Thursday, February 08, 2007

No more bankers' hours

Enquirer Business reporters are now being asked to work weekends. This is a very desperate move, being made because the staff is so thin. They're being asked to chip in on regular news coverage. What happens on weekends in Cincinnati besides accidents, fires and crime? The only weekend business news you'll see is about shopping at the malls, and this move will cheat business coverage during the week.

UPDATE: I have to add this because people see this situation as a bunch of business reporters whining about having to work weekends. That's not the point. First, count bylines. Aside from Pat Crowley, Mark Curnutte and John Fay and a select few others, Enquirer business reporters write more stories than anyone in Metro or the rest of the paper. Sharon Coolidge, one of the best and hardest working reporters in Metro, has by my count 238 bylines since the start of 2006. Her husband, business reporter Alexander Coolidge, has 285 bylines. Jon Craig, the Enquirer's statehouse reporter, has 151. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Now the Enquirer wants to take Alex off his Business beat to have him chase ambulances on weekends. Will they allow his byline count to slip? The Enquirer will still expect that same level of productivity, with no excuses, and in fact management is continuing to press for ever greater productivity. Business reporters are already covering stories that should be covered by Metro and even Life. Business reporter Cliff Peale covered the symphony's budget shortfall, for instance, and Coolidge has logged many hours covering Comair's plane crash. And now business reporters have to cover car crashes, too.

The other point is that the Enquirer continues to deemphasize business news. Not long ago management took away Business's daily section front, and buried it inside the front section. That move alone led to one reporter quitting and taking a job with the Columbus Dispatch, and contributed to the eventual resignation of the business editor. Now, business reporters will spend less time on business news.

Business reporters cover how we earn and spend our money, and the Enquirer has taken another step to deemphasize that important territory, if favor of ambulance chasing. Again, this is another move by the Enquirer that won't make it a better paper to read, or a better paper to work for.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like they were "told," not asked.

Isn't the question really about why talent isn't being put where that talent can be best?

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone works weekends nowadays. Quit crying or find another job better suited for your needs.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone care about the Business section? Other than those who have to tear up the paper too FIND it?!?

Does anyone get the paper anymore? (other than those who can't STOP it because the Enquirer is way TOO dense for customer service!?!?)

Then, there are those that need it to start their fireplace or need a liner for the kitty litter pan... those are good reasons for a newspaper.

Is the "take away" compamy (Gannett) with really loosy leadership and product/service (Enquirer) worth any more?

Yeah, tell me more about how a dog was rescued from a lake. I am SO interested! Forget the fluff like what P&G is up too...

7:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big who cares:
Worker charged in panty theft
Investigators think man sold lingerie on the street

The story is.. ahh.. nothing. He was turned in by his girlfriend. Was she wearing those panties?

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They had a big story today and blew it. Obama is in the race. Why didn't they report it that way? Dense.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2004, the Enquirer’s Business section was at least a daily six-page pullout, and the Business staff included four editors and 10 reporters. Today, there are less than two full pages of business news inside the A section, just three Business editors and eight reporters. All this a metropolitan area that is home to seven Fortune 500 companies. True story: Tom Callinan last year told the new Business editor: "I just don't GET business news."

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that NewsAche missed a point. That is: Any reporter with any amount of subject matter knowledge has to work all the time to keep up. Good reporters are always in tune with their beat and yes, they do weekend work to be good at their craft.

What they are being told to do is to sacrifice their craft on distractions that they are not likely to good at covering.

Nope, this move won't make for a better paper or better stories... Yeap... It'll drive more of us to Google.

4:28 PM  

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