Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Wisconsin State Journal publisher: 'We're first, best'

Wisconsin State Journal Publisher Bill Johnston listed the great thing about his paper on Sunday. (It's nothing you haven't heard before.)

With the new fiscal year just two days away, Johnston doesn't five any clues about any possible changes coming. The paper laid off employees twice in 2009.

(Via e-mail)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Junck joins Davenport development board

Lee CEO Mary Junck has joined the board of directors of a Davenport, Iowa, development group. Quad-Cities First oversees economic development sales and marketing for the bi-state area. Junck and 16 others will serve two- to four-year terms on the board.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Furloughs coming to Times of Northwest Indiana

Employees at The Times of Northwest Indiana in Munster, Ind., will be taking a five-day unpaid furlough in the first quarter of the new fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

"Unlike others, there are no layoffs planned at The Times,” publisher Bill Masterson Jr. said of the paper's 2010 fiscal budget plan. However, three employees have accepted buyouts.

What is planned for the new fiscal year at your paper? Send tips to lee.ent.watch@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lee shuffles publishers between Washington, Wisconsin, Hawaii papers

Rick Parrish, publisher at The Journal Times in Racine, Wis., will be the new publisher at The Daily News in Longview, Wash. Parrish has been the publisher of The Journal Times since 2007. Parrish replaces Linda Lindus, who resigned in August; she is now publisher of two Media News papers in California.

Mark Lewis, publisher at The Garden Island in Lihue, Hawii, will be the new publisher at The Journal Times, replacing Parrish. Lewis has been the publisher of The Garden Island since 2006.

Randy Kozerski, controller at The Garden Island, has been appointed interim publisher at Hawaii paper.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Layoffs coming to The Sentinel

In the 2010 strategic plan for The Sentinel in Hanford, Calif., publisher Manuel Collazo says positions will be cut and the Saturday and Sunday editions will be combined. Production will be moved to Selma, Calif., and newsroom and advertising resources will be "realigned" and reorganized.

The bullet points from the plan, which was released Aug. 5, include:
  • Moving the Hanford production department to the Selma plant; creating a unified production facility and enabling the expansion of our commercial print business
  • Aligning our home delivery and single copy resources to support a more efficient distribution system
  • Reorganizing our newsroom resources for the quick development and deployment of a 24/7 newsroom positioned to drive critical content for our online audiences
  • Product changes that drive target print audiences and support a more profitable advertising business model
    • Elimination of the Lemoore Advance and creation of a twice a week "Lemoore Edition" of the Sentinel
    • Development of an Entertainment product, in print and online
    • Consolidation of our Saturday & Sunday Sentinel editions and development of a new Saturday weekend edition
  • Realigning advertising sales resource to better focus on key areas of growth: local retail, secondary markets and online advertising
  • Unifying the Sentinel and Weeklies' advertising departments under central advertising leadership
  • Reinvesting in marketing -- focusing on key initiatives to drive advertising revenues, audience promotion and deepen our connection with the communities we serve

Read Callazo's memo. (PDF)

If layoffs are already planned at one paper, I have to wonder if similar announcements will soon be made at other Lee papers.

(Via e-mail)

Ex-Post-Dispatch features editor takes job in governor's office

Christy Bertleson, who resigned from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch last week, has accepted a position as deputy director of the Transform Missouri Project, a state project to oversee the use and spending of federal stimulus funds. The new job comes with a $100,000 salary.

Lee back on the big board

Lee's share prices have stayed above $1 long enough to meet listing requirements on the New York Stock Exchange. CEO Mary Junck has often said that Wall Street is undervaluing Lee, and repeated that claim Tuesday.
"As we have noted previously, we believe the long-term prospects for our company remain strong and will become increasingly apparent to investors as the recession begins to recede. Our newspapers and online sites continue to reach the vast majority of adults in our markets, far more than any competitor, and we continue to stand out as the leading provider of local news, information and advertising in our markets."

Lee stockholders voted on and approved a reverse stock split in March when the stock was hovering around the 30-cent mark. The reverse stock split was never put into effect.

Stock closed Tuesday at $1.83.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Helena ad manager promoted to regional post

Helena Independent-Record advertising manager Jim Rickman has been promoted to regional advertising director for three Montana papers: The Independent Record in Helana, The Montana Standard in Butte and the Mini Nickel in Bozeman.

Rickman has worked for Lee since 1977.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Post-Dispatch art critic quits

St. Louis Post-Dispatch art critic David Bonetti is taking a "voluntary layoff." The paper laid off four newsroom employees two weeks ago. Bonetti's departure should allow one of those employees to return to work. Deputy managing editor for features Christy Bertelson announced her retirement on Aug. 19. Bonetti's last day will be Friday; he will not be replaced.

Speaking of the Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine editor Stephen Schenkenberg sent me a copy of the story his magazine did in June on the future of the St. Louis newspaper. It's an interesting read if you have few minutes.