Mar 6, 2008

More on the San Gabriel Valley blood bath *(Update), **(Update II), ***(Update III), ****(Update IV)

I now have a better idea of the scope of the cuts being made at Singleton's three San Gabriel Valley papers. At least 10 editorial positions will be eliminated before the day is out. Another 20 pink slips are scheduled to be delivered in the other departments.

So far, I've confirmed five newsroom cuts: two reporters, one from the Pasadena Star-News and one from the features desk; a page designer at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune; an editorial assistant at the Whittier Daily News, and the Tribune's librarian.

It doesn't look like any other reporters will lose their jobs today, but there are still more cuts to come (see updates).

Meantime, heads are rolling at the San Bernardino County Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. I know of at least one photographer and one writer who have gotten the axe.

Back in the San Gabriel Valley, anxiety among the reporters is running high, especially for those people working in the outlying offices (the management is holed up at the Tribune headquarters in West Covina, with the Star-News and Daily News treated as quasi-bureaus). Thus far, the management has been largely, if not completely, silent.

All of the newsroom cuts should be completed by the end of today, I'm told. However, employees should be prepared for a major announcement of some kind tomorrow.

*An anonymous commenter says that both the finance and marketing directors were let go.

**Two more cuts in editorial to report: A long-time photographer fell under the axe, as did a reporter/copy editor for the sports page. Both contributed to all three papers. Reports of boxes being filled and crying across the Tribune offices.

***Comments are coming in about the various cuts being made to the Inland Empire properties. Also, Fred Hamilton, publisher and CEO of SGVN, sent out a memo concerning the "restructuring" going on today.

Here's the meat of it: "This restructuring will help us to operate better and position us to grow revenues in our core newspapers, new custom products and on the Internet. In simplest terms, we're being as creative as possible in a really tough economy. Indeed, these are difficult times for many industries, including newspapers, and as part of our reorganization, there will be some job losses at all of our Inland Division properties. But we also feel, very strongly, that the steps we're taking will position us to reverse our business trends and grow our company again."

The company is "flattening the management structure" of its so-called Inland Division as part of the shakeup. Steve Lambert, who once headed the San Bernardino Sun, will stay on as VP of news for LANG. The memo says he is part of a team that will "take us boldly into the future."

****If the comments on this link are true, and the directors of finance, marketing and circulation (not classified, as I originally put) at the SGVN papers are now gone, that suggest a consolidation of operations between all five "Inland Division" papers. It would fit with Fred Hamilton being named publisher and CEO and his comments about "flattening the management structure." That would make the Sun the mothership for papers east of the 110 Freeway.

  • Just got back home and saw that the comments section has blown up. I'm glad people are taking the time to speak their minds. However, while I'm big on free speech, I'd rather not become a vector for personal attacks.


Anonymous said...

SGVN Finance and Marketing Directors have both been hit with the axe.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a few strategic decisions to shore up the operation rather than the out-and-out "bloodbath" of your title.

Anonymous said...

Out here in the I.E. we've lost an assistant city editor, three in sports, two photographers and a lab tech. And, more to come.

Anonymous said...

The Redlands Daily Facts lost their editor.

Anonymous said...

I hear the SB Sun has lost a web editor as well, among others

Anonymous said...

The Web editor? I thought that was the future. Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

Sure the web is the future, but if Singleton can do it with fewer people, he would cut there too....

Anonymous said...

I believe they meant web producers.
Two were let go. One at the Sun and one at the Bulletin.

Anonymous said...

They look for excuses to get rid of people. Steve Lambert fired a veteran photographer and the business editor of both papers on trumped-up charges.

Morale is at rock bottom.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the two directors that were let go at SGVN today, the Circulation Director was let go late last night.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

2 important people that are not being mentioned are the 2 people left in IT at the Bulletin. Nearest tech support is now 15 miles away.

Anonymous said...

It was an absolute bloodletting today. At least 30 people among SGV, Ontario, S.B. and Redlands. A complete disaster. What was left of these papers are now just ashes.

Anonymous said...

not the classified director...but the Circulation Director (Bryan Muldoon)was let go last night.

Gary Scott said...

My mistake. Thanks for correcting me.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Pete said...

I was fired on trumped up charges a year ago this month from my position as assistant news editor at the Bulletin. I'm still trying to learn more about who and where and what. If anyone can e-mail me further details, I'd appreciate it. I have a lot of friends up there.

olderyetwiserjourno said...

12 in total from the Daily Bulletin, Sun and Redlands Daily Facts newsrooms.

Anonymous said...

2 reporters canned at Pasadena. Seems like all those who got pink slips were the highest paid, most experienced, with the most institutional memory. What's left is an inexperienced shell.

Anonymous said...

Thursday's casualties

The Sun:
Wes Hughes, columnist
Paul Oberjuerge, sports columnist
Michelle Rester, assistant city editor
Brett Snow, photographer
Gina Tenorio, night cops reporter
Ellen Timothy, copy editor

Daily Bulletin
Steve O'Sullivan, president and general manager
George Paul, features reporter
Adrianne Woodward, news assistant

Daily Facts
James Folmer, editor

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Yes. She's still employed. On The Titanic. Not exactly an enviable gig right now.

Anonymous said...

Re: thursday's casualties: O Sullivan is not with the Daily Bulletin. He's executive editor of SGVN. And as of late this afternoon, he was still there.

Anonymous said...

Duly noted. Hard to keep up with Steve O'Sullivan's 46,000 different job titles over the last 7-plus years. Never did understand what he did and I worked for the guy for a while in Berdoo.

Anonymous said...

Staff Photographer Marc Campos was let go from the Daily Bulletin too, among others.

Anonymous said...

Evidently after the last notification was given, Steve "Just call him Obama" Lambert recycled his "Times are tough but we're still strong" speech for the empty cavern that *was* The Sun's newsroom. He's still claiming he is fighting to keep jobs.

That's one captain I wouldn't mind seeing go down with the ship.

Anonymous said...

Wes Hughes is a veteran journalist and an excellent mentor to The Sun's increasingly young newsroom. The fact that anyone would even consider letting him go is proof that Singleton et al are a bunch of bloody fools who have no business being near a newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Wes, Paul, Brett and Gina all gone; yet worthless Nicole and equally worthless Chris Brock keep their jobs. So basically anyone who remained loyal and worked there way up the ladder at LANG should now be very afraid.

Anonymous said...

lets get this straight. The publisher of the best papers within lang is no longer there,led them to a profit margin in the mid to high teens, the circ director who was the best performer at lang is no longer there, the production director resigns who many say was the best within lang, and the reason in a press release is that ontario,san bernadino introduced new sections that arent making any money, cant be sold , and will fail, and the head genius at lang thinks this is a good plan. Wow, what a sham and crime.

Anonymous said...

I was an Online Producer with the Daily Bulletin "let go" earlier today. I can't say I didn't see it coming, but I was not sure if it would happen to me. ... I understand the times and circumstances, but I don't understand the backwards decisions SOME people in management make like dedicating so much of the paper's resources -- and reputation -- on a new product, i.e., Inland Living. It's insane. And no one really cares or responds to it in the paper or on the web. I'm not too sad to be let go, but I feel bad for those who lost the jobs they cared so much about.

Anonymous said...

lets get this straight.....

I agree! Ron, Bryan and Ron ARE the best!

Pete said...
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Anonymous said...

Oh, that's an easy one. How much "vision" would you have if your head was stuck up your a**?

During the years I was at The Sun, I can't count how many different "visionary" projects and directions and half-baked ideas the "leadership" came up with, only to replace it with yet another crappy plan a month or two later.

Zoning. Bureaus. Community News. City News. Everyday Hero. High Desert! Morongo Valley! East Valley! Riverside! Special editions. Special sections. Mynisha's Circle. Living Here. Blogs. Online news flashes. Partnering with Spanish-language TV. Giving photographers and reporters video cameras. Live Webcasts on Election night. I could go on forever, unlike the newspaper.

Personally, I'd love to know how much money and staff time Lambert has wasted over the years with his annual attempt to finagle a Pulitzer. He would have been smart to spend that time trying to come up with at least one idea that wasn't already five or more years past its prime.

Anonymous said...

I agree, they are so concerned with their new niche products like Inland Living they refuse to put their resources into the investments they already have.

Typical MediaNews philosophy.

What's strange is that if that magazine is doing so well why can't I buy it at Borders or Barnes & Noble? But then again, when its arts and culture column consists of an amateur pathetic attempt at magazine writing like Girls with Glasses, I can see why the major distributors won't stock it.

Pete said...

Who wrote "Girls with Glasses"?

Everything that company's tried in the last three or four years has completely backfired. The Peter Principle lives strong at LANG.

I'm confused, however, as to just how Lambert has thrived. Anyone who has read one of his columns knows that's he's just not very bright. I suppose he drops to his knees every now and then as well...

Someday, he's going to piss off the wrong person in the wrong place. He's more incompetent and less likable than Rumsfeld.

Anonymous said...

Girls with Glasses - Nicole White and Gina Dvorak. I've read fifth grade papers that were more well-structured and frankly, more interesting.

Pete said...

Something wrong with the title "Incompetent Sycophants"?

Anonymous said...

I don't see why not. Judging by today's actions, the worst thing someone can do at LANG is to do a good job over many years.

Pete said...

Well, as long as the videogame reviews keep coming, I'm sure that company will be just fine...

Anonymous said...

Lambert is good at selling snake oil, thus his longevity.
VP of news. Ha! What is with these incongruous, bullsh*t titles LANG gives out to make people feel good?

Anonymous said...

.....and Sun photographer Brett Snow just became a father for the first time on Wednesday. Talk about going from a high to a low!!!

Anonymous said...
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Pete said...

What do Gina Dvorak, Nicole White and Christine Brock have in common?

Steve and Frank like them cut from a certain cloth. A big cloth.

Anonymous said...

Wes Hughes was an institution. Can anyone say Teens Who Kill or Lost among us? The man guided them to headliners....He's been an editor at the PE and Sun and LA Times.....

Tenorio...rock solid and consistent reporting

Snow.he had his own unique style..he never saw him being cut...Paul O....never saw him leaving either

Anonymous said...

loss of facts editor is no tragedy Facts has always been the stepchild/zit of LANG...that papers been flushing down the toilet past few years still sad news for journalism

Anonymous said...

WTF The man has more knowledge in his pinky than Lambert has in an inch of his pinky

Anonymous said...

What's girls with glasses?

olderyetwiserjourno said...

It's going to be difficult for the survivors to concentrate on work right now with all of this going on, especially when they are going to be spread even more thin than they already are.

At what point will LANG officials realize they have cut so much that their papers are no longer newspapers but newsletters? Will papers like the Sun and The Bulletin become free distribution throwaways? This is a sad commentary for the reporters/photogs/online journos who remain trying their best to put out a quality paper but struggle to do so with diminishing resources and support from LANG.

Anonymous said...

How about they let go of the airhead who came up with My-knee-shuh-s circle...or should i say My-neh-shuh?

Anonymous said...

oh yes...lets make the sacrifice ...lets give up Lambert to the Lang gods....youd think with all the money he makes Mister Rogers would get some hair transplants

Anonymous said...

Girls With Glasses is a blog that is part of the Sun authored by Nicole White and Gina Dvorak. It is also the name of the "Arts & Culture" column in the Sun's recently launched Inland Living Magazine.

Neither the blog nor the print column is particularly newsworthy. As a reader, I had some concerns when the online blog was used to complain about how one of the writer's Starbucks beverage was not to her satisfaction. I was more confused when the column (under the same name written by the same authors) in the magazine talked about "scoring free drinks" at bar and what was on their iPods, it being the "arts and culture" blog. May be I'm slow but I'm not quite sure what exactly free drinks and what songs on these two womens' iPods had to do with arts & culture.

Anonymous said...

Ahh starbucks...i remember an editor at the paper who conveniently managed to conduct job interviews pretty females at starbucks

Anonymous said...

oh ya i think i know the skirt chaser you are talking about.after i was hired he used to call me all the time about my stories after hours. would have complained but i knew as long as he was interested i had job security

M said...

I'm just as guilty of this as anyone, but honestly, the talented staff who are still at LANG should either make an effort to take over -- i.e., get promoted -- or just bail. We all (in the IE) bitched about Steve or whoever we felt was incompetent, while we sat around writing our articles and not making any effort to change things. I left the business, so I suppose I don't have a leg to stand on in this argument. But if you think you can do better, you should stand up and try to change things rather than just continuing to write stories, take pictures, or whatever. The layoffs and consolidations are not going to stop; they will only pause now and again. Your only other option is to wait around until you get laid off, regardless of talent or skill, as Wes, Marc, and others learned today.

Anonymous said...

As someone who did try and speak up, let me just say it is a pointless undertaking. It will only serve to put you in the crosshairs of those in power. You are either in the inner circle or you are not; and if you are in, you didn’t get there by having a backbone. My advice is to use this entire situation as a learning experience, no one working for LANG is safe and at any given time you could be next; get out while you can or be prepared for the inevitable.

Chris Reed said...

As a former employee of both the Daily News and Daily Bulletin, my heart has been truly broken by watching the bloodletting that is draining Southern California journalism of its souls.

I'm looking from afar now, on the other side of the fence in public relations and away from Southern California itself. But the pain can be felt from here, and I truly feel for those who have lost their jobs, as well as those left behind to pick up the few pieces that are left.

Someone told me that I could pat myself on the back for leaving the sinking ship of print journalism, but I can’t do that. I still have friends at most of these publications, including one or two who got that pink slip today, and I’m not in any mood to dance when the dance floor empties out.

That said, it isn't hard to see that print journalism is in the same boat now that typewriter companies were in when word processors became vogue, or where horse-carriage makers were at when the carriages went horseless. I came to the conclusion years ago that the Times, Daily News and even the Bulletin and the Sun would still exist in the future, just not through paper but through browsers and clicks. The question is whether this evolution will take print journalists along for the ride, or leave them behind.

The flagships of print journalism could easily lead the new world of online journalism, but they aren't going to do so with a skeleton crew. You don't build for the future by demolishing the ground floor.

Having started my career at LANG's flagship and later at the Bulletin, there has always been the sense that the Singleton philosophy has been to not only sink the Titanic, but order the staff to fill pails of water and drop them on deck to quicken the process.

I have a hard time seeing much of a rising future for LANG's papers when they keep downsizing what little they have.

Reporting will always survive. I'm certain of that. People will always want information. Since they can't go to Washington to talk to their congressman, attend every Dodger game or know how good a movie is before they see it, there will always need to be a professional who can do so full-time.

I'm not so certain about newspapers surviving as a medium for that reporting.


As an aside, I know emotions are running high but its a bit shameful some of the mud I'm seeing directed toward one particular editor – especially the majority who are going the cowardly route of hiding behind the “anonymous” moniker. I considered Nicole a friend in my Bulletin days, and consider her a friend now — and I have a hard time thinking that she would be dancing on that emptying dance floor tonight any more than any of us.

If you really want to eviscerate the source of the layoff pain, the phone number is (303) 954-6360. Ask for Dean Singleton. You might even have the courage enough not to say your name is “anonymous.”

Anonymous said...

Who didn't know that Dean Singleton would react like the ferocious media trendsetter he is and take back the title of The Executioner from Sam Zell right when Sam was hitting his stride? Mean Dean says Hells Zells to those who think he can't destroy newspapers better than anybody in this country. One day, and three trillion later, maybe I'll read we're finally out of Iraq from a blogger at the Sun/IE/Star Snooze covering for The Los Angeles Pennysaver Slimes.

Anonymous said...
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calwatch said...

The last newspaper chain left in Inland SoCal is Belo's PE, and I don't believe they are hiring.

Other bad ideas:
Nisha's Newscast (worked as a stepping stone, although she could do better than Market 163)
Swapping local and world news section.
The news on the telephone recording service.
Daily Bulletin running different versions for newsstands vs. subscription, with giant headlines on the cover that never sold well.

To be fair, some of these predate MediaNews, but they were all bad.

Anonymous said...

aside from some talented folks who worked hard the brain trust is managing to axe all with SGVN while their core stays intact. As far as fred hamilton and fred board go, they have drank the kol aid with niche products. How about it guys, making any money on inland living. I hear you would like to drop the print contract. Watch circulatin be down ten percent, watch core advertising erode,watch revenue slide steeper and watch this debacle of a management team implode.

And as an oh by the way, is ed moss invisible or just a chicken s----? I hear the truth escapes him. Exactly what does he bring to the party? Leadership has left the building. Incompetence is now in charge< right boys and girls?

Anonymous said...

Strategic decisions to shore up the operation? Are you stupid? Every time they get rid of people they call it that but what it is is just sheer panic and incompetency on the part of all the people calling the shots. The 3:32 anonymous comment is either someone who has completely tuned out or someone who is completely dishonest and untruthful. Bloodbath is what it is because when someone gets laid off because of others inability to maintain income, it not only destroys that person, but their entire family. The strategic decision should be NOT to have a full paper of AP stories when your calling card says "everything local." Look at the SGVN papers, EVERYTHING except for the front page, jumps and ONE business story is not local. You think readers like me are stupid? Why do you think your readership and subscribers have dropped and advertising fled? I'll tell you why. Because of your unimaginable INCOMPETENCE. You think that by reducing staff you're saving money but you see what happens every time you cut. Your papers quality (if any is left) gets worse. You are a sham. You are nothing of what you purport to be. The quality of your paper reflects on how your people are treated. My business has been in business for more than 40 years because my employees are not only that, they are part of my family. I treat them with respect and they pay me back by giving me their 100% every day. I have never had to make "strategic decisions." I have never cut anyone from my payroll, and I have had people retire after working for me for decades. My employees are happy people because I treat them like humans, pay them what they deserve and more and run my operation like what it is, an extended part of my family. Business environments change with the economy but if you sit back with blinders until your deep in mud, you will never succeed. So to you, Anonymous @ 3:32 I say, wake up, look around because the way it looks, you will be next. If you ever need a job in the outdoors, servicing peoples gardens, let me know. I promise you I will never fire you.

Anonymous said...

Would someone please correct me if I'm wrong. I thought Sun photgrapher Eric Reed's name had been mentioned among those who were let go yesterday, "Black Thursday."

Because if he was, they will have lost one AMAZING PHOTGRAPHER! He is talented, kind hearted, and fearless. I'm just not sure if he's gone.

Brett Snow is another amazing photographer. Fierce and dedicated. He was always in the thick of things. An award winner, he took some of the most amazing shots during the Old Fire and is included in their award winning Unnatural Disasters project. And yes, he had just become a father.

Wes Hughes is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. A survivor of so much in his personal life ... I'm almost convinced he stepped down to save another young reporters job. Wes is a hero and mentor. He came from an era when you could still smoke in the newsroom and having a flask in the drawer was the norm. His loss is HUGE.

Ellen Timothy is a great copy editor who questioned EVERYTHING. And that's as it should be. She is funny and fantastic at her job.

Paul O. Well, like Wes, what is there we can say about Coach O. He always will be an institution. I couldn't even begin to tell you all he's done. Suffice to say he will be SORELY missed.

Michelle Rester was tough. Some might even say, "thank goodness she's gone." But Michelle had a tough job. She came in during very stressful times. So she became tough, trying to bring her staff up to par so that they may be spared from a terrible fate being planned for them from the higher ups. She played the heavy because that's what they asked her to do. But in reality, she was a sweet natured person and talented editor.

Gina Tenorio is a solid reporter. And has one of the biggest hearts. She wrote some damned good stories including a piece on a victim of domestic abuse who was left to fend for herself after law-enforcement failed to protect her. And, ironically, she is also the reporter who gave the Sun their Mynisha. She was reporter on duty the night it broke. From what I'm told she had been the last remaining Society of Professional Journalist reps at the paper.

The Sun lost it's photo tech Adam. since he's not listed here, I don't know his last name. Though he was there a short time, he became known for his attention to detail and his great organization. I can't help but wonder, if he had known what fate awaited him, would he have decided NOT set foot in that building? He also had a great sense of humor.

Geez, this all reads like a eulogy. This is truly a sad day. I wish others would post comments about the people we lost. They were great and talented people!

Anonymous said...

I was employed by MNG in Denver for 4 years before I was promoted to a position working out of the Daily News offices for LANG Interactive and the team for another 2 years and left in December do to "the writing on the wall". Coming from corporate I knew that the goal of online at all our the newspapers was to fill the revenue gap left by shrinking advertising sales in print. Other paper groups in the company have been much more successful, however in the mother of all markets LANG has not even cracked its' online revenue potential.

The executive leadership at LANG has failed online since Jerry Grilly (CEO LANG) and John Hoeft (VP of Interactive) left LANG. In my time working with LANG interactive I have worked with 3 VPs of Interactive who got progressively worse (Nothing personal just not enough understanding in the online industry) and 3 CEOs at LANG over roughly 20 months. So many bad decisions were made they eventually drove into the ground (site has lost 50% of traffic when i left in December due to mistakes made with SEO and Redesign) which rumor has it is now being shopped.

LANG executives to this day do not understand how online and print advertising industries operate very differently. The last 2 VPs of interactive had ZERO online experience. The current VP of LANG Interactives experience was as a print sales manager. MNG and LANG continue to put personel in interactive positions when they have no experience. Editors shouldn't be deciding a websites directory structure or running web site operations. How does someone without Interactive experience hire competent staff?

I'm very sad for everyone involved in the layoffs especially the head editors and publishers dealing with these issues, but until this company can either hire or groom experienced leadership in the Interactive realm, this company is going to continue to suffer or worse face extinction as print sales and circulation are only going to continue to diminish.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about all of the cuts. I worked full-time at the Bulletin beginning in the Don Rey days and into the Singleton days. Then again part-time some years later before leaving SoCal for good. (Thanks for the work Deb!) I recognize a lot of those names and really can't believe they would send those folks packing. Dang.

Anonymous said...

I guess Singleton's Dinosaur Collection is getting harder to feed.

Anonymous said...

I was downsized from the O.C. Register in August after 23 years. That's another paper that's a shell of itself. My husband was at the SGVT during the Hope Frazier era. If you're still in the newspaper biz, get out while you're still breathing. Newspapers have to be the most disfunctional companies to work for.

Anonymous said...

Tenorio was the last SPJ rep at the Sun...Lambert launched a personal crusade against SPJ when he couldnt snap his fingers and see them fall down and kiss the floor when he walked that said when I was with the company most of us were too scared to have anything to do with it because we feared for our job and getting on his majesty's badside

Anonymous said...

if my facts are right, most all of sgvn senior team is gone.wasnt that the top performing organization in LANG? whats that all about?

Anonymous said...

Oh come on. You know SGVN higher ups ever had to go. Like Lambert, Pine, or Amestoy will ever get what the axes they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Correction*** You know SGVN higher ups had to go. Like Lambert, Pine, or Amestoy will ever get what the axes they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know of an exact number of the "in the trench journalists" that were let go?

And how many in management were given their pink slips (you know, the ones that have gotten us into this f*^%$#=g mess in the first place)?

Anonymous said...

The human, decent thing to do would have been to offer buyouts or voluntary separation options first, and see how many positions could be cut that way, and THEN lay people off. I know a few people at SGVN who would be very open to that option.

But I guess the key words are "human" and "decent."

Anonymous said...

BTW, people who post here post as "anonymous" because to post otherwise would jeopordize their job. They'd be fired, hands down. No questions asked. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Attacks on Nicole or Lambert or anyone else should not resort to cheap personal shots. There is plenty to criticize there regarding factual incidents or commonly observed behavior. It just makes you look like you have a chip on your shoulder.

If there was a vote among the newsrooms about management it would be an almost unanimous vote of "no confidence". I think that's the saddest, most damning thing to say.

Anonymous said...

Is Steve O'Sullivan still the head at San Gabe?

Anonymous said...

when i have a comment for one of my managers.. i tell them... managers need feedback... what they do with my recommendations is their decision.. i do not slither away to some blog to vent or crack wise on someone's weight.

Anonymous said...

Hey People, as sad and awful as all of this, and it really is...instead of using this forum for personal attacts, let us not loose site of the fact that a lot of people are loosing their jobs this week so that we might keep ous. (in whatever format may be left) Let us all wish them, and ourselves, the best.

Anonymous said...

The comment before me (12:41) had to have been written by a Sun copy editor.

Mike Rappaport said...

I worked at the Daily Bulletin for nearly 18 years until I was one of the first let go in late January on what I felt were trumped-up charges.

I hold no brief for any management people, but folks are kidding if they think anyone in management these days isn't going to put their own job first.

The writing was on the wall more than eight years ago when Singleton bought the Bulletin and Sun; we had 100 people in editorial because we were trying to grow the paper, and within a year we were down to 71.

Who would have thought 71 would be the "good old days?"

Part of the problem is that with all the talk about the Web as the future of journalism, the folks running things now aren't even trying to fight back. They're surrendering print rather than trying to make it better.

But the real problem is corporate ownership. Newspapers like the Bulletin used to run 30 percent profit margins. Now that they're about half that, corporate folks try to cut their way to prosperity.

As much as I was no fan of Ronald Reagan, I think optimism and trying to grow your way out of problems is the right way to go. We had too many staff meetings in which people left feeling like cutting their throats because of the statements made by the guy running things.

Are these papers dying? Probably.

Did they have to die? No way.

Pete said...

I'm sorry if anyone took my comments to imply that I was criticizing certain middle managers' physiques.

I was criticizing the fact that they are incompetent kiss-ups and useless pieces of doody who skate by doing a crap job but are easy to tears for those sops at the top end of the Sun chain who give a pass when an editor who can't handle her job cries on a daily basis but have no problem firing a new father without warning.

Sorry for the confusion.

Anonymous said...

Beyond all this, I would say that we need to remember that many others fell victim to layoffs and some layoffs that seemed to be disguised as firings. About a year ago, we lost photographer Jennifer Cappuccio. Talented and young, she was the future of the paper.

And then you have Mike Rappaport and Walt Weis. Two longtime people who dedicated a good chunk of their lives to those papers (actually, the Bulletin, first and foremost). Think of them what you like, but they deserved better than what they got in the end.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

After years of being told 2 + 2 = 5, the unhappy tale of LANG East comes to an end.

Because the Bulletin and Sun saw actual growth (real estate bubble + inland empire = they should have done even better) they were allowed to operate with an unchecked corporate culture of cronyism, where the favorite pets of a few self-congratulatory white men were hurriedly promoted up the food chain despite talent or ability.

The most valued quality seemed to be agreeing with how prescient they were, as Lambert gave another speech about the "bold" moves the papers were making and that everything was going to be fine, and no, the Bulletin was not going to be dismantled in the same way the Star-News was made a bureau of the SGV Tribune.

Those limited few to be 'trusted' had access to the apocrypha of truths, such as plans to fold the Bulletin into the Sun, despite frequent assertions otherwise by men like Lambert. Promises -- lies -- told while they drew extended hands to their friends (Pine, Amestoy) to pull them from that sinking (scuttled?) ship.

Men who seemed to operate, it appeared, without much integrity or loyalty to their own staff who continued to pour their hearts and souls into their work for next to nothing. Like recently deceased reporter Leo Greene.

Now that the numbers aren't so favorable in the 909 -- the plug has been pulled.

Meanwhile the money-hemorrhaging, blood-sucking vampire that is the LA Daily News turns its eyes elsewhere to keep its bloat afloat.

Oracle said...

I agree with Rappaport that people have been dishonestly dismissed on trumped charges.

The truth is the papers are badly hampered by inept management. Problem is, its the loyal journalists who take the fall while the top decision makers make one blunder after another.

Anonymous said...

Whoever called the LA Daily News bloated is referring to a bygone era. With the cuts there recently, there's not much fat left and its editorial staffing isn't out of line with the Inland Empire papers', considering circulation.

I will concede that Daily News reporters and editors are overpaid compared with their counterparts out east, but it's more expensive to live there.

Anonymous said...

See, the problem is that they keep recycling the same old execs and getting rid of the worker bees when it isn't the worker bees' fault. What makes them think that someone who couldn't see the business model was a failure can all of a sudden see a way out of a situation for which they're partly responsible? Lunacy. You can save two reporters and a copy editor by wiping the books clean of an ineffective overpaid middle manager. The soul of the newspaper isn't found sequestered in an office hunkered down over spread sheets. Dammit.

Anonymous said...

think about it, how much severance would rappaport and weis have gotten?

They knew what they were doing when they fired them.

And PETE, you mentioned earlier you were let go for trumped up charges. Dude, you had it coming. I am actually surprised you lasted that long.


Anonymous said...

There is no future for Online, unless they hire experienced ONLINE people as web editors.

Online editors and newspaper editors/reporters are not the same.

I feel sorry for the online guys for the bosses they have.

Pete said...

Oh really? How did I have it coming? Let's go through this again...

I am put in the position of getting the Bulletin out on weekends. Every weekend, EVERY DAMN WEEKEND, I and the weekend editor and the copy desk would have to concoct some seat-of-the-pants solution to holes left in the paper because of incompetent planning by the Sun city desk.

Then I am told along with the people that I'm supposed to be managing that, before our next paychecks even arrive, we're all moving to the Sun, about 25 miles east.

Then, with the active participation of my own supervisor, I work up a jokey little decoration akin to doing up someone's desk on their birthday, if only to take some of the edge off the situation and to commemorate the good times we had in Ontario.

It's called showing a little initiative, and for that I was fired.

And please, I'd suggest you post under your real name. Or e-mail me... I'd love to have this conversation. I don't know whose ass you're kissing right now, but it's not going to help you when they come for you.

Anonymous said...

How about the "story" about this mass firing in the papers today?? A press release, the worst spin job ever. It reads like a bunch of people got promoted, with not a single mention of the men and women cut loose.

Anonymous said...

For more than a decade, the same names have been coming up in conversations about bad LANG management. I've been privy to information about one person in particular that would make your nose hair curl. It's amazing there haven't been a slew of sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits regarding this individual. But when you work for an organization with a well-established culture of fear, you look the other way or let someone convince you it was "just a misunderstanding." When a group of female reporters had a legitimate pay parity complaint, they were intimidated by HR into hushing up, and were told it was their fault because they "didn't fight hard enough for more pay when they were hired."
It's (another) sad day in journalism.

Anonymous said...

Sadly I think there's only one conclusion we can draw. The powers that be had the opportunity to save writing positions at the Sun and Bulletin by moving or letting go of one of the many managers they have. And the likely candidates for dismissal were Nicole White and Frank Pine.

Steve is viewed as a valuable member of the company and, well, without Jeff Keating, the newsroom probably would grind to a halt.

But even though White is in their scopes, and has been for some time, they still refuse to pull the trigger. Why? Who knows. And Mr. Pine is simply ineffective, almost feeble now. If he truly loves the business, he would graciously bow out and give that place some financial room to breath.

The Press Enterprise had the right idea when they found a way to fight for their staff. Word has it that they emptied one of the floors on their five story building and leased some of it to a law firm. They would rather lease to another business than lose their writers, the resource that they strongly feel will drive them into the next phase of journalism.

Anonymous said...

bill dwyre of los angeles time fame had the best line as a salute to those departed daily news sports journaliss. as a paraphrase, he saluted them and reminded them to hold it against those that allowed and did this to them for the remainder of their prediction, these cuts wont be enough. leadership void, inept strategy,limited sales leadership and experience, and all trying to get in line to kiss the kings ass.add that to an even tougher economy will cause the revenue dingy to bleed faster and faster.

Erin said...

As a former assistant news editor at the Bulletin, I predict it will become the "Inland Valley" edition of The Sun, all reported and edited by beleaguered young people. Even when I taught journalism to college students last fall, most were going into PR. With so many consolidations, buyouts and layoffs, I fear for the future and quality of news.

Anonymous said...

For the person who called a certain SUN middle manager a "friend" and felt just terrible about the things posted here, I will say this, good business is not about friendship it's about good management.

I'm positive that this person never had to work under this particular manager so therefore his experiences working WITH her would not have been the same as those who worked FOR her. People often change when they are put into positions of power. As someone who did work under this particular person, I can tell you she was an ineffective manager, to say the least. She was appointed to the position at a crucial time when the newsroom was in need strong leadership and she failed to provide that. She also faield to advocate even a little bit for her reporters, a good editor will do that. She is notorious for throwing reporters under the bus regularly. The fact that she hasn't lost her job while others have is a mystery to me but her fate isn't up to me to decide.
But I will say this, print media is a small community and one where people talk. By now, I GUARANTEE you that tales of her "management style" have already traveled to management other companies and she is pretty much a punch line to editors at other papers. She has a made a lot of enemies in this business so when she goes looking for another job, she might want to remember this and she'd better hope that her prospective employers don't check her background too thoroughly. There will be an awful lot of people too willingly to spill the beans about her ways.
This may be cliche but it's appropos here: Always be careful who you step on to get to the top, they are the same people you will encounter on your way down.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the posting about the "friend"....and another thing...don't thrash people for posting anonymously....nobody wants to lose their jobs over a blog posting - that's the reason why they post has nothing to do with courage...

Anonymous said...

O'Sullivan out and Pine in.
Ah, this move just drips with irony as Pine used to work under O'Sullivan.

David Bradvica said...

Frank Pine is worthless.
Louis Amestoy is worthless.
Steve O'Sullivan is a bully.
I cannot say anything poorly about the female editors because they tend to cry when criticized and I don't want to make anyone cry.
I know all this because I worked at the Daily Bull five years ago - left it for another career. Loved journalism but I had to go. I feel so badly for the people left behind.
I hope you all the best. My e-mail is in case anybody wants to reach out and reminisce.
God bless everyone except the three less-ons mentioned above.
Come get me now, beyatches!

Mike Rappaport said...

Seeing some of the people posting who use their own names reminds me of how many good people we lost at the Daily Bulletin the last few years.

It was always obvious from the time Steve Lambert became responsible for both papers that the Bulletin would take a subservient role to the Sun.

That annoyed a lot of Bulletin veterans, because in our Donrey days, we considered ourself a much better paper than the Sun, which was one of the weaker Gannett papers.

While I was disappointed not to leave at my own chosen time -- I was planning to retire in two years -- I was glad I at least left with some pride.

I refused to beg for my job, knowing what was coming no matter what I said.

Then when Lambert told me I was fired, I managed to get the last three words.

"I forgive you."

Of course that's easy to do when you have a wife with a six-figure income.

To all my colleagues, former and long former, there's really only one thing you can do in a situation like the current one.

Don't let the bastards get you down. There will always be other jobs, but this is the only life you've got.

Campbell said...

As the DB's, now, former center-right editorial cartoonist I know that my opinions (political or otherwise) do not count for much with many folks here but I do have a little news about Steve O'Sullivan's (my best friend in the company aside from good old Kevin Chaffee!) "sudden" leaving. I called him when I read about his departure and we shared a gallows laugh about the LANG situation. He had actually offered to leave last Nov when he saw the writing on the wall. Better, he said, to let the monster have it's head without obstructions. He was, however, asked to stay on and he did. Then, when the consolidation took place he again tried to bow out gracefully but was persuaded to stay. Then on Thursday he was informed that his prior offers to leave were now acceptable to the powers that be, but could he please stay until Friday and, oh yeah, would you submit a last status report just to tie things up in a nice neat bow! These times are but as mere birth pangs for the whole industry and even moreso for Media News. I must disagree a bit with my old friend Mike Rappaport. In the not too distant future it is obvious that the "dead tree" paper will be gone, replaced by PDA's and laptops displaying the wild, wild west of the untrained bloggers, artists, photogs and the unedited (and unpaid) amateur reporter just salivating at the prospect of seeing his "work" flitting across the LCD! Cartoonists, long ago were forced to bow to this new direction and are already just about there, nearly completly freelance (cheap) and syndicated (cheaper)where the editorial pages even bother to carve out a space for a 'toon. But the readers, hunched over their computers, don't seem to care much and their kids won't care that much, if at all, when the paper racks disappear. They will never have had a newspaper in their house! That, they will tell you, was the curiosity that Grandpa used to read in the bathroom! Imagine...the pictures didn't even move!

Anonymous said...

Good to hear from you David. Still as frank as ever. I think Gordon is right on. But, there is hope among journalism students. I visit journo classes frequently at the college where I work and they still believe in newspapers. Maybe once the management ranks are purged they can make a difference and get back to holding their own as the fourth estate. Yes, a lot of them see PR as their future, but many of them want to get out there and report and edit in a traditional sense. Quite a few of them will end up in niche papers and community papers, where journalism still survives. The big conglomerate models need to fail so journalists can get back to the block-by-block coverage that makes papers relevant and keeps readers subscribing. I think things will come back one day, but not until the bloated rags are dissolved.

Anonymous said...

God, it really is the idiots running the asylum these days. The idea that morons like Lambert and Pine are shooting up the corporate ladder is a just incredible.

Got to love the speeches they've been giving around all the decimated newsrooms. They say, basically, "we STILL don't have a clue what to do, but we're fighting for you." All while cutting jobs. Surreal.

Anonymous said...

Two comments:
It's a difficult time for everyone, especially those laid off. But it's sad to see some of the personal attacks on people in this blog.
Secondly, do the Daily Bulletin and The Sun still enter contests? I haven't seen an entry blank for a contest in the newsroom for 3-4 years. I suspect they're getting thrown in the garbage can. At most places a contest is announced and you're informed where to get entry blanks.

Anonymous said...

Lots of talk about many fine journalists who have lost their job, but I'd like to recognize a respected colleague, Bryan Muldoon, who is an excellent newspaper circulator, and was a loyal employee. What happened to him, like the many others, is unthinkable and unfair. Bryan has been fighting the circulation wars across America for many years, but decided to plant his roots in the Inland Valley and take up the cause. He was heavily recruited to come to San Gabriel and found ways to grow their circulation while everyone else's was declining. For that, they fired him.

Folks, you many not know this, but the root cause for most of LANG's woes resides in a man named Jerry Grilly. He brought this company to its knees though his bombastic managament style and endless vulgarity and threats. It is he who ran off what talent this company once had. The incompetent talent that is left, or that has been hired since, is the result of the reputation of that man. You all should thank him.

Oh, but you'll have a hard time finding him as he is busy spending the 2.5 million dollar severance package Lean Dean Singleton paid him when he fired him. It's public record. Google it.

Sorry everyone.

Anonymous said...

Reading the last comment about Jerry Grilly got me out of little hiding hole.

But before I address that, let me say this, I am one of the people who was let go from the Sun/Bulletin last Thursday. And I am as hurt as everyone esle. But I think we all went overboard with the personal attacks.

I know we're all hurting right now. But we should be showing support for those who have have been let go. In the end Nicole White is not the enemy. And she's also a human being folks. Have a heart people! Gracious. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

I would hope that Nicole herself wouldn't waste her time reading the ventings of all of us (no offense to anyone) but really, in the end our opinions don't matter.

If she were truly reading, I would ask her to turn away from all this craziness and be true to herself and the paper. The newsroom needs her more than ever. It's her time to go forward and grab the bull by the balls (too graphic?) and get on with it and, yes, SHINE DAMNIT. YOU CAN DO IT FOR CHRISSAKES! Nicole you are a good person.

The rest of us will be OK. As for her management style. I won't try to change anyone's mind. I blew out a knee a long time ago and can't dodge angry comments too well. And as a friend of mine used to say, "It is what it is."

As for the Grilly comment. sigh. I did Google it. And it did make me cry. Seriously.

"MediaNews Group has paid its top executives $1.875 million following the company's purchase of the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times and an investment agreement with Chronicle owner Hearst Corp., according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing ...

Gerald Grilly, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will get a $150,000 bonus for the Bay Area deal...

Gerald Grilly is also retiring, and will receive $1.25 million severance payable over three years, and a "fiscal 2006 performance bonus" of $81,250 and $33,000."

I didn't even get my usual Stater Bros. gift card last Christmas from the company. I used to use it to buy goodies for my neice and nephews who are growing up in a broken home.


Anonymous said...

Contests? Ask Lambert why no one enters contests any more. He boycotted the local SPJ contest after they didn't bow to his requests to cut categories (even though they had open meetings to take suggestions on what to cut ... that he didn't attend). So, when he boycotted, he put the fear of their jobs into a lot of people. Oh, and for those people who entered anyway and won, he squashed any mention of the local SPJ contest winners from running in the paper.

And as far as national contests, he handles that stuff. He's gotta get that Pulitzer. That's what every one of the Sun big package efforts were aimed at the last few years. Too bad the people at the Bulletin (which he was paying less attention to) were doing better and national-recognized work ... before they got smart and left for greener pastures.

S said...

I worked at the Sun for almost six years and left late last year to take another job. In the end, I decided daily newspaper journalism wasn't for me anymore so I left the industry. The newspaper industry is just too shaky right now and so I am trying to decide what I am going to do next. I loved this business and my colleagues at The Sun so much that it's hard to imagine doing anythign that will even come close to the fullfillment I knew as a journalist. I sympathize with those who will now have to find other jobs because any true journalist knows that most in the newsroom do it for the love of the job, not for the pay. But I think everyone knows the pay is what we depend on.

As for the postings here, I am not going to try and defend or attack anyone, it's not my place to try and change anyone's mind. People are viewed based upon the reputation they create for themselves. Fair or not, that reputation will differ among co-workers based upon their own experiences with that individual, i.e. some will be good, some will be bad. As the person ahead of me said, "it is what it is." When emotions are running high like they are now, there will always be personal attacks because people are angry and scared and they view the layoffs as unfair. People are angry because they feel some got the boot where others should have. The fact is, layoffs are a terrible tragedy - period.

True, there will always be the worhorses in a newsroom and others who coast by - but you can say that about any newsroom in America, it's not a situation unique to LANG or NewsMedia by any means. I haven't always gotten alogn with everyone I worked with but in this business where stress and deadlines are part of the job description that sometimes tends to happen. But right now, none of that matters, it's time to rise above all of that and pull together.

For those still left in that newsroom, I wish you the best, too. I would be saddened to hear about anyone else losing their jobs, regardless of who they are.
I was surprised when I heard about the layoffs, as I knew most of the people who lost their jobs this week and I thought highly of them -all talented solid journalists who truly seemed to love this business.
And I can only imagine what it is like for those who do still have jobs because I imagine they are all deeply worried about how long they will have them, no matter what position they may hold. And that must be a terrible feeling.

To those who lost their jobs, I am sorrier than you know and my thoughts are with all of you and your families. I sincerely wish you all the best as you begin your search for new jobs and a new start. All of you are talented and dedicated and so I have faith that you will come out of this okay.

To those left behind - editors, photogs, reporters, multimedia, online, designers, copy desk, graphics - my thoughts are with all of you too. Now is the time to pull together and be strong, guys. I still remember laughter and good times in that newsroom - North Pods, in Mid-town, the Upper Eest side, Central Park West, South Side Photo. Keep that spirit of comraderie alive.

Your purpose is a noble one, it's one of truth and of service to the public - don't lose sight of that, especially now. Above all, remember who you are and who you serve - the reader.

I'm sorry this is so long, thanks for taking the time to read it.

Your friend,


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

So you Sal weren't one of our casualties the layoffs...

But that leads me to another thought

How many non layoff casualties do we have here? How many other people "decided" the daily newspaper industry wasn't for them in light of recent events?

These too are casualties to be many other journalists had the passions squashed and destroyed by Singleton and Lambert?

Anonymous said...

Or for that matter how many people were "fired"

I can think of quiet a few people who were "fired" and guess what happened right around that time? Layoffs....

I am willing to bet some of these firings were just a facade and were really cost cutting ploys

Ironic that journalism is about pursuing the truth...but the people who run our profession hide the truth..

Anonymous said...

Hey Stevie Boy (thats you Napoleon...oh I mean Lambert).....I triple dog dare ya to post here.

Be a man and respond.We know you are reading it.You too Pine...
Please help us understand.

We have to be anonymous because you guys fire anyone with backbones or contrary thought...but you can post here with your names...

1- You can't be fired...
2-You won't be hated for posting here, we already hate you

Just answer this.

Why Wes?? I am just livid over his departure. He mentored so many of us....he got you your Headliners. He would have gotten you a Pulitzer too if you weren't so Napoleonistic

(no offense everyone's a tragedy for all of you and journalism...but WES is an institution)

..the man gave his all at the Sun for you Steve....even when those of us hated your tactics...Wes would always put you on a pedestal and talk you up..

He even put his life on the line for you. Were you to blind to notice he literally had a heart attack in your newsroom because he was working so hard.

That's devotion...and this is how you pay someone back??


In a just world I hope someone screws you over and throws you out when you are old too...I would say "old and wise" like Wes is....but you will never be the journalist or for that matter the man that he is.......

Anonymous said...

For many former and current employers of The Sun, we have noticed that one person has been "guiding" the paper with poor leadership throughout the years, only to see her succeed with not only a column, but a poorly written blog as well. One person in particular left his post because he didn't feel with dealing with this certain editor that had been previously mentioned. Such a shame that that talent was let go after such hard work and dedication to The Sun. Like someone mentioned to me in a private conversation earlier this week, he would have most likely worked for free since he was that dedicated to this industry and loved to see young writers succeed. He is not only my hero and my mentor, but truly one of nicest guys in the world. And as I write this comment with tears streaming down my face, I can only hope that The Sun will soon realize what a talent this one individual has made to the paper, to society and most importantly, to the young budding journalists out there. He is truly a stand-up individual and deserves much more than praise than this posting will hold.

Wes, thank you for everything.

Anonymous said...

I would work for Wes for free.
Hey Wes if you are reading this...if you were to start your own paper, I and I am sure there are others would love to work for you for free.

Irony---is there not a Wes Hughes Award that Lambert gives out?

Some Award he gave to Wes this week......


Anonymous said...

I'm baffled by hiring practices. Why keep hiring people if we're going to have layoffs every year? I'd rather be cut to the bone to where they can't cut anymore than to be adding bodies knowing people will just be laid off later.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Wesley G said...

It’s hard to look at the Universe when your own little world is in flames.

These last few days have been difficult for all of us but unless you were one of those hit, it’s no different from what is going on at every newspaper in the United States from the Los Angeles Times to the New York Times and from the Chicago Tribune to the Miami Herald.

I wasn’t happy about being shown the door but I’m glad it was I rather than someone with a family and medical problems. I have some income (less now, of course) and I have a wonderful medical plan thanks to Medicare and my years at the LAT.

I feel especially sorry for some of the people who were let go, such as James Folmer, who lost a son to suicide within the last year. I hear that he was overworking to compensate. I can understand that. James if you read this, give me a call. I’d like to hear from you. I’m in the book or with information in Riverside. Another, who deserves special sympathy is Brett Snow, with a new baby less than a week old. I am sure there are other stories just as sad and stressful. I just don’t know them.

We are all in a state of despair, whether we are in or out, whether we are here or in the East someplace. The newspaper world has been turned on its head and we are powerless to do anything about it.

From what I’ve been reading, the situation is worse in the MediaNews landscape than other places. It was precipitated by Wall Street, which waterboarded Knight-Ridder until it panicked and put itself up for sale and dissolution, which tempted a smaller McClatchy to get greedy and develop a critical case of dyspepsia. To get relief, it put some of its new properties on the auction block, and Dean Singleton, who didn’t have enough toys in his playroom, snapped at the bait (excuse my atrocious mix of metaphors). That was all well. The country was in the midst of a real estate boom and everything was fine, lots of ad revenue coming in. But that boom turned into a burst bubble and ad revenue went south, and those notes were coming due.

If the mortgage is due and you don’t have enough income, what do you do? You cut to save what you do have. And that‘s pretty much what happened to us.

I appreciate the kind words that have been directed toward me. I work hard and I try but the only thing I’ve got on anyone else is that I’ve lived longer than most.

I was kidding Frank Pine the other day in an argument about something that no longer matters. I argued that what we were talking about happened before he was born and that I was there. He’s a hard man to persuade. But he’s smart and he’s not evil.

The same goes for Steve Lambert, despite a couple of setbacks between us, he’s still one of the best editors I’ve ever worked for. He was the spark behind every major project we undertook. And sure he wanted a Pulitzer but not even a tiny bit more than I did and still do. Striving for excellence brings better work over all. It’s like the rising tide that lifts all boats.

We have to control our pain and start working on the future. Don’t shoot the messengers. We should know better, because as journalists we are the messengers. We bring the bad news to the world and sometimes it hates us for it.

That’s what we do! Would you want to do anything else?

Anonymous said...

Wow. Ever the gentleman.

That's class, people.

Anonymous said...

You did it again Wes.....It is like there is a world war and you are the wise Grandfather sharing your wise words with your grandchildren reassuring us all will be okay. Thank you Wes!

Anonymous said...

Wesley is right. It's easy to demonize certain people - from Steve Lambert all the way up to Dean Singleton - but none of them created his mess. It's a function of changing media consumption habits and the shift of advertising that goes along with that.

The Sun and LANG are full of talented, forward-thinking editors who are trying to take their staff's journalism into the future. and other LANG sites are already better organized and richer with content than competing sites like Still, the economic model is compressing and the payroll numbers were - and still are - unsustainable. That's why Wesley had to go, and why others will as we move into a digital future.

Anonymous said...

"It's easy to demonize certain people - from Steve Lambert all the way up to Dean Singleton - but none of them created his mess."

Actually, Dean Singleton had quite a bit to do with getting LANG and News media to where it is now by continually leveraging his existing papers in his bid to become a media empire mogul, instead of concentrating on making what he already had into a success. Dean Singleton is a mn for whom enough is never enough.

As for your other comment: "The Sun and LANG are full of talented, forward-thinking editors who are trying to take their staff's journalism into the future."
So I take it from the preceding comment that there are no talented reporters or photographers or copy editors in the SUN's newsroom, only talented forward-thinking editors.

My, I was always under the impression that it takes more than editors to get the paper out, it takes a whole newsroom of folks.

Guess I was wrong.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Wes. Pine, Singleton and Lambert will never be the journalist you ARE or have the class that you do.

Believe me folks, when I had my face-off with "KO-BITCH" as someone accurately called her and I did not have the poise and class that Wes has

Anonymous said...

I've posted this a couple of other places:

I grew up reading the Sun, and I worked there for the first six-plus years of my career. I left for a much bigger paper, worked at a couple of others, then left the business in the past 18 months.

I never worked at a better place than the Sun in the mid- to late-1990s. And I know it wasn't as good then as it was 10 years before.

My wife and I were married in 1998 and decided that we didn't want to start a family in SB, so we started looking. We gave notice four days before the Gannett to Singleton gifting. My wife, then the news editor, had given six weeks notice (as had I) out of respect for the editor and managing editor, Ricardo and Tom. The day of the "sale," we went into them and asked to be let out earlier.

They told us we were smart to leave. They both looked very sad.

A year later, after they were promised support, both were dumped. The rest has just been more and more sad.

I will never forgive Gannett for giving it away (yes, it's really sick when I pine for Gannett), and I will never forgive Dean for raping the paper of my childhood.

I always post with a name. I hope those of you who are still there hang in there, and to those who were let go, I'm so sorry. But I have to tell you, I'm much happier since I got out of the abusive relationship with newspapers.

Anonymous said...

I Wish.....
that an investor really interested in outstanding local journalism would purchase the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin building in Ontario, along with its presses (which are by no means the greatest). Hire the existing staff of outstanding journalists and start a new local paper which the local community would certainly support. Without one penny going to Dean.
......just a wish.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This just in!!!!

Guess times aren't that tough are they Dean?

$25 million paid to Singleton families and his close buddies!!!

A quote from the article:

MediaNews is using $25 million of the almost $27 million cash it received from Hearst to pay what apparently is the first-ever cash dividend of $10.98 per share to owners of MediaNews Class A shares, the SEC filing also showed.

Most of that stock is owned by the families of Singleton, MediaNews vice chairman and chief executive, and his long-time business partner, Richard B. Scudder, according to the company?s most recent 10-K filing with the SEC, which said the company has never previously paid cash dividends because of restrictions tied to its long-term debt level.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody have an e-mail address for Michelle Rester? I'd love to drop her a line. I used to work with her at the Trib and haven't talked to her since I ran into her in November. Please e-mail Thanks!

Anonymous said...

interesting comments from all
but print journalism as it once was
will never be the same again
a party should be organized
for all news people affected:
from daily to community
from crescent city
to chula vista
the party's theme?

Anonymous said...

This is in response to Wes' comments that Pine is not evil.

I come from another part of LANG, so I don't really know the man. All I can say is that nice people do not promote the Devil's agenda. If so many people below Pine find him to be evil, chances are he has done something to promote that image (toting the company's abusive line, shameless self-promotion, selling out co-workers, etc...), and often.

I say this because he would not be the only person or personality in LANG (and I suspect MN) that exhibits these traits. Frankly, after reading the posts and comments here, I feel quite strongly that all you would really need to do is change the name of the paper referenced in the post, insert a new managers name, and you would magically have a new thread about a completely different paper property within LANG. Strange but true.

It is as if the town of Stepford had produced a cadre of middle-mangers, sent out into the world to wreak havoc and destruction on the nation's newspapers.

Evil is as Evil does Wes, and Evil is very good at disguising itself from those whom it thinks can help forward it's agenda. Don't be fooled. Others were, and they recently paid the price with the loss of their jobs. Who's next?

Anonymous said...

Sun editors....Okay, here's the million dollar had your chance... WHY IS NICOLE STILL THERE?????

Anonymous said...

Hey! Nicole White! Quit reading this at work!

...Man, how I wish I could have posted that on the Renaissance Faire blog when she was on there for hours a day slacking off and we were all working our tails off.

You go work now.

Anonymous said...

What prompted me to post is that I must admit I initially believed some of the comments here regarding the Sun's "Girls With Glasses" blog were too harsh.

I had never heard of it and in fact, was unaware the Sun even had an arts and culture blog. I was delighted to hear of it and I figured the people posting about it here were just being cruel as it appears one of the blog's writers isn't particularly well-liked. So with an open mind, I sought it out on the Sun's Web site.

To my chagrin, I thought it wasn't a real blog when I first read it. I thought may be it was a parody blog, a jokey cultural commentary, perhaps. Then I realized the blog linked to a column for the Sun's new Inland Living publication, written by the same two ladies, (from the picture posted on the blog they both look a bit too mature to be called "girls.")

Now I've never met either of these two ladies and have nothing against either of them personally. But I honestly must concur with the unfavorable assessments here. I was confused by what I read in the blog and the column, both of which said precious little about about either arts or culture. The blog looked more like a note-passing session in study hall.

The blog entries were not only confusing and juvenile but poorly written. In fact, the most recent entry read like the type of community news education story one reads in a small-town weekly, not an upscale publication.

If the Sun wishes to be regarded seriously as a credible news organization, then it really should employ more credible writers, especially when trying to sell an arts and culture column in a fledgling upscale publication.
Even more so when that publication is aimed at a well-educated affluent audience who will undoubtedly be turned off by such juvenile writing.

Perhaps the powers that be should consider replacing Girls With Glasses with some younger writers who actually know a little something about arts and culture (and writing), before it's too late for the magazine, which in view of the layoffs and cutbacks, needs to succeed.

If I had that much riding on a new investment, I certainly wouldn't wager its reputation on anything that could compromise its quality and cause it to be dismissed.

Anonymous said...

anyone have link?

Anonymous said...

Nevermind. I found it. Now I wish I had not.

Anonymous said...

Girls with Glasses...

I could not believe it too. I went to it for the first time and it was painful.

How can an upscale newspaper post a photo of two alcoholic? employees. They are holding what seems to be martini glasses or something like that, insinuating they are drinking alcohol. I am not truly sure they are, but the implications are there. The caricature of them also implies alcoholic drinks, by the way the drink glasses are portrayed, as from a 60's drink ad.

And that was just my observation in the first few seconds.

After reading for a few more seconds, I found myself lost. Girls, better get new glasses so you can see how stupid you look and how ridiculous your elementary-school writing is. I want to bet that if someone with elementary-age children asks them to write a little story about a recent movie or place they went, the writing would be much more interesting that this crap they put out.

Also, did you all see Larry Kline's response. If this guy who left a while ago is reading, can you imaging the Medusa that is in charge now? They must be loving all this attention, because in the end, they don't care what people say about them, as long as they are the center of attention.

Anonymous said...

You think thats bad, when I was at the Sun there was a story about shenanigans at a Redlands newspaper with their reporters blogging and emailing personal attacks against each other at work on work computers its amazing what people get paid to do in this company but never mind lets keep those people and layoff the hard working journalists

NewspaperEscapee said...

My condolences to the recently fired journalists.

Unfortunately, this follows years of Advertising Department incompetence at the Director level and up. When you hire Ad Directors simply for their "kiss up" skills, you get what you pay for: ill-conceived products, declining ad revenues, loss of good sales reps and managers to better companies, news dept. layoffs, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

If market forces and housing slumps were hurting all print pubs, why is Inland Empire Mag still kicking your sorry butts with basically an advertising magazine containing mediocre "newslite" and arts & culture. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic for the poor scapegoats you so cavalierly toss aside.

The real perpetrators of this fiasco never seem to get their well-deserved comeuppance, instead receiving unprecedented stock dividends, promotions and accolades.

Dean and Company, I hope you're stocking up on an eternal supply of sunscreen and asbestos booties! I smell fire and brimstone in your future.

Anonymous said...

A post on 3-11 about Girls with Glasses referenced a response by Larry Kline. Anyone have a link to that?

Anonymous said...

It only took Larry K. about 1.5 hrs. to respond. Either they have girls with glasses scouring the blogs for stuff, or this guy just happened to see it by chance.

At least, LK had the balls to respond to someone, unlike Lambert et. al who refuse to acknowledge by writing here although they are sitting on the edge of their seats, holding their breath, waiting for the next post.

It is in the blog about a list of people who have left:

Its' the last post at this link:

Here is the post that triggered the response, and the response, in case you cant link:

anonymous said...
You forgot that poor sap Larry Kline who couldn't even last a year as publisher.

March 11, 2008 2:16 PM

anonymous said...
Regarding that poor sap larry kline...a long commuite from atlanta...that along with seeing the handwriting on the wall made it very easy to walk out the the way...I use my name in posting comments.
I am proud of the accomplishments of the san gabriel team over the past year...we led the newspaper group in most categories in revenue growth and innovation...I wish them well in the future,

larry kline

March 11, 2008 3:44 PM

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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