Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What Now?

Hey Guys,

So it's been a week since we all stood together and heard the sobering news about the layoffs, the new executives and the challenges facing our entire business. The circulation numbers that followed didn't help, nor did the increasing number of job losses throughout the industry. As we see on an increasingly frequent basis, this career path we've all stepped into is not an easy one.

This last week has not been tough for everyone. We've had to figure out how to make do with less people, how to say goodbye to good friends, how to find a way to keep this gig most of us have been doing since high school viable. For our three colleagues who lost their jobs, it's been a hectic, dizzying period of trying to get their bearings as they look for new work. While I've been in touch with all of them and they're all moving forward, they'll all continue to need your support, so don't forget to let them know you're thinking of them.

Actually, that's one good thing that I got out of all this, a reminder that in troubled times, we're not alone. Whether it's as union members, as co-workers, as friends, we're all in this together. I spent a lot of long nights e-mailing friends at other papers looking for jobs for our laid off coworkers last week and was touched to see how quickly they responded with good, solid leads I could pass along. With some luck, we'll find something that'll help get them back in the work world again soon.

And I was also reminded of how lucky we are to be part of this union, as well. Whenever I had a question on how to advise the people looking for work, I sent out e-mails to some of The Newspaper Guild's smartest workers and got back instant feedback. And from you guys, the ones in the middle of it all at the Daily News, I got a feeling of solidarity and support.

This weekend, I went up to San Jose to meet with some people at our new sister paper, the Mercury News. The company's been giving them a hard time at the bargaining table, but they're hanging in there. They're smart, they're passionate and, most importantly, they're working together to make that a better place. We had a lot of good discussions about ways that we can work together throughout the state to support one another, both as MediaNews employees and as fellow journalists.

I wanted to mention that meeting, because I got some very positive feedback from the folks up there about all we've accomplished at the Daily News. They've got a great contract and a fantastic group of guild members, one that dwarfs us in size and extends into departments all throughout their building. And yet when we started talking about how much the unit's grown at our paper and all the ways we've been able to bring people together, they applauded our success. I know it often seems like we're off in our own little world down here, but I wanted you guys to know that other people in the industry look at what we've done together and are using it as an example of how to grow stronger.

The next few months ahead will not be easy, as we adjust to changing staff, financial pressures and dwindling interest from traditional readers. But as we punch our way through all that, don't forget that we're part of a community, whether it's this union, this company, or this business. Today's world feels awfully lonely sometimes and it's a shame that it takes tough times to remind you of your friends. When we lose sight of them, that's when we're really in trouble.

So thanks for everything guys-- you're a hell of a group and I'm proud to be with y'all. Later this week, once all this election stuff's calmed down, let's all get together and have some drinks and blow off some steam. I'll let you know the details as soon as I've got 'em. Thanks again.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're all in this together. Everyone. Across the industry. So, when is someone going to organize the LA Times?

3:14 PM  
Blogger Oxnard St. said...

Thanks a lot and you're so right-- at heart, we're all journalists, regardless of where we work. This is a rotten time for this business, but with each other's support, we'll make it through.

11:29 PM  

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