It was 12:49 p.m. and the big headline on CBS Philly’s website was “PA US Rep Chaka Fattah Indicted in Racketeering Case.” On the ABC 10 website the headline read: “Rep. Chaka Fattah Indicted in Racketeering Case.” The headline on NBC10’s website at the same moment? “Pregnant Women Fear Transportation Trouble During Papal Visit.” Read more »
Philadelphia 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 »
Even before she started her job this week as CBS3’s morning traffic reporter, Meisha Johnson was a hit in Philadelphia — at least judging by the some of the delirious Twitter reaction after the station announced her hiring. And then there was the delirious Twitter reaction to her debut. (A savvy social media user, Johnson cultivated her fandom by tweeting at and retweeting seemingly everybody who mentions her on the social media platform — all the Tweets in this post come from her feed.) That reaction has only gained momentum: Her morning appearances this week set off spikes in Philadelphia Google traffic for her name. It’s the reaction CBS3 execs must’ve hoped for when they hired her amidst a big shakeup that followed low ratings at the station.
The Minnesota native brings a trace of her accent to the job, as well as an intriguing history: Her dad was a boxer, her mother a ballerina, and Johnson herself was named after famed ballet dancer Mikhail “Misha” Baryshnikov.
Philly Mag talked with Johnson this week about her welcome to Philly, the differences between her new and old hometowns, and her favorite sports. Read more »
Last week, the Newspaper Guild ratified a two-year contract with Philadelphia Media Network and it seemed a new era of labor peace might be at hand at the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.
This week, they’re feuding again. Over clothes.
The Guild — which represents journalists, ad staffers, and other support staff at the newspapers — said Wednesday it had filed a labor grievance against the company — over a “dress code” on workers that union leaders said had been unfairly imposed by management. “We believe that institution of such a code, without discussion and without the grandfathering in of employees of who have repeatedly violated the alleged code for decades, would be a change in work rules that was not negotiated,” Bill Ross, the Guild’s executive director, said in a memorandum to members. “We believe such a move would be a mandatory subject of bargaining.”
Management at PMN declined comment. Read more »
There’s another new face at CBS3: Meisha Johnson.
The station’s new traffic reporter comes to Philadelphia from Minnesota, where she served in the same role at KMSP, the Fox affiliate in Minneapolis-St. Paul, since 2013. She also appeared on several nationally syndicated PowerSports programs on Fox Sports, and has served as an announcer for Snocross, ATV and Supercross motorcycle races.
We don’t know if the staff losses at CBS3 are over yet, but the replacements are clearly on the way: Pat Gallen, a three-year veteran of 97.5 the Fanatic and multiple other local media outlets, announced on Twitter he is leaving radio to become a sports anchor and reporter for the TV station. Gallen says he’ll start next week. Read more »
Chris May, Kathy Orr, and Beasley Reece are all out at CBS3, a spokeswoman confirmed to Philly Mag Tuesday evening, apparently part of a broader shakeup in the station’s news ranks.
May co-anchored the station’s 5, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts, as well as a 10 p.m. broadcast. Orr provided forecasts on weeknights at both stations, and Reece had been sports director at the station.
May acknowledged his departure in a Tweet Tuesday afternoon:
I've anchored my last broadcast at CBS3. Hope to see you all again.
— Chris May (@chrismayCBS3) June 30, 2015
Hundreds of Newspaper Guild members marched during a noontime rally Thursday at the Market Street office of Philadelphia Media Network, chanting demands for a fair contract as the clock ticked down on just more than two days left before the current work agreement expires. Read more »
With a possible strike by the Newspaper Guild looming, Philadelphia Media Network today sent employees a memo apparently aimed at getting them — or at least a few of them — to stay on the job during a walkout.
Yes, you can keep working if a strike is called, said the memo from the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. We’ll provide security and a safe way to report in to your managers. And if you’re worried about being fined by the Newspaper Guild for crossing the picket line — well, here’s a template for a letter you can send that exempts you from most responsibilities that come with union membership.
And, oh yeah, if you do walk out? Don’t necessarily expect to come back, ever. Read more »
Monday could be a make-or-break day in negotiations between Philadelphia Media Network — which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com — and the Newspaper Guild.
The guild’s leaders said in a Thursday night memo to members, that the two sides will meet that day with a federal mediator — and that the mediator “has asked the Company to be prepared to stay as long as necessary on Monday to reach a deal.”
The current contract between the two sides expires the following Saturday. Guild members have already approved strike preparations. Read more »