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Monday, August 13, 2007

Bay Area Journalism: A Little Less U-N-I-T-Y

Posted By on Mon, Aug 13, 2007 at 3:05 PM

Good afternoon, SF! It's 3 p.m., which means we've put in all the serious work we're going to do today. Let the surfing begin! For all you news wonks -- the East and South Bay just got a little less union-friendly, courtesy of out-of-town media kingpin Dean Singleton. NWZCHIK and Romanesko (via East Bay Express) have the details on this, (from NWZCHIK)

"The company that now owns the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, San Jose Mercury News ... announced today that it would no longer recognize the union that represents its editorial employees [except the Merc's]."

What does this mean for readers? Probably nothing. Those papers suck ass now anyway.

"The questions is how much staff they shed in the future," says an insider. "The ANG union was always really weak. They were able to negotiate a $29,000 entry level reporting baseline a few years ago -- you could make more money as a temp."

So yeah, bye bye union, there ain't much money in reporting the news these days. The expected 4.6% decline in print revenue this year will not be offset by the continuing surge in online ad sales.

All of which begs the question: how come newspapers didn't see all this coming? I mean, if your job is to tell people what the writing on the wall is, and yet you fail to do anything about the writing that said in like, 1986 "YOUR BUSINESS MODEL IS TOAST" how do you expect anybody to take you seriously? What other paradigm shifts lurk in the near future? What other unknown unknowns? Trust in the mainstream media is at what -- 18 percent? Could it be because even the unwashed masses know better than to trust a soothsayer who can't see the bulldozer until it's whacking his house? Aaaanyways, LINKS below!. -d2

Link to Story about MERC having NO IDEA what its readers even want. Snitch's guess: porn, puppies, more porn.

Link to "Fuck You" letter from the Union busters.

Link to "No, fuck you!" letter from Union.

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David Downs

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