Big Layoffs to Hit Inquirer, Daily News, Philly.com

inquirer-daily-news-philly-com-940x540Philadelphia Media Network will lay off 46 members of the Newspaper Guild, the guild notified members Monday afternoon.

Journalists at the company — which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com — had been prepared for news of layoffs since Friday, when new publisher Terry Egger said job reductions would be part of a restructuring that includes the merging of the three newsrooms. Read more »

The Daily News Isn’t Dead. Yet.

Photo Nov 02, 12 13 46 PM

They’re writing the Daily News’ obituary. Again.

Friday’s news that the newsrooms of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com are merging has prompted a new round of speculation that the gritty tabloid’s days are numbered. Yes, new publisher Terry Egger said the paper will continue to publish separately, but that didn’t stop other observers from checking the walls for signs of handwriting.

“A check with a few insiders reinforced my view that time is running out for the 90-year-old tabloid,” Poynter columnist — and Inky alum — Rick Edmonds wrote over the weekend, noting: “Most second papers under common ownership disappeared in the ’80s and ’90s.”

Rumors of the Daily News’ demise have been greatly exaggerated in the last few decades: You’d have been a sucker if you’d ever bet against the paper’s continued existence. In fact, there are still reasons to believe the paper will continue to exist — but there are also reasons to believe that the end is near. Read more »

Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News Newsrooms to Merge

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Updated with comment from PMN. See below.

The newsrooms of the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com will merge, the publisher of the papers told reporters today, part of a radical restructuring of parent company Philadelphia Media Network that will include job reduction in “every area” of the company, the city’s biggest news organization.

The Inquirer and Daily News will continue to publish as separate newspapers, however. Stan Wischnowski, the vice president of news operations for PMN, will reportedly be in charge of the combined newsroom.

Terry Egger, the new publisher of Philadelphia Media Network, made the announcement in a 10:30 a.m. meeting with the company’s journalists. A separate 3:30 p.m. meeting was scheduled for remaining employees unable to make the morning meeting. Read more »

Temple, Philly Newspapers in Project to Create “Paperless” News Future

David Boardman, dean of Temple University's School of Media and Communication, left.

David Boardman, dean of Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, left.

Philly’s major daily newspapers are getting ready to take a big step away from “paper” — and they’re doing so with the help of Temple University.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced Monday it is giving a $1.3 million grant to Temple to help Philadelphia Media Network — owner of the the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com — to accelerate the transformation of the business to a “truly digitally focused” operation that “can look to the future without newsprint.” Three other “legacy” news organizations — the Dallas Morning News, Miami Herald, and a publication to be named later — will also participate in the project.   Read more »

The Newspaper Business Is Dead in Philly

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

The newspaper business — in Philadelphia, at least — is dead.

Not newspapers, understand: They’ll linger on, in diminished and probably less-frequently printed form, for the foreseeable future. And news itself will survive in any number of formats. But the newspaper business? Making profits from newspapers? Dead, on the mass level at least.

Any doubt on that front should be dispelled by two pieces of news that emerged Wednesday, one tremendously sad, the other actually somewhat uplifting: Read more »

Merging Daily News, Inquirer Newsrooms Would Be Dumb

Banner via Facebook

Banner via Facebook

The first day I walked into the newsroom at the Daily News, one of the editors pulled me aside to share an insight on the very soul of the tabloid that lives perpetually on death row.

“Our job,” she told me, “is to get to the emotional heart of every story.”

In doing that, of course, we got to the emotional heart of the city.

I spent nearly a decade at the paper in the 1990s directing local news coverage, trying to get at that emotional heart, and doing everything I knew how to beat the bejesus out of Big Sister who then lived downstairs at the old headquarters at 400 North Broad Street.

This is all on my mind, and in my heart, these days because of an interview on this website with a man who has been named the new publisher of both the Inquirer and the Daily News, Terry Egger.

Philly Mag interviewed the new guy — who has been at newspapers in St. Louis and Cleveland — and this is the part that is disturbing for long-time Daily News fans:

“Can we afford some of the inefficiencies that are inherent in having three entirely separate newsrooms?” Read more »

Terry Egger Named New Publisher of Philadelphia Newspapers

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, then publisher for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is shown during a news conference in St. Louis in this June 3, 2005, file photo. (AP Photo/James A. Finley)

Terry Egger, former publisher of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, has been named the publisher at Philadelphia Media Network, overseeing the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

He was named to the position by PMN’s owner, Gerry Lenfest, who had assumed the title of publisher after buying the papers in 2014. Lenfest had said he would hire a replacement after reaching deals with the newspaper’s unions — a process that concluded over the summer.

“Terry is a proven leader in the industry and has a tremendous vision and understanding of what we need to do to keep our printed papers strong while also expanding our digital news portfolio,” Lenfest said in a statement. “His strong leadership and management skills will serve us well as we continue to transform this company into one of the most innovative media organizations in the industry. He understands the importance of strong journalism as our lifeblood.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity indeed,” Egger added, “and with Gerry’s ownership, a strong new Board of Directors in place, the talented professionals working at PMN and a vibrant community, we have what we need to evolve and succeed. I can’t wait to get started.” Read more »

Newspaper Guild Accuses Lenfest of Stirring Trouble With Bonus Announcement

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Gerry Lenfest was trying to stir trouble when he announced Wednesday that some — but not all — employees of Philadelphia Media Network will get a $1,000 bonus, the Newspaper Guild said in an angry memo to members Thursday.

“It was the equivalent of your boss coming to you and telling you that your colleague was getting something and you weren’t,” Guild leaders wrote. “In a workplace seeking harmony and cooperation, that values trust, respect and honest communication, who does that? What purpose does it serve?”

A spokeswoman for Philadelphia Media Network said the company would have no comment. Read more »

Gerry Lenfest Awards $1,000 Bonuses to Philly Newspaper Workers*

Philanthropist H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest speak at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | AP, Matt Rourke

Philanthropist H.G. “Gerry” Lenfest speaks at a news conference after a closed-door auction to buy the The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Philadelphia. Photo | Matt Rourke/AP

Here’s the good news: If you work for the Inquirer, Daily News, or Philly.com, Gerry Lenfest is going to give you $1,000.

The not-so-thrilling news? If you’re a member of the Newspaper Guild, you won’t see any of that money in cash. Instead, it’ll go to help pay for your health insurance costs.

“As negotiated by their leadership, in lieu of the $1,000 bonus being paid to the Guild’s individual members, a payment of $1,000 for each Guild member is being made to that union’s (health and welfare) plan,” Lenfest said in a Wednesday afternoon email announcing the bonus. Read more »

Newspapers Offer Buyout to Older Inquirer, Daily News Workers

inquirer-daily-news-philly-com-940x540Philadelphia Media Network is trying to shed some of its longest-tenured employees — Newspaper Guild members with 25 years or more working for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com are being offered voluntary buyout packages.

The buyout offer went out Monday afternoon to roughly 150 members of the Guild, which represents journalists, ad sales employees, and other support staffers at the news organizations. The buyout was negotiated as part of the recent two-year contract between PMN and the Guild.

Unlike many buyout offers, this effort is not a prelude to layoffs, company officials said. Read more »

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