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.

Stephanopoulos and Obama Chief of Staff on daily phone briefings from the White House

No wonder why trust in the media is at record lows, like temperatures. 

ABC News’ anchorman of the news and host of This Week with 
George Stephanopoulos, is on a daily morning conference call with Rahm Emanuel and others from the old Clinton administration, now in the media
.  Web site Politico broke the news that
Stephanopoulos is currently conducting private, daily
phone briefings with Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel

This is unethical  journalism and a clear
conflict of interest.   How can Stephanopoulos participate
in daily briefings about the administration’s strategy and
message and then be charged with reporting on them?

Update: Feb. 4: A White House reporter, so infatuated with the new president, jumped out of line and begged for Obama’s autograph today. At the end of the SCHIP signing, a member of the press corps jumped the rope penning off reporters to get an autograph from POTUS. Secret Service swooped in and stopped him. An Obama aide said the man is still being held by Secret Service. No details yet on the reporter’s name or publication. — Carol E. Lee 

The individual in question, whose name I don’t know, showed up in the press briefing room basement under escort of a White House press aide (not the Service at that point) apparently to retrieve personal belongings and make his way out of the complex. — Josh Gerstein 

 

How about tapes of those conversations with major media and the White House? Shouldn’t the public get in on that? It’s our White House, not the Democrat party’s central command for propaganda. 

The Media Research Center (MRC) Action Team thas started a campaign to call
ABC News and demand that he Stepanopoulos (Stephy)  recuse himself
from reporting on any issues involving the Obama Administration,
thousands of citizens took immediate action!

         In fact, the MRC reports  that ABC News switchboard
         personnel were completely swamped, and couldn’t keep up
         with the heavy volume of angry calls.

Don’t Stop Calling!

We are expanding this effort, and have added Stephanopoulos’s boss,
David Westin, President of ABC News and Westin’s boss, Anne Sweeney,
Co-Chairman at Disney. They all need to hear from us.

Here are the numbers to call:

George Stephanopoulos, Washington Chief Correspondent, ABC News
202-222-7700

David Westin, President ABC News 212-456-6200

Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks 818-569-7700

Click here to send emails:

http://www.mrcaction.org/r.asp?U=15953&CID=517&RID=11817738

The Miami Herald now up for sale

McClatchy, among the top three newspaper companies in America, burdened by huge debt and a steep slide in newspaper readership and advertising, wants to sell one of its most prized properties, The Miami Herald, according to people briefed on the company’s plans. That would be like you selling your best late model car that you use to get downtown to work every day. 

McClatchy has approached potential buyers for The Herald, said people  within the company (not able to give their names out of fear). But they said they knew of no serious offers for the paper, reflecting the reality of major investors’ interest in buying newspapers. None what so ever.

The reports all say about the same thing. The blood letting will continue for a long while. Eventually, only the top regional newspapers will survive in a mixed media format of print and online news and advertising. The list of survivors will not have room for papers like the Miami Herald, Rocky Mountain News, or even the Sacramento Bee. The San Francisco Chronicle will handle Northern California and the LA Times Southern Cal.

In Florida, readers will keep with the NY Times and the St Petersburg Times will become Florida’s paper of record. Just my opinion of course.

A company spokeswoman refused to discuss the matter. Elaine Lintecum, the treasurer, said, “We do not comment on market rumors.”

Well, time will tell.  What workers should watch for: window dressing. There will be blood letting.

You will experience some more cuts. The bean counters will have to make the books look good in Miami for the next six months. Computers will not be replaced, of course, neither will people, even the work horses who take the chump change buyouts. 

There will be some morale-boosting promotions such as “awards” to some high profile employees to add to the window dressing, but not with pay. Next, watch for tours of about six people in suits — accountants, corporate attorneys and a few silver haired consultants. Be nice to them, who knows if the older guy in his 60s will be the publisher in May of ’09.

 

The McClatchy folly in 2006 is a case study in bad management. They bought Knight Ridder when its share holders said dump the bad business and the remaining Ridder family members looked at the numbers and said, “yes, you are right, sell now!”

Through the first 10 months of this year, McClatchy’s ad revenue fell 14.7 percent in other parts of the country, but 22.5 percent in California and Florida, the NY Times reported. (The Times does a good job reporting on the troubles of comepetitors). 

The McClatchy share price, which exceeded $75 in 2005, ironically started its slide soon after they purchesed the Knight Ridder papers, closed at $2.20 on Friday. So, for the price of a Rockstar sport drink, you could buy a share of McClatchy stock.  Go for the Rockstar, you really will get something for your money.

The Internet most trusted news source now

The Web Most Reliable Source of News according to Zogby

There is a backlash to the perceived (real or imagined) alliance between major media and the Democrat party. 

A Zogby Poll, commissioned by IFC, found 37.6% of those asked consider the Internet the most reliable source of news. 20.3% consider national TV news most reliable and 16% say radio is the most reliable source.

• 39.3% of those surveyed trust FOX News most for the issues they consider most important, followed by CNN with 16% and MSNBC with just 15%.

• 72.6% believe the news they read and see is biased.

• 88.7% Republican and 57.5% Democrat respondents describe the news media as biased.

 Theodore Roosevelt

    I Like this quote I dislike this quote“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

–Teddy Roosevelt

 

Impeccable timing for Ann Coulter’s new book, “Guilty.”

Set for release first week of January, the book exposes in documented detail, the media’s love affair with all things Democrat and Obama. Coulter presents all the details that have been covered up. It mocks  and rocks professional jounalism to its core.

“GUILTY is a much-needed reality check on a Left gone wild,” declares the book’s jacket.

“When it comes to bullying, no one outdoes the Left. Citing case after case, ranging from the hilariously absurd to the shockingly vicious, Coulter dissects so-called victims who are invariably the oppressors. For instance: While Barack Hussein Obama piously condemned attacks on candidates’ families, his media and campaign surrogates ripped open the court-sealed divorce records of his two principal opponents in his Senate race in Illinois.”

 

The leftist blogs are reporting that Ms. Coulter had her jaw wired shut. If so, she can still write best sellers. 

 

 

The age of objectivity and fair reporting in America is over — MSNBC is disgraced

Who is a Democrat PR talking head and who is a journalist on MSNBC, NBC or CNN? Why stop there? The Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times and SF Chronicle are not investigating economic issues and massive bailouts. What kind of balanced journalism do you think the media performed during the two-year election?

First the gang journalists piled on Hillary, next they covered for Obama and attacked Palin.

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

The New York TImes had a reporter rewrite an AP story on the hoax and they spun the story to blame FOX News first with the hoax.  This is called journalism?

MSNBC was the victim of a hoax when it reported that an adviser to John McCain had identified himself as the source of an embarrassing story about former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the network said Wednesday.

David Shuster, an anchor for the cable news network, said on air Monday that Martin Eisenstadt, “a McCain policy adviser,” had come forth and identified himself as the source of a story saying Palin had mistakenly believed Africa was a country instead of a continent.

Eisenstadt identifies himself on a blog as a senior fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy and “a contributor to FOX News.” Yet neither he nor the institute exist; each is part of a hoax dreamed up by a filmmaker named Eitan Gorlin and his partner, Dan Mirvish, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Eisenstadt claim had mistakenly been delivered to Shuster by a producer and was used in a political discussion Monday afternoon, MSNBC said.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, network spokesman. “We recognized the error almost immediately and ran a correction on air within minutes.”

Gaines told the Times that someone in the network’s newsroom had presumed the information solid because it was passed along in an e-mail from a colleague.

The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin—not the Fox News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.

Eisenstadt’s “work” had been quoted and debunked before. The Huffington Post said it had cited Eisenstadt in July on a story regarding the Hilton family and McCain.

Among the other victims were political blogs for the Los Angeles Times and The New Republic, each of which referenced false material from Eisenstadt’s blog.

“The story was not properly vetted and should not have made air,” said Jeremy Gaines, MSNBC spokesman.

There are plenty of questions that are not asked.

How did Minnesota Democrat Party election officials come up with 500 more votes for the Democrat senate candidate days after the polls closed and none for the Republican candidate?

Why was there a crisis over $150,000 spent on Sarah Palin’s campaign clothing, but no comparison with Hillary’s warehouse of pantsuits or Obama’s Greek columns and semi-truck of suits?

Newspaper and news magazine circulation is dropping. Layoffs continue. (Wait until after January).