Monday, November 5, 2007

Newly purchased CT papers lose 7 top editors under MediaNews ax

The purchase from Tribune Company was barely finalized last Thursday when new owner MediaNews set about making cuts to consolidate at The Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time. In addition to the fired editors, 3 copy editors, 3 reporters and a paginator were not rehired. (MediaNews required all employees to re-apply for their jobs.)

In a statement we've heard time and again across the MediaNews empire, John Dunster, new publisher of The Advocate and The Time said, "The (newspaper) industry needs to consolidate. We need to find efficiencies in our organization that allow us to put our resources into what means the most to readers."

Sound familiar?

The fired editors had strong links to the community the papers served. Joseph F. Pisani, editor of both papers, saluted the departing editors for their dedication:

"There's a trend in the newspaper industry that suggests newspapers are 'better than they have to be,' that readers don't really want or need quality. But I can't imagine any of these editors settling for anything less than excellence. They were part of a 180-year tradition at these papers that will continue," he said. "They were the people who made The Advocate and Greenwich Time the best small papers in the country - all of them were committed to community journalism."
Commitment to good community journalism doesn't seem to be part of the MediaNews business model. We need to convince it otherwise.

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