Grumpy Abe’s Plain Dealer “hit list” may need some editing. It says that “among the victims was Harlan Spector, the guild president,” while an Associated Press story on today’s Plain Dealer layoffs says Spector volunteered to leave the paper. (Please email me with corrections or post them in comments.)
From Will Bunch’s excellent “The de-newspaperization of America”:
It’s a very very sad day — not just for the journalists involved but for all of us. For more than 40 years, we’ve seen America’s once-great cities dying from neglect, from bad policies and worse politicians, and from the greed that moved people’s jobs out of town and then across the sea — but things might have been even worse if some great journalists hadn’t been there to occasionally yell, “Timber!”
Now even that legacy of the Industrial Revolution is coming to an end. Now we can only wonder: If a smokestack falls in the city and no one is there to record it, does it make a sound?
UPDATE: From the Plain Dealer’s John Kroll:
Corrections I know of: These were volunteers — Margaret Bernstein, Tom Breckenridge, Dave Davis, Stan Donaldson, Pat Galbincea, Mark Gillispie, John Horton, Felesia Jackson, Doug Kramer, John Mangels, Racquel Robinson, Michael Scott, Scott Shaw, Harlan Spector. Not sure, but Deborah Miller and Bill Piotrowski may have been volunteers too. I think there were several others.
Also, this does not count two non-Guild managers — me, the Online Editor, a volunteer, and Randy Roguski, Business Editor./CONTINUES
Cindy Baecker was a photo tech, not a clerk. John Gruner was an editor in the features department, not a reporter. Felesia Jackson was an interactive graphics specialist. Mike Scott was a city desk editor, not a reporter. (In fact, Scott was the online coordinator for the metro desk.)
Another volunteer: columnist Regina Brett. She’s posted to Facebook that she chose to take the layoff to make room for someone else who might not want to leave, and will still write for the paper regularly, presumably as a freelancer.
A couple of things worth noting: Regina and Margaret were the paper’s only full-time female columnists (an editorial writer, Sharon Broussard, also writes columns).
Carl Matzelle, sports clerk, has lost his job to a layoff for the second time here. He had been a reporter when he was cut in the last big round, then got hired back as a clerk.