Saturday, June 02, 2007

Will It Just Be The San Jose Mercury If There's Nobody Left To Cover the News?

"Lean Dean" Singleton Strikes Again, As He Prepares to Suck Lifeblood out of Silicon Valley's Prime News Source (Yes, Still)

Nobody at the San Jose Mercury-News who agreed to a draconian contract last year really should have expected that would be the end of their new owner's designs on reducing costs even further.
And now William Singleton has sadley proved them right, according to Grade The News. With a proposed 24 percent cut of the newsroom staff, he continues his campaign of killing the newspaper in order to save it.
No one disputes the Merc's days as a cash cow long ago dried up way before Knight Ridder packed it in, sold the paper to McClatchy, which then flipped it to Singleton's Media News. But it's a safe guess that the Merc still makes money, although Singleton keeps tight-lipped about those things.
It then becomes a question of how much profit is enough, especially in the challenging -- to put it charitably -- climate newspapers find themselves in.
And with Singleton pretty much achieving a newspaper hegemony by owning all the major titles in the East Bay, he's should have already wrung enough efficiencies out of his titles without having to gut his California flagship further.
Alas, he's proving us wrong, allowing him to prove that morale at the Merc could somehow sink even lower than it has.
Meantime, the staff has little to go on but the bromides from newly installed editrix Carole Leigh Hutton, telling them to chin up.
"This is a tough business these days, but it remains the very best profession, and we should all remain proud of our contributions to it."
Too bad pride doesn't get you to the head of the line at the unemployment office.

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