Articles about "Newspaper Guild"


NYT ends partnership with Texas Tribune

mediawiremorningHappy Halloween! Here are 10 scaaaaary media stories.

  1. NYT ends partnership with Texas Tribune

    The Times told the news nonprofit that at the end of this year it will no longer produce a two-page section for the paper's Texas edition. "We hate to see the whole thing come to an end, but it's like that line from The Godfather: It’s business, not personal," Trib EIC Evan Smith writes. (Texas Tribune) | Interesting inversion: The Dallas Morning News' Sunday edition will include an insert produced by the New York Times. (NYTCo) | Related: CEO Mark Thompson wants the Times to be “unashamedly experimental.” (Nieman Lab) | 9 takeways from the New York Times Co. 3rd quarter earnings call (Poynter) | Only slightly related to that last related item: Rick Edmonds notes that Denise Warren is the third woman Times exec to leave in the past three years; Erik Wemple reported yesterday that the last woman on The Washington Post's masthead is leaving. (WP)

  2. So it should be an interesting day at First Look Media

    Four reporters at First Look's The Intercept -- Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Jeremy Scahill and John Cook -- published an unsparing examination of why Matt Taibbi left the company. "Those conflicts were rooted in a larger and more fundamental culture clash that has plagued the project from the start: A collision between the First Look executives, who by and large come from a highly structured Silicon Valley corporate environment, and the fiercely independent journalists who view corporate cultures and management-speak with disdain," they write. (The Intercept) | "With the publishing of their post, Greenwald et al confirm some of the worst fears about the company and contradict others. They claim that Omidyar has not interfered with the editorial work of journalists, but was clearly unprepared for the cultural differences between executives and rabble-rousing journalists." (Mashable) | "if Hunter S. Thompson was still alive, FL would have hired him to turn him into a middle manager" (@jbenton) | "From all the details of Taibbi’s allegedly terrible management practices and the details of First Look’s struggles against the IRON FIST of First Look Media emerges a picture of utter ungovernability and an unwillingness to concede that the person bankrolling a venture might just have a say in how things get done." (WP)

  3. The odds of new news orgs surviving

    BuzzFeed: "High." Vice: "Medium-hiiiiigh." Vox "is also doing better traffic and growing more quickly than Gawker, and is extremely popular with 'Millennials.' Euthanize Vox immediately." (Gawker)

  4. Arkansans don't think much of journalists

    "Of those polled, only 14 percent believe that journalists have high or very high standards. Another 39 percent would rate the honesty and ethical standards of journalists as average, and 36 percent responded with low or very low. The remainder, about 12 percent, did not know or refused to answer." (University of Arkansas)

  5. Another Jian Ghomeshi story

    "I feel that while it is exceedingly difficult to publicly put your name forward and open yourself up to all of the accompanying criticism, if you are in the position that you can do so without fearing the ramifications in terms of your family, marriage, personal or professional trauma, then you should do it," Reva Seth writes. (HuffPost)

  6. The Newspaper Guild is not especially cool with the FBI right now

    In an emailed statement, it says it's "disgusted and outraged by the revelation this week that the FBI posed as The Associated Press in planting an online story to catch a teenage bomb threat suspect in 2007. ... Any hint that a journalist or news organization is aiding law enforcement damages their reputation as an objective, trustworthy source of news." | U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy sent a letter to the attorney general expressing concern about the sting. (The Seattle Times) | Sort-of related: Akron Beacon Journal asks campaign to stop using doctored front page in ads. (Jim Romenesko)

  7. Spain passses aggregation tax

    New laws will "allow news publishers to charge aggregators each time they display news content in search results." (AP) | Google statement: "We are disappointed with the new law because we believe that services like Google News help publishers bring traffic to their sites." (THR)

  8. Depressing British media news roundup

    The Telegraph lays off 55 staffers. (The Business of Fashion) | The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News will combine operations, leading to a loss of 45 jobs. (The Guardian) | The Hull Daily Mail apologizes for wrongly identifying a man as a sex offender. (Hold the Front Page)

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

    A spoooooooky front from the Asbury Park Press! (Courtesy the Newseum)

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  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Shane Harris will be an intelligence and national security reporter at The Daily Beast. He's a senior writer at Foreign Policy. (The Huffington Post) | Azmat Khan will be an investigative reporter at BuzzFeed. She's a senior digital producer at Al Jazeera America. (Azmat Khan) | Usha Chaudhary will be chief financial officer at Pew Charitable Trusts. She's the chief financial officer at The Washington Post. (The Washingoton Post) | Eli Lake will be a columnist at Bloomberg View. He’s a national security correspondent at The Daily Beast. Josh Rogin will be a columnist at Bloomberg View. He’s a senior correspondent at The Daily Beast. (Politico) | Krista Larson is West Africa bureau chief for The Associated Press. Previously, she was a correspondent there. (AP) | Nona Willis Aronowitz is an editor at TPM. Previously, she was an education and poverty reporter at NBC News Digital. (TPM) | Om Malik is looking for a designer. Get your résumés in! (Om Malik) | 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.)

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  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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Police Shooting Missouri

Where to buy gas masks for your reporting staff in Ferguson

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Who got arrested in Ferguson last night? Getty Images photographer Scott Olson. (Poynter) | Intercept reporter Ryan Devereaux (The Intercept) | Devereaux “was shot with rubber bullets/beanbags by police last night, spent night in jail. Is due to be released w/o charge soon.” (@the_intercept) | German reporters Ansgar Graw and Frank Hermann. (The Local) | “On Monday, The Washington Post, following the lead of other news organizations, began outfitting its employees with gas masks, purchased at a chain hardware store.” (WP) | Amazon has a pretty good selection of gas masks, some of which are eligible for Prime.
  2. St. Louis Post-Dispatch front page: “Streets Flare Up,” with stunning photo by David Carson (via Newseum) | Carson talked with Kristen Hare last week about covering the unrest in Ferguson. (Poynter) | Hare’s Twitter list of journalists covering Ferguson. (The list keeps changing! Let her know if someone’s missing/no longer there: khare@poynter.org.) | Interesting take: “I believe that publishing unedited images of Ferguson’s demonstrators engaged in possibly criminal behavior — including breaking curfew — is a breach of journalistic ethics.” (Al Jazeera America)
  3. R.I.P. Don Pardo: The NBC announcer and longtime voice of “Saturday Night Live” was 96. (LAT) | When Pardo joined NBC as a radio announcer in 1944, he “also played the role of engineer, getting the radio programs going and cuing up the right bits at the right time. If you could not do those chores, he said, you would not last as a radio announcer.” (NYT)
  4. Some NFL announcers won’t say Redskins’ name: Phil Simms (CBS) and Tony Dungy (NBC) say they won’t use it. “CBS is allowing its announcers to decide on their own whether to call the team the Redskins. So is Fox, which handles the NFC and will televise most of Washington’s games.” (AP) | My list of outlets and journalists who won’t use the term. (Poynter)
  5. Time Inc. rates employees based on how friendly their content is to advertisers: “Writers who may have high assessments for their writing ability, which is their job, were in fact terminated based on the fact the company believed their stories did not ‘produce content that is beneficial to advertiser relationships,’” Guild rep Anthony Napoli tells Hamilton Nolan. (Gawker) | “In a statement, Sports Illustrated said the guild’s interpretation was ‘misleading and takes one category out of context.’” (NYT)
  6. Newsweek builds up Web staff: Its print strategy in place, the magazine is staffing up on digital, Joe Pompeo reports: “The idea is to supplement magazine content, which is only available online to paying subscribers, while building up traffic that can service banner ads and sponsorships.” (Capital)
  7. Medill changes JR program: “The two new choices allow students to choose their own site, which Medill has to approve beforehand, or students can use an existing internship or fellowship to complete their JR requirement, even if it is done over the summer.” (The Daily Northwestern) | Last option is “biggest change,” a tipster tells Jim Romenesko: “Most seniors have completed 2+ internships excluding JR, so we’ve long griped about paying full tuition to add one more internship to our resumes.” (Romenesko) | Taylor Miller Thomas, who did a JR at Poynter, wrote about the strain of journalism internships last year. (Poynter)
  8. Your newsroom needs an audience development person: When Slate hired Katherine Goldstein, “we all had a lot to learn about traffic online, and she taught us about SEO, social,” Editor Julia Turner tells Lucia Moses. “What’s changed is, everyone in house is on board and understands that their primary job is to write great stories, but finding an audience is their job as well.” (Digiday)
  9. How depressing is the U.K. journalism market? “Frankly, moving abroad was the best thing we could have done, given the bloodbath of the UK media market, falling sales and job losses in recent times,” former Birmingham Mail journo Andy Probert tells Nick Hudson. Probert now works in Turkey. (HoldTheFrontPage.co.uk)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Ann Keil will be a reporter for WOFL in Orlando. Previously, she was a reporter at WXIN in Indianapolis. Brooks Tomlin will be the station’s weekend, evening and morning meteorologist. Previously, he worked at the Commercial Weather Services of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in Perth, Australia. (TV Spy) | Elizabeth Saab and Nick Spinetto will be reporters for KTBC in Austin, Texas. Saab was previously a multimedia journalist for Foxnews.com and Spinetto was a reporter at WMUR in Manchester, New Hampshire. (Austin360.com) | Evan White will be a reporter at WFSB. Previously, he was a reporter and fill-in anchor at WHAM in Rochester, New York. (The Laurel) | Anne McNamara is the host of The Now in Denver. Previously, she was an anchor at WAVY in Norfolk, Virginia. (TV Spy) | Job(s) of the day: The Daily Dot is hiring a morning and an evening editor. 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.

Correction: This post originally spelled Phil Simms’ first name with an extra “l.” Read more

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keyboard and hand

Journalists fight directive to write more stories

mediawiremorningGood morning. You have earned the weekend before you. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. BuzzFeeed honcho talks about deleted posts: “[I]f you look at that era of BuzzFeed through the lens of newspaper or magazine journalism, you would say [deleting those posts] was a strange decision,” Jonah Peretti tells Will Oremus. “We just didn’t and don’t look at that period of BuzzFeed as being a journalistic enterprise.” (Slate) | But the posts disappeared this year, when BuzzFeed is a journalistic enterprise. Amy Rose Spiegel‘s February 2013 post “What’s the Deal With Jazz” reappeared after Oremus pointed out it had vanished, too. Editor’s note: “This post has been reinstated after it was brought to our attention that the author deleted it, against our editorial standards.” (Gawker) | Hot J.K. Trotter/Craig Silverman/Mathew Ingram action | Related: Summer Anne Burton talks about BuzzFeed’s new “distributed” division. “I think there’s a good chance that in five to ten years the internet is going to look really different, just like it did five or ten years ago,” she tells Catalina Albeanu. “We just want to figure that out and figure out what people like and people share, and establish an audience in those places and show that we’re the best at making things that people love to share.” (journalism.co.uk) | “Buzzfeed is creating a team to develop web and mobile games, according to a listing on the company’s jobs site.” (Capital)
  2. Journalists fight directive to write more stories: The Chicago Newspaper Guild has filed a grievance against the Sun-Times Media Group over the Pioneer Press Group’s requirement that its journalists write 2.5 stories per day. (Chicago Newspaper Guild) | “The guidelines explicitly direct managers to exercise reasonable discretion and common sense in dealing with reporters who have provided acceptable reasons for not meeting the daily expectation,” Sun-Times VP for labor relations Ted Rilea says. (Robert Feder)
  3. “Platisher” occasions editor’s note: “Caroline tried very hard to avoid using the word ‘platisher’ in this post, but it really does need to be mentioned here.” (Nieman)
  4. It pays to tweet a lot: Wesley Lowery‘s sudden silence on social media Wednesday night “told those back in the newsroom everything they needed to know.” (The Washington Post) | The Seattle Police Department has asked the public to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies. “When any entity that holds power over us encourages us to limit our expression for any reason, it is probably better for us to err on the side of expressing more than it would want than less,” Mónica Guzmán writes. (GeekWire) | On Ferguson, The Drudge Report went from “harmonious orchestra of dog whistles” to “Big government versus violent protesters.” (The Awl)
  5. Carl Icahn wants a say in how Gannett split occurs: Entities Icahn controls and partners with bought a 6.6 percent stake in the company in the belief its shares “were undervalued and that value could be created by splitting the Issuer into separate print and broadcast companies,” they write in a filing. They want “discussions with representatives of the Issuer’s management and board of directors relating to the planned separation, corporate governance, capitalization and capital allocation.” (SEC) | “We are happy to discuss our plans with Mr. Icahn, as we do with all of our shareholders,” Gannett spokesperson Jeremy Gaines tells Gary Strauss. (USA Today)
  6. Chuck Todd will replace David Gregory on “Meet the Press”: “Todd, for whom the term ‘political junkie’ seems invented, will remain the political director for the network news division, but will give up his mid-morning MSNBC newscast ‘The Daily Rundown.’” (CNN) | “The transition brings Gregory’s time at NBC to a crushing end. ‘Meet the Press’ has seen some of its worst ratings ever during his time as host.” (HuffPost) | “I leave NBC as I came – humbled and grateful.” (@davidgregory)
  7. NYT names Alexandra MacCallum AME for audience development: She’ll report to both Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Editorial Page Editor Andy Rosenthal. (NYT)
  8. Why can’t Europe build its own Huffington Post? “There is a belief in European media that there is no place for the kind of upstarts that are financed and feted and followed by millions in America,” Paul Rapacioli writes. “But this is quite obviously wrong, as the arrival of Huffington Post, BuzzFeed and Business Insider demonstrate.” (StrategyEye)
  9. How did I miss this story? Brian Webb delivers newspapers and magazines to customers of Webb’s of Leverington, a newsstand in Cambridgeshire that he owns. And since March he has delivered letters bearing a “Webb’s Postal Service” stamp at 30p (50 cents) a pop, too. He’s up to 1,000 letters a day. “I’m never going to hurt the Post Office but it has gone so well that it has blown us away,” Webb told Ian Burrell in July. (The Independent, via Steffen Konrath) | “Are you still paying 62p for first class Stamps? our customers pay 30p guaranteed next day delivery” (Webbs of Leverington)
  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin: Becky Bowers will be editor of the Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog. She’s currently manager of digital operations for PolitiFact and PunditFact. (@beckybowers) | Thomas Claybaugh is now president and publisher for Gannett Central New York Media. Previously, he was general manager of Delmarva Media Group. (Gannett) | Terry Horne will be publisher and president for the (Salem, Oregon) Statesman Journal. He was president and publisher of the Pensacola (Florida) News Journal. (Gannett) | Jason Leopold will be a reporter at Vice News. Previously, he was a reporter for Al Jazeera America. (Politico) | Ryan Tate, Margot Williams and Cora Currier have joined The Intercept. Tate will be the site’s deputy editor. Previously, he was a contributor for Wired and Gawker. Williams will be a research editor. Previously, she was research editor at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Currier will be a reporter for the site. Formerly, she was a reporting fellow at ProPublica. (The Intercept) | Chris Voccio is now publisher of the Niagara Gazette and the Tonawanda News. Previously, he was publisher at the Norwich Bulletin. Job of the day: The Gaston Gazette is looking for “a reporter who doesn’t bore us.” Don’t be “dull” — 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. Read more

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Media can’t attend Philadelphia Inquirer auction

The Philadelphia Inquirer | Big Trial

Next Tuesday, the owners of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com will meet in a courtroom to determine which of them will get to keep the properties. The auction will be closed to the public and representatives of the media, David Sell reports in the Inquirer:

“Having considered the parties’ submissions, I conclude that the auction should be conducted confidentially and that the auction should be closed to everyone but the participants and the trustee,” Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons Jr. wrote in a letter accompanying his order.

Parsons did order that the winning bidder and eventual sale price of the publishing assets be released. One group of the current owners, as well as the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia, asked for an open auction, Ralph Cipriano reports for Big Trial.

Co-owners Lewis Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest “wanted only the identity of the winning bidder disclosed, and not the amount of the winning bid,” Cipriano writes. George E. Norcross III, Joseph Buckelew, and William P. Hankowsky make up the other group of co-owners bidding in the auction.

Parsons last month ordered that Interstate General Media’s partnership be dissolved and its assets sold via an “English-style” auction among current owners. Bidding will begin at $77 million and “will increase $1 million every 10 minutes until one side drops out,” Sell reports.

The Guild had considered making a bid for IGM’s holdings but “couldn’t come up with an investor willing to spend $77 million,” Cipriano writes. In a blog post last month, the Guild said “someone else can overpay.”

The auction “means that Inquirer Publisher Bob Hall and Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow will stay on the job for one more week, until the auction is over,” Cipriano writes.

If the Katz group wins, Marimow is in and Hall is out. If the Norcross group wins, Marimow is out and Hall may stay on the job until a new publisher is hired.

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The Chicago Sun Times may reinstate some of its photographers who were laid off in May 2013.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Some Sun-Times photographers could return

Robert Feder
An interim agreement between the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Newspaper Guild “could lead to the rehiring of some of the photographers who were laid off by the newspaper earlier this year,” Robert Feder reports. The Sun-Times laid off its entire photo staff this past May.

Feder reports the Sun-Times management “agreed to bring back a number of the 28 photographers who were fired.”

In exchange for the agreement on the photographers, the union is expected to drop its unfair labor relations charge with the National Labor Relations Board.

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On Oct. 31, 2008, the Washington Post building is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Washington Post, Guild reach tentative agreement

Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild News Co-Chair Fredrick Kunkle says in a Facebook post that The Washington Post and its union members “have reached tentative agreement on a new contract.” All Guild members will get a raise under the proposed agreement.

Among the deal points: Departing employees will still get two weeks’ pay for each year they’ve worked at the Post, and a guarantee that laid-off employees can either return to work “when economic conditions improve —or, as is more often the case, negotiate a fair buyout that allows a person time to recover after permanently giving up his or her job.”

The Guild thanks “Post’s management—and particularly its new owner, Jeffrey Bezos–for reaching a fair agreement.”

Full posting: Read more

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Washington Post Guild: ‘The Post would like to fire you’

The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild says a Washington Post proposal for a new agreement with the union “would give managers the power to fire anyone for any reason” and also inserts a “poison pill that would make it even harder for the union to collect dues at the end of the next contract.”

Its proposal says management “reserves the right to terminate an employee for attendance and performance problems” without a written warning and a suspension as is currently required, “in appropriate cases.”

Another proposal, the bulletin says, would “eliminate important layoff provisions.” Read more

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Rally planned for laid-off Sun-Times photographers

The Chicago News Guild will picket the Chicago Sun-Times building Thursday morning, the Guild said in a press release.

The Sun-Times laid off its photo staff last week and announced plans to train reporters in iPhone photography.

The event “will make a statement to the company that people care about quality journalism,” the release reads.

Guild members clad in black (“for mourning,” they explained) attempted Monday to deliver a petition to Timothy Knight, the CEO of Wrapports, LLC, which owns the Sun-Times.

Previously: John White on Sun-Times layoffs: ‘It was as if they pushed a button and deleted a whole culture’ | John White: Photojournalists are ‘lamplighters to the world’ | A talk with Rob Hart, the photographer behind “Laid off from the Sun-Times” Read more

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