Friday, February 29, 2008

Waiting by the Phone for Careers to End

At the San Jose Mercury News, reporters have been instructed to wait at home on the morning of March 7. If they don't get a phone call by 10 a.m. telling them that they've lost their jobs, they should head to work.

What's happening in San Jose is being repeated to a greater or lesser degree across California. Buyouts and layoffs are being imposed at newspapers all over the country, of course, but California is especially vulnerable because of the severity of its real estate downturn. Along with real estate, advertising in related categories such as home furnishings, hardware and even big-box electronics retailing has been slowing, newspaper executives say.

Today, the Los Angeles Daily News will say goodbye to 22 more editors and reporters, paring its newsroom to 100 people from nearly twice that many a few years ago. Editor Ron Kaye gave the news in a tearful address to his staff Wednesday.

Employees at The Times have until 3 p.m. Monday to respond to a voluntary buyout offer aimed at eliminating 100 to 150 jobs, 40 to 50 of them in the newsroom. If not enough people volunteer, layoffs will make up the balance. [Click for MORE]

> THE PRESS-TELEGRAM took an especially hard hit today, losing more than 20 people from a staff that is considerably smaller than the DN's. ... The axe fell hardest on copy editors and designers. [LAO] Sphere: Related Content

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