Jan 28, 2009

Forced furloughs for MediaNews

All employees of MediaNews Group's California newspapers were told today they will be required to take a one-week, unpaid furlough between Feb. 1 and March 31. Salaried employees will be required to take the furlough all at once, non-salaried employees can take the time off one day at a time.

A copy of the memo sent to LANG's Inland Division of newspapers is here. I understand each publisher drafted an individual letter, although the information is basically the same in each.

Updated 3:07 p.m.: Romenesko posted a copy of the memo sent to Bay Area News Group employees.

The Associated Press says the furloughs will affect about 3,300 employees California-wide, adding that MediaNews is considering furloughs for its papers outside of California.

In related news, the union representing the Los Angeles Daily News and Long Beach Press-Telegram newsrooms put out a statement saying furloughs are still subject to negotiation for union members. A new union blog for the Daily News is tracking the issue as well.

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice notice. Good guy that Dean. Three days from the start of February. Best of luck to y'all.

Anonymous said...

YEAH....I just got tax refunds...I get to spend it on groceries foor the next two months.
Thanx SINGLETON!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fuck that ... they need to step up and strike, NOW!!! Draw a line.

Anonymous said...

What about those non-exempt employees covered under a bargaining agreement such as the P-T and DN?

Edward Barrera said...

Damn. Not unexpected, but still. I wonder if they thought about not printing for a day. Or if that's coming.

Anonymous said...

So what happens to the staff after these editions are printed with about half the employees?

Will LANG then make further layoffs?

a guild member said...

Union members can't be required to schedule unpaid leave until MediaNews negotiates with the union the terms of the furlough plan.

Newshound said...

Some companies are doing this to avoid having to get rid of people. Mean Dean is doing it in addition to getting rid of people.

Anonymous said...

Not printing for a day means a reduction in ad prices and revenue. No WAY the big wigs will voluntarily allow their bottom line to suffer.

They would rather take it out of the workers' pocket.

Anonymous said...

They have officially run out of ideas.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea:

If you don't sell ads, produce stories, photos, or edit copy/create pages, you are out. Those people can coordinate themselves because their necks are on the line.

Only 1 editor needed to oversee everything and to give heart-warming speeches on how we survived world wars, depressions and even the Martian invasion.

Save a TON of money to keep employees working 5 days/week and pay Rocky Mts news that 13 million they allegedly borrowed to make payroll in Dec.

Anonymous said...

Hey you doltz, why don't you all do what #3 said. You all have to power to say no. Everyone needs to stay home for one FUCKING day and see if the paper gets out. You tell em you are not going to take NO FUCKING days off and that's that. They cant fire everyone at once. No one else can come in and do what you do because the FUCKING system you use there HAS TO BE LEARNED by anyone else who comes and how long will that take. YOU ALL GOT EM BY THE BALLS AND DONT EVEN REALIZE IT. EVERYONE NEED TO CAL IN SICK TOMORROW. WAKE UP.

Newshound said...

Might not be a bad idea. Everyone who's not part of the insider group call in sick and see what they do.

Let Lambert know you're not going to put up with his psychotic screeds anymore.

Anonymous said...

Time to get the guild out here.

Anonymous said...

Forcing everyone to take a week off is bad enough and apparently the suits didn't have the stones to say it to the staffs' faces.

BUT, raise your hand if you think this will be the end of it. It's just going to be one more nail in the coffin.

What will the announcement be in April? Benefit cuts, more furloughs? Will you show up for work to find the doors locked? How soon before that meager pay check bounces?

Anonymous said...

printing will be outsourced. layoffs will continue. daily news will have a maximum page count on early days of the week. other areas will be outsourced. how may people do you need in production, i.t. etc when it gets outsourced. wonder how many square feet are available in the new daily news office space.

Anonymous said...

they need to step up and strike, NOW!!! Draw a line.


You all have to power to say no. Everyone needs to stay home for one FUCKING day and see if the paper gets out. You tell em you are not going to take NO FUCKING days off and that's that. They cant fire everyone at once. No one else can come in and do what you do because the FUCKING system you use there HAS TO BE LEARNED by anyone else who comes and how long will that take.


Employees not represented by a union are not legally authorized to go on strike. Going on an illegal strike is grounds for dismissal. Hell, just asking people to conduct an illegal strike would be grounds for dismissal if they caught you.

Sickouts are another matter, but require near-unanimous participation to be effective, and MediaNews can still punish the masterminds and probably get away with it.

The bottom line is that if you want anything close to equal footing with MediaNews, you're gonna need a union. I don't know why more LANG properties aren't represented already. If we were all in the guild, they'd have a LOT more power when it came to negotiating with MediaNews.

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

It seems unionization is a must across all papers now. MediaNews clearly fears unionized newsrooms, which mean they must be good. The downside for workers has been the dilemma over whether the expense of union dues would pay off with increased pay and representation. Now, given the degree to which the corporation is taking from its employees on a week-by-week basis, the question is a no-brainer. So you union folks, what do the rest of us need to do to get on board?

Anonymous said...

That's if the union doesn't blow it buy letting the it happen. How's this if they do it in the lbc then let in exchange for anther year of no layoffs.

Anonymous said...

So you union folks, what do the rest of us need to do to get on board?


Try sending them an email. The more people they hear from, the better. The more properties they hear from, the better.

Anonymous said...

From the memo:
"Will there be any exceptions at all?

Certain essential employees will be granted exceptions as a group.

This is a financial hardship for me. Can there be an exception for me?

There will be no individual hardship exceptions; however, there may be some employees that the Company may review for operational exceptions in situations where we are unable to run the business effectively. "

They are giving themselves a clause to not have to take the week off themselves right here in this note. Bastards!

Anonymous said...

Here's some fantastic wording out of their website. Seems to me the only thing they know how to do is write eloquent BullCrap! It really doesn't matter how truthful they are about it, as long as it sound good.

"About MediaNews Group
Mission Statement

Our corporate mission is to be the leading provider of local news, information and services in our strategically located markets by continually expanding and leveraging our news gathering resources. We will proactively identify and develop strategic partnerships and relationships to enhance our content and services while integrating our content for dissemination across all available distribution platforms in our markets, starting with the local newspaper. We will continually strive to improve our profitability, while being a strong community partner and strengthening our work environment for our employees."

Anonymous said...

When they close their production plant as they did in San Gabriel, how does that help the union members? I am not against a union and feel if it can save jobs and hold the company accountable, wonderful. I just don't see that working on a wide scale here.

Anonymous said...

lang is a sinking ship. san gabe, you guys need to get on board with the union. strength in numbers. plus, everyone needs to keep their eyes and ears open.

Anonymous said...

Here's a math problem. My figures only relate to the Daily News, but you might be able to extrapolate it to your shop.

DN Executive Editor Carolina Garcia said late last year that the DN was short about $500,000 per month.

Figure the DN has about 450 employees. Figure, on a very broad average, each employee makes about $800 per week.

That's $360,000 "saved" for each week of furlough. Multiply that, or similar figures, for each paper in the California empire and you are looking at a pretty significant hunk of cash.

Lean Dean didn't have a handy JOA fund to dip into in California, so he's slipping his slimy, twisted, fingers into everyone's pocket.

Anonymous said...

1) the union has no balls. Otherwise they would be on strike already.
2) join the union and your payccheck will suffer without guarenteeing anything in return
3) a well-coordinated sick out will get the point accross

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be a b*** if a massive flu epidemic hit all LANGers this weekend, with Super Bowl and all? (wink, wink)

Anonymous said...

I don't know where you come up with 450 Daily News Employees. The newsroom is down to 78 total bodies. The biggest problem is the Editor does not talk to the staff. Nobody knows where the bottom of this thing is. Where does it end? What is the plan? Is this more crisis management on the part of short sighted managers? Is the rent for the new building costing them to cut back on employees? At what point are the few readers who remain going to say,"Why the hell should I subscribe to a newspaper with wire copy from its own back yard, and hardly any stories?" Somebody please tell us, do you in management have any idea how to keep the ship afloat?

Anonymous said...

Re:

Wouldn't it be a b*** if a massive flu epidemic hit all LANGers this weekend, with Super Bowl and all? (wink, wink)


Listen up all of you. Everyone is going to call in SICK on FRIDAY and SUNDAY, so if you don't call in sick, we know you are as spineless as the top brass and are only thinking short-term just like them. NO PAPER COMES OUT SATURDAY or MONDAY. And if they don't recant their furlough crap, we get sick again on WEDNESDAY. If you have to, GO TO THE DOCTOR and say something hurts and need a pill so you can have proof you were sick.

Anonymous said...

We know 78 remain in the new digs in Woodland Hills.

How many remain at the now far away, remote and mammoth printing plant in Valencia?...lol

I thought Dean had already worked a deal with Zell for the Times to take over production of the DN. What's the latest on that?

Anonymous said...

I'm tired of coming to work everyday, giving this company all I have, working weekends, holidays and then making it worse by wondering if I'm going to be layed off. #$%@$that we need to make a stand we should have a sick out!!!! Most of us live payday to payday from what little they pay us. We need to send them a message.
And enough of these $%#^$% speeches from our bosses saying there on our side. Who's gonna take stand for us? Not them...

~Sorry folks
too upset still
had to vent

Anonymous said...

I think I ate some bad peanut butter from Trader Joe's...feeling ill...ohhhh

Anonymous said...

When are they going to rent space at their new digs. It has to be cavernous. As for Zell, printing will not be done there. As a matter of fact, where they will print has hit a bit of a snag because the printer is worried, and they should be, about getting paid and what they will need to invest. Do you blame them? My guess is the 78 will be cut well into the 60's shortly...remember, they will reduce the number of pages and that will give them more ways to reduce staff. And, no one in their current management team has a clue. Start at the top at LANG, look at the publishers, work your way down. Does anyone inspire anyone. If they did, it wouldn't be this bad.

Anonymous said...

I'm not calling in sick. I can't afford to jeopardize my job.

Anonymous said...

exactly. one of the problems is that everyone just sits back and takes it. remember those folks in the midwest who were locked out with no severance? well, they said we are not going take it and took a stand and got what they needed...their money. LANGer's need to take a stand. Take a stand folks.
They know you guys are desperate so they do whatever they want to you. They figure you can't do any better so stick it to you. TAKE A STAND!!

Anonymous said...

Easy for people who are on the outside to say "take a stand." Some of us can't afford to take a chance on losing our jobs for insubordination. Also, I don't want our papers to fail. I don't like taking furlough days, nobody does. If you have better ideas, tell management ... they're going to feel the pinch too.

Anonymous said...

I'm inspired by another Anonymous shouting take a stand in capital letters. Lead on, my captain.

a guild member said...

To those who are talking about a sick out: be careful. The company monitors all these sites, so now it's on alert for a worker action. Unfortunately now, the sick-for-real staffers who call in during the next few days will most likely be challenged by their managers.

Look, if you have questions about what you can or can't do to protest the company mandate, give the Guild office a call and ask. "The only thing you have to fear is fear itself." – FDR

Anonymous said...

To the guy claiming his job is in jeopardy if he calls in sick.

You work at a LANG paper, your job is already in jeopardy.

They are giving you guys time off without pay. They have stopped contributing to your 401k.

You guys have to take a stand.

Anonymous said...

Oh sure- unions in San Gabe and the other Inland Newspapers... that will help drive those papers into the negative. What in the hell have the unions done for anyone? Job security? No. Better wages? No. Dues? Yes.

Get a grip, you all think that management is enjoying having to make these dicisions? Not.

Anonymous said...

The sick out is a retarded idea. Seriously.

Maybe it makes for those of you who look at what you do the same way people who clean carpets or flip burgers or sell insurance look at theirs. If it's just a job, who cares? You could all walk out for a day and screw the paper and that would be that, right?

But what about the youngsters in this business who are trying to hang on while their dreams DIE? Seriously. Newspapers are DYING and I don't understand why a group of journalists somehow can't see the big picture...

You all walk out, and yes, you'd stick it to the man and that would all fun and whatnot. But you would also absolutely cause irreparable damage to whichever paper you work for. And is that truly what you want? Obviously, you're upset for losing money, I am too, but I'd like very much for there to be an INDUSTRY LEFT STANDING AFTER ALL OF THIS.

Do you really want to damage newspapers further at a time when they are barely clinging to life as it is? And yeah it sucks, that a group of faceless corporate types are making the decisions for us, but isn't the idea and the concept of the newspaper more important than all of that?

I say yes. It is. Newspapers are too important. They need to be saved and we, as journalists need to be the ones who save them. Because no one else gives a shit enough to do it for us.

Call me an idealist...I think that's part of my god damn job description.

Anonymous said...

>Newspapers are too important. They need to be saved and we, as journalists need to be the ones who save them.<

So. What ideas do you have? And is the company listening to them?

Anonymous said...

To the poster at 11:01...well said. A couple of thoughts, the owners and the management do not give a crap about you or the newspaper, or the company, or journalism. They care about keeping their job and will do so by any means. There were some excellent ideas proposed within the last couple of years that would have minimized the economic impact. Those in charge chose to ignore reality and went forward hell bent on poor hires, bad sales plans, no vision, etc. If you look just within the LANG empire, why are some of the newspapers still financially performing well? This simple fact is lost on those in charge as they kill all the children rather than those causing the plague. For that matter, why are those newspapers doing better? How tough would it be to transfer those skill sets to the other sister papers?

Anonymous said...

First, we have to put the hurt feelings aside and get to work. For real. Yeah, it's an insult to be paid less than a guy to who pounds nails for a living, and it's a further insult to have to give parts of that up. But oh well. It's not personal. How could it be? No one even knows who I am...and that's NOT because I've signed on as 'Anonymous.'

After that, I'm not sure. I won't sit here and pretend to have all the answers on how to save the industry. I don't have those answers, shit, NOBODY has those answers, which is why we're in this spot. But I'll tell you one thing, I'm committed to trying and finding a way to make it the other side.

Purposely damaging your newspapers is shameful. Straight up. If you do that, you deserve to be out of work and out of the industry. Grow the fuck up.

And no, I don't think the company is listening to ideas. But, as journalists, if we know what the right thing to do is, should we abandon trying just because nobody wants to hear it?

Anonymous said...

Ok let's say " we " all give them our brilliant Ideas on how to run a paper and then what? We have given them Ideas and the wither an die on the vine. Newspapers Next, Internet First are all meeting that Langers are familiar with.

It's about good content no matter how you deliver it. Dean Singleton's shared content model is doomed to fail. Journalistic Communism doesn't work, people want variety and quality and Dean Singleton runs from that or wheels away.

Dean Singlton has been squeezing the life from newspapers before the economic meltdown, so why should you or I pay for his bad business decisions ?

It is time for the industry to fail to get better.

Anonymous said...

I'm inspired by another Anonymous shouting take a stand in capital letters. Lead on, my captain.


It sure is better than slapping a real name on it and face the consequences from the wigs the next day.

Anonymous said...

Being afraid of losing your job is understandable, but we are already at risk...To those afraid of protesting, let me remind you of Niemöller:

"When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

Anonymous said...

I'd like to ask the question, who is a publisher of a lang newspaper that inspires any type of leadership, vision, sales accumen, journalism integrity? Please list their names. I can't think of one that I would feel comfortable in going to war with.

Anonymous said...

The silence is deafening.

Anonymous said...

I thought I heard crickets ...

Jesse B. Gill said...

Jennifer M. Dobbs.

Anonymous said...

Gill and Dobbs here: http://www.redlandsdailyfacts.com/burritoquest/ci_10446912

"JESSE B. GILL: OK, everybody, it's Thursday, so I need to do BurritoQuest. Let's go get burritos.

JENNIFER M. DOBBS: We're not going for burritos. Lily Grace [Dobb's granddaughter] wants IHOP.

JESSE B. GILL: What are you talking about? Lily's a year old! How am I supposed to do BurritoQuest if I go to IHOP?

JENNIFER M. DOBBS: The better question would be how you could do BurritoQuest while standing in the unemployment line."

So. Dobb's is your "publisher of a lang newspaper that inspires ... leadership, vision, sales accumen, journalism integrity"?

And makes a threat like that, then – publishes it???!!

OMG.

Anonymous said...

Oh brother, yeah I am inspired. Lead us to IHOP.

Anonymous said...

The whole group has turned into a piece of crap. Anybody who is working there for more than just a way to pay the bills needs to get out now and save your sanity.

Jesse B. Gill said...

Yes, Jennifer absolutely is my "publisher of a lang newspaper that inspires ... leadership, vision, sales accumen, journalism integrity."

A.) That was a joke, which was the spirt of BurritoQuest. A stupid joke? Sure. Absolutely. And I take credit for it.

B.) You really don't know about the great things Jen's done at the Facts or for her staff...obviously, if you want to use BurritoQuest to look at what she's done, then you're not getting the whole picture...and I do encourage you to see the whole picture.

The poster asked who we'd go to war for. And I would take a bullet for Jennifer. Any day. And what's more? She'd do the exact same for her staff.

Anonymous said...

Poor little Jesse...

I think we got the point sport. Unfortunately it's not the point you were probably trying to make.

ProTip: Saying you respect someone is one thing, kissing their ass is another.

You sound like a tool.

Jesse B. Gill said...

Ah...you're right. Point taken.

Besides...isn't this off topic?

Anonymous said...

To the poster who wrote, "You work at a LANG newspaper, your job already is in jeopardy."
Uh, wake up, look around you and smell the coffee. Unless you're the owner of your own business, EVERYBODY'S job in every industry is in jeopardy right now.
I don't like taking furlougs either, but ya know ... it's a helluva lot better than losing your job. And every single newspaper in this country is feeling the pinch. The San Diego Union Tribune is talking furlougs, has frozen raises and has stopped making matches to 401Ks ... it's a crapshoot out there folks, no matter what industry or who you work for.

Anonymous said...

Last poster, yeah it's bad ou there but LeanDean was slashing waaaaaaaay before the economy tanked

Anonymous said...

How about one that has any circulation, advertising revenue, etc. Not a small player in a small pool. The Redlands paper doesn't count. It isn't even part of the management group and the publisher doesn't attend the LANG waste time sessions...no offense here.

Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to call in sick tomorrow. Those who scare people into saying they will be disciplined is full of crap. It is illegal to discipline someone for being sick and legally you do not need a doctor's note until after the second day of being sick, so FUKEMUP and call in sick. DEMAND HEADS ROLL AT THE TOP and don't return to work until they do. Make the top wigs quit by the beginning of Monday morning, show them how it feels to have uncertainty about your future. DEMAND COMPETENT LEADERS BE HIRED.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that. If you think they're scared of someone whining about retaliation, you've got another thing coming. Then there's the fact that you've already advertised a sickout, which gives them the right to suspect anyone who calls in sick now.

Anonymous said...

And? Don't be so afraid of your shadow.

Anonymous said...

This is getting ridiculous. someone needs to TAKE A STAND!!! and say enough is enough. it's like LANG employees are just bending over. Please stand up for your selves.

Anonymous said...

They can suspect anything they want, the law is on your side, so CALL IN SICK and don't let these winnie little BE-ATCHES posting here, probably suits reading, intimidate YOU YOU HAVE THE POWER It is illegal to ask specifics about your illness, only general stuff (got a cold, headache, tummy ache) SO DO IT

Anonymous said...

Medical data, all information related to the employee’s health, diagnosis and treatment of illness or any information revealed during medical consultations must be maintained in the strictest confidence to avoid violations of state privacy laws.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:05 PM
Yes, the Redlands paper does count... very paper counts. if a local paper fails, it is the loss of jobs and the voice for a community.
People have to decide, why are you at your job?

Anonymous said...

dont be so sensitive, yes the redlands paper counts in your context but not in mine. that management team is not part of any management discussions at lang...those bosses may be ok, but they are not running what I would call a core lang product.

Anonymous said...

yep, the industry is in the most difficult time ever. yep, the economy stinks. yep, most larger city newspapers are in the same boat. but, the difference with the lang properties vs others is how they communicate and treat employees. when you read these comments the glue is that good people are worried about their jobs, in a bad economy, always the case. lang appears to go out of the way not to communicate, not to let people what is going on, and takes almost glee is surprising employees. you may want to stick it out until things improve on an economic front, but, why make a career here?

Anonymous said...

All of this is a direct result of two things: an incredibly bad economy, the likes of which most of us have never experienced, and some very bad decisions on the part of Mr. Singleton.

Everyone who works for him is just doing what they have been mandated to do.

Do you all believe managers want to layoff and furlough? I don't. It would be easy to put the blame on them, but I think they would rather be leading robust newspapers.

I think they should focus on where the newspapers need to go to stay alive.

They need to go local.

Our newspapers are dying because of the consolidation. No one wants to read the same news they can hear on the radio in two seconds or watch on TV. No one wants to read about Yucaipa in the Ontario paper. What newspapers have to offer is local news -- and that is what readers want.

Anonymous said...

Ditto. Go Local. That's why the Redlands paper Does have (a growing) circulation, a (growing) readership, ad revenue that keeps it in the black.

Small market or not, it's making money, and someone needs to figure out why.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more. Redlands is doing it right when it comes to delivering news. It is local. That is what all of the newspapers need to do -- get local. That is the only way they will survive.

Anonymous said...

So was the San Gabriel papers, but, they won't leave them alone. They still are but not as much.

Anonymous said...

It is a curious thing when other newspapers like Riverside and the L A Times announce layoffs, etc. and no one comments...at least not yet. And, if they do, it isn't with the venom and angst when LANG/Singleton does the same.

Could it be that being in a communication industry, preparing your employees by being open and honest, even when bad news has to be delivered is the way to go?

It truly is amazing that over the last couple of years, Singleton gets more crap posted by his current or ex employees than anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered that it may be time to pull the plug on the dying papers and let the stronger live? Maybe we could use our resources to get those healthy?

Anonymous said...

Could it be that being in a communication industry, preparing your employees by being open and honest, even when bad news has to be delivered is the way to go?

Exactly. The first AH Belo buyouts had a month notice. The layoffs that followed had at least three weeks of notice that they would come (the final day was a surprise, but everyone knew they were coming). And today's announcement gives its employees about two-three weeks to prepare for another staff reduction. Heck, Gannett gave its staff about a month's warning about layoffs, and announced its first quarter furloughs early enough that people could plan. The LANGers got five days.

Anonymous said...

You don't need a weatherman ...

Anonymous said...

no weatherman needed, howeverhaving a little class and treating pewople with respect and dignity, ah hell, what am I thinking, this is medianews/singleton/ed moss/lambert/et all/why do the right thing when we can really screw it up!!!!!!!!I am still waiting for the list of the moss accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the sickout. I'll see you at work tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Jennifer Dobbs at the Daily Facts is everything wrong. Back stabbing, self centered (license plate "Genius"), Bloated and full of fat that could be cut away and no one will ever notice.
Any7 one of the LANG papers will take your life and not even thank you for it when they are done with you.

Jay said...

Since no one else has said it yet, and since the only reason people come here is to say it, I will say it: It's all Frank Pine's fault.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Dobbs' paper makes money. Say what you want about her, but the money and the readership is there. Nobody else on this blog can say that.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Redlands is the sole shining gem in the MediaNews empire. No other paper has a readership or profits, not a one.

If it weren't for the kingly sums flowing our of the Daily Facts, Dean would be eating Ramen by now.

Anonymous said...

The Daily Facts can't save the empire, but it certainly isn't draining it.

Why is anyone bagging on the Facts? It isn't part of this problem. Those people stay in Redlands, do their job and leech nothing off LANG.

I've worked for Jennifer Dobbs, and I found her to be just the opposite of the poster's comments. She worked just as hard as anyone and seemed to put her employees needs first.

I have also worked with Frank Pine, and found him to be a great editor who was always willing to help. He seemed to truly care about his people.

He also seemed to really care about the product, and I am sure he is just as disturbed as anyone else who still works at LANG that this has all come to pass.

Anonymous said...

MediaNews has turned it all into a rag. When Knight Ridder owned the PT, everyone was paid well. It was a destination paper.
Torrance was also a respectable paper under Copley. And look at the Merc. At one time, one of the most respected papers around and now it's a shell of what it was. Just a rubber stamp of Lang.
They are destroying the Daily News. And moving production to San Gabe is going to make it worse.
All work done in San Gabe. Can you say rubber stamp?

For folks to be terrified to lose their job says a lot. It's like staying in an abusive marriage and being scared to leave. Lang people act like it's their fault...too afraid to speak up. Too afraid to take a stand. Too afraid to challenge. To maybe call in sick. And guess what folks? When Lang is done with you, they will chew you up and spit you out. There is no loyalty. I repeat no loyalty. That is the irony for the folks who are afraid and scared to take a stand. Or at the very least defend selves. So they stay in the battered marriage and take the beatings.

Anonymous said...

"Why is anyone bagging on the Facts? It isn't part of this problem. Those people stay in Redlands, do their job and leech nothing off LANG."


See, that's the attitude causing all the problems. Which papers exactly do you think ARE leeching off LANG? It would seem to be all of them, if Redlands has a monopoly on "money and the readership."

I don't think anyone actually has a problem with the Daily Facts. But when people come around and start trying to toot that horn at the expense of the rest of LANG (much less suggest that Redlands is the only good paper in the chain) you're gonna get a reaction. In this case that means that some of us are going to point out just how asinine that statement is.

Anonymous said...

I think the point about the Facts that was being made is simply that they weren't hurting anything or anyone. I don't think anyone there believes they are better than anyone else.

What I know is that anyone who is still working for LANG is either doing it for the money they need to survive or because they want to save something they love. Both are admirable causes.

Anonymous said...

yet again, very little postings regarding layoffs, section cuts etc when communicated right vs lang who can't do anything right. By the way, there are papers within medianews that have 15-30 percent margins...if the facts is one great...there are a few and they should be left to running their operation without help.

observing newspapers for many years within the industry, i have never seen such a bunch of rejects running the show. unreal.

when is the date for closing down the valencia printing operation?

Anonymous said...

The Daily facts simply put is nothing but a High School Paper. they do not pay reasonable wages so staffers are looking to get out as soon as they start. Turnover is huge. As the police chief said once how can we trust a reporter if they are not there long enough to get to know. Scraping the bottom of the barrel we had a 8th grade intern. Guess it was just about free help. She did nothing more than file.

David James Heiss said...

In the Desert

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
Who, squatting upon the ground,
Held his heart in his hands,
And ate of it.
I said, "Is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter", he answered,
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."
(-Stephen Crane)

Dittohead said...

Hey, y'all need to stop whining.

Be like Rush and go out and start your own business. The drive-by media is dying anyway.

Working for somebody else makes you a loser. You're under their control.

Anonymous said...

The Daily Facts makes money. Say what you want about it. It makes money.

Why?

Anonymous said...

It's not the only paper making money, so you can stop patting yourself on the back any time you want.

But to answer your question: It's because they're a tiny little newspaper with low costs and zero expectations of improved efficiencies. Just like the PV Peninsula News. Congrats on that.

Redlands' circulation is listed at 19,000 on the LANG Web site, and that's probably an exaggeration. But just to be clear, the PV weekly has a higher listed circulation and probably higher profit margins. The Grunion Gazette in Long Beach has more than double your circulation, and just like the Peninsula News, is probably running higher profits than you are.

Here's something else to ponder: Most LANG weeklies haven't had massive staff cuts. How many have you had?

Conditions are different at every paper, expectations are different at every paper. Rather than trying to crow about the keen acumen of the folks in Redlands yet again, how about you just appreciate what you've got and stop trying to make it sound like everyone else could solve their problems if they'd just follow your lead. It's ignorant.

Lee Calkins said...

I think Facts publisher Fred Board but it beat about the Facts. "We suck less than the other papers and loose less money than the other papers.
And go work for myself is exactly what I have done.

http://iephotosocal.mycapture.com/mycapture/index.asp

Anonymous said...

Fred Board is a clown who keeps track of pencils and erasers. I wouldn't give ol Fred credit for tht statement, he's just not that smart.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know when the consolidation with PT, DN and the Breeze is happening? do you guys have enough room in San Gabe for everywhere? Seems like some will be sitting on each others laps. Instead of just ragging, why doesn't anyone try and get the facts about the pending bankruptcy and layoffs in Lang. It's happening folks.

Anonymous said...

I hear the Facts Building is or is about to be sold. Anyone know about that?

Anonymous said...

I heard this too.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if the money saved with the furlough will be used to keep MN afloat or is the company taking advantage of a the hard times in our industry and will use the $$$ for another purchase.

I know it sounds ridiculous but so many of the decisions have been.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised they own the Facts building it is probably the last Singleton owns. Huge debt to pay - if I remember the number $129k in 2010. There's nowhere left to get it, everything else has been sold, staff is at minimums (but we all know they will cut more)and revenues are declining. What a business model. They do not treat the always loyal staff with respect - no notice for lay off. I guess we don't really need it we all know any day could be our last. Upper management doesn't meet with staff to explain anything, every action taken by management ends up a cluster fuck.

Anonymous said...

i believe they still own the whittier building. although, my bet is it goes away too.

a friend of mine told me he was solicited to take a singleton paper for half of what he was currently paying. wow, that is brilliant marketing. he could not believe it and frankly was pissed off about it.

you would guess that their crack circulation team would be able to get a list of current subs and the rate vs non subs...another classic case of leaders not paying attention to basics. it is like watching the last person fight to buy a cabin on the titanic...that operation is going down.

Anonymous said...

One would think that before they rented the new Daily News space they could have down a little math on the true number of people needed to move. Now they have to much space and an ever shrinking staff that will only get much smaller in the coming weeks. Remember, they are going to a much smaller beginning of the week product when printing is outsourced and a number of additional scribes as well as other will be bid a fond farewell.

An earlier comment asked for a list of any executives with talent, and other than the Facts exchanges, I haven't seen another name pop up. Is the talent pool of leaders that poor?

Silly question!!

Anonymous said...

no and since the facts one seemed to be some ass kissing so im not sure that should count

Anonymous said...

steve lambert

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

as the clock ticks down to today's suberbowl game i am reminded that not one publisher attended the rose bowl game that was sponsored by LANG...guess they thought it wasn't important to meet their clients/employees etc. what a sad sad joke they have working in that group.

Anonymous said...

as the clock ticks down to today's suberbowl game i am reminded that not one publisher attended the rose bowl game that was sponsored by LANG..

Really more to the point, if LANG is in such sorry shape that they have to furlough or eliminate jobs, why are they sponsoring a big name event?

Anonymous said...

actually the decision to entertain key clients is not a bad one if in fact your big wigs show up and pump a few clients hands and make nice.

your point is correct, if I had the choice to layoff a few more people or entertain clients, the game would have to go.

to avoid any confusion, lang did not sponsor the rose bowl game, it is tied to selling space and they give tix to those who purchase the required dollar amount, so, if done right, pays for itself and can make a few bucks.

but why not show up and engage clients. why oh why leaders in langland?

Newshound said...

Entertaining customers?

You answered your own question ... would it be good for business or bad for business to have people actually meet the folks like Steve Lambert who are running LANG?

Anonymous said...

lambert isn't a publisher. advertising and marketing folks would have an expectation that publishers show up for this type of event...they have in previous years. customers would have the same expectations. but, why do the right thing when you can just not show up.

Anonymous said...

Let us not forget the thing Lambert did to the entire lot of county workers when he published the names, positions and salary history of ALL the county employees. He justified it by saying "I can do it and just let anyone try to sue me because the law is on my side". But when thousands of angry county subscribers canceled then Mister Lambert pulled back his stance and at least took down the employees names on the web site. Damage done. I know hundreds of my fellow workers who have canceled the Sun. How does a guy like this stay in charge of things?

Anonymous said...

read the news today, the guy was promoted for his brilliance...my, oh my!

Anonymous said...

me guesses lambert was recognized for his crackerjack management style of the newsrooms he did run and his smrt business skills he learned from mr moss. this chnge should win the wr. fight on.