Thursday, February 14, 2008

A content-sharing, cost-cutting venture revealed

Rumors swirling around the past couple of weeks that Media News properties in Southern California, and possibly elsewhere, will soon be sharing content with the Orange County Register are confirmed with this story posted on this afternoon.

In a meeting with OCR staffers, publisher Terry Horne — according to a source — "confirmed rumors already circulating that the paper was meeting with MediaNews to find ways for both companies to share editorial content in "overlapping" areas of coverage such as sports and entertainment. Horne didn't mention whether any money would change hands in the deal, but he said it would allow both companies to save money by laying off reporters who work beats that both the Reg and Singleton-owned papers, such as the LA Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram, already cover."

Let's talk about this, folks.


tracy said...

There is no rumor about it, the only question is whether the deal goes through. We at the PT have heard it consists mainly of the Register using LANG's Dodger coverage in exchange for the Register's coverage of Angels away games. It's appalling, but not surprising given Singleton's desire to slash and burn jobs so that he can continue to grow his debt pool by purchasing more media outlets (the Register is almost as bad). Never mind the reporting mindset at an Orange County paper is totally different from that of LA County publications -- they reflect two very different communities -- it's simply unacceptable to share with competitors. It is also one step closer to eliminating the number of not just reporters but reporting agencies. This industry continues to fall prey to homogenization which is having a chilling effect on our ability to properly cover important issues (i.e. look at the number of news agencies in Iraq now vs. the first Gulf war). Some of my colleagues argue this deal would affect sports and not news and therefore is not a problem. To that I point to one of the biggest national stories this week: the testimony of Roger Clemens to a congressional committee on the issue of steroids. News comes in all shapes and sizes and all news -- be it entertainment, sports, government, whatever -- should be treated seriously.

Anonymous said...

Why are we reading this account from a third party and not hearing it directly from our editors? It is disrespectful and embarassing to read it in another paper. Being secretive is NO WAY to earn the respect of the newsroom. We saw the meeting last week. DUH!!! The reporters at the OC Register learned of it two weeks ago. Why weren't we told? It certainly would be nice and a refreshing change of pace if the newsroom was given the respect we deserve. Any other surprises you have in place for us? There are and you know it, but we don't expect you to be honest about it. Funny, if the shoe were on the other foot, you would demand openess. Correct me if I'm wrong, but last time I checked we work at a newspaper, where open and honest communication with our audience is paramount. The executive editor needs to practice that style with the newsroom.

Anonymous said...

Former colleagues at the Singleton Empire: My honest advice is to seek a job somewhere else. MediaNews does not appreciate nor offers loyalty to anyone for any reason.