I could resist the temptation to blog about today's Plain Dealer story about Cleveland distinguishing itself as the 2nd poorest major city in the nation.
But what I couldn't resist was the chance to w00t this comment by PD online reader LilGittup, who suggests that the newspaper industry itself might play a role in the ongoing deprecation of Cleveland's economy.
"Does the PD take any credit for inflating our poverty numbers? Keep downsizing and outsourcing, you're really helping the city. In addition to all of the layoffs, the PD went ahead and raised their price by 50%. Great job, great reporting. Well worth it."LilGittup isn't just being snarky -- locally, the number of lost media jobs is climbing:
"The online Cleveland Leader blogger/writer Roldo Bartimole said his sources expect a cut of 35 pages a week from the PD's news pages and 20 percent reduction of its workforce. Two weeks ago, Sun Newspapers eliminated its circulation department and its route carriers and the 22 editions are now being delivered by PD route drivers.
The Sun editions are being inserted inside the PD on Thursdays to subscribers who also get the PD. The PD is the Cleveland area's only daily newspaper.
In April, eight of Ohio's largest newspapers, including the PD, The Columbus Dispatch, The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Toledo Blade, formed a state-wide partnership, calling themselves the Ohio Newspaper Organization, according to the PD's Ted Diadun.
The papers have been sharing stories and bylines in print and online on their Web sites.
Thursday's alleged cuts follow a 2006 cut of 17 percent of the PD workforce through voluntary buyouts.That buyout was to employees 50 or older with at least 20 years of service and included 2-1/2 years' worth of pay and health-care benefits." Source: WKYC.Things are tough all over.
The Cleveland Jewish News recently stripped employees of their one free subscription to the paper (home-delivered papers, that is; employees can still take the paper home from the office on Fridays for free).
Now CJN employees must pay for the paper, although they do get a discount (which might make a cynical person wonder whether the staff, knowing exactly what's in the paper, refused to pay full price). I'm sure the massive savings there is just what is needed to solve the paper's snowballing financial problems. I wonder if the Plain Dealer has considered that solution?
For more on newspaper layoffs, check out the Newspaper Death Watch.
Also, in Adding Up the Newspaper Cutbacks, Mark Potts of recoveringjournalist.com crunches the numbers and finds that:
- More than 6,300 employees at the 100 largest newspapers have lost jobs through buyouts or layoffs in the past year.
- More than half of those cutbacks have come since the beginning of June.