Monday, July 27, 2009

Some salary and staff info received over the weekend. FJ odds and ends

Early Friday I asked for some info about who were full and part-time staff members at

So far it appears that three of the sports writers are full-time, two are part-time and I’m still unsure on the other two.

As for pay, it sounds like the going rate for part-timers is between $16.50 and $17.50 an hour. The ex-Ann Arbor News folks come to with significant trims to their former salaries. One or two of the employees may actually be making more based on their move from part-time status at the News to full-time status at

One of the lucky ones, is probably the sports writer who came from my former newspaper home, The Oakland Press, because it would be hard to pay lower than the Press does.

Remember top salaries at my Booth paper and others for reporters were in the $55,000 to $60,000 range. I can personally attest to that. Sources say the new highest salaries are in the high 30s or low 40s based on a couple sources.

As I have blogged about before, Booth and Advance were able to attract good talent in the past by offering top wages and benefits to hand-picked reporters from other news organizations. When I came to the Journal in 1989 I got a $100 a week raise from my pathetic OP salary. It also kept the Newspaper Guild at arm’s length.

Back at the Flint Journal, after the paper scaled back to three days and ended its long-standing job pledge, several reporters were offered positions at the paper, but with pay cuts in the range of 25 to 60 percent. The 60 percent is not an exaggeration.

To their credit, most of those folks told Booth/Advance to shove the insulting salaries and opted for unemployment benefits instead. We’re all still waiting for Booth to announce the cuts and reductions for top managers, who continue to hang on. It would be nice for the troops under them to know that their captains and lieutenants are also sharing in the sacrifice. But don’t hold your breath.

One of those laid off reporters, now apparently back as a free lance writer owned the July 26 Sunday paper. As soon as I arrived home from Buffalo I picked up the Sunday paper and found four bylines by this freelancer in one newspaper. One is the lead story on Page 1, two others lead the front page of the Sports section and there is another inside feature.

Update: Just finished going through the 2009 Buick Open supplement in the Sunday Flint Journal and found three more bylines by the former FJ golf writer, now back as a freelancer. That's seven bylines in one newspaper. For a freelancer.

Yeah, they didn't need that guy. I thought Sunday's paper was the strongest effort so far, since the three-day-a-week thing started.

Also, for those of you hankering to weigh in on the new "Flint Journal" you can talk to a group of the paper's editors from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday. According to the front page article, current (but soon to be departed) editor John Foren, Community Editor (and future editor) Marjory Raymer, Assistant Community Editor Katie Bach, Features Editor Carol Zedaker and Community Voices Editor Clark Hughes, will take your calls at (810) 766-6280 (I think this was the old circulation number) or toll-free at (800) 875-6300.

Executive Editor John Hiner, who signed the article, apparently won't be on hand. It did say the discussion would focus on the features mix, but heck what are they going to do, hang up on you if you ask about something else.

I know one former copy editor who has been trying to get delivery of the FJ stopped, so this might be a chance to get some help doing that.


Anonymous said...

That is still the circ phone number.

Anonymous said...

I know of a part-time clerk at that was offered $12 hour, "significantly higher" as the content czar said, of the $11.96 living wage law passed by Ann Arbor city council last year. She turned it down. I can attest that the design work for the print product, now being done in the Jackson newsroom had a max hire rate of $13 per hour for 28 hours a week of work, but you were offered $12.50/hr. if you didn't negotiate. $364/week, same as unemployment w/o the drive to Jackson from AA and no taxes taken out on unemployment. A minimum 50% cut in pay to do the same job. I can tell you that full time employees at are having 20% deducted from their salaries for health care, in addition to the 20% cut in pay they took from ann arbor news. If part-timers are making $17 an hour, full-timers aren't making more than $19. It's sad, really.

Anonymous said...

We make $10

Anonymous said...

Someone is going to tell us the managers salary?

Anonymous said...

OK, I recently asked if and when the FJ's editor was leaving and was told the deadline had been extended one week. That was two weeks ago and it sure seems like he is still there (though it's kind of hard to tell when the paper only publishes three days a week and its online Contact Us area is hopelessly outdated and incorrect). So, can someone please give me an update and feel free to conjecture as to whether there's more to this story. I think someone commented that the editor's departure was delayed until the return of his successor, who is on maternity leave. If that is true, I respectfully suggest she end her leave immediately or risk losing her place in line to the incumbent. Seriously, I ask you: is the editor behaving as a lame duck with one foot out the door? How many cable TV shows, with adoring, sycophant FJ staff implants peppering the studio audience, how many Flint mayoral elections, and how many reader call-ins is he going to sheepishly preside over before upper management decides to just keep him around for good -- and forget about all that stuff about a forced departure! You can say this doesn't matter, but when so many reporters lost their jobs, with very painful deadlines enforced like IRS property seizures, THIS matters!