Posts for daily news

This Stu Bykofsky and Inga Saffron Exchange is Incredibly Awkward and Weird

Kevin Kinkead - July 17, 2019

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

Over at Philly Magazine, Victor Fiorillo walks us through the farewell festivities for Inquirer/Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, who took a buyout after 47 years writing about anything and everything.

During the gathering, a bunch of people got up to serenade Bykofsky and wish him well in the future, blah blah, that sort of stuff. Then this happened, according to Fiorillo:

It was all in good fun. Well, that is until Pulitzer-winning Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron was summoned to speak.

Saffron brought up the friendship between Bykofsky and a longtime Philly publishing world character by the name of Ted Beitchman, who has a rather checkered history that includes procuring topless dancers for a party while he held a senior position in Ed Rendell’s mayoral administration and a conviction for tax evasion.

Just as one newspaper editor walked over and whispered something to (columnist Jenice) Armstrong, Saffron invoked The Great Stu Bykofsky Thai Prostitution Controversy of 2011. Or, as Saffron put it, “his infamous column about his taste for child prostitutes in Thailand.”

“This is a total fucking lie,” Bykofsky retorted, his arms crossed, as Armstrong’s concern over the mess became more obvious

Well shit! That escalated quickly.

Here’s the video of that particular exchange, full credit to Philly Mag, after the jump:

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John Smallwood, Sam Donnellon, Rick O’Brien Taking Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News Buyouts

Kevin Kinkead - July 11, 2019

The Crossing Broad news desk is receiving bits and pieces of information regarding the buyouts taking place at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

Sources tell us that Flyers writer Sam Donnellon is taking a buyout, along with longtime columnist John Smallwood and Pennsylvania high school writer Rick O’Brien.

Additionally, sports editors Deborah Woodall and Oscar Miller are leaving the company, along with Philadelphia Eagles beat writer Zach Berman, who will cover the Birds for a different outlet this season. Longtime Metro columnist Stu Bykofsky, as we mentioned this morning, was offered a spot on the sports desk but decided to take a buyout instead.

The Inquirer/Daily News is going through another round of restructuring and looking to trim its staff by 30 employees, offering voluntary separation before layoffs begin.

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Report: 16 Employees Accept Philadelphia Inquirer Buyout Packages

Kevin Kinkead - June 14, 2019

Friday news coming to us via Jeff Blumenthal at the Philadelphia Business Journal, who reports that Inquirer/Daily News/Philly.com bosses might be shifting to layoffs after not receiving the requisite buyout agreements from employees.

Writes Jeff:

NewsGuild President Diane Mastrull, a longtime business reporter and editor, said, as of Thursday, 16 members had accepted the package. That is well short of the 30 she said management claimed was needed to avoid implementing layoffs. Mastrull said the deadline for accepting the buyouts is Friday, but she does not think there will be 30 takers.

In a show of solidarity, Guild members delivered a petition to Vice President of our People and Culture Lauren Kauffman — Publisher Terry Egger was out of the office — signed by 255 of about 330 members to demand no layoffs.

….

“The possibility of layoffs remains,” Inquirer management said. “However, whether that step is necessary and how many might be affected won’t be known until the voluntary separation program is completed next week.”

Jeff went on to share a couple tweets confirming that sports editor Deborah Woodell and news reporter Jan Hefler would be accepting buyouts.

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Philly NewsGuild not Interested in Inquirer/Daily News Buyouts and Layoffs

Kevin Kinkead - June 6, 2019

There hasn’t been much movement when it comes to the latest round of buyouts and possible layoffs taking place at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com.

The latest update was that Philly.com would be re-branding as Inquirer.com, a move that seems strange to me, since Philly.com is one of the most recognizable brands and URLs in this region. Could foreshadow some kind of Daily News split, but I don’t know. It was also revealed that the “Philadelphia Media Network,” which owns the Inky/Daily News/Philly.com, will now be known as “Philadelphia Inquirer, PBC,” which stands for “public benefit corporation.”

Call it whatever; ownership is looking to cut “30 union jobs in the newsroom and other departments, plus an unspecified number of nonunion jobs,” as cited on… Philly.com. Buyouts will be offered to 140 employees, which includes 117 NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia members.

Apparently that’s no bueno with the guild, who posted this on their website as they circulate a petition, after the jump:

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Philly.com is Rebranding as Inquirer.com

Kevin Kinkead - May 30, 2019

Stunner on a Thursday afternoon!

Philly.com is going the way of the Dodo bird, making way for…. Inquirer.com?

Yes that’s apparently what is happening here, as first spotted by Sean Brace at Philly Influencer:

Here’s the explanation, after the jump:

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

Kevin Kinkead - May 24, 2019

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.

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Sex Sells the Daily News Today

Kyle Scott - August 5, 2014

Voila_Capture 2014-08-05_09-38-33_AM

This is sort of like putting a sidebar on the benefits of chainsaw use next to a story about a scary mass murderer.

Anyway, if you’re interested: sex trafficking story (which happens to be an outstanding article) and sexy singles. Let’s see which one gets more clicks.

H/T (@John6abc)

Inquirer Writer Calls for Daily News to Be Eliminated

Kyle Scott - January 13, 2014

Terrific reporting by Steve Volk of Philly Mag, who obtained an email sent by Inquirer reporter Nancy Phillips (who broke the Bill Conlin story) in 2012 to her longtime lover, Lewis Katz, when Katz was considering buying the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com (which he eventually did).

From Philly Mag:

According to an email leaked to Philadelphia magazine, Nancy Phillips, as her long-time companion Lewis Katz was contemplating purchasing a controlling interest in the city’s biggest media company, made sweeping recommendations about strategies for turning around the InquirerDaily News and Philly.com, including specific executive firings and the possible elimination of the Daily News.

“Darling,” the March 17, 2012 email, from Phillips to Katz, begins.

Daily News has to be seriously evaluated with a view toward possible elimination or curtailment as in a move to the website with pared down staff and a paper product one day a week if at all.”

At the time, Phillips worked in the newsroom of the Inquirer as a reporter. And in roughly two weeks, George Norcross III would close a deal with Katz, her boyfriend, to acquire her workplace. In this sense, Phillips’s letter seems part business advice, a “honey do” list, and the fantasy of any working stiff made manifest.

Gotta respect any woman who still uses “darling” in a non-ironic context. Phillips is old school and damn proud of it. She’s also right. It’s hilarious that this sort of thing got out, and to watch this mess, but Phillips’ suggestion is a good one. The economics of any newspaper – writing things, placing those things on newsprint 12 hours later, driving them to stores and homes – don’t make sense anymore, and that’s especially true for the Daily News, the secondary paper in Philly. They’d be better off taking their staff of mostly talented writers and having them write for the web only, replacing most of the total shit that’s on Philly.com now. Make the Daily News the new Philly.com and, if you must, keep the Inquirer around until dissolves and its writers, too, move over to Philly.com– the city’s most visited website, with a great URL, that is well-positioned to be a fantastic online destination. This isn’t rocket science. The problem is matching online advertising revenue to print revenue. Newspapers got bloated because they charged ridiculous advertising premiums for years, and then when advertisers started realizing with online that you shouldn’t have to spend that much per person you reach, newspapers took a hit. But cutting the actual papers will save millions in cost and, ergo, make up for at least some of the difference between print and online revenue.