Friday, December 05, 2008

Enjoy Newsday's Sports Columnists? You Won't Soon

UPDATE: Keith Kelly in The New York Post reported it was Johnette Howard, Shaun Powell and Ken Davidoff who will lose their columns, though it's possible Davidoff could remain as a reporter

Three of Them Getting Ax in Long Island Paper's Latest Round of Cutbacks

Cablevision/The Dolans have apparently gotten their first whiff of the newspaper business since it bought Newsday earlier this year and found out it really does stink.
That's why Newsday is cutting 100 jobs or 5 percent of its workforce. It's expected more than two dozen will come from the newsroom.
As editor John Mancini noted in his memo:
"In addition, we will be reorganizing Photo, resulting in a significantly smaller staff. We will also eliminate the Sports Columnist category, which includes three staffers, and the research position in Albany. These decisions will mean further job reductions or will require staffers to move into other job categories."
Newsday used to have a sports section with few rivals. Now it's clout and quality continue to recede.
Exactly who will get canned still isn't known. But if you go by what Mancini says, then Shaun Powell, Johnette Howard and Wally Matthews are vulnerable.
But then there's TV sports guy Neil Best, outdoors columnist Tom Schlichter and high-school columnist Gregg Sarra.
Some could be reassigned. Others will be gone.
They deserve better. Then again, you could say the same for most of the 12,000+ people who lost their newspaper jobs this year nationwide.
It's a dire move, and one the Dolans don't want to talk about, even with its own employees. Which is why James Madore wrote in the paper's account of the layoffs: Sources told Newsday that most of the affected workers would be offered a buyout package and would have two weeks or so to decide whether to accept it."
It's pathetic Newsday would be tight-lipped on specifics, especially to its own people, but at least give Madore credit for being able to get that line past his editors.

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