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More MG News

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    A note sent to me:

    What's likely going to happen is that all of the papers will be designed in one or two places. Well, Richmond and Tampa will design themselves, but the rest of the properties (including a couple in Alabama) will be designed either in Hickory or Lynchburg.

    So, that's going to screw some people out of jobs, several I'm very close to, if in fact this does go through. I have no reason to believe it won't.

    The culprit behind this, from what I'm hearing, is Donna Reed, who was reassigned to some BS title, then fearing she'd be next to go, decided to pitch this new product, thinking it would be "something for her to lead" Because Gannett did it, Media General could do it too. MG is very good about following Gannett's lead.

    When she came to a property to present a design award to a news-side employee and bring them cake, she told the ME later in the day that they would head this direction. This was mid-July, I think. The ME was livid, and so were the publishers nearby. The publishers I'm aware of have raised all hell. Some publishers might not care so much, but some do.

    Somewhere I also heard that the Winston-Salem paper would be designed in Tampa.

    The worst part is that Donna and the other suits have said "This will improve the quality." That pissed off said ME, and others. How in the hell someone in Hickory, N.C. can design a paper in Auburn or Dothan, Ala., is beyond me, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

    Our ME told the designers last week because someone caught wind of it. I guess that's better than getting a two-week notice a couple of months from now.

    This would affect my wife, a copy editor/designer, and several more people I care about. I guess it would affect me, though I'm not a designer by job title (I help out on desk). I guess we're the dumbasses for following our dreams and doing what we wanted to do. She's on a vacation this week with friends, planned months back, and I don't want to tell her about the extra furlough days until she gets back.

    Again, this isn't a final decision, but I suppose it's just a matter of time. Since it seems that more people know, it needs to get out there.
  2. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I guess this means to disregard those vacancy jobs at several MG posts, eh?
  3. JKelly12

    JKelly12 Member

    I had heard it was going to be Waynesboro and several others being designed in Lynchburg, in addition to the seven papers already being done there. I don't want to identify specific papers and alarm people if they're not actually on the list, but my understanding is it would be pretty much every MG paper in Virginia with the exception of Richmond. Also, I think Kannapolis, Hickory, etc. have been designed in Statesville since about May, but I could be wrong there.
    If other people know about this, I don't feel quite so badly about posting the info. It's certainly bad news for a lot of good designers out there, as well as a lot of other folks (like SEs who are doing their own sections). But the bad news is coming in bunches these days, isn't it?
  4. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    I just wish someone would be up front with us.

    Look, I realize it's a matter of time before I lose my job. You're a damn fool if you don't see the writing on the wall.

    But I've gone to people at like four different papers to try and get some scrap of info. Morton's offhand comment on the webcast ain't gonna cut it.

    Not that I expect to be treated with any dignity, mind you.
  5. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I've heard basically the same things about moving the design operations to Lynchburg. I was also told that the ME and publisher from another paper in Virginia approached Donna Reed with an alternative idea and were chewed out for daring to question her.
  6. MG presents Donna Reed, starring in "It's A Wonderful Layoff."

    (Apologies to Jimmy Stewart and this bitch's namesake, who was a wonderful actress.)
  7. JKelly12

    JKelly12 Member

    Forgive me for backtracking a little. I just wanted to address something originally brought up by Mizzou earlier today.
    I don't think any of us being furloughed are insensitive to the plight of those who have been laid off or whose papers have been shut down (Rocky, P-I, etc.) Quite the contrary. I have thought many times that could easily happen to me, and at some point it probably will. As hard as it is to make ends meet now, I couldn't even come close if I was out of work entirely. I get that.
    Now, having said that, it still creates sudden and unexpected hardship. I knew there was a possibility of more furlough, but I wasn't expecting more than another day or two. And I certainly wasn't expecting MG to suddenly stick us with yet another unpaid day in the third quarter.
    And as we all scramble to pay our bills and stay afloat, we're all aware that more furloughs and more staff cuts could be looming on the horizon. I'm one of the stubborn ones who insists that print newspapers will still exist in some form five or 10 years from now - mostly as small-town weeklies, sure, but at least they'll be out there.
    Up until recently I figured I'd find some obscure weekly and go work there as long as I possibly can. Now, for the first time, I'm really starting to consider what else is out there. I'm not going to flip burgers or stock shelves if I can help it, but if I can find something stable outside the newspaper industry, I'll take it and just be miserable for the rest of my working days. Because, like a lot of you, newspapers were all I ever wanted to be involved in.
  8. Yodel

    Yodel Active Member

    Jim Zimmerman and Donna Reed from their west coast trip last year.

  9. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I hadn't taken my September day yet, so now I need to take two in the next two weeks, right in the heart of college football season, not to mention the minor league baseball playoffs that won't end. Things just aren't going to get done next week. We're going to lose some of our college football coverage and some of our prep football coverage because of manpower. And that's fine with me. Reap what you sow, MG.
  10. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    So if you're an MG designer anywhere other than Richmond, Tampa, Lynchburg or Hickory, you're fucked?
  11. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it. Though I'm sure you'll get a chance to re-apply for your jobs and move to those locations. Lynchburg is already designing Danville, Amherst, Nelson County, Eden and Reidsville. Sounds like more papers are coming.
  12. WS

    WS Member

    taking mine Friday night. Guess that's one less prep game we'll have covered.
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