Philadelphia Media Network

Philly contract deal: company hikes health payments, gets concessions on layoffs and raises

A tentative contract for Philadelphia’s major newspapers includes greater healthcare contributions by management but concessions on whether it must heed traditional seniority rules when it comes to layoffs.

The deal does not include any raise in basic wages. It was bargained shortly before a Saturday deadline. Details were discussed in several sessions with Newspaper Guild members on Monday.

In all, about 500 Guild members are covered by two separate contracts: one covering workers at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, while the other covers about 50 people at Philly.com

The two most heated issues were health care contributions and use of seniority in layoffs.

With layoffs, management will be able to exempt certain individuals “deemed to be essential to the company’s operations” from seniority-driven layoffs. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Tentative contract deal in Philly as deadline approached

A tentative agreement has been reached on a new contract and thus likely avoids a strike at Philadelphia’s two major newspapers.

The deal was cut late Friday. No details were disclosed, with the Philadelphia branch of the Newspaper Guild to outline specifics to members on Monday and set a date for a vote.

Two related contracts between the union and Philadelphia Media Network expired May 23 but were extended to Saturday by mutual agreement. A tentative deal on one contract involving 50 union members at Philly.com, was reached earlier, which had left the contract covering 400 members at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News.

The union had earlier given leaders authorization to call a strike if no deal was cut by the deadline. The last big-city newspaper strikes were in Detroit and were resolved by a deal in 2000. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Tentative deal in Philly on one of two labor pacts

A tentative deal has been reached on one contract in ongoing newspaper negotiations in Philadelphia.

Both sides confirmed Friday that they have essentially completed the smaller of two related contracts. It involves about 50 Newspaper Guild members at Philly.com.

The larger of the two contracts involves 400 members at the Inquirer and Daily News.

“We are pleased to share that, as a result of approximately eight hours of negotiations yesterday with a federal mediator, representatives of the Company and the Guild signed a tentative agreement for Philly.com,” said Keith Black, vice-president of human resources for the employer, Philadelphia Media Network.

Bill Ross, executive director for the union, also confirmed via email what he underscored is a “tentative” deal, while saying there were still matters to be finalized, notably on healthcare. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
strike-250

Talk of Philly newspaper strike, unionizing move at Gawker, big window onto media labor relations

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia rally  outside the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News building in 2006. Union members  will vote Wednesday on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout. (AP Photo/George Widman)

Members of the Newspaper Guild of Greater Philadelphia rally outside the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News building in 2006. Union members will vote Wednesday on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout. (AP Photo/George Widman)


Union members in Philadelphia will vote Wednesday evening on whether to give leaders the right to call a walkout and potentially trigger an American labor relations rarity: a big city newspaper strike.

In fact, you’re far more likely to ever see a lunar eclipse than a newspaper strike. We at least tend to get an eclipse or two every year. Guess when the last big newspaper strike was?

The contract between the Philadelphia Media Network and the Newspaper Guild expired May 23 but is extended to June 27 by mutual agreement. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments

Philly papers’ owners sue former landlord to get security deposit back

Philly.com
The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Daily News and Philly.com moved out of the “Tower of Truth” in July. And now they’d like their security deposit back.

Developer Bart Blatstein tried to buy the papers but was spurned by its previous owners. He did, however, manage to buy their building, which he has said might make a fine casino. (Blatstein also floated the idea of starting a competing publication.) Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
osberg

Greg Osberg steps down as CEO of Philadelphia Media Network

Philadelphia Inquirer | JimRomenesko.com | The New York Times
Mike Armstrong reports that Greg Osberg stepped down as CEO and publisher of Philadelphia Media Network on Friday, “less than six weeks after the media company’s purchase by a group of local owners.” Osberg was brought in by a group of hedge funds that bought the company in a bankruptcy auction in 2010. When the company was purchased by a group of local investors a month ago, they said Osberg “will remain at the helm of the company.”

Osberg will stay with the company to work on digital strategies and advertising. Robert J. Hall, the current chief operating officer, will take over as publisher and CEO. He has held the position before, according to Armstrong. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Philadelphia Newspapers Bankruptcy

Osberg remains CEO as local investors buy Philadelphia newspapers

The news that management once sought to squelch is official: Philadelphia Media Network, which owns The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com, has been sold to a group of local investors, who will keep Gregory Osberg on as CEO. The group has said it will sign a pledge supporting the newsroom’s independence, after questions about interference arose over coverage of the sale.

The announcement marks the end of a difficult period in which Philadelphia newspapers struggled to report on their owners. But it doesn’t necessarily portend stability: Reporters got their hands on a memo last week saying that management plans to eliminate 35 more jobs, on top of 45 layoffs and buyouts that occurred earlier this month. Read more

Tools:
2 Comments
Tools:
0 Comments

Morning media roundup: Philadelphia layoff plans confirmed, TV reporter triggers censorship of student paper

Today in Philadelphia newspapering: The Daily News’ David Gambacorta snagged a letter of intent from a group of investors hoping to buy Philadelphia Media Network, confirming a WHYY report that management plans to cut 35 more jobs. That’s in addition to 45 layoffs and buyouts earlier this month. The letter also says that George Norcross and Lewis Katz now lead the group. Raymond Perelman is out. H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest doesn’t say whether he’s still in the Norcross-Katz group, but he does say he’s still interested in buying the papers.

“You would never adopt a family to rip it apart,” writes the Daily News’ Will Bunch of the planned cuts.

Update: “A source who has seen the letter of intent, dated March 20th and signed by local businessmen George Norcross and Lewis Katz, puts the purchase price at $60 million,” writes Steve Tawa. Read more

Tools:
1 Comment
phillypapers

Sale of Philadelphia papers expected by month’s end, as 45 people leave newsroom

AP | Inquirer | Washington Post

The sale of Philadelphia Media Network could be a done deal by the end of this month, reports the Associated Press. The sale price for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com is between $40 and $70 million, the AP reports. The papers were purchased for $130 million in 2010 by hedge funds that are now selling them once again. When PMN changes hands, the news organization will have its fifth owner in six years. And it will be leaner than ever. This week, 21 Guild members took buyouts, 19 Guild members were laid off and five nonunion employees were laid off (a total of 45 departures), leaving the paper with a newsroom staff of about 350. Read more

Tools:
0 Comments
Page 1 of 3123