Thursday, March 27, 2008

Survey: We're working more — and working more online

From E&P: The shift from print to online is giving journalists more responsibility, changing job requirements, and more awareness of the commercial side of the business, according to the "2008 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey" announced today. A total of 1,231 people -- including newspaper, magazine, TV, radio, and online journalists -- were polled.

One of the findings: "Despite the uncertainty in the industry, few reporters believe their publications in their current state will disappear. Sixty-three percent of print journalists feel their publication will endure "indefinitely" in its current state."

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

NLRB Case Expected to Aid East Bay Organizing

From OneBigBang: A long-awaited decision by the Washington general counsel’s office of the National Labor Relations Board bolsters an organizing drive by editorial employees seeking to form a new bargaining unit at the Bay Area News Group-East Bay. In a 14-page memorandum from its national headquarters in Washington, D.C., the NLRB Division of Advice, as expected, told the NLRB’s Oakland regional office that it should reject unfair labor practice charges filed by the Northern California Media Workers Guild last fall to protest tactics of the MediaNews Group, owners of virtually every major daily newspaper in the Bay Area except the San Francisco Chronicle.

Report: Newspapers aren't dying

According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, newspapers are still the top source for news in their communities. Last week the Project released its 2008 "The State of the News Media" report. A few highlights about newspapers:

— A shrinking of news staffs and space committed to news continued though 2007 and spread from the big metros to many mid-sized papers. Some of the lost “feet on the street” end up as jobs added to online and niche, but the ambition of newspapers to cover their regions or even basic government functions in nearby exurban towns is on a sharp decline.
— Many metro papers found hyper local coverage to be, in many ways, more work. Covering 12 neighborhoods required more reporting, more resources — and in many cases faced greater competition -- than did covering national issues.
— For the moment, the newspaper industry is profitable — less so than it once was — but still significantly so. And it is, online and print combined, still generating advertising revenue of roughly $45.5 billion a year.
— [Are newspapers dying?] No, they are not. There is life, earnings and maneuvering room in the industry. Even weakened, newspapers remain the top source of news for their communities. The editorial inroads of community-based online publications are patchy geographically and have been slow in coming.

In its summary: "In many ways the audience for news — and for what traditional newsrooms produce — appears to be growing. Nor are journalists failing to adapt. There are more signs in 2008 than ever that news people embrace the new technology and want to innovate."

We want our Press-Telegram to be the top news source for news in the communities it serves. We want our owners to have the same commitment.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rally lifted our spirits, gave us voice but no contract — yet

* Edited and link added– While our bargaining committee met with the company today at a hastily convened off-site location perhaps to avoid our pro-labor rally, Press-Telegram alums, supportive community and labor leaders, union brothers and sisters, family and friends joined us today at our noontime rally where we gave voice to our demands for a fair contract and an end to corporate union-busting at the Press-Telegram.

Members of the Long Beach city council including Mayor Foster came by to offer support. Councilwomen Bonnie Lowenthal and Tonia Reyes Uranga grabbed signs and joined our parade as we strolled for an hour during lunch break on the Ocean Boulevard sidewalk in front of the Arco Building where P-T offices are housed.

"With the slash and burn techniques of the Singleton Group, the Media[News] Group ... what they're doing is debilitating a good neighborhood newspaper," Councilwoman Reyes Uranga told us. "You are the placeholders for democracy here in the City of Long Beach...we need to let the entire community know that they need to get behind you and that you need to ensure that you have a contract — a fair contract — and we have reporters at the Press-Telegram that are well paid. And no more layoffs! No more layoffs!"

Councilwoman Lowenthal added her support for us saying "There is no replacement for local journalism." Referring to last year's sale of the old Press-Telegram building by MediaNews for $20 million, she asked the crowd, "Has anybody in Long Beach, any local journalist seen a penny of that money?" No!

Fact is, we have seen no evidence that the $16 million profit was reinvested in Long Beach's Press-Telegram. Just more cuts to staff and resources. Our newspaper has been sucked dry.

Bargaining committee members joined us at the conclusion of what turned out to be a very short session. The company moved a nanometer: it offered to drop it's push for the right to freeze wages at any time and for any reason of its choosing, but only if we accept its 0-2-2 percent wage offer (over 3 years). See related story at

Hmm, so ten years ago we earned 5% more than we earn now. Now let's factor in current COLA and inflation rates ...

— Pictured: At top, staffers and friends raise voices in rally chants; bottom left, councilwoman Bonnie Lowenthal; councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga, in bottom right photo at left with P-T alum and former unit chair Natalie Shore.
Photos by P-T photographer and Guild member Steven Georges

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Despite the cuts, we're still dedicated to our community

Long Beach Business Journal staff writers Stacy Clements and Thyda Duong spoke with city officials, community members and industry experts for their take on recent events at the P-T. Their three-part story is a look at both local and industry-wide perspectives.

We're glad that other local media is giving space to what's happening to the century-old hometown daily. We feel good about the balanced LBBJ story at a time when we have to work hard at feeling good about much these days:

“The few people that do remain don’t know if they have any job security [or] what’s going to happen next week. Frankly, a lot of people have their résumés out,” [Kris] Hanson says. “We’re still doing the best job we can – we’re still dedicated to this community.”

“We’ve been through these cuts for the past decade,” he adds. “I wonder what the company’s growth strategy is. They can’t cut their way to success.”

Saturday, March 15, 2008

OOPS! * **

It's a big mistake that most likely could have been avoided, if the Press-Telegram had control of its own copy editors, instead of shipping them out of Long Beach.

Friday (March 14), a story about the selection of Cerritos Mayor Jim Edwards didn't feature his picture. Instead, a picture of an accused child molester had been inserted by the Daily Breeze "better" production system into the Press-Telegram.

The preliminary report from Torrance, the homebase for most of the "new" Press-Telegram, is that there was a technical problem.

Yeah, like not having enough "local" copy editors who would know the difference.

* March 19 clarification: We've received quite a bit of flack for this post, as the comments will show. In pointing out the above error as an example of the downside in LANG's decision to move P-T copy editors to a universal copy desk outside Long Beach, several of our colleagues — experienced P-T copy editors who recently transfered to the Torrance Daily Breeze as part of LANG's consolidation-and-cut strategy — thought that we were taking a cheap shot at their (and Breeze copy editors') competency and professionalism. That was not the intent of the post and we regret that it has been taken that way.

** We welcome passionate dialogue and discussion but recent comments to this particular post contain personal attacks. Further comments to it will not be published. Concerned readers are encouraged to contact us at — Moderators

Local news important to Long Beach community

Greg Mellen spoke about our Press-Telegram to a receptive crowd of fifty or so local residents at the March 13 meeting of the Belmont Shore Residents Association. He talked with them about why having a newspaper that serves a community of a 500,000 people and reports the local news is important to the reader.

At the P-T we only have 12 news reporters to cover Long Beach and 19 surrounding communities. We only have two weekend reporters and two sports reporters to cover nearly 50 high schools. To say the coverage is inadequate is an understatement.

“Why is this important to you?” Mellen asked. “Because as staff dwindles you end up losing your local content.”

When we lose staff with years of experience who have developed contacts in the community we lose the stories they can tell. As our paper’s circulation declines along with the amount of local content we provide, the Press-Telegram becomes less relevant.

At the March 3 City Council meeting Press-Telegram reporter Tracy Manzer used the analogy of someone having cancer. Doctors have learned they can only cut out so much out of the body without fortifying it before the body dies. Mayor Foster spoke of U.S. Steel and how the cuts and reductions in the industry without reinvestment resulted in a death spiral for
the industry in America.

When you make dramatic cuts in staff and replace local news with news from the South Bay and the Valley, how is it relevant to Long Beach?

MediaNews' strategy of cuts and clusters and homogeneity is clear and has been laid out in its newspapers in Northern California.

Long Beach is a major-league city with a paper that is being pushed into minor-league status. Our community deserves a better product. If you want to share your concerns please contact Ed Moss LANG executive, the publisher Mark Ficarra, and your councilperson let them know you want to read the local news in the Press-Telegram, your hometown paper.

“I think we’re all going to lose if it doesn’t change.”

Comments from the audience included “I was always happy to get my morning paper and have my coffee - not anymore” and “The paper has turned into an animal I don’t recognize.”

(Photo by P-T photographer Steve Carr)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tributes to our colleagues *

These days are hard on us, harder for those to whom we've had to say goodbye. We'll continue to post tributes as they come in ... *Updated

Cyndie Miles, page designer (2000-2008)
In a newspaper where most tenures are short-lived, Cyndie Miles was considered a veteran as a designer. The highly talented and creative designer — responsible for most of the spectacular BeachWeek sections — had worked at the newspaper for eight years. However, despite a heavy workload, she also volunteered many hours as a newsroom steward, and she was instrumental at keeping the Guild on top of contract violations and abuses. At the bargaining table several years ago, she had an excellent talent of recalling conversations and details unfolding in sometimes complicated sessions with management. Sometimes the total recall could be years after the event. She was also often thoughtful of others, bringing home-baked cookies and other snacks, which we could enjoy while she also shared some of the latest newsroom gossip — her desk was directly across
from our former publisher's office!

Osvaldo Cisternas, page designer (1998-2008)
Osvaldo is a very talented graphic artist and journalist who was with the Press-Telegram for ten years. The production staff at any newspaper has a thankless task. They’re the mostly-unseen staff that takes whatever they get and makes it as attractive, interesting and as well-presented as possible by deadline and unfortunately, often has to tear it all up for breaking news — usually an hour before deadline — and do it all over again. Anyone in this business knows how crazy, stressful and competitive it can get. I’'ve rarely felt the latter at the P-T and enjoyed the former more than I probably should have because of co-workers like Osvaldo. I admire his ability to maintain great composure and patience while churning out massive features sections on tight pre-run deadlines. I admire that he suceeded in maintaining the high quality of his work even with the challenges of unpredictable software, computer crashes and high-strung editors. He'’s never been too busy to take a look at pages and offer some advice and nice enough not to be too blunt with his critiques. I’'ve learned a lot in the time I’'ve worked with him, including the importance of a chocolate break. Through all the design bosses, UNISYS, “the move”, the dissolution of "“U"” and the incredible, shrinking P-T (oh yeah, and even designing sports) he never lost his sense of humor. It’s been an honor and privilege to have worked with him. And despite what you may have heard about our “odd couple” cube seating arrangement — no really, that apple’'s only been there a week.— I’'m gonna miss him. – C.Miles

Mark Carpenter, assistant sports editor (1998-2008)
Mark was one of the best, if not the best, copy editors at the Press-Telegram. He has an incredible eye for detail and was extremely conscientious in his job. He is the type of guy that you absolutely wanted to look at the final proof of the section head from before it went to press. An avid USC fan and a USC graduate, Mark is a true pro who always helped out his co-workers and did more than the call of duty. –J. Stevens

Ben Villa, sports reporter (1994 - 2008)
Ben covered preps at the Press-Telegram for more than a decade and was backing up the Angels in recent years. He juggled his P-T duties with caring for his 14-month-old Ben Jr. in his off time. He's a caring husband to his wife Cindy and was always upbeat in the office. He remained positive and in good spirits despite all of the turmoil at the P-T. –J. Stevens

Dave Werstine, sports reporter (1998 - 2008)
The Michigan native set up his family in Long Beach and is happily married with four children. He loves hockey and the Detroit Red Wings and was strong as both a writer and copy editor. He covered the Ice Dogs for seven seasons and covered Long Beach State, preps and an array of sports stories after the puppies folded. Ridiculously nicknamed "Mr. Fister," his sense of humor often left the sports desk in stitches, despite being borderline inappropriate. Or maybe that's why it was so damn funny. –J. Stevens

Earl Williams, reporter (1998 - 2008)
Earl covered preps for the Press-Telegram and the Los Angeles Sparks for Singleton's newspaper group. He had a passion for sports, got out in the community and had a knack with finding good feature stories. He's a guy with a big heart who always gave his all in the job and made a lot of friends in the community on his beats. –J. Stevens

Kevin Chang , photographer (2004 - 2008)
Kevin began his career at the Press-Telegram in the summer of 2004 as an intern and then came on full-time as a staff photographer in March of 2006. He's a sponge; soaked everything up he could learn during his time at the paper, always bringing his sense of humor and positive energy no matter what the task or circumstance. Kevin takes his craft seriously and passionately, and most importantly, is never afraid to ask questions. One of the many great things he did for the Press-Telegram, was that when he found a great story, he really ran with it. The recent story about Cambodian kick-boxer Oumry Ban, who was struggling to make it himself while helping others make it in the sometime-gritty streets of Long Beach was an example of his tenacity. He spent countless extra hours of his own time on the story he wanted to be sure was done right. His selflessness, positive energy and ability to know that this photojournalism thing is a never-ending learning experience. Kevin has plans to go to China this year and document the ever-changing lives of people on the other side of the world. All of us wish him well on his journeys — where ever they take him. Kevin, the P-T door — no matter how small it gets — will always be open to you. Just make sure you sign in with the guard downstairs. ; ) –S.Carr

Monday, March 10, 2008

Despite layoffs, San Jose Guild rallies for quality and unity *

More than 100 members of the San Jose Newspaper Guild’s Mercury News unit rallied in front of the newspaper Friday to show their support for laid-off workers – and their resolve to defend editorial quality against shortsighted corporate cost cuts.

The Guild members wore black to express not only sadness about the loss of so many valued colleagues but mourning at the damage being done to what has long been regarded as one of the best newspapers in the West.

“We will be a lesser paper after this,” Sylvia Ulloa, a Mercury News news designer and president of the San Jose local, told her coworkers.

But she said Guild members are determined to move past the grief to a new commitment to build more union power. “We need to show the company we’re united, and not intimidated,” she said. “We must organize. We must mobilize.”

* Link updated

Friday, March 7, 2008

San Jose Merc News hit with 50 cuts* **

The staff reduction was achieved through a combination of layoffs and buyouts.

Fifteen newsroom employees and 19 employees from other parts of the paper were laid off today. Earlier in the week, 16 employees accepted buyout offers, five from the newsroom. The reductions represent a cut of about 5 percent for the newspaper.
Wonder how much money MediaNews is saving in labor costs as a result of its massive state-wide job cuts.

* Update: Cuts to the newsroom shave 10% of its staff
"We're getting so numb to these cuts," said Sylvia Ulloa, president of the San Jose Newspaper Guild. "It hurts and it's bad emotionally, but to be quite honest I don't think this is the last of the cuts this paper is willing to make."
Staffers dressed in black and gathered for a noon ceremony Friday to honor laid-off colleagues. "It's like a morgue in there," said Ulloa, who is also a designer at the paper. "The newsroom is really demoralized. A lot of people are angry at the shortsightedness" of the cuts.
** Update 2: 107 took buyouts in BANG-EB, averting involuntary layoffs.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

San Gabriel Valley hit with lay offs

Gary Scott reports a bloodbath is in the works at the "new Inland Group" — San Bernadino Sun, Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, Ontario Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and the Redlands Daily Facts — with as many as 30 people out of jobs today and tomorrow.

One commenter wrote: " It was an absolute bloodletting today. At least 30 people among SGV, Ontario, S.B. and Redlands. A complete disaster. What was left of these papers are now just ashes."

This is a terrible week for MediaNews employees here in California and a terrible week for California journalism. Where's the outrage? Media News purchased and is sucking dry every newspaper up and down this state: from the big San Jose Mercury News and Long Beach Press-Telegram — to the smaller East County Times and Whittier Daily News.

It doesn't have to be like this. Others agree. We'll be at a half-day summit sponsored by Common Cause and Free Press on the state of the media in Southern California March 29.

Former SJ Merc editor: RIP Mercury News

This is also a brutal week for our brothers and sisters in the Bay Area. "Media Grunt" Michael Bazeley blogs "At the risk of offending my friends and former colleagues still at the San Jose Mercury News, I’m writing its obituary today. There will be more buyouts and layoffs this week, the fourth round of en-masse departures in the last few years. Sadly, I fear the paper will not recover."

The Merc - thin and largely devoid of substantive, insightful coverage - will become increasingly irrelevant to most area news consumers - as many other Media News papers are in the rest of the Bay Area. People will lament the loss of a once good paper. But they’ll survive, because local news isn’t that important to them, and the rest they can get elsewhere.
It doesn’t need to be this way. I still believe there are ways for media outlets like the Mercury News to survive in the current media landscape. But the conversation needs to start with a blank whiteboard. You can’t continue to tear off pieces of the current business and downsize your way into the future.
He suggests there are "intriging possibilties" about starting from scratch. Read him here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

City council's concern appreciated

The following are comments made by long-time P-T reporter and union activist Joe Segura in response to the Long Beach City Council's agenda item regarding the cuts in coverage and staffing at the Press-Telegram :

"Honorable Mayor and Council Members, my name is Joe Segura and I'm with the Southern California Media Guild, CWA Local 9400. I want to express our deep appreciation for your time and concern about the local newspaper ... I'm sorry, I mean ... the new Torrance Press-Telegram.

The Guild's on-going efforts to bring about stability to the newsroom have been repeatedly shot down by Denver-based MediaNews, with on-going cuts in staffing and resources that crippled efforts to improve local coverage.

There has been little — if any — regard for the product delivered to our loyal readers, or for our workers or editors. The loss of our managing editor and publisher is the latest slap in the face and all pretense of delivering local news has been abandoned. With the on-going cuts since the Press-Telegram was sold in 1997, production costs have shrunk and profits have been pumped to Denver.

We have only ten newsroom reporters to cover five major beats and the state's fifth largest city and nineteen communities. Needless to say, the task is difficult, especially since it now appears that the company is taking measures of busting our union. This will make it almost impossible for us to earn a living wage. There will be more journalists taking jobs elsewhere, undermining efforts to bring about stability to our local news delivery system, which is shifting to the Torrance Daily Breeze and the Orange County Register.

Our publisher and managing editor have been laid off, leaving the future of this publication in the hands of people who don't reside in this community and have few ties to it.

'The job of a newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable' [wrote] Mark Twain, but it seems management has lost sight of this important role."

Related: City Council hopes its vote will stop Press-Telegram's corporate "death spiral" — The District Weekly

Photo by laid-off photographer Kevin Chang

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The news becomes news *

Updated March 6 (end of post)

The Long Beach City Council on Tuesday night unanimously passed a motion to study the city government's financial relationship with the Press-Telegram, with the possibility of pulling their ads, at wake of last week's layoffs and re-structuring.

The City Manager will be examining how much its departments spend on advertising in the P-T. The intent behind the council's study arises from its concern that the city is advertising in a local paper that reaches the people the city hopes to reach (and that there could be other alternate media outlets the city could advertise with); and to affect some influence in what's going on inside the P-T and its woes.

Council members during the course of discussion pointed out that they have seen a decline in the newspaper's quality since MNG CEO Dean Singleton bought the paper 11 years ago.

About 50 P-T reporters, photographers, copy editors and layout designers and former staff reporters attended the meeting. Several spoke about the distressing state of the paper, the newspaper industry, and provided council members and residents with a highly condensed history of MediaNews owner Dean Singleton: that the P-T is among many of MediaNews Group-owned local papers whose diminished qualities are the casualties of Singleton's buy-em-and-bleed-em revenue model.

The advertising dollars the city of Long Beach provides the P-T go to Denver and benefit Singleton and his top execs and are flushed to help leverage the company's heavy debts, said former P-T reporter Keith Higginbotham.

Not much is reinvested in the P-T. For that, Long Beach and the cities the P-T's skeletal staff struggle to cover. There are simply not enough reporters to be there and as a result, the P-T misses out on local stories, Vice-Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal pointed out.

Executive Editor Rich Archbold also made an appearance Tuesday evening to downplay the plight of the P-T.

"We're not going anywhere," he said, much to the amusement and dismay of his staff.

Moving the copy and design desk to Torrance means only that more phone calls will be made, he said.

And if he could, he added, he'd like to hire more staffers — ommitting the fact that such decisions are not within his power or sphere of influence to act on.

Staffers who addressed council members told a different story.

Reporter Tracy Manzer used a cancer analogy to describe what's happening: that to kill the cancer, the malignant growth needs to be excised; that recent medical research also found that cutting out too much could hurt and kill the body; and that MediaNews' is gutting its newspapers so deeply that they are dying.

"I know how to spell your names," copy editor Megan Lasswell said to council members, adding that she also knew which Lowenthal was which in a family whose several members are active politics.

The demonstration of institutional knowledge is vital to the local paper. Copy editors are considered the last line of defense against errors, and their familiarity with our communities are invaluable in producing a daily newspaper.

Lasswell, a Long Beach resident, said she has yet to know when her job — if she still has one one — will take her to Torrance. Losing a P-T copy editor, let alone their entire department is a big blow; would a Torrance counterpart know, or care, as much?

ILWU Local 13's Rich Dines' correspondence with Singleton during the P-T ongoing contract negotiations exemplifies MNG's investment and interest in its dailies: Singleton said he doesn't get involved in such local issues, Dines said.

Since the inception of this blog, we've heard from many of you through e-mail and in posted comments. We're grateful for the interest and the time readers — P-T staffers, and fellow journalists and non-journalists alike — took to read and drop us a line. One of the most common questions we receive is: Why stay in an a career, in a newspaper, that's seeing its darkest times? Why keep whining if you can just, you know, go?

Truth is, many of the P-T's staffers did. Some are in the process of leaving. Yet, there are still some of us who stay, with many complex reasons too numerous to name, but all bound by the fact that we still love what we do. And we hope to continue doing it.

We've been using this blog as a mobilization tool to inform about what's been happening at the P-T, not to mention give some insight into some of the stories happening behind the scenes. Tonight, we accomplished what we hoped to do: to get the community (and its leadership) to understand and get involved because the P-T, in truth, belongs to them. We also saw fellow journalists and up-and-coming student journalists Tuesday night, covering out story. We plan to keep fighting, to keep producing your daily newspaper — we hope you'll stand with us as this story unfolds.

(Photos by laid off P-T photographer Kevin Chang)

* Author's clarification: A former Torrance editor took the time to commiserate with us and brought up a good point.

Losing a P-T copy editor, let alone their entire department is a big blow; would a Torrance counterpart know, or care, as much?
While it's not our intention to question or cast under doubtful light the professionalism of our Breeze colleagues, we can see how the statement above could be read as such. For that, we apologize. What we mean to express is: a local copy editor with local knowledge is invaluable and likely has an edge over a Breeze counterpart whose task loads are now doubled by MNG's latest razing.

The last thing we want to do is to stoke animosity between the P-T and the Breeze, both hard-working crews, whose jobs are equally imperiled under Singleton's watch.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Guild takes action *

In a meeting Monday with LANG VP of Labor Relations, Local 9400 Guild reps sought to lessen the sting of the recent newsroom cutbacks. Though some progress was made, our reps got another grim look at the company's intensified greedy grab of resources.

They hand-delivered a number of grievances it has filed over the company's stampede to railroad loyal workers off the payroll. With its surprise announcement of "transfers" and layoffs, the company failed to provide a contractual 2-week notice to the union. Guild reps demanded the company honor the provision requiring such notice of lay offs and a two-week severance payment for every employee affected. While the company agreed, it all but ruled out any opportunity for an enhanced severance package, claiming those additional company costs would need to be offset by additional staff cuts.
The Guild is reviewing potentials for legal action on other contract violations.

It's been suggested that the company blind-sided the union. Rumors have circulated for months about the possibility of cuts and while the union has repeatedly inquired if there was any basis to them, the company remained vague. Its actions here and at the LA Daily News last week speaks volumes about a company that cares very little about its employees.

* Clarification from Vicki Di Paolo, VP CWA Local 9400
"The contractual 2-week notice to the Guild provides an opportunity for your representatives to meet with the company and discus the impact to the affected staff. Although the company informed us, at our meeting Monday March 3, that they are not interested in enhancing the amount of severance as doing so may result in the need for additional layoffs we did discuss the possibility of enhanced COBRA and tuition reimbursement benefits. Friday, March 7, at 10:00 am. We will be meeting again for further talks."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Behind the byline

This article ran in Saturday's P-T.

It was rejected at least once, as staffers on Friday remained angry over the lay-off and the tactless closing note provided by LANG's VP of human resources and labor relations. This MNG suit, besieged by more questions than he could tolerate from an upset newspaper staff, said that if the Q&A were an Oscar's speech it would have been cut off by the exit music. Classy.

Overheard and observed in the newsroom as the reporter who wrote this story, were several editors supervising the way it was covered. They wanted the focus on the P-T's new publisher - who will be based out of Torrance - instead of the dismantlement of our copy and design desks. Nine employees were listed as laid off, but that's looking at the best-case scenario that 12 of 21 former copy editors and designers are hired at the Breeze. That number also did not figure in employees outside the newsroom who were also laid off, one of them an individual who's been with the company since 1981. Counting two reporters that resigned last week, the P-T's loss is greater than nine.