Sunday, November 18, 2007

Doing less with less

A bullet has been fired at the Enquirer newsroom. It comes as USA Today said it will eliminate 45 newsroom positions, 9 percent of its newsroom. Enquirer Publisher Margaret Buchanan has give the newsroom a Hobson's choice: Eliminate either eight newsroom positions, or find a way to save $500,000 from the newsroom budget for 2008.

Sounds like something from one of the Saw movies. It appears that the bulk of the savings will come from the elimination of the Friday Life section, which will be folded into the Weekend section, which itself will be shrunk by a reduction in the size of the calendar.

I can see it now: Buchanan yells at Tom Callinan that the newsroom has to do more with less. Callinan puts on that hangdog look, the one you get when your glass of Beefeater's is empty and you realize Gannett stock is below $40 a share and retirement is that much further off, and he tells Hollis that he has to do more with less. Hollis will call everyone into a meeting and bellow at people and pound the table that they have to do more with less.

You can't do more with less. You can only do less with less. Killing Friday Life and folding it into Weekend will allow the Enquirer editors to say they're giving readers the same with less. But it's just less. Eight newsroom employees may have dodged the bullet. It zinged right past them, and hit the readers, who will still pay 50 cents for a smaller product.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Joe Nuxhall dies

Every newspaper must anticipate the deaths of famous and infamous local people, so I'm sure the Enquirer has files prepared on people like Carl Lindner and Bobbie Sterne. Joe Nuxhall died too late last evening to make this morning's paper, so the Enquirer is serving up its coverage on the web. Here's what the Enquirer web site has prepared for Joe Nuxhall: Life of a Legend. This is a shoddy little piece of Flash that seems fixated on presidential inaugurations and wars and major moments in Reds history, but not on Joe. There isn't a single Nuxhall-related entry for the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. There's a 1967 entry for Joe's move to the broadcast booth, and Joe isn't mentioned again in his own "life" until 2002, when it's noted he suffered a heart attack. We'll miss Joe, and let's hope the coverage improves.