From The Dot Bomb To Craig Running Wild With His List, End Result Is A Shriveled Newsroom
"The bloodletting has to stop."
That pronouncement from SaveTheMerc, a Web site run by the San Jose Newspaper Guild, which lost 31 members Monday in the latest round of layoffs at the Mercury-News.
That means the size of the newsroom staff has now been cut in half to 200 since the dot-com heyday faded.
The usual suspects are to blame, fewer classifieds, free online ads and more people willing to read the paper online for free than to plunk down a few coins for the print version.
So while nobody begrudges the need for owner William "Lean Dean" Singleton to make a profit, slashing and burning what makes the Merc an indispensable read is not the way to go about that. As the SaveTheMerc notes:
San Jose deserves a great newspaper. Silicon Valley deserves a great newspaper. There are hundreds of stories to be told about changing communities, cutting edge technologies, pop culture and high art, school boards and government. Who will tell these stories?
An excellent question.
One story they may be telling a year from now is the latest version of what happened Monday, if management can't find a way to right the ship.
The Guild was told there would not be any more layoffs for this fiscal year, which fortunately just began Sunday.