By Steven T. Jones
Sources at the San Francisco Chronicle say that Editor Phil Bronstein and Hearst Corp. executives yesterday convened an hour-long emergency meeting at the paper to warn that more layoffs and other cost-cutting measures are on the way. They provided Chronicle staffers with few details, except to say that all temporary employees would be terminated at the end of the current pay period. Employees were simply told that the paper would be getting smaller and that more details on what that means would be coming in the near future.
Employee morale at the paper isn't high right now, with this new round of cutbacks following a major staff reduction in 2005 (done primary through optional buyouts), new labor union contracts approved last year that significantly eroded employee rights and essentially broke the Pressman's Union, an unseemly partnership between Hearst Corp. and competitor MediaNews, and the Chronicle's recent decision to include advertising on the front of its Bay Area section and occasionally even on its front page.
We'll have more on this unfolding story as it develops.