Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Star Tribune sale

The not so big news, but the most exciting thing in my world today is the fact that I am flying home today for my New Years vacation. I think we are also going to do a few hours worth of tourist stuff in Philadelphia today too.

The big news in my world (besides Former President Gerald Ford dying) is the sale of the Star Tribune. The surprise of the sale was something even the executive officers of the company acknowledged yesterday.

It was a surprise mainly because when McClatchy decided to buy Knight Ridder, they assured employees of the Star Tribune that it was the one paper that was safe because the Strib was its "flagship paper." There was a lot of consternation about what would happen when McClatchy spent all its cash buying KR, but the one thing Stribbers felt assured in was that at least our paper would be in the same chain, whatever other changes may come down the line.

Perhaps the sale shouldn't have been a surprise. Perhaps the jumping ship that editor Anders Gyllenhaal did last week (to take a job at McClatchy's Miami paper) should have been an indicator of major changes ahead.

All that aside, the biggest concern right now is, what next? I feel that it has been the trend that, following the sale of a newspaper, layoffs or buyouts (in the case of companies with unions, including the Star Tribune) occur. Between us, I think there is some need to weed out a few people in the Star Tribune newsroom, who really don't produce much work, while others are working their tails off, but I think those positions need to be replaced with people who do work hard, not less staff. And I am concerned about prior cuts to the night desk, especially design positions, that have not been filled. The designers are STILL working doubly hard, with no relief in sight just yet. They keep losing people but not filling the positions, so the cuts by attrition there have been ginormous.

I could take time to write about problems in the newspaper industry in general, but then I would be writing about things I don't understand fully (not that that is much different than my job, but at least there I have someone else who analyzes things and I just write about it!)

Anyway, its a big time of uncertainty and I wish my former colleagues and friends the best. I am also a little sad for me because I always planned to return to the Star Tribune someday. I hope I still have a quality paper to return to.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

mail service?

My mail sucks. Last month I got a birthday card a month late--despite it being sent a month earlier. My Netflix movies are constantly three days late, which means sometimes that, despite being signed up for three a month, I have ZERO netflix movies in my posession. Annoying. Today was the worst: A bill that was due last Friday came on Monday. This was for my health insurance, something I would like to stay. Luckily, my health insurance has a 30-day grace period (that's a really long time...) so I am okay with that.

Someone suggested I get a P.O. Box. I guess I am down the street from the post office, but the idea of driving to get my mail seems odd. Plus, who knows if my P.O. Box would be any faster. It seems that maybe the mail takes a long time just getting out to Manahawkin...