Amid signs that the severest cuts yet are coming this week at the Daily News, tonight's latest word to the newsroom staff from union steward Brent Hopkins:
The rollercoaster continues. There have been many rumors floating, but I must stress that there's nothing definite. Kerry and I met with Ron today and asked for an update-- he was unable to give us much. We expect there will probably be a staff meeting called Wednesday afternoon and that they will offer buyouts, but this is not certain. I wish I had some news to offer, because I hate this confusion and darkness as much as everyone, but all I can say is that as soon as we hear anything, we'll let you know.
We've worked up a final draft of a letter to the publisher asking him to consider the deep impact upon the staff and the product, which we will circulate for signature tomorrow and will formally request a meeting to ask for the plan going forward. We will not sit idly by as this happens, but will try to engage the company and find the least painful way out.
Hang in there,
And this, posted today on the Singleton thread at Sportsjournalists.com by a DN staffer:
Things are not looking good at the Daily News. From what I hear, none of Singleton's suits have even talked to our editor in a couple weeks and it's driving him crazy. We are all anticipating cuts to come even after everything they've asked to do we've done. Taking time off to reduce vacation days, cutting back on travel, expenses, one round of cuts, earlier deadlines, smaller sections, universal desks, consolidation. It all doesn't matter. They can't make enough money. It makes me sick.
Followed by this update tonight predicting Black Friday: "No buyouts. Straight layoffs. As many as 30. In the newsroom."
Just to clarify from earlier today on LAO, the SportsJournalist.com thread makes clear that the Singleton papers in Los Angeles County and the Register are already sharing sports copy to avoid sending reporters to games. On that, staffers at the Long Beach Press-Telegram delivered a petition to their editors this evening:
In recent weeks we have learned through other media sources of an agreement between MediaNews and the Orange County Register to share journalistic content between the LANG newspapers and the OCR.
We are very disappointed that our own management team has not granted us the courtesy and respect to tell us about an agreement that has a strong potential to undermine our job security. We would appreciate the opportunity to understand how the plan will work, how they see it as an improvement to our Press-Telegram and to ask questions about the changes. After all, we are stakeholders in this newspaper too.
The blog item with the petition is entitled Talk to Us Dammit.