Submitted by Roldo on Wed, 12/03/2008 - 17:32.

How badly handled was the layoff plan at the Plain Dealer?
Very badly, I’d say.

It seemed designed by lawyers to set tensions at the high level.

Plain Dealer staff people yesterday themselves had to wonder who had gotten the ax. Nobody knew. Those who came to work nervously watch who else came to work and who didn’t. That was how they determined whether colleagues were still colleagues or out on the street with no health insurance.

The reason for this clumsy and embarrassing situation was the lack of any notice to the staff of the decisions that had been made. Couldn’t they at that point have provided a list of the unlucky?
Editor Susan Goldberg and Publisher Terry Egger didn’t have the intelligence to at some point after 9:30 a.m., when calls to those dumped had been by Goldberg, to put up a list for everyone to know who the unlucky were. It would have relieved the tension and doubts.

Editorial workers have been facing the doom day for some time. They have known that 50 people – either by choice or by dismissal – had to be gone from the editorial offices at 1801 Superior.

This, according to staffers, made everyone nervous, even those who likely knew they were not going to be among the losers.

In addition to wearing black clothing, I’m told that every person in the city room yesterday wore a printed sticker the size of those “Hello. I’m…” labels that said “Our Pledge – Unity.”
That was a slam at the PD owners, the Newhouse family’s policy that insures no management layoffs.

Egger, I’m told, hasn’t been showing his face around the city room lately where editorial workers toil.

However, Goldberg made an appearance later in the day and talked with individual people telling them that she knows it was a difficult time and appreciated their work.
To the question whether there will be any more cutbacks, I’m told she responded that she hoped not.

The editorial staff now sits “about at 185ish,” said one. That possibly is about half of what it was at its height.

Plain Dealer people met at Becky’s on E. 18th Street, near the editorial office building last night.

In a message, former PD staffer Lou Mio wrote, “Just got back from Becky’s where almost wall-to-wall reporters, photogs, copy desk folks, few retirees, etc. gathered for a combination commiseration/glad I made the cut list get together.”

The call received by those dismissed was scripted, it was said, with Goldberg essentially reading from the script to some 27 dismissed. The remainder for the 50 came with people who choose to leave the PD. Unfortunately, for the newspaper some people left that the editors didn’t want to see leave.

The people told not to report to work have been advised to come to retrieve their belongings and sign legal papers on Saturday. They have been told to come in the back door.

In a last act of defiance, some said they would take the front door.
“What are they going to do, fire me?” was one reaction.

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"They have been told to come in the back door"

That's the rudest thing I can imagine. Where did this woman go to finishing school? She knows it was a difficult time, appreciated their work and wants them to come to the BACK DOOR?!? What like freakin' servants?!? Give me a break.

The whole crew should show up in solidarity Saturday for a citizen journalist photo op at the front door.

Not to get in the way of a

Not to get in the way of a poetic image, but The Pee Dee's front doors are never open on weekends. It's not just due to the firings. Staff that works during the week may not know this fact.

America's Incredible Shrinking Newspapers

I fear the public won't appreciate the free press until it's too late.

My heart goes out those who are leaving and those who are staying.


Youtube Saturday!!!

sounds like it could be a fun place for a blogger to have a video camera!!



Don't publish and perish...


As I looked over my copy of the Old Brooklyn News, I had to think "Has CPL kept up with the microfilming?..."


This paper and the Plain Press are filmed in house at Cleveland Public Library.  The sun papers published by the Plain Dealer were filmed locally by Casnet.  The microfilm and on line feeds for the Plain Dealer, Wall Street Journal and New York Times were purchased from an out-of-state vendor. Overdrive, a local company, "publishes" downloadable books.

As I contend with obvious corruption in my neighborhood, the only real acknowledgement of the crime came in the Plain Dealer, in October, when the Plain Dealer published:

So, who will "legitimize" citizen concerns now?

I used to work the microfilm department.  Recording history is serious business.  You get to decide what gets recorded and what gets thrown out. 

I imagine now that our representatives with their self-motivated agendas in the local politburo are resting easy now that there will be absolutely no record of their crimes...this is the legacy of the internet...make it disappear...or worse, rewrite it so one day, the local politburo can actually make themselves out to be heroes.

I would like to say THANK

I would like to say THANK YOU to all of the PD Reporters and Photographers I hope the best for everyone and when one door closes remember that another one opens. I was LUCKY enough to have met some of the bravest reporters and photographers who actually risked their own lives to try to help out the citizens of this city. These people went far above their JOB DESCRIPTIONS (just for the record PD Admin.) I wish the best for everyone. As for the PD SHAME SHAME SHAME it is bad enough to lay a person off in these times but to be so COLD oh I mean BOLD enough to ask people to come to the back door. I am ASHAMED of THE PD'S request. I think the executives at the top should consider a HUMAN APPROACH to their financial difficulties. Take a GOOD LOOK at your policies or take a look in the mirror. Without readers who will pay your BILLS?