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. 

Bottom-up change of America by Obama — Lowering the middle class

Trickle up poverty,  a phrase coined by someone who deserves an award or something, is probably not well liked by the far right. Why not try trickle up economic support?  Most of us consider ourselves “middle class.” I’d imagine even Donald Trump and Rush Limbaugh think of themselves as middle class, on the upper end, of course.

For political “big tent” purposes, the middle class is now about 80 percent of the country, including the  millions who don’t pay income taxes. We now know that  Joe the Plumber will soon be too rich for middle class status or Obama’s tax cuts. Welcome to the new lower middle class.

The Wall Street Journal’s Bill McGurn unpacks Barack Obama’s “tax cut for 95% of the people” hooey. The short version:

Now, if you have been following this so far, you have learned that people who pay no income tax will get an income tax refund. You have also learned that this check will represent relief for the payroll taxes these people do pay. And you have been assured that this rebate check won’t actually come out of payroll taxes, lest we harm Social Security.

You have to admire the audacity. With one touch of the Obama magic, what otherwise would be described as taking money from Peter to pay Paul is now transformed into Paul’s tax relief. Where a tax cut for payroll taxes paid will not in fact come from payroll taxes. And where all these plans come together under the rhetorical umbrella of “Making Work Pay.”

All of this is breathtakingly dishonest. (As Al Gore would say I think we need a lock box.)

Welcome to the world of MSM-lapdog-ism. But I can’t blame the MSM. McCain was too frozen in country club Republican politics to respond. 

Houston, we have a problem. I see dead people voting.

By Mick Gregor

Massive voter fraud by ACORN is sweeping the nation. Much of the spike in registration of new Democrats is coming from these efforts. Even the polls are changed due to sample size adujustments made to match the surge in Democrat voter registration. Sample size is weighted 10 to 25 percent in favor of Democrats before the pollsters make their calls.

More than 1.9 million people are registered to vote in Harris County alone. A TV news team found 4,000 people dead on the voter roles. That’s Houston an island of Democrats in a huge red state.

Now look at Ohio. A man who has come out and spoke about the voter-registration scandal told The New York Post yesterday he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive ACORN activists in exchange for registering an astonishing 72 times, in a blatant violation of Ohio and federal voter laws.

“Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they’ll give me a dollar to sign up,” said Freddie Johnson, 19, who filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of the left-leaning Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

Take that into account and add it to Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos that had Republicans switching over to vote for Hillary duriing the primaries and you can see that there is an artificial surge in Democrat registrations. Many states required that you declare you were a Democrat. Legal or intimidation tactic, it didn’t matter, thousands of Republicans switched to defeat Hillary.

Investigative reporter Amy Davis on Houston’s Local 2 reported how hundreds of voters could sway this year’s election — voters who are not even alive.

“All-in-all, a great person, a great woman, just a wonderful person” is how Alexis Guidry described her mother to Local 2 Investigates.

“As far back as I can remember, they’ve always voted in the election,” Guidry said of her parents.

The March 2008 Primary was no exception. Voting records show Alexis’ mom, Gloria Guidry, cast her ballot in person near her South Houston home.

“It was just very shocking, a little unsettling,” said Alexis Guidry.

It’s unsettling because Gloria Guidry died of cancer 10 months before the March Primary.

“She’d be very upset,” Guidry said when asked what her mom would think.

Trent Seibert, of Texas Watchdog, says you should be too.

“This is really disquieting. It’s concerning. It’s worrisome,” said Seibert.

He heads up the non-partisan news group on the web.

Texas Watchdog compared Harris County’s voter registration roll with the Social Security death index and found more than 4,000 matches — registered voters that, it appears, are already dead.

Harris County is overwhelming Democratic as are most big urban areas. Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and has a popular Democrat as mayor, Bill White.

Some of them, like Henderson Hill’s late wife Linda, voted postmortem.

“I would like to know who did it, myself,” Hill told Davis.

We don’t know who used Linda Hill’s or Gloria Guidry’s IDs to vote, but we do know if their names had been purged from voter rolls after they died, using their IDs wouldn’t have worked.

“This is a red flag. No matter where you are, this should set off alarm bells,” Seibert said. “Someone needs to take a look at this.”

“We just kind of work with the systems that we’re allowed to,” explained George Hammerlein, the director of Harris County Voter Registration.

The county’s system for culling deceased voters from the roll seems painfully primitive.

We watched employees clip obituaries from the newspaper and sort through probate records for names matching those on the roll. But, Hammerlein says while fraud is a concern, for his office, disenfranchising voters is a bigger one.

“We do all we can, but you know we’d rather err on the side of leaving people on the roll instead of taking them off inadvertently,” he said. But could that cautious “better safe than sorry” standard sway an election some say will be a close one?

Texas Watchdog found 4,462 registered voters who appear to be deceased.

“We’ve never had any evidence there’s a concerted attempt at fraud,” Hammerlein told Local 2. But there is evidence the state agency in charge of ensuring only eligible voters can vote is not.

The State Auditor’s Office conducted an audit of the voter registration system at the Secretary of State’s Office last November.

Auditors identified 49,049 registered voters state-wide who may have been ineligible to vote. Approximately 23,576 may have been deceased and another 23,114 were possible felons. And they found more than 2,359 duplicate records.

The auditor did not find any instances in which potentially ineligible voters actually voted, but they wrote, “Although the Secretary of State’s office has processes to identify many ineligible voters and remove them from the State’s voter registration list, improvements can be made.”

Almost a year after this audit, we wanted to know if the Secretary of State has made any improvements. Have they added any safeguards to the process?

No one from that office would talk to us on camera, but the Director of Elections told us, “We’d rather err in leaving someone on the roll than taking someone off.”

“If there’s something wrong here, if there’s something amiss, this is the worst election to have that happen, “Seibert warned. And Guidry agrees. “I don’t think it’s a matter that she would take lightly,” she said of her mom.

In what she calls an historic election, Guidry says her mother wouldn’t want anyone speaking for her.

“I think she would definitely do all that she could just to make sure things were on the up and up.”

We sent the information we showed you to the Director of Elections in Austin. She said her office refers any credible allegation of election fraud to the Attorney General for investigation. She said the cases we presented would be felony violations.

Visit www.texaswatchdog.org for more information about how Texas Watchdog found dead voters on the rolls.

Reports of voter fraud by liberal groups could change election results
Michelle Malkin calls this wave of fraud a “radical revolution”
that is “taking place in your backyard.”

And much of these efforts are funded by your tax dollars!

The radical group ACORN – which gets 40 percent of its funding
from you and me through taxes — has registered 1.27 million voters and now
is being exposed for fraudulent practices. The other 60 percent comes from the Democrat Party.

We are watching a constitutional crisis.

Hillary skit on SNL includes a “walk-on” by Barack Hussein Obama.

page_2.jpgIt’s so in. So funny. The mainstream media is onboard with the Hillary/Obama Progressive Democrat campaign. There was the famous Hillary nervous giggle. It’s so nice the way we are prepared by the media to get to know and trust our new progressive leaders.
Enjoy this free polical art. Help the Progressive Democrat campaign.

page_1.jpg

Download this free Progressive Democrat campaign poster.
VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Yet, there are 3,022,030 still-unreleased health-care documents, along with 2,884 e-mails and 1,021 photos hidden away in the Clinton archives.

“This doesn’t pass the giggle test,” said Christopher Farrell, the group’s research director, about Clinton’s statement that “all” of her health-care records had been released.

Isn’t that what governance is about?