Friday, October 09, 2015

What Gannett gets by getting bigger and why newspaper consolidation will continue

What Gannett gets by getting bigger and why newspaper consolidation will continue

Today in Labor History

October 09  --  Union Communications Services, Inc.

United Hebrew Trades is organized in New York by shirt maker Morris Hillquit and others. Hillquit would later become leader of the Socialist Party - 1888

Retail stock brokerage Smith Barney reaches a tentative sexual harassment settlement with a group of female employees. The suit charged, among other things, that branch managers asked female workers to remove their tops in exchange for money and one office featured a "boom boom room" where women workers were encouraged to "entertain clients." The settlement was never finalized: a U.S. District Court judge refused to approve the deal because it failed to adequately redress the plaintiff's grievances - 1997

An estimated 3,300 sanitation workers working for private haulers in Chicago win a 9-day strike featuring a 28-percent wage increase over five years - 2003

Huffington Post writers seek union, question company’s diversity

Huffington Post writers seek union, question company’s diversity

Friday Morning in the Blogosphere

Skid Row Los Angeles at 6th and San Julian Streets

Tribune Tower is for sale - Chicago Tribune

EU Court Decides US Unsafe for Data - Editors Weblog

Behind the scenes of the L.A. Times buyout drive - Politico

Tribune plans to 'redevelop' LA Times buildings - LAObserved

Former LA Times site to be developed in Costa Mesa - Daily Pilot

Journal Media Group to merge with the Gannett Co. - Ventura Star

Struggling Chicago Sun-Times just needs a rich benefactor - The Awl

Anniversary of the 1984 launch of the daily LAT Valley Edition - Saul Daniels

O.C. investment fund buys 5% stake in Tribune Publishing - Los Angeles Times

How 3 New Jersey newsrooms are turning to their readers for story ideas - Poynter

Career Beat: Tom Seeley named SVP of digital media at The Hollywood Reporter

Career Beat: Tom Seeley named SVP of digital media at The Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Today in Labor History

October 08
Thirty of the city's 185 firefighters are injured battling the Great Chicago Fire, which burned for three days - 1871

In Poland, the union Solidarity and all other labor organizations are banned by the government - 1982

Upholsterers' Int’l Union of North America merges with United Steelworkers of America - 1985

October 07
Joe Hill, labor leader and songwriter, born in Gavle, Sweden - 1879

The Structural Building Trades Alliance (SBTA) is founded, becomes the AFL’s Building Trades Dept. five years later. SBTA’s mission: to provide a forum to work out jurisdictional conflicts - 1903

(Skilled Hands, Strong Spirits follows the history of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO from the emergence of building trades councils in the age of the skyscraper. It takes the reader through treacherous fights over jurisdiction as new building materials and methods of work evolved; and describes numerous Department campaigns to improve safety standards, work with contractors to promote unionized construction, and forge a sense of industrial unity among its autonomous and highly diverse affiliates.)

Hollywood’s "Battle of the Mirrors." Picketing members of the Conference of Studio Unions disrupted an outdoor shoot by holding up large reflectors that filled camera lenses with blinding sunlight. Members of the competing IATSE union retaliated by using the reflectors to shoot sunlight back across the street. The battle went on all day, writes Tom Sito in Drawing the Line - 1946

October 06
First National Conference of Trade Union Women – 1918
The first “talkie” movie, The Jazz Singer, premiers in New York City.  Within three years, according to the American Federation of Musicians, theater jobs for some 22,000 musicians who accompanied silent movies were lost, while only a few hundred jobs for musicians performing on soundtracks were created by the new technology - 1927

Some 1,700 female flight attendants win 18-year, $37 million suit against United Airlines. They had been fired for getting married - 1986

Thirty-two thousand machinists begin what is to be a successful 69-day strike against the Boeing Co. The eventual settlement brought improvements that averaged an estimated $19,200 in wages and benefits over four years and safeguards against job cutbacks - 1995

4 telltale signs you’re too print-centric

4 telltale signs you’re too print-centric

T.J. Simers being cross-examined in LA Times suit - LA Observed

T.J. Simers being cross-examined in LA Times suit - LA Observed

Monday, October 05, 2015

Lou Ferrara to leave The Associated Press

Lou Ferrara to leave The Associated Press

Today in Labor History

October 05
A strike by set decorators turns into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Calif., when scabs try to cross the picket line. The incident is still identified as "Hollywood Black Friday" and "The Battle of Burbank" - 1945

The UAW ends a 3-week strike against Ford Motor Co. when the company agrees to a contract that includes more vacation days and better retirement and unemployment benefits - 1976

Polish Solidarity union founder Lech Walesa wins the Nobel Peace Prize - 1983

Some 2,100 supermarket janitors in California, mostly from Mexico, win a $22.4 million settlement over unpaid overtime. Many said they worked 70 or more hours a week, often seven nights a week from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Cleaner Jesus Lopez told the New York Times he only had three days off in five years - 2004

(Mobilizing Against Inequality: Unions, Immigrant Workers, and the Crisis of Capitalism: Are immigrant workers themselves responsible for low wages and shoddy working conditions?  Should unions expend valuable time and energy organizing undocumented workers?  Unions in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States have taken various approaches to confront the challenges of this significant segment of the workforce.  As U.S. immigration policy is debated, readers will gain insight into how all workers benefit when wages and working conditions for immigrant workers are improved.)

Tribune Publishing HR on the latest buyout

Dear Colleagues,

As Jack noted, today we are announcing the Tribune Publishing Company Employee Voluntary Separation Program 2015 (“EVSP” or “the Plan”). This program, which is an important step to position us effectively for the future and to respond to the challenging revenue environment within our industry, is voluntary. All non-union employees who have more than one year of service with the Company are eligible to participate in the EVSP.

The Plan offers several components, including:
Benefits Continuation for certain Health & Welfare Benefits
Outplacement Services
Eligibility for a Prorated Management Incentive Bonus (MIP), if applicable
Equity Vesting, if applicable
Retiree Medical, if applicable

During the Severance or Continuation Period, employees will continue to be eligible to participate in the following company health & welfare benefit plans:
Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
Health Savings Account

In addition, we are making the difficult decision to close the retiree medical program to all active employees as of December 31, 2015. In general and based on the individual Business Unit, employees currently eligible for the Company’s retiree medical program are defined in the Tribune Publishing Company Benefit Program (“Retiree Medical Program”) as an employee who has 10 or more years of service, was hired before April 1, 2003 and is at least 55 years of age as of the employees Last Day of Work. Based on the Company’s decision to close the plan for active members as of December 31, 2015, we have outlined the impact to employees below:

Non-EVSP Employee Impact: The Company’s retiree medical program will be closed to all active employees as of December 31, 2015; therefore the benefits under this plan will terminate for all active employees who remain employed by the Company after such date.

EVSP Employee Impact: Any employee who meets the eligibility requirements of the retiree medical program and will transition out of the Company as part of the EVSP will continue to remain in the program and receive benefits past the employee’s termination date, the plan closure date of December 31, 2015 or as long as the plan continues. The Company cannot guarantee that the Retiree Medical Program will be available to retirees at any time in the future and the Company reserves the right to modify, amend or terminate the Retiree Medical Program at any time.

Please find attached a more detailed summary of the Plan for more information. Additionally, every eligible employee will receive within the next five business days a personalized EVSP packet, which will be sent to their home address for review and consideration. In the packet, you will find several documents that will provide greater detail to help you understand the Plan, how to apply for the Plan, key action dates of the Plan and how the Plan will be executed overall. The packet will include:

Personalized Cover Note: Details your personal financial impact of the EVSP option
Summary Plan Description: Describes all the Terms and Conditions of the Plan including the Application Form and a Sample Separation Agreement and General Release
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Information About Post-Employment Benefits
Personalized Separation Agreement and General Release: Includes your personalized financial impact


We recognize that this is an important decision to consider. Please discuss the Plan with your managers, your family and your personal advisors to decide if the decision is right for you. Following the EVSP, the Company and the individual Business Units will evaluate the results of the program and assess next steps as there may or may not be a need for additional involuntary reductions.

The Human Resources team is fully prepared to support you through this change. Please do not hesitate to contact your local Human Resources Business Partner or me with any questions you may have about the Plan, to review how this EVSP option impacts you specifically, or to discuss how the closure of the Retiree Medical Plan may affect you.



Jack Griffin on Employee Voluntary Separation Program

From: Jack Griffin 
Sent: Monday, October 05, 2015 9:05 AM
Subject: Employee Voluntary Separation Program

Dear Tribune Publishing Employees:
Today we are announcing a Voluntary Separation Program for our employees. We are doing so now to allow employees to make decisions about their own personal and professional situations at a time when the company must continue to execute on its strategic plan, which includes reducing costs.
The senior management team and I recognize that each employee makes important contributions to our company. At the same time, in the challenging revenue environment that all publishing companies face, it is critical that we make hard decisions and take the necessary steps that continue to position Tribune Publishing Company for success over the long term.
Tribune Publishing is built on and committed to quality journalism and premium content. In our short history as an independent public company, our newspaper brands have been recognized for journalistic excellence and commitment to their local communities, including two Pulitzer Prizes at the Los Angeles Times and honorable mentions for the Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun. And as you may have read last week, The Sun recently received recognition from the Online News Association for its outstanding digital coverage of recent events in Baltimore.
Concurrently, we are investing in digital products, technology and talent to move the company forward. To accomplish and continue this, we must adapt our current cost structure and business model to meet changing times. This is the rationale behind the Employee Voluntary Separation Program. We recognize and appreciate that the decision whether to participate in the plan is a difficult one. Our Human Resources team stands ready to support you in the decision-making process.
Any non-union employee with more than one year of service will be eligible to participate in the program. Eligible employees will receive a personalized and detailed packet within the next five business days, and will have until October 23rd to decide whether to apply for the plan. Cindy Ballard, our head of Human Resources, will send a separate note today with further information.
As the company enters the important fourth quarter, we appreciate the continued focus and dedication our teams are already demonstrating to deliver results for all our stakeholders. Thank you for your hard work during this time and for your ongoing commitment to the success of our company.

Monday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Introducing Times Insider - NYTCO

Why local online sites died - Poynter

Welcome to Media Layoff Season - The Awl

10 keys to newsroom transformation - WAN-IFRA

Buyout offer now official at LA Times - LAObserved

How one newspaper company can save itself - Business Insider

Media Death March: Please, Tribune Co., Don’t Do This - Wired

Los Angeles Times newsroom cuts to begin this week - CNN Money

Tim Knight named president of Northeast Ohio Media Group - Cleveland.com

Tribune Media, Tribune Publishing compensation reported for CEOs - Chicago Tribune

Wolfgang Blau becomes digital chief at Condé Nast

Wolfgang Blau becomes digital chief at Condé Nast

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Today in Labor History

October 03  --  Union Communications Services, Inc.

The state militia is called in after 164 high school students in Kincaid, Ill., go on strike when the school board buys coal from the scab Peabody Coal Co. - 1932
The Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America is founded in Camden, N.J. It eventually merged with the Int’l Association of Machinists, in 1988 - 1933
Pacific Greyhound Lines bus drivers in seven western states begin what is to become a 3-week strike, eventually settling for a 10.5-percent raise - 1945
The United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) is formed as a self-governing union, an outgrowth of the CIO's Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee. UPWA merged with the Meatcutters union in 1968, which in turn merged with the Retail Clerks in 1979, forming the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) - 1943
The United Auto Workers calls for a company-wide strike against Ford Motor Co., the first since Ford’s initial contract with the union 20 years earlier - 1961
Folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie ("This Land is Your Land", "Union Maid" and hundreds of others) dies of Huntington's disease in New York at the age of 55 - 1967
Baseball umpires strike for recognition of their newly-formed Major League Umpires Association, win after one day - 1970

Friday, October 02, 2015

Friday Night in the Blogosphere

Newspapers make a comeback (not) - Matt Carroll

The Plot Against Student Newspapers? - The Atlantic

Why community newspapers matter - The News and Observer

APG Media buys 4 Wyoming newspapers - Washington Times

California libel protection now covers online publications - CJR

Tribune Publishing Under Pressure in Los Angeles - Media Star

Honoring Neil deGrasse Tyson for his journalism - Buzz Machine

After 48 years in newspapers, Joe Blackstock is history - Daily Bulletin

Gannett’s chief people officer would like to see more people leave - Romenesko

World’s Press Condemns Attack on Journalist and on Press Freedom - Editors Weblog

National Press Club to sell its Rockwell for as much as $15 million

National Press Club to sell its Rockwell for as much as $15 million

Printing - 1947 - Printing Press Work and Use

The Gathering for Shepherd's Pantry

The A.R.D.E.N.T Group is...
A Revolutionary Dynamic Entrepreneurial Networking Team.
The ARDENT Group's mission is to empower women by providing them with unique products, services, experiences and by supporting local community efforts benefiting women and their families. 
The Ardent Group was founded in 2009 by business owner Nikki Vitale. Nikki’s vision was to bring female business owners together that shared a passion for their clients and their industry. It was important that each business owner had a unique point of difference in their field that set them apart from their competitors. The members needed to be interested in growing their business through unique marketing venues. The result is The Ardent Group- a team of women that inspire one another with their special talents and wisdom in their fields. The Ardent Group enriches the lives of women they serve by building relationships while providing them with incredible products, services, and experiences. The Ardent Group empowers women by offering tools needed to enhance every aspect of a woman’s life.  

Today’s front pages: ‘Again.’ ‘Numb.’ ‘When will it end?’

Today’s front pages: ‘Again.’ ‘Numb.’ ‘When will it end?’

Today in Labor History

October 02  --  Union Communications Services, Inc.

American Federation of Labor officially endorses campaign for a 6-hour day, 5-day workweek - 1934
Joining with 400,000 coal miners already on strike, 500,000 CIO steel workers close down the nation’s foundries, steel and iron mills, demanding pensions and better wages and working conditions - 1949
Starbucks Workers Union baristas at an outlet in East Grand Rapids, Mich., organized by the Wobblies, win their grievances after the National Labor Relations Board cites the company for labor law violations, including threats against union activists - 2007
(Grievance Guide, 13th edition: This easy-to-use handbook documents patterns in a wide range of commonly grieved areas including discharge and discipline, leaves of absence, promotions, strikes and lockouts, and more. The editors give a complete picture of the precedents and guidelines that arbitrators are using to address grievance cases today.)

Union members, progressives and others rally in Washington D.C., under the Banner of One Nation Working Together, demand “good jobs, equal justice, and quality education for all.” Crowd estimates range from tens of thousands to 200,000 - 2010

October 01
An ink storage room in the L.A. Timesbuilding is dynamited during a citywide fight over labor rights and organizing.  The explosion was relatively minor, but it set off a fire in the unsafe, difficult-to-evacuate building, ultimately killing 21.  A union member eventually confessed to the bombing, which he said was supposed to have occurred early in the morning when the building would have been largely unoccupied – 1910

The George Washington Bridge officially opens, spanning the Hudson River from New Jersey to New York. Thirteen workers died during the four-year construction project for what at the time was the longest main span in the world - 1931

Thousands of dairy farmers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa strike in demand of higher prices for their milk - 1935
The Pennsylvania Turnpike opened as the first toll superhighway in the United States.  It was built in most part by workers hired through the state’s Re-Employment offices - 1940

United Transport Service Employees of America merges with Brotherhood of Railway, Airline & Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express & Station Employees – 1972
Some 200 Pressmen begin what is to become a two-year strike at the Washington Post. Nine of the paper’s ten other unions engaged in sympathy strikes for more than four months but ultimately returned to their jobs as the paper continued publishing. The press operators picketed for 19 months but eventually decertified the union - 1975

Insurance Workers Int’l Union merges with United Food & Commercial Workers Int’l Union - 1983

Railroad Yardmasters of America merge with United Transportation Union - 1985

Pattern Makers League of North America merges with Int’l Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - 1991

The National Hockey League team owners began a lockout of the players that lasted 103 days - 1994

Stove, Furnace & Allied Appliance Workers Int’l Union of North America merges with Int’l Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, & Helpers - 1994

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union merges with United Food and Commercial Workers Int’l Union - 1998

Int’l Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine & Furniture Workers merges with Communications Workers of America - 2000

Thursday, October 01, 2015

The sheriff of Roseburg, Oregon allegedly wrote this letter to VP Joe Biden

By Tony Pierce

The sheriff of Roseburg, Oregon allegedly wrote this letter to VP Joe Biden in 2013 to say he won't enforce "unconstitutional" gun control laws.
"Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings," Sheriff John Hanlin wrote, but didn't say what he thought would prevent them.

Philly media owner explored a nonprofit path

Philly media owner explored a nonprofit path

Valley and Sacramento push back at Beutner firing - LA Observed

Valley and Sacramento push back at Beutner firing - LA Observed

Los Angeles Times Publisher Fired After Barely a Year on the Job

Published on Sep 8, 2015
Tribune Publishing Company has fired the publisher of the Los Angeles Times after little more than a year on the job. Tribune gave no public explanation for Austin Buetner’s abrupt departure. It appointed Timothy Ryan, publisher of the Baltimore Sun, to replace Buetner as head of the company’s California Newspaper Group. The Chicago Tribune, one of 11 major daily newspapers under Tribune Publishing, reported that company leaders were unhappy with the financial performance of the Los Angeles Times and with some of Beutner’s high-profile hires.


LA Times Sanctioned As Whistleblower Suit Marches On

Law360, Los Angeles (September 23, 2015, 9:47 PM ET) -- A California judge on Wednesday sanctioned the Los Angeles Times for willful abuse of discovery procedure and said a contractor can proceed with most claims in his suit alleging he was fired in retaliation for reporting circulation fraud at the metropolitan daily.

Tom Daley, the owner of a sales and advertising firm that works with newspaper companies, filed his lawsuit against Los Angeles Times Communications and parent companies Tribune Media Company and Tribune Publishing Company in February. Daley claims in early 2013 he was awarded a...

Shuttering of Philadelphia City Paper latest in series of alt-weekly closures

Shuttering of Philadelphia City Paper latest in series of alt-weekly closures

This memo comes from Tribune Publishing Chief Revenue Officer Michael Rooney

From: Tribune Publishing
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2015 6:42 AM
Subject: A Message from Michael Rooney
When Apple introduced the world to the new iPhone 6s, the company turned to the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, taking out full-page print ads that have run three separate times.
With healthcare approaching its busiest season of the year, United Healthcare extended their national buy to encompass all of Tribune Publishing’s markets, including ROP print ads across all of our publications, as well as digital initiatives in Allentown and Orlando.
And when luxury fashion and cosmetics brands such as Burberry, Net A Porter, and ULTA wanted to extend the reach of their campaigns, they turned to our properties to tell their stories.
We have made tremendous progress in demonstrating to the national marketplace how our brands and products are engaging and motivating consumers across all platforms.
What sets Tribune Publishing apart from many of our peers is our national footprint of powerful brands across 11 attractive markets, including the second- and third-largest in the country. Collectively, our brands attract almost 42 million unique users every month, providing marketers with the reach and scale necessary to motivate our coveted audiences, which are some of the most influential in the country.
At the heart of our collective strength is the great journalism that makes our print, digital and mobile products stand out. Marketers want to appear next to premium content, and our award-winning publications are the most-trusted sources of news and information across all platforms in the communities they serve. They also now reach more consumers than ever before in their respective histories.
We have a heritage that is rich in storytelling, which lends itself well to the growing custom content business. We recently created a unique solution for DirecTV to market their NFL Sunday Ticket package in Los Angeles. The campaign, which was created to tell the story of why Los Angeles does not have an NFL team, drew on more 200 years of archived stories and photos from the Los Angeles Times. I encourage you to check out the campaign here.
The local and national ad sales teams are working hard every day to demonstrate the power of our offerings and to take full advantage of our tremendous potential. Above all, our teams are focused on creating a culture that revolves around serving our marketing partners in the best ways possible.
As I said, we have made tremendous progress in demonstrating to the national marketplace how our brands and products can engage and motivate consumers across all platforms. I look forward to sharing more of our success in the months ahead.
Thank you for contributing to our success.

Thursday Morning in the Blogosphere

"Tribune Publisher Says Kids Are Going to Start Reading Newspapers Any Day Now: 
Once this internet fad blows over."

Throw the (Chicago Tribune) Bums Out! - City Watch L.A.

Tribune Publishing CEO says he’s bullish on print - Poynter


Americans' Trust in Media Remains at Historical Low - Gallup

Austin Beutner’s L.A. Times Was a Blast from the Past - Zocalo

LA Times hires again, this time in Washington bureau - LAObserved

Kids Are Going to Start Reading Newspapers Any Day Now - Recode

Ex-LA Times Sports Writer Is Paranoid, Psychologist Testifies - Law360

The Los Angeles Times Buyout Boom 1993 - American Journalism Review

New York Times gains edge over Tribune Publishing with digital expansion - Moody's

Guess which state just passed a landmark shield law to protect reporters?

Guess which state just passed a landmark shield law to protect reporters?

Where's The Blogging Pressman?

I'm often asked why I'm not blogging everyday, some days I'm moving tons of food, and too exhausted afterwards to do much more than read. Tuesday I moved 25,000 pounds of donated food, which kept me busy for just under ten hours.

All of this food will be given away over the next few weeks to our clients that visit Sowing Seeds for Life, so it's all worth the extra effort by all the volunteers.

We're always seeking volunteers, if your interested in helping, come by 1350 Arrow Highway, La Verne, CA. 91750 from 10;30A.M. to 4:00 P.M. or call 909.392.5777