Times-Picayune editor on reporting ambitions, salary rumors

New Orleans Times-Picayune editor’s memo to staff, sent this morning:

From: Jim Amoss
Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:18 AM
To: Newsroom Staff
Subject: some facts

Dear colleagues,

In our meetings at Howard Avenue and the East Jefferson bureau you said that you wanted to be told the facts as clearly as they can be told at present. I’d like to do that here:

* After the changes we announced take effect in the fall, we will have a smaller staff. However, our reporting arm will be at least comparable to what it is now. We will continue to be probing and ambitious in our coverage.

* Concerning pay in the new companies, I want to dispel some rumors: There could be some salary adjustments, depending on changes in job descriptions. But most people will make what they make today, if not more.

* I love printed newspapers and want to be proud of the ones we produce when we go to three editions a week. At the same time, we need to focus on the growth of New Orleans’ digital audience. It’s a vital part of our future. We can’t hesitate to embrace it.

* Both our digital and our print content will be distinguished by the high quality of journalism our readers have come to expect.

I know that the days since our announcement last week have been enormously stressful to all and wish I could ease the pain. Jim.

———

One staffer’s reaction: “Regarding Jim Amoss’ quote about the ‘reporting arm,’ …. what does he say about the editing? He said in the staff meeting that I attended that stories would be blogged unedited and that only three people on the digital side will be reading and making corrections throughout the day. That copy will then be published in the three print editions. But he gave no clue what size newsroom staff will be required for that. Can the rest of us just expect to be thrown under the bus? And speaking of expectations, these days of limbo have been unbearable, emotionally and physically. The words cruel and unusual punishment come to mind.”

* “A sentimentality rarely seen in daily newspapers has always surrounded The Times-Picayune” (SunHerald.com)
* More Times-Picayune news from The Gambit, New Orleans’ alt-weekly

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