Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chronicle Update: Tentative Deal Reached

San Francisco might not be left without a major daily paper after all, if a tentative deal between the paper's owner and its largest union holds. As reported in today's Chronicle, the deal involves wage and benefit cuts, increased work hours, and a reduction in the work force of about 150.

As noted on The Commonwealth Club's blog here, paper owner Hearst was threatening to close or sell the paper if it couldn't get major concessions within a matter of weeks. Hearst also owns the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which is facing its own death spiral. Media observers had questioned whether San Francisco would earn the dubious distinction of becoming the first major city without a major daily newspaper. (San Francisco continues to have the free daily Examiner.)

The Chronicle notes that Hearst still has to negotiate with its other large union, the Teamsters.

In the meantime, you might want to check out the blog of Chronicle editor-at-large (and frequent Commonwealth Club event moderator) Phil Bronstein, who recently wrote about the messy newspaper industry. "The speed of technology has stunned a lot of people, along with quick-changing consumer habits. The economy sucks more than ever before in our lifetimes," Bronstein writes. "Even while slamming ourselves for being too complacent, we're also just shell-shocked by what's been happening."


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