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Daily Archives: July 30, 2012


Veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan points out that “at the same time the workers are stressed, the big bosses are making more and more.”

In fact, it seems there is a certain correlation between layoffs and bonuses. The more people you lay off, the better your bottom line. At least, in the short term. You don’t grow a business by getting rid of your workers, but in the short term, it works nicely.

McClellan notes that “there is a kind of honesty in pairing the announcements” of executive bonuses and newsroom layoffs, but if he had a chance to talk to Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck, “I’d suggest a little more distance between the announcements.”

Junck received a $655,000 stock bonus last Wednesday — the reason: she wasn’t being paid enough, according to the executive compensation committee — then started laying off employees at the Lee-owned Post-Dispatch. By Saturday, nearly two dozen staffers were let go.

* Bill McClellan: Fat bonuses tip scales, dump skeleton staffs (Post-Dispatch)
* Sunday’s P-D editorial cartoon was missing without explanation (the cartoonist was laid off) (Gateway Journalism Review)
* Tribute to a P-D editor who was laid off after 37 years at the paper (Facebook)
* Follow Fake Mary Junck on Twitter (@maryjunckfake)

Earlier:
* Post-Dispatch lays off 23 just two days after CEO gets stock bonus (JimRomenesko.com)


The Chicago Tribune has dropped from 15 staffers covering the Olympics in 2000 to 9 in Beijing to 5 in London this year. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times, another Tribune paper, sent 13 staffers at the London Olympics.

USA Today tells Ed Sherman that it has 48 reporters/editors in London and about 20 photographers.

The St. Paul Pioneer-Press decided not to send anyone to the summer games, while rival Star Tribune has two writers and a photographer in London.

“The Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer initially decided skip the trip to London,” reports Sherman. “They returned the five credentials issued to the papers. However, at the last minute, the editors decided to send Phil Sheridan.”

* Newspaper Olympics coverage varies (Sherman Report)

What we learn about Henry Blodget and his Business Insider site from today’s subscription-required Wall Street Journal story:
— In the past year, the site has boosted its monthly unique visitor count by 32% to 5.4 million in June.
— Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban likes Business Insider because “they find stories that you would sit and discuss with friends and associates, that are topical, interesting and often give a unique side of a story.”
— In BI’s 50-person newsroom, “the desks are crammed so closely together that the computer monitors nearly touch,” reports Keach Hagey.
— She also notes: “To keep the focus on traffic, a screen hangs in Business Insider’s New York newsroom providing real-time data on how many people are reading the site at any given time.”
— The barely profitable site expects revenue this year to be about $12 million.
— Business Insider’s pitch to advertisers is that it has an audience made up of the “next generation of business leaders.”
* Henry Blodget pins hopes on Business Insider (Wall Street Journal)
ALSO THIS MORNING:
* “Face the Nation” makes its one-hour format permanent. (Washington Post)
* Friends and family pay tribute to aspiring sports broadcaster who was killed in the Aurora theater shooting. (Denver Post)
* BusinessWeek was in danger of being closed before it was sold to Bloomberg. (Talking Biz News)
* Curbed founder: Real estate is the only category of hyper-local that’s really flush with money. (paidContent)
* CEO Laura Lang rethinks magazines for Time Inc.’s digital audience. (New York Times)
* “The Wimp” cover shows Newsweek is still able to generate plenty of talk. (Adweek.com)
* Spin’s new owner lays off a third of magazine’s staff and decides not to publish a November/December issue. (New York Times)
* University of Memphis paper says its funding was cut because of its controversial coverage of the campus. (Commercial Appeal)
* Fashion student designs gowns made of old copies of the Daily Mail. (The Guardian)
* Thanks to the publisher of Technomancer for sponsoring JimRomenesko.com this week. (Technomancer) || Interested in sponsoring the site? Email me