More Cutbacks in Plain Dealer Editorial Staff

MORE CUTBACKS IN PLAIN DEALER EDITORIAL STAFF

It looks as though the Plain Dealer will suffer more editorial cutbacks soon as management looks for ways to cut costs.

The talk is as many as 22 more people will be let go.

The task is to cut 12 percent from the editorial budget, I’m told, with a May 15 deadline to allow for notice for action by June 1.

Pay cuts and furloughs are mentioned as possible alternatives but the likelihood is that more staff will be cut. Management and the Newspaper Guild are negotiating.

The Plain Dealer, as most newspapers, is under economic siege with loss of advertising and circulation as readers turn away from newspapers to the internet.

I reported recently that the paper as of March 31 had lost 11.7 percent of daily and 8.15 percent of Sunday circulation in the previous six months. Even worse, since September of 2007 to the end of March the PD lost 42,565 daily customers and 52,443 Sunday customers.

Recently, at the paper there were cuts in management pay and 10-day furloughs. The cuts were 8 percent of the first $50,000 in salary.

In January, the paper announced it would rent office and space in its editorial building at 1801 Superior and parking space at its property.

Back in December of last year, 27 editorial people were dropped, some by buyouts and some by layoffs. The dismissal caused anger among editorial people as those who were dismissed had to wait at home for a call from Editor Susan Goldberg. Most staff wore black to work to show their disapproval.