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Friday, February 29, 2008

The Blogging Pressman Meets Doug Davis


As I quickly scanned through my favorite blogs, while having a liquid lunch consisting of iced tea, a post from Kevin Roderick regarding a cartoonist having a show caught my attention. Last September a colleague felt a certain cartoonist work would fit well on my blog, brought Doug Davis to my attention, and after viewing Doug's work I agreed.

After introducing myself, I thanked Doug for granting permission to publish his work on my blog back in September. I also mentioned he’s what the Los Angeles Times could use, a political cartoonist. But Doug feels Sam Zell would never hire him, as many of his satires are aimed towards Sam. I disagreed, because Sam tells employees to have fun and laugh while working, and what’s better than having a laugh at the boss’ expense? With all the commotion occurring at Tribune Newspapers across the country, the employees certainly need a shot of laughter therapy right about now.

Before departing, we sang happy birthday to Doug, as he celebrated his twelfth birthday.

Russ Stanton Memo - LAT Book Prizes


Last night, the winner of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement and the 45finalists of the 2007 Book Prizes were announced at the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes reception in New York. Our own Kenneth Turan, Times Book Prizes Director, and David Ulin, Times Book Editor, were on hand and served as hosts for the evening.

I’ve included the press release below so you can read about the winner and the book prize finalists. You can also visit www.latimesbookprizes.com for additional event info. The Book Prizes are coming up on April 25 at UCLA, so be sure to mark your calendars.

Russ

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes Announces Kirsch Award Winner
Maxine Hong Kingston

28th Annual Literary Awards Finalists Announced for April 25th Presentation

NEW YORK, February 28, 2008 – Maxine Hong Kingston has been named the winner of the 28th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes' Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement.

The award was announced tonight along with the names of the 45 finalists for the 2007 Book Prizes during an evening reception at the National Arts Club in New York City. Serving as event hosts were Times Book Prizes Director Kenneth L. Turan and Times Book Editor David L. Ulin.

The Book Prizes will be presented April 25th at UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles. In addition to the Kirsch Award, the evening will honor 2007’s outstanding books in nine categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult fiction.

The Kirsch Award honors a living author with a substantial connection to the American West whose contribution to American letters deserves special recognition and Maxine Hong Kingston has been named the award’s 28th recipient. Kingston is the acclaimed author of many books including the award-winning The Woman Warrior, China Men and Tripmaster Monkey. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband Earl, where she is a Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley and directs the Veterans Writing Group project.

Presenting the 2007 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be Jim Newton (Biography), Scott Simon (Current Interest), Ngugi Wa Thiong’O (Fiction), Susan Salter Reynolds (First Fiction – the Art Seidenbaum Award), Douglas Brinkley (History), Paula Woods (Mystery/Thriller), Mark Doty (Poetry), David L. Ulin (the Robert Kirsch Award), Dava Sobel (Science and Technology) and Francesca Lia Block (Young Adult Fiction).

The awards ceremony will lead off the 13th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, one of the nation’s premier public literary festivals and the largest of its kind on the West Coast, held April 26-27 on the UCLA campus.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes were established in 1980. Each Book Prize includes a $1,000 cash award. The named awards commemorate the life and work of Robert Kirsch, who served as The Times' book critic for more than 25 years prior to his death in 1980, and of the late Art Seidenbaum, who founded the Book Prizes. Finalists were selected by eight three-member committees (the fiction panel covers both the fiction and first fiction categories) and most judges are published authors and serve a two-year term. None of the judges, except for the Kirsch award, are current Los Angeles Times employees. There is no nationality requirement for author nominees in any category. With the exception of significant new translations of a deceased author's work, all authors should be living at the time of U.S. publication.


2007 Book Prize Finalists

Biography

Nancy Isenberg, Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr (Viking)
Tim Jeal, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest Explorer (Yale University Press)
Simon Sebag Montefiore, Young Stalin (Alfred A. Knopf)
Robert Morgan, Boone: A Biography (A Shannon Ravenel Book/Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)
Michael J. Neufeld, Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War (Alfred A. Knopf)

Current Interest

Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Tom Bissell, The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam (Pantheon)
Ronald Brownstein, The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America (The Penguin Press)
Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company)
Elizabeth D. Samet, Soldier's Heart: Reading Literature Through Peace and War at West Point (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Fiction

Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead Books)
Andrew O’Hagan, Be Near Me (Harcourt)
Stewart O'Nan, Last Night at the Lobster (Viking)
Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses: A Novel (Graywolf Press)
Marianne Wiggins, The Shadow Catcher: A Novel (Simon & Schuster)

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction

Antonia Arslan{Translated by Geoffrey Brock} Skylark Farm (Alfred A. Knopf)
Rebecca Curtis, Twenty Grand: And Other Tales of Love and Money (Harper Perennial)
Pamela Erens, The Understory (Ironweed Press)
Ellen Litman, The Last Chicken in America: A Novel in Stories (W.W. Norton)
Dinaw Mengestu, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (Riverhead Books)

History

David A Bell, The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (Houghton Mifflin)
Margaret Macmillan, Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World (Random House)
Andrew Nagorski, Stalin, Hitler, and the Desperate Struggle for Moscow that Changed
the Course of World War II
(Simon and Schuster)
Lynne Olson, Troublesome Young Men: The Rebels Who Brought Churchill to Power and Helped Save England (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday)

Mystery/Thriller

Benjamin Black, Christine Falls: A Novel (Henry Holt and Company)
Åke Edwardson, Frozen Tracks: An Inspector Erik Winter Novel (Viking)
Karin Fossum {Translated by Charlotte Barslund} The Indian Bride (Harcourt)
Tana French, In the Woods (Viking)
Jan Costin Wagner {Translated by John Brownjohn} Ice Moon (Harcourt)


Poetry

Marvin Bell, Mars Being Red (Copper Canyon Press)
Elaine Equi, Ripple Effect: New and Selected Poems (Coffee House Press)
Albert Goldbarth, The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems, 1972-2007 (Graywolf Press)
Stanley Plumly, Old Heart: Poems (W.W. Norton)
Jean Valentine, Little Boat (Wesleyan University Press)

Science & Technology

James L. and Carol Grant Gould, Animal Architects: Building and the Evolution of Intelligence (Basic Books)
Douglas Hofstadter, I Am A Strange Loop (Basic Books)
Christine Kenneally, The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language (Viking)
Daniel Lord Smail, On Deep History and the Brain (University of California Press)
Gino Segrè, Faust in Copenhagen: A Struggle for the Soul of Physics (Viking)

Young Adult Fiction

Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown Young Readers)
Geraldine McCaughrean, The White Darkness (HarperTeen)
Walter Dean Myers, What They Found: Love on 145th Street (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House)
Kenneth Oppel, Darkwing (Eos Books/HarperCollins)
Philip Reeve, A Darkling Plain (The Hungry City Chronicles) (Eos Books/HarperCollins)

Information about the awards ceremony and the Book Prize awards program is available at latimesbookprizes.com or by calling 1-800-LATIMES, x72366.

Friday Morning Media Links



Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Sam Zell damage control


From: McManus, Doyle
Sent: Thu 2/28/2008 2:07 PM
Subject: David Hiller & Russ Stanton

Friends,

David Hiller and Russ Stanton will be here next week for the annual Gridiron dinner, and they are setting aside extra time to meet with us on the future of the bureau.

We haven't confirmed times and dates, but we will probably have a breakfast with one or both of them next Friday. John Arthur, Scott Kraft, Davan Maharaj and Meredith Artley of latimes.com are also expected to be here.

Meanwhile, David asked me to relay this message:

"I am extremely proud of what you and our colleagues do every day. Having an excellent national report coming out of Washington is extremely important to our readers in Los Angeles. In addition, we provide most of the DC stories used by other Tribune papers, as intended by the design and staffing of the bureaus when the current arrangement was set up.

"Times and business realities have changed dramatically for all of us. We need to look at everything we are doing, and how we do it. We are literally in a fight for the financial viability of our great news enterprise. This will involve how we make coverage decisions across all areas, including how we collaborate with other papers.

"Given the state of the business, and the uncertainty the prospect of these changes creates for our team, we need to get to decisions fast. We also need to do it in a way that we continue to field a team of exceptional reporters and editors."

Thanks, as always
Doyle

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: Merc to share copy desk with sister papers



The Mercury News is making plans to relocate its copy desk, consolidating it with other MediaNews papers in the Bay Area, according to this story on the newspaper's job cuts that ran in Metro, the San Jose-based alt-weekly.

"The news of more cuts has hit the San Jose Mercury News hard," Metro writer Erin Sherbert says in a piece headlined "Panic Room." "The mood is pretty gloomy among staffers at the paper, which has lost stability with major turnover in editorial leadership and in its executive ranks over the last year."

Sherbert notes that the number of local news stories has dropped in the Merc. "The irony is that the few subscribers left will drop as the product declines," said Bill Briggs, director of the school of journalism and mass communications at San Jose State University. "No one has the solution yet, but I wouldn't look to MediaNews to lead the way." (Photo credit: AP)

Newsday publisher's layoffs memo


2/28/2008 3:58:58 PM

From: Knight, T. P.
Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 3:15 PM
To: Communications, Newsday
Subject: Today's Actions

Dear fellow Newsday employee,
As I informed you a few weeks ago, we have been assessing our business in light of our company strategies and the current revenue environment. Today we initiated job reduction actions across the company. These actions included notifying employees that we are eliminating their positions and posting notices in the editorial, transportation and pressroom bargaining units to eliminate positions in accordance with the labor contracts. About 120 employees are affected. Some individuals will leave today, while others will stay through the end of March. These difficult actions are based on our urgent need to focus on the things that drive audience and revenue growth, while we manage through a soft advertising revenue environment that requires us to significantly reduce costs.

Our vision for Newsday is to grow through innovation and market responsiveness, and my foremost responsibility is to ensure that we are a healthy organization equipped and motivated to succeed in this rapidly changing and challenging marketplace. Though we all know we will not grow by cutting, we have no choice but to respond to the revenue decline and make cost adjustments now. I have reported on recent organizational changes and other new developments in our business that I expect will help us get past this difficult time and ultimately achieve the sustained growth we all desire.

I'm convinced our success will come from learning to continually reinvent ourselves, delivering to our audiences and advertising customers the news, information and connectivity they desire, where, when and in the format they want. Over the next few weeks, I will continue to outline our near-term and long-term plans and the role each of you needs to play going forward.

Today is the last day at Newsday for some of our colleagues, and we wish them well and thank them for their service. As always, you have my continued thanks for your commitment to the future of our business.

SOURCE: Romenesko

Thursday Morning News




Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Los Angeles Times Sheds 16 Employees



The Los Angeles Daily News is not the only newspaper shedding employees; the Los Angeles Times lost sixteen employees last week, yet I have read nothing regarding these unfortunate employees given involuntary buyouts. Seems if you’re not in the editorial department, losing your employment is not important, to you or to your family.

Sixteen employees of the Los Angeles Times, which fill the newspaper racks on the streets, have been given the axe. The home delivery department has absorbed their jobs, as the two departments have been consolidated into one.

Lets hope our former employees find other employment quickly.

Daily News Cutting 22 in Editorial Department



The staff at the Los Angeles Daily News has received the news they have been dreading the past few weeks, twenty-two colleagues will be leaving the editorial department this Friday. Six managers and sixteen newsroom staffers have been targeted, with a deadline of noon tomorrow to submit their intentions of leaving.

If twenty-two voluntary buyouts are not received, the target number will be reached by involuntary buyouts. Details of the buyout package are not available at this time, but further details can be found at
The Paper Trail.

Take Back the Times: Zell Threatens The L.A. Times Washington Bureau


By Ken Reich

When the unqualified Russ Stanton was named as lackey-editor of the L.A. Times by lackey-publisher David Hiller, he broadly hinted he would do in the Times national and foreign coverage, or at least sharply pare it.

This week, Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell, to whom Stanton and Hiller obsequiously report, dropped the other shoe. In an appearance at the Washington bureau, Zell said its staff (now 47) is "bloated" and suggested it should be smaller than the Times' Orange County staff. L.A. Times reporters and editors in Washington are said to have loudly objected.

It is more and more evident that Zell, a corrupt Chicago billionaire, has little regard for, and no understanding of the newspaper business. When he became Tribune Co. owner, he first said he would not cost cut his way to prosperity, but it has already become apparent he was lying.

Zell came to the Washington bureau at the same time as a memorial service for the retired Times Washington Bureau reporter Rudy Abramson. This offensive timing left the bureau staff, particularly the ones there when Abramson worked there, with a kind of Sophie's choice: They could honor their esteemed colleague, or they could listen to Zell. Some courageously did choose to honor Abramson by going to the service, and others stayed for Zell. It may have been just as well, had all gone to the service and boycotted Zell.

As usual, those who stayed for him found Zell a crass jackass. But at least he did not smoke any pot while he was at the bureau.

Continue reading Ken Riech by clicking link below.

Zell Threatens The L.A. Times Washington Bureau

Mid-Week News Links


Press Operator Ray Thiel doing his Johnny Walker impersonation

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Los Angeles Times Axed Employee Recognition Dinner


The following letter claimed the Employee Recognition Dinner would be moved from November to February, with only three days remaining this month, did someone drop the ball and forget to send a memo out regarding the cancellation? Appears to me the February festival has also been cancelled, without notice. Thank you Marcello Sawyer.

October 31, 2007

Dear Edward:

As one of a handful of individuals who were eligible for service awards in 2007, I would like to inform you that your years of commitment to the Los Angeles Times will now be incorporated into the departmental activities of Employee Recognition Week occurring in February 2008. A separate Service Recognition Dinner will not be held. More information regarding the schedule for Employee Recognition Week will be provided at a later date.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at (213) 237-3223.

Again, thank you and congratulations.

Sincerely,

Marcello Sawyer
Employee Services Specialist

Los Angeles Times Axed Employee Recognition Dinner

Reporting Newspaper Delivery Problems


Title: How to Report Newspaper Delivery Problems

The story: If it’s broke, we’ll fix it

If you have, or know of, a Times’ delivery problem that has not been resolved to your satisfaction, we can help.

There’s a small group of customer service specialists located here at The Times who can work a little magic with escalated problems. So if you have a chronic problem with late, missing, wet papers, or vacation stops that fail to stop, or anything else related to your newspaper subscription, call us at 213-237-3464. You can also email us at: Hotissue@latimes.com.

For routine delivery issues – vacations, payments, bills, the isolated delivery problem – try our voice response system at 1-800-252-9141, or our self-service website: www.myaccount.latimes.com. And, of course, call center agents are available during business hours.


Karin Bugge: Manager
Donald Land: Supervisor
Dagmar Harding: VIP rep
Cassandra Friedman: VIP rep

User Comments for Tuesday



Thought we would try something new this afternoon, comments from users on any subject matter that you would like to broadcast to the Blogosphere.

Tribune Company Press Release


Tribune to Release 2007 Financial Information in March

Company will hold conference call in April

CHICAGO Feb. 25, 2008 -- Tribune Company plans to release financial results for fourth quarter and full year 2007 in March when it files its Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company is required to file its 10-K no later than March 31, but currently expects to file by mid-March. In April, Sam Zell, Tribune chairman and chief executive officer, along with other members of the company’s senior management team, will hold a conference call to discuss these results and provide an update on 2008.

A summary of fourth quarter and full year 2007 financial results, as well as details regarding the conference call, will be contained in a press release issued simultaneous to the filing of the 10-K.

:: :: ::

TRIBUNE is America’s largest employee-owned media company, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. In publishing, Tribune’s leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), The Sun (Baltimore), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant. The company’s broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago’s WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune’s print and broadcast properties and extend the company’s nationwide audience.

Tuesday Morning Media News


Interior of a printing unit

Outsourcing Production to the Los Angeles Times



Two weeks ago a reporter from the Wall Street Journal phoned me while I was working, requesting information about the Los Angeles Times producing his newspaper. I had no clue what he was referring to, and all I could share at that moment was the meeting between Sam Zell and Rupert Murdoch, and nothing more.

Last Thursday I took another phone call from an insider at the San Bernardino Sun, explaining that the Sun was shutting down production in the near future, and outsourcing the numerous newspapers now in production at the facility.

Among the newspapers produced at the facility are USA Today, The New York Post, Wall Street Journal, San Bernardino Sun, and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. Some of the newspapers will be produced at a printing facility in Ontario, while the Los Angeles Times may produce the Wall Street Journal.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Starving For Meat

Size eight. Mother's dress form was this size, and everyone from herself, my sisters and the ladies who came by the house had dresses draped on this form. Size eight seemed as normal as pulling out a tape measure and making clothes to fit.

So size --that nasty changing beast, has never been much of an issue. I'd not paid attention even with my own fluctuations of the greater meaning of size. That is, until I learned of my friend's daughter's struggle with anorexia. It's a vicious cycle, this anorexia, one that could end up cutting short her life.

And though I despair over how fat we as a nation have become, the public embrace of a body image so rail thin is more disturbing.
Read the rest at:

Get Lost With Easy-Writer: Starving For Meat

Now Hear This...


Well, I'm all for supporting the 20 Year Pressmen, but let's get this straight...

I ordered a stein and t-shirt. It arrived today. The stein was nice. However, the picture on the shirt didn't quite cut it. It is blurry and not what I was expecting.
Perhaps, the pix should be on the stein/mug.

Just a thought.

Nubia

Advice to Parents


"No matter where they are or what time it is, if your child needs you, GO! Even if only to stand by them as they suffer the consequences of their actions. Love never give up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance."
- Bette Dowdell

As long as they're still breathing, there's HOPE!

Monday Morning News


Tim Robinson

Saturday, February 23, 2008

For The Weekend

Well, sometimes you just have to laugh.
Lately, I've been hooked the fashion reality show, Project Runway.
They had this weird challenge where the designers had to make costumes for female wrestlers. All the outfits were over the top. I thought they were hilarious. I was laughing at home. But in the final edit of the show, the producers made the judges and the designers "poker faced" when their outfits were being modeled by the wrestlers.
But that's not what happened.
Here it is, and it'll make you laugh. This is American designer Michael Kors losing it!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: John Bowman: Singleton's Waterloo is near



After hearing about MediaNews Group's staff reduction plans in the Bay Area, former San Mateo County Times editor John Bowman wrote on his blog:

"The slow-motion train wreck that has been Dean Singleton's latest foray into the Bay Area over the past two years is clearly gathering steam. ... [The buyouts are] more evidence that Singleton is a one-trick pony whose one trick -- slashing jobs, slashing pages, slashing quality, slashing costs -- isn't working very well."

Los Angeles Times Buyout Files or EVSP


The files below, in PDF format, can be viewed and printed, regarding the current buyout at the Los Angeles Times.

2008 COBRA Rates

2008 EVSP Plan Document

2008 Retiree Health Insurance Rates

EVSP Application Form Attachment

EVSP Eligible-Ineligible List Attachment

EVSP Questions Answers

EVSP Waiver and Release Attachment III

HR Contact List

More Good News from the Front


Bill Conover and Amalia Martinez

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What's New at the Los Angeles Times



Meredith Artley, executive editor of latimes.com, is responsible for increasing traffic to the online edition of the Los Angeles Times, with changes to the appearance of all the online pages and the addition of many useful blogs to fit all tastes. In the short span of eleven months, navigation of latimes.com has been transformed from confusing to understandable, under her leadership. Take a look at what's new on the online edition of the newspaper below.

Web Scout: Spinning through online entertainment and connected culture.
By David Sarno, the Times' Internet culture and online entertainment writer.




This is no joke, Mr. Skyhook himself is now blogging at the Los Angeles Times. After a quick scan of Kareem's new blog, I will return later to do a complete view because it looks interesting.




Metromix Los Angeles, which launched the print edition last Wednesday, is aimed at young adults, with all types of entertainment every night of the week. This free tabloid can be found at a college near you, with a current production of 103,000 copies every Wednesday, this is certain to be a must have newspaper for active young adults.

Yup, we got a live one, Ed.

Our first stalker.
Yes, has finally emailed me.
Apparently she's sure that we're claiming to have the ONLY blog inspired by an LA Times staffer.
Needless to say, I won't answer her email.
Nor will I bother with her site.
Just her email was enough to tell me that there are some bonifide nutcases out there.

San Francisco Peninsula Press Club: MediaNews offers buyouts to 2,000 workers


MediaNews announced today that it plans to cut jobs across the board at its Bay Area newspapers due to a reduction in real estate advertising.

Nearly all of the company's 2,000 employees in the Bay Area are being given two weeks to decide if they want to apply for a buyout. If an insufficient number of employees apply, management will decide who will lose their job on March 3.

The offers are being made to 1,100 employees in the East Bay (Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, etc.), including 300 newsroom staffers, and 900 Mercury News employees including 200 newsroom workers.

The Merc posted this story about the cuts it will make, the third round of layoffs since MediaNews acquired the paper in August 2006.

More information was available about cuts in the East Bay. According to this memo from Bay Area News Group-East Bay publisher and president John Armstrong, the buyout is being offered to all employees except him and the "operating directors" of the company.

Armstrong did not say how many jobs the company intends to eliminate or how much money it hopes to save.

"For one thing, the number can change depending on who applies and is accepted for a buy-out," Armstrong wrote in the memo to employees. "Second, we are seeking a dollar savings, not a reduction in a specific number of jobs. But I will say this: The number of jobs that will be eliminated will be significant.

He said the cuts were forced by the slump in the real estate industry, which has resulted in less advertising.

"Almost without exception, real estate forecasters believe the Bay Area will be saddled with a housing slump for 12 to 18 months, and talk of a recession is now commonplace," said Armstrong.

After reviewing its finances, management concluded that it had to reduce its operating expenses quickly, the story said.

"We cannot get to where we need to be without reducing the size of the work force," Armstrong said.

Armstrong called these "very tough times of historic proportion."

The papers are owned by California Newspapers Partnership, which is controlled by MediaNews Group, headed by Dean Singleton. MediaNews owns 54.23 percent, Stephens Group of Las Vegas has a 26.28 percent interest and Gannett has 19.49 percent.

Pancake Breakfast To Benefit Fallen LAPD SWAT Officer



By Brian Humphrey, spokesman Los Angeles Fire Department

Please join members of the Los Angeles Fire Department and their families for a Pancake Breakfast benefitting fallen LAPD SWAT Officer Randal Simmons and his wounded colleague, Officer James Veenstra.

Saturday, February 23, 2008
7:00 AM to 11:00 AM
At the LAPD & LAFD Recruitment Expo
Crenshaw Christian Center / FaithDome Campus
7901 South Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90044

For a simple $10.00 donation, you can provide direct help to the Simmons family and support the recovery of Officer Veenstra, while enjoying a delicious breakfast and the camaraderie of emergency responders.

The most important reason for you to attend...

This pancake breakfast is the kickoff event for the LAPD & LAFD Recruitment Expo. Along with veteran Firefighters and Police Officers in attendance, you will have a chance to meet and encourage the men and women who are soon to wear the badge.

Can you think of a better opportunity for inspiring future Police Officers to follow the altruistic character of Officer Simmons?

Please think about it... then plan on joining us this Saturday morning, as Los Angeles Firefighters and those they proudly serve come together with a strong and unified voice to honor, respect and support the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Click on link below for directions to Faith Dome.

Pancake Breakfast To Benefit Fallen LAPD SWAT Officer

Mid-Week News


Uncertain Skies for Employees of All Newspapers

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Save Our Trade: Negotiation Update #9#links


By Ronnie Pineda

As many of you are aware by way of Russ Newton's Updates, we were informed of the company's desire to cut 1.8 million dollars from the pressrooms budgets.

The timing of announcement is very questionable because of our current negotiations.In San Diego at the Union Tribune, management there is going forward with changes they proposed in their pressroom and mailroom without further negotiations. They intend on implementing those changes at approximately the same time The Times representatives indicated they intend on going forward with cost saving measures they have drawn up for our pressrooms. It curiously appears that our management and management in San Diego are in collusion, possibly in attempts of weaking the bargaining process in both locations.

Continue reading by following the link below.

Save Our Trade: Negotiation Update #9#links

Message from Russ Stanton Editor Los Angeles Times


From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 5:28 PM
Subject: The buyout program

Colleagues:

As you heard from Sam and David last week, we continue to face a challenging revenue environment and are embarking on another cost-reduction effort. Here are the details of the voluntary separation program.

--If your application to leave the company is accepted, you'll receive one week of pay for every six months of service, with a minimum of six weeks' pay and a maxium of 52 weeks. The cash portion of the benefit will be through the Cash Balance Pension Plan in the form of a contribution to your cash balance account. You can elect to receive the payout in a variety of forms, including a lump sum. The company will increase the amount you're due by 3% to offset any early withdrawal fees.

-- If you're 53 or 54 years old and have 10 years of service with The Times, you will be treated as though you're 55 (on an unpaid basis) and you might be eligible for retiree medical benefits (if you meet other retiree medical eligibility requirements). If you're under 53, healthcare coverage will continue at the rate of one week for every six months of employment, for a minimum of 12 weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks.

Outplacement services will be provided for those seeking other employment.


-- To apply for the prrgram, you must complete the application form and submit it to Susan Denley in Editorial Hiring by noon on Monday, March 3, 2008. If your application is accepted, your employment with us will conclude at the end of March.

Sam's people have indicated that this is very likely the last time there will be these types of benefits should we face the unfortunate circumstance of having to reduce our workforce in the future. And please note that not everyone who applies is guaranteed to be accepted. Issues such as job classification, compliance with eligibility criteria and other factors also will be considered.

As I said last week, I am not happy about this cycle of seemingly endless cuts. But unfortunately, we also have to be realistic about the economy and the changes affecting our industry. I am looking forward to a time in the very near future when we can concentrate on journalism and move forward together to build a sustainable future.

More information about the program can be found on TimesLink, and we expect a Q&A to be posted there by the end of the day. In addition, there will be two meetings for editorial employees this week, one from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday and another from 3 pm. to 4 p.m. on Friday. Both of these meetings will be held in the Salon on the 5th floor.

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Save Our Trade: SHELL GAME


By C. RENEY

Hello colleagues,
WELL HERE WE GO (SAM THE SAVIOR OR THE DEVIL HIM SELF ) WE THE UNION WERE ASKED BY THE COMPANY IF WE HAD IDEAS ON HOW WE COULD IMPLEMENT 1.8 MILLION DOLLARS IN CUTS !!! YEH RIGHT ! WE WERE NOT OFFERED A BUY OUT,NOTHING !! WE WERE OFFERED NOTHING !!

Click here for complete story.

Familiar Faces



Russ Newton, Senior vice-president of Production and Rick Terry, Operations Senior Planning Coordinator on the back cover of Newspapers & Technology.

The Star cuts seven jobs


The Venture County Star has cut its staff by seven last Friday and Monday, due too weakening advertising, which is the story across the country. What makes this newsworthy is the fact that the newspaper has never laid off employees before. To read the entire article, click on the title or here.

You Can't Fix Something You Don't Understand


The February issue of Newspapers and Technology published an article by Frank Bourlon, which reads like he’s writing from the Los Angeles Times Olympic Pressroom. Mr. Bourlon has over thirty-five years experience in the printing trade, which makes his stories a must read for pressmen around the globe. I'm certain my colleagues will relate to this story completely.

"Sometimes press operators are blamed because they aren’t able to set ink on the press or because the press is not being maintained well enough.

The press operator may blame it on management because management doesn’t want to spend the money needed to keep the press maintained.

Wherever the blame lies is immaterial. What is important is that if the press isn’t being maintained properly, then the newspaper’s ability to sell advertising can be severely compromised, especially in a competitive market.

Managers have to understand the problems that might be affecting their production departments. Sometimes the manager need only ask the right questions in order to understand why print quality problems occur.

I know this sounds simplistic, but in many situations in which I’ve been involved, some print and production managers may not necessarily understand how their operation works.

These managers may have been promoted from other areas of the newspaper, and heading production is not something for which they’ve necessarily been trained. While these people may have done an outstanding job in their former positions, they might not have a grasp for production. Bottom line? The production department suffers as a result.

You can’t fix something you don’t understand."

To read the entire story click here

Newspapers & Technology is a free magazine which will keep the printer updated with new trends in our industry.

Production problems delay Daily News deliveries


Message from the Daily News to Subscribers:
Due to production problems, Daily News newspaper subscribers in Ventura County, the Antelope Valley, Glendale and metropolitan Los Angeles will not receive their paper today. Tuesday's paper and the Advo insert will be delivered with Wednesday's edition. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Just Another Tuesday


Edward with Sammy Maloof

Monday, February 18, 2008

Idea For New Sam Zell Shirt


The Anonyomous Animator has struck again with an idea for a new product line, we may implement, if there is a demand. Here's what the Animator said:

"Sam's my Man! His political incorrectness, straight talk, and ability to bestow clarity by citing the f***ing obvious is rejuvenating. This man cuts through the crap and is not afraid to confront the many pompous a**holes holding this company back.

In honor of our new leader, I'd like Ed to consider extending his line of Zell-Shirts. Here you see modeled a black, 100% cotton, crew neck shirt emblazoned (on the back) with my favorite Zellism. A likeness of Sam posing before an American flag graces the front.

Let Ed know if you would pay $$$ bucks $$$ for such a shirt by responding to this post. If there is demand, I will provide the art work, along with other new designs, free of commission. Of course, as Ed said, all profits will be donated to support the club or charity."


John Montorio First Casualty at Los Angeles Times


From: Montorio, John
Sent: Monday, February 18, 2008 12:16 PM
Subject: Thanks

Friends,

These last seven years have been among the most rewarding of my life. Together, we have renewed and reshaped The Times' Features report into one worthy of a great newspaper and its readers. Today, page for page, our entertainment, cultural and life-style journalism stands up to that at any American newspaper. I'd hoped we'd be working together to extend that excellence into this new era. However, Russ has decided to take the Features department in a different direction, with a new leader, and I will officially leave The Times at the end of this month. I wish it were possible to personally thank each and every one of you individually, because our collective success truly is the sum of your individual contributions. You are as talented and devoted a staff as exists anywhere and our collaboration will remain one of my life's great pleasures. I don't know who your next editor will be. I do know that if they take half the pride in their association with you that I have, they will be fortunate beyond measure.

John

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Tribune Employees Being Axed Today



Today Tribune Newspaper Employees across the country are to be informed if they will be leaving the company in two weeks. At the Los Angeles Times 150 employees will be let go, and I’m certain I will know many of them.

Not a happy time at Tribune Newspapers today.

Buyouts are not offered to pressroom employees at the Los Angeles Times, as we are posed to be transformed into the Transcontinental of Los Angeles, by producing our competitor’s newspapers very soon.

Next Pressmen's Dinner 03.17.08

The Pressmen’s Twenty Year Club will be hosting our first dinner for 2008 on Monday March 17th, 2008 at Luminaries Restaurant in Monterey Park. Non-members are welcome to attend, with a donation of $30.00; members of our club pay $25.00.

This should prove to be a most memorable dinner, as we have moved our dinner from the usual Tuesday afternoon to Monday. With a possible visit by a famous guest, you won’t want to miss this dinner.

Input is needed from the members of our club on what we should do about the price increase for our October dinner? Luminaries is so popular they have increased the pricing for Saturday night banquets to $52.95 per person compared to $27.95 for weekday banquets, with a minimum of seventy guests. I could not sign the contract for the October dinner, as this will bankrupt the club.

To help offset our need for funding, we have created a Café Press store, with 100% of funds generated going to the club.

Any ideas on changing locations or even changing the Saturday night dinner to Monday’s, would be helpful.

Monday Morning News


Click here to be the first in your Tribune Unit to show off your Sam Zell coffee mug

SuperFerries, Hawai'i and Independence

"Hawai'i has been on my mind as of late. A friend came back and is very upset about the Super Ferry. She's not one to get pissed off about much, but big boats carrying loads of people and cars will pretty much do it for her. Also, I've been getting Kau Inoa mailers as of late. I know about the Hawaiian Independence movement from my family, but decided to poke around the internet to see why the Office of Hawaiian Affairs was sending me t-shirts and inviting me to free concerts."

Read the rest here:
Get Lost With Easy-Writer

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Margaret Padgett



My daughter Margaret is twenty-one today, most women do not like their age revealed, but in this case I don't think she will mind one bit. The family will gather at T. Phillip's Ale House in La Verne to celebrate her birthday later this afternoon. And she's hoping to be carded when she orders her favorite liquor, since she's now of legal age.


Next Friday the family will be traveling to the Rio, in Las Vegas, for a weekend of celebration for Margaret's birthday.

Happy birthday baby.







Photo credit for 21 Candles Daisy Romwall

For Sunday

Just this. Peace out. Have a restful day.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Car hits Md. street-race crowd; 8 killed



I never paid much attention to illegal street racing till my son Bryan was involved in an accident that took his life six months ago. Today I cannot avoid paying attention, especially with this story that just came in a few minutes ago.

My neighbor just left my home, after she shared an idea with me on forming a group against illegal street racing, so this was fresh on my mind before catching sight of this terrible accident through an RSS feed.


Click here for the full story on this tragic street race.

Photo credit Stephen J. Boitano for AP

Your Store


At Ed's request....
It's UP.
The Pressmen's Fundraiser Store
100% of all funds raised will go to offsetting the expenses at the semi-annual dinners. Items are marked up $5.01.

A Father's Tragedy..


On August 8, 2007 Bryan Padgett left this world way too soon. Listen as his father shares in his own words about the sadness he feels after losing his 24 year-old son in an illegal street race and why he has teamed up with Hollywood Stuntmen Corey Eubanks and Sammy Maloof to do something about it.

Please note, the video will not play at this time, but you can see Janeen's creation by clicking on the title of this post.

UPDATE 6:02 p.m. Video now running thanks to Janeen..




The Padgett Family would like to thank Janeen for creating such a wonderful tribute for Bryan Padgett. Much more will be shared in the next few days regarding our joint efforts to stop illegal street racing. If we save but one life, it will be worth our efforts.

Pressroom Buy-Outs?


By Ronnie Pineda

Since the announcement of pending cuts to staffing here at the Los Angeles Times, (again) I have been asked about Pressroom Buy-Outs. I am not aware of buy-outs being offered to pressroom employees. I called our International Representative Mike Huggins this morning to inform him that there are pressroom employees that will again wish to participate in the buy-out process and his reply was, " if they (the company) don't offer buy-outs to pressroom employees, there is nothing we can do about it".

During the last round of buy-outs, (2007) there were pressroom employees that were interested and willing to accept a buy-out, but were told that it was because of the Union that they could not offer them to our Dept. Believing that to be false, I asked GCC/IBT President George Tedeschi if there was anything that could be done to notify the company that pressroom employees were willing to depart.

President Tedeschi was informed by his sources in Chicago that the fact that we organized had nothing to do with their decision to not offer buy-outs in our pressrooms and that the company had no desire to reduce staffing at that time.

Considering the staffing levels we are currently operating at, I cannot foresee any reductions in staffing that would not have a further negative effect on the already excessive overtime necessary to produce the products we are currently printing at both facilities.

I'm sure this issue will be raised during our next negotiations so I will keep you all informed on this matter as it develops, but as of this moment, no buy-outs have been offered to the pressroom employees. Any buy-outs for pressroom employees are subject to collective bargaining

SOURCE: Save Our Trade

Saturday Morning News Briefs


Entrance to the shuttered Chatsworth Production Facility

Friday, February 15, 2008

Mixed Sense of Purpose

One thing I've really hated in the past few years has been the accusation that someone is gay, something is gay, as a means of disparagement. (When I was a kid, "gay" meant happy, but oh well.. gotta go with the times).

One time I heard a girl use it, "That's gay," she said. "Do you know what gay is?" I asked. She was mortified that I asked. Obviously, in her household "gay" was not spoken about. "Just so you know, some of my most generous friends are gay," I said. I've used the same tactics on my son. "Too bad you think that," I say. "Joe and Gary are gay. And they've always been really nice to you."

It usually stops them in their tracks when you talk to them about it. I've found that pointing out examples of people I know usually erases some of their misconceptions, or gets them to think about what they say. Once you do that, hopefully, they see the humanity that is the person.

I'm saddened that in Oxnard, Larry King, age 15, was killed by Brandon McInerney, age 14. Apparently, Lawrence --like many teens, had recently discovered that he was gay. He attended rap sessions sponsored by the Ventura Rainbow Alliance. It's a group that supports the LBGT and HIV/AIDS community.

King lived in the Casa Pacifica foster community, which was his first stable family. McInerney appears to come from a troubled family as well. The difference between the two kids is that while King was taken in by the foster community and given therapy, a sense of family and also peer mentoring; McInerney was left to fester in a home with a disorderly, abusive and drunkard father, who had frequent run-ins with the law. The result is that McInerney's first impulse to solve a problem was aggression and violence. Now, this former middle school English honors student could be facing 50 years to life in prison for a hate crime.

I did a double take when I read Jay Smith, Executive Director of the Rainbow Alliance say, "we are very eager to see the district attorney follow through." There is no doubt this was a radical and senseless crime. No doubt, they want the hate crime addressed, but are they also advocating trying McInerney as an adult? I would think that a group, which prides itself on being advocates for humanity, would question sending a 14-year old into an even more criminal and hate-drenched prison until he is 64.
Brandon does need to be charged and there are no easy answers. He grew up in the most dysfunctional house, but there is no excuse for killing someone. However, if the Rainbow Alliance is truly a human rights organization, then they should think deeply where they stand on the issue of sending a 14 year old to prison for the bulk of his life.