Posts for inquirer

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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Looks like Things Are Just Going Great for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com

Kyle Scott - November 19, 2015

Philly Media Network – the company that owns the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com – which just announced massive layoffs earlier this month, is reportedly suing its current landlord at the company’s indiscernible home on 8th and Market because the landlord hasn’t installed signage yet as per the terms of their agreement (…). I’ll ignore the urge to laugh at the absurdity of misplaced priorities – the only signage at CB Sports LLC is a massive pile of baby stuff waiting to be assembled – and point you toward this Tweet from former Phillies beat writer and current metro reporter Matt Gelb (still employed!):

Glad to see things are going well. Although, it could be worse for Gelb et al. They could’ve been laid off, like:

Fun fact: When I started working there back in 2005, the woman running a training session with me and a handful of other new employees answered a question about health benefits (which was very good at the time) with, “What do you expect– we’re Hollywood!”– a reference to the company’s exalted status in the city. Things have gone straight downhill since then, it would seem.

UPDATE: Some anonymous party has taken aim at owner Gerry Lenfest and registered gerrylenfest.com and is tweeting under the handle (@gerrythegrinch). The website includes the following disclaimer: “This satirical site is in no way affiliated with cable magnate and philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest or his charitable foundation. After all, Lenfest is an honorable man who would never lay off 46 hardworking journalists around the holidays. We are talking about a smart, capable businessman. One who chose to double down and stay owner of Philadelphia Media Network despite multiple opportunities to recoup his investment and walk away, He stayed because he is dedicated to investigative reporting and quality journalism. Not for any ego-driven purposes whatsoever. If he had a massive ego, Mr. Lenfest would have registered GerryLenfest.com. But he didn’t. We were surprised as you are that that domain was available. If the real Gerry Lenfest however decides he wants to own his own site, we could be happy to entertain an offer. Opening bid: 46 jobs.”

Your papers of record, ladies and gentlemen.

Absolutely Savage Move by This Inquirer Editor to Tweet about Eating Caviar Just Days after Massive Layoffs

Jim Adair - November 9, 2015

Philadelphia Inquirer City Editor Nancy Phillips, the apparent girlfriend of former company co-owner Lewis Katz, who died in a plane crash last year, likely didn’t have to fear for her job last week as Katz’s former partner, Gerry Lenfest, and his crew, initiated massive layoffs. So, why not celebrate being great at life with a little truffle and caviar?

In 2013, Phillips was also accused of, emphasis mine, “breaking down how much each [writer] earned per story written and told the owners that her fellow journalists were paid too much.” Well now many of them will be paid nothing, and Phillips can eat all the caviar she wants without having to think about them. They’re thinking about her though:

Kyle: Allow me to be elitist for a moment: truffle makes anything better. I’m not at the caviar level yet. But truffles-oil-butter, whatever? Fantastic. That said, this is maybe the douchiest Tweet of all-time. Just next level media elitism. I’m surprised the Tweet didn’t include an Ivory Tower Emoji.

via (@RebeccaTheim)

UPDATE: The Inmates Want To Buy The Daily News

Kyle Scott - November 5, 2015

The guild is the union that counts writers, advertising staff and others as its members. They are, apparently, making a bid – token or otherwise – at buying the Daily News from Philly Media Network. It’ll be interesting to see how they would intend on structuring that, but I can’t see a scenario in which having a stake in a dying tabloid newspaper would be a good decision for anyone on the buying side.

Amy Buckman – former 6 ABC-er and current Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com spokesperson – says PMN has no interest in selling the Daily News.

If someone could explain to me either side’s thinking here, that would be great.

UPDATE: Joel Mathis has the full report:

“We would like to commence negotiations for a sale of the Daily News immediately,” Lisa A. Lori, the guild’s attorney, wrote in a Thursday letter (below) to Terry Eggers, the new publisher at Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the paper.

Such a purchase, she wrote, “will help mitigate the loss of employment for a substantial number of individuals and it will help PMN shed an asset that, based on the number of layoffs of Daily News employees … it appears PMN has little interest in.”

Yes, because it’s a dying product held onto by nostalgic dinosaurs.