The Sun: Unknown

Posted 06.30.08 • 2008 layoffs, Paper Cuts

San Bernardino, Calif.
Owner: MediaNews Group
Date: March 6, 2008

At least 30 positions were eliminated at the Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune Whittier Daily News, Redlands Daily Facts, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin and San Bernardino County Sun.
Source: Paper Cuts tip and Reporter-G

More on the San Gabriel Valley blood bath *(Update), **(Update II), ***(Update III), ****(Update IV)

THURSDAY, MARCH 06, 2008

I now have a better idea of the scope of the cuts being made at Singleton’s three San Gabriel Valley papers. At least 10 editorial positions will be eliminated before the day is out. Another 20 pink slips are scheduled to be delivered in the other departments.

So far, I’ve confirmed five newsroom cuts: two reporters, one from the Pasadena Star-News and one from the features desk; a page designer at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune; an editorial assistant at the Whittier Daily News, and the Tribune’s librarian.

It doesn’t look like any other reporters will lose their jobs today, but there are still more cuts to come (see updates).

Meantime, heads are rolling at the San Bernardino County Sun and Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. I know of at least one photographer and one writer who have gotten the axe.

Back in the San Gabriel Valley, anxiety among the reporters is running high, especially for those people working in the outlying offices (the management is holed up at the Tribune headquarters in West Covina, with the Star-News and Daily News treated as quasi-bureaus). Thus far, the management has been largely, if not completely, silent.

All of the newsroom cuts should be completed by the end of today, I’m told. However, employees should be prepared for a major announcement of some kind tomorrow.

*An anonymous commenter says that both the finance and marketing directors were let go.

**Two more cuts in editorial to report: A long-time photographer fell under the axe, as did a reporter/copy editor for the sports page. Both contributed to all three papers. Reports of boxes being filled and crying across the Tribune offices.

***Comments are coming in about the various cuts being made to the Inland Empire properties. Also, Fred Hamilton, publisher and CEO of SGVN, sent out a memo concerning the “restructuring” going on today.

Here’s the meat of it: “This restructuring will help us to operate better and position us to grow revenues in our core newspapers, new custom products and on the Internet. In simplest terms, we’re being as creative as possible in a really tough economy. Indeed, these are difficult times for many industries, including newspapers, and as part of our reorganization, there will be some job losses at all of our Inland Division properties. But we also feel, very strongly, that the steps we’re taking will position us to reverse our business trends and grow our company again.”

The company is “flattening the management structure” of its so-called Inland Division as part of the shakeup. Steve Lambert, who once headed the San Bernardino Sun, will stay on as VP of news for LANG. The memo says he is part of a team that will “take us boldly into the future.”

****If the comments on this link are true, and the directors of finance, marketing and circulation (not classified, as I originally put) at the SGVN papers are now gone, that suggest a consolidation of operations between all five “Inland Division” papers. It would fit with Fred Hamilton being named publisher and CEO and his comments about “flattening the management structure.” That would make the Sun the mothership for papers east of the 110 Freeway.

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