Jan 7, 2009

Layoffs in the works*

LANG does appear to be trimming its ranks on the business side. I'm told four people working in the classified ad department at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune were laid off today.

Update: I'm told two photographers, Eric Reed and Jeff Malet, were laid off at the San Bernardino Sun/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

Update II: An anonymous comment says the receptionist at the Daily Bulletin did not lost her job after all, so I've removed that line from an earlier update. Since most of the information I have about layoffs is sketchy right now - and some of it is conflicting - I'll wait to update again until I have more solid information.

UPDATE III: San Gabriel Valley Tribune sports reporter Doug Padilla was laid off.

*This is an updated version of an earlier post.

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just the beginning of what could be a massive purge. Earlier numbers of sixty may be low for all of LANG.

They can't stop the bleeding on the business side. The only way they can begin to address the void in money is layoffs. It can't be sustained.

I wonder when all of the partners with Singleton will say enough.

Mike Rappaport said...

Jeff Malet is a total professional and a wonderful photographer. Any company that would get rid of someone like him is run by total idiots.

I don't care what Renfield or his minions say about me -- as they seem to do whenever I criticize them -- but firing someone of the caliber of Jeff is total stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Mike,
You are correct on points one, two and three.

Anonymous said...

I have to speak on Eric Reed's behalf. Eric is one of THE BEST talents I have ever seen. The Sun's photographers (and the Bulletin's also) were subjected to some of the roughest working conditions: fires, floods, crime ridden neighborhoods (i.e. Muscoy!) Without fail, Eric produced high quality photos.

This is a HUGE loss and a HUGE HUGE MISTAKE for LANG.

Mike Rappaport said...

I didn't mention Eric because I didn't know him. What is so totally stupid about this is that it goes against every reasonable business model.

You don't lay off your best people, the ones with the most experience and the most institutional memory, and fill all the jobs with kids.

You hang onto people like Jeff and Eric with everything you've got.

You lay off middle managers with redundant jobs; you don't lay off the people who gather the news, which is, after all at least technically your reason for existence.

I'm sure the orders for cuts came from Dracula himself, Dean Singleton, but I'm equally sure Renfield was the one who chose who to let go. Just another classic example of the Peter Principle.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you Mike but I don't think anyone is saying anything about you. I think this is about losing Eric and Jeff, not about you.

Mike Rappaport said...

I agree completely. Not about me at all. That's why I didn't say anything about my own situation, just about the fact that when I speak up on the issues, Renfield/Lambert still attacks me after a year.

I am truly sorry for Eric and Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Me too.

Anonymous said...

I know you weren't familair with Eric Mike. That's why I chimed in. Somehow, the Sun and Bulletin got lucky and hired some damned good photogs. But they are pissing it all away.

DO YOU HEAR ME STEVE! YOU GUYS ARE PISSING IT ALL AWAY!!!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 1:35 p.m., Mike didn't say it was about him. You may not know that every time he says something, even if it's not attacking, Lambert or someone who works for him posts negative stuff about him.

At least he posts under his real name.

Anonymous said...

They pissed it away a long time ago. It is sad watching this happen to good people.

Anonymous said...

This makes no sense. None at all. I can immediately think of two people who should have been fired instead of Eric, both of who fraudently bilked the company for overtime and one of them makes more than Eric does.

But no, let's get rid of the talented photographer who actually earns his overtime.

Anonymous said...

The ones who stayed probably did a better job of sucking up.

Anonymous said...

Guess the "troll" from an earlier post was right.

Anonymous said...

Don't attack the people who didn't lose their jobs THIS TIME, it isn't their fault this is happening. They may not be so lucky next time around. No one is safe. No one.

I don't know of any photogs who spend their time sucking up. From what I can see they are much too busy working.

Anonymous said...

Don't kid yourself. Some people do suck up. Pine's whole career came from sucking up, first to O'Sully and then to Lambert.

Anonymous said...

I'd toss my shoes at Sigleton if I could only get close enough.

Anonymous said...

At Lambert too. He needs a nice size 11 right in the kisser!

Anonymous said...

There will be many fore talented folks who are let go for all the wrong resons throughout lang.
The so called leaders should be shown the door.
I would like someone out there to let me know what has been innovative, creative, or even copied that has been implemented?

How has the niche publications performed? How has you online division done?
How has the simply brilliant strategy of cutting retail rates for no reason worked?

It is sad that those individuals who work and work hard are let go while those who don't work continue to stay.

Didn't the HR guy say no more layoffs?

Anonymous said...

Amen! How is it that some people manage to keep their jobs when they do so little work. Then have little to show for all of those "working hours?"

Anonymous said...

receptionist didn't lose her job, but an auto rep is gone and the obit person is gone. also, 5 people from the san gabe class department were let go!!

Chuck Hickey said...

This is just incredible. Will it never end? Jeff and Eric are top-notch professionals and as someone who put in many years in San Bernardino (and a couple in Ontario) to see things like this continue is sickening.

Anonymous said...

So cuts are happening today in other places too? Not just the Sun?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it's starting in the IE and working its way west ... kind of like Sherman's march to the sea.

Anonymous said...

When was the last time LANG did ANYTHING intelligent?

Anonymous said...

First let me say I don't mean to sound cold hearted, uncaring or indifferent. It's a sad state of affairs to say the least when anyone loses their job.

But I do feel the way the industry is going, extremely tough decisions have to be made. It's purely a business decision. I hate when I start hearing personal attacks of who should have been fired and what an idiot someone is for firing someone and all the damn ugly finger pointing, it's plain sickening.

If you don't like they way things are going, start your own newspaper or get out of the business. It bad enough right now then to add to all the ugliness of personal attacks is dragging everything that much lower. And if we truly feel so very bad for someone unemployed let us offer our own job to them, march right into HR and say if so and so is on the chopping block please lay me off instead.

In a way we are all guilty for the times we face, the industry is guilty, the general public is guilty. See we have this thing called the internet, and with the advent of it, it has changed everything so to speak. The industry faces remarkable unseen changes to come yet.

In the end it's most likely a blessing in disguise for the people who were given their walking papers, if they are great and talented people they will be better off and more appreciated somewhere else. This industry is in a sad state of affairs and is sitting idle staring at a major cross road. If you want to stay in, you better hang on with all your life... it's gonna be a very bumpy ride.

Evolve or die...

Best wishes to everyone, you, me and them are going to need it...

Anonymous said...

Doug Padilla was among those who lost his job.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous above me:

This switching out on the chopping block is a great idea!

You first.

Anonymous said...

Karen Webber, from SGVN special sections, was let go.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:34 p.m. sounds a lot like management?

Lambert? We know he posts here.

Anonymous said...

In any other company, incompetent weassels like those running the show here in LANG would have been fired a long time ago. God know how they probably come up with excuse after excuse for not meeting the profit margins. The solution for their godzilla-sized incompetency is lay offs to appease the puppet master in denver. Funny thing is that once all those lower levels have been fired and profits still remain way low, they will have to canibalize themselves to see who is last man standing because for sure no other company would hire loosers like these. It's a great excuse for them that the economy and the internet have Efd up the industry, but the only ones who have done it is themselves. They can cut all they want but with no vision they will go nowhere fast.

Anonymous said...

OPEN MESSAGE TO ED ROSKI:

PLEASE BUY US! WE PROMISE TO GIVE YOU PROFITS BEYOND BELIEF. WHAT A BETTER WAY TO COMPLEMENT YOUR NEW STADIUM AND PRO TEAMS THAN WITH DAILIES FROM THROUGHOUT THE LA BASIN!!!!

SHOW DENVER HOW L.A. RUNS PROFITABLE BUSINESSES... PLEAAASSEEEEEEEEEE!

Anonymous said...

In reply to comment made at 3:43pm

Oh sure blame the 'Internet' for the lack of interest the public has in LANG's various publications.

Lisa said...

This sucks. Jeff and Eric are both fantastic photogs. The DB/Sun photographers are already a skeletal crew. This can only make things harder and worse for the papers.

Anonymous said...

hah! your reading this in print or the internet, now get back to work and make uncle dean rich! I rest my case...

Chuck Hickey said...

As someone who has known and worked with Doug for 15-some years, I'm bummed and royally pissed.

Newshound said...

Last LANG employees battle to death

SAN BERNARDINO (AP) -- June 17, 2010 -- The last two employees of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group today killed each other when Steve Lambert tried to lay off Frank Pine.

Pine resisted, pulling a pistol and shooting Lambert, but not before Lambert pushed the panic button on his desk and electrocuted Pine.

The two were the last employees of LANG, which once owned many papers in the L.A. area but they all folded because the company gave up on print journalism and concentrated on the Internet and niche publications.

The final niche publication was a calendar with nude photos of Lambert.

It sold two copies.

Funeral services will not be held as both bodies were thrown out with the trash.

Anonymous said...

"Uncle" dean is far from being rich. He is in so much debt, he has to layoff people just to make ends meet.

Anonymous said...

The internet has nothing to do with the decline in circulation. But it clearly did have an impact on ad revenues, although even that could have been mitigated had they not treated circulation objectives so capriciously.

The bottom line is that they should have tried to preserve the "audience" (their product, in relation to advertising sales) by maintaining and improving the content.

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

Wahhhh, waaahhhhh, wwwwwaaaaaahhhhhh.

Stop your bitchn and get your asses to work, you lazy bums or I'll find an excuse to fire you all. Signed, big lang boss

PS: I'm going to keep all the imcompetents, all my inner circle, until the last second when I'll ditch this joint like the officer guy who bailed in the movie titanic.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the rumors were accurate and my money is still on a lot more to come.

So much for the troll comments a few days ago.

Most businesses have good and bad economic times. Is LANG responsible for the economic state of affairs. In some regard yes, but, what they are accountable for is the lack of respect for employees, letting non talented managers make decisions that continue to to make problems worse.

Whoever is running this operation should be ashamed as should his team.

Anonymous said...

How come they never cut from the top? Fire some of those incompetent suits!

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the rumors were accurate and my money is still on a lot more to come.


My sources say yes, and they're trustworthy.

Anonymous said...

I disagree Uncle Dean is not rich.

When he dines on Lobster, Kobe beef and sushi this evening and I have my choice between some modest Chicken-flavored Top Ramen or the always elegant Chef Boyardee Ravioli (on sale for 99 cents a can,) I think I'd have to say our lifestyles are really not that comparable.

Anonymous said...

It's time for non-profit papers to emerge.

pasadenapio said...

Mercy...

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know how many in management were let go today?

Anonymous said...

The cuts are going west and south on Thursday.

http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2009/01/newsroom_cuts_tomorrow_at.php

Anonymous said...

The cuts are going west and south on Thursday.

http://www.laobserved.com/archive/2009/01/newsroom_cuts_tomorrow_at.php

Anonymous said...

when will the clowns running the circus be told to turn in their clown noses and over-sized shoes jump into the small car and exit the tent?

Mike Rappaport said...

A moment to consider (from "Broadcast News")

[after Paul fires one of his workers]
Paul Moore: Now, if there's anything I can do for you...
Employee: Well, I certainly hope you'll die soon.

Anonymous said...

I understand old dino himself was out playing band leader. what fun he must be having. if he is so smart how can he not know what bafoons he has running his operation. there isn't a publisher out there with a spine or a thought.

and yes, the fun isn't over.

Anonymous said...

When the obit of this group is finally written, and based on revenue reports, it won't be long, maybe the brain trust can attend NAA meetings and dispense sage moves to other groups. I'd pay to see that tap dance. Hey, is the NAA even around?

Anonymous said...

Al you yes-men who are near the top and can't say NO MORE to layoffs, to more work with less people, to less creativity, to less content, to less quality, all you will be able to say when your pink slip comes to you is YES again, you spineless piles of crap.

Anonymous said...

Cutting all these foot soldiers - and some of them very talented - is wrong when some department heads could be hacked. That's a strategy some papers use for cuts ... trim mid-level management. Sections manage to get out when some editors are on vacation. Just eliminate the department head and have the assistant assume his job without getting the title or the huge salary. Sucks for the assistant, but he or she gets to keep their job and so do the necessary people, the foot soldiers. The problem is the head guy is too close to his department heads to have the nad to do this. That's how very marginal department heads stay in power at these LANG outposts.

Anonymous said...

In fairness, there some very decent department heads too. some who actually fight for their people.

Anonymous said...

Please you guys are a bunch of winers, Blogging and bad shaky videos are the future! Get with it!

Why can't you " Journalists " be the Huffington Post !!!

Long Live Scudder

Paul Revere said...

When real newspapers are gone, America will be that much closer to a corporate/Fascist state.

Anonymous said...

"In fairness, there some very decent department heads too. some who actually fight for their people."


Name on of them who last fought to save someone's job please because from where I am, all I see is rats and cockroaches scurring outta the way when the pink-slip lights go on!

Anonymous said...

Lots of complaining and finger-pointing out there. But does anyone have a real operational and financial plan to save the LANG papers? Not hearing any real solutions out there, aside from all the sarcasm.

Anonymous said...

Here is one. Get rid of the papers that have a negative margin or those very close to zero. Figure out why those who are performing better are and replicate it throughout the chain. Not that difficult, and, it was suggested two years ago. The current strategy of killing all the children to save those who won't survive anyway is not working.

Anonymous said...

Well to start they could actually fire the bean counters who are trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents, and know nothing about this business - and replace them with people who have actually had a byline.

Go back to night delivery, since everybody in the world can get caught up on what happened while they slept with a click of the remote.

In other words, make the paper important again, instead of producing a half ass college level product like the SGV Tribune.

I suspect people would relax and read the paper for local news after dinner.

Start covering the true Latino experience since is the growing demographic.

Anonymous said...

"Lots of complaining and finger-pointing out there. But does anyone have a real operational and financial plan to save the LANG papers? Not hearing any real solutions out there, aside from all the sarcasm."

I'm willing to bet the farm that post was written by an anonymous LANG manager.

**NEWSFLASH**: It wasn't up to the foot soldiers to save the paper, that was your job! It was up to the leaders in charge to make this mess work. People warned you time and time again, all you did was make more cuts. Now that you, "the leaders" have failed, you expect the workforces you gutted to come up with a brilliant idea to "save the LANG papers" now that things are too far gone?

God, that's rich. I don't know why I'm surprised.

Anonymous said...

Any cuts at the Star-News??

Gary Scott said...

8:27 a.m.: No cuts at the Star-News. Here's a final list of newsroom cuts for the entire Inland Division, of which the S-N is a member:

http://reporter-g.blogspot.com/2009/01/cuts-today-more-tomorrow.html

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