Friday, September 30, 2011

Tribune Co. Medical Benefit Plans 2012

From: Tribune Communications
Thursday, September 22, 2011 11:32 AM
Message from Mike Bourgon/Medical Benefit Plans for 2012

As you know, the healthcare industry is going through a period of tremendous upheaval—costs continue to increase, healthcare reform is underway, and change is rapid and constant. So, every year Tribune reviews its medical benefit plans in order to determine how to provide you with the best insurance coverage at a price that’s affordable for you, and for the company. While the cost of providing medical benefits to employees is significant (about $80 million annually), providing you with medical coverage when you need it most remains our top priority.

In 2012 the company will implement some changes to its medical benefit plans designed to provide you with more flexibility and choice, while also helping Tribune to control expenses. (Details of the changes are included in the attached “Benefits at a Glance” summary and highlighted below.)

First, and most important, the company is changing insurance providers—effective January 1, 2012, Tribune’s medical benefits will be administered by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS). We will no longer offer a medical plan through UnitedHealthcare. (Employees based in California will still have Kaiser available to them, but UnitedHealthcare of California (PacifiCare) will no longer be offered.)

When you enroll for your benefits for 2012, you will have a choice between two new BCBS medical plans:

· PPO – a traditional plan, offering participants a higher level of benefits for using network doctors and hospitals.

· BlueEdgeSM HSA – a high deductible PPO plan that includes a Health Savings Account (HSA).

While you are likely familiar with the PPO medical option, the concept of a Health Savings Account (HSA) may be new to you. Benefits under the BlueEdgeSM HSA plan are similar to the standard PPO, but the premiums are significantly less expensive and the deductibles are higher. The plan offers you the opportunity to contribute money to a Health Savings Account that you can use to pay for healthcare expenses and meet deductibles. The BlueEdgeSM HSA plan has several other advantages:

· Tribune will make contributions to your HSA to get you started saving: $500 – single coverage; $1000 – family coverage

· Your contributions to the HSA are made in pre-tax dollars

· The ability to carry over any unused balance in your HSA account from year to year, giving you some flexibility in how you manage your healthcare expenses

· The ability to take the HSA balance with you if you leave the company

· HSA set-up fees paid by Tribune

· Access to the same network of BCBS PPO doctors and hospitals and the ability to choose any doctor

· No claims to file when you stay in-network

· 100% covered preventive care when you use in-network doctors

· An additional limited purpose FSA to save for out-of-pocket dental and vision expenses

You can find more information about HSAs in the attached BCBS flyer, and we’ll have extensive communication on the HSA option available very soon.

BCBS also offers many resources to help you get the most from whichever medical plan you choose, including a secure member website to check claims, find doctors and estimate costs; tools to help you make informed health care decisions and achieve wellness goals; and discounts on health care products and services. ID cards and a list of network providers are even available for mobile devices. You’ll receive more information on these tools in the near future.

You may search the BCBS provider directory now to see if your medical provider is in the network. Simply click the following link: (Select “Group/PPO Plan” as the health plan option.)

In addition to moving to BCBS, the attached benefits summary details some plan design changes for the PPO. You’ll note that the prescription drug plan is moving from co-payments to a co-insurance payment structure.

Finally, open enrollment for benefits will be held from Nov. 7 through Nov. 18. Be sure to visit eBenefits at that time to select your new medical plan, evaluate the savings opportunities offered by BlueEdgeSM HSA, and re-enroll in the flexible spending accounts. If you have questions, please contact the Tribune Benefits Service Center at 800/872-2222. Be sure to watch your email and your home mailbox for details about upcoming enrollment activities, including webinars to help you understand the two new medical plans. You can also follow us on Twitter--@TribBenefits.


Mike Bourgon

Vice President/Human Resources

NOTE: I have the flyers if you would like a copy emailed to you, drop me a message.

Former Tribune Co. Shareholder Litigation

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 10:26 AM
Subject: Message from Don Liebentritt/Former Shareholder Litigation
You may recently have received a notice in the mail relating to lawsuits filed in June against former shareholders in connection with Tribune’s 2007 tender offer and going-private transaction. This notice was sent by counsel for the plaintiffs in these lawsuits.
You'll recall, this litigation was commenced in multiple jurisdictions (state and federal) against a large number of defendants. At the time, the litigation prompted a number of questions from employees and the company provided some preliminary answers. You can find this information on TribLink, on the left-hand rail under the “Litigation Q&A” link.
Please remember, the company cannot give you legal advice.
Thanks for your patience.
Don Liebentritt
Chief Restructuring Officer

Simplifying Triblink Login Process

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 11:41 AM
Subject: Simplifying the Login Process
On behalf of Tribune Technology, we want to make you aware of some important changes coming soon to TribLink, and most, if not all, of the company-wide applications accessible through them. These changes begin rolling out in two weeks with an overhaul of the login process. Later this year, we'll see the relaunch of TribLink on a more user-friendly platform, which will allow us to introduce a number of new features designed to make finding information easier and encourage more collaboration and employee self-service.
The initial phase goes live Sunday, September 18, when we will change the login process.
The way it works now, you have a username and password for TribLink and its related applications, and a different username and password for the network. Beginning on the 19th, TribLink credentials will be retired and you will need only your network credentials for everything. Your network credentials, to be clear, are what you use when you log in to your computer. Sometimes called your USA ID, they typically begin with: USA\. Applications will still prompt you to login, but you will use the same credentials for all of them. A complete list of the affected applications is attached at the end of this message.
There is one bit of housekeeping we need everyone to complete prior to the switch. If you will, please visit: and create some security profile questions, or confirm the questions you may have already created. These security questions are required should you need to reset your password in the future. Without them, you would have to call the Help Desk for assistance. The security questions must be created before September 18th.
If you experience any login issues, please contact the Help Desk for assistance.
Thanks for your cooperation and look for more details about our TribLink relaunch in the coming weeks.
Gary Weitman
SVP/Corporate Relations
List of Affected Applications
® Triblink
® FocalPoint
® OnBase SSO
® User Access
® IdeaBank
® Tribune@Home
® Hewitt SSO
® ePay
® eBenefits
® eWay
® My Expense Center
® My Time Off
® Accounts Payable
® Asset Management
® General Ledger
® Benefits Administration
® Human resources
® Payroll
® Kronos (excluding Tribune Media Services)
® Cypress Report Distribution

Update Personal Info on TribLink

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 11:51 AM
To: Tribune Communications
Subject: Update Personal Info on TribLink

To ensure you receive important company mailings regarding benefits and retirement plans, as well as your W-2, your current home address must be up-to-date on TribLink. Please take a moment to review your profile and, if necessary, update your address according to the instructions below. Here's how to do it:

. Log on to http://triblink.trb .
. Once logged in, click on your name in the upper left-hand corner.
. Select "Edit Your Profile". You then may review and edit your personal information on the "Profile," "Detail" and "TribLink" tabs.

After you update your information on TribLink, it will automatically be loaded into Tribune's payroll system and with our outside benefit carriers within a few business days.

We need everyone to assume more responsibility for keeping their personal information current via TribLink. It's very important to review this information regularly and keep it current. If you have questions about how to update your TribLink profile, please contact the Tribune Benefits Service Center at 800/872-2222 (option 4) or send an email to .

Thanks for your help.

Mike Bourgon

Settlement of ERISA Claims

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011 5:11 PM
Subject: Message from Don Liebentritt/Settlement of ERISA claims

Today Tribune is announcing a multi-party agreement to settle claims alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in connection with the company’s Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). The claims were initially brought in 2008 in a lawsuit against the ESOP Trustee, GreatBanc Trust, by former Tribune employees. The agreement also resolves claims asserted by the United States Department of Labor in connection with the ESOP and the DOL’s and GreatBanc’s objections to Tribune’s proposed plan of reorganization. (The details of the proposed agreement are contained in the attached press release.)

The agreement must still be approved by the Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will contribute $4.45 million of a $32 million payment for the benefit of Tribune ESOP participants and to cover expenses. If the settlement is consummated, this money will be allocated to your ESOP account and then transferred to your 401(k) account.

This is a good result for all parties and ensures a smoother exit from bankruptcy once we have a confirmed plan. We’ll keep you updated as we have additional information to share regarding the payment to your ESOP account.

Don Liebentritt

Chief Restructuring Officer

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Memorial Service for Greg Porchia Jr.

A memorial service will be held for Greg Porchia Jr. on Sunday October 9th, 20011 at 3:00 p.m.

First Congregational Church

2001 Canada Blvd.

Glendale, CA. 91208


Monday, September 26, 2011

The youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th Century

If You Read This & Still Feel Nothing; You're Either Dead Or A Devil...

by Jibreel Muse'ic on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 10:47am

He was 14 yrs. 6mos. and 5 days old --- and the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th Century

George Junius Stinney, Jr.,

[b. 1929 - d. 1944]

In a South Carolina prison sixty-six years ago, guards walked a 14-year-old boy, bible tucked under his arm, to the electric chair. At 5' 1" and 95 pounds, the straps didn’t fit, and an electrode was too big for his leg.

The switch was pulled and the adult sized death mask fell from George Stinney’s face. Tears streamed from his eyes. Witnesses recoiled in horror as they watched the youngest person executed in the United States in the past century die.

Now, a community activist is fighting to clear Stinney’s name, saying the young boy couldn’t have killed two girls. George Frierson, a school board member and textile inspector, believes Stinney’s confession was coerced, and that his execution was just another injustice blacks suffered in Southern courtrooms in the first half of the 1900s.

In a couple of cases like Stinney’s, petitions are being made before parole boards and courts are being asked to overturn decisions made when society’s thumb was weighing the scales of justice against blacks. These requests are buoyed for the first time in generations by money, college degrees and sometimes clout.

“I hope we see more cases like this because it help brings a sense of closure. It’s symbolic,” said Howard University law professor Frank Wu. “It’s not just important for the individuals and their families. It’s important for the entire community. Not just for African Americans, but for whites and for our democracy as a whole. What these cases show is that it is possible to achieve justice.”

Some have already achieved justice. Earlier this year, syndicated radio host Tom Joyner successfully won a posthumous pardon for two great uncles who were executed in South Carolina.

A few years ago Lena Baker, a black Georgia maid sent to the electric chair for killing a white man, received a pardon after her family pointed out she likely killed the man because he was holding her against her will.

In the Stinney case, supporters want the state to admit that officials executed the wrong person in June 1944.

Stinney was accused of killing two white girls, 11 year old Betty June Binnicker and 8 year old

Mary Emma Thames, by beating them with a railroad spike then dragging their bodies to a ditch near Acolu, about five miles from Manning in central South Carolina. The girls were found a day after they disappeared following a massive manhunt. Stinney was arrested a few hours later, white men in suits taking him away. Because of the risk of a lynching, Stinney was kept at a jail 50 miles away in Columbia.

Stinney’s father, who had helped look for the girls, was fired immediately and ordered to leave his home and the sawmill where he worked. His family was told to leave town prior to the trial to avoid further retribution. An atmosphere of lynch mob hysteria hung over the courthouse. Without family visits, the 14 year old had to endure the trial and death alone.

Frierson hasn’t been able to get the case out of his head since, carrying around a thick binder of old newspaper stories and documents, including an account from an execution witness.

The sheriff at the time said Stinney admitted to the killings, but there is only his word — no written record of the confession has been found. A lawyer helping Frierson with the case figures threats of mob violence and not being able to see his parents rattled the seventh- grader.

Attorney Steve McKenzie said he has even heard one account that says detectives offered the boy ice cream once they were done.

“You’ve got to know he was going to say whatever they wanted him to say,” McKenzie said.

The court appointed Stinney an attorney — a tax commissioner preparing for a Statehouse run. In all, the trial — from jury selection to a sentence of death — lasted one day. Records indicate 1,000 people crammed the courthouse. Blacks weren’t allowed inside.

The defense called no witnesses and never filed an appeal. No one challenged the sheriff’s recollection of the confession.

“As an attorney, it just kind of haunted me, just the way the judicial system worked to this boy’s disadvantage or disfavor. It did not protect him,” said McKenzie, who is preparing court papers to ask a judge to reopen the case.

Stinney’s official court record contains less than two dozen pages, several of them arrest warrants. There is no transcript of the trial.

The lack of records, while not unusual, makes it harder for people trying to get these old convictions overturned, Wu said.

But these old cases also can have a common thread.

“Some of these cases are so egregious, so extreme that when you look at it, the prosecution really has no case either,” Wu said. “It’s apparent from what you can see that someone was railroaded.”

And sometimes, police under pressure by frightened citizens jumped to conclusions rather than conducting a thorough investigation, Wu said.

Bluffton Today - 'Crusaders look to right Jim Crow justice wrongs' by Jeffrey CollinsPhoto: South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Former Pressmen from the Los Angeles Times, (left) Jose Diaz, Victor Flores, Jerry Razo, and Tony Ramirez. Photo credit: Albaro Albanes

No Prize Tomatoes here

My neighbor complained that his tomato plants have not yielded a single vegetable, should I tell him the plants would never give him what he’s seeking? Click on the photo to enlarge and maybe you can identify the plant variety?

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Blogging Pressman Blogs Once Again

Steve Mikulan, the former editor of LA Weekly, and I had a great interview for his new venture The Frying Pan News almost two weeks ago. Mr. Mikulan is a professional as I was at ease with him from the start, and for my protection the article was somewhat watered down from the information I supplied, which will keep my Tribune Boss’ from coming after myself.

Always keep in mind; what ever you share with me will be used at some time or another, unless I hear the magic words “Off the record”.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Commercials you won't see today

Not one but 3 Winston ads featuring the Flintstones of all people. For more of your favorite cartoon characters pimping out products on DVD visit us at

San Dimas House Fire Claims the Life of One

Before departing for Rancho Cucamonga it was hard not to notice the ado outside my window from the fleet of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles speeding by with lights flashing and sirens blaring. As I peered around the corner I could see the smoke, which prompted my grandson David to urge me to walk down the street to see what was going on.

As we walked towards the flashing lights a neighbor said he thought it was a brush fire at the side of the 210 Freeway, behind the house. Once we neared the heavy smoke we could see it was a home on fire and not a brush fire as suspected by my neighbor.

The firemen acted quickly and had the flames out as we arrived, we watched the firemen cut away a portion of the roof with a chainsaw, to completely extinguish the fire.

It’s nice to know we have such great protection from the San Dimas Fire Department, great job men.

Unfortunately the owner of the home ran back into the smoke and flames to save his pet bird, and collapsed and died once outside. The San Gabriel Valley Tribune has the most extensive coverage.

Additional photographs can be viewed on Flickr.

Click on photographs to enlarge image.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011 Sets New Record

A memo to employees from Managing Editor/Online Jimmy Orr and Senior Vice President/Digital Emily Smith:

Today we’re broadening the monthly traffic stats update to include our digital efforts across the company to provide better communication and understanding of the progress and goals of this key part of our business.

As usual, there is much good news to report, including’s highest traffic month ever, a couple of key new hires in Jennifer Collins and Claire Hawley, and sales and reader momentum on our iPad and iPhone apps. We also have seven finalists — more than any other news organization — in the awards given by the Online News Assn., which will be announced later this week.

This being Southern California, we bring you the traffic report first.

According to ComScore, August 2011 was the most-visited month in the history of, with 18.6 million unique visitors. ComScore reports that our year-over-year growth in unique visitors, 53.4%, was more than double that of our closest newspaper competitor, USA Today (at +22.5%), and almost four times that of the Washington Post (+13.6%). We handily beat everyone else in our peer group when it comes to growth (NYT was up 9%; WSJ, 18.7%).

These numbers cement our position as the No. 2-most-visited U.S. newspaper website. At the beginning of this year, we were fifth.

In terms of page views, August was the second-best month in the site’s history, with 192.7 million, according to Omniture. That’s up 55% from August 2010.

Over the last six months we’ve seen unprecedented and reliable growth, with a 32.8% increase in unique visitors and a 36.2% increase in page views. Much of it is coming from our real-time news sections (blogs); that traffic soared 183% — from 126 million page views to 357 million PVs — over the same period in 2010. In August, blog traffic more than tripled from a year earlier, to 73.1 million PVs. Search also continues to be a catalyst, as our traffic from Google alone has jumped 78% in the last six months.

A hearty welcome goes out to the folks at Nation Now — our new real-time national news section. Anchored by Rene Lynch and Deborah Netburn and edited by Tami Dennis with contributions from our outstanding staff of reporters, the team produced what we think was the best hurricane coverage in the nation. On-the-ground and around-the-clock reporting from North Carolina; Washington, D.C.; Virginia; Maryland; New Jersey; New York; Connecticut; and Massachusetts made Nation Now the most-trafficked new section ever, and it has quickly established itself as a one-stop source for national news online.

Now, here are August’s top 10 blogs. For the second month in a row, each topped 2 million page views (only one did so in August 2010). Asterisks denote records:

1. Framework: 16.4 million
2. L.A. Now: 11.5 million
3. Nation Now: 7.5 million*
4. Hero Complex: 4.4 million
5. Politics Now: 3.7 million*
6. Ministry of Gossip: 3.5 million*
7. Travel: 3.3 million*
8. Technology: 3.3 million*
9. Show Tracker: 2.7 million
10. Booster Shots: 2.3 million*

Three others drew record traffic: Money & Company (2.2 million), Pop & Hiss (1.3 million), and All the Rage (820,000).

The top five stories of August:

1. Test of hypersonic aircraft fails over Pacific Ocean (Technology)
2. Gallup: Obama job rating sinks below 40% for first time (Politics Now)
3. Porn filmmaking shut down after performer tests HIV positive (L.A. Now)
4. 5.9 earthquake hits Virginia, jolts N.Y. (Nation Now)
5. Hurricane Irene churns north; 8 dead (Nation Now)

On the business side, we’ve made two key new hires on the expanding digital operations team:

Jennifer Collins joins us as vice president of revenue development, responsible for helping better monetize our digital portfolio and developing new products, as well as leading and managing our custom publishing businesses. She comes to us with a background in digital media and was most recently general manager of Jennifer has held senior positions at American Lawyer Media,, CBS Interactive, and Disney Interactive. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College.

Claire Hawley joins us as director of audience acquisition and will lead efforts to bring new readers to our online products and help increase reader engagement through social media and other outlets. She will be spearheading an effort to upgrade our email and real-time alert products. Most recently, Claire was at ConsumerTrack, where she was director of search marketing and traffic strategy. Before that, she held consulting and marketing management positions at Disney and Xilinx. Claire has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado.

Elsewhere on the digital front: Advertising inventory on our iPad app is nearly sold out for the rest of this year, and reservations for 2012 are already robust. Almost 65,000 people have downloaded this app since it debuted in May, and we’ve had nearly 125,000 downloads of our iPhone app. Our @latimes Twitter followers are up 122% year over year, and posts received 22.6 million impressions, up 21% month to month. We have had some great pickup in digital sales with three of our top interactive accounts showing explosive year-over-year growth.

h/t Matthew Fleischer

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act

A Guide to Advance Notice of Closings and Layoffs

The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) was enacted on August 4, 1988 and became effective on February 4, 1989.

General Provisions

WARN offers protection to workers, their families and communities by requiring employers to provide notice 60 days in advance of covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs. This notice must be provided to either affected workers or their representatives (e.g., a labor union); to the State dislocated worker unit; and to the appropriate unit of local government.

Employer Coverage

In general, employers are covered by WARN if they have 100 or more employees, not counting employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months and not counting employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week. Private, for-profit employers and private, nonprofit employers are covered, as are public and quasi-public entities which operate in a commercial context and are separately organized from the regular government. Regular Federal, State, and local government entities which provide public services are not covered.

Employee Coverage

Employees entitled to notice under WARN include hourly and salaried workers, as well as managerial and supervisory employees. Business partners are not entitled to notice.

What Triggers Notice

Plant Closing: A covered employer must give notice if an employment site (or one or more facilities or operating units within an employment site) will be shut down, and the shutdown will result in an employment loss (as defined later) for 50 or more employees during any 30-day period. This does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).

Mass Layoff: A covered employer must give notice if there is to be a mass layoff which does not result from a plant closing, but which will result in an employment loss at the employment site during any 30-day period for 500 or more employees, or for 50-499 employees if they make up at least 33% of the employer's active workforce. Again, this does not count employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week for that employer. These latter groups, however, are entitled to notice (discussed later).

An employer also must give notice if the number of employment losses which occur during a 30-day period fails to meet the threshold requirements of a plant closing or mass layoff, but the number of employment losses for 2 or more groups of workers, each of which is less than the minimum number needed to trigger notice, reaches the threshold level, during any 90-day period, of either a plant closing or mass layoff. Job losses within any 90-day period will count together toward WARN threshold levels, unless the employer demonstrates that the employment losses during the 90-day period are the result of separate and distinct actions and causes.

Sale of Businesses

In a situation involving the sale of part or all of a business, the following requirements apply. (1) In each situation, there is always an employer responsible for giving notice. (2) If the sale by a covered employer results in a covered plant closing or mass layoff, the required parties (discussed later) must receive at least 60 days notice. (3) The seller is responsible for providing notice of any covered plant closing or mass layoff which occurs up to and including the date/time of the sale. (4) The buyer is responsible for providing notice of any covered plant closing or mass layoff which occurs after the date/time of the sale. (5) No notice is required if the sale does not result in a covered plant closing or mass layoff. (6) Employees of the seller (other than employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week) on the date/time of the sale become, for purposes of WARN, employees of the buyer immediately following the sale. This provision preserves the notice rights of the employees of a business that has been sold.

Employment Loss

The term "employment loss" means:

(1) An employment termination, other than a discharge for cause, voluntary departure, or retirement;

(2) a layoff exceeding 6 months; or

(3) a reduction in an employee's hours of work of more than 50% in each month of any 6-month period.

Exceptions: An employee who refuses a transfer to a different employment site within reasonable commuting distance does not experience an employment loss. An employee who accepts a transfer outside this distance within 30 days after it is offered or within 30 days after the plant closing or mass layoff, whichever is later, does not experience an employment loss. In both cases, the transfer offer must be made before the closing or layoff, there must be no more than a 6 month break in employment, and the new job must not be deemed a constructive discharge. These transfer exceptions from the "employment loss" definition apply only if the closing or layoff results from the relocation or consolidation of part or all of the employer's business.


An employer does not need to give notice if a plant closing is the closing of a temporary facility, or if the closing or mass layoff is the result of the completion of a particular project or undertaking. This exemption applies only if the workers were hired with the understanding that their employment was limited to the duration of the facility, project or undertaking. An employer cannot label an ongoing project "temporary" in order to evade its obligations under WARN.

An employer does not need to provide notice to strikers or to workers who are part of the bargaining unit(s) which are involved in the labor negotiations that led to a lockout when the strike or lockout is equivalent to a plant closing or mass layoff. Non-striking employees who experience an employment loss as a direct or indirect result of a strike and workers who are not part of the bargaining unit(s) which are involved in the labor negotiations that led to a lockout are still entitled to notice.

An employer does not need to give notice when permanently replacing a person who is an "economic striker" as defined under the National Labor Relations Act.

Who Must Receive Notice

The employer must give written notice to the chief elected officer of the exclusive representative(s) or bargaining agency(s) of affected employees and to unrepresented individual workers who may reasonably be expected to experience an employment loss. This includes employees who may lose their employment due to "bumping," or displacement by other workers, to the extent that the employer can identify those employees when notice is given. If an employer cannot identify employees who may lose their jobs through bumping procedures, the employer must provide notice to the incumbents in the jobs which are being eliminated. Employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months and employees who work an average of less than 20 hours a week are due notice, even though they are not counted when determining the trigger levels.

The employer must also provide notice to the State dislocated worker unit and to the chief elected official of the unit of local government in which the employment site is located.

Notification Period

With three exceptions, notice must be timed to reach the required parties at least 60 days before a closing or layoff. When the individual employment separations for a closing or layoff occur on more than one day, the notices are due to the representative(s), State dislocated worker unit and local government at least 60 days before each separation. If the workers are not represented, each worker's notice is due at least 60 days before that worker's separation.

The exceptions to 60-day notice are:

(1) Faltering company. This exception, to be narrowly construed, covers situations where a company has sought new capital or business in order to stay open and where giving notice would ruin the opportunity to get the new capital or business, and applies only to plant closings;

(2) unforeseeable business circumstances. This exception applies to closings and layoffs that are caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time notice would otherwise have been required; and

(3) Natural disaster. This applies where a closing or layoff is the direct result of a natural disaster, such as a flood, earthquake, drought or storm.

If an employer provides less than 60 days advance notice of a closing or layoff and relies on one of these three exceptions, the employer bears the burden of proof that the conditions for the exception have been met. The employer also must give as much notice as is practicable. When the notices are given, they must include a brief statement of the reason for reducing the notice period in addition to the items required in notices.

Form and Content of Notice

No particular form of notice is required. However, all notices must be in writing. Any reasonable method of delivery designed to ensure receipt 60 days before a closing or layoff is acceptable.

Notice must be specific. Notice may be given conditionally upon the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event only when the event is definite and its occurrence or nonoccurrence will result in a covered employment action less than 60 days after the event.

The content of the notices to the required parties is listed in section 639.7 of the WARN final regulations. Additional notice is required when the date(s) or 14-day period(s) for a planned plant closing or mass layoff are extended beyond the date(s) or 14-day period(s) announced in the original notice.


No particular form of record is required. The information employers will use to determine whether, to whom, and when they must give notice is information that employers usually keep in ordinary business practices and in complying with other laws and regulations.


An employer who violates the WARN provisions by ordering a plant closing or mass layoff without providing appropriate notice is liable to each aggrieved employee for an amount including back pay and benefits for the period of violation, up to 60 days. The employer's liability may be reduced by such items as wages paid by the employer to the employee during the period of the violation and voluntary and unconditional payments made by the employer to the employee.

An employer who fails to provide notice as required to a unit of local government is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $500 for each day of violation. This penalty may be avoided if the employer satisfies the liability to each aggrieved employee within 3 weeks after the closing or layoff is ordered by the employer.


Enforcement of WARN requirements is through the United States district courts. Workers, representatives of employees and units of local government may bring individual or class action suits. In any suit, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney's fee as part of the costs.


Specific requirements of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act may be found in the Act itself, Public Law 100-379 (29 U.S.C. 210l, et seq.) The Department of Labor published final regulations on April 20, 1989 in the Federal Register (Vol. 54, No. 75). The regulations appear at 20 CFR Part 639.

General questions on the regulations may be addressed to:

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Work-Based Learning
Room N-5426
200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20210
(202) 219-5577

Meet Our New Boss: Kathy Thomson

Since the Tribune Company bought Times Mirror some eleven years ago we have witnessed a constant change in the team that manages the newspaper here in Los Angeles. I still think it’s important knowing who is running the newspaper we work for, so meet our new President and CEO Kathy Thomson.

Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Thomson, but I will meet her very soon and capture a photograph or two of us together.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Kathy Thomson
President and Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Times

Kathy Thomson was named President and Chief Operating Office of the Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) in May 2011. She is responsible for overseeing the company's growing portfolio of products, including all editorial, advertising sales, business services, marketing and operational functions.

Thomson returned to LATMG after serving for the past 18 months as VP, Business Operations at FLO TV Incorporated, a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated. She was Chief of Staff at The Times from September 2008 to 2009, responsible for coordinating new initiatives, projects and project planning as well as restructuring efforts. She joined LATMG from Energy Innovations where she was the company¿s Chief Operating Officer and after spending 15 years in a variety of positions at DIRECTV, culminating in the role of Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing Operations. In that position she oversaw a number of business transformational initiatives to reduce customer churn and increase revenue. She was a member of the senior management team and oversaw a variety of areas during her tenure including sales, revenue growth, marketing, and business operations.

Thomson received her B. S. from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah and an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California.

She resides in Manhattan Beach with her husband and two children.

The Deal from Hell

James O’Shea Discusses ‘The Deal From Hell’

I just published a new book, “The Deal From Hell,” that provides an inside look at how Chicago real estate investor Sam Zell came to acquire newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. It’s a book full of larger than life egos, huge fees to greedy investment bankers, tragic business miscalculations and the decline of institutions that are vital to a democracy. But it is also the story of how and why we started the Chicago News Cooperative and about the crucial need for quality journalism in Chicago and elsewhere.

Below are clips from an interview about the book with CNC columnist James Warren. For the complete interview, an excerpt from “The Deal From Hell” and more information about it, please visit

Monday, September 19, 2011

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

The pirate speaks,"With so much bad news at a newspaper near you, let your hair down and celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by speakin' like a pirate all day. "

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon,[1] U.S., who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate. For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, matey!" The holiday, and its observance, springs from a romanticized view of the Golden Age of Piracy. It has become a holiday for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fan Halen - Van Halen Tribute FREE Show!

With many of my colleagues and I with days off during the week I hear complaints of nothing going on, I beg to differ as there is always something going on seven days a week in Southern California. This Tuesday join me at the Slide Bar for the Van Halen tribute band Fan Halen. The video doesn’t do the group justice, so come on out and relive our youth to some music of the 70's.

The Slide Bar
122 East Commonwealth Ave.
Fullerton, CA. 92831

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Flood at the LA Times Olympic Facility

As our company replaces full time workers with part time help problems arise such as shearing off sprinklers as is seen in this short video. Let’s hope this does not impact tonight’s shift, so bring a lunch in just in case everyone. The accident occurred twenty minutes ago.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Los Angeles Times "The Taste" event - Labor Day 2011

Los Angeles Times Pressman Update: John Miner

Just finished a conversation over the phone with John Miner, and his spirits are up, which is always a good sign when in recovery from an illness. Contrary to rumors John has no memory loss and asked about the shop and his colleagues. If he had it his way he would return to work tomorrow, but this isn’t going to happen, as John will need an additional two to three weeks to recuperate at home.

David Joe and I have John’s phone number, which John said to share with anyone that asks.

Get well soon John and get back to work as we have no one to dispense our needed supplies.

74 Employees let go at the Los Angeles Times *

With two weeks remaining before the end of the third quarter our Tribune managers are wasting no time shedding additional employees to reach what ever their goal's might be in staff reductions.

If the employees make it past September 30th, they have the annual Christmas purge to look forward to.

The majority of the affected employees will receive two weeks pay for the 1st year of service, and one additional week of severance for all additional years of service. Can someone tell me what the limit is for severance, fifty-two weeks, twenty-five weeks?

Here’s the breakdown of layoffs at the Los Angeles Times.

Editorial = 17

Advertising = 9

Circulation = 14

LAT Magazine = 1

Marketing = 2

Pressroom = 10

Packaging and Distribution = 16

Paper Handling = 5

* 74 let go

Andrew Malcolm's GOP blog leaving L.A. Times - LA Observed

Investors Business Daily announced that as of next month, the Los Angeles Times' conservative blogger Andrew Malcolm will be doing his blogging at the biz paper's Malcolm confirmed the shift in a terse tweet, saying "yes we a moving next month." Top of the Ticket has been a very successful blog numbers wise for the Times, but also a source of controversy. Originally the paper's sole politics news blog with a mix of staff writers posting, it gradually became a personal vehicle for Malcolm, a former editorial writer at the paper and New York Times foreign correspondent. His staunchly pro-Republican posts on the blog carved out a new life for Malcolm as a web and radio commentator and made him a frequent guest in conservative media. But critics have wondered why the Times devoted a senior (in salary) staff position to a blog that was essentially a gathering place for anti-Obama talking points, while laying off journalists and cutting news and opinion coverage. More recently the Times has built up a politics news blog, Politics Now, that uses LAT journalists to report stories.

From the IBD release:

The winner of numerous journalism prizes including the National Headliners Award, the George Polk Award, and a Pulitzer Finalist in 2004, Malcolm for the past four years has written the highly-rated Top of the Ticket political commentary column at He is one of the top-ranked conservative writers on Twitter, where he has 73,000 followers, and is a regular commentator on HotAir, LibertyPundits, XM/POTUS, Fox & Friends and KABC. Malcolm is also the author of 10 books, including two best-sellers and two that became TV movies.

Andrew Malcolm's GOP blog leaving L.A. Times - LA Observed

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Blog in Town; The Frying Pan

The Frying Pan is a blog on the current economy and our collective efforts to create a new and better one. Monday-Friday you will find original content on politics, business, labor, jobs, the environment, culture – in other words, the economy and all the myriad areas of contemporary life that it touches.

Some posts will be written by well-known writers, others by people who you don’t know but probably should. There will be room in The Frying Pan for business leaders and workers, elected officials and philanthropists, journalists and celebrities, community advocates and labor leaders. We will offer provocative commentary, break news and feature the unvarnished stories of real people.

The concept for The Frying Pan originated at LAANE, but this is not a LAANE blog – it is a platform for those who share our belief that we can and must build an economy that works for all of us. We hope you’ll join the conversation.


Steven Mikulan, Editor

Danny Feingold, Editor at Large

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Condolences to the Porchia Family

Former press operator at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility, Greg Porchia, has lost his son yesterday to unknown causes. Greg’s son, Greg Porchia Jr., was thirty-one years old at the time of his passing. Funeral services are currently pending.

If you would like to give Greg a call send a text or call me at 909.230.2061 and I’ll supply his number.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Newspapers vs. the Internet

In this animated editorial cartoon by Mark Fiore, a grumpy old newspaper berates a self-important laptop for ushering in a new era of news reporting.

Monday, September 12, 2011

NLRB judge: Employees can bitch about their jobs on Facebook

By Alison Frankel

Note to disgruntled employees: You can't be fired for complaining about your job on Facebook. That's the upshot of the first ruling to address employees' use of social media by a National Labor Relations Board judge. Last week, in a case called Hispanics United of Buffalo, administrative law judge Arthur Amchan said HUB violated the National Labor Relations Act when it fired five employees who commiserated about their jobs on Facebook. Judge Amchan's ruling endorsed the NLRB's stance that employees are protected from retribution for job-related postings. "Discussions about the workplace are protected whether they occur at the watercooler or the virtual watercooler," said Laura Lawless Robertson of Greenberg Traurig, who sent out an alert about the NLRB administrative law judge's ruling Friday.

Jump to the complete article by clicking here.

66 Employees let go at the Los Angeles Times

The blood letting has not slowed at the newspaper as the body count has reached sixty-six, with additional employees to be let go until we reach the end of the third quarter or September 30th.

The majority of the affected employees will receive two weeks pay for the 1st year of service, and one additional week of severance for all additional years of service. Can someone tell me what the limit is for severance, fifty-two weeks, twenty-five weeks?

Here’s the breakdown of layoffs at the Los Angeles Times.

Editorial = 16

Advertising = 2

Circulation = 14

LAT Magazine = 1

Marketing = 2

Pressroom = 10

Packaging and Distribution = 16

Paper Handling = 5

Pressman Down - John Miner Hospitalized

Pressman and lead trainer at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility John Miner has been hospitalized for almost three weeks in intensive care. I have details at this time but John needs your prayers for a speedy recovery

A get well card can be found in the pressroom office, please sign the card which will let John know you care and your thinking about him.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Friday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Thirty-seven year Los Angeles Times Mailer Lou Johnson will work his final shift at the newspaper Saturday night. Be sure to stop by the mailroom and say goodbye.

Dean Baquet gets a top job at NYT - Kevin Roderick

R.I.P. Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times - Paul Gillin

Photojournalist resigns rather than lay off staff - Poynter

Pay for staffers at St. Petersburg Times cut 5% - The Feed

Morning News lays off employees as ad decline continues - DBJ

Chicago Tribune drops tabloid edition of paper
- Chicago Tribune

LAT Employees to Get $32 Million for Pension Sell-Out - The Wrap

Tribune's bankruptcy judge won't give timing of ruling - Chicago Business

LA Times Running Some Strange Ads on Its Website - Matthew Fleischer

Tribune seeks OK to continue management incentive plan - Save Our Trade

Bidding Farewell to our Mailroom Colleagues at the LAT

Thirty-four year Los Angeles Times Mailer Linda Olmeda will work her last shift at the newspaper tonight.

The following men and women working in Packaging and Distribution will work their final shifts tonight and tomorrow night. I appear to be missing one name, if you spot the missing person drop me a line please.

James Varner
Steve Sylvester
James Douthett
Mac McClure
Linda Olmeda
John Kerfoot
Mark Knapp
Scott Tinsley
Tom Garvin
Randall Markey
Thomas Bolotin
Bruce Davis
Eduardo Lapus
Eugene Washington
Lewis Johnson
Dwight Moore

You will all be missed by your colleagues at the newspaper, but you will never be forgotten.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

San Diego Union Tribune Printing the LAT

Here at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility our Tribune Boss’ have rumored to the rank and file that we will soon begin printing other newspapers. This has gone on for over two years with no other products being produced, unfortunately this is like crying wolf over and over so no one believes what the speaker is sharing.

The San Diego Union Tribune is now printing 16, 579 copies of the LAT Extra Edition on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Is this the new trend our newspaper is taking, outsourcing our work? Let’s hope not.

Goss Community Press (North Platte Telegraph) Nebraska 2010

The North Platte Telegraph was named the winner of the color category in the 2010 Inland Press Association Print Quality Contest for newspapers with a circulation of fewer than 15,000. The runner up in the color print category was the Venice Gondolier Sun, Venice, Fla.

The Telegraph also received runner-up honors in the black and white category with the News-Register, McMinnville, Ore., taking the top spot....

Entries for the contest were required to run in the paper (remember the photograph of the camel and the mountain?) as part of the normal press run. The contest was open to newspapers in the U.S., Canada and Bermuda. Each participating paper received a color and/or black and white proof and digital photo. The object of the contest was to reproduce the best match on newsprint.

"That camel was difficult to tone correctly with the details of sand and sky and the bright red on the saddle," said Telegraph publisher Peter Rogers.

Thank you for all the hard work gentlemen

Thirty-five year newsprint handler at the Los Angeles Times Mac Miller let go last Friday

The purpose of posts such as this one are to show you there are people losing jobs, not full time equivalents, as we're labeled by our company. Take a look at Mr. Miller's face as the news of him losing his job is sinking in. I went downstairs to give Mac a little comfort last Friday and was immediately informed that Happy Boots has made newsprint handling off limits to me. Yet while reading the employee handbook, I could not find this rule listed? Where's the compassion?

A big thanks to the anonymous reader that supplied the list of employees let go from newsprint handling.

Robert "Bobby" Valdez
Kent Kuenzli
Brian Maceda
Steve Shackleford
Mac Miller

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

31 Employees Let Go in Operations at the LAT

It was a Labor Day we will not soon forget as thirty-one employees in Operations at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility were informed their services were no longer needed.

The pressroom employees were aware of the end several weeks ago as September 2nd and 3rd approached. Five employees in newsprint handling and sixteen in Packaging and Distribution were notified last Friday that their last workday would be this Friday September 9th.

The Editorial Department has also been shedding employees and at this time I have no hard numbers as to how many have been let go?

From what I have heard the downsizing will continue until the end of September, or the end of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter is shaping up to be one of the worst in the history of the newspaper, which may bring additional downsizing in time for Christmas.

With the price increase on Labor Day to $1.00 for the daily Los Angeles Times and $2.00 for the Sunday Edition, there could be a drop in street sales.

I heard a rumor that street sales (news racks) will be filled with the Bulldog Edition on Saturday, and they will not be exchanged on Sunday with updated Sunday newspapers? If this turns out to be true circulation will definitely take a tumble.

If anyone would like to supply the names of the men and women about to be let go in Newsprint Handling and Packaging and Distribution I will publish the list here.