The Trouble in Paradise Newspapers Tour continues:
- From the New Haven Independent (and a good bit of bad news about newspapers is coming from the niche competitors): "Sixteen area newspapers have bitten the dust, and 21 reporters and editors are out of jobs. Employees of the [small weekly newspapers owned by the New Haven] Journal Register Co. received that pre-Christmas surprise late Thursday afternoon ... 'It's like "Merry Fucking Christmas,' you know?" said one employee present at the meeting."
- The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that the Post Gazette will offer about 200 unionized news employees buyouts. The Pittsburgh Newspaper Guild's president wrote that "the company ... needs to cut the budget a bit further and will be offering a similar voluntary separation agreement to the entire guild membership ... " and "... this is an effort to specifically avoid [layoffs] and, again, allow those who want to leave to do so with something to show for it."
- The Rocky Mountain News reports that the Denver News Agency (which owns it and the Denver Post) has told six unions that they must agree to $20 million in concessions or face a more serious alternative.
- Communication Leadership reports that the Los Angeles Times' "Web site revenue now exceeds its editorial payroll costs." Times Editor Russ Stanton concludes, "Big-city newspapers, the way we have known them, are not long for this world, as they're now configured."
- The Mountain Express in Asheville, N.C., reports that the Gannett-owned Asheville Citizen-Times (where I started in 1964 as a copy boy) has laid off 16 news employees and is looking at cutting another 60 jobs when it closes its printing plant in January. Printing will move to the Greenville, S.C., News, another Gannett property. (When I was a kid, I stuffed papers with ad inserts in the C-T press room to make extra money. I was paid $5 a night as a sports department copy boy.) In a non-related item, the former C-T executive editor has sued the publisher for $15 million for a variety of perceived offenses, mostly "wrongful termination."