslist?

In the old-content economy, one could make much money selling many copies of a product. In today’s link economy online, we need only one copy, and it is the links to it that give it value. So rather than complaining that Google should pay them for aggregating their headlines, news organizations should be grateful that Google does not charge for the links it gives and the readers it sends. Indeed, we should be spending our effort figuring out how to get more links to original reporting to support it.

Putting your content behind a wall cuts it off from the conversation and robs it of influence. Just ask New York Times columnists how much they disliked the pay wall the paper finally demolished.

Not all newspapers are going bankrupt. Many, in small monopoly markets are among the most profitable businesses in America with profit margins much higher than oil companies, Apple, EBay, Cisco, Sprint, AT&T, Google or Microsoft.  Gannett has the lion’s share of these markets. And also the highest ratio of MBAs in the media business. 

Major city newspapers will go nonprofit to keep influence

Major cities such as San Francisco, Washington D.C., LA, Chicago, New York, Houston and Philadelphia may convert the serviving newspapers into nonprofits to keep their political and philanthropic status. 

The San Francisco Chronicle will be the first to test the entity. 

San Francisco investment banker Warren Hellman and other prominent SF  lawyers and investors made an informal proposal  last week to Hearst, owners of the San Francisco Chronicle about helping the troubled daily paper become a nonprofit, San Francisco attorney Bill Coblentz told the SF Business Times.

Hellman and Coblentz discussed the idea, then Coblentz conveyed it to former San Francisco Examiner editor and publisher William R. Hearst III, who is a Hearst Corp. director and an affiliated partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. William is one of the working Hearsts who lives in the Bay Area and keeps touch with The Chronicle on a daily basis. It’s unofficially the Hearst flagship, though in money making ability, their Houston Chronicle is by far the financial headquarters. 

“What happened after that, I don’t know,” said Coblentz, who is out of town.

The proposal would be for a nonprofit corporation “to take over the Chronicle,” with Hearst Corp. continuing to provide some philanthropic support, Coblentz said. Details remain sketchy. It’s unclear if the proposal is being seriously considered.

 

Editorial-wise they are already PBS in print, aren’t they? 

 

Sleepless in Seattle — The Post-Intelligencer shuts down — lives online

Last week: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has told employees they “might” lose their jobs as soon as next week after a deadline for Hearst Corp to sell the newspaper passed last Monday. 

The news is out, the  146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer prints its last edition tomorrow.

The P-I will continue to “live” on the Internet with a much smaller staff.

I like it. It’s a mix of current and archival. Mikey likes it!

http://www.seattlepi.com 

Owner, the Hearst Corp. reports it has failed to find a buyer for the newspaper, which it put up for sale in January after nine years of financial losses. There are no more suckers left with enough trust fund money to waste.

The end of the print edition leaves The Seattle Times as the only major daily newspaper in the city. 

The TV stations will be there tonight and tomorrow capturing the historic day.

Seattle has been counting TV, and now the internet as their favorite news sources. Do you think people will wait for the Seattle Times to find out?

 

 

Last week:

Read between the lines: Boxes for removing personal items and shredding bins are scheduled to be delivered to the PI floors this week.

Clues suggest Hearst plans to close the P-I shortly

Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports on its own demise
Just after Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer claimed that “we are still evaluating our options,” Post-Intelligencer staffers learned that boxes and bins are scheduled to be delivered to the newsroom later this week — some for materials to be taken home, others for notes that require shredding. “It would be nice to have some clarity,” says business reporter Joseph Tartakoff. “It’s really hard to plan your work when you’re not sure if you’ll be around the next day.”

The New York Times sold off the majority of its new sky scraper in New York and has a long-term rent agreement. The company no longer owns the roof over its head.

Next, McClatchy announced massive layoffs, and Hearst’s Seattle PI is about to turn into a shadow, online only edition. Meanwhile, back at Hearst’s figurative flagship, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Media Guild has accepted big cuts just to keep most jobs. The Denver Rocky Mountain News shut down a week or so ago. 

McClatchy Co. is shearing another 1,600 jobs in a cost-cutting spree that has clipped nearly one-third of the newspaper publisher’s work force in less than a year.

The latest reduction in payroll announced Monday follows through on the Sacramento-based company’s previously disclosed plans to lower its expenses by as much as $110 million over the next year as its revenue evaporates amid a devastating recession.

The layoffs will start before April. No fooling.

 Several of McClatchy’s 30 daily newspapers, including The Sacramento Bee and The Kansas City Star, already have decided how many workers will be shown the door. Close to 2,000. 

 

Pew Research report
Just 43 percent  of Americans say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot,” according to a Pew Research poll. And even fewer, only 33 percent say they will miss their local newspaper if it folds.

Back to the West Coast

Negotiators for the Guild and the San Francisco Chronicle reached a tentative agreement Monday night changes to the collective bargaining agreement in line with cost cuts planned by Hearst. 

The agreement will require approval by Chronicle Unit Guild members. (They will approve or lose their jobs wholesale). 

A ratification meeting will be scheduled as early as Thursday of this week. Time and place will be announced on Tuesday as soon as a large enough facility can be secured.

In view of the latest terms agreed today, the Guild Negotiating Committee recommends membership approval.

The terms reached late Monday include expanded management ability to lay off employees without regard to seniority. All employees who are discharged in a layoff or who accept voluntary buyouts are guaranteed two weeks’ pay per year of service up to a maximum of one year, plus company-paid health care for the severance term, even in the event of a shutdown – which today’s agreement is designed to avoid.

Guild membership will remain a condition of continued employment for all employees. However, new hires in certain advertising sales positions will be given the option of membership, even though they will retain Guild protection under the contract.

On-callers will be limited to no more than 10 percent in any classification or department.

Pension changes are not part of this agreement, but are being discussed by pension authorities and must be implemented under terms of the Pension Protection Act, due to the recent declines in investment markets. Because those changes may affect the decisions of many members concerning buyouts, we are attempting to reach some key understandings now as to the nature of the changes and when they will take effect.

A lunch-hour meeting on Wednesday March 11, with our pension plan’s lawyer will be held at the Guild Office, 433 Natoma, Third Floor Conference Room.

A bulletin summarizing all the proposed contract changes will be issued Tuesday. A set of the complete proposed amendments will be available on the Guild’s Web site (mediaworkers.org) as soon as possible.

Management is seeking to change the union contract as part of an attempt to cut costs and keep the paper operating under the ownership of the Hearst Corp.

The company said Feb. 24 it would sell or close the paper unless the Guild agreed to changes in the labor agreement in effect through June 2010.

The leaders in the former cash cow industry thought they could just transform to their pages of expensive advertising to Web pages. Sorry. The Web is very competitive and readers will not put up with page after page of ads to follow the news. 

McClatchy is down for the count. The stock is hovering below $1 and will soon be kicked out of the New York Stock Exchange. 

The The Sun of Myrtle Beach and the  Macon Telegraph – McClatchy papers, announced last week that they were outsourcing printing, they joined what one experts are calling the last stage of the dying industry.

Chuck Moozakis, editor-in-chief of Newspapers & Technology, found in a December survey piece that the flight from printing includes mid-sized papers like the two last week, small papers, but also very big ones like the San Francisco Chronicle. Dow Jones has already closed plants in Denver and Chicago and could shutter 10 of the 17 around the country that have printed The Wall Street Journal.

 
“There is a lot of iron sitting out there now,” Moozkis reported.  
“What’s more sobering is the amount of press capacity now available within operations with relatively new presses” like Detroit and Denver. Losing the Rocky Mountain News press run — when it closes (not if) — won’t help, and some of the same impact will come as the two Detroit papers have reduced distribution of a smaller print product most weekdays.
 
 The carbon footprint of newspapers is enormous. At least the unemployed “progressives” can be happy that they are no longer contributing to the worst global warming industry on the planet. 

The funny thing, the Rocky didn’t know it was on life support for the last 10 years

The JOAs have just prolonged the death of failing newspapers. It’s time to pull the plug.

 

They fancy themselves literary geniuses, some of them do, when they are merely expert at the craft of certain formula which bear little relation to communicating with readers at the highest level. Or they fancy themselves tough-nosed reporters simply because they work in Chicago, and wail about the (falsely alleged) error rates of valuable tools like Wikipedia, without having even gone through the fact-checking process of a typical monthly magazine that will humble any newspaper reporter within minutes (trust me, I know).

The industry is still discussing inverted pyramids instead of the art of the link and how it changes the narrative structure of what we do.

Please die already. — The Beachwoodreporter.com.

Rocky Mountain News publishes final edition Friday

Poynteronline.org holds a podcast/blog later today on “Is it time to exit newspaper journalism?” What do you think they will say? 
Here is the final edition. It has a sad, final edition look to it. http://eatthedarkness.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/rip-rocky/

 

Executives from E.W. Scripps Co., announce their decision on the future of the Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper's newsroom on 2/26/09 in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky's parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses.   

Executives from  Scripps, announce their decision on the future of the Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper’s newsroom on 2/26/09 in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky’s parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses. No offers were made. Nobody was that slow on the uptake on the future of newspapers.

Rich Boehne, CEO of E.W. Scripps Co., announce their decision to close the Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper's newsroom on 2/26/09 in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky's parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses.   

 

 

A man stops to read the ticker on the outside of the Denver Newspaper  Agency building announcing that the Rocky Mountain News is closing and that it will publish its last edition on Friday. Photograph taken in Denver Thurs. Feb 26, 2009.   

Photo by Darin McGregor © The Rocky

A man stops to read the ticker on the outside of the Denver Newspaper Agency building announcing that the Rocky Mountain News is closing and that it will publish its last edition on Friday. Photograph taken in Denver Thurs. Feb 26, 2009.

 Executives from E.W. Scripps Co., announce their decision on the future of the Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper's newsroom on 2/26/09 in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky's parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses.   

Photo by Joe Mahoney © The Rocky

 

Executives from E.W. Scripps Co., announce their decision on the future of the Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper's newsroom on 2/26/09 in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky's parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses.   

Photo by Joe Mahoney © The Rocky

Executives from E.W. Scripps Co., announce their decision on the future of the Rocky Mountain News in the 150-year-old newspaper’s newsroom on 2/26/09 in Denver. In December 2008, the Rocky’s parent company put the paper up for sale, citing multi-million dollar annual losses.

Share Your Thoughts

What do you think about Scripps’ decision to close the Rocky? We want to hear your thoughts. You can talk live with Mark Wolf by clicking here, or send a letter to the editor at letters@rockymountainnews.com

The Rocky Mountain News publishes its last paper today (Friday).

Rich Boehne, chief executive officer of Rocky-owner Scripps, broke the news to the staff at noon today, ending nearly three months of speculation over the paper’s future.

“People are in grief,” Editor John Temple said a noon news conference.

But he was intent on making sure the Rocky’s final edition, which would include a 52-page wraparound section, was as special as the paper itself.

“This is our last shot at this,” Temple said at a second afternoon gathering at the newsroom. “This morning (someone) said it’s like playing music at your own funeral. It’s an opportunity to make really sweet sounds or blow it. I’d like to go out really proud.”

Boehne told staffers that the Rocky was the victim of a terrible economy and an upheaval in the newspaper industry.

“Denver can’t support two newspapers any longer,” Boehne told staffers, some of whom cried at the news. “It’s certainly not good news for you, and it’s certainly not good news for Denver.”

Tensions were higher at the second staff meeting, held to update additional employees who couldn¹t attend the hastily called noon press conference.

Several employees wanted to know about severance packages, or even if they could buy at discount their computers.

Others were critical of Scripps for not seeking wage concessions first or going online only.

But Mark Contreras, vice president of newspapers for Scripps, said the math simply didn’t work.

“If you cut both newsrooms in half, fired half the people in each newsroom, you’d be down to where other market newsrooms are today. And they’re struggling,” he said.

As for online revenues, he said if they were to grow 40 percent a year for the next five years, they still would be equal to the cost of one newsroom today.

“We’re sick that we’re here,” Contreras said. “We want you to know it’s not your fault. There’s no paper in Scripps that we hold dearer.”

But Boehne said Scripps intended to keep its other media, both print and in broadcast, running.

“Scripps has been around for 130 years. We intend to be around another 130 years,” Boehne said. “If you can’t make hard decisions, you won’t make it.”

After Friday, the Denver Post will be the only newspaper in town.

Asked if pubilsher Dean Singleton now walks away with the whole pie, Boehne was blunt.

“He walks away with an unprofitable paper, $130 million in debt and revenues that are down 15-20 percent every year,” Boehne said.

Asked if Singleton would have to pay for the presses now, Boehne added, “We had to kill a newspaper. He can pay for the presses.”

Reaction came from across the nation and around the block.

“The Rocky Mountain News has chronicled the storied, and at times tumultuous, history of Colorado for nearly 150 years. I am deeply saddened by this news, and my heart goes out to all the talented men and women at the Rocky,” U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement. “I am grateful for their hard work and dedication to not only their profession, but the people of Colorado as well.”

At the Statehouse, Rep. Joe Rice (D-Littleton), said the paper would be missed.

“The Rocky Mountain News has been a valued institution in Denver,” he said.

“It’s a sad, sad day.”

Long-time Denver real estate agent Edie Marks called the Rocky a voice of reason, moderation and common sense.

“I think that it was the fairest newspaper, the most diverse, and am important part of my daily life,” she said. “I’m going to miss it tremendously.”

On Dec. 4, Boehne announced that Scripps was looking for a buyer for the Rocky and its 50 percent interest in the Denver Newspaper Agency, the company that handles business matters for the papers. The move came because of financial losses in Denver, including $16 million in 2008.

“This moment is nothing like any experience any of us have had,” Boehne said. “The industry is in serious, serious trouble.”

Didn’t Obama sign the trillion dollar stimulous bill in Denver? What did that do for the Rocky? 

Philly Newspapers Rolled – Inquirer and Daily News in free fall

Bankruptcy documents filed Sunday by Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, The Inquirer and Daily News and seven affiliated suburban publications report the newspaper group bought  from McClatchy (the troubled chain that Knight-Ridder unloaded in 2005) is asking the court for bankruptcy protection. The Philly group paid McClatchy  $562 million for the papers. The value of the assets is far lower than that just a few years later.

You have to admire the business knowledge of the Knight-Ridder family share holders who knew when to fold them and chuck them off before the business trends became obvious.

This report in Forbes Magazine is by Wm. P Barret, former Dallas Times Herald and Philly Inquirer reporter and editor. He has good sources. 

The Inquirer and Daily News join a growing list of newspapers forced into bankruptcy after sharp declines in advertising destroyed their ability to service big debts taken on when they changed hands. A day earlier, Journal Register Co. (nyse: JRC – news – people ), parent of Connecticut’s New Haven Register and 178 other weekly and daily newspapers, sought bankruptcy-court protection. The same fate befell the Minneapolis Star Tribune last month. In December, Tribune Co., whose holdings include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. All newspapers have suffered sharp ad revenue declines due to Internet competition and the recession, but those that recently changed hands in leveraged deals are the most vulnerable.

The bankruptcy threatens to wipe out the $150 million equity investment made by Tierney’s Philly group, which included local labor unions and business interests. It also raises the prospect of big losses by the lenders that provided the balance of more than $400 million in debt financing. The list of largest unsecured creditors was topped by Royal Bank of Scotland (nyse: RBS – news – people ), which is owed $22 million. As of Jan. 31, the company said it still owed $395 million to lenders.

 

“The debtors’ assets and going concern value are worth less today than they were worth in 2006,” Thayer wrote. He added that Philadelphia Newspapers had 2008 free cash flow–before interest, taxes, depreciation or amortization–of $36 million. That is expected to drop 31% to $25 million this year, Thayer wrote. It is from cash flow that debt-servicing payments are made.

Thayer’s statement hints at hard-ball tactics on all sides as Tierney’s team fought to restructure its finances outside of court. A Tierney request in November for $20 million in equity investment from lenders was rejected. Then this month, Thayer wrote, lenders countered with a proposal that the money be a loan and demanded an answer to their proposal within 48 hours–and without providing a copy of the paperwork describing fees for their loans.

In a memo to employees, Tierney said the company has asked the hometown bankruptcy court to allow payments of benefits and pensions. A bankruptcy filing usually halts such payments, at least initially. In recent years, many employees of the Inquirer and Daily News have taken buyouts or have been laid off.

Thayer’s affidavit says Tierney’s management has “dramatically improved the operations.” But one thing not specified was print circulation numbers of the Inquirer and Daily News, both Pulitzer Prize-winning newspapers. Latest audited figures put their combined daily circulation at 398,000, on the order of half what it was when the papers’ main competition, The Philadelphia Bulletin, went out of business in 1982.

Has the earth been visited by space aliens? Kucinich and Pelosi think so. Do the math.

The idea of space travel is fun and provides great entertainment. I’m sure there are many forms of life similar to earth in the universe. But if you do the math, you will see that it doesn’t matter. The space aliens are not going to visit earth and probe Democrat House representatives’ rectums in Cleveland Ohio, or San Francisco like Democrat Dennis Kucinich insists happened to him and friends of his in Hollywood. Nancy Pelosi who like her friend Kucinich, may look like an alien from another galaxy, that’s a fact, but her basic math skills are lacking. 

 

Kucinich is currently the chairman of theDomestic Policy Subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He is also a member of theEducation and Labor Committee.

Kucinich heads committees on education? That should be against the law.

We need to increase teaching math, science and economics in our schools. That’s a fact.

Meanwhile the stock market continues to crash today. Investors understand economics and simple math and that spending billions on more government programs is not what drives an economy. 
A team led by Jochen Greiner of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics determined that the huge gamma-ray burst occurred 12.2 billion light years away. Pluto is 12 light hours away.

Can you imagine man travelling in a vehicle that is 1,000 times slower than the speed of light? It would take 12.2 million years to visit a neighboring  solar system.  That’s the time equivalent to going back to the days dinosaurs roamed the earth. Planet of the Apes, it would not be. Planet of the volvox colonies. 

The concept that a rocket or space craft could ever travel at the speed of light are comic book science, much like man-made global warming. Let’s say man ever could achieve the speed of light of a space craft? Think about the speed and distance.

True liberal/socialist, Ruth Bader Ginsburg held out for cancer surgery until after the election

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery Thursday for pancreatic cancer, raising the odds that one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s leading liberals—will step down this year. So that someone of her political views will now be certain with an Obama and Democrat Congress. 

Ginsburg, 75, has been a justice since 1993, appointed by Bill Clinton. She has been increasingly vocal in recent years about socialist nanny state issues. 

Pancreatic cancer is often deadly, if not caught early. Was Ginsburg so worried about McCain Palin winning the election that she put off her cancer treatment? That is really taking one for the Democrat party. Ginsburg is a true Progressive.

McClatchy about to be kicked off the New York Stock Exchange as stock falls below $1 dollar.

The elegant McClatchy stock certificates for Class A stock are worth more than the stock itself. *

 

This report is directly from a McClatchy press release. The McClatchy Company today (Feb. 5) reported a net loss from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2008 of $20.4 million, or 25 cents per share.

McClatchy also announced that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange  that it is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards. The NYSE’s notice dated February 4, 2009 indicated that on February 2, 2009, the company’s average share price over the previous 30 trading days was $0.98, which is below the NYSE’s quantitative listing standards.

The NYSE listed companies must maintain an average closing price of any listed security above $1 per share for any consecutive thirty trading-day period. McClatchy plans to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure this deficiency and has six months from the date of the NYSE notice to cure the non-compliance. The company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NYSE during this interim period, subject to compliance with other NYSE listing requirements and the NYSE’s right to reevaluate continued listing standards. In reality, the stock is now considered a “penny stock” and things had better shape up in the next six months. 

There was no report on what McClatchy was doing about its carbon footprint and efforts to slow climate change. 

Revenues in the fourth quarter of 2008 were $470.9 million, down 17.9% from revenues from continuing operations of $573.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. Advertising revenues were $388.3 million, down 20.7% from 2007, and circulation revenues were $67.0 million, up 1.4%. Online advertising revenues grew 10.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and were 10.9% of total advertising revenues compared to 7.8% of total advertising revenues in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Using cash from operations and proceeds from asset sales, the company repaid $30 million of debt in the quarter and $433 million for all of 2008. Debt at the end of the fiscal year was $2.038 billion, down from $2.471 billion at the end of 2007.

Restructuring plan to calm banks and other investors

McClatchy noted in a press release that the duration and depth of the economic recession have taken a severe toll on its advertising revenues. Given the unprecedented deterioration in revenues and with no visibility of an improving economy, the company is continuing to reduce expenses. McClatchy announced that it is developing a plan to reduce costs by an additional $100 million to $110 million, or approximately seven percent of 2008 cash expenses, over the next 12 months beginning later in the first quarter of 2009.

Details of the plan have not yet been finalized. In addition, the company will freeze its pension plans and temporarily suspend the company match to its 401(k) plans, effective March 31, 2009. The company will extend a salary freeze for senior executives in 2009 that was implemented in 2007. The company previously announced that it had implemented a company-wide salary freeze from September 2008 through September 2009. Gary Pruitt, McClatchy’s chairman and chief executive officer, also has declined any bonus for 2008 and 2009. In addition, other senior executives will not receive bonuses for 2008.

 

The loss from continuing operations for the entire year of 2007 was $2.73 billion, or $33.26 per share, including the effect of the non-cash impairment charges taken in 2007. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations(1) were $110.9 million, or $1.35 per share, in fiscal 2007 after considering the non-cash impairment charges and adjustments for certain discrete tax items. The company’s total net loss, including the results of discontinued operations, was $2.74 billion, or $33.37 per share.

 

Management’s Comments

Commenting on McClatchy’s results, Pruitt said, “2008 was a difficult and disappointing year. We faced troubled economic times and structural changes in our business.

 

“But the economy remains mired in recession and our industry is still in a period of transition. The advertising environment continues to be weak and we expect print advertising revenues to continue to be down. While we do not have final advertising revenue results for January, we know that the month was slower than the fourth quarter. We don’t have any better sense than other market observers as to how long the current recession will last and we do not yet have visibility of revenue trends.

“We must respond with both continued rigor in driving our revenue results as well as permanently reducing our cost structure. At McClatchy we are quickly becoming a hybrid print and online news and information company.

“Evidence of our cost reduction efforts can be found in our results. Excluding severance and other benefit charges related to our previously announced restructuring plans, cash expenses were down 14.4% in the fourth quarter and were down 11.5% in all of 2008.

“This necessary transition to a more efficient company is especially painful in a horrible economy and we have had to make some very difficult decisions to keep the company safe,” Pruitt said. “Even so, we are determined to treat our employees well and secure their retirement as best we can. So while we have announced that we are freezing our pension plans and will temporarily suspend 401(k) matching contributions as of March 31, we will continue to offer competitive benefits for our employees. We expect to offer a new 401(k) plan later this year that will include both a matching contribution (once reinstated), plus a supplemental contribution that is tied to cash flow performance. I recognize the sacrifices our employees are making to help us get though this difficult time and I appreciate their loyalty to McClatchy. I am confident that the McClatchy team is up to this challenge and we will see brighter days when the economy finally turns.”

Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s chief financial officer, said, “Our new cost initiatives, combined with our 2008 efforts, are designed to save approximately $300 million annually before severance costs. Approximately $60 million of savings has been realized in 2008, and $44.7 million of severance costs associated with these programs has been expensed in 2008 and largely paid.”

“Despite the downturn in advertising revenues, we still continue to generate significant cash and are using it to repay debt,” Talamantes said. “Our debt at year end is $2.038 billion, down $433 million from the end of 2007. Based on our trailing 12 months of cash flow, our leverage ratio is currently 5.1 times cash flow and our interest coverage ratio is 2.8 times cash flow as defined by our bank agreement — well within the allowable covenant thresholds. We have $159 million in availability under our bank credit lines, and have no significant debt maturities until June 2011. We believe that we can work through this difficult environment, and we expect to make further progress in paying down debt in 2009.”

Other Matters

McClatchy also announced that it was notified by the New York Stock Exchange (the “NYSE”) that it is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing standards. The NYSE’s notice dated February 4, 2009 indicated that on February 2, 2009, the company’s average share price over the previous 30 trading days was $0.98, which is below the NYSE’s quantitative listing standards. Such standards require NYSE listed companies to maintain an average closing price of any listed security above $1.00 per share for any consecutive thirty trading-day period. McClatchy plans to notify the NYSE of its intent to cure this deficiency and has six months from the date of the NYSE notice to cure the non-compliance. The company’s Class A common stock will continue to be listed on the NYSE during this interim period, subject to compliance with other NYSE listing requirements and the NYSE’s right to reevaluate continued listing standards.

Consistent with the growing industry practice, McClatchy will discontinue issuing monthly revenue and statistical reports after this release. McClatchy is among the last newspaper companies to report advertising results monthly, and without comparable industry information, management does not believe monthly revenues are as useful to investors. The company will continue to provide revenue trends and other statistical information on a quarterly basis with its earnings releases.

*Class B stock is the stock held by the family, so that has voting rights and much more value when the assets are finally sold. It’s the same model used by the New York Times.

Drill here, drill now, pay less, create jobs — That’s stimulous

Gov. Sarah Palin continues to make news. She understands economics and real-world energy issues. 

 

I AM DISMAYED THAT LEGISLATION HAS AGAIN BEEN INTRODUCED in Congress to prohibit forever oil and gas development in the most promising unexplored petroleum province in North America — the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in Alaska.

Let’s not forget: Only six months ago, oil was selling for nearly $150 per barrel, while Americans were paying $4 a gallon and more for gasoline. And today, there is potential for prices to rebound as OPEC asserts its market power and as Russia disrupts needed natural gas to Europe for the second time in three years.

As I traveled throughout the country campaigning for vice president, I was glad to hear politicians, including Barack Obama, promise that “everything was on the table” to address America’s great challenges. I also found that when Americans were apprised of the facts, most people became supporters of responsible oil and gas drilling in Alaska. So, I want to remind our national leaders of this promise and make the case against this legislation:

•Oil from ANWR represents a huge, secure domestic supply that could help satisfy U.S. demand for more than 25 years.

•ANWR sits within a 20 million-acre refuge (the size of South Carolina), but thanks to advanced technology like directional drilling, the aggregated drilling footprint would be less than 2,000 acres (about one-quarter the size of Dulles Airport). This is like laying a 2-by-3-foot welcome mat on a basketball court.

•Energy development is quite compatible with the protection of our wildlife and their habitat. For example, North Slope caribou herds have grown and remained healthy throughout more than three decades of oil development. Most of the year, our coastal plain is frozen solid and thus characterized by low biological productivity.

•ANWR development would create hundreds of thousands of good American jobs, positively affecting every state by providing a safe energy supply and generating demand for goods and services.

– Gov. Sarah Palin