Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Night in the Blogosphere

Los Angeles Times Machinist Orlando Lara Leaving in April

R.I.P. Rocky Mountain News

Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo.

h/t TJ Sullivan

LAT and GCC/IBT Layoff Discussion

The management committee met with the union on February 25th to discuss the effects of the reduction in force in the bargaining unit. Chief Negotiator Timothy Fair, HR Director Jay Scott, HR Manager Leticia Bugarin and SVP Russ Newton represented the company. For the union, Chief Negotiator Mike Huggins, Union President Ronnie Pineda, Vice President Keith Denson, Stewards Lance Farrar and Charles Laird.

The Union submitted two proposals and requested mediation. The Company indicated that it was not interested in either. The Company further explained that its offer of February 6, 2009 was over and above what the contract required. The Company renewed its offer of February 6 and explained, once again, that both options allowed bargaining unit employees to retain recall rights under the contract. The Union rejected the Company's offer. The Company explained that it would proceed with the layoff as planned. There are no dates set to meet for future discussion on this subject.


Save Our Trade: Recent Severance Negotiations Update

By Ronnie Pineda

On February 7, 2009, members of GCC/IBT Local 140-N held a Special Meeting to discuss Severance Negotiations with L.A. Times representatives which took place on February 4, 5 and 6, specifically the company's severance package offer.

As we discussed at our Special Union Meeting, and in compliance with the wishes of the membership, the negotiation committee rejected the company's proposal containing two severance options. The second option contained language in which the company sought to have any grievances and board charges withdrawn in order to recieve an additional 4 weeks of severance.

We did make two seperate proposals (below) which sought at least what the non bargaining unit employees are planned to recieve. In addition to equal severance, we proposed recall rights for 24 months in the event that the company enters into any Joint Operating Agreements (JOA's) or Merger Agreements.

In summary, the company's position was not to respond to either proposal we presented and went on to say that they felt their proposal was fair and there was only room for them to "tweak" it slightly.

We twice requested Mediation from the The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which is part of the Federal Government to help mediate the negotiations to which the company refused both times.

When asked about why they weren't willing to treat all of their employees fairly, their response was, they felt that they were.

The following are the two proposals we gave the company on Wednesday.

Click below:

Save Our Trade: Recent Severance Negotiations Update

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Garrett McNamara on the search for big wave surf

What do you do when you've surfed the biggest, meanest waves in the world, including one made by a calving glacier in Alaska? You search for more. Join Hawaiian big wave champion Garrett McNamara on the search for big wave surf.

Thursday Night in the Blogosphere

19 Year Pressman Ponciano Elegino Leaving the LA Times in April

Save Our Trade: Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: LA Times Response To Pressman's Protest

This is Ronnie Pineda's response to Nancy Sullivan's message yesterday.

GCC/IBTLocal 140-N
President's Response

In these economic times, is it fair to offer pressroom employees a severance package substantially less than non-union employees just because we organized and ratified a contract? The contract states that the company can fashion severance for our members, so why is it being fashioned far less than ALL other employees being laid off? Because were union? The Times could give our members the same as the non-union employees, actually, they could give more if they wanted to! How does that respect our rights to organize Nancy?

The Los Angeles Times has NEVER respected our right to organize! And it is obvious by the numerous changes our shops have undergone since ratification. Prior to organizing, the company had the right to make these same exact changes to our operation, but they didn't, and there is only one reason why they did after ratification. The contract didn't change anything because they had the right to do these things all along, but they didn't and they don't have to now. These are all calculated moves by the company and another example of how the company continues to employ union busting techniques and coerces employees into blaming the union. How does that respect our rights Nancy?

We were subjected to union-busting throughout the organizing process. The Times has ALWAYS hired union busters to help trample all over our right to organize! Our former SVP admitted in an anti-union meeting that "third party Attorneys were used, all the while referring to the Teamsters as a third party. The services they provide are used to dissuade employees from voting in favor of representation. On company time, we were corralled into captive audience meetings and continuously given anti-union propaganda literature that was intended to induce fear, focusing on strikes, violence and intimidation. How does that respect our rights Nancy?

We have endured union-busting tactics during negotiations as well. Attempts to change working conditions, refusing to assist employees in need by telling them, "go talk to the union" and also by teaching supervision union busting techniques to dissuade employees from organizing taught to them in union busting classes by union-busting Attorneys. How does that respect our rights Nancy?

Management has exploited the contract language with the intent of making employees regret organizing our shops. Their goal is to cause pressroom employees to blame the union for all that is now wrong in our shops. We did not make or negotiate these changes nor would we agree to the changes, for they were not specifically discussed in negotiations. Alot was not discussed in negotiations when management abruptly presented their "Best Offer" The bankruptcy notification had a major influence in many voters decision to ratify. Had we not ratified this contract, the bankruptcy would have allowed the company to rape us further with absolutely no defense. How does that respect our rights Nancy?

The company is using their management rights in an abusive fashion and continually says "You wanted a contract". How is that respecting our rights Nancy?

The 63 employees targeted for layoff have approximately 1510 combined years of "Company"service with an average of 23.92 years per employee and almost 1000 years of pressroom service, with an average of 15.46 years!
(statistics courtesy of Operator Steve Grant)

With all these years of service, the company chooses to ignore the contributions we have made to the production of this newspaper. We spent practically every Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July and many other holidays and family events spanning 3 decades to get a quality newspaper in the hands of subscribers and advertisers yet we don't deserve a comparable severance package. How does that respect our rights Nancy?

The Times should be embarrassed for ignoring that dedication and commitment to this company? Has the company really respected our right to organize? NO Nancy, because we chose to organize and won. That did not sit well with Newton and Walker and they have both taken it personal. In thirty years at the Times, I have never worked for such arrogant, abusive, and spiteful individuals. It is impossible for these two to views their subordinates as human beings because they don't respect us as human beings. Cruelty seems to be included in their daily diet based on the way they choose to interact with their union employees.

In these economic times more workers are seeking representation to protect their interest in the work place and to insure fair and equal treatment from their employers.
This company is historically known for it's anti-union sentiment and it continues to exhibit that philosophy in both our shops and in severance negotiations. We can all benefit from a cohesive labor/management relationship, but management chooses to operate from a position of power, rather that one of mutual interest. That ignorant position is making it even more of a stressful, hostile and extremely unsafe work environment.

What is the reason we are being offered less severance? The contract doesn't say they can't give equal severance to our members. All laid off employees deserve equivalent severance regardless of whether their union or not. We have to go through protracted negotiations for equal severance, simply because we organized and the company does not, nor have they ever respected our rights, Nancy.

Management, supervision and you, as spokesperson can deny all you want, but the fact is we are being punished for exercising our federally protected right to form a union.
Retaliation began immediately upon ratification and it will continue as long as Publisher Hartenstein fails to investigate and correct the unfair treatment of our members.

Stop the retaliation and punishment and resolve our disputes in a harmonious fashion as we agreed to in the contract and we won't be compelled to file grievances or board charges. Management wants us to abide by the contract, yet when they don't.
How does that respect our rights Nancy?

Your sterile response should be ignored and I'm sure it already has been, because you personally have absolutely no idea what we have gone through over the last decade, specifically the last 4 years in order to succeed in organizing. Nor do you know or understand what we continue to go through at the hands of SVP Newton and L.A. pressroom Superintendent Walker, so in my opinion, you are far from qualified to respond to our Rally.

End Of Rant!

In Solidarity,
President Pineda
GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Save Our Trade: Los Angeles Times Pressmens 20 Year Club: LA Times Response To Pressman's Protest

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LA Times Response To Pressman's Protest

The Times' Vice President of Communications Nancy Sullivan sent us a statement from the paper about Monday's union protest:

Unfortunately, like other newspaper companies, the Los Angeles Times is not immune from the pressures of this difficult economy. Consequently, tough decisions were made that included reducing its workforce across the entire company, including the pressroom. From the onset, The Times has respected the pressmen's right to organize. In fact, despite this very difficult economy The Times and the union reached a 3-year contract agreement in December 2008 that was ratified by the employees. The company's actions have been completely in compliance with the contract.

SOURCE: Pandora

LAT to Switch to East/West Zoning

From: Lauter, David
To: yyMetro
Cc: Crawford, Colin
Sent: Tue Feb 24 15:29:46 2009
Subject: Switching to the A section -- an update

Greetings all,

Next week, our local, regional and state coverage will move into the A section six days a week. Here's a rundown on what will happen, what I expect will change in our current coverage and what I hope will not change. Here are the main points you'll want to know:

1. We will continue to have a California section in the Sunday paper. That's a change from the original plans. The look and set up of the section will be almost identical to our current Sunday section altho the page numbering will be different. (It will be handled on the presses as the second half of the A section, so the page numbers will reflect that.)

2. Our columnists will run on page A-2 seven days a week. (The current quotes box will go away, and the For The Record box will move to A-4.)

3. The A section will expand to accommodate the California report. We'll be taking the number of pages now in A plus the number in B and producing an A section with the combined page count. Our space will remain about the same as it currently is. But because the run of ads in the front of the A section differs from the run in B, the space will be configured differently. The California report will begin on A-3 (except on Sundays), and depending on how the ads fall in the section, it could run from A-3 to A-10 or 11. During the early part of the week, we can generally expect a fair amount of open space for display. Later in the week, the A section tends to have more ads, so the space will be more often broken up. Most days, we will not have color on A-3, but we will have color on some of the pages further inside.

4. We no longer will zone local coverage. That means some stories that currently would run only in Orange County will now appear in the full run. We're not going to back away from covering significant news from Orange County, which makes up roughly one-fifth of the population of our circulation area. But in a non-zoned section, we will have to be more selective about which stories appear in print. Already, we run some stories on the web only-- from OC and from LA. That number likely will go up somewhat.

What does this mean for all of you and how you do your jobs?
First, let's talk about what will not change. We're still going to have the same mission: to be Southern California's best and most reliable source of news on the subjects of greatest importance to our state and region. And because we're still going to have roughly the same space to carry out that mission, our basic story mix will not change hugely. It's vitally important that as our section configuration changes, we not lose sight of our priorities for good coverage. I want people to stay focused on the significant stories, the ones that really have impact on the communities we cover. In unsettled times, it's easy for people to react by keeping their heads down and sticking to the routine. But if you keep your head down, you'll miss what's really going on. Don't let that happen.

Overall, the new configuration will nudge us toward slightly fewer features and somewhat higher number of news stories, but we're still going to want both. Currently, we try to have a mix of news and features on B-1. In the new configuration, we'll still have a mix of stories, but the mix will be through the entire section, not on one page.

A-3 should be primarily a place for news -- both breaking news and enterprise. We want people to open the section and see coverage that gives a sense of urgency. We'll generally want to put three news stories on A-3. The sort of features that we currently look for as B-1 centerpieces -- softer stories with good photos that convey a sense of life in southern California -- will still be in demand, but in order to provide decent display of the photos, we'll generally want to put them on a page with color and good display space. That will often mean running them further back in the section. We're working with our colleagues on the design staff to find ways to guide readers to those stories so that they don't get lost in the section.

I know many reporters are worried that moving to the A section will mean that every story has to be shorter. Some stories will, but not every story. Right now, we usually have flexibility in the B section because we have relatively open space. By contrast, the front of the A section tends to have a significant number of ads. That's a good thing, but it means stories often will have to fit specific spaces on a page and will have to run at a fixed length. If we want to have three stories on A-3 -- and we do -- one of those stories will have to be in the 12-15 inch range. If we have a page with a 20 inch hole on it, the story on that page will have come in at no more than 20. We'll try to make page assignments early in the day so that reporters know how much room they have. In turn, tho, I'll expect reporters and editors to pay attention to the lengths on the budget and deliver what's promised.

On the other side of the ledger, there will be times when a strong piece of news enterprise runs on A-3 simply because A-1 is full. In a case like that, we're not going to arbitrarily cut the story in half simply to make it fit. We will have some flexibility to jump stories from A-3. We can run a lower story count on A-3 when that's needed, and as I noted above, we will have display space inside the section for good stories with strong photography.

In sum, the new lineup that arrives next week will require some changes in our daily routines, requiring earlier budgeting of stories, earlier decisions on lengths and some changes in our story mix. But those changes will be at the margins. The core of what we aspire to -- delivering important, high-impact journalism that enlightens and fascinates our readers and enriches our community -- won't change unless we let it. As always, I'm available if anyone wants to discuss all this further.


David Lauter is the editor of the California Section

SOURCE: Fishbowl Los Angeles - Tina Dupuy

Message from Russ Stanton Editor LAT

From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Wed 2/25/2009 12:17 PM
To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT
Subject: New Arts & Entertainment group; Sallie Hofmeister, editor


Entertainment is Southern California's signature industry and biggest global export. With more than 50 reporters, editors and producers in Calendar, in Business and at, we have among the largest number of journalists -- and the best report -- in town on this important subject.

For several years, our staffs covering entertainment, the business of entertainment and the arts have been located on different floors and our coverage strategy could best be described as loosely coordinated. That approach is inadequate today given that we face fierce competition, have moved to an integrated newsroom and publish in different mediums.

Today we are establishing a new department that will be headed by Sallie Hofmeister, who is leaving her post as business editor for the masthead job of Assistant Managing Editor/Arts & Entertainment. She will report to Managing Editor Davan Maharaj.

Joining Sallie will be Craig Turner, who is leaving his position as weekend editor to become Arts & Entertainment Editor. Craig has spent the past seven years guiding our best enterprise efforts into our two biggest circulation days of the week, Saturday and Sunday. Sallie and Craig will oversee the merging of our entertainment reporting groups in Calendar and Business, and they will work closely with Richard Rushfield and Joseph Kapsch at as we continue to expand our online entertainment news and information offerings.

Combining the teams in Calendar and Business will broaden the reach, breadth and depth of our multimedia coverage. The goal remains to produce a high-quality and unique base of content that can be distributed to different audiences through different mediums. We will continue to write authoritatively about industry trends for our large print and online audiences, and look for smart and entertaining ways to cover Hollywood's movers and shakers and the celebrities who make Southern California their home. As part of this combination, we are bringing back Company Town, a package of stories and other data focused on the business of entertainment, to the Business section. It will return on Tuesday, March 3.

Sallie was named business editor in May 2008 and has led our outstanding coverage of the global financial meltdown. She and her team in Business did so against formidable and better-staffed competition. Before that, Sallie headed up the section's coverage of entertainment and technology and coordinated coverage of the 2007 Hollywood writers strike that crippled the television industry. That work was a finalist in the breaking-news category of the Gerald Loeb Awards.

She brings to this new assignment a deep knowledge of deal making, the inner workings of Hollywood and an impressive Rolodex of industry leaders. Before becoming an editor in 2006, Sallie was one of the top media reporters in the country, chronicling for more than a decade the rapid consolidation of the entertainment and media businesses. Her industry acumen is exceeded only by her passion for fashion: Sallie's armada of trendy eyeglasses and accompanying shoes has no peer in American journalism.

Craig's first job at The Times was as an intern in Orange County the summer before his senior year at San Jose State and, except for returning to school to obtain his degree, he has been here ever since, racking up a broad range of experience. He worked in our
Orange County and San Diego editions before coming downtown to become state editor on the Metro desk and later Metro editor. Craig then moved to the Foreign staff, where he spent five years covering the United Nations and Canada. While there, he wrote stories on film, theater and television for the Calendar and Business sections.

Since 2001, Craig has chaired our Pulitzer Prize nomination committee and also selected entries for the many other journalism contests we enter each year. This will no doubt be helpful in his new assignment, as the only industry in America that hands out more awards to itself than journalism is show business. As I learned firsthand when I was business editor, Craig is an advocate and an ally in increasing the number of entertainment stories on A1. He and his wife, Joyce, are frequent theater, movie and concert goers.

Russ Stanton
Los Angeles Times

SOURCE: LAObserved

Wednesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Departing Pressmen Brandon Grim and Dennis Rios - will be missed.

Help me reach my goal! Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

Help me reach my goal! Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

Save Our Trade: Monday's Rally

Monday's Rally was very inspiring and it was a great example of solidarity as we marched side by side with brothers and sisters from GCC/IBT Local 404, Teamsters Local 396, Iron Workers Local 416 and members of the SEIU. Unions have united across labor affiliations understanding that supporting each others issues only stregthens the labor movement as a whole.

Continue reading by clicking on link below.

Save Our Trade: Monday's Rally

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rupert Murdoch apologizes for racist cartoon

Rupert Murdoch, New York Post Chairman and head of News Corp, apologized for a cartoon that ignited protests from readers who saw it as a racist depiction of President Barack Obama as a chimpanzee (Reuters and MSNBC reports). Murdoch said the cartoon was a mistake that offended many people. "Today I want to personally apologize to any reader who felt offended, and even insulted. We all hold the readers of the New York Post in high regard and I promise you that we will seek to be more attuned to the sensitivities of our community. The cartoon of a policeman shooting an ape mocked the real shooting of a pet chimpanzee in Connecticut. A police officer in the cartoon says, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill." The cartoon followed the Obamas signing of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law. Reuters also reported that the newspaper initially defended the cartoon as a parody of Washington politics, but Sharpton said it exploited a potent image in the history of racism toward black people. Opinion derived from analysis of various news sources and the featured clip is from MSNBC Hardball with host Chris Matthews focusing on a Reuters news report.

Al Sharpton Doesn't Buy Rupert Murdoch's Apology

Rev. Al Sharpton responds to the apology by Rupert Murdoch over the controversial chimpanzee/stimulus bill cartoon, saying he still hasn't explained why both references were linked in the cartoon.

"He opened the door, but he didn't walk through," he said of the New York Post owner.

LAT Pressman Allen Clark's Parting Shots

At yesterday’s rally in front of the Los Angeles Times headquarters thirty-four year employee Allen Clark approached me with a letter in hand. Allen requested I post his letter to my blog, which I naturally agreed to do for him. Here’s what Mr. Clark had to say:

"From 1963 to 1964 I had a bike route with the Los Angeles Times, the only bicycle route this particular Times dealer had at the time.

In 1975 I was hired by the Los Angeles Times as a full time truck driver, a position I held for twenty years, but also delivered 600 to 700 Los Angeles Times newspapers from my car for one year and four months.

I transferred to the pressroom at the Times in 1995 and now they want to let me go without even a severance package."

The Union will meet with the company tomorrow to negotiate severance packages for the sixty-three pressroom employees about to be let go. If anyone else has a burning desire to share some parting words feel free to contact me.

SF Chronicle Up for Sale or 'Close It Altogether'

Memo from Frank Vega chairman and publisher San Francisco Chronicle
February 24, 2009

Dear Fellow Employees:

The rapidly declining economy, coupled with severely declining advertising revenues, is forcing nearly every newspaper company to re-think how it conducts business while continuing to serve its respective communities.

Despite all of our best efforts as an organization, The Chronicle continues to show staggering losses each week. Recent staff and expense reductions have not stemmed these losses, which are only worsening in the present economy. In response to our financial picture and the bleak economic forecast for the foreseeable future, our management team has begun a series of cost-saving initiatives designed to alleviate those losses.

First and foremost of these cost savings will be a significant reduction in force across all areas of our operation affecting both represented and non-represented employees. We will shortly begin discussions with union leadership on proposals. Our current situation dictates that we accomplish these cost savings quickly. Business as usual is no longer an option.

If we are unable to accomplish these reductions in the immediate future, Hearst Corporation, which owns The Chronicle, has informed us that it will offer the newspaper for sale or close it altogether. We know these are painful times for everyone and we face difficult choices. We share in the sincere hope that we will reach agreement with all parties involved on the concessions needed to continue to operate and provide the Bay Area with a quality newspaper.

I will update you throughout this process. Thank you for your support and good work, particularly in economic times that are difficult for all of us.

SOURCE: Tina Dupuy

Tuesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

The Pressroom Employees Rally at Times Mirror Square

212 and Counting at the Los Angeles Times

The Plate making Department Employees were the latest victims of the axe at the Los Angeles Times, with five from the Olympic Facility and two from the Orange County Facility getting pink slipped on Monday.

The breakdown is as follows:

63 pressmen and presswomen from Orange County and Olympic
11 machinists at the Olympic Facility
2 pressroom supervisors Olympic and Orange County
1 pressroom clerk from Olympic
3 electro-techs from Olympic
75 editorial employees
4 electro-techs Orange County
4 machinists Orange County
21 mailroom Olympic (4 full time and 17 part time employees)
19 mailroom Orange County (9 full time and 10 part time employees)
2 Security guards
7 Plate makers (5 at Olympic and 2 at Orange County)

Will update as information flows in.

L.A.Now Commercial

This is a ten second spot advertising the L.A. Now blog from the Los Angeles Times. Created by Andrew Wahlquist in Photoshop and After Effects. The blog is at

Rally at the Los Angeles Times

The pressroom rally at Times Mirror Square yesterday was captured in pictures which can be viewed on Flickr. Video will be uploaded as soon as possible.

205 and Counting at the Los Angeles Times

As the staff is slowly eliminated at the newspaper here's a breakdown of where the cuts have taken place so far.

The breakdown is as follows:

63 pressmen and presswomen from Orange County and Olympic
11 machinists at the Olympic Facility
2 pressroom supervisors Olympic and Orange County
1 pressroom clerk from Olympic
3 electro-techs from Olympic
75 editorial employees
4 electro-techs Orange County
4 machinists Orange County
21 mailroom Olympic (4 full time and 17 part time employees)
19 mailroom Orange County (9 full time and 10 part time employees)
2 Security guards

Will update as information flows in.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday Night in the Blogosphere

Los Angeles Times Pressroom Employees Rally at Times Mirror Square

Los Angeles Times STILL Anti-Union

The leaflet below was distributed to the public as the Pressroom Employees of the Los Angeles Times Rallied at Times Mirror Square this morning, to gain attention to the anti-union tactics taking place behind closed doors.




The Men and Women that have, with great pride, dedication and loyalty, printed the Los Angeles Times for decades, wish to inform you that on January 6, 2007 we voted to be represented by The Graphic Communications Conference of The International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Our election results were certified by the National Labor Relations Board on June 11, 2007 and negotiations with the company began on November 1, 2007. A collective bargaining agreement was ratified on December 8, 2008, the same day Sam Zell and Tribune filed for bankruptcy, Coincidence? The Senior Vice President of Operations Russ Newton and pressroom Superintendant Johnny Walker immediately began a campaign of retaliation against our shop’s employees for exercising our Federally Protected Rights to organize our pressrooms by:

  • Targeting supporters of the Union for discipline and termination.
  • Not obeying state laws regarding meal and rest period breaks.
  • Wrongfully accusing employees of intentionally slowing down and disciplining innocent employees.
  • Creating a hostile and unsafe work environment by instructing supervision to discipline employees regardless of the facts.
  • Violating our Weingarten Rights by not allowing employees representation when being disciplined by supervision.
  • Excessive staffing reduction of 63 pressroom employees on or about April 6, 2009

These are but a few examples of how the Los Angeles Times have continued its anti-union behavior.

Labor is not part of the problem, it is part of the solution,” President Barack Obama said when discussing the current economy and his goal of leveling the playing field for all working class Americans. In spite of the President’s position on Organized Labor, Management at the Times continues to hold dear the anti-union philosophy of the late General Harrison Otis Gray, Patriarch of the Los Angeles Times as if he were here today. Management instructs supervision to blame the union for all of our woes in hopes of crippling our fledgling Local before it can establish itself. Management continues to employ tactics that are historically used to divide and conquer.

Fairness and Equality are not luxuries in the work place but rather the law. Our Newly formed Local 140-N has filed charges with the N.L.R.B. in response to management’s retaliation and we hope to have resolution soon. Until that time we ask you to support our efforts and contact the Los Angeles Times Publisher, Eddy Hartenstein at 1-800-LA TIMES and demand that he investigate the actions SVP of Operations Russ Newton and L.A. Pressroom Superintendant Johnny Walker for their union busting tactics! We would also have you ask that they obey the law and the rights of their employees.

In Solidarity.

Members of GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Disclaimer: This leaflet is for informational purposes only and is not asking for the cancellation of subscriptions or a boycott of the Los Angeles Times. Our purpose is to bring awareness to the Anti-Union; treatment pressroom employees are being subjected to by L.A. Times Management and Supervision. Fairness and Equality are the reasons we organized with the GCC/IBT

Union Rally at Times Mirror Square Today

A press release was sent notifying the media about our Union Rally to be held on Monday February 23, 2009 to expose the anti-union treatment our bargaining unit has been subjected to at the hands of management and supervision since ratification of the collective bargaining agreement on December 8, 2008.

Rally information:
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 11:00 am
Location: L.A. Times Building Downtown, 1st and Spring

All members not working are expected to attend!

Must know information for Bargaining unit employees:
If scheduled to work, DO NOT miss work to participate.
No signs, we're not picketing.
No work slowdowns in support of Rally.
No work stoppage in support of Rally.

Ronnie Pineda
President, GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Union memo to Philadelphia Inky, DN employees

From: GuildBulletin
Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2009 9:12 PM
Subject: Philadelphia Media Holdings Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection.

What Members Should Know...

Dear Guild Member,

As you all should be aware, Philadelphia Media Holdings, ("PMH"), the owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Daily News, has filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection.

As hard as it may sound, please stay calm. The company is still in business, the papers are still publishing and you should still report for work.

Here is what this means to our members and how the filing affects our contract:

The Chapter 11 Bankruptcy process is intended to permit a company to continue in operation by restructuring its contractual and financial obligations. Because Guild members provide essential services, your wages and benefits under our collective bargaining agreement for services rendered, after the petition was filed, will continue to be honored.

Before PMH can take any action to modify any of its obligations under our contract, it must negotiate in good faith with the Guild and prove that the contract changes it seeks are necessary to permit the reorganization and prevent the liquidation of the enterprise.

The Guild Executive Board has already taken steps to assure that we obtain all of the bankruptcy filings. We will monitor the proceedings and take appropriate action to enforce our collective bargaining agreement and protect your rights.

Even though a bankruptcy petition has been filed:

* Our contract remains in full force;
* Your wages and benefits will continue to be paid;
* We retain the right to grieve and arbitrate contract disputes; and
* No unilateral changes to our contract can be implemented without prior negotiations.

If the Employer requests that we meet to negotiate contract modifications, we will, of course, immediately notify you of any such negotiations. As in all collective bargaining situations, we will bring any tentative agreements involving modifications/changes to our contract to the members for ratification. In addition, we will keep you advised of all developments during the bankruptcy, especially any events that involve the Guild contact, your rights, and the Employer’s obligations pursuant to it.

The Guild’s Executive Committee will convene in an emergency board meeting at 10 a.m. Monday and will issue further news as we have it. In the meantime, members may contact the Guild office at 215-928-0118 or Administrative Officer Bill Ross at 267-240-8540 or e-mail

In solidarity,

Dan Gross
TNG/CWA 38010

SOURCE: Jim Romenesko

Grown up decisions result in no layoffs.

I wonder how many jobs would have been saved had we followed this model?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Another Media Company Files for Bankruptcy

The Journal Register Company filed for bankruptcy protect from creditors on Saturday to implement pre-negotiated debt restructuring.

The Company filed its voluntary Chapter 11 petitions in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Additional information about the Company’s restructuring is available at the Company’s website at For access to Court documents and other general information, please visit

According to the New York Times the owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News filed for bankruptcy late Sunday night.

Sunday Night in the Blogosphere

The Pressmen at the Los Angeles Times Are Wearing New Name Tags

Is This How It Works?

Being a simple pressman at the Los Angeles Times your favorite blogger does not understand business moves, such as paying out bonuses to a select few while terminating employees. The similarities between the New Haven Register and the Tribune Company makes simple workers as myself wonder what’s going on?

From the Brooks File:

The parent company of the New Haven Register has filed for bankruptcy. (Say hello to the Tribune Company, which owns the Courant.)

But even in bankruptcy, the bosses get bonuses for making people’s lives a living hell?

Under a proposal filed as part of the bankruptcy case, the company has asked for permission to pay as much as $1.7 million in bonuses to 30 top officers and key employees, should the Journal Register meet certain reorganization goals, including closing more papers and firing more employees. Those officers have already been paid $450,000 for a previous round of cuts, according to court papers. (Bloomberg)

Noel Weiss Candidate Los Angeles City Attorney

LACAA 2009 City Attorney Candidate Interviews. Video courtesy of Los Angeles City Attorney's Association.

Meet your 2009 City Attorney Candidates

Olympic Cafeteria Alert

Juanita and Lucas
The downsizing at the newspaper has directly affected the staff working in the cafeteria at the Olympic Facility, as everyone but two workers were let go Friday. This was one week premature with the changes at the newspaper not occurring until next Sunday March 1st.

Notify your colleagues that may work any shift Sunday so they will not be caught off guard or go hungry with the cafeteria now closed on Sunday’s.

Café Oly hours of operation:

Sunday: Closed
Monday: Open 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Tuesday: Open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Wednesday: Open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Thursday: Open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Friday: Open 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Saturday: Open 7:00 am to 2:30 pm
Saturday night: Open 7:00 pm to 1:30 am

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Los Angeles Times Memo

From: Lauter, David
Sent: Fri Feb 20 14:33:18 2009
Subject: Some thoughts for the end of the week

Greetings Metro colleagues:

I know it's been a tense week for everyone. So here are a few thoughts for your Friday afternoon:

As the economics of our business continue to struggle, its easy to confuse a drop in revenue with a drop in the public hunger for what we do. The evidence points in the other direction: Yes, all of us in the news business have a serious problem with the business model that has sustained us for years. But that's a business problem, not a journalism one.

When important news happens, the public continues to turn to us -- often even more than in the past because the number of sources for original reporting is so much smaller than it once was. That's particularly true here in Metro. I'll focus on just two of the many good things that you and your colleagues can be proud of producing this week.

First, the budget coverage out of Sacramento, which drew many comments from readers, including this one:
Your coverage of the Sacramento saga has been marvelous and is deeply appreciated by this California citizen. Trying to understand what the hell was going on by watching the breathless tv news, or reading the [local paper] was hopeless. So, the stories by you and your colleagues have become part of my morning routine.

That person is hardly alone. In addition to our print readership, our state and local coverage drew more than 800,000 page views on the web for three days in a row this week. The total already this week has been about 3.5 million. So far this month, our traffic on local and state stories is running about 40% ahead of February of last year. The largest single share of this week's traffic went to the budget coverage -- round-the-clock stories from our Sacramento bureau and some great photos by Wally Skalij. Keep that in mind next time someone offers up the false and outdated idea that the web audience has no interest in serious journalism. In addition to a lot of individual page views, we are also drawing a steadily increasing number of unique visitors, both from around the country and here in our home area.

The other subject which drew a large amount of traffic starting yesterday has been our Mapping LA project. Some folks might not have expected that in the first 24 hours, more than 100,000 page views would go to a bunch of maps. But beyond the volume, what's particularly gratifying in that traffic is the more than 800 comments -- many of them thoughtful and detailed -- that we've gotten about the city and its neighborhoods. Each of those comments took time, and what they show is that when we put out a subject for discussion, we can engage our educated, interested audience and get them not only talking about us, but using our forum as a way to talk with each other. That's a big element of how a news organization can serve its community, and the fact that people have responded in such numbers is terrific.

Best wishes for the weekend,

SOURCE: Tina Dupuy

Saturday Morning in the Blogosphere

Los Angeles Times Olympic Facility

Friday, February 20, 2009

Eric Garcetti: Changing L.A.

Eric Garcetti's first 2009 re-election ad.

Save Our Trade: Union Rally Monday February 23, 2009

A press release was sent notifying the media about our Union Rally to be held on Monday February 23, 2009 to expose the anti-union treatment our bargaining unit has been subjected to at the hands of management and supervision since ratification of the collective bargaining agreement on December 8, 2008.

Rally information:
Date: Monday February 23, 2009
Time: 11:00 am
Location: L.A. Times Building Downtown, 1st and Spring

All members not working are expected to attend!

Must know information for Bargaining unit employees:
If scheduled to work, DO NOT miss work to participate.
No signs, we're not picketing.
No work slowdowns in support of Rally.
No work stoppage in support of Rally.

Ronnie Pineda
President, GCC/IBT Local 140-N

Save Our Trade: Union Rally Monday February 23, 2009#links

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Night in the Blogosphere

Mike Brierley with many other pressmen at the NLRB last week

Message from Russ Stanton Editor LAT

From: Stanton, Russ
Sent: Thursday, February 19, 2009 9:59 AM
To: yyeditall
Subject: Newsroom staffing update


This will be another difficult day in our newsroom as we'll be saying good-bye to 14 of our co-workers and friends. Those affected will be notified before noon.

I regret that these cost-saving moves will result in the loss of work for people who have served this company well, and for many years.

The total number of jobs being eliminated in Editorial remains at 70. For a variety of reasons, the remaining departures will occur toward the end of March.

Thank you for your patience and for your continued good work during these challenging times.

Russ Stanton

SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

Rally at Times Mirror Square this Monday

The Los Angeles Times Pressmen and presswomen will be gathering on Monday February 23rd, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. at Times Mirror Square to bring attention to the anti-union tactics occurring on a daily basis within the pressrooms at the newspaper.

The rally will be staged at 1st Street and Spring Street with union members wearing their black union shirts in solidarity.

Everyone is welcome to attend
Pictured, the Union Members at Newsday

Services for Gerald Hebert

Services for Los Angeles Times Orange County Facility electro-tech, Gerald Hebert, will be held this Saturday in Los Angeles at 9:30 a.m.

St. Frances Cabrini
1440 W. Imperial Highway
Los Angeles, CA. 90047

Directions here.

Downsizing at the Los Angeles Times

Chatter from the Los Angeles Times Orange County Production Facility claims the Advertising Department may have had a visit from the grim reaper this afternoon. The caller stated they would call back with the body count if this were indeed true.

Last night the Times Olympic Facility had a rash of sick calls, either many were ill, or they don’t believe management will pay them for their unused sick days when they are dismissed? But just incase this trend continues, many of us have been requested to standby our phones for overtime shifts tonight, Friday night, and Saturday night.

This morning at 10:45 a.m. human resources paid a visit to the Olympic Plant, not certain if anyone was axed at this moment?

Kevin Roderick states that some employees in the Editorial Department are being offered buyouts, instead of layoffs.

Services for Sandi Reney

Services for Sandi Reney will be held tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in Corona, Sandi is the wife of our friend and colleague at the Orange County Pressroom, Charles Reney.

Crossroads Christian Church
2331 Kellogg Avenue
Corona, CA. 92881


Directions here.

Quote of the day

"The reason congressmen try so hard to get re-elected is that they would
hate to have to make a living under the laws they've passed."

JOUR M02 Writing and Reporting for the Media: Would You Print This Cartoon?

From the Wall Street Journal:

The New York Post faced a barrage of criticism on the Internet Wednesday after publishing a cartoon that some say compares President Barack Obama to a violent chimpanzee.

The drawing, by frequent Post editorial cartoonist Sean Delonas, whose work appears in the paper's Page Six gossip column, depicts a police officer holding a smoking gun he apparently used to shoot a chimpanzee. The caption reads, "They'll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill."

The cartoon refers to a well-publicized event in the New York City area: a pet chimpanzee that was shot dead by police after it attacked a Connecticut woman earlier in the week. Mr. Obama on Tuesday signed a nearly $800 billion economic stimulus package.

Monkeys have been used historically in pejorative portrayals of black people, and the New York Post cartoon immediately drew criticism, including from civil-rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton. Mr. Sharpton called the cartoon "troubling at best," and he called for a protest Thursday in front of the New York Post's headquarters in Manhattan. The Web also was filled with debate.

The New York Post defended the cartoon, and Editor Col Allan said in a statement that the cartoon "broadly mocks Washington's efforts to revive the economy." Mr. Delonas couldn't be reached. The New York Post is owned by News Corp., as is The Wall Street Journal.

This isn't the first time news organizations have drawn flack for their images of Mr. Obama. The New Yorker magazine generated unwanted attention last summer for a cover cartoon that depicted then-candidate Obama wearing a turban and long robe, with a framed portrait of Osama bin Laden behind him. The cover was intended to mock portrayals of Mr. Obama as a terrorist, but not everyone saw it that way, including the Obama campaign, which called the cover image "tasteless and offensive."

JOUR M02 Writing and Reporting for the Media: Would You Print This Cartoon?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Shuttered Printing Plants

As beleaguered newspapers across the United States seek alternatives to an ever-growing exodus of advertiser dollars to the new media, shuttering of production facilities is increasing in frequency at an alarming rate. Since 2005 forty production plants have been closed, and 2009 could surpass the past three years in this trend. Many newspapers are outsourcing their production to newspapers that were once their rivals, and some are dropping the print edition entirely for an online edition only.Below are the newspapers that have shuttered printing plants since 2005:

•Citizen-Times in Asheville, N.C.
•Boston Globe
•Boston Herald
•New York Times (Edison, N.J.)
Los Angeles Times (SFV)
•The Times in Trenton, N.J.
•North Jersey Media Group (Hackensack, N.J.)
•Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.
•Dow Jones (suburban Denver and suburban Chicago)
•The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
•Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville, Tenn.
•The Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif.
•Palm Beach (Fla.) Post
•Atlanta Journal-Constitution (downtown plant)
•Denver Newspaper Agency (former Denver Post plant)
•The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa
•San Angelo (Texas) Reporter-News
•The Baxter Bulletin in Mountain Home, Ark.
•Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal
•The Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise
•The Olympian in Olympia, Wash.
•The (Boise) Idaho Statesman
•Bellingham (Wash.) Herald
•The Recorder in Greenfield, Mass.
•Northwest Florida Daily News in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
•Stevens Point (Wis.) Journal
•Washington Times
•The Modesto (Calif.) Bee
•The Gleaner in Henderson, Ky.
•The Daily Progress in Charlottesville, Va.
•Muskegon (Mich.) Chronicle
•Bradenton (Fla.) Herald
•Detroit Newspaper Partnership
•Santa Cruz (Calif.) Sentinel
•San Francisco Chronicle
•Patriot-Ledger in Quincy, Mass.
•Brockton (Mass.) Enterprise
•The Times-News in Hendersonville, N.C.
•Community Press (Cincinnati suburban weeklies)
•Palladium-Item in Richmond, Ind.

Source: Newspapers & Technology

Hoax Retraction

The Manila Times has published a retraction related to their earlier column, which recycled a hoaxed hate letter attributed to Art Bell. The column's author has also issued an apology.

Wednesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Los Angeles Times Editorial Department to be Notified of Layoffs on Thursday

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Internet Hoax Alert

A malicious letter about Filipinos making the rounds on the Internet has been falsely attributed to Art Bell, and was recently re-published on the Manila Times website. Art would like all to know that he did not write this hateful message. Please read more here. People can contact the Manila Times on this page.

Paris Hilton No Longer Restrained

A three year protective order keeping socialite Paris Hilton away from Superman:Man of Steel co-producer Brian Quintana unceremoniously expired Saturday night. Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Timothy Murphy granted the restraining order on February 7, 2006 after Hilton failed to refute Quintana`s claims that she had harassed him.

The stay-away order was unusual even by Hollywood standards. The order prevented the hotel heiress from coming within 100 yards of her former pal except at parties. In a nod to the close quarters at events frequented by the socialites, their attorneys ironed out an agreement that permitted Hilton to come within twenty-five feet of Quintana when they found themselves at the same social function.

Quintana and Hilton became inseparable after he introduced her to his billionaire friend Stavros Niarchos at a November 2004 party hosted by Paramount Pictures producer Christine Peters. Hilton and Niarchos have dated on and off ever since.

In recent months the restraining order had little practical effect. Despite walking the red carpet separately, Hilton and Quintana were spotted together at the InStyle/Warner Bros. after party for the Golden Globe Awards. This past Thursday (two nights before they could legally hang out), the couple shared the VIP section at a pre-Grammy party where Timbaland and Rihanna performed.

The dueling duo were either celebrating the expiration of their Court order or this whole spectacle was one giant media stunt.

In Memory of Michael Reyes

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripening grain.
I am the gentle autumn’s rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s
hush I am the swift uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft star that shines
at night. Do not stand at
my grave and cry;
I am not there; I did not die

Salary Freeze At Tribune Company

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2009 12:59 PM
Subject: Message from Gerry Spector/2009 Salary Freeze

As you know, this year is off to a difficult start--not only for us, but for our peers in the media industry and for much of the business world as well. The advertising environment is very difficult. The economy is, at best, challenging. Across the country, businesses are cutting jobs, furloughing employees and freezing pay. Some of our major advertising clients, like General Motors, have laid off thousands of employees; others, like Circuit City, have been forced to liquidate assets and go out of business. Obviously, developments like these put significant downward pressure on our revenue.

As a company, we're fighting back like never before--developing new products, operating extremely efficiently, and re-examining everything we do with an eye toward maximizing our cash flow. However, given current trends and the likelihood that it will take some time for the economy to recover, we have to do even more. For that reason, we've decided to implement a salary freeze for non-union employees in 2009. For those employees represented by a union, the issue will be addressed in collective bargaining.

I know this is difficult and I appreciate your understanding. Compensation is our largest expense and a salary freeze enables us to share the sacrifice. Hopefully, freezing salaries now will allow us to avert more drastic action in the future.

Thank you again for all your efforts.


SOURCE: The Daily Pulp - Bob Norman

Tuesday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

21 Year Departing Pressman Fernando Barraza (left) with Bill Conover