View Full Version : Something Seattle doesn't want people to know



HOT ROD
04-08-2008, 12:38 AM
I thought this article was interesting. Draw your own conclusions, but I know how pompass many of my fellow Seattleites are about this city - Elitist, comes to mind.

You have people with their heads (and noses) stuck up so high just because we are home to Bill Gates, Ballmer, and these teckie rich people (none of which most people who live here know personally) - yet the state's largest newspaper is laying off 200 people.

Yes, the sky is falling - a "rich city" like Seattle is having problems selling newspapers; or at least making money doing so. Now, I thought - with all these 'rich people' and SUCH A BIG MARKET bla bla blah, that there's no way a business could struggle here (Seattle). LOL....

Enjoy!


Seattle Times Co. to cut 200 jobs at flagship paper
By Eric Pryne

Seattle Times business reporter

The Seattle Times Co., stung by continued declines in advertising revenue, said today it will cut its flagship newspaper's staff by nearly 200.

The reductions will include up to 131 layoffs, the company said an e-mail to employees. Sixty currently unfilled positions will be frozen.The Times currently has 1,845 employees.

The staff cuts are part of $15 million in spending cuts that will be implemented over the next two months, Publisher Frank Blethen and President Carolyn Kelly said in an e-mail.

"These include significant changes to the way we do business and involve realignment and centralization throughout our organization," they wrote.

Vice President Alayne Fardella said in another e-mail that up to 45 circulation workers, 30 newsroom employees and 24 advertising staff could be laid off. The exact number will depend on how many employees choose to accept enhanced severance packages and leave voluntarily, she said.

Employees have until next Monday to make that decision, Fardella wrote.

Newsroom staff members who attended a meeting with Executive Editor David Boardman said they were told at least 16 employees in that department will be laid off, regardless of how many choose to depart voluntarily. Boardman also said the newspaper would stop publishing separate suburban zoned editions, the staff members said.

Today's cuts come on top of $21 million the newspaper sliced from its budget earlier this year. In January, the company said it was laying off 17 employees, eliminating 69 positions through attrition, and eliminating or combining some newspaper sections.

"We had hoped the expense reductions made at the beginning of the year would prevent the need for further downsizing, but that is not the case," Blethen and Kelly said in their e-mail. "The only responsible action to take is to better align our expenses to the reduced revenue we now anticipate."

Affected employees are being notified today, the executives wrote.

The layoffs had been rumored for days and came as no big surprise considering the string of bad-news announcements from the privately held company in recent months.

In a Dec. 27 e-mail to employees, Blethen said combined print advertising revenue for The Times and smaller Seattle Post-Intelligencer was down 9 percent in 2007 and had dropped more than one-quarter since 2000.

The Times and P-I maintain competing newsrooms, but The Times handles advertising, circulation, production and other business functions for both under a federally sanctioned joint operating agreement (JOA).

When the $21 million in budget cuts was announced in January, Times spokeswoman Jill Mackie warned further cuts could be necessary Blethen had said in his year-end e-mail that $27 million in savings would be needed to "ensure stability" in 2008.

Since then, advertising revenues have declined more precipitously. In another e-mail to staff late last month, Kelly said that, through February, combined print advertising revenues for the Times and P-I were down 10.7 percent from last year and 1.5 percent from the 2008 goal.

More ominously, online advertising revenues were down 6.5 percent year-over-year and 17.7 percent from goal.

While online advertising constitutes only a small fraction of The Times' and other newspapers' total revenue, it has been growing rapidly in recent years. Many say it is the industry's best hope as it searches for a new business model.

Last month, The Times also put its three dailies and one weekly in Maine up for sale, saying it needed cash to help keep its flagship paper afloat.

The Times' troubles are far from unique. Newspapers' ad revenues dropped 7 percent nationwide in 2007, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a research organization.

Cumulatively, stock prices of publicly traded newspaper companies declined 42 percent in three years, project researchers wrote recently in their annual report on the state of the media.

"Newspapers are still far from dead," the report said, "but the language of the obituary is creeping in. The industry has been in declining health for some time now. It got sicker rather than better in 2007, and 2008 offers no prospect of a quick cure."

The researchers estimated total newsroom employment nationwide was down 5 to 10 percent from its peak in 2000. Papers that have announced newsroom staff cuts in recent months include The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle.

While it is joined at the hip with The Times economically, the P-I owned by New York-based Hearst Corp. has not announced buyouts or layoffs.

No layoffs are planned, P-I Publisher Roger Oglesby said today, but "I will never rule out the possibility they might happen, and they might happen at any time."

The P-I has been cutting expenses and not filling most vacant positions, he said, "but it doesn't look like we're going to make money this year.... It's a very tough year."

According to the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, P-I managers said at February staff meetings that the paper had lost $30 million since 2000 and that 2008 would be "the biggest money loser yet."

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

Copyright 2008 The Seattle Times Company

mmonroe
04-08-2008, 01:55 PM
People are starting to go digital. Perhaps the Seattle should look into something like we have, newsok.com

I worked an international conference at the Convention Center about two weeks or so ago with Prepaid Legal, from all over the US and some foreign countries. The three guys I actually stopped and talked to were all from Seattle. I of course hear what I always hear about Oklahomans, how we are a nice friendly people, and well mannered... anyways, then it always sprung to the next topic in conversation, the Seattle Supersonics. One guy had the nerve to say that he thought "the Key" was more impressive then our Cox Convention Center. Of course I replied, "Oh, they won't be playing here in the Convention Center, they'll be across the street at the Ford Center." Apparently the guy hadn't been on the south side of the convention center to see the huge Ford Center setting across the street. He seemed like he had been corrected, grabbed his rolling brief case and looked at his watch, then announced he had to be in the conference that the next speaker he wanted to hear was going to be up to talk soon. We departed.

Seattle people, they're so weird.

okclee
04-08-2008, 02:33 PM
I also read that Seattle based Washington Mutual will be laying off 3000 employess.

Washington Mutual raising $7 billion (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/1310ap_washington_mutual.html)

OKCMallen
04-08-2008, 02:35 PM
I don't revel in other people's failures and bad luck...even when their ridiculously snobbish attitudes probably deserve some karma.

Spartan
04-08-2008, 02:47 PM
Guess its time for some more reporting on Clay Bennett anti-gay ties.

Kerry
04-08-2008, 03:16 PM
Spartan - What kind of a design would be on an anti-gay tie?

John
04-08-2008, 03:26 PM
Well, they can lay off their NBA beat reporter.

mmonroe
04-08-2008, 04:08 PM
Well, they can lay off their NBA beat reporter.

HAHAHAHA!! :congrats:

okcpulse
04-08-2008, 04:36 PM
Seattlites can't be reasoned with (HOT ROD exempted). I should know, I've tried.

OU Adonis
04-08-2008, 04:59 PM
Spartan - What kind of a design would be on an anti-gay tie?

Maybe the tie wouldn't match the belt and shoes?

metro
04-08-2008, 10:37 PM
From what I've read on the Seattle forums, they could care less about the layoffs, etc.