MediaNews Group executive chairman Dean Singleton says the “irresponsible” press release put out Friday by the Newspaper Guild was based on “a casual phone conversation” he had with guild president Bernie Lunzer about the future of the newspaper industry, and that “contrary to the assertions made in the release, there are no plans for ‘national consolidation’ of MNG’s editing processes,” he writes. (Full statement after the jump.)
The following was sent to MediaNews Group editors by Dave Butler, MNG vice president for news and editor of the San Jose Mercury News.
Fellow MNG editors:
FYI. I spoke to Dean Singleton this afternoon about the statement put out by the Guild regarding a national copy editing center. Below is his response to their press release. I would further add that we have two projects going on that fly in the face of any “national” center. We have consultant Ken Harding working with editors in Denver, Salt Lake and St. Paul to figure out ways to make local news production more efficient at each paper, and just yesterday a group from BANG went to LANG to exchange ideas on how we might streamline our regional desks. We also have some mini-regional desks around the company and may, at some point, consider more. Like most other newspaper companies, regionalization — where appropriate — seems to work well. Would we rule out doing something else? Nope. But the capital costs of one center and the challenges involved seem pretty daunting to me. Please share this information as is appropriate.
The Newspaper Guild on Friday issued a press release referring to a casual phone conversation I had with Bernie Lunser, president of the Guild, concerning the future of the newspaper industry and how newspapers can better serve their readers in print, online and on mobile products.
Contrary to the assertions made in the release, there are no plans for “national consolidation” of MNG’s editing processes.
While we constantly assess better ways to serve our readers in this changing and uncertain world, including the Guild in these considerations are not a part of those assessments.
The irresponsible Guild press release is a perfect example of why we don’t.
There is no future for any of us if we continue to live in the past. Someone should tell that to the Guild.