Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, July 4, 2008

Newspaper Management Strikes Back

Posted By on Fri, Jul 4, 2008 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge sara_bullhorn.jpg
By John Geluardi

MediaNews may be the biggest newspaper company in the Bay Area, but apparently that does not mean its leadership is above small actions.

East Bay newspaper employees who work for MediaNews publications, which include the Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune, voted for a union last month despite heavy opposition from top managers.

The union campaign was heralded as a milestone in American journalism because it promoted a new union model that sought to maintain quality journalism in an industry plagued by declining revenue, dwindling readership and deep cutbacks to newsroom staff.

But faster than you can say “Taft-Hartley,” Publisher John Armstrong and Executive Editor Kevin Keane laid off Sara Steffens, a key leader in the union effort.

Steffens, an award winning social services reporter, was among 29 employees who will lose their jobs on July 11. Management claimed the layoffs were based on a on an “evaluation of the expendability or redundancy of positions,” but Northern California Media Workers Guild are challenging the criteria, which they say is suspect. Other prominent union organizers were also laid off.

In an odd twist, none of the newsroom employees who were associated with an anti-union Web site, were on the list.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Janine Kahn


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"