Monday, November 4, 2013

Slamming the Gate[House] on Times Herald-Record; Photo Dept. Axed

Times Herald-Record
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When private equity manager Fortress Investment Group, LLC, the majority owner of GateHouse Media, Inc., wrested the Dow Jones Local Media Group ("DJLMG") passel of newspapers from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (see "TUOL" post 9/4/13), it generated uneasiness about job reductions chainwide, particularly in light of GateHouse itself being in the throes of a structured bankruptcy (see "TUOL" post 3/27/13).

Well, as reports today, the shoe has dropped, or more aptly, the camera has hit the floor and smashed.  The Middletown (N.Y.) Times Herald-Record, the flagship daily among the 33 papers in the DJLMG, has pink-slipped its four-member photography department--collectively, almost 100 years of photojournalism experience--and will rely on freelancers, according to Romanesko.

The Herald-Record also axed three newsroom managers, including an editor whose tenure at the daily exceeded 40 years. The Middletown daily wasn't the only newspaper feeling the pain as journalism professor Dan Kennedy's Media Nation blog reported that seven full-time and ten part-time staffers in GateHouse's Cape Cod Media Group were also let go. Publisher Peter Meyer's letter to staffers did not identify which employees were terminated.

The SouthCoast Media Group, also part of the unhappy GateHouse family, axed four full-time and four part-time staffers. The New Bedford (Mass.) Standard Times is the best-known publication in that group. (No)Thanksgiving came early this year.

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