Bygone Bylines: The Miami Herald Story
The reporters and other newsroom employees up for the third round of buyouts will be notified of their fate this afternoon, according to sources.
A total of 19 staffers are expected to get their final notices today. Among those on the list: Talk of the Town Columnist Joan Fleischman (a Pulp favorite) and reporters Oscar Corral, Lisa Arthur, Matthew Pinzur, Erika Beras, Natalie McNeal, and Features writer Desonta Holder. Also leaving are Neighborhoods editor Carolyn Guniss and photographers Ronna Gradus and Lissette Elguezabal.
Most of you will recognize the name of Corral, who stirred a huge controversy when he wrote about Cuban reporters taking money from Radio Marti, a federally funded propaganda source. He also made some unwanted news after a bit of trouble with the law last year.
Pinzur is causing quite a stir right now as well, since he's taken a $115,000 job with Miami-Dade County, the agency he covered as a reporter. It's pretty disgusting actually. Read this Miami New Times story to see why.
Remember, these names are not official, but they have either put in for a buyout voluntarily, as I'm told was the case with Fleischman, or their hand has been forced to accept one. Will update this post as info arrives.
UPDATE: Okay, Anders Gyllenhaal has addressed the troops in an email. He writes that ten staffers volunteered for the buyout and five open position are being terminated. The newspaper is laying off five more full-time staffers and four part-timers. That brings the number of people losing their jobs to 19. Here's the email:
From: "Gyllenhaal, Anders - Miami"
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2008 To: ".MIA Newsroom" Conversation: Newsroom update.... Subject: Newsroom update.... The work on the staff reductions announced 10 days ago is near completion. Everyone affected has been notified, so here is an outline of where things stand. Ten members of the staff volunteered for the buyouts and five positions will be accounted for by existing vacancies. This places the number of layoffs required from the newsroom at five full-time and four part-time positions. The list of those leaving the paper will be available in each department from department heads, since some of those affected asked that their names not be put on a public list. But it's important that everyone know the details, so department heads can go over the plans and answer questions. In most cases, the last day of work will be next Friday, Oct. 3. But as was the case in June, in a couple of instances the departure dates will be pushed back to enable ongoing projects to be completed. The reductions are spread fairly evenly across all departments and disciplines. Three are in Metro; two in photo; one and a half in features, Broward and online; and one each in Neighbors, sports, administration, copy desk, the wireroom, presentation and business, and one columnist. As we talked about in the staff meetings, the newsroom will face a small number of additional reductions next year. The reason for the delay is to give us time to take a more methodical approach. Rather than simply lose more resources outright, are there some new ideas we should consider? With several months to work on this, we'll be able to take a longer look and involve a broader group. It is also hoped that some portion of these position will come from attrition, which has been running high this year. While it's not likely attrition would cover all the positions, it will help to reduce that number, which is part of the goal. If you have questions about any element of this, talk with your editor, with me or with Ali. Thank you all for your focus, your professionalism and hard work through this difficult stretch.