Friday, February 29, 2008

And now it's time for my own goodbye

Hey gang,

Alright, I've already embarrassed myself saying my farewells, so I'll make this quick before I trip myself up. I took the buyout and, once I get seven years of crap off my desk, I'll be out of here. This is a horrible day for many people and I hate to leave on a note like this.

But I'm not going to take the sad memories-- they'll fade away in time. Instead, I'm going to remember all the great, wonderful, insane and beautiful characters who make this place come alive. I'll remember fights over stories, fires, long nights, lawsuits and scanner traffic-- and loving every minute of it. I'll remember Ron lighting his coat on fire to get rid of an errant thread-- and him telling me that he had to hold his nose and get my copy to the level of "barely publishable." Yeah, that's the guy I hold up as my journalistic mentor.

Both as a reporter and as a union guy, it's been an honor to serve alongside you. I will miss you all, but know that the paper and the union will both survive and thrive long after I'm gone. It will be different, it will be challenging, but I've meant every word I've spoken about the strength and character of this staff. You guys are the absolute best and you will keep the fires burning, for the readers, for the community and, most importantly, for each other.

It's hard to write these words -- probably the only time I've ever had trouble running off at the mouth here -- but every one of them is true. You guys are like my family and you always will be. No matter where we all end up, in and out of the business, I will always look back at the people here and the work they do as the best.

I'm going to end now and head off to my next adventure. Thanks to everyone who's made this such a great ride and best of luck to you all.

(310) 562-4315

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More buyout news and a company response

Hey folks,

This will probably be brief, because I'm running on empty here, but I wanted to bring everyone up to speed on the latest news regarding the layoffs and buyouts. Tomorrow will be the day that no one's looking forward to, but I've been impressed how well everyone's managed to stay focused. I could barely spell my name right in my byline, so your continued hard work is crazy.

In the morning and again in the afternoon, Kerry and I met with Jim Janiga from HR. In the morning, Ron joined us, in the afternoon, Vicki DiPaolo also represented the guild. Janiga seemed open and even contrite-- he apologized for not coming to us sooner and acknowledged that communication on the company's end had been poor. He blamed the sputtering economy for the company's woes and said it had to eliminate nearly $1 million from the budget to stem the money losses.

He said he'd ask the publisher to meet with the newsroom soon and more regularly and we stressed the need for open communication. If this company's going to get out of this horrible situation, it's going to need all the good ideas it can get its hands on. Hopefully, he'll come around soon and share the plan going forward and be receptive to new ideas.

Janiga said this would be the last cuts for the meantime and that the company would not freeze jobs going forward. If people quit following the layoffs, the laidoff employees will be the first offered their jobs back.

With that in mind, if you're thinking of leaving in the next month or so, but didn't want to volunteer on the super-tight timeframe today, come forward quickly-- you don't have to actually take the buyout or leave tomorrow, but let Ron or Melissa know so perhaps they can work something out. You could save someone's job, as I'm glad to see a few people have already done.

Alright folks, that's all I've got for this night-- more to come soon and thanks for everything. This is going to be a rough week, but you will get through this, no matter what.


More kind words

Former ACE Phil Browne e-mailed this along. I always liked and respected him and was glad to hear his voice (in e-mail form).


While I have been somewhat derelict in staying connected with my old friends and colleagues at the Daily News, I have been watching the happenings at the DN, and in the industry, with venomous disgust.

And I second Andrea Cavanaugh's advice and sentiments.

When we all graduated from University we were driven by a deep sense of public duty, the challenge to understand and make sense of the world, and an unbreakable desire to create shared meaning to expand peoples' myopic world views. We did that through dedicating ourselves to the craft, chasing the story, making every effort to become quick subject matter experts and, most importantly, by becoming fiercely dedicated to the truth.

The problem is: Very few people actually care anymore which, at the end of the day, is the root cause of this decade's public execution of journalism.

I will spare you my continuing monologue on the "business," but I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to those who will fall victim to this disturbing trend tomorrow. I have worked and socialized with many of you, and you are the best of the best.

Lastly, I want to impart to all of you the importance of nurturing your writing, editing and reporting skills and expanding them beyond the confines of "traditional" newsgathering. While journalism will always be around, traditional practices have gone the way of the dinosaur. If you want to remain competitive and relevant, it's time to get creative and learn how to use your skills in other formats, distribution channels and industries.

There is a whole world waiting for you that will appreciate you beyond this ungrateful industry, and you'll make a lot more money doing it. Don't get down. Take action and keep control of your life.

Never forget the words of Hunter Thompson:

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

Lastly, many of you know where I am now, and I am consistently hiring as my department continues to expand. I have other leads as well. My door is always open to you. Contact me if you're interested.

With all respect and honor,

Phillip Browne

A kind word from an old friend

Hey guys-

Andrea Cavanaugh was kind enough to post this. I'm tinkering with the comments style and may have messed some things up, so hopefully others will come through:

My heart goes out to all of you - I've been through layoffs in another industry, and as Brent says, it's terrible for those who go and also hard on those left behind.

But there's life outside the DN - all of you have amazing skills and resources that you can apply elsewhere, and you may even find that you get more satisfaction and make more money doing it. And you can always satisfy your appetite for muckraking through freelancing, volunteer work, etc.

It's a shame what's happening to the news biz, but it's a sign of the times. The dream died hard for me - I came to journalism late in life, but I wanted to be a reporter ever since I was a little girl eavesdropping on my parents and their friends. However, the DN is the paper that inspires diehard newshounds to pursue other careers.

Don't lose hope - you'll survive and even prosper. My best wishes go out to all of my former colleagues at the DN.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The bad news finally comes

Hey gang,

This is the hardest e-mail I've had to write yet and hope that this isn't the first you're hearing of the news today. It's not unexpected-- it's been floating like an evil cloud over us for weeks, but that doesn't make it any easier to acknowledge it. The cuts have finally come.

Here's the bottom line: Corporate will cut 22 jobs in Editorial by the end of the week, bringing us down to 100 people in the newsroom. They'll be spread between management and rank-and-file, but the numbers will vary depending on who volunteers by noon tomorrow. The company will offer its usual package of one week's pay for each year of service, minimum of two, maximum of six. Those who volunteer or get laid off will also get three months of COBRA healthcare and the company will not contest your unemployment. It will also offer letters of recommendation. There is no difference in package whether you volunteer or you're laid off, but volunteering will save someone else's job, so if anyone's already got a job lined up, please speak up and do so quickly.

Layoffs will be determined by job, length of service and performance-- I don't have any insight as to who's vulnerable and who isn't. I think the pain will be felt equally across the room. According to Ron, the original plan called for 10 more reporters to lose their jobs, but Dean Singleton personally rejected that plan and asked the cuts be less steep. That's some consolation, but not much.

Afterward, Kerry and I circulated the letter that several of you helped draft and got tremendous response. We'll deliver it to the publisher and HR first thing in the morning and will formally request that he meet with the newsroom to share the plan going forward. If he's going to slash our jobs, the least he can do is tell us his plan to get us out of this mess. I will keep you posted as soon as we get a response. We also hope to meet with HR in the afternoon for an explanation why the cuts were announced so suddenly and why people weren't given the courtesy of more time to prepare.

This is the worst day I've ever seen here at the paper and I'm sure Friday will be even worse. There is nothing I can say that will make it OK or even make it make sense. These are disastrous cuts that will seriously hamper our ability to produce the paper and Web content at the level our readers expect. It risks erasing all the great leaps forward we've made online and in print.

The next few months will be intensely painful, both for the people who lose their jobs and those who stay behind. As I've said to many of you, the real losers are the people who rely on this newspaper-- they won't be able to find the information they need anymore. Their events won't get covered. Their sense of community will get a little shakier. Once the dedicated journalists who've made this place what it is leave, their expertise will never be replaced. Maybe people won't notice it right away, but in a year, maybe two, maybe more, they'll realize there's a gaping hole left behind that can never be filled in.

This is particularly heartbreaking to me because you guys have given this place everything and asked for little in return. You've sacrificed yourselves for love of the craft and love of the community and the work you've done is amazing. The paper's thinner and our coverage isn't as expansive as it once was, but the stories, photos, layouts, headlines-- everything-- has been fantastic. I'm so proud to see the work you do on a daily basis and honored to be a part of it. I'm heartsick to see such a great operation so callously dismantled.

This is not the end of the Daily News and the people who stay behind will continue to put out as good a paper as they possibly can every day, but it will be very hard. Then again, it's never been easy and the crazy folks who make this place so vibrant and alive will never let this company's mismanagement snuff them out. You'll continue to give more than the beancounters deserve and keep coming back before because y'all are the most wonderful, talented, bad-ass journalists around. Somehow, the spirit will survive, as it always does.

I'll close with some words from Ron, who's been under tremendous stress trying to manage this in recent weeks. When he broke down in the middle of his speech, it was one of the rawest, most genuine moments of emotion I've seen in this newsroom in my career. While I'm sure he's wrecked his health over this and taken on a godawful amount of stress, I'm glad that if we had to hear this from someone, it came from a true leader with character.

"I'm not going to defend the past," he said. "I can only hope and pray that the future's better. You all are great and I'm sorry."

And then, as the stunned silence faded away, we all went back to work and put out the paper.

Thank you for everything,

PS- If any of you need anything, never hesitate to call me or Kerry. We're all going to have to help each other as much as possible, whether we stay or go, in the next few months.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Whining? Are you kidding me?

(Note-- I wrote this a few days ago, slept on it, wondered if I should post it, then figured I might as well. While I appreciate Mr. Singleton's efforts to reduce our job losses, I thought he might want to know what it's really like at the properties his company's running into the ground-- BH)

I ran across post on yesterday, linked by Jim Romenesko. Owens, whom I'm told is a a respected Internet journalist, attended the Newspaper Association of America conference on the changing business and caught a presentation by our owner, Dean Singleton.

“If you read Romenesko every day and you hear our people in newsrooms whine — they whine and whine and whine wishing for the old days to come back," Singleton said. "Damn it, I wish the old days would come back, too, but wishing for it isn’t going to make it happen. You must be focused on the future.”

Now normally, I try to be respectful of Mr. Singleton, but with all the craziness in the air right now, I can't shut up. This is flat-out ridiculous and shows just how out of touch he is with his company.

Perhaps I shouldn't take this personally. Perhaps he meant some other paper. But, since he didn't qualify his statement, I'd like to respond, particularly to this follow-up comment:

“When we had to make cuts at one of our larger papers somebody in one of our unions put out a letter that said, ‘Well, we won’t be able to put out the same newspaper we have over the past 30 years.’ I said, ‘Precisely. Our readers don’t wnat the same newspaper we’ve been putting out over the past 30 years.’”

The same newspaper? We've desperately been trying to put out a new newspaper and a new Web site with every tool at our disposal, but we are constantly stymied by the company's refusal to make even basic investment in technology. We're well aware of the need for change and have gone out of our way to adapt and grow.

Long before the company proclaimed that it believed that online video would be the next big thing, we requested cameras and found ways to shoot, edit and post movies quickly. When requests for even basic gear got denied, we used our own personal equipment and asked for nothing in return.

This newsroom has embraced blogs and incorporated them into our lives. We post at night, on weekends, even while on vacation. But since the company chose a sub-par server, updating our sites frequently takes longer than it does to create the posts. Today, our readers were treated to blank pages because traffic overloaded the server once again. Our online advertising staff is so small, no one's been able to monetize the tremendous traffic our blogs generate, cutting us off from a key source of revenue for the future.

Rather than shrinking from the constant, Internet news cycle, we've aggressively adapted to it and made our Web site dynamic and interactive. Unfortunately, our Web software, a proprietary program unique to MediaNews, lags significantly between posting time and updating on the site. Just as having a paper come out late is unacceptable in the print world, we will never be able to win over readers and advertisers if our site lags 15-30 minutes behind the competition.

On two recent occasions, when we've needed it most, the site has failed us. During the Malibu fire in November, I came in specifically to update the Web, but found myself locked out and unable to do anything because of software problems. On election night, when we developed a comprehensive online plan to keep people updated with all the news we could gather, the traffic overwhelmed our servers. The information was there, as was the desire from readers, but we couldn't link them because we didn't have the proper infrastructure.

Mr. Singleton, the employees of this company constantly sacrifice because they believe in the product and believe in good journalism. We'd like the quality of a paper 30 years ago, true, but we're also realistic about the pressures of today and are trying our hardest to keep this place alive and vital. But unless you give us the tools to do so, we're like soldiers without rifles.

We realize the financial pinch you're in and have tried our hardest to help fight our way out of this mess, but until you offer us some assistance, we won't be able to put up much of a fight. We're all professionals and understand business is bad, but please don't insult our dedication and desire to do good work for our readers.

Brent Hopkins

Daily News update 2/26

Hi folks,

The rollercoaster continues. There have been many rumors floating, but I must stress that there's nothing definite. Kerry and I met with Ron today and asked for an update-- he was unable to give us much. We expect there will probably be a staff meeting called Wednesday afternoon and that they will offer buyouts, but this is not certain. I wish I had some news to offer, because I hate this confusion and darkness as much as everyone, but all I can say is that as soon as we hear anything, we'll let you know.

We've worked up a final draft of a letter to the publisher asking him to consider the deep impact upon the staff and the product, which we will circulate for signature tomorrow and will formally request a meeting to ask for the plan going forward. We will not sit idly by as this happens, but will try to engage the company and find the least painful way out.

Hang in there,

Monday, February 25, 2008

50 years-- a reflection on a different era

Hey folks,

Unfortunately, no news on the job front. There may be an announcement today, but then again, there's supposed to have been something imminent for three weeks now, so don't count on it. If we don't hear something soon, we'll request an official meeting for information, but in the meantime will keep working to figure out ways to go forward. I hate to keep everyone dangling like this, but I will say thank you for continuing to perform under great pressure.

As long as I'm writing, I wanted to take a moment to say farewell and reflect on the retirement of our legendary restaurant critic, Larry Lipson. For a far more eloquent take, check out his final column (, which he said, with characteristic modesty, appeared on the front page due to a slow news day. I think we can all agree that wasn't the case. He'd worked for the company for half a century before sipping his final glass of wine, noting his last appetizer ingredient and discreetly noting his final dessert.

Whenever I went into a place with a Larry review posted on the wall, I knew it would be worthwhile -- and the restaurant owners knew it, too. I remember grabbing lunch in a now-shuttered Mexican joint on Vanowen whose owner sighed with regret when he learned that we worked at the paper.

"Daily News..." he said, fretfully. "Larry came in here the one night I ran out of tamales. It looked like I didn't know what I was doing...."

When we gathered around to wish him well in his Costa Rican retirement last week, people joked about his longevity at the paper-- he'd outlasted three different newspaper names, at least three different owners, countless editors and publishers and seen the journalism world change immeasurably. He'd been filing copy before many of us were even born, but he still kept at it.

And, in light of all the problems for the industry right now, the scene really got me thinking. How many other people in that crowd will make it to 50 years at the Daily News? Not just because of the possible layoffs, but because of the industry climate? Not many, if any, I'd wager. The business just isn't structured to reward longevity anymore, unfortunately.

Where companies once saw long-term, knowledgeable employees as assets, they're now considered liabilities because of their higher wages and the cost of their health care. An employee used to be rewarded for many years of service with a pension and retirement package that would take care of them in return for their hard work. Now, you're lucky if you get some cupcakes and a card signed by your coworkers. Once you're out that door, you're on your own.

That's really a shame, not just for the worker, but for the company and the product it produces. Unlike a factory, where new technology can literally replace people, our kind of work gets better with age and experience. We've all got to grow and open ourselves up to new kinds of journalism, whether it's videos, blogs, online packages or anything else, but in general, the more time you spend at a paper, the better you are at your job. When guys with 50 years of experience retire, it's impossible to replace that institutional knowledge, no matter how well their replacement can perform.

One of the biggest keys to building that knowledge is a sense of security. All of us knew journalism wasn't a lucrative profession when we got started, but we did it for love of the craft. As long as you could expect to make a decent living and afford basic things-- a home, a car, an education for your kids-- you could spend your time focusing on honing that craft, rather than constantly jumping from job to job and starting all over again.

It's particularly sad to see the business go through cycles like it is these days, because it will drive a lot of good people away from the industry, many of them for good. As they go back to school, get government jobs, join non-profits, or become spokespeople, the profession will lose a lot of great talent and many great minds. The people themselves will be fine, but the papers for which they once worked, whether it's the Times or the Daily News, will lose invaluable experience and skills.

This isn't the apocalypse of journalism; it's not even going to be the end of the Daily News. The looming layoffs will likely be painful, but the paper will survive and the hardcores will still be there to keep the flame burning. But until the people who keep buying and running newspapers come around and make the business stable so people can hope to earn a living once again, that flame will keep dimming.

And until it goes out altogether, you guys are going to keep performing like champs. No matter how bleak things get, you keep punching away. I'm proud to call you my colleagues and honored to work among you. Let's hope that the bottom-line guys will feel the same way, too.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Wait and See

Hey folks,

Since we haven't heard anything yet and probably won't today, let's hold off on meeting after work. We've all been through the wringer this week and could use a little time to decompress. I'll keep you posted if I hear anything, but in the meantime, keep up the good work and hang in there.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wednesday meeting recap

Hey folks,

So no news is good news, I suppose. While it seemed like the company was poised to announce buyout offers, no news ever came. Apparently, they're re-reviewing plans yet again to see how they can cut costs without wrecking the paper. It's not the best news, but it's certainly better than some of the talk heard in recent weeks, so I hope that provides some hope.

Thanks to all of you who made the meeting at the Kandels tonight-- we were quite pleased with the turnout and made a lot of progress. There's too much to discuss now (because, well, I'm running out of battery power on the laptop and energy in my mind), so we'll have a few catch up sessions tomorrow and Friday to fill people in in person and solicit ideas on how to go forward.

Kerry and I will be around the DN around noon to take your questions over lunch. We'll grab a couple pizzas and talk on break and let everyone in on the plan and what we've heard. Then on Friday, if there are still unanswered questions, we can meet quickly after work at El Torito to talk over drinks.

If you can't make either of those, feel free to grab us or any other member to chat at any time. Things are looking tough, but we're not going to just sit around and hope for the best. Together, we can take a stand and keep this place alive.

Thanks for your time and we'll see ya tomorrow,

Monday, February 18, 2008

Two pieces of newspaper news

Hi folks,

Nothing new on the layoff front, I'm afraid. From what I hear, lists of possible cuts have been submitted to the corporate guys and we may have some news soon. I don't think it'll be the end of the world, but I do think it will be the beginning of a rocky, uncertain few months. We hope to have some sort of news soon and will have plenty to talk about on Wednesday night. Thanks to everyone who RSVP'd, and please keep 'em coming. This is when we need you most.

In the interim, here's a few pieces of news floating around the industry. They're all pretty grim, unfortunately.

First, here's the MediaNews quarterly report:
The company saw revenue slide from $372 million in the second quarter of '06 to $345 million this time, a 7.3 percent dip. Profits increased 33 percent, however, from $12.9 million in 2006's second quarter to $17.4 million in the most recent quarter. That appears to be mainly on a one-time gain of $12.5 million on sales of assets, so that's not great news. (Thanks to John McCoy for the link)

Secondly, Ad Age tells us that 1 in 4 media jobs have vanished since 1990. That's no surprise-- staffs have contracted every year I've been in the biz and they'll probably continue to shrink. But seeing the numbers laid out in that fashion is pretty sobering. The mag's advice? Go into marketing, instead. There also's some decent growth in online media jobs, so our skills remain in demand, even if our jobs are not valued by the people who cut the checks.

I'm going to forward some job leads around that have come into my inbox lately-- as I've said many times before, I'm always sad to see anyone leave, but I think it's wise for all of us to keep our eyes open for other options.

As I've said many times in the last few weeks, I'm struggling for the right tone here. I don't want to run down the news paper that I love, nor do I want to paint a portrait of impending doom. This place will survive and there will still be opportunities to do the great work you do now. But it will also be a very different newspaper and I don't want anyone to be caught off guard. It will be challenging, it will be frustrating, but we will get through this.

That's all for now-- hang in there and we'll see you on Wednesday.


Daily News update/ meeting

Hi folks,

I wish I had more to add over last week's message, but details of the layoff plan are still very murky. I know this is a time of great anxiety for all of us, but you guys have done a great job in putting out the paper with this hanging over our heads. You are truly a credit to the profession.

I'm sure many of you saw the closed-door meeting on Friday between the editors. I don't know what was discussed within, so I won't speculate. But I do know this: the corporate folks are looking for serious, deep cuts. From the talk I'm hearing, this could greatly affect the way we cover the news in this town and further cut into an already strapped newsroom. I haven't heard numbers or a specific date -- I'm sure they're probably both flexible. Whatever the case, this is not the time to sit by and wonder what will happen next. This is a time to make sure we're ready to respond.

With that in mind, we're going to be meeting on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Jason and Kerry Kandel's in Sherman Oaks. Any members who can make it, we need your help. We need as many of you as possible, because we've got serious stuff to discuss. Anyone who's interested but unable to make Weds. night, please let us know and we'll find another time to meet with you one on one.

And if you're not a member yet, this would be a good time to get involved. I'm not saying this as a union recruiting pitch, I'm saying it because this is going to take all the minds we've got available. I have a lot of faith in this staff's intelligence and creativity, and I know the job takes a lot out of all of us. But we need you-- we need each other. Please help us protect our jobs and our future.

Thank you-- I hope to have more news for you soon.


(Anyone who needs the address, e-mail me)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

What's Going On?

Hi folks,

Let me begin by saying this has been one of my greatest weeks at the Daily News. Not because of anything I did myself, but because of what we accomplished together. The seamless way the staff pulled together through the challenge of election night, then the Winnetka shooting was nothing short of amazing. I can truly say this is the best we've ever been in all my time at the paper and we should all be proud of the work we've put together under extremely trying conditions. I've never felt better or more proud about being part of this staff.

At any time, the work would have been amazing, but given the added pressure hanging over the newsroom, it was unbelievable. I've heard the same bits of news that many of you are hearing about coming cuts in Editorial and elsewhere at the paper. Like you, I don't have specifics about time or numbers, but whatever the case, it's extremely troubling. I don't think anything has been decided, nor have the people I've spoken with given me anything definite, but it's deeply disappointing that MediaNews is even considering cutting into a paper that's been slowly strangled for years. The journalists who report for work each day at this paper give so much of themselves without asking for much in return, yet it often seems like the only rewards are more cuts and fewer resources.

I don't know what the plan is -- this may be an early idea or the changes may be coming soon. It's with great hesitation that I even address it, because I don't want to alarm anyone unnecessarily. At the same time, since the news has been floating around with added urgency, I don't want anyone to be caught unaware. We've been down this road before and had it turn out to be nothing, but my sense is that the corporate folks will continue their seemingly relentless quest for cuts.

The union leadership held a meeting on Thursday night to discuss how to respond to any cuts or reorganization and I came away encouraged. While no one wants to have to face such an unpleasant reality, if and when it comes, we will be ready. We intend not only to continue the dialogue that we've had with the company, but to broaden it by bringing in new leaders to augment what we have so far. There are many extremely sharp minds in this newsroom and we intend to harness as many as possible so if one of us moves on, another will pick up where they left off. That will provide us with much greater stability and hope in the months ahead.

I'm sorry to have to even address this -- as you know, I always try to look for the up-side of things and celebrate our successes-- but the gravity of the situation made me feel I needed to speak up. Hopefully, by getting things out in the open, we can get things settled and get back to the business of putting out the paper. As we've proved this week, we can certainly rise to challenging circumstances and will do so again whenever need be.

Thanks for your time and if anyone hears anything beyond just rumor, please let me know. We will try to get to the bottom of things and keep you in the loop as best we can. And thank you, once again, for all that you do-- you guys are truly the best.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Thursday! Fun! Rock!

Hey folks,

Dinner's rapidly heating on the stove, so this will be a short union update, but I just wanted to remind everyone that we'll be getting together on Thursday night at El Torito after work. It's been a long time since we've kicked back and enjoyed each other's company outside of work, so c'mon down. We'll be there after 6 for a few hours-- first round of drinks and appetizers are on us.

And separately, I know there's still some confusion going around about the way the new holidays work. I'll clear it up with Janiga next time I see him, but as I understand it, on top of the regular holidays, we get two floating days, too. One (called the birthday holiday) can be used anytime by bargaining unit members (namely, us), while the other one (the anniversary holiday), can be used within 45 days of your date-of-hire anniversary. I've heard some managers say, incorrectly, that they're the only one who gets the anniversary holiday.

Nah, as far as I know, we all get it. I realize that explanation's that clear, so if you've got questions, let me know.

As a final note, that was a darn nice looking front page today, with good stuff from Susan, Tony, Mike and some copy and design folks whom I wish I could identify. Made me feel good to pick up the paper.

Anyhow, thanks for your time and we'll look forward to seeing you on Thursday.


Union Happy Hour
When: Thursday, 2/7, 6 pm to 9ish
Where: 6040 Canoga Ave/Oxnard
Price: Free
Subjects of Conversation: work, life, the elections, seen any good movies lately?, and, possibly, my terrible skills at karaoke.