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Big cuts in Akron

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Ohiowriter, Jul 28, 2006.

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  1. Buckeye12

    Buckeye12 Member

    That quote from their new publisher is simply incredible. The scary part is he knew he'd be quoted and still said something that ignorant.
    He's got to be a bean-counter. No one with an ounce of reporting background makes a comment that stupid.
    You know how many times I've used the Internet to research a column, a feature, or a straight story to utilize some meaningful background detail and offer depth on a piece?
    Yet according to this mouth breather I should go up to the local library, spend 4 or 5 hours on the company's dime, just so he thinks I'm working because I'm out of the office, then come back with a well-researched ode to the 50th anniversary of Don Larsen's perfect game.
    I could do it in probably 15-30 minutes on the Internet, save him all kinds of money. But I wouldn't want him to think I was goofing off in the newsroom. So, I'll waste my time and spend his money instead.
    Yet another genius takes over a newspaper. Where do they find these meatheads?
    To quote Strother Martin from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
    "Morons. I've got morons on my team!"
  2. Buckeye12

    Buckeye12 Member

    Tom Reed won't be long without a job.
    If the columnist openings still exist in Austin or Jacksonville, they should snap him up in a second.
  3. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    wicked, somehow the situation and the quote doesn't really surprise me in the least bit. yet one more reason for me to seriously consider leaving the business i love and enter another -- which would obviously pay more money and have better hours -- that's more beneficial for both me and my family.

    i'm really starting to hit the "fuck 'em" mode.
  4. WordMP

    WordMP New Member

    All indications are that Tom Reed will be brought back. At least three of the older reporters at the paper have volunteered to be laid off. Which brings back the Beacon Journal's movie critic, George Thomas, business writer, Jim MacKinnon, who covers Goodyear\, and Tom Reed. Pat McManamon would need at least four more of the veterans to do the same, and that is not expected to happen. The sports department also lost Gary Estwick, who covered recruiting and Kent State.
  5. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    How any newspaper owner can justify those layoffs, and those types of layoffs, amazes me. And laying off Reed, even if he will return to the ABJ here soon, absolutely amazes me. He only finished in the APSE's top 5 for columns and features last year.

    And very sad to hear about Estwick. Not that we don't all work hard, but he has worked his butt off to get to where he was. With any luck, he'll be picked up before too long.

    Any word on who the fourth sports writer was?
  6. loveyabye

    loveyabye Guest

    It was Stephanie Storm, who covers minor league baseball and high schools. Reed's already heard from Jacksonville and Austin.

    From what I've heard, the management told those who were being laid off that even if they got called back they wouldn't necessarily be safe for more than a year. The paper has been doing worse since Black bought it.
  7. Orange Hat Bobcat

    Orange Hat Bobcat Active Member

    Thanks, LYB. I guess the ABJ really looked at their weakest links and just cut 'em right off, huh? Reed, McMananon, Estwick and Storm. Nope, no talent there.

    I realize those four were a little higher on the food (and pay) chain than a few younger kids, but jeez. That any paper could cut four quality writers like that is a sad indictment.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Tom, the fact that a newspaper company CEO thinks that doesn't surprise me. The fact that a newspaper company CEO says it in a public forum shocks me.

    I was talking to a colleague one day years ago, just shooting the shit in the office. She said to me, "You know, sometimes I feel guilty when I stand around here talking. I told my husband that ... he said, 'In every other business, it's what they call smoking breaks.' " Especially in our advertising departmenjts, I swear some of those people smoke four sticks an hour, and they spend 10 minutes outside socializing while smoking each.

    Yes, we have our slow days where we screw around, but find me a business that doesn't. It's healthy to give your people some down time and not make them go full throttle 24/7, and that holds for any business.

    And love, I don't know how much worse the paper can be doing financially since Black bought it ... I mean, he's only had it for six or eight weeks!

    (Does anyone think there'll be an age discrimination suit here? From what I'm reading, they're slicing off high-paid [read: older] vets. Sure the union's throwing a fit.)
  9. busuncle

    busuncle Member

    I don't think that's the case. As mentioned earlier on this thread, all the layoffs are based on union rules. The most recently hired reporters and editors are the first to go.
  10. Trust NoOne

    Trust NoOne Member

    I love this "bring expense more in line with revenue" crap.

    Anybody know what the BJ's profit margin was? Are they seriously claiming to be losing money?

    Regardless, this is crappy — and typical now of the last 20-plus years of newspaper management.

    Profit margin drops, cut staff, lose readership. Repeat until newspaper closes. Why don't owners/stock analysts get this?
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Well, what's interesting is that the Morgan Stanley report when KR went up for sale estimated the Akron profit margin at 21 percent. It's hard to say how accurate this is because I know the folks in Philly were challenging the accuracy of the Morgan Stanley numbers on the Inky and DN.


    One thing to keep in mind, though, is that Akron was the first Knight paper and probably had little debt. When a new owner takes on debt to finance the purchase, the payments have to come from somewhere. I'm familiar with one case some years ago when the buyer overpaid to get the newspaper and had to slash space and staff in order to make it work the way he wanted. The longterm effect, of course, was that some readers and advertisers abandoned the scaled-down product, so revenue decreased, resulting in further cutbacks. And on and on.
  12. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    If you're Reed and you get laid off for even a day, why would you bother going back? Especially if a paper on the Florida coast comes calling. I know everyone seemingly hates the city of Jacksonville, but I've always enjoyed my time there. I'd take that over anywhere in Ohio.

    Why doesn't the CEO just come out and say, "we want to make the ABJ as irrrelevant as possible as quickly as possible?" Because that's what he's really trying to do.
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