Feb 11, 2011

MediaNews consolidation plans pick up speed

The universal copy desk is on the march. Already implemented within the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, parent-company MediaNews Group has approached the Newspaper Guild about the potential for similar consolidation plans on a national level. Whether the company wants consolidated copy desks at regional hubs, as Gannett has planned, or something more drastic remains to be seen.

The changes would undoubtedly save money, make it easier to share content and allow for the outsourcing of some functions. It would also make it easier to implement chain-wide changes, such as adopting an MNG mobile news service or a pay wall strategy. And, of course, it would make any other consolidation or merger proposals easier to implement.

The guild press release follows:
FEB. 11, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC -- MediaNews Group Executive Chairman Dean Singleton has contacted national leadership of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America (TNG-CWA) to discuss a potential national consolidation of the company's copy desks, pagination and front-end production.
We are seeking additional information from MediaNews to better understand what is being considered. At this point, we have no information to assess the timing of such a change, how many newspapers might be affected, or what such a radical shift in production would mean for current employees.
A union task force is being established consisting of leaders from all the Guild-represented work sites at MediaNews, including locations in Denver; York, Pa.; Northern and Southern California; and St. Paul, Minn. We hope to reach out to newsrooms at non-represented MediaNews operations as well. Our goal is to preserve jobs and quality journalism while engaging constructively with MediaNews.
We will keep our members and communities informed as we learn more details.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Bernie Lunzer, TNG-CWA President, 202-434-7175


Anonymous said...

Keep payin them dues.

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea. Consolidate management. Run everything from Denver. That will surely save money being thrown away now.

Anonymous said...

Keep gettin those bonuses while driving company into the ground

Execs cash in on Post parent bankruptcy
Denver Daily News staff report
Friday, January 29, 2010

While The Denver Post and other MediaNews Group papers make deep cuts, the company’s top executives intend to be paid handsomely while the company is in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, court documents show.
MediaNews President Jody Lodovic could make up to $2.25 million in the company’s current fiscal year, while chief executive Dean Singleton would get as much as $1.49 million.
Ironically, the two men were at the helm of MediaNews when it ran into trouble by accumulating nearly $1 billion in debt by buying newspapers. The Denver-based chain has 54 daily newspapers, more than 100 weekly newspapers, a TV station in Alaska and four radio stations in Texas.
Last year, MediaNews began to default on loans, and now the company is going through a “pre-packaged” bankruptcy, where creditors have agreed to a restructuring of the company in advance. Most of the company’s investors will get 19 cents on the dollar as the chain reduces its debt from $930 million to $178 million.
U.S. District Judge Kevin J. Carey in Wilmington, Delaware, has scheduled a March 4 hearing on MediaNews Group’s bankruptcy plan. The deadline for the company’s 641 creditors to file objections is Feb. 4.
Among the items the judge must approve are the compensation plans Lodovic and Singleton have proposed for themselves.
Lodovic would receive a base salary of $1,006,000, up to $1.25 million in bonuses and 3 percent of the new stock of MediaNews.
Singleton will also get stock as well as a $994,000 salary and a bonus of up to $500,000.
These salaries and bonuses are being proposed following a year of massive layoffs and unpaid furloughs at MediaNews publications such as The Denver Post, San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News and Los Angeles Daily News.