Tuesday, December 05, 2006

At Least Seven Mercury Staffers Out -- Layoffs less Draconian Than Expected

The early news out of the Mercury News is that about seven editorial staffers lost their jobs this morning. They include long time movie reviewer Glenn Lovell, education reporter Louis Zaragoza, and feature writer Steve Marinucci. Sports writer Gary Hoh also got cut, along with another sports writer and two editorial clerks.

Nervous staffers had been ordered to wait by their phones from 8 am to 10 am this morning. At least one reporter declined to cooperate and left home: “I’m not going to wait by the phone to get laid off. Let them find me.”

Apparently, management was bluffing when it initially said it would lay off 69 workers in the plant, including 40 from editorial. When the Newspaper Guild bargaining team refused to capitulate to the paper’s demands, management backed off their threats of draconian cuts.

The entire staff planned to meet early this afternoon to hear details about the cuts.

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