Friday, February 20, 2009

Flint Journal staff bracing for more changes

Nothing like an old retirees' lunch to pick up some new odds and ends about the Flint Journal.

Apparently there was a going away party recently for one of the assistant editors who has taken a job with a business publication (good for him) and a lot of discussion revolved around some looming changes at the Flint Journal.

Some are a little fuzzy, but it sounds like, perhaps in April, the FJ will cut its home "dead tree" version to three or four days a week. This is similar to a recent move by the Detroit papers to cut publication dates in favor of the online version.

Daily reporters will soon be required to take many of their own photos (not unique to the Flint Journal) but quite a change for the daily reporters there nonetheless.

There's some other rumored changes afoot, but the discussions of those at the party were not as clear. As soon as I know, so will you.


Anonymous said...

To tell you the truth? If it does go to three to four days a week I will cancel my subscription.

I have been trying to keep my subscription due to the fact that I realize that newspapers are falling on hard times...I am trying to support a "local business" AND get my news fix.

News happens all of the time, not just three to four days a week.

I am bracing for the Internet blackout on newspapers from one of your prior posts. Of course, I will be one of the internet users shaking my fists at my monitor...but if it will help keep the dead tree version alive and others employed...what can it hurt? I hope the Flint Journal does the blackout.

I have yet to see a newspaper print in the headlines, "Nothing Happened Today", with a bunch of blank pages after it.

off of soapbox...


Anonymous said...

I have heard that with the last price increase the FJ is going to be ok at least until 2010.

It would be crazy to drop delivery to 3 or 4 days per week before first going to an all morning paper, printing the FJ papers up in Bay City to save money, (If that's really the case.. The press guys here have a new contract that says if the FJ prints up there, the FJ pressmen go up to do the work) or at least try charging people for their online content.

The thing is why drop 3 or 4 days right away? Why wouldn't they try the above first or even get rid of the Saturday paper and have a weekend edition with all the Sat and Sun stuff in it on Saturday mornings? There's no way you wouldn't sell more $2 papers if it sat there for two days.

Shouldn't they at least wait to see how the Detroit papers end up after they do the wrong thing?

Anonymous said...

Big difference in what is apparently happening at Flint and possibly other Booth papers to Detroit's changes: Detroit plans to keep publishing daily for the newsstand and only ending home delivery on certain days. Flint and others sound like they're dropping publication altogether on certain days, and thanks to the "amended" job pledge, that means layoffs are likely, too.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #3 seems to be on to something, based on the "amended" job pledge all Boothies must have noticed by now. It's absolutely clear that the higher-ups have considered limiting publication as a means of cutting workers.

The question is whether the plan is limited to Flint or if the tentacles are longer...

Jim of L-Town said...

Because we are all speculating here (including me)I don't understand why going to 3-4 days a week publication would void the job pledge.

If this reduction in print days, why would that necessarily void the job pledge.

I hope someone can explain.

Anonymous said...

isn't it because the job pledge speaks to while the paper publishes daily?

Jim of L-Town said...

That could be the interpretation, but if they are still "publishing" online daily, wouldn't that apply?

I'm not arguing, just askin'

Anonymous said...

The job pledges only applies if the newspaper publishes in print form on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

Jim -- What do these "anonymouses" mean, talking about the Newhouse "job pledge"??? Are they serious? Do they also believe in the Tooth Fairy? Did they perhaps miss the story by Bloomberg News that moved this weekend about the Journal Register declaring bankruptcy?

The so-called job pledge was/is/ continues to be MEANINGLESS.

C'mon, people. Did the Newhouse job pledge provide any protection to the reporters and editors and other employees who were told to take the buyouts or else? People with 20 years and more of experience, who were in range of retirement?

For over a year now, people who were thought to be good soldiers, good company men and women, hard workers, have been stunned to be called in by the editor and told that they had no future at the paper, that they'd better git while the gittin' was good. Ask them about the job pledge and what it's worth.

The job pledge was feel-good BS, it's just a fig leaf, and it don't mean a thing. Sounds to me like some Boothies who are still working are clinging to it, but they have to see, given the people who have been pushed out, that it's a myth. They may as well sacrifice a goat as believe that the job pledge offers them any real protection.

Rufus T. Firefly

Anonymous said...

FYI: Rufus

Lawyers say the pledge is an implied contract.

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