Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The semi-local daily

Posted on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 12:29 PM

From the Romenesko forum at poynter.org comes cold comfort in the form of another Express-News memo: fewer jobs here, but, hey, Houston might be looking for copy editors and page designers. This note elaborates on news that the paper will shed 50 full-time workers (perhaps as many as 20 from the newsroom, according to one source) before the end of the year through buyouts and/or layoffs.

Topic: Memos Sent to Romenesko

Date/Time: 11/25/2008 9:05:48 AM

Title: Express-News to outsource more work

Posted By: Jim Romenesko

Memo to San Antonio Express-News employees

From: Rivard, Robert

Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 11:40 AM

To: SAEN Editorial

Cc: Stephenson, Tom

Subject: buyouts

Colleagues:

Brett tells me there are newsroom rumors of layoffs today. Not so. The

big in-house headline probably will be the winners of the chili cook-off. We've promised to share information with you as soon as we can, and there is not much to actually share beyond what we had to say last week to the editorial leadership.

I am returning from NY after a meeting with other editors at the Hearst Tower at which we discussed the state of our industry and various cost-cutting measures, including the coming consolidation project and our staff reductions. Today is, I believe, the last official day for opting in to the voluntary buyout program at the Express-News. Nothing on that front is actually happening today. I will meet with Tom Stephenson and others in the leadership next week to review the tally of requested buyouts, and assess the difference between the number of requested buyouts and Tom's stated goal of a companywide 50 FTE reduction. I also will schedule meetings with newsroom staff that will be affected by the consolidation project.

Right now we are producing Travel in Houston and we will produce Taste

there by late December or early January. We expect to produce at least

one of our seven daily SA Life sections in Houston by midyear. That

date, of course, could change, but you can see from the projected pace

of this project that nothing much is imminent here. There will be some

new job openings for copy editors and page designers in Houston at

some point, we believe, but I can't project when those job postings

might occur.

Thank you for all your good work and dedication through these most

difficult times.

Bob

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