Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baltimore cuts: 55-60 newsroom staff *

A total of 100 jobs reduce the 1,400-person work force through voluntary buyouts, layoffs, attrition and by closing open positions.

The Guild at the Baltimore Sun, which represents about 400 employees in advertising, circulation, editorial, finance and building departments, learned today that the Sun's newsroom will be reduced by about 20%.

"Employees are disheartened, to say the least," said Tanika White, a reporter and co-chair of The Sun unit of the Guild. "They're angry at what they perceive to be the poor management coming from the outside that has led us to this point," White said. "They're frightened, and they have every right to be."

She said she also feared the community would suffer from decreased coverage.

"It's about democracy," White said.
The Sun is undergoing a redesign, slated for rollout in September, as are other Tribune newspapers. (Wonder what design firm is leading the project? Whichever one, it won't come cheap.)

No word yet on the number of pages the paper will lose. Will readers and advertisers will notice? (They always do.)

* The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild responds: "Baltimore Sun employees are being punished for Tribune's mismanagement," Cet Parks, chief negotiator for the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, said in a statement. "Tribune's answer to solving declining circulation and readership is to slash employees from the payroll and cut the news hole, salaries and benefits."

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