The Newspaper Guild agreed over the weekend to deep cuts in benefits and other giveaways in an attempt to save the San Francisco Chronicle from closing.
By agreeing to only take three, instead of four, weeks of paid vacation and waiving seniority rules for firing, the guild will save about 100 editorial jobs. Now the Hearst Corporation will only lay off 150 reporters and editors and other workers instead of 225.
I do not know how the Chronicle will continue to publish. It currently has about 250 editorial employees. The proposed layoffs mean Hearst plans to put out a major metropolitan newspaper with only 100 reporters and such.
If you thought your Chronicle was short on news before, just wait.
There will be a number of public discussions this week about the future of the Chronicle. The UC Berkeley School of Journalism is hosting one tonight, March 16, at 6 pm at Northgate Hall on the UC campus. This is sort of a curious one for it features geographer and author Grey Brechin, journalist Lowell Bergman and “
What’s missing from both these gatherings is representatives from the Hearst Corporation and people who actually work for the Chronicle. Perhaps they don’t want their attendance broadcast publicly and will just show up instead.
Still, there clearly is concern in the community about the fate of the paper and a willingness to stave off its demise.