Thursday, January 22, 2009

Peoria Journal Star lays off 11, including five from newsroom

Same old, same old at Peoria's one and only newspaper of record:

Publisher Ken Mauser said, “The layoffs were made in an effort to adapt to the changing nature of the newspaper business.”

Mauser declined to specify the exact number of jobs involved in Thursday’s action. The layoffs are effective immediately. The publisher did say that the personnel moves are part of a plan to strategically reposition the Journal Star.

Two paragraphs of corporate bullshit. Yeah, the "nature" of the newspaper business is changing from one in which the owners of a printing press in a monopoly market could pretty much print money to one in which they had to limit themselves to one yacht. And they are "strategically repositioning" the Journal Star from a somewhat quirky but good daily newspaper into the sort of rag that assigns their top columnist to write about lost dogs.

The names of the fired staffers will start rolling in soon. How the surviving reporters can possibly cover the remaining beats is beyond me. I expect them to eliminate the Monday edition before long, or outsource the copy editing to India.

But hey, the Journal Star might be firing, but Blog Peoria is hiring. I don't pay anyone, but you can make a few bucks from Google AdSense if you get enough hits.

UPDATE: WEEK is reporting that the unions are reporting five newsroom employees and six from other departments.

UPDATE: I gather that not all of those who've been laid off have been notified. So, I'm not going to name any names for now. The union is supposed to be having an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss wage concessions to prevent additional layoffs.

UPDATE: Reporter Kevin Sampier is among those shown the door. The loss of Circuit City as an advertiser is being cited as one reason for the cuts.


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