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GateHouse New England cuts

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    From The Pipeline:

    I am hearing from several editors in the GateHouse New England chain that there is a month-long freeze-out on stringer usage in September. Because many of GHNE's weekly sports editors cover four or five schools, it's imperative that stringers are used on regular beat coverage such as high school football. Basically, these guys have to write every lick of copy they put in the section now, unless they turn to high school kids. At one point, these same editors were turning to stringers for at least two stories per paper.

    I heard this is "company-wide," although I don't know if that extends to GateHouse's suburban Boston dailies or GateHouse's non-New England properties.

    If indeed their dailies also have a stringer ban ongoing, that means they won't be able to cover anything with any sort of regularity, since staff levels already are atrociously low.

    This negatively impacts a lot of people, staff and freelance, since GateHouse heavily relies on stringer usage for a number of its pubs, and it comes on the verge of the Boston Herald and GateHouse terminating their content sharing agreement. The Herald and GateHouse's weeklies used to lean on each other to fill in gaps, especially during the fall sports season.
  2. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    If that is true, that sucks. There are some once-very-awesome papers already bleeding from unfilled staff positions, and now they can't use stringers?
  3. chester

    chester Member

    They're doing it to their Ohio papers as well. Talk about a company which bit of WAY more than it can chew.
  4. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Dear Moddy: As a Bostonian, I say, Yikes! My town is covered by a Gatehouse weekly, but as far as I know, Lexington sports is covered by a staffer. Guess I'll find out.
    As a would to be a newspaper person again, I weep. Here is what newspaper owners say they want, information on which they have a monopoly, and they're cutting it out to save maybe $250-500 bucks a week for 12 weeks a year? There IS no place else to find stuff out about Lexington cross-country than the Minuteman. Why doesn't Gatehouse cut to the chase, just assume it has a local advertising monopoly, and drop all editorial content from its papers? That appears to be the business plan.
  5. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Lexington paper still has an SE; what it means (provided it's true) is that he hits one football game a week for one paper, and his other papers rely on phoners. Not the way to cover high school football, in my book.
  6. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    look at gatehouse ownership and their history. these kind of tactics shouldn't be all that surprising.
  7. The Q Man

    The Q Man Member

    The same is true at GateHouse Illinois. We've been told to cut our expenditures by 10% for the month and we've also been told that our part-timers futures are shaky as well.
  8. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    No, Liberty personified suckage. Problem now is that they own some formerly big-boy dailies in the Boston area, and there's already pissing matches going on, from what very little I've heard, between the staffs.

    Now this shit happens.
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    gatehouse has a long track history, my friend.
  10. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    At some point, publishers are going to come to the conclusion that reader submissions is the easiest and cheapest way to cover high school and recreational/community sports.

    Then the shit hits the fan like tubgirl at a pep rally.
  11. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    your publisher and my publisher would meet over lunch in an effort to find a way to qualify tubgirl as a friday night stringer for both papers. then both would write the one lunch off on their expense accounts.
  12. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    If they could eat while talking about tubgirl, they deserve a free lunch.

    To be fair, my publisher, from what I know, doesn't feel this way, and I work at a cluster of non-dailies. But I can see that day coming across the industry. Think about it: the whiniest parents get their stories in without that irritating objectivity getting in the way, the paper doesn't have to pay anyone, and if anyone complains, then just send your own photo/story! Everyone wins! Except for, you know, the professionals that used to fill that section, but they're expendable anyway (as opposed to the poster expednable).
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