Friday, August 31, 2018

Friday Morning in the Blogosphere

Today in Labor History

Labor History August 31st
Miners manning a machine gun emplacement captured from anti-union troops
John Reed formed the Communist Labor Party in Chicago. (later to become the American Communist Party). The Party’s motto: “Workers of the world, unite!”. – 1919
Some 10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, West Virginia, for recognition of their union, the United Mine Workers of America.CLICK TO TWEETFederal troops were sent in, and miners were forced to withdraw five days later after 16 deaths. – 1921
The Trade Union Unity League was founded by 690 delegates from 18 states fleeing the conservative American Federation of Labor (AFL). The League was a wing of the Communist Party and pushed for organizing workers along industry lines rather than by craft, like the AFL, with all workers in a given industry together in one big union. At its peak, the League had 125,000 members and, in 1930, led a protest of nearly a million jobless workers in a dozen cities to demand relief and unemployment insurance. The League fell apart in the late 1930s due to competition from the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), which had launched a wave of successful organizing drives. – 1929
Italian American labor organizer, Giovanni Pippan was murdered during his campaign to organize the Italian bread wagon drivers of Chicago. – 1933
Nearly all 430 workers at the California Sanitary Canning Company participated in a massive walkout. The majority of the workers were Mexican-American women. They were demanding union recognition for their affiliation with the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing, & Allied Workers of America (UCAPAWA). They eventually won a union contract and wage increase. – 1939
The second Solidarity Day demonstration occurred in Washington, D.C., with over 350,000 union members demanding workplace fairness and health care reform. The first Solidarity Day took place 10 years earlier in the wake of the PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controller) firings. – 1991
Detroit teachers began what was to become a 9-day strike, winning smaller class sizes and raises of up to 4 percent. – 1999

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Newspapers all over the U.S. are closing their doors

Pew Research Center reports on state of news media

Since 2004, Pew Research Center has released an annual assessment of the state of the news media. The center has recently provided some key findings for 2017. Here they are:
• The audience for nearly every major sector of the U.S. news media fell in 2017, with the only exception being radio.
• The “post-election slump” for TV viewership explains audience declines for cable and local TV, but not network. “Network TV’s decline in 2017 was unusual, as its audience has been relatively steady after election years,” according to Pew.
• Cable networks stand out for revenue growth, and network news’ economic picture was stable.
• Digital advertising revenue continues to grow, but little of it benefits news organizations.
 Hispanic media also saw audience declines.
Pew said newspaper circulation was down 11 percent last year, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.
For more in-depth info, go to the Pew Research Center site.

Thursday Morning in the Blogosphere

Co-owner of Minnesota newspaper chain files for bankruptcy

Jeffrey Enright, the co-owner of Lillie Suburban Newspapers, filed for bankruptcy in a case that “may be tangled with the finances of the North St. Paul-based media company,” according to the Star-Tribune.
On Aug. 20, Enright filed under Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy code, which means he intends to liquidate assets to pay creditors. In the filing, Enright, of White Bear Lake, listed assets of nearly $400,000 and liabilities of $2.16 million, most of which are “business expenses.”
Lillie Suburban Newspapers has not filed for bankruptcy and "is operating as usual," co-owner Ted Lillie wrote in an e-mail, the Star Tribune reports. “Lillie Suburban Newspapers has no knowledge of and will not comment on Mr. Enright's personal affairs.”
Lillie, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, publishes eight newspapers.

Today in Labor History

Labor History August 30th
Luisa Moreno
Union delegates from New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other East Coast cities met in a convention to form the National Trades’ Union, which united craft unions to oppose “the most unequal and unjustifiable distribution of the wealth of society in the hands of a few individuals”. The union faded after a few years but paved the way for more than 60 new unions. – 1834
Luisa Moreno, labor and social activist was born today. A Guatemalan immigrant, she started organizing while working in a cafeteria in New You in the 1930s.   She spent  20 years organizing workers before taking a “voluntary departure under and warrant of deportation” on the grounds that she had once been a member of the Communist party. She was offered citizenship in exchange for testifying against a labor leader, but she refused, stating that she would not be “a free woman with a mortgaged soul.” – 1907
President Franklin Roosevelt’s Revenue Act of 1935 (often called the “Wealth Tax Act”)  increased taxes on higher income levels. It was a progressive tax that took up to 75 percent of the highest incomes. – 1935
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) published scaffold safety standards, designed to protect 2.3 million construction workers and prevent 50 deaths and 4,500 injuries annually. – 1996

Nonprofit Longmont Observer provides update

The Longmont Observer offered an update and a call for donations on its site Aug. 21.
The publication is one of a number of nonprofit news organizations that have sprung up in Colorado recently following numerous media-ownership changes in the state.
The Observer was launched in March 2017.
Sergio Angeles and Scott Converse set out to revive local news in Longmont,” said the site on its beginnings. “They believe in a local paper that is interested in the voices of the residents it serves. They felt that the best model for such a news source would be a nonprofit organization.”
The site offers a history of newspapers in the city.
The first article went online in April of 2017. Since then the Longmont Observer has steadily grown its readership, the paper says. Recent numbers show that 14 percent of Longmont (a city of around 93,000) is reading the paper, the paper says.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Johnny Jackson Rest in Peace

Long time pressman at the Los Angeles Times, Johnny Jackson, has passed. Condolences to his family and friends as he will be missed by all that he touched. Mr. Jackson was the mild mannered type, that didn't let much bother him, he would always greet you with a big smile.

Mr. Jackson's son, Tony Jackson, also worked for the LA Times for many years, and I heard his grandson is now working at the Times Olympic Production Facility. As additional information arrives I will update this post for our friend and colleague. 

ESW Capital acquires Olive Software

Austin-based ESW Capital has acquired Olive Software.
Denver-based Olive Software provides e-publishing solutions and digital archiving.
“Their patented and proprietary technology makes Olive Software unique in the industry,” said a June press release from ESW. Olive’s history includes the first XML-based digital-edition, PDF to XML conversion system, web-based electronic magazine and cloud-based cross-media publishing solution, according to the release.
Olive Software joins ESW Capital’s corporate family of more than 75 enterprise software companies, which has a presence in over 45 countries, the company says. The group includes brands such as Aurea, Trilogy, Versata, and Ignite.
Kyle Ford, an ESW Capital executive, has been appointed CEO of Olive Software.

US newspapers fight to survive paper tariff

Under verbal assault from the president and now financial assault from tariffs. Newspapers in the United States are already struggling with declining readership and are now fighting to stay in print, and this latest financial challenge could be the final nail in the coffin for many.

Papers in Georgia, Minnesota drop Monday editions

Lately a number of papers have announced that they are cutting print editions on some days. Two more are added to that list.
Beginning Sept. 17, The LaGrange Daily News (Georgia) will drop its Monday printed edition and continue to print Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Beginning in September, the Albert Lea Tribune (Minnesota) will also drop its Monday printed edition and continue to print Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Boone Newspapers owns both papers.

Wednesday Morning in the Blogosphere

Did you feel that? We certainly did as we're two miles away from the epicenter. 

Two Area Newspapers Closing This Week - Amppob

How Communities Can Thrive in a Post-Newspaper World - Governing

FCC Report Found No ‘Favoritism’ on Proposed Sinclair Deal - Reuters

Who Will Look Out For Community Newspapers? - Swift County Monitor

Can Spirited Media Become Predominately Reader-Supported? - Nieman Lab

The biggest threat to democracy is the loss of newspapers - Daily Local News

Extra! Extra! Read 160-year-old NJ newspapers online - New Jersey 101.5 FM Radio

Trump Attacks Google With Claim It is Burying Conservative News - The New York Times

Tariffs are slamming newspapers with higher costs. Publishers want a reprieve - CNN Money

How A team of local movers hauled the LA Times from downtown to El Segundo - LA Business

Pittsburgh papers now all digital on some days

August 20 was the first time in 185 years that the people of Pittsburgh had no major printed daily paper to read, NEXTpittsburgh points out.
The Tribune-Review went all digital two years ago, and starting Aug. 25, the Post-Gazette dropped print on Tuesdays and Saturdays, NEXTpittsburgh writer Andrew Conte pointed out. Conte is the founding director of the Center for Media Innovation at Pittsburgh’s Point Park University.
“At this moment, for the average person, I doubt they’ll feel a difference,” Leslie Przybylek, senior curator at the Senator John Heinz History Center, told Conte. “But the moment will come in 20 to 30 years, with the benefit of hindsight.”
“The Post-Gazette and Trib are not going away. Both newsrooms are still doing important stories that expose injustice, speak up for innocents and demand accountability,” wrote Conte.

Today in Labor History

Labor History August 29th
Seventy-five workers out of eighty-six died when the lower St. Lawrence River’s Quebec Bridge collapsed while under construction.  A flawed design was found to be the cause.  Thirteen more workers were killed nine years later when the reconstructed bridge’s central span was being raised and fell into the river because of a problem with hoisting devices. – 1907
Dancers at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady Club voted 57-15 to be represented by SEIU Local 790. Their first union contract, ratified eight months later, guaranteed work shifts, protection against arbitrary discipline and termination, automatic hourly wage increases, sick days, a grievance procedure, and removal of one-way mirrors from peep show booths. The first strip club to unionize was Pacer’s in San Diego under the Hotel Management, Employee Management, Local 30. – 1996
Northwest Airlines pilots, after years of concessions to help the airline, began what was to become a 2-week strike for higher pay. – 1998
Delegates to the  Minnesota AFL-CIO convention approved the launching of, now in its sixteenth  year.  It was the first web-based daily labor news service by a state labor federation. – 2000

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Hoosier Times group cuts 17 positions

The Hoosier Times newspaper group is cutting 17 positions at publications in Bloomington, Bedford, Martinsville and Spencer, The Herald-Times reports.
Lower revenues and rising newsprint costs were behind the move, said Cory Bollinger, Hoosier Times publisher, the paper reported. Bollinger is also vice president of publishing for Schurz Communications, which owns the group.
Cuts are on deck for The Herald-Times (Bloomington), the Times-Mail in Bedford, the Reporter-Times in Martinsville and the Spencer Evening World publishing group. Positions are being cut in various departments at the papers.
Bollinger said various steps taken, such as an early retirement program last year and the decision to stop publishing on holidays, were aimed at bettering finances, the paper said. “Unfortunately, we cannot deny the fact that we must make more adjustments,” he said.
The Hoosier Times continues to employ nearly 175 people in south-central Indiana.

Bake sale takes a bite out of parking costs by raising $5,000

bake sale cropped.jpg

With the company refusing to cover our colleagues’ parking costs, the Los Angeles Times Guild turned to an unlikely source of help: Pie. And berry cobbler. And peanut-butter balls. And fruit cups.

The Guild's bake sale Thursday in El Segundo featured a smorgasbord of homemade desserts and raised more than $5,000. 

The first confections to sell out were the whoopie pies. The last to be sold: two date nut bars wrapped in Ziploc bags.

Thanks to all who gave, both inside the building and out, including staffers from the New York Times, Washington Post and Deadspin.

The money collected will cover nearly five months of parking fees for Times Community News journalists in the downtown L.A. bureau.
The company has balked at adequately subsidizing parking costs for downtown employees. That burden is most acute for TCN journalists, whose yearly salary is less than $40,000.

Under the company’s current offer, TCN journalists pay more than $1,000 of their annual salary just to park at work. Journalists in Metro would pay even more -- nearly double the already excessive fees prior to the El Segundo move. 

We find that plan half-baked. Journalists are expected to be mobile, covering their beats and responding to breaking news. The company should cover our parking, period.

While the company has had our proposal for weeks, journalists in downtown L.A. have seen their salaries eaten away by garage charges.
Sensing a need, the Guild asked its members to show their opposition with butter, flour and sugar. 

We're hoping the company's stance changes before journalists' bank accounts curdle. So far, the company’s response has left a bitter taste.

Brandon Valley Journal marks one-year anniversary

The Brandon Valley Journal (South Dakota) has marked its first birthday, Keloland Television reports
A group of area investors was behind the launch of the paper.
“I think every community needs their own newspaper. How else are we going to record the day-to-day happenings? It seems silly, but a pothole on 4th Avenue is important to the people who live here,” Brandon Valley Media Group General Manager and Editor Jill Meier told Keloland Television.
Meier partnered with investors to start Brandon Valley Media Group after Gannett pooled her job as editor of the Brandon Valley Challenger with the editor’s position for the Dell Rapids Tribune in 2016, Sioux Falls.Business reports.

Tuesday Morning in the Blogosphere

Koenig & Bauer changes subsidiary names

During its 200th anniversary last year, Koenig & Bauer returned to its founding name "Koenig & Bauer" as part of a global brand re-launch.
In a continuation of this rebranding, the Germany-based company is changing the names of the global business units, subsidiaries, and agencies to be aligned with this new brand.
Effective immediately, KBA North America Inc. is now named Koenig & Bauer (US) Inc., and KBA Canada Inc. is now named Koenig & Bauer (CA) Inc.
Koenig & Bauer (US) or Koenig & Bauer (CA) should be used in all legal documents and Koenig & Bauer can be used in general daily use, the company says.
Koenig & Bauer (US) is located in Dallas and a member of the Koenig & Bauer Group, which was established 200 years ago in Wurzburg, Germany.
The group's products include sheetfed offset presses, post press die-cutters, inkjet presses and systems, flexographic presses, commercial and newspaper web presses, corrugated presses, special presses for banknotes, securities, metal-decorating, smart cards, glass and plastic decorating.

Today in Labor History

Labor History August 28th
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Big Bill Haywood and 14 other members of the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) were sentenced to 20 years prison for draft obstruction. – 1918
West Virginia Governor Cornwell requested federal troops to guard the mines and protect scab labor during a strike by miners, resulting in rioting. – 1920
A Filipino Labor Union led a strike of 6,000 California lettuce workers demanding 40-45 cents an hour, union recognition and better working conditions. Striking white farm workers split from the Filipinos and accepted arbitration. The growers accused the Filipinos of being communists, while the highway patrol and armed vigilantes drove striking farmworkers off the farms. In September, vigilantes burned a camp of striking workers down to the ground. Police then raided their union headquarters in Salinas, arresting scores of strikers and their leaders. Despite the violence and police abuse, the strikers held out, eventually winning union recognition and 40 cents an hour wages. – 1933
Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his “I have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march was organized by A. Phillip Randolph and Bayard Rustin, who built an alliance of civil rights, labor, and religious organizations that came together under the banner of “Jobs and Freedom”. Estimates of the number of participants varied from 200,000 to 300,000. Observers estimated that 75-80% of the marchers were black. – 1963

Monday, August 27, 2018

News Media Alliance submits comments for upcoming FTC hearings

The News Media Alliance on Aug. 20 submitted comments to the FTC for an upcoming series of public hearings on “whether broad-based changes in the economy, evolving business practices, new technologies, or international developments might require adjustments to competition and consumer protection enforcement law, enforcement priorities, and policy.”
The hearings will begin in September 2018 and are expected to continue through January 2019. They will consist of 15 to 20 public sessions.
According to the News Media Alliance, its comments explain in detail how the conduct of major tech platforms, specifically Facebook and Google, impacts journalism and harms consumers.
“For nearly a decade, a couple of technology giants — namely, Facebook and Google — have exerted unprecedented influence and control over the U.S. news industry. These tech giants, as well as others, now control both the distribution and monetization of online news content,” wrote alliance President David Chavern on the organization’s website.
“Further erosion of quality news would have dire consequences for society. This is why we believe the FTC should scrutinize potentially anticompetitive conduct by the platforms,” Chavern wrote.
Washington-based News Media Alliance members represent nearly 2,000 diverse news organizations in the U.S., according to the group.