Big Cuts in Planning at Plain Dealer

Submitted by Roldo on Tue, 06/10/2008 - 09:32.

The newspaper business, as readers here probably know, isn’t what it used to be.

The economic crisis for newspapers now will be felt strongly in Cleveland.

Top Plain Dealer executives – Publisher Terry Egger and Editor Susan Goldberg -  told worried editorial staff members yesterday that the business climate is so bad that the paper plans to cut 35 pages a week from its news pages and 20 percent of its workforce.

Egger said they were looking at “drastic changes,” according to PD reporters.

That’s 35 pages of less news every week or 1,820 pages a year for readers of Cleveland's only daily newspaper.

A day ago the Tribune Company announced it would chop 500 pages a week from its newspapers, which include the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant and others. The New York Times reported that it could mean 82 pages a day cut from the L. A. Times.

The plan has to be approved by Advance publications, owned by  the Newhouse family, Plain Dealer owners.

A newspaper price increase is also contemplated.

The paper has already lost some 17 percent of its editorial staff after a recent buyout.

The paper will reduce its op-ed pages from two to one; stock tables will be gone (Correction: half a page gone). There will be no business pages on Monday and special sports sections will be eliminated.

This cannot mean anything good to those who already find the newspaper lacking in its coverage.


Very sad news

I certainly have seen the value of the PD decline with these staff cuts and I am sad to learn there will be more.

I can suggest some people to eliminate...

We'll see how the paper and their online presence evolve now... I think is worse than ever and it must be a money-pit. Do you know anything about the economics and strategy of their online presence?

Disrupt IT

Does the PD cover its own stories?

No story in the PD today.  Roldo, you have the inside track, but shouldn't a paper acknowledge its own story in the making?  I am frankly fed up with the lack of investigative reporting and now there will be none, nada, zilch. 

Who goes first?  The guys/gals who finally started to ask questions about Cuyahoga County administration-correction--I mean lack of administration (!?)  Do we all just pack it up--because the hounds are seriously loose in this town?


This is good news. 


 For decades the Dirty Dealer has made its own bed here in Cleveland, cozying up with developers and choosing not to pursue a healthy agenda of aggressive muckraking.    With no competition in Town they have only themselves  to blame.   They have been a failure for years, but until the internet came along they could get away with being a failure.   But they can no longer.


Years ago the DD lost their purpose in the community – they have led the entire community into economic and government and environmental dysfunction.  Now they are withering away. 


The failure of the Dirty Dealer will help Cleveland.   As its circulation, staff, and influence diminish,  room will develop for other voices and modes of communication. 


For Cleveland to rebound into a healthy community, the Dirty Dealer must die. 


It’s failure will improve our community.  Apparently the ConCenter Kennedy Mart and Disadvantaged Triangle Freeway  which the DD supports didn’t trickle down fast enough for them. 


Roldo on the inside track - indeed

Roldo had the scoop and posted here. Thanks Roldo.

Roldo Bartimole: Plain Dealer plans to cut pages and staff.

Posted at 2:24:33 PM from Poynteronline This story links to Roldo's post at the Cleveland Leader.

The Crain's story: Plain Dealer considers more cuts  By JOHN BOOTH 4:14 pm, June 10, 2008 links to realneo.

At this time, there is no story on in breaking news...

Note the times on each article. Now that's fast. Kinda makes you wonder whos reading realneo, doesn't it...

Crain's exposes Egger about-face, or egg on face?

I'm curious, Roldo, if you see some conflict between what you have learned from your sources happened during the meeting vs. what PD Publisher Egger is quoted saying in Crain's, being...

“Employees of this industry are asking a lot of questions,” Mr. Egger told Crain’s Tuesday afternoon. “We just pulled our staff together and said, ‘We’re facing some issues.’”

The propositions mentioned at the meeting, he said, were possibilities, not certainties.

“We said, ‘We’re estimating some order of magnitude (of change), and here are some of the things we may consider,’” he explained.

Disrupt IT

Nostalgia for print newspapers

Growing up with comics and cartoons like Spiderman and Superman I feel a sense nostalgia about old fashioned print newpapers and the PD, our own, and only newpaper in town. As a kid I dreamed about being a reporter, but a reporter more like a spy, sneaking into dark and grimy parts of the city, talking to seedy characters, getting the inside scoop and writing that big story that foils criminals and saves the good citizens. I was disappointed when I found out that no one at the PD does that, but the PD is still an important part of my life. As soon as I could read, just like my parents did each morning with their coffee, I read the PD.  Cleveland with out a print newpaper is not something I am ready for even if the investigative journalism died under the ax of budget cuts years ago. Question is, can the PD be saved?

Egger is being cautious

What Egger says may be true. It could mean, however, that the cuts will be even more  severe once the Newhouse family, which owns the PD, reviews these proposals. I wouldn't be surprised if cuts were more drastic.


I got an idea

the pee-dee should can Connie Shultz, Regina Brett and Bill Livingston. These are our columnists? They're dullards.

Kevin O'Brien needs to dumped in Buckeye-Kinsman without a phone or a wallet.

I love it

Although, Mr. O'Brien has actually deigned to speak with me on the phone.  You can dump him in my neighborhood. 


If the Plain Dealer is as useless as the Arizona Republic is here in Arizona, I hope it dies. Here in the Phoenix Metro Area there are 2 daily papers, the AZ Republic, which is the paper of record and the slightly more right wing east valley tribune, which caters to the Mormon area of the valley. I wouldn't read either when it comes to local news though, instead I either go online, watch the local broadcast tv or read the Phoenix New Times.

The New Times comes out once a week and besides all of the tattoo and stripper ads it runs 2-3 good articles on the local political happenings in the county, which I wouldn't find in the major local papers. It also has good coverage of the local music and club scene. Also, there is the local College Times, which I haven't read in awhile, but which had good bar and event coverage.

If the Major papers die plenty else can grow to fill the gap, including this blog.   

new times and scene are Village Voice


We also have a subsidiary of the Village Voice Media Group here in Cleveland called the Cleveland Scene.

Our Free Times was a local paper for a long time as the Cleveland Edition then died and was resurrected as the Free Times.

Both papers seem to be run on the business of objectifying women and men as sex toys. Though there are some good stories from time to time, I prefer to avoid the porn and rarely pick up the alternatives. I guess I'm looking for an alternative to sleaze.

We also have the Observers coming online - and to print. They are hyperlocal. Here's an example of the first one started in Lakewood, an inner ring suburb of Cleveland proper.

I would suspect that back in the day, all cities wanted to grow up and be like New York - so they had to have a "Village Voice". VV probably just sucked up existing local papers and offered to help them with porn ads, etc. You know how Americans like to conglomerate.

Roldo will know the actual history here... Maybe we can get him to weigh in.

Is there a social network site like this in Phoenix with local folks covering the news and discussing issues of concern to the region? Would you be interested in launching "realphoenix"?

Village Voice

The Phoenix New Times was founded as a local paper in the 1960's but then it branched out in the late 1990's to other cities before it eventually merged into VVMG.

I can't see how a website would completely replace reading a paper on sunday about what's going on in your metro area. You need a paper supported by local businesses like bars and dry cleaners that can watch the local government.

Heck, you could set up an urban cleveland website that accepts ads from LOCAL businesses to support you while you investigate.

If I did setup a it would probably be about illegal immigration.