Author Topic: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters  (Read 7874 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Clerk Typist

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 1,847
SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« on: July 05, 2007, 11:10:10 AM »
From Sharkspage.com, as tipped by Romenesko:

Black day for hockey coverage in the Bay Area, SF Chronicle and SJ Mercury News lay off Sharks beat reporters
Confirmed a few minutes ago: The San Francisco Chronicle laid off Sharks beat writer Ross McKeon, who has been covering the team since 1991. Also, Sharks beat writer Victor Chi is on the list of 31 San Jose Mercury News employees who were laid off on Monday. Fifteen others, including soccer and boxing reporter Dylan Hernandez and photographer Meri Simon, voluntarily resigned.

It is a paradigm shift for local sports reporting, and for coverage of the San Jose Sharks. The San Francisco Chronicle, the largest newspaper in the Bay Area, is expected to cut approximately 100 of its 400 editorial positions. The San Jose Mercury News, founded in 1851, lost 50% of its staff from a high of 400 only a few years ago.

Chronicle reporters have set up a blog with job opportunities and resources for those who have been let go at chroniclecolleagues.blogspot.com. When deputy managing editor John Curley accepted a buyout at the Chronicle, he posted a farewell on his flickr page that reflects on his many years on the paper.

On MN Technology reporter Dean Takahashi's tech talk blog, he asks if the Mercury News can be saved? He also mentions an upcoming interview with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who along with Craig Newmark of Craigslist have had a significant impact on the bottom line of newspapers across the board.

It is tough to quantify how much losing the two main San Jose beat writers will impact coverage of the team (with news about both layoffs coming on the same day). Lost in a lot of the hype and hyperbole surrounding blogs, web 2.0, and "citizen reporting" is how much hard work goes into their reporting day in and day out.

The Chronicle is expected to scale back its coverage of the Sharks and the NHL, possibly to wire reports that are readily available in dozens of other locations. Letters can be sent to Sporting Green editor Glenn Schwartz at [email protected], the editor at [email protected], the San Francisco Chronicle's reader representative [email protected], or via a feedback form. Chronicle EVP and Editor Phil Bronstein can be reached at [email protected].

It is too soon to tell how this will effect the Mercury News coverage of the Sharks, but it should remain a prominent position as the South Bay's largest sports franchise. John Ryan of Morning Buzz and David Pollak have filed stories on the Sharks after the layoffs. The Mercury News Sports Editor, Rachel Wettergreen Wilner, can be reached at [email protected]. The Mercury News Deputy Sports Editor, Bud Geracie, can be reached at [email protected].

More information will be posted as it comes in.

[Update] This post last August detailed what was expected to be reduced NHL coverage in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post did a complete 180, and it has moved into a position of leadership online (if not with its hockey coverage). The New York Times adapted on the fly and published several long personal interest stories, and several extensive reports about different issues facing the league instead of regular game reports. The Los Angeles Times was effected by default, as the Anaheim Ducks made a long playoff run to a Stanley Cup Championship.

Offline Bump_Wills

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 217
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2007, 11:29:26 AM »
Can't see a scenario under which the Mercury News wouldn't continue to staff the Sharks home and away, so somebody will be getting that job. At the Chron, though, the Sharks beat may well be a thing of the past.


Offline slappy4428

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 38,863
  • Deal with it.
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 11:36:08 AM »
Unbelieveable... two major papers in the area ditch beat writers for the same beat.
Hmmm, wait. Carole Leigh is at SJ... brings this all into perspective...

Offline Susan Slusser

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 68
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2007, 11:47:36 AM »
Just a slight clarification: Ross was not laid off, he took a buyout offer. He's a total pro who will be greatly missed by his colleagues.

Offline Claws for Concern

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 7,512
  • One jersey has nothing to do with the others!
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2007, 11:52:44 AM »
Did the Merc have any sponsorship ties to the Sharks' arena? Just asking because I'd think if there was, there'll be much less of one now.

Offline Ace

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15,428
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2007, 11:59:48 AM »
Unbelieveable... two major papers in the area ditch beat writers for the same beat.
Hmmm, wait. Carole Leigh is at SJ... brings this all into perspective...

So her paper could still write colorful, quote-filled stories on the Sharks, without actually having to be there? Genius!
You still bring it, Ace -- Lugnuts

I'm actually audibly laughing -- fishwrapper

Fenian_Bastard

  • Guest
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2007, 12:08:12 PM »
Unbelieveable... two major papers in the area ditch beat writers for the same beat.
Hmmm, wait. Carole Leigh is at SJ... brings this all into perspective...


The slapster is dogged in pursuit.

Ike Broflovski

  • Guest
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2007, 12:24:36 PM »
Unbelieveable... two major papers in the area ditch beat writers for the same beat.
Hmmm, wait. Carole Leigh is at SJ... brings this all into perspective...

So her paper could still write colorful, quote-filled stories on the Sharks, without actually having to be there? Genius!


One of Carole Leigh's former writers did a colorful, quote-filled column on the Final Four without the subjects themselves being there, so there is a precedent.

Offline Norrin Radd

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,331
  • Open a Vain.
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2007, 01:13:27 PM »
Can't see a scenario under which the Mercury News wouldn't continue to staff the Sharks home and away

Perhaps you've never heard of Dean Singleton.
If I delete part of an exchange I had with you, it's likely because I remembered that I don't care about your opinion.

Llamas w/ hats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-vsynsE8RQ

"You small, petty, shitstain. You f$#%ing ferret. You failure. You f$#%ing failure ferret."

Offline Left_Coast

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,776
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2007, 01:37:41 PM »
Lean Dean's goal, just like it was in SoCal, will be one writer covering each team/sport for all the Bay Area papers: San Jose, Contra Costa, Oakland, papers in the East Bay. Throw in Monterey, too, since Lean has that place in his clutches.
And with him and the Chron already making deals for circulation and distribution, I suspect the Chron will be part of that contingent as well down the line.
One writer for the Giants, A's, Warriors, 49ers, Raiders, Cal, Stanford. To be divided among the papers Lean has. Again, see SoCal with Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, Clippers, Ducks, Kings, USC, UCLA, with the L.A. Daily News controlling most of those, certainly the biggest/most high profile beats.
It won't be LANG (Los Angeles Newspaper Group) but BANG (Bay Area Newspaper Group).
Of course, the bang is the implosion of newspapers in the Bay Area.
It was as predictable as a sunrise.

Offline DPollak@TheMerc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2007, 02:45:05 PM »

Here's the situation at the Merc.

For the past five years, the paper has had two of us covering the Sharks … Vic as the
full-time beat writer, me spending about 50 percent of my time supplementing his coverage with features, notebooks, attempts at analysis. Frankly, I always thought I had the better job (playoff travel only, just a handful of gamers over the years).

Unfortunately, we lost several good reporters in all departments during this week's layoffs,
Vic among them. Hockey is one of many areas where the paper is reducing its staffing and I'm the guy left standing.

The Sharks are now my full-time beat. We do plan to redefine our coverage approach, but …
despite the speculation out there … we won't stop following the team on the road.

Hope that helps clarify things.

Offline Moderator1

  • SJ Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 28,378
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2007, 02:58:04 PM »
How'd they decide the layoff-ees?   Performance?  Years of service? Pull 'em out of a hat?
Go out of your way to make good memories. At some point, these memories may be all you have left. May God bless you all.

"Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade, they never learn the trade. - Vernon Law

www.si.com

Offline Left_Coast

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,776
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2007, 03:03:03 PM »
The only "major" team in town, so, yeah, cutting back there is the prudent move. All about the $$$$ for Lean Dean.

Offline Del_B_Vista

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 3,349
  • Our love is all of God's money
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2007, 03:15:37 PM »
Quote
Fifteen others, including soccer and boxing reporter Dylan Hernandez and photographer Meri Simon, voluntarily resigned.

More information on Dylan: He left to go to the Dodgers beat at the LA Times.
"You don't get anything done by planning." -- Karl Pilkington

"Most folk heroes start as criminals." -- Reg Dunlop

!!!SGOLB: http://donhammack.com

Offline Left_Coast

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,776
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2007, 03:28:37 PM »
I'd say that's a healthy step up, despite the Times' issues. Because there are a thousand more issues at the Merc.

Offline DPollak@TheMerc

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2007, 03:35:58 PM »
Four criteria spelled out in the guild contract -- one objective (seniority), and three subjective (competence, ability to do available work, something else equally fuzzy).

Offline Moderator1

  • SJ Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 28,378
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2007, 04:17:55 PM »
So they could basically cut those they wanted to cut for whatever reason?

When Durham had its bloodletting with the new owners, they took out the No. 2 paid person everywhere. No. 2 paid sports writer, No. 2 paid sports desker, No. 2 paid metro reporter and so on.   Never looked at ability or anything close to it.

Go out of your way to make good memories. At some point, these memories may be all you have left. May God bless you all.

"Some people are so busy learning the tricks of the trade, they never learn the trade. - Vernon Law

www.si.com

Offline enigami

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 88
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2007, 05:06:55 PM »
I always thought Victor Chi was one of the more underrated Bay Area beat guys (though I suppose that's an easy call if he's covering the hockey team in San Jose). Still, that's a tough loss.

Offline blueview

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 182
  • Seriously.
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2007, 05:10:55 PM »
I always thought Victor Chi was one of the more underrated Bay Area beat guys (though I suppose that's an easy call if he's covering the hockey team in San Jose). Still, that's a tough loss.

Agreed. It seems like Victor has been covering that beat for years. This is a shock. Hopefully he'll land somewhere quickly.
If you have to cry, go outside.

Offline dooley_womack1

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 56,271
  • Just as good a spring
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2007, 05:25:12 PM »
This won't be the last of hockey coverage cuts. With its low national ratings, hockey will be seen as a painless place to cut.
"If she has a shiny fleur-de-lis on her ass, you may not even have to buy her dinner."--Freqposter

I'm a sinner, I'm a saint, I do not feel ashamed.

"Bubbler: 'Dick Whitman: Stop Reading Slate' "--Bubbler

Offline Clerk Typist

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 1,847
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2007, 05:54:03 PM »
Just a slight clarification: Ross was not laid off, he took a buyout offer. He's a total pro who will be greatly missed by his colleagues.
Thanks for the update. That's good news. Comparatively good, at least.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2007, 05:58:44 PM by Clerk Typist »

Offline LATimesman

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 158
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2007, 07:18:34 PM »
Vic Chi covered the Sharks for about 11 years.

Offline Elliotte Friedman

  • Journalism topics only
  • Global Moderator
  • Jr. Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,624
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2007, 07:36:26 PM »
Mentioned this on the other San Jose thread, but I really enjoyed Victor's work and hope he lands on his feet.

Didn't know about Ross, another real professional. Hope he got a great buyout.

Offline Mizzougrad96

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 56,218
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2007, 08:25:21 PM »
Does anyone know what kind of money these places are offering for buyouts? I know one place that was offering a week for every year worked there plus a bulk payment and the guy who had been there for 30 years couldn't get to the door fast enough...
"I don't mean to sound cold or cruel or vicious, but I am so that's how it comes out." - Bill Hicks

"I'd like to begin by saying fuck Lance Armstrong. Fuck him and his balls and his bicycles and his steroids and his yellow shirts ... And while you're at it, fuck Tiger

Offline Left_Coast

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 2,776
Re: SF Chron, SJ Mercury News fire Sharks beat reporters
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2007, 08:26:43 PM »
Mostly two weeks for every year with a cap of one year's pay. Plus medical benefits.