Newspaper Workers Protest Job, Budget Cuts at Knight Ridder

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Communications Workers of America

    WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of The Newspaper Guild-
 Communications Workers of America who work at daily newspapers throughout the
 Knight Ridder chain today are protesting layoffs and editorial cutbacks that
 are being implemented to meet unreasonable profit goals, they say, at the
 expense of readers, employees and advertisers.
     The TNG-CWA members who work for Knight Ridder owned newspapers will hold
 solidarity actions at 11 K-R operations today, to show support for 10 workers
 at the Akron Beacon Journal who are set to receive layoff notices today as
 well as other Knight Ridder employees whose jobs are at risk.
     TNG-CWA President Linda Foley said newspaper workers share the concerns of
 Jay T. Harris, the highly regarded publisher of the San Jose Mercury News who
 resigned from the paper instead of carrying out devastating cuts in staff and
 expenses in order to reach K-R management's profit goals.
     "These kind of cutbacks hurt the quality of journalism," Foley said. For
 Knight Ridder's 32 newspapers, last year's profits totaled nearly 21 percent
 of gross sales of $3.2 billion, according to Securities and Exchange
 Commission reports, she noted.
     Industry analysts noted that newspaper profits rose last year even as
 their stock prices declined. While Knight Ridder expresses concern about a
 take-over threat, Foley pointed to newspaper experts who believe that
 maintaining quality journalism and accountability to communities is in the
 best interests of management, shareholders and readers.
     At the San Jose Mercury News, TNG-CWA members will hold a mass break,
 "Take 5 at 3," and will sign a petition supporting other workers at the paper
 who may be hit by layoffs. In Akron, workers will mark the layoffs at their
 newspaper by shutting down their computers at 5 p.m. -- the traditional end of
 the workday -- and stand in silence at their desks for five minutes.
 Throughout the K-R newspaper chain, workers will wear stickers and distribute
 leaflets that make the case that the layoffs are ill-advised and will hurt the
 quality of the newspapers.
     Workers at these newspapers also are participating in the solidarity
 actions: Philadelphia Inquirer; Philadelphia Daily News; Kansas City Star; St.
 Paul, Minn. Pioneer-Press; Duluth, Minn., News-Tribune; Monterrey, Cal.,
 Herald; Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader; and Detroit Free Press.
     Knight Ridder management has implemented budget and staffing cutbacks and
 hiring freezes at many of its publications, mainly to maintain profit margins
 for the parent company, TNG-CWA charged.
 
 

SOURCE Communications Workers of America
    WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of The Newspaper Guild-
 Communications Workers of America who work at daily newspapers throughout the
 Knight Ridder chain today are protesting layoffs and editorial cutbacks that
 are being implemented to meet unreasonable profit goals, they say, at the
 expense of readers, employees and advertisers.
     The TNG-CWA members who work for Knight Ridder owned newspapers will hold
 solidarity actions at 11 K-R operations today, to show support for 10 workers
 at the Akron Beacon Journal who are set to receive layoff notices today as
 well as other Knight Ridder employees whose jobs are at risk.
     TNG-CWA President Linda Foley said newspaper workers share the concerns of
 Jay T. Harris, the highly regarded publisher of the San Jose Mercury News who
 resigned from the paper instead of carrying out devastating cuts in staff and
 expenses in order to reach K-R management's profit goals.
     "These kind of cutbacks hurt the quality of journalism," Foley said. For
 Knight Ridder's 32 newspapers, last year's profits totaled nearly 21 percent
 of gross sales of $3.2 billion, according to Securities and Exchange
 Commission reports, she noted.
     Industry analysts noted that newspaper profits rose last year even as
 their stock prices declined. While Knight Ridder expresses concern about a
 take-over threat, Foley pointed to newspaper experts who believe that
 maintaining quality journalism and accountability to communities is in the
 best interests of management, shareholders and readers.
     At the San Jose Mercury News, TNG-CWA members will hold a mass break,
 "Take 5 at 3," and will sign a petition supporting other workers at the paper
 who may be hit by layoffs. In Akron, workers will mark the layoffs at their
 newspaper by shutting down their computers at 5 p.m. -- the traditional end of
 the workday -- and stand in silence at their desks for five minutes.
 Throughout the K-R newspaper chain, workers will wear stickers and distribute
 leaflets that make the case that the layoffs are ill-advised and will hurt the
 quality of the newspapers.
     Workers at these newspapers also are participating in the solidarity
 actions: Philadelphia Inquirer; Philadelphia Daily News; Kansas City Star; St.
 Paul, Minn. Pioneer-Press; Duluth, Minn., News-Tribune; Monterrey, Cal.,
 Herald; Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader; and Detroit Free Press.
     Knight Ridder management has implemented budget and staffing cutbacks and
 hiring freezes at many of its publications, mainly to maintain profit margins
 for the parent company, TNG-CWA charged.
 
 SOURCE  Communications Workers of America