Articles about "Layoffs/buyouts/staff cuts"


NYT edges closer to layoffs

Good morning. Almost there. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. NYT may have layoffs, after all

    A memo from Janet Elder says the news org may not have enough buyout applications to forgo layoffs. "Early efforts to handicap the outcome regrettably point to having to do some layoffs." Also, if you take the buyout, MOMA will not let you in for free anymore. (Mother Jones) | Last month Keith J. Kelly reported that more than 300 people had filed buyout applications, but many were "just securing their rights and checking it out," Guild unit rep Grant Glickson said. (NY Post) | Floyd Norris is taking the buyout. (Talking Biz News) | More N.Y. Guild news: Eight Guild members who worked at Reuters' Insider video project are losing their jobs. (The Newspaper Guild of New York) | Time Inc. has declared it's at an "impasse" with the union and "can begin unilaterally imposing many of the terms, including the right to farm out up to 60 full-time jobs while slashing vacation and medical benefits and eliminating voluntary buyout provisions from future layoffs." The Guild has asked the NLRB to investigate. (NY Post)

  2. Aereo files for bankruptcy

    The "challenges have proven too difficult to overcome," the company says. (Aereo) | "Aereo's CEO told early VCs: This either will be the best investment of your career, or it will be a total loss. There is no in between." (@danprimack)

  3. Networks on Obama's immigration reform speech:

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    ABC, NBC and CBS gave it a "collective shrug," Erik Wemple reports. "Asked whether the White House formally requested coverage, the White House wouldn’t even provide the Erik Wemple Blog an on-the-record response." (WP) | New York Post front: "Bamnesty" | "Sí se pudo": How La Opinión and El Diario La Prensa covered the speech. (WP)

  4. Gatehouse parent co. buys Halifax newspapers

    New Media Investment Group will pay $280 million for Halifax's 36 newspapers, which include 24 dailies. (NMIG) | NMIG will be the Worcester (Massachusetts) Telegram & Gazette's third owner in 16 months. (T&G)

  5. Phone hacking scandal principals move on

    Rebekah Brooks may be named editor of the New York Post, Leela de Kretser writes in a kicky inaugural column for Capital. She and her family are "ensconced in an Upper East Side pad." (Capital) | Former News of the World Editor Andy Coulson got out of jail early. (The Guardian)

  6. Your daily BuzzFeed links

    Should BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith have disclosed that some of his publication's backers have invested in Uber competitors? It's "easy to see this sort of thing creating an endless rabbit hole," Peter Kafka writes. (Re/code) | BuzzFeed has discovered that "social URLs" -- think back to the punny headlines you may have written before Google ruined all your fun -- can "act like a rocket booster for a post," Lucia Moses reports. Note the URL on the story. (Digiday)

  7. #Pointergate: The timeline

    Corey Hutchins writes a fabulous tick-tock of KSTP's ludicrous non-story and its risible attempts to defend it. Owner Stanley Hubbard confirms the station's initial tip came from "the police federation guy" and says the station polled viewers after it became a national laughingstock for running it: "We just did a major study—we wanted to find out the public reaction—I haven’t got the number exactly, but it’s something like 65 or 70 percent of the people don’t care one way or the other. But interestingly, of those who are aware of the story, 52 percent of black people say, ‘Good for you, right on.’” (CJR) | The Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists calls the story "fundamentally flawed." (MNSPJ) | A big takeaway from all this from David Brauer: "Primarily, we should be vigilant about civilian control of police." (Southwest Journal) | Hubbard called a sponsor's decision to pull advertising from KSTP "unbelievable." Finally, something KSTP finds hard to believe. (MPR News)

  8. HuffPost may host Jill Abramson-Steven Brill startup

    A "decision on a deal is likely to be made soon," David Carr and Ravi Somaiya report. (NYT)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Washington Post goes big on Obama's immigration action. (Courtesy the Newseum)
    wp-11212014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Dan Lyons is now editor-in-chief at Valleywag. Previously, he was a marketing fellow at HubSpot. (Re/code) | Rachel Racusen will be vice president of communications at MSNBC. Previously, she was associate communications director for the White House. (Playbook) | Jeff Fager will be an executive producer at "60 Minutes". Previously, he was chairman of CBS News. (Politico) | Nitasha Tiku is now a west coast senior writer at The Verge. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of Valleywag. (Business Insider) | Jason Kravarik is now a producer at CNN. Previously, he was assistant news director at KOIN in Portland, Oregon. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Rockford (Illinois) Register Star is looking for an editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Let the talk of NYT buyouts begin

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Let the talk of NYT buyouts begin

    No newsroom names yet, but "but news of potential or likely takers are spreading among their colleagues." On the business side, Yasmin Namini and Tom Carley are confirmed takers. Application deadline is Dec. 1. (Capital)

  2. Get ready to cover Ferguson again

    One thing you might want to do: Learn the difference between "downtown" St. Louis and the Loop. (Reuters) | "Learn basics. Or we're sending our people to report on Manhattan entirely from Staten Island." (@sarahkendzior) | Kristen Hare gave you some basics about the region back in August. (Poynter) | She's still updating her Twitter list of journalists in the region. | Reread this if you get a sec: "How municipalities in St. Louis County, Mo., profit from poverty" (WP)

  3. "#pointergate" continues

    KSTP's report is "truly an example of shoddy journalism," Brian Stelter says. (CNN) | KSTP continues to defend its non-story: "When the picture came to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, we were skeptical. So our newsroom spent four days vetting the story." And yet. (KSTP)

  4. Hello, Marshall Project

    The site launched over the weekend, and The Washington Post published the first part of an investigation by the Marshall Project Sunday. Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller opens with a list of expectations for its journalists. (The Marshall Project) | "As far as I know, folks like ProPublica and other nonprofit journalism organizations are 100 percent nonprofit, and then you have places like BuzzFeed or The New York Times that are 100 percent commercially supported,” founder Neil Barsky tells Ravi Somaiya. “Why can’t you have a hybrid? (NYT) | "By focusing exclusively on criminal justice, Keller said, the project could be 'a jump ahead of the rest of the press [on a story like the Michael Brown shooting] in identifying the issues that are at the heart of it.'” (HuffPost)

  5. Whoops

    "Er, that'd be SCRAPPY." -- NPR's Twitter account Saturday, after a tweet about "New Jersey's crappy, chaotic and iconoclastic radio station WFMU." (@nprnews)

  6. Time apologizes for "feminist" stunt

    "TIME apologizes for the execution of this poll; the word ‘feminist’ should not have been included in a list of words to ban," Managing Editor Nancy Gibbs writes. "While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice." (Time) | "As soon as I read that four days ago I knew Time was going to end up apologizing." (Jay Rosen's Facebook)

  7. From journalism to poverty

    "It’s humiliating to be poor, to be dependent on the kindness of family and friends and government subsidies," former Washington Post journalist (and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, native) William McPherson writes. "But it sure is an education." He writes about getting by on a "Social Security check and a miserable pension." (The Hedgehog Review)

  8. Bloggers become brands

    Some fashion bloggers have built million-dollar retail businesses. (WWD)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    Fargo is truly rock city on the front of The Forum (Courtesy the Newseum)

    forum-11172014
     

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Alyssa Mastromonaco will be chief operating officer at Vice Media. Previously, she was deputy chief of staff for operations for the Obama administration. (New York Times) | Adam Kilgore will be a national sports reporter at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a Nationals beat writer there. (Washington Post) | Eric Eldon is now editor-in-chief of Hoodline. Previously, he was co-editor at TechCrunch. (Otherwise E) | Alyssa Danigelis will be head of media and storytelling at Flip Labs. She was an editor at Muck Rack. (Muck Rack) | Sandra Kotzambasis is now news director at KPNX in Phoenix, Arizona. Previously, she was senior executive producer there. (Arizona Republic) | Andy Fishman is now news director at WJW in Cleveland. Previously, he was interim news director there. (Cleveland.com) | Sean McGarvy will be managing editor of WXIN in Indianapolis. Previously, he was an assistant manager for Fox News. Jeff Benscoter is now assistant news director of content at KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri. Previously, he was senior executive producer at WTHR. Ken Ritchie is now general manager of KIVI in Boise, Idaho. Previously, he was interim general manager there. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: IBT Media is looking for a deputy social media editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Fox News crushed competitors on election night

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Fox News beat broadcast networks on election night

    It also crushed in 2010, the last Republican wave. (NYT) | "Fox News is normally the dominant player in cable news, but its high ratings on Tuesday may have been partly influenced by the nature of the 2014 electorate." (Politico) | Related: "Think of the GOP’s Senate takeover as a full-employment act for Washington reporters," Jack Shafer writes. (Reuters)

  2. Earnings season update

    News Corp saw overall revenues rise, but ad revenue at its print newspapers fell 7 percent over the same period the year before. Strong results at its book division (including recently acquired Harlequin) and other businesses drove an overall growth in revenue at the spun-off company. (Capital) | Torstar, which sold Harlequin to News Corp, saw a 7 percent drop in revenue over all. It plans to drop the paywall at its Toronto Star next year. (Poynter) | Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. saw revenues rise 48 percent. (Sinclair) | Gray Television's revenue was up 49 percent. (Ticker Report) | Tribune Publishing saw a decline in ad revenue but CEO Jack Griffin thinks the company's entry into the digital marketing services market could be a bright spot. Also, gulp: "We have much work to do to get operating margins in line with our peers." (Poynter) | Related: Tribune Publishing paid $23.5 million for the Sun-Times' suburban papers. (Robert Feder)

  3. Layoffs at The Weather Channel

    "As many as 40 staffers are being cut from the ranks of senior producers, show producers, and weather producers," Chris Ariens writes. TWC is reorganizing and had layoffs last month, too. (TVNewser) | ICYMI: Claire Suddath's great story last month about TWC's digital strategy. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

  4. Happy birthday, banner ads

    The form's persistence "illustrates the snowballing dangers of new technology," Farhad Manjoo writes: "Once an innovation becomes marginally accepted, its early success can quickly mushroom into dominance, even if pretty much everyone agrees that it is no good." (NYT)

  5. Newsletter links to story about newsletters

    Vox, FT, Time and Quartz lay out their strategies. (Digiday) | Reup! "How Time’s email newsletter achieves a 40 percent open rate" (Poynter)

  6. Feds approve sale of station to Pluria Marshall Jr.

    His acquisition of KLJB in the Quad Cities "is an important step in fulfilling Nexstar’s commitment to incubate broadcast station ownership by minority-owned companies, which is also a key FCC initiative." (New America Media) | Marshall also plans to purchase KMSS in Shreveport, Louisiana, and KPEJ in Odessa, Texas. (BlackPressUSA) | Last December Joseph Torres and S. Derek Turner reported that no black-owned and operated full-power TV stations remained in U.S. (Free Press)

  7. Newsweek crowd-funds an investigation

    "Funding the project doesn’t just mean paying for one magazine story to be written; [writer Mandy] Van Deven will be using the funds raised to spend months embedding within college campuses; interviewing students, schools administrators, sexual assault experts and more; and publishing regular updates on her findings, as well as intermittent in-depth reports and other features." (Newsweek) | It's using Beacon, which was also the company HuffPost used to fund its Ferguson fellowship. Beacon co-founder Adrian Sanders tells Mathew Ingram: "It’s not up to Beacon about how and where news organizations should spend their dollars, all we’re doing is saying: Here’s a chance to do more with new revenue models and create a hyper-engaged readership around this editorial at the same time.” (Gigaom)

  8. The last season of "The Newsroom" starts Sunday

    It's the show's last season. "Co-star Olivia Munn said the series' legacy is that it inspired a new crop of journalists." (AP)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The Virginian-Pilot's front page may remind you of "Anatomy of a Murder"'s titles. (Courtesy the Newseum)
    vapilot-11062014
     

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Casey Newton is now Silicon Valley editor at The Verge. Previously, he was a senior reporter there. (Poynter) | Dean Chang is now metro print editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was city editor there. (Capital) | Mitch Perry will cover local politics at Extensive Enterprises Media. Previously, he was news and politics editor for Creative Loafing Tampa. (saintpetersblog) | Javier García is now vice president and general manager of multicultural services at Comcast Cable. Previously, he was general manager of U.S. Hispanic business at Yahoo. (Media Moves) | Zander Lurie will be senior vice president of media at GoPro. Previously, he was an executive at Guggenheim Digital Media. (Forbes) | Job of the day: The Elkhart Truth is looking for a page designer. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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Reporter declines to reapply for her job, gets laid off

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Reporter declines to reapply for her job, gets laid off Burlington Free Press reporter Lynn Monty decided not to consummate the process of reapplying for her job last week. The Free Press, like many other Gannett papers, has asked staffers to reapply for jobs in reimagined “newsrooms of the future.” “I loved my job, but I don’t love Gannett,” Monty tells Paul Heintz. “I will make a new way for myself that doesn’t compromise my integrity.” (Seven Days)
  2. The last circulation report The Alliance for Audited Media will release its final print Snapshot report today. Because of more rule changes, “we advise against comparing year-over-year data,” AAM cautions. (AAM) | I wrote last October about how some other recent rules made comparisons difficult. (Poynter)
  3. Two attempts to explain why your friend Gordon is blue over the Jian Ghomeshi mess Canadians have an ” intrinsic and profound” relationship with the CBC, and the scandal further diminishes the institution, Adam Sternbergh writes. (Vulture) | “[T]here was once a hope that people in powerful positions were trying their best to do well by the country,” Michelle Dean writes. “That is gone, and people are, I think, sad to see that they now must extend the cynicism and bad feelings to cultural figures as well.” (Gawker)
  4. John Cantlie “reports” for Islamic State The captured British journalist appears in a package purporting to be from Kobani. (The Telegraph)
  5. The dream of an iTunes for news will never die The New York Times Co. and Axel Springer led a funding round for Blendle, a Dutch startup that sells a la carte access to articles. (Gigaom) | Blendle cofounder Alexander Klöpping “says he’s in talks with U.S. publishers (he declined to name any), which tend to have few foreign subscribers and sell ads at junk rates in countries where they don’t have a sales force.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)
  6. Reporting under duress The International Women’s Media Foundation gave Solange Lusiku Nsimire, editor-in-chief of Congo’s Le Souverain, a Courage in Journalism award last week. “I want to find shelter for my children, who are very much at risk,” she tells Eleanor Klibanoff. “But as long as democracy is not established and human rights are not respected, I feel that I need to continue reporting.” (NPR) | Related: New CPJ report shows journalists are still being killed with impunity in most parts of the world. (Poynter) | Also related: At a White House Correspondents’ Association seminar Saturday, Susan Page called the Obama administration “‘more dangerous’ to the press than any other in history.” (WP) | Also related: An Israeli border policeman shot AP photographer Majdi Mohammed with rubber bullets. (AP)
  7. FBI made a fake newspaper article “The FBI in Seattle created a fake news story on a bogus Seattle Times Web page to plant software in the computer of a suspect in a series of bomb threats to Lacey’s Timberline High School in 2007.” (Seattle Times)
  8. Papa’s peepin’ peeps The annual Spy Prom in D.C. honored Ernest Hemingway. (HuffPost) | Related: Hemingway got a Nobel on this day in 1954. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare The New York Daily News uses wordplay to challenge Obama’s Ebola czar.

    NYDN-10282014  

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Sarah Lumbard is now senior digital curator at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s National Institute of Holocaust Education. Previously, she was vice president of content strategy and operations at NPR. (Poynter) | Fred Santarpia will be executive vice president and chief digital officer at Condé Nast. Previously, he was executive vice president at Condé Nast Entertainment. (Poynter) | Hassan Hamdani is editor-in-chief at HuffPost Morocco. Previously, he was editor-in-chief of TelQuel’s multimedia division. (HuffPost) | Bernardo Chévez is now vice president of technology at Hearst Magazines International. Previously, he was director of engineering at Condé Nast. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: The Washington Post is looking for an editorial copy editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

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Rainbow Room Reopening

N.Y. publishers mull more layoffs

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. More layoffs may come at New York publishers: “Industry executives are spending the month of October in closed-door meetings as they look for ways to tighten their belts even more.” (WWD) | Related: Time Inc. management “wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas,” Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O’Meara says. (Capital) | Meta related: New owner Jay Penske‘s plan for WWD. (Capital) | Related sad trombone: “The joy we get from throwing magazines away seems like a bad sign for their future,” Laura Hazard Owen writes. (Gigaom)
  2. NBC News crew quarantined: They worked with freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo in Liberia and “Officials said the order was issued late Friday after the crew members violated an agreement to voluntarily confine themselves.” No one’s shown any signs of the disease. (Reuters) | “With the Ebola virus, you never relax completely, but we think [Mukpo] has made great progress,” a doctor at the Omaha hospital where he’s being treated said. (Mashable)
  3. Keith Olbermann notifies his bosses about his commentaries: Olbermann gives ESPN execs in Bristol “as much as six hours notice,” he tells Richard Deitsch. “The key people all get the A Block [opening] commentary and the Worst Persons. So the scripts are sitting with them for a couple of hours.” (SI)
  4. NYT kills chess column: Dylan Loeb McClain‘s Oct. 11 column ends with an abrupt note: “This is the final chess column to run in The New York Times.” (NYT) | “Few will mourn, even as a symbolic loss.” (@Kasparov63) | “A chess column has appeared in the NYT since… 1855.” (@DVNJr) | The bridge column is still breathing, Michael Roston notes. (@michaelroston)
  5. Why David Remnick isn’t on Twitter: “I don’t have a Twitter account, [but] not because I’m a dinosaur about it,” the New Yorker EIC tells Alexandra Steigrad. “I have enough of a platform here. People in my position who do it tend to use it in a promotional way or in a hamstrung way. I look at Twitter all the time as a news tool or for cultural conversation. I’ve used it in my reporting. It’s very useful.” (WWD)
  6. Peter Parker’s poor journalism ethics: “That’s exactly how Peter Parker paid the bills in the early Spider-Man comics, taking posed pictures of Spider-Man that no one else could get, then selling them to J. Jonah Jameson, the Daily Bugle’s editor-in-chief.” (Salon) | Related: 5 bad journalism lessons from Superman comics (Poynter)
  7. “The network just doesn’t surprise you”: Bill Carter looks at why MSNBC’s ratings “hit one of the deepest skids in its history, with the recently completed third quarter of 2014 generating some record lows.” (NYT)
  8. YouTube builds a “teaching hospital”: At its new production space in Manhattan, members of the company’s partner program “are given access to better cameras, production spaces and editing facilities as classes train them not just in shooting video, but also in makeup, design and anything else that might make programming pop online.” (NYT)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: Chicago’s RedEye fronts a very nicely framed image from this weekend’s St. Louis protests. (Courtesy the Newseum.)

    redeye-10132014 

  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: David Cohn is now executive producer at AJ+. Previously, he was chief content officer at Circa. (Dave Cohn) | Lenika Cruz has been named associate editor at The Atlantic. Previously, she was a contributing editor at Circa. Grace White will be a reporter at CBS Houston. Previously, she was a reporter and anchor at Fox 29 San Antonio. (Muck Rack) | Rick Daniels has been named publisher at The Hartford (Connecticut) Courant. Previously, he was chief operating officer of GoLocal24. Nancy Meyer has been named publisher and CEO of Orlando Sentinel Media Group. Previously, she was publisher of the Courant. (Poynter) | Dana Hahn has been named news director for KTVU in San Francisco. Previously, she was news director for WTTG in Washington, D.C. Sara Suarez has been named news director for WFDC in Washington, D.C. Previously, she was news director for WUNI in Boston. Matt King has been named news director for WCNC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previously, he was assistant news director at WXIA in Atlanta. Jeff Mulligan has been named news director for WMBD/WYZZ in Peoria, Illinois. Previously, he was assistant news director for WISH in Indianapolis. Lee Rosenthal has been named news director at WFXT in Boston. Previously, he was news director at KTVU. Rick Moll has been named news director at WSLS in Roanoke, Virginia. Previously, he was news director for WMBD/WYZZ in Peoria, Illinois. Brian Nemitz has been named assistant news director at WLOS in Asheville, North Carolina. Previously, he was a nightside executive producer at WTVJ in Miami. Martha Jennings has been named assistant news director at WBIR in Knoxville, Tennessee. Previously, she was nightside executive producer at WFLA in Tampa, Florida. Troy Conhain has been named nightside executive producer at KOLD in Tucson, Arizona. Previously, he was morning executive producer at KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day The Hill is looking for a campaign reporter. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: abeaujon@poynter.org.

Programming note: I’m going to be off for most of this week and will be at the Creative Belfast conference on Thursday. Sam Kirkland will leave a roundup under your pillow while I’m gone. Read more

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Earns Gannett

Gannett shifts some costs of USA Today layoffs to states

USA Today laid off about 70 people last month. Those who lost their jobs received a week of pay for every year of service, health care through the end of September and the vacation pay they’d already accrued for the year.

But as they turned in their laptops and cellphones, some USA Today journalists were surprised to find out who would pay a chunk of their farewell package: their state unemployment office.

USA Today is owned by Gannett, which doesn’t always pay laid-off workers a traditional severance. Instead, as in the case of the recent layoffs, it may provide a “transitional pay plan.” In one of these plans, Gannett, through a contractor called Total Management Solutions, makes up the difference between a worker’s old paycheck and their unemployment check for a certain amount of time.

Gannett didn’t make anyone available for an interview on this subject, but spokesperson Jeremy Gaines told Poynter in an email that “The Transitional Pay Plan (TPP) is one type of severance plan that Gannett offers. It provides one week of pay for every year of service to a maximum of 36 weeks, offset by an employee’s state unemployment benefit.”

If employees take on any paid work before the transitional pay period ends, their benefits — which are not subject to FICA deductions — are either reduced or lost. If they get a new job, the payments stop. Employees have to call in every week to their state unemployment office as well as to Total Management Solutions.

“They both interrogate you: ‘Are you employed?’” one former USA Today staffer who’d worked for the paper for more than 15 years told Poynter. “If you forget to call them one week you can presumably lose everything.”

The literature Gannett provides laid-off employees says the transitional pay benefit “provides a substantial benefit to employees as they transition from Gannett to a new job. It also allows Gannett to reduce its transition costs.”

“The taxpayers are paying part of my paycheck, basically,” said another laid-off staffer I spoke with, who said she found she could easily register with the Virginia Employment Commission online: “It’s not utter humiliation.” She found one way to take on freelance work and maintain her benefits while searching for a new gig: After speaking to her accountant, she set up an LLC and will ask freelance clients to pay her company instead.

Gannett has used this type of plan, also called supplemental employment benefits, since at least 2009. The New York Times reported on how Gannett used the plans with 1,400 people it laid off in July of that year. The distinction between transitional pay and severance, Richard Pérez-Peña wrote, was “lost on employees who say that the practical effect of being paid — or not — is the same, no matter how the program is labeled.”

Representatives of other newspaper companies, including Tribune, McClatchy and the New York Times Co., told Pérez-Peña in 2009 they provide more traditional severance packages. Attempts by Poynter to poll publishers on this point in 2014 did not meet any success.

USA Today’s newsroom doesn’t have a union, which is not uncommon among Gannett papers. (The Detroit Free Press, the Rochester, New York, Democrat and Chronicle and the Indianapolis Star are among the few Gannett properties that have Guild representation.) But supplemental employment benefit plans developed in union-dominated companies in the ’50s, said Rick McHugh, a senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project. “The idea was really to have a guaranteed annual wage” at a time when layoffs were prevalent in the steel and auto industries, he said.

In many states, McHugh said, severance counts as remuneration and disqualifies workers from getting unemployment benefits: “That varies widely, but in the majority of states, say you worked there 10 years, and they’re giving you 10 weeks’ severance, you would lose 10 weeks’ unemployment benefit,” he said.

“I have to say this is a more beneficial approach than I would expect from Gannett,” said McHugh, who represented newspaper strikers concerning their unemployment insurance, including claims against Gannett, during the Detroit newspaper strike of 1995-2000. In the United States, he said, “with at-will employment, basically, there is no obligation to pay employees anything when you lay them off.” Read more

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CNN will cut 300 jobs

CNN | USA Today

CNN Worldwide will cut about 300 positions, Brian Stelter reports. Its parent company, Turner Broadcasting, wants to reduce its number of employees by about 10 percent.

About 130 of the CNN cuts are coming from buyouts, Stelter writes. The remainder “will be cut through layoffs.”

Turner is in turn owned by Time Warner. USA Today media columnist Michael Wolff wrote Sunday that Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes wants to raise the company’s stock price, and “the fast way to $100 a share is the kind of deep cost-cutting that this relatively complaisant company has never been known for.” Read more

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Free Press designer ‘cared about every single word, every comma, every period’ on 1A

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Free Press designer dies: 25-year veteran Steve Anderson was 59. Remembers Amy Huschka, assistant editor/social media: “He was so proud of his Twitter account and loved sharing historic images and daily 1A’s with his followers.” From Jason Karas, a designer and colleague: “He cared about every single word, every comma, every period that he placed on a 1A.” (Detroit Free Press) | A collection of memorable front pages designed by Anderson. (Detroit Free Press) | A Storify of Anderson’s tweets that anyone who loves newspaper design should check out. (Storify)
  2. Freelance cameraman contracts Ebola: The unidentified man was working for NBC News on a team in Liberia with medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. The production team has been ordered by NBC News “to return to the United States and enter quarantine for 21 days,” Bill Carter reports. (The New York Times)
  3. More arrests in Ferguson: Our Kristen Hare is on the beat, of course. (Poynter) | And she’ll be updating her list of journalists arrested in Ferguson, Missouri since protests over the killing of Michael Brown began. (Poynter)
  4. How to cover Hong Kong protests: “The police sometimes use the excuse of a lack of media credentials as their reason to prevent access. Freelancers and journalism students seem to be their favorite targets.” Good list of resources here. (Committee to Protect Journalists) | Poynter’s Kristen Hare has a Twitter list of journalists covering the chaos in Hong Kong. It’s up to 173 members this morning. (Twitter)

  5. No more coffee at the Houston Chronicle: Because it’s better than cutting other things. (Houston Press) | Good timing: The Press published a list of the 10 best coffee shops in Houston on Wednesday. (Houston Press) | The Chronicle’s move to eliminate free newsroom coffee comes the week of National Coffee Day, which we celebrated by having readers “mug” for the camera. (Poynter) | And it comes the month after a study indicated coffee was even more important to us journalists than to cops. (Poynter)
  6. WaPo runs native ad in print: “It’s a godsend that the Washington Post made it look as horrible as it is, because no one will mistake it for editorial.” (Digiday)
  7. More layoffs at NYT: Between 20 and 25 people on the business side were laid off from The New York Times on Wednesday, sources tell Joe Pompeo. (Capital New York) | On Wednesday, the Times announced it plans to cut 100 of 1,330 newsroom jobs through voluntary buyouts or, if necessary, layoffs. (Poynter)
  8. Everything you need to know about the Facebook algorithm: Haha, just kidding. At ONA, Liz Heron took some tough questions but tried to reassure journalists that Facebook isn’t playing favorites with the News Feed. (Poynter)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The ever-innovative Virginian-Pilot tracks Ebola cases. (Courtesy the Newseum)

     
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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: James Nord is now a political correspondent for The Associated Press. Previously, he was a political reporter at MinnPost. (AP) | Evan Berland is now global news manager for weekends at the AP. Previously, he was deputy editor for the eastern United States. (AP) | Mitra Kalita is now an adjunct faculty member at Poynter. She is Quartz’ ideas editor. (Poynter) | Catherine Gundersen is now managing editor of Marie Claire. She was editorial business manager at GQ. (Fishbowl NY) | Jacob Rascon is now a correspondent at NBC News. Previously, he was a reporter for KNBC in Los Angeles. (TV Spy) | Job of the day: The Wall Street Journal is looking for a banking editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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NYT has more readers, more ad revenue and — soon — fewer journalists

mediawiremorningGood morning. Happy Sting’s Birthday, everybody. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Some perspective on the planned NYT staff cuts: “When the buyouts/layoffs are done, the New York Times will have nearly twice the number of staffers as the Washington Post’s 650-strong operation, instead of more than twice as many.” (WP) | For vets, the buyout deal is much sweeter than what any layoffs will offer. (Newspaper Guild of N.Y.) | Killer Ken Doctor quote: “Doctor describes the current state of newspapers as ‘continuing grimness, but manageable grimness.’” (Text bolded in case you need a name for a Smiths cover band, or maybe a tattoo idea.) (USA Today) | More Ken Doctor: “The big bright spot is obscured by that big layoff number: a 16 percent increase in Q3 digital revenue, compared to 3.4 percent up in Q2 and 2.2 percent up in Q1.” Also: “The Times has more paying readers today than in 1999. That’s a signal accomplishment.” (Newsonomics) | WHAT’S THIS MEAN FOR THE APPS? NYT Opinion is going away. NYT Now users will no longer get a less robust tier of access to the Times website. NYT Cooking will remain free, at least for now. (Nieman) | John Herrman: “NYT Opinion was an interesting piece of software run by talented people but built around an opinion franchise that finished accumulating new fans a decade ago.” (The Awl) | Mathew Ingram: The Times should work on monetizing relationships with readers, not slicing “its existing content into smaller and smaller pieces.” (Gigaom) || Catch up: Ravi Somaiya‘s story about the cuts. (NYT) | Memos to staff from Dean Baquet, Mark Thompson and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. (Poynter)
  2. “Bag Men” cover didn’t really work out for NY Post: It settled a lawsuit with Salaheddin Barhoum and Yassine Zaimi, who it identified as “BAG MEN” during the Boston Marathon bombings manhunt. They were simply watching the race. “Neither side would disclose terms of the settlement.” (AP) | “We did not identify them as suspects,” Post Editor Col Allan said last April. (WP)
  3. Star-Advertiser owner buys more Hawaiian papers: Oahu Publications Inc. is buying the Hawaii Tribune-Herald and West Hawaii Today on the Big Island from Stephens Media. (Honolulu Civil Beat) | “The @StarAdvertiser now runs ALL the daily newspapers on Oahu, Kauai, Big Island.” (@GenePark)
  4. Vice publishes Ferguson Police Department documents: “It would appear that Ferguson police do not always follow those procedures and instructions.” (Vice)
  5. Egypt steals newspapers: Authorities seized all copies of the newspaper Al Masry Al Youm, which published an interview with a spy. (NYT) | You can read the issue on PressDisplay.com. | Late last month, the parents of Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste described visiting him in an Egyptian prison. (The Courier-Mail)
  6. Covering Ebola: Nsikan Akpan wants to raise $1,000 to “interview journalists and bloggers living near the epicenter of an outbreak and compare their views with those covering the situation from abroad.” (Indiegogo) | Lenny Bernstein: “You don’t touch anyone in Liberia.” (WP) | In case you were wondering: Why “Ebola” is capitalized. (Poynter)
  7. Journalists emigrate from Russia: Galina Timchenko, Oleg Kashin and Leonid Bershidsky left because of the current press climate, Stephen Ennis reports. 186,000 people left Russia in 2013, “five times as many as two years earlier.” (BBC)
  8. Scaling the ivory tower: Wired will offer an “online master’s degree in Integrated Design, Business and Technology” at the University of Southern California. (Wired) | Twitter has invested $10 million to create a research group at MIT to “better understand how information spreads on Twitter and other social media platforms.” (WSJ)
  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare: The Epoch Times, with a nice design take on the Dallas Ebola story. (Courtesy the Newseum)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Marjorie Powell is now vice president of human resources at NPR. Previously, she was chief human resources officer at the University of Maryland at Baltimore. (NPR) | Tim O’Shaughnessy is now president of Graham Holdings Company. Previously, he was CEO of LivingSocial. (GraHoCo) | Victor Caivano is now news director for The Associated Press’ “Southern Cone” countries — Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. Previously, he was a photojournalist there. (AP) | Ali Watkins will be a reporter at HuffPost Politics. Previously, she worked for McClatchy DC. (Email) | Zach Goldfarb will be policy editor at The Washington Post. Previously, he was a White House and economics correspondent there. (Washington Post) | Job of the day The Washington Post is hiring a video producer. Get your résumés in! (Wash Post PR) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org.

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White House Fence

White House tried to squash fainting-intern story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. White House edits pool reports: The White House press office sometimes demands changes to pool reports before it “forwards them via e-mail to a database of thousands of recipients, including news outlets, federal agencies and congressional offices,” Paul Farhi reports. “This two-step process enables White House staffers to read the pool reports — and potentially object to them — before press aides send them to recipients.” HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery tells Farhi the White House tried to squash her fainting-intern story. (WP)
  2. Pirates release journalist: Somali pirates released freelancer Michael Scott Moore, CNN reports. Michel Todd of Pacific Standard, for which Moore wrote a weekly column, said the magazine “had been encouraged by the FBI and State Department to (not) write about it because this would hurt his cause.” (CNN)
  3. Layoff season is upon us: The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal laid off 17 people yesterday, according to the Memphis Newspaper Guild. (Poynter) | The O.C. Register laid off people yesterday after owner Aaron Kushner abruptly closed the Los Angeles Register. Gustavo Arellano has 19 names. (OC Weekly) | The Des Moines Register “said on Monday that it was restructuring its newsroom, making cuts among editing and production staff and requiring all existing employees to reapply for their jobs.” (WSJ) | Related: “The Washington Post announced large cuts in retirement benefits on Tuesday, declaring that it would eliminate future retirement medical benefits and freeze defined-benefit pensions for nonunion employees.” (WP)
  4. Hoax alert: A company called Rantic Marketing says it was behind a purported threat to release nude photos of the actress Emma Watson. (HuffPost) | A lot of outlets reported on the “threat,” including the New York Daily News, Mashable, CNN and Slate. | Related: The “three-breasted woman” story is a hoax, too. (TMZ, Snopes)
  5. Speaking of things that may be illusory: San Diego philanthropist Malin Burnham wants to turn U-T San Diego into a nonprofit. Liam Dillon reports Burnham’s hopes well for Voice of San Diego, but an editor’s note on Nieman Lab, which republished the interview, says “I think there’s reason to believe that, in three months, we’ll either still be waiting for an IRS judgment on this or hearing about how the deal didn’t work out.” (Nieman)
  6. AP and Deloitte survey Middle Eastern and North African news consumers: “Seventy percent of respondents use social media for news more today than they did last year, and 59 percent discover the majority of news this way. However, the research also indicates that TV remains important for finding out more on a story once it has broken, with 43 percent accessing it first to get more information.” (AP)
  7. News orgs ask DOJ to investigate how Ferguson officials treated the press: 44 news organizations signed a RCFP letter urging “that the unlawful arrest and mistreatment of journalists covering events in Ferguson be included in the investigation.” (RCFP)
  8. Great moments in sports media, Wednesday edition: The San Francisco Giants are reportedly boycotting CSN Bay Area reporter Andrew Baggarly after he reported on an argument between pitcher Sergio Romo and coach Shawon Dunston. (Deadspin) | “Tiger: ‘Off the record? Because the majors are over.’ Asked him for comment on the record. He paused and said, ‘Because the majors are over’ (@dougferguson405)
  9. Front page of the day, selected by Kristen Hare: TBT, a publication of the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, fronts the three-breasted woman hoax, which, surprisingly, is a Florida story.

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Jill Geisler will be an affiliate at Poynter. She is senior faculty of leadership and management there. (Poynter) | Leila Brillson is now digital editorial director at Nylon and NylonGuys. Previously, she was entertainment director for Refinery29. (Email) | Clinton Cargill will be director of photography for Bloomberg Businessweek. Previously, he was photo editor at The New York Times Magazine. (Email) | Blathnaid Healy is now UK editor at Mashable. Previously, she was chief operations officer for WorldIrish.com. Tim Chester has been named deputy UK editor at Mashable. Previously, he was senior Web editor at Rough Guides. Ben Maher is now UK advertising director at Mashable. He was agency director at Weve. (PRWeb) | Andy Lack has been named CEO of U.S. international media overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. He is chairman of the Bloomberg Media Group. (TV Newser) | Iain Williamson is now an associate publisher at Defense One. Previously, he was director of sales at Intermarkets, Inc. Patrick Lavan is now senior account director of Defense One. Previously, he was an account director there. (Email) | Kristin Boehm is now deputy editor at People.com. Previously, she was director of news and engagement there. (Fishbowl NY) | Job of the day: Scripps Treasure Coast Media is looking for an “innovative columnist.” Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: bmullin@poynter.org

Programming note: MediaWire Morning and the rest of the Poynter dot org crew will be at ONA in Chicago through Saturday. I’d love to say hello if you’re there! (@abeaujon/703-594-1103/abeaujon@poynter.org) I’ll observe Central time while there, so you may get this roundup later than usual on Thursday and Friday.

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Correction A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Bloomberg chairman Andy Lack was named CEO of the United States International Communications Agency. In fact, he was named CEO of U.S. international media overseen by the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Read more

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