Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Where the cuts are coming from

I was looking for any fallout from the Herald Ombudsman's reaction to a blog post by sports reporter/columnist Armando Salguero and ran into this column from several days ago in which Schumacher-Matos details the layoffs at 1 Herald Plaza.

The relevant excerpts:

The 347 current newsroom staff will be reduced by about 40 people, [Herald Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal] said. Most of the cuts will be in management, supervisors, copy editors, photographers and the like. Only about 6 of the 125 reporters will be let go, he said.

The Web, Neighbors, Broward County and investigative staffs remain largely intact, reflecting what the publisher and editor consider important for The Miami Herald's future. Latin American coverage will continue to be seen as part of the paper's ''franchise,'' too, with roughly the same staffing and space, Gyllenhaal said.

Staffing at El Nuevo Herald, which has seen its circulation go up while the English paper's has gone down, will be reduced by 9 employees from a staff of 70, though the two editions will share photographers now. The sharing of some content between the two newspapers will continue to grow, Gyllenhaal said.

Eleven jobs will be outsourced. Archiving, calendar listings and the International Edition will be done now in India, for example, while the six staffers who currently do The Miami Herald's programming on WLRN Radio will be transferred to a new, third-party company.

State coverage in Tallahassee and outside the paper's core distribution area of Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties will be reduced by two positions, a trend across the country. Two other positions, classical music and at-large cultural critics may also go. Cultural criticism is arguably important to the community's economic growth. ''We don't yet know how this will end up, but it's a good example of an area of coverage that is very important, and must be in the paper one way or another,'' Gyllenhaal said.

Implementing a universal copy-editing desk and standardizing design templates for inside pages will create internal efficiency that readers may not notice, though I fear that the cuts in copy editors and supervisors treads dangerously on maintaining quality control. Editors keep reporters, especially young ones, in check.
This answers the question of what was happening at the Herald's red-headed step child, El Nuevo Herald.

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