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FBNY’s Official Guide To The Newsday Layoffs

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Newsday just slashed 120 jobs, including at least 25 newsroom positions. We went to the trouble of reading Newsday‘s official article about the cuts. Then we realized it was written in corporate-ese and completely obstructed the important stuff. So here’s our translation:

ND: Newsday publisher Tim Knight Thursday announced that the newspaper will be cutting about 120 jobs throughout the company, citing declining sales and the “soft advertising revenue environment.” [...] “My foremost responsibility is to ensure that we are a healthy organization equipped and motivated to succeed in this rapidly changing and challenging marketplace,” Knight said in a memo to the staff. “Though we all know we will not grow by cutting, we have no choice but to respond to the revenue decline and make cost adjustments now.”

FBNY: Even though these cuts were dictated on high by Sam Zell, y’know what? We think we’ll keep him as the elephant in the living room and not mention it at all.

ND: “The company did not disclose how many management jobs will be eliminated. Of the union positions, at least 25 of those reductions will take place in the newsroom on top of 13 vacant positions that have gone unfilled. The pressroom will be reduced by at least 24 union positions and the transportation bargaining unit will be reduced by at least five drivers, according to Zachary Dowdy, vice president of the Editorial Unit of Local 406. The company will reduce the number of union positions through voluntary buyout offers and, if necessary, involuntary layoffs.”

FBNY: Life at Newsday will rapidly become a living hell for everyone in the newsroom over the age at 50. And it’s not just the 50+ crowd either: Expect all hard news staff (aka everyone who doesn’t write revenue-generating sports or lifestyle stories) to feel the crunch. Also, speed/frequency of grocery store and newsstand distribution will decline thanks to the driver cuts.

ND: Dennis Grabhorn, president Local 406 of the Graphic Communications Conference/International Brotherhood of Teamsters, said he did not agree with the constant cuts, noting that it has been only a year and a half since the last contract was signed and a substantial job reduction made. “Really all of this paper is doing now is getting rid of more Indians and keeping the chiefs,” Grabhorn said.

FBNY: The best thing about being a Teamster is how you’re able to say politically incorrect things and get away with it.

ND: The newsroom will be reorganized to adjust to the staff cuts and those plans will be shared with editors over the following days, said Newsday Editor John Mancini. “The goal is to emerge with a newsroom that will continue to cover Long Island in depth, with the accuracy our audience has long expected and the urgency they demand, in print and, now, increasingly online,” Mancini said in a memo to the staff.

FBNY: Hey, Newsday reporters. Do you like working 12 hour days? You better, because soon you’ll have a whole lot of them.

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