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Turbulent Times in N.Y., L.A. Newsrooms

Posted on Feb 15, 2008

Chicago-based real estate mogul Sam Zell is shaking up Tribune-affiliated newsrooms across the country.

It’s been a lively week in the newspaper world, and the excitement hasn’t exactly been of the desirable variety. Earlier in the week, Tribune Co. Chairman and CEO Sam Zell (whose “unconventional” leadership style has caused upsets in Orlando and Los Angeles newsrooms) announced major cutbacks at Tribune papers across the country, and then The New York Times’ Valentine’s Day edition brought word that the Gray Lady will also be downsizing its staff.

The New York Times:

The cuts will be achieved by “by not filling jobs that go vacant, by offering buyouts, and if necessary by layoffs,” said the executive editor, Bill Keller. The more people who accept buyouts, he said, “the smaller the prospect of layoffs, but we should brace ourselves for the likelihood that there will be some layoffs.”

The Times has 1,332 newsroom employees, the largest number in its history; no other American newspaper has more than about 900. There were scattered buyouts and job eliminations in The Times’ newsroom in recent years, but the overall number continued to rise, largely because of the growth of its Internet operations.

Shares in The New York Times Company rose almost 5 percent Thursday after the newsroom staff reductions were reported, closing at $18.84, up 86 cents.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 21, 2008 at 3:45 am Link to this comment

By Lark, February 17: “When this economy goes belly-up soon, one can only hope the NYT will go to hell right along with it…”

The ‘whole damn shithouse is going to go up in smoke’ one day anyway, Lark. Given global warmiong, it really IS all rather “irrelevant and unwanted” anyway, uhh….....

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By Druthers, February 18, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The NYT may be facing hard times but not enough to cease passing off Billy Boy Kristol as a journalist.
I never go to the NYT’s site anymore.

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By cyrena, February 17, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment


We’re still counting votes in California too. Well, at least in Contra Costa County and maybe a few others.

Hillary still claims however, to have ‘won California decisively” According to the same report about the continued count, she DID win California. But I wouldn’t call it ‘decisively’, given the rules of proportionality. Delegate-wise, it was pretty much an even split. (the ongoing count isn’t expected to change much).

Still, it somehow warmed my heart to know that every vote is being counted. Glad we didn’t do the machine thing. Somehow, that touch of the ‘old fashioned’ in me, just feels better about those paper ballots, even if a bunch of them do have to be ‘ironed out’ first, in order to count them.

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By republicanSScareme, February 17, 2008 at 4:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I too used to trust the NYT but now I don’t trust anything they print. They turn out to be just another propaganda outlet for the establishment.

Fortunately, having the internet means we don’t have to choose between being misinformed or uninformed, although your point is well taken. The public must never let Congress or anyone else control the internet.

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By Lark, February 17, 2008 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

I’d rather be uninformed, than misinformed altogether. Half-truths and selective lying by omission are one and the same - blatant lies and more damnable lies equal mere opinions, after all.

And this alone hardly qualifies it as having any enduring value anymore, wouldn’t you think? Its advertisers are mostly hawking stuff none of us really wants or actually needs. If you want to live and experience this degenerate present-day culture, spend your counterfeit dollars on something that will prepare you for the tough road ahead, instead.

Cultivate a few real friends by engaging those who might be there when the chips - and your spirits - are down.

When this economy goes belly-up soon, one can only hope the NYT will go to hell right along with it. They really are irrelevant and unwanted anyway - just like the phony credentialed status quo mouthpieces it breeds… like so many flies… and locusts.

But what’s really despicable about the Times is its elitist ownership and controlling shareholders beholden to their bankster brethren - all of them, thicker than thieves. These holier-than-thou, central-planning imperialists are undeserving of their stewardship of American decency and sense of fair play.

Unfortunately, their subscribers and readership also deserve what they’re getting if they pay them any mind at all. Their reputation as chroniclers of the truth is clad in tatters and rags, so who needs to be victimized by time bandits, I ask?

Eliminate them and their advertisers from your life - what they represent is the ruination of our economy and even civilization itself!

Yet reading this article gives me some hope that normalcy and saner moments one day will cause us all to forget the Times ever needed to exist in the first place.  I, for one, say, “Good grief; and good riddance!”

You don’t still watch television news, do you?

Like the New York Times, I’m afraid - only worse!

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By republicanSScareme, February 16, 2008 at 11:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fascists who run our country are using the Zionists, who own all the major media, to dun down the American people and keep them uninformed

If you watch TV “News”. you will notice that most of what they feed us is CRIME news…Sensational Crime News…to get us distracted from the real problems facing our country and lead us into a mentality of fear.

The newspapers are primarily there to protect the public and not make money. You might think of them as “utilities” and maybe they should be treated as such, especially if we are to guarantee opposing points of view in our threatened democracy/Republic.  The system knows reporters are their enemy so they are trying to get rid of them using economics as an excuse.

I hope everone recognizes this ruse as a Nazi-style plot. Having no news is the best way for these criminals to control the news.

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By Louise, February 16, 2008 at 6:54 pm Link to this comment

“Unofficial Tallies in City Understated Obama Vote”

“Black voters are heavily represented in the 94th Election District in Harlem’s 70th Assembly District. Yet according to the unofficial results from the New York Democratic primary last week, not a single vote in the district was cast for Senator Barack Obama.”

“That anomaly was not unique. In fact, a review by The New York Times of the unofficial results reported on primary night found about 80 election districts among the city’s 6,106 where Mr. Obama supposedly did not receive even one vote, including cases where he ran a respectable race in a nearby district.”

“City election officials this week said that their formal review of the results, which will not be completed for weeks, had confirmed some major discrepancies between the vote totals reported publicly — and unofficially — on primary night and the actual tally on hundreds of voting machines across the city.”

“In the Harlem district, for instance, where the primary night returns suggested a 141 to 0 sweep by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, the vote now stands at 261 to 136. In an even more heavily black district in Brooklyn — where the vote on primary night was recorded as 118 to 0 for Mrs. Clinton — she now barely leads, 118 to 116.”;&oref;=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Whether an anomaly, bad counting, or enough/too much of a coincidence to be ignored. This story deserves reading.

The fact that Hillary Clinton is a New York Senator probably has nothing to do with this strange happenstance ... right?

Right. wink

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By DennisD, February 16, 2008 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look at any newspaper - how much unfiltered, unbiased “news” is actually in it. The ads take up at least 50% of any page other than the front page.

I realize that advertising is a papers major profit source but like most things in this country - if profit is the sole reason for doing something then the product will suffer and eventually cease to exist.

Newspapers used to inform their readers. Now that they’re in the hands of a few corporate media moguls they’re being used to conform us. Most of us have caught on and seek other sources that still provide news and insight, not political and corporate rhetoric.

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By PatrickHenry, February 16, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

With one sided editorial bias coupled with non-reporting and mis-reporting of events, newspapers have become little more than junk mail of a propaganda type.

Edward R Murrow, I miss you.

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By G.Anderson, February 16, 2008 at 12:51 am Link to this comment

“The cost of covering the War they helped promote is more than they had anticipated.”

Republican’s don’t look at the country the way most people do, Republican’s believe they own it, and that every one else are only renter’s.

That their servants have hopes and dreams, and lives and children and families, is just a minor inconvience to their grandiose scheme, to turn the country into a paradise for themselves alone.

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By G.Anderson, February 16, 2008 at 12:02 am Link to this comment

Captain Ahab is on the bridge….

He’s after the great white whale, and he’s bound and determined to get him even if he has to kill his whole crew to do it…

Maybe, strip club ads, would be a good idea, but what ever happened to being a “newspaper”?

I suppose, at times, news can be rather controversial, and there’s a danger of taking people’s minds off the important things in life, like Britanny Spears, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, and this weeks sports scandle.

You also run the risk of offending advertizers, who then pull their adds.

I guess having an informed public isn’t a priority any more.

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By Douglas Chalmers, February 15, 2008 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment

By Thomas Billis, February 15: ”...I used to read the Times as if it were history.Now I would not wrap good fish in it…”

I know that both the NY Times and the Harvard business school blogs wouldn’t publish comments on the subprime mortgage crisis, the value of the $US or the forthcoming recession last year. So utterly precious…...

But the term “newspaper” will soon become redundant too. Tons of newsprint just to get a story onto the street is fast becoming irrelevant and is already an unacceptable burden on the ecosystem. People want their news on their TV or on their PC anyway, not “on the street”.

The great advantage is in being genuinely interactive. No story should get published these days without a blog attached. Registered readers should be able to comment simply by logging on - none of this “selected comments” or “by approval” first.

Of course, they wanted to control their audiences/readership so they now have the kind of problems and issues that will destroy them instead of holding peoples’ interest.  Anyone can start a news blog these days - just look at Rober Scheer, uhh.

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By Thomas Billis, February 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm Link to this comment

The New York Times dug it its own grave in the lawst 15 years of” shitty” reporting.The New York Times went the way the democrats usually go trying to appeal to people who would not piss on you if you were on fire.Hiring Kristol was another such move.The Administration cheerleading until even they could not take it.The support of the War.Judith Miller.I used to read the Times as if it were history.Now I would not wrap good fish in it.Except for Frank Rich.

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By cyrena, February 15, 2008 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment


You said it all right here:

No. Actually we need to call this story:

“The company is under increased pressure from shareholders.”

That after all is the bottom line ... the bottom line.

Meanwhile, the guys that are just trying to earn a living will soon add to the general decline. With more unemployed numbers.


Yes…this says it all. In the reverberation, EVERYBODY looses, and eventually, so do the stockholders.

Like you said, lovely ads of are little value when people have no money to spend on the stuff. And, it’s of NO VALUE to anybody, to have an uninformed public, which is of course exactly what continues to happen, if there aren’t any newspapers, and no professional journalists, and people who don’t have access to alternative media will be left totally in the dark.

Whether it’s an intended consequence or not, this is yet another component of an increasing move toward totalitarianism.

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By Louise, February 15, 2008 at 7:20 pm Link to this comment

The cost of covering the War they helped promote is more than they had anticipated.

I suspect a lot of corporations are finding the profit they anticipated, from the War they wanted, is diminishing.

Revenue from advertising has dropped off.

That’s to be expected when people stop reading the paper. But it’s also to be expected when people have less to spend. Ergo it doesn’t matter how lovely those adds are, if people cant buy, people don’t buy.

Covering a long, drawn out and competitive presidential campaign has been expensive.

Wasn’t supposed to work out that way. All that political PR was supposed to make a profit.

Maybe we should call this news story:
“How to shoot yourself in the foot, without really trying.”

No. Actually we need to call this story:
“The company is under increased pressure from shareholders.”

That after all is the bottom line ... the bottom line.

Meanwhile, the guys that are just trying to earn a living will soon add to the general decline. With more unemployed numbers.

Folks, don’t you just love republican fiscal policy?

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