Friday, November 30, 2007

The MediaNews recipe for success profits

"If I had my choice between pleasing one banker or 1,000 journalists, I'd rather please the banker." — Dean Singleton on his business philosophy

American Rights @ Work reports on how the company destroys journalism, jobs and democracy. Here's the strategy. Sound familiar?

— Step 1. Purchase a small, but struggling local newspaper cheaply.
— Step 2: Buy all the local papers in a single geographic region.
— Step 3: "Cluster" to combine the operations of the small papers in a single geographic region under one roof. This way all the papers share the same staff, advertising, editors, and printing presses. Also, combining staff makes it easier to eliminate "wasteful redundancies," MediaNews Group's name for newspaper staff members.
— Step 4: "Consolidate" all of the papers of a region under one media group, essentially a subsidiary of the MediaNews Group. This media group houses only one staff writing for 5-10 papers.
— Step 5: Break up the union. Through clustering, union-represented positions are typically eliminated first, resulting in a smaller, weaker union. When consolidating, MediaNews Group combines union-represented staff papers with non-union papers. The tactic is usually the final step in killing the union - as the union-represented workers are now in the minority and cannot overcome the barriers that MediaNews puts in place to stop the union.

It's the plan recently implemented in Northern California. We can't let it happen here in Southern California. How so? Talk to a Guild rep for info about the union strategy.

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