Newspaper News

A few sites noted Gannett papers not printing on Labor Day.

WNBF (Binghamton, NY) noted their local and other Gannett papers passed on the holiday edition:

Many Press & Sun-Bulletin print edition subscribers were surprised when they didn’t receive a newspaper Monday morning.

For the first time in decades, the Binghamton paper did not print a Labor Day edition.

Gannett Company directed its newspapers across the country not to publish a print edition on the holiday.

It’s not known if the move is a new corporate policy that will eliminate print newspapers on holidays or if it may portend reduced printing schedules in the months ahead.

The WNBF report and the Milwaukee Business Journal report states that the reason given by local editors is to give the staff the holiday off. Of course the staff will be working on Labor Day to get the Tuesday edition out. So Sunday will be their day of rest? And in giving the crew a day off will Gannett avoid paying double time and a half for holiday pay?


Hat tip to Editor and Publisher for the heads-up,
where it is also noted that The Spokane Daily Chronicle has been revived as an eight page e-newspaper.

After nearly 30 years, The Spokane Daily Chronicle is making a comeback. The newspaper, which is the older sibling of The Spokesman-Review, initially launched in 1881 and ceased publishing in 1992. The Cowles family had owned both newspapers since 1897.

According to Rob Curley, editor of the Spokesman-Review, the first official edition of the new Chronicle was published on July 12. It runs every evening Monday through Friday as an e-edition available to Spokesman-Review subscribers.

Milt Priggee's last cartoon for the Spokane Chronicle (1992)

[The Spokesman-Review] used this initiative to show subscribers the value of e-editions since many of them have been reluctant to make the switch. Curley explained that the Spokesman-Review’s highest costs are still very much tied to print and delivery.

“When a subscriber switches from the print edition to the e-edition, it makes it easier to overcome all of the different economic hurdles that local newspapers now face while making sure your community still gets the coverage that it deserves,” he said.

In the last year, there was a considerable push from the Spokesman-Review’s owners to beef up the newspaper’s e-edition with content that didn’t appear in the print edition. This was when the idea of reviving the Chronicle for an evening edition came up.

Full story at Editor and Publisher.

Sticking with E&P, the new issue is out and the cover story is about vulture capitalists taking over newspapers. The feature article by Gretchen A. Peck about hedge funds and journalism’s future:

Why newspapers?

“It’s straightforward,” said Margaret Sullivan, media columnist at The Washington Post. “Newspapers are mostly still profitable. They still have assets, and this is a late-stage effort to harvest those assets and the profit that still exists, without regard to long-term sustainability.”

“They are called ‘vulture capitalists’ for a reason.”

“They want to maximize profit, which tends to mean cutting staff sharply, eliminating many of the things that make for good journalism,” Sullivan said. “They sharply increase consumer cost and take advantage of all these papers have developed over the years — the institutional knowledge and the goodwill in the community.”


One thought on “Newspaper News

  1. Back in the days of not publishing on holidays, we’d usually have a full staff the day before, getting the paper ready for the day after the holiday. It took some planning, since decision-makers often took off before the holiday itself, but it was a regular day at work.

    The backshop also had to work to get what pages they could ready to go, and because some sections might be printed in advance. Can’t remember if they were full strength, however. And, of course, most pages were incomplete because we had to allow for news happening on the holiday itself.

    On the holiday, the newsroom had a skeleton staff, because nothing was happening except fires, traffic accidents and the inevitable stories about who else was working the holiday — firefighters, hospital staff and a few restaurants. There wasn’t much local sports on holidays, but they did need to pick up the wire stories about national sports. That didn’t require many people.

    I got some good stories but it took digging — for instance, the family-owned diner where they let their staff off but then were swamped, and customers stepped up to wait tables, etc. I just stumbled onto it. Wait, no — it was my “nose for news.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

    The backshop was at full staff, though they didn’t come in until later in the day (this was probably different at major papers).

    So, in terms of holiday pay, if you worked the holiday itself, you got holiday pay, and then took your day off either the day before or after. I suspect the extra pay evened out since the staff numbers were so much less.

    As a single dad, I worked Thanksgiving and Christmas if the boys were with their mom, but then would take off the next year, when I had them. It’s also common for Jewish and Christian staff to work each other’s holidays.

Comments are closed.