Too Bad They'd Already Been Sucked Dry By Knight-Ridder
The staff of the San Jose Mercury-News was understandably anxious when as part of the breakup of the Knight-Ridder empire, the newspaper was acquired by MediaNews, which is owned by William Dean Singleton, a man with cash who likes to slash.
When the sale was announced April 26, the Newspaper Guild's Save The Merc Web site reacted with predictable alarm.
Still, most in the newsroom were willing to at least let the guy try to right the listing ship in Silicon Valley, especially when he initially was saying all the right things.
Now it's contract negotiation time, and the Guild now sees that it's the same old same old with Lean Dean, who's rattling the sabers to get reporters and editors to cave into a draconian contract now or face the ax later.
After what happened to reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle, who voted to cut their pay, and gave up sick days and vacation time after being threatened with extinction by management, it's going to be ugly -- and that's on a good day.
And not to say I told you so, but I got the heebie-jeebies when this was first announced. This is not a time where I'm happy to be vindicated.