Cleveland Plain Dealer reporters try to stave off drop to thrice weekly publication

Marketplace reporter Dan Bobkoff looks at a “preemptive strike” by Cleveland Plain Dealer journalists who have organized a petition drive and endorsements to win public support against the paper scaling back to a three days a week print run.

“If you have half the reporters, they’re asking half the questions, they’re writing half the stories,” says Rachel Dissell, a Plain Dealer reporter involved in the effort.

This is personal. Reporters like Dissell are trying to save their own jobs, but they also think this is bad business.

“How do you not put out a shoddier product? And, if you put out a shoddier product, how do you get people to stick with it?” she says.

The Plain Dealer is owned by Advance Publications which owns the New Orleans Times-Picayune, The Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, and Huntsville Times. Advance Publications dropped those daily papers to a thrice weekly publication schedule earlier this fall. An announcement for the Plain Dealer is expected soon. The chain also owns The Oregonian which is also rumored as looking at a limited printing schedule.