Archive for February 2010
Employees at Honolulu’s two newspapers are still trying to make sense of a buyout that could put them out of work, writes Duane Shimogawa of HawaiiNewsNow tonight.
Both dailies employ 900 people and all of their fates are still up in the air a day after news broke the owner of the Star-Bulletin is buying the Advertiser.
Union leaders say it’s still too early to tell how many people will be laid off. They say they haven’t met with the new owners just yet. But they did sit down with the Hawaii Newspaper and Printing Trades Council and later on Friday, they met with Gannett officials, the owners of the Advertiser, to talk about the future of employees of both papers.
There are a total of nine unions at both the Advertiser and the Star-Bulletin that cover a total of about 600 employees, around 400 at the Advertiser and 200 at the Star-Bulletin.
The Hawaii Newspaper Guild represents employees from both papers.
“The company’s obligated to bargaining with us, Gannett to bargain with us over the effects of the sale and how it affects employees,” Hawaii Newspaper Guild’s Wayne Cahill said.
We do know retirees will keep their pensions and all workers will continue under their current contracts for now.
“The company has the right to do layoffs under both union contracts,” Cahill said. “They have to do any layoffs by seniority that is that most recently hired would be the first to be fired.”
Cahill says Advertiser employees are guaranteed their jobs until the day of the sale.
MSNBC personality and radio talk-show host Ed Schultz had some choice words aout former Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent heart problems:
You’re damn right, Dick Cheney’s heart’s a political football. We ought to rip it out and kick it around and stuff it back in him. I’m glad he didn’t tip over. He is the new poster child for health care in this country.
… And we want Shooter to make it. Hell, we hope he goes and shoots somebody else in the face. That was a helluva story way back when.
… How come Dick Cheney’s health care isn’t being dropped? Do you realize that if you had five heart attacks, hell, you wouldn’t get past two heart attacks and they’d dump you.
But because you’re a war criminal and because you are on the take from Haliburton and you had these executive meetings in 2001 back in the, you know, the days of the rolling blackouts and executive privilege on how we’re going to develop energy policy in this country, you do stuff like that, hell, you can get the best health care on the face of the earth.
Nice, very classy. Tony Kornheiser got suspended from ESPN for remarks that were no where near as offensive. I’m sure MSNBC (which by the way, stands for “Must See Nothing But Curling,” according to Chuck Todd) will let it go.
Shaw Suburban Media, a division of Shaw Newspapers, and Paddock Publications announced today that Paddock will begin printing Shaw newspapers at its production facility in Schaumburg, Ill., reports NewsandTech.com.
Thirty-one employees are affected. Some will be interviewed for new positions, others will be laid off.
Paddock, which publishes the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, will begin printing the Northwest Herald, currently published in Crystal Lake, the Daily Chronicle of DeKalb, the Kane County Chronicle, the Lake County Journal, the MidWeek and several other publications at its 160,000-square-foot Paddock Printing Center, beginning in late March. The transition is expected to be complete by mid-April, the publishers said.
“Outsourcing our production to Paddock will enable us to utilize state-of-the-art-printing technology to better serve our readers and advertisers,” said John Rung, Suburban Media’s chief operating officer. “We will have more color capacity and better reproduction. The move will also allow us to focus future capital investment on digital technology.”
Paddock said it’s agreed to interview the 25 full-time and six part-time Shaw production employees affected by the outsourcing for possible employment. Some may be reassigned to new roles within Shaw, while displaced employees will be offered a severance package and out-placement services.
Paddock’s Schaumburg facility, anchored by two manroland presses, opened in late 2002. Shaw’s Crystal Lake production center was built in 1985, and expanded in 1989 and 2003.
The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., announced yesterday that it had laid off nine full-time and five part-time employees. Publisher Tony Baker also said that five other open positions will not be filled for now.
The job eliminations occurred in all operating departments. The majority of the affected positions were in circulation and human resources. Affected staff members were notified Wednesday and each received a severance package.
In a letter to employees, Baker said the downsizing was a “painful but necessary decision prompted by weaker than anticipated advertising revenue.”
The Register-Guard’s work force after the layoffs will stand at 286 employees, Chief Operating Officer David Pero said.
“We continue to be the leading provider of local information customers value; there is a profitable market for the business that can dominate that niche,” Baker said in his letter to employees.
“The recession has dealt most local businesses financial setbacks of varying degrees. The R-G, which depends heavily on the fortunes of those same local businesses for our success, has been hit particularly hard through downturns in the retail, automotive, real estate and employment arenas. Each of those sectors will rebound as the economy shows real improvement. And when they do, we must be positioned to take advantage of the opportunities they present.”
The Oregonian announced today the layoffs of 37 employees. The Portland-based newspaper said that the majority are in the news department, with smaller numbers in advertising, circulation and accounting. Affected staff members were notified this morning.
The layoffs had been expected, and are part of News Cycle’s newspaper layoff count in December of last year.
Severance packages were offered. Staffers were informed last year that layoffs were likely this month. The Oregonian, like all newspapers, has endured declining revenues the past few years, the result of the recession and the migration of advertising to the Internet.
After the layoff, Oregonian Publishing Company will have 750 employees, more than 200 of whom work in the news department.
“These layoffs are a painful but necessary part of our 2010 budget, which was developed to ensure financial stability for The Oregonian now and in the future,” said N. Christian Anderson III, president and publisher of The Oregonian.
Sales of new single-family houses in January 2010 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 309,000, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
This is 11.2 percent below the revised December rate of 348,000 and is 6.1 percent (±15.1%)* below the January 2009 estimate of 329,000.
The median sales price of new houses sold in January 2010 was $203,500; the average sales price was $254,500. The seasonally adjusted estimate of new houses for sale at the end of January was 234,000. This represents a supply of 9.1 months at the current sales rate.
The Senate conducted this debate on its filibuster rules in 2005. It’s the same debate it is having now, but the players have switched sides: