LA Daily News staff are bracing for a possible shakeup after, as media blog LA Observed reports, employee representatives have sent memos saying a meeting this very afternoon could produce some very bad news.
We expect there will probably be a staff meeting called Wednesday afternoon and that they will offer buyouts, but this is not certain. I wish I had some news to offer, because I hate this confusion and darkness as much as everyone, but all I can say is that as soon as we hear anything, we'll let you know. –Union representative Brent Hopkins
OCWeekly reporter Nick Schou, who's out for the week, broke the story early last week about a series of secretive meetings between the Orange County Register and Dean Singleton's MediaNews, Inc. regarding content sharing. The reason this is a big deal is that, since Singleton owns regional newspapers like the Long Beach Press-Telegram and the LA Daily News, the companies can save money by laying off reporters who work beats that both the Reg and Singleton-owned papers, already cover.
But take a deep breath, sigh, these are just secretive meetings. It's not like every secretive meeting actually comes to fruition. That's why it's a secret. You don't want a bunch of reporters getting the wrong idea and overreacting. It's just talk.
Oh wait, yesterday Schou wrote on our blog that the content sharing is already going on.
The Long Beach Press-Telegram didn't seem to like that they had to learn about the sharing agreement from outside media sources, namely the OC Weekly. According to LA Observed, this memo was released by disgruntled employees in Long Beach.
We are very disappointed that our own management team has not granted us the courtesy and respect to tell us about an agreement that has a strong potential to undermine our job security. We would appreciate the opportunity to understand how the plan will work, how they see it as an improvement to our Press-Telegram and to ask questions about the changes. After all, we are stakeholders in this newspaper too.
I'll answer this. The purpose is not to improve the Press-Telegram. The purpose is to resuscitate waning profits by cutting back on input costs, i.e. shitcanning reporters.