Newspapers

Breeze morale 'very, very low' *

One of the writers at the San Pedro blog Life on the Edge details some of the withering away occurring at the South Bay Daily Breeze since Copley sold the paper into Dean Singleton's LANG empire. No more plastic forks or sodas!

Morale is very, very low. People are leaving in droves. The paper considered the paper of record for the South Bay is adrift.

Does anyone care? It doesn't look like it. It appears that The Breeze is destined to die a slow and tragic death at the hands of a beast called media consolidation. Its writers, an undeniably talented bunch, are now competing for resources with the Daily News, and do not appear to be a priority for LANG.

Here's a list of things that have taken place since the transfer:

* Maybe not: Several Breeze staffers have emailed to say that some of the things below occurred before Singleton bought the Breeze, or not at all: "Much of the info there was just plain wrong. First off, a few of the things mentioned happened under the Copley regime, such as the departure of the photographer (she was not axed; she turned down another job) as well as the pressmen layoffs. People aren't 'leaving in droves." One reporter took a job covering Santa Ana for the Orange County Register. One other went into PR."

- The entire janitorial staff was laid off. - All of the pressmen, who were union, were laid off too. - Some ad people whose jobs overlapped with other existing Singleton ad folks were laid off also. - Any extra costs have been removed, they ask the staff not to mail copies of stories to sources because of the postage costs. All of the plastic forks, spoons, knives, napkins, and condiments (salt, pepper) are no longer provided in the eating room. - The soda vending machine was unplugged and a sign was placed on it that said it will not sell cold drinks anymore. - One of the photographers who developed a medical condition that prevented her from lifting heavy things, e.g., a camera was axed. - A good amount of people are leaving, one without even giving notice. - The introduction of a section known as LA.com was widely panned by readers, receiving 53 comments, nearly all of them negative, on the Breeze's website.

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