Monday, June 16, 2008

More details on layoffs

John Dorschner's short article has been updated to include more details about Herald layoffs:

McClatchy Chief Executive Gary Pruitt said The Miami Herald was being shrunk more than most of the group's other newspapers, because ``The Miami Herald's performance has been worse than most, if not all, of the newspapers, and secondly there were some opportunities for greater efficiencies.''

While having editions in English and Spanish made The Miami Herald hard to compare with the group's other newspapers, Pruitt said it was generally true that staffing at The Herald, formerly a Knight Ridder newspaper, was more than that of the historic McClatchy newspapers.

Pruitt said he was committed to continuing to offer readers a quality product. When asked if he viewed the reduction as cutting fat or muscle, he said, ``There's no doubt that we will have somewhat fewer resources, but we will remain the largest news operation in each of our markets, and we will be able to produce quality news reports.''
Translation: "The Heralds were fat."
The Herald newsroom is expected to lose about 60 positions, including some now vacant. About 40 newsroom personnel are slated to take voluntary buyouts or be laid off.

Those include 12 newsroom supervisors, five in the International Edition, two copy editors, three reporters, four designers and layout specialists, two on the state desk, two critics, two photographers and six in archiving and calendar.

Archiving, calendar and the International Edition will be outsourced to workers in India. The company is also exploring transferring its radio operations to a third-party company, but the services to public radio station WLRN will remain the same.
Translation: We're getting rid of managers that were overpaid and underworked, as well as others whose functions can be replaced by low wage people overseas.
In April, veteran Herald reporters, photographers and support staff in the newsroom were offered a buyout. Four accepted that offer.
The Herald offered those buyouts to 2% of its workforce (more than 30 employees), only four accepted. The others should have taken it, I'm sure the packages offered were better than the severance they will get after being laid off.


Mahatma Singupta said...

Praise be to Lord Ganesh who heard our prayers in India.

PJ-Comix said...

The gods of Santeria are not pleased when a replica rooster is substituted for a real rooster. That is why the Herald took a hit of 17% as opposed to only about 10% at the other McClatchy newspapers.

Anonymous said...

A very liberal paper that trashes their conservative readership on a daily basis is just not good business. Take it from me... I had to fold my newspapers "The Reagan" in San Francisco and "The Klan" in Detroit...who knew?

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I don't think it's a liberal/conservative thing. Miami-Dade county is largely a Democrat/Liberal stronghold. But Miami is an amalgam of different people from different places and the Herald seems to be an equal opportunity attack dog on all of its readers.

I mainly speak about Cubans and Cuban-Americans because I am one but it's not just Cubans the Herald attacks needlessly on a routine basis.

Anonymous said...

Good point...but I think the Cubans and conservatives take most of the beatings. Maybe it's just me...but it seems that the black community and liberals seem to take less of the heat. When a black commits a crime...the herald usually fails to name the race of the criminal.

I have a feeling the Cubans and conservatives are the ones who are canceling their subscriptions and print advertising budgets. I did. What else could it be?

Anonymous said...


I have a lot of issues with the Herald but I find it amusing that Anglos on one hand say that the Herald panders to Cubans and Cuban-Americans say that the Herald attacks them.

Can you cite 5 recent instances of the Herald attacking Cubans and also give reasons, in your opinion, why you think the Herald has an agenda against Cubans.

Looking forward to your response.

Thank you

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Anonymous, I'd be glad to but I'm on Jury duty at the moment and only have access to the internet sporadically during breaks. Stay tuned.

Henry Louis Gomez said...


Just off the top of my head, the Herald’s anti-Cuban streak goes back to the 1960s and columnist Jack Kofoed.

There have been other columnists as well, culminating with Ana Menendez whose case I have documented here and Babalublog. Just one example is the column she wrote about the “Cuba Nostalgia” food and art festival two years ago. Others who have been openly offensive toward Cubans include Carl Hiaasen and Jim DeFede.

Then there’s the whole Marti Moonlighters saga in which the Herald fired three Cuban-American journos before even discovering all the facts of the case. Eventually because the investigation was so shoddy the company had to hire back all three. Some other journos that didn’t work for the Herald were smeared and the Herald’s own ombudsman on the matter, Clark Hoyt, condemned the reporting and the way the situation was handled.

When the reporter who wrote that shoddy piece of journalism was arrested for soliciting a prostitute the Herald dedicated a mere paragraph in the police blotter section, needless to say if the perpetrator had been as prominent a member of the exile community as Corral was an attacker of it, the coverage would have been much more in-depth. The outcome of Corral’s case was never reported in the paper. It was reported here.

Tom Fiedler, the paper’s executive editor, famously referred to members of the Spanish language media as Chihuahuas nipping at the Herald’s heals.

There has also been a pattern of allowing anti-Cuban comments to remain on articles about Cubans while often such comments about blacks or Jews are deleted and often the comments sections are removed altogether to prevent such comments from being made.

Anonymous said...

This guy only wants five samples..hell...we could give 50. You tell them Henry!

Cuban Key Rat

Anonymous said...

OK, I actually saw some of the Jack Kofoed comments that the Herald published what, 50 years ago? It was a different time then and I think I can safely say that that kind of bigoted thinking doesn't exist at the Herald any longer. To say that it does and that Kofoed's rants are proof is ridiculous.

However, if you know of someone who is openly bigoted and works at the Herrald I think you should drop Anders a note.

I used to have a copy of a special Herald section that they printed in 1962 when they opened their new building. There was a large photo of a news meeting. The thing that stood out was the fact that there were no blacks or women in the photo. Back then the paper was run by white males. Like I said a different time.

As I'm sure you know, the Herald now has one of the most culturally diverse newsrooms of any news paper in the country.

The Fiedler incident. Puh-leeze...will everybody in this town stop being so thin-skinned!

Would it have made a difference if he had said German shepard instead of chihuahua? There are enough bonfide bigots in this town to go after. Tom Fiedler is not one of them. Bad joke teller, yes! Bigot, no.

I actually wrote to him back then and told him he had nothing to apologize for! And I was a little peeved that he didn't have the balls to tell his critics to f**k off! That's the problem at the Herald, none of the male over there have any cojones!

The Radio Marti stories: Yes, this was badly handled. But I think the Herald had an obligation to print the story. I have read Clark Hoyt's analysis and he's right on target. However I don't think the fact that they chose to run the story is evidence of any anti-Cuban agenda.

I for one want to know everything about how the Herald makes decisions. And I want to know that their journalists are impartial and journalists can't write impartially about the government if they are being paid by the government. It's that simple.

The Herald handled the story badly and the commissioned Clark Hoyt to look into it and then published the results. And in the interim a spineless publisher was shown the door!

You may not agree with everything that the Herald prints. But te beauty of a free press is that you can object to the way they cover things. The fact that you have a widely read blog is proof that this whole thing works.

As far as the Oscar Corral incident with the "prostitute"..I'm not sure what the connection is with his reporting the story. To me it looks like you were so pissed off at the fact that he wrote the story that when he got caught with his pants down you played your own version of "gothcha!"

What he did was a misdemeanor. Would you like the Herald to start printing stories everytime someone at the Herald gets busted for a misdemeanor? What about traffic tickets?

Like someone once said..."let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

As for Menendez, Defede and Hiaasen...I am looking up Menendez's piece you described. If you can provide a link that would be great.

First Defede....he no longer works there but if you read his columns you know that he went after everybody...he, after all is a "muck-raker." He not only pissed you off but he also pissed off his bosses at the Herald.

Here's my problem with you say those columnists "attack" Cubans.

First of all they are columnists and as such they get paid to write their opinion. But just because someone writes something you don't agree with doesn't mean it's an attack. I'm sorry but must have missed the memo that said everything printed in the Herald is supposed to be laudatory and un-critical. That's not how a free press works.

And if you find yourself not agreeing with what they write, then don't read them.

Just a few thoughts.

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my origianl post.

I am a journalist however I do not work at the Herald.

But I aways tell people that if you're in the newspaper business and you're not pissing off a hundred people a day then you're not doing your job!

Note: No spellcheck used so excuse any errors.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I'll come back and answer more fully but I'll tell you that you can read the Menendez column at the Herald archives for a price.

Anonymous said...

I'll look up the Menendez column on the public library site for free! ;) Give me a few key words please so I can do a search.


Anonymous said...

The reason that most people were bothered about the lack of coverage of Oscar's moment of weakness and stupidity was because he was the one who was on the white horse trying to ruin peoples names and careers and yet he was the one breaking the law and getting arrested.

An eye for eye and a misdemeanor for a misdemeanor...Karma is a bitch and I think she also Cuban!

The Herald might be culturally diverse...but not politically.

Here's one story that comes to mind - A few years ago David Lawrence went to Cuba to attend an Editors/Publishers conference and he actually told Fidel Castro not to worry that The Herald was planning to investigate Pepe Hernandez from CANF about Fidel's accusations of a possible rifle that Mr. Hernandez owned. By the way, they found nothing - I saw the video when this happened...

Anonymous said...

Henry and Anonymous:

I ask for examples of the Herald attacking Cubans and Henry dredges up some racist columnist who was writing columns 50 yrs ago before Henry was old enough to read (or perhaps before he was born) and Anonymous mentions some trip David Lawrence took to Cuba.

And now Henry is upset because Myriam Marquez is going to be a columnist and she was an editor on Oscar Corral's stories.

Whatever! Give it a rest!

You both are so blinded by hatred for the Herald that you can't even think straight.

HL Mencken once said that " "Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one."

Keep that in mind when you read the Herald or any newspaper. They are a bunch of arrogant bastards over there.

But as bad as they are they at least try to be fair. They don't always succeed. But I'd rather have them at the helm than Bill O'Reilly.

As much as I despise the Herald for some of things they print they have done some good things in this town. Given the choice of having the Herald or not having it, I'd rather have it.

But if you don't like what they print, don't buy it. It's just that simple.

I haven't bought a paper in 8 years but I read it online along with half a dozen other papers.

We still need a paper in this town.

I don't think I have to tell you that there are still countries in the world where the government runs the press. One of them is a little over 100 miles south of Miami. ;)

On a side note, I was amused by the comments left on the Herald story about the layoffs. Many of the comments urged the Herald to dump Leonard Pitts or Carl Hiaasen or whatever columnist they disagreed with. I'm sure Val over at babalu left a few.

I'm not sure that I'd want to read a paper that only had columnists that I agreed with. Sounds pretty boring.

But the way some of you guys think sometimes mystifies me.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

And now Henry is upset because Myriam Marquez is going to be a columnist and she was an editor on Oscar Corral's stories.

Show me the words that I used that lead you to believe that I'm "upset".

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that the Herald has done good work...and I don't want to agree with a columnist all the time...boring! I do at least want to agree 25% of the time... Ms. Menendez made her career sarcastically trashing her own community even calling them "The Miami Mafia"...a line straight from Fidel's mouth. No need for name calling..It gets old!

If they took these same shots at the Black Community -all hell would break lose.

By the way - I enjoyed this respectable debate -thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Henry

OK...I'll retract the "upset" remark.

But it seems to me that you have this propensity for beating dead horses.

As I said in a previous post, I agree that the Herald handled the Radio Marti story badly. Clark Hoyt was right on the mark.

But I also said that the Herald had every right to inform its readers that some of their staff journalists were being paid by the government which is a no-no in journalism. JOURNALISTS SHOULD NOT ACCEPT MONEY FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

But some people like attacking the messenger and trotted out the tired, old phrases by calling Oscar Corral a commie and when he got popped for soiliciting a "prostitute" they practically creamed in their pants.

Now we have Myriam Marquez being appointed as a columnist and for some reason you feel the need to bring up the fact that she was an editor on the Radio Marti story. Why?

She works at the Herald and her job is to edit stories. What difference does it make what stories she worked on? The Radio Marti story is history now. Move on!

As I write this I am reading Ana Menendez's story on the Miami Dade Library site. (I can pst it here if you like.)

Ane Menendez is obviously a free thinking person who gets paid to write *HER* opinions. You may not like that but why do her opinions make her anti-Cuban? Because she sees things differently than you or the guy at babalu? Do all Cuban Americans think alike? And as I said previously the Herald or any newspaper would be extremely boring if it only printed stories that I agreed with.

Newspaper stories are kind of like those inkblot tests....everyone sees them differently.

A little perspective from an American who's lived in Miami since 1959 and as a journalst who's been covering this town for over 25 years:

I've covered hundreds of stories involving Cuban Americans from every conceivable angle. I've done the stories on Domino Park, I've done stories on the successes of Mariel refugees, I've done all the stories on the old men outside the Versailles who kill Castro everyday only to wake up in the morning to find out he's still alive. I've been in the studio while castro's daughter Alina did her radio show. I've heard all of the rhetoric a a thousand times.

And you know the conclusion I've come to?

Afte 49 years and billions of words written and tens of thousands of hours spent talking about Castro, not one person Miamihas managed to budge Castro one centimeter closer to giving up power or the Cuban people one inch closer to freedom.

But if you feel that hating the Herald, choosing sides, debating how many angels can dance on the head of pin or calling people you don' agree with Communists will bring freedom to the Cuban people, then by all means keep shouting!

But I have a feeling that results will still be the same.

Finally, the Herald isn't perfect but it's better than nothing until something better comes along.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

The Herald has every right to do whatever it wants. And so do I. Though my readership is tiny compared to theirs, I can proudly say that mine is increasing.

I'm not going to debate you. This blog speaks for itself. Take a gander through the archives. I have applauded the Herald when it has done thing that I consider merit applause, like the terrific series by Debbie Cenziper about the housing authority and I have criticized the Herald when I thought it needed to be criticized like when it manipulates demographics from the City of Miami to make broad generalizations about the greater Miami metro area. It's dishonest.

If you don't agree with me, fine. the fact is that people are voting with their feet. In an industry that's in decline, the Herald is leading the pack in declining.