More Buyouts, and Possible Layoffs, for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com

Seems like I write this story every other year, which is a shame.

Another round of buyouts and possible layoffs is currently underway at the Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

Thursday, the NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia revealed that PMN is looking to cut 10 percent of their membership, while explaining that they do not know how many reductions will come from “other unions and independents.”

An article published on Philly.com clarified the situation:

Citing declining revenues, Philadelphia Media Network, which publishes The Inquirer, the Daily News, and Philly.com, on Thursday announced buyouts aimed at eliminating 30 union jobs in the newsroom and other departments, plus an unspecified number of nonunion jobs.

The buyout will be offered to about 140 employees, including 117 members of the NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia, which represents journalists, plus those who work in advertising sales, finance, and other departments, the company said. The union said the company’s target is 10 percent of its 302 full-time members.

“We wish we didn’t have to make these tough choices, but these are the economic realities of journalism in 2019,” Terrance C.Z. Egger, Philadelphia Media Network’s publisher and chief executive, said in a statement.

The news organization is a for-profit enterprise owned by a nonprofit, the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.

You might recall a few veteran sports guys took buyouts about a year and a half ago, namely Mike Kern and longtime scoreboard editor Bob Vetrone. Dick Jerardi also left the company, though I’m not sure if also took a buyout or just retired outright. Those personnel moves were part of a restructuring that saw 50 people lose their jobs, while the company hired 45 folks to replace them, focusing more on the digital side of things.

Without having too much insight into the details surrounding these issues, I just wonder why this keeps happening. It feels like this occurs every other year, which makes me wonder why they can’t get the personnel situation figured out. This has been a continuing theme for almost a decade now, which resulted the Philly Voice split, a nonstop re-jiggering of the web and newspaper sides of the company, and several ownership changes/disputes along the way.

Either way, we’ll see what happens on the sports side of things. The buyouts and layoffs don’t seem to be targeted at one specific department or personnel group. There are still a number of veteran sports columnists and beat reporters over there, along with folks behind the scenes.

PMN currently has four full-time Eagles writers in Zach Berman, Jeff McLane, Les Bowen, and Paul Domowitch. There are four full-time columnists in Marcus Hayes, Bob Ford, Mike Sielski, and David Murphy. Six of those eight travel to Eagles road games, and I’m fairly sure all eight of them go to home games.

During the Sixers season, those four columnists will also show up at various games and practice sessions, along with Marc Narducci, who floats around in a jack of all trades role. Keith Pompey and Sarah Todd are the full time Sixers beat writers, while PMN has three Phillies writers (Matt Breen, Bob Brookover, Scott Lauber) and two Flyers writers (Sam Carchidi and Sam Donnellon). Guys like Mike Jensen, Ed Barkowitz, John Smallwood, and Jonathan Tannenwald handle other assignments, like college sports, high school, and the Union.

So, yeah.

I know it’s 2019 and the newspaper industry has been slowly dying for what seems like an eternity, but it’s gotta be shitty to go about your day-to-day business with the threat of buyouts and layoffs always hanging over your head. Feels like the powers that be can’t get this thing organized in a sustainable way, which is why we’re headed for yet another round of nonsense.

Edit –

I think it’s also fair to point out that some folks can be lazy, one-skill assholes, protected by ridiculous union contracts that value seniority over merit.

Some folks, not all.

It creates a log jam that prevents young and motivated workers with diverse and contemporary skill-sets from advancing.

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22 Comments

  • Deputy Van Halen May 24, 2019 at 11:54 am

    From a pure market analysis, there is literally no need for four full-time Eagles writers , four full-time columnists , two Sixers beat writers, three Phillies writers , and two Flyers writers. With each team getting coverage in places like this, The Good FIght, Bleeding Green, Liberty Ballers etc Im amazed that PMN hasn’t gone to one writer for each and just 2 columnists.

    Reply
    • Leslie Gudel May 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm

      There is no need for a floppy Perez Hilton type of blog like CrossingBored either.
      But its here and Kyle is cashing in bigtime.
      Heard they had over 28 million hits last month and pulled in
      over 3.2 million in ad revenue.
      He’ll have those 5 houses paid off in no time.

      Reply
  • You got aids May 24, 2019 at 11:55 am

    They’ve had 25 years to figure out an advertising model for online and have walked around with their thumbs up thirst ass.

    Reply
  • Meeeeee tooooo May 24, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    If I was king of the world was shit. But Conlin also f u c k e d . His niece and nephew.

    Reply
  • Checking In May 24, 2019 at 12:42 pm

    When do the cut backs start at CB Kyle?

    Reply
    • Gary Heidnik May 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Well they got rid of Jim Adair and hired Kinker, Boytoy, Captn Obvious Phil whatshisname, and Wanker.
      Plus that 40K/ 3000hrs a year slave Kyle mentioned a few months ago……

      I think Kyle was just playing with us when he posted that Phony job request.
      Unless it was some kind of fake shirt scam related thing.
      No one but undocumented workers would take that type of slave labor job.

      Reply
  • Judge Judie May 24, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Did you see the masthead from last Monday’s Inky? Very weird-looking, indeed, and no word of explanation as to why this happened. Don’t mess up what you have.

    Reply
  • You only need one paper May 24, 2019 at 4:32 pm

    I would expand the DN and fold the Inquirer. You can still do investigative journalism by expanding the DN. As far as national and world news let the WP and NYT cover that. The sports section is what draws the reader. By absorbing all the writers to the news you would have a top notch section.

    Reply
  • A joseph meteor o logist May 24, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Great news! Feck those liberal aholes. Hope Will Bunch is axed

    Reply
    • Eileen McNichol May 24, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      I hope Christine Flowers gets the boot.

      Reply
      • agree May 24, 2019 at 7:24 pm

        Feck that republicon shrew

        Reply
  • Jimmy the Greek May 24, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    They charge $3 for the DN, which is an absolute disgrace. The paper is now a pamphlet, not even a paper. Print media has been dead for 20 years

    Reply
    • Agree May 24, 2019 at 5:28 pm

      They’re better off selling at a loss for a buck. $3 is outrageous. No one will buy it for that price.

      Reply
  • Billy Tibbetts May 24, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    90% of what they write is rabble rousing nonsense. Good riddance.

    Reply
  • Uncle Tom May 24, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    I can’t take liberal propaganda of daily news – the writers losing their jobs should
    #learn to code

    Reply
    • Kevin Kinkerhead May 25, 2019 at 1:14 am

      ‘learn to code’
      I’m a webmaster!

      Reply
  • Judge Judie May 25, 2019 at 7:32 am

    The DN is considered an edition of the Inquirer. They have the same identical stories. I surrendered my DN subscription because of this, so why not merge the two papers?

    Reply
  • Spike Eskins radio face May 25, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Mike Sielski should be the first to go. Nova makes. Final Four 3 years ago, and before Championship game , he’s writing about Jay Wright leaving. Bryce Harper strikes out, and right away he’s tweeting about sarcastic fans booing.

    Give me a break. This dude is and always was typical negative Philly sports writer. He’s a joke.

    Also, how in the world does Paul Jolovitz still have a radio job?

    Reply
  • Sielski is awful May 26, 2019 at 11:42 am

    He came up at the Wilmington News Urinal. He’s a joke. His articles are nothing but clickbaity WIP crap.

    Reply
  • Manrico Troncelliti May 27, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    The Inquirer and the Daily News do themselves no favors by refusing to write for their paying subscribers. They write stories about causes for which none of their readers care, have columnists that most of their readers cannot stand who pump out the same far-left garbage that you can read a lot of other places and seem content to lose whatever money the Lenfest family gave them(to get rid of the papers) wirting stores for audience they will never have, i.e. left wing milennials . The readership for a newspaper(any newspaper) is white, middle to upper class , largely male and over 50. If they had some columnists that thought a little like their audience they would probably not shed subscribers as fast as they do. At this stage, the most highly read page of the paper is the obituarty page. Pretty soon, they will be writingtheir own obituary. Get rid of Marinow, will bunch, Maria Panaritis and any sotry they pick up from The Washington Post.

    Reply
  • Kenneth Lyons May 27, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Not my problem or yours, but it has potential. The public needs journalism and journalists, in the traditional sense. Subscribing to fray sites that sing one’s belief system lays down a walkway for corruption.

    Reply
    • SFD June 3, 2019 at 9:37 am

      Not used to seeing smart comments in this section, but this is perfectly said.

      Reply

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