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Star Ledger/Dorf cutbacks/layoffs?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by digger, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. digger

    digger New Member

    Does anyone know what's going on? I heard a rumor of cutbacks/layoffs. Something happened on wednesday.

    (for those that don't know, Dorf is the service that handles high school stuff for the star ledger.)
  2. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Huge cuts at Drof.. not a good thing at all.

    From Editor & Publisher:

    'Star-Ledger' High School Sports Staff Cut By Nearly One-Third

    By Joe Strupp

    Published: August 03, 2007 3:15 PM ET
    NEW YORK - Dorf Feature Service, which has supplied high school sports coverage to The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. for 70 years, is cutting its full-time staff by nearly one-third, owner Sid Dorfman said Friday. He said he has had to buyout nine of his 33 full-time staffers, who cover high school and Division III college sports, as well as paid obituaries, for the paper on a contract basis.

    "We have had to retrench because of the situation today in the business," said the 87-year-old Dorfman, who has run the company since it began and writes a weekly column for the Star-Ledger, which he will continue. "Budgets are being lowered."

    He would not say how much of a buyout was being provided to those being cut, but said it would include a severance package provided by Advance Publications, as well as continued health benefits.

    Officials at Dorf Feature Service were not specific about why the cutbacks were needed, saying only it was a "reduction in income." Star-Ledger Editor Jim Willse and Publisher George Arwady could not immediately be reached for comment.

    The cuts are significant for the New Jersey paper, which has long prided itself on local high school sports, which have made up special sections and the paper's annual all-area and all-state team listings.

    "We will have to make it go on," Dorfman said. "All of the [Star-Ledger] high school sports comes from us, except for an occasional staff person story. We got a brand new budget and we are under that. We are going to try to cover as best we can." He said the service also serves other New Jersey papers in the Advance Publications chain, such as The Trenton Times and Gloucester County Times.

    Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is a senior editor at E&P.
  3. digger

    digger New Member

    Wow, this is terrible, I know a lot of those guys.

    A sad day for high school coverage in new jersey. There's no way they can do what they've done in the past with one-third of the staff gone.

    Does anybody know who's out? I hope everything works out for them. All good people.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Anyone know the origin of the Star-Ledger dishing off its high school sports coverage to an independent service?

    Just seems rather interesting, that's all.
  5. Andy Dufresne

    Andy Dufresne Member

    I noticed the Star-Ledger has cut its sports news hole considerably. I can only speculate that space, or lack thereof, may have played a role in this decision.
  6. I've never heard of anything like this. Was the Star-Ledger Dorf's only client?
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And advance is providing part of the severance package?
  8. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Hmm. They should have taken some of the coverage online.
  9. yeah

    some very very good reporters & writers at Dorf

  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Dorfs services the Star-Ledger only and Advanced Publcations (i.e. Newhouse) is a part owner of Dorf Feature Services.
    I know a lot of good people at Dorfs and I also know there are some former and maybe current Dorfites here who might shed more light on this.
    This really is a sad commentary on the Newhouse empire (though I'm not surprised that Willse, et al, were not available for comment).
  11. Jersey_Guy

    Jersey_Guy Active Member

    Seriously, do you think there's another paper in the country, that employed 33 people full time to cover high school sports?

    The Detroit Free Press and Minneapolis Star-Tribune are both about the same size and I'm not sure they employ that many people in their entire sports staffs.

    The surprise to me isn't that they're cutting, it's that they had 33 people covering high schools. And, as someone who has read the paper for decades, basically growing up on it, I'm going to respectfully disagree with most of the praise above. The Star-Ledger rarely does high school enterprise, rarely does anything but a surface profile of high school athletes, and rarely writes a compelling high school gamer.

    They do a great job getting comprehensive results in a large state, and seem to place a high value in ranking the teams in every county, but beyond that? Not much, especially given three dozen staffers.
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