"Up to 95 positions" possibly being eliminated at the Star

Dateline: Tue 28 Oct 2008

Here is the latest very grim news:

*From:* Kane, Michael G (Indianapolis)

*Sent:* Tuesday, October 28, 2008 2:00 PM

*To:* Messages to INI

*Subject:* FW: Letter from Bob Dickey

*Importance:* High

Oct. 28, 2008

To all employees:

Please read the attached letter from Bob Dickey, president of Gannett's U.S. Community Publishing division.

I will be working with department heads to determine what the ultimate impact at *The Star* will be. At this early stage, I'm guessing that we could be eliminating up to 95 positions, hopefully less.

This is very difficult news to share, but our economic outlook demands it.

In the meantime, we are working on new strategies to help reverse the trends.

If you have any questions, please let me know."

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Star circulation falls

Dateline: Tue 28 Oct 2008

Thanks to Gannettblog and Editor and Publisher for keeping a wicked eye on the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) latest numbers. Here's what Jim Hopkins has to say at G-blog:

"Daily circulation at the nation's newspapers fell 4.6% in the six months ended Sept. 30, and Sunday circulation dropped 4.8%, new industry data out today show.

"The declines were slightly worse than the year-ago pace, when circulation fell 2.6% daily, and 4.6% Sundays, trade journal Editor & Publisher says.

"The figures were compiled by the industry-supported Audit Bureau of Circulations. ABC made public the data for the top 25 daily and Sunday papers among the 571 U.S. newspapers it audits. Gannett papers I found on the lists:

"* USA Today: 2.29 million daily, up 0.01%; no Sunday edition

* The Arizona Republic: 361,333 daily, down 5.5%; 463,036 Sunday, down 3.7%

* The Detroit Free Press: 298,243 daily, down 6.8%; 605,369 Sunday, down 3.7%

* The Indianapolis Star: 244,796 daily, down 3.3%; 321,760 Sunday, down 4.6%"

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Star gets a spanking

Dateline: Tue 28 Oct 2008

Irate letters to the editor published in this morning's Indianapolis Star show that readers are vexed by the editorial board's refusal to endorse a presidential candidate Sunday.

The paper has "abdicated its responsibility," and chosen to ignore "a historic time for Indiana," are among thoughts expressed.

Publisher Michael Kane's explanation is also included, and it's not worth the paper it was written on.

But the Star's inability to reach a consensus among its eight editorial borad members, and the publisher's refusal to "break the tie," are bad signs for Sen. John McCain. When Karl Rove puts Indiana in the Obama camp, as he did Sunday on Fox, you know it's "big trouble for Moose and Squirrel," as the Bulwinkle cartoon used to prophesy.

Still, Dems can't take anything for granted. The word on the street is: keep making those calls and canvassing for Obama.

And you can safely ignore the Star. By its own choice and hand, it is not a player. What a day.

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Papers pick Obama

Dateline: Mon 27 Oct 2008

Editor and Publisher is reporting on newspaper endorsements of Obama vs. McCain; it's "a rout" for Obama, with him leading Friday 160 to 59 for McCain. Most tellingly, many papers that previously backed Bush have switched. Also telling: the Anchorage newspaper came out for Obama.

Here is the lead, published today -- for more updates, go to the E and P link on the blogroll on the right side of this page:

"The Obama lead in editorial endorsements this year turned into a landslide, even a rout today, as dozens of additiional papers backed him, compared to the relative handful for McCain.

"Two more major papers that had backed Bush in 2004--the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Providence Journal--came out for Obama, joining at least 35 others who had done the same thing already.

"In another embarrassment for McCain, the Indianapolis Star, which also supported Bush in 2004, revealed that it would not endorse this year. At least two other Bush 2004 papers, the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News and the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, took the same route."

Again, I would say the Star's wimp-out is less of an embarrassment for McCain and more for its management. What a time to sit on the fence.

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Two very different parties

Dateline: Mon 27 Oct 2008

This is from a friend who prefers that her name not be used. But her reflections are worth sharing:

"An acquaintance had four tickets to the Palin rally. In our group of 8 or so ordinary Hoosier women having dinner together, she couldn't give them away! Two of

our group had been to the Obama rally; others said they wished they could have gone, but had to work.

"The Republicans don't send their presidential candidate to Indiana at all, and have their lame vp candidate's rally far from the city, in a place reachable only by car, and make people go somewhere to pick up tickets in advance.

"The Democrats have their presidential candidate's rallies at the Fairgrounds, accessible by car, bus or foot, and in downtown Indy, accessible by bus, foot, bike, car or wheelchair. No advance tickets, just whoever shows up is welcome.

"The contrasts say a lot about the two parties and whose concerns they represent."

Amen to all that.

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