Sunday, January 22, 2006


NEWSPAPERS: Cincinnati Post newsroom shrinks 25% in six months?

Five-person buyout hits Cincinnati Post especially hard

At a time when newspaper buyouts are cutting staffs by 25, 50, or even
75 people at a time, a buyout offer seeking just five takers might not
seem so important. But to staffers at The Cincinnati Post, last week's
five-person proposed buyout is sparking concern. Not just because it
will reduce the 65-person newsroom by another handful, but also
because it marks the second such buyout move in less than six months
at the struggling daily. "The part that sticks in our craw is that
they are still making so much money," says Bob Driehaus, president of
the Cincinnati Newspaper Guild and a Post reporter. "They stand to
make $28 million over the next two years and to cut jobs and quality
when you are making that money is infuriating." In September, the E.W
Scripps-owned paper gave buyouts to 15 staffers, decreasing the
newsroom from 80 to the current 65. If another five are lost through
buyouts -- or possibly more -- that would mean a 25 percent reduction
in staff since early last fall. Staffers have until Jan. 25 to decide
if they want to take a buyout. ... But Rich Boehne, Scripps' executive
vice president in charge of the newspaper division, said judging the
paper strictly on its profits is unfair. "If circulation is declining,
that is what we have to react to," he said, noting that the
36,000-daily circulation paper has been steadily losing reader for
years, prompting the cutbacks. "Our share of profits is not a driving
force in how we make decisions about the Post."

Source: Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher

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