Thursday, December 6, 2007

Meeting with editors cordial but slim on details

We thought it was time to get answers to questions we've had about the goings-on at the Press-Telegram lately. So last Thursday (Nov. 29) P-T Guild leaders sat down with publisher Dave Kuta and executive editor Rich Archbold. Torrance Daily Breeze editor Phillip Stanfield was also in attendance. During the cordial meeting, the company talked about several of its strategies that will continue to impact us (and affect or readers) in the coming months:

— consolidation of the Daily Breeze, Press-Telegram and LA Daily News editorial operations will continue. More design, copy editing duties and writing, including editorial pieces will be shared as LANG seeks to cut costs further;
Daily Breeze editor Sanfeld has been picked by MediaNews executives in Denver to oversee consolidation and admitted that "when push comes to shove, I have the authority" to determine future staff levels and operations at the Press-Telegram.
— as many of you know, Sanfeld has been conducting one-on-one interviews with P-T photographers, copy editors and reporters in recent weeks to find out "what they like about their job, what they want to do in the future and what they bring to the company". Sanfield promised not to throw P-T employees under the bus, however, when future staffing decisions are made despite his ties to the Breeze;
— the P-T advertising department will join us on the 14th floor by Feb. 1. Some advertising folks will occupy space on the 1st floor, where the P-T's former workers were located before being laid off earlier this year.

Consolidation. Here's what MediaNews' consolidation strategy has done to its Bay Area newspapers: After consolidating, MediaNews busts union in Bay-area newsrooms. We want our work and our jobs to stay here, right? Our hometown paper means a lot to us. With all due respect, it seems to us that if the P-T is important to MediaNews, the company would be investing in the P-T product and staff rather than consolidating it with out-of-town newspapers to cut out-of-town corporate costs.

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