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More with less in St. Paul

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by woodstein, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. woodstein

    woodstein New Member

    Pioneer Press lays off Twins reporter, five copy editors
    By David Brauer | Published Tue, Jun 30 2009 12:42 pm

    Filling in the blanks from this morning's report on PiPress layoffs, here are the details from editor Thom Fladung.

    The best-known name is Twins reporter Phil Miller, who is being canned mid-season. Miller and fellow Twins scribe Kelsie Smith are the bottom two reporters, seniority-wise.

    But the copy desk was slammed, with five of the nine cuts coming from that area. How many copy editors are even left?

    As Fladung notes, "We are going to look to accelerate the integration of our copy desks, which we began several months ago with the sharing of more tasks between the hub and sports copy desk."

    Here's the list, which doesn't include product planner Andrew Schaefer, the lone non-newsroom layoff:

    Fellow staffers:

    I am very sorry to announce that today we laid off nine newsroom colleagues, including:

    --- Page designer Dana Albrecht
    --- Copy editor Trish Collopy
    --- Copy editor Sara Connolly
    --- Copy editor Emily King
    --- Sports reporter Phil Miller
    --- Copy editor Andrew Pritchard
    --- Photographer Brandi Thomas
    --- Copy editor Jennifer Westpfahl
    ---- Page designer Amanda Willis

    The layoffs are to deal with the challenges we face in this continuingly difficult economy and amid unprecendented change for our industry.

    In that, we certainly are not alone in the newspaper world.

    That's the reality. But I realize it's little solace. The layoffs bring new challenges to our newsroom. These people are more than just a list of names in an e-mail. They are a talented and productive collection of journalists whose work here included designing dynamic pages, producing memorable photos and videos, covering one of our highest-profile beats in the Twins, writing vibrant headlines and saving us from ourselves by asking good questions and catching and correcting numerous errors of fact and nuance.

    We will miss them.

    This week, faced with the additional challenge of the holiday, we will be scrambling to fill holes. Going forward, we are going to look to accelerate the integration of our copy desks, which we began several months ago with the sharing of more tasks between the hub and sports copy desk. We also will be going to a more universal approach, with more shared work, with our page designers. And we will continue to look for tasks and work that can be eliminated or streamlined without badly damaging our newspaper, online sites and niche magazines.

    Your ideas for that and any other ways we can do our jobs better are most welcome. And as always, I am here for questions. Thom
  2. Twinkilling

    Twinkilling Guest

    Terrible news about Phil. Hell of a talented writer. Wishing him well from his old shop in SLC ...
  3. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Some damn fine deskers on that list.
  4. Small Town Guy

    Small Town Guy Well-Known Member

    Horrible. Again. Selfishly, I am glad that my friend isn't on this particular list. I'm sure there will be future lists.
  5. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Anyone else notice that seven of the nine are women?
    I notice, because unfortunately I've stared at lists like this for hours/days. Seen these lists in my dreams.
    What a shame. May they one day work for a company that sees them for their talent, and not one that considers them an insurance burden.
  6. Twinkilling

    Twinkilling Guest

    Not that I'm defending the cuts AT ALL, but:

    The PiPress is a union shop. er go, the layoffs a first-hire, first fire. And they kept Kelsie Smith on the Twins beat instead of Phil Miller ... Just saying.

    The important thing is it sucks for everybody, male and female.
  7. The No. 7

    The No. 7 Member

    Oh, shit, I know one of those women. We were interns together. I didn't know she stayed in St. Paul.

    Sad that I find out where she is - or isn't - thanks to a layoff list.
  8. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    Is anybody else surprised that they named names in the internal memo?
  9. Joe Williams

    Joe Williams Active Member

    The good news with a union shop is that those who have paid the most dues, for the longest, get the most protection.

    The bad news is that quality or quantity of production has nothing to do with who's cut.

    Any operation that continues down that path, without regard to the product, is doomed.

    Then again, maybe there's no avoiding the doomed part regardless.

    Some good people bounced, but at least -- if it was seniority -- some boss didn't whack his predecessors' hires or only people who've earned a few raises.

    Pretty hard to find an effin' silver lining in stuff like this. Good luck to all who have a chance to change their lives now.
  10. mellinger

    mellinger New Member

    Phil -- who I don't know well, but have never heard a bad word about -- was here in Kansas City covering Twins-Royals last night. Pioneer Press called the Star hoping someone would string tonight's game for them.

    Um, no. They will take wire.
  11. Twinkilling

    Twinkilling Guest

    That, sir, is a tidbit that will be relished by his Salt Lake friends. He worked here for 25 years before going there 2 years ago.
  12. kleeda

    kleeda Active Member

    I've said this in countless meetings to no avail. "Less with more is the Confederate Staytes of America circa 1863 and the Wermacht, circa 1943. More with more wins every time.
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