The scoop on the Star

Dateline: Sat 30 Jun 2007

Here's what went down at 307 N. Penn Friday: Exec ed Dennis Ryerson opened the meeting expounding on how hard everyone is working.

He then talked about the pressure newspapers are under and how nobody has quite figured out how to fix what ails them.

Then he announced there would be 20 buyouts. As reported on Taking Down Words, those are company-wide, not just in the newsroom. Ryerson didn't say who in the newsroom is eligible. Interested parties were told to send Ryerson an email.

There is another part to this story, too -- and in the shadow of everything that's pretty grim, it's some good news. Gannett is actually adding 50 jobs in a "regional toning center," meaning that Indianapolis will be toning photos for all 85 Gannett papers. (Des Moines also has a toning center)

Jen Wagner is also reporting on Taking Down Words that --

"..those who take them (buyouts) will get two weeks of pay and benefits for every year they've worked there. (That's twice what's called for in the Guild contract.)

"Only a few of the buyouts will affect folks who work in the newsroom information center.

"The higher-ups officially announced that the paper will not eliminate its stand-alone business section and merge it with the metro section, as previously planned."

The latter can also be hailed as very good news.

Now, can someone answer the question raised by an earlier comment on this blog -- Ryerson claimed the Star is making money. How can that be?

(My own opinion is that with 177 or so employee losses since Gannett came in, the company has picked up a huge savings. Could that be enough to offset its advertising losses? I dunno. Newspaper stock analysis, anyone?)

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