NABJ Protests Layoffs of 19 in Philly

Journal-isms: The parent company of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com is laying off 19 unionized workers.

Philadelphia's Two Major Newspapers File For Bankruptcy Protection
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Black Journalists Chapter Leader Advised to Take Buyout

The parent company of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com is laying off 19 unionized workers, the company announced on Thursday. The National Association of Black Journalists promptly protested the departures of Sarah J. Glover, president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and sportswriter John Mitchell.

“I am not entirely sure of the racial breakdown of the members but at leastSarah J. Glover three of those laid off and one of the volunteers who left only to be spared a layoff are journalists of color,” Dan Gross, Philadelphia Daily News reporter and president of the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America Local 38010, told Journal-isms by email on Thursday.

The Guild likewise protested the cutbacks. “It is our position that between the significant savings of the salaries of the members who volunteered to leave, and the concessionary contract in 2010 that gave the new owners $6 million in cost cuts from our union, that enough is enough,” a Guild statement said.

Mike Armstrong reported in Friday’s editions of the Inquirer:

The layoffs of reporters, copy editors, multimedia content producers, and others at The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com would occur March 31.

“Five nonunion employees from the three newsrooms, including three from The Inquirer, also were laid off, bringing the total number of jobs being lost to 45.

“In a statement, [Philadelphia Media Network Inc.] said the layoffs and buyouts were a response to ‘the unfortunate economic conditions that continue to impact’ the newspaper industry.

” ‘We believe that one employee receiving a layoff notification is too many and regret having to make such a difficult decision relative to the future of any PMN employee,’ the company’s statement reads.

” ‘Our hope was that a voluntary buyout offering would have limited the need to implement any employee layoffs, but the reality is that was not achieved and those employees receiving layoff notification will depart at the end of March.’

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