Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Jittery in Melville; a buyout (or sell out?) in Hartford

Though Newsday execs have yet to make a decision on the number of job cuts there, newsroom staffers are feeling worn down waiting for the ax to drop. “First you’ll hear the rumor that it’s seven positions, then 40, then 10, then you hear the newsroom will be spared, then it won’t, and there’s just all these e-mails back and forth and no one knows what’s happening,” said Mr. [William] Murphy, a reporter.

Cuts are coming, soon. Zachary Dowdy, reporter and union rep of IBT Local 46 that represents Newsday employees said, “We’ve gotten the sense that it will be this week.”

Newsday's staff has the benefit of a union contract: they can bargain over the terms and conditions of how job cuts will be made and how the staff reduction will impact the members who remain.

At the Hartford Courant where the staff does not have union representation, TV critic Roger Catlin's column “captures the quiet desperation of today's newsroom” — as a fellow columnist at the Baltimore Sun describes it — by thinking of his options “in terms of a bad new prime time game shows: ‘Buy Out or Sell Out?’ ”

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