For Hearst -30- Cuts May Not Be End Of Story, Buyouts And Layoffs Announced By CT Post Parent

Hearst Connecticut Media that occupies the largest digital footprint in the state including the Connecticut Post is undergoing some growing pains trimming its combined 200-strong editorial staff by roughly 15 percent via buyouts and layoffs. Among the 30 or so veteran journalists departing for buyouts soon doyen Connecticut Post Editorial Page editor Michael Daly and genial reporter John Burgeson.

Hearst has emerged as the largest news presence in Connecticut with daily papers from New Haven along the shore all the way to Greenwich and 20 weeklies. These days print publications are an afterthought–the combined print circulation of its eight dailies just about 60,000–the digital operation of its online news sites is the new revolution. Advertising departments push the digital and give away print ads as part of a package.

Many print publications and the associated expenses have gone the way of the 8-track player giving way to growth in digital. It’s the reinvention of news organizations.

Kristen Hare, who reports for Poynter, journalism news industry leader, writes:

The company announced a buyout offer Oct. 2. It ran through Oct. 9. Here’s part of the memo Poynter obtained from Paul Barbetta, president and group publisher:

“… Our overarching goal continues to be to provide the most relevant state and local content to our readers in Connecticut. While change can be unsettling, we believe moving our newsroom forward is essential to keeping our organization strong for the years to come … .”

On the afternoon of Oct. 26, according to an internal email, Barbetta and Matt DeRienzo, vice president of news and digital, held a call and meeting with remaining staff

DeRienzo, who recently came to the job from Local Independent Online Publishers, spoke with Poynter last month about why he was returning to newspapers.

When the buyouts were offered based on years of service some veteran staffers jumped at the lump sums while others unable to pack it in financially balked. That led to layoffs going out but this can be tricky stuff legally so those severance agreements could align more closely to buyouts to avoid lawsuits from sexagenarians.

Hearst also recently entered into a content partnership with the nonprofit news site Connecticut Mirror that focuses on government and politics.

DeRienzo, for one, is noodling ways to beef up the Connecticut Post’s Bridgeport coverage. It’s befuddling that the newspaper covering the state’s largest city has just one full-time writer on the beat, but that may change soon as the new man in charge of news and digital examines deployment options.

–30– is used by old-time scribes to signify the end of a story. Perhaps it’s not the end for some of them. Take the buyout, enjoy the windfall, and stay on as a part-time columnist.

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20 comments

  1. Maybe The Connecticut Post should bo back to being The Bridgeport Post. The compromise that was called “The Connecticut Post” does not work today as the thought was when the name was change from “Bridgeport” to Connecticut. There is enough news in the Greater BPT and FFLD/New Haven County that can be covered by a new and exciting “Bridgeport Post.” Lennie,what do you think? You are a journalist but also a business person running a news blog. I’m serious. What do you think?

    1. The Connecticut Post brand has existed for more than 25 years now. Norwalk is the new mothership location of Hearst Connecticut’s business operations. The Post building at 410 State Street was sold off. Bridgeport editorial has a small presence on Broad Street Downtown. Reverting back to “Bridgeport Post” as a business matter won’t happen. The best to hope for is beefed up Bridgeport coverage.

  2. Is this the clown who wanted to hear from the community but apparently had his mind made up.
    Just like Ganim and the Chief of Police. “We really want to hear what the public thinks so we wil give a weak by invitation effort before we tell them what we will do. Damn shame. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.”

  3. They are losing business just like CNN, MSNBC , NYT etc… They are ultra left liberal media sources that people do not trust anymore. They should be more down the middle. On another note, I don’t know why the netwroks allow Fox News to have such a stranglehold on the news. Other media sources should try and be more conservative and steal market share away from them

    1. This is more left wing BS, Fox News is not taking left wing liberals from CNN, MSNBC or the NYT, left wing online media sources like Huffington post and other maybe. Besides there’s not tether to the remote to Fox News. Fox News is like the Washington General every once in awhile they call out there “right wing” bull shit, CNN never. 🙂 http://www.cc.com/video-clips/psmw09/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-the-war-on-christmas–friendly-fire-edition

      1. My point is that liberal media is losing business… Fox News is the only conservative channel. A smart business move would be to tap into Fox’s market share by being more centered in their news reporting.. but we know that will never happen. Burger KIng took away from MacDonald’s, Pepsi from Coke etc.. No one can take away Fox’s stronghold on conservative media.

        1. Your point is off base though. Fox news is the only conservative channel. So of course, they are going to have higher ratings than the other Liberal networks. If Burger King just built one Burger King instead of one next to every McDonald’s, they too will not have a larger impact on McDonald’s share of the market. The Conservatives dominates the radio. The Liberal tried to make a move in the radio market but fail miserably. You are asking Liberals to change their platform, their ideology, Godless, socialism, borderline anti-American. And a lot of their Liberal views are losing Democrats voters. Hey that’s Democracy. We have issues in the police department across American, but they, liberals, don’t offer up solutions like DEMANDING body cameras, knowing they will reduce unnecessary use of force in cops making arrests and hold the departments accountable for their actions because of the evidence. I mean it won’t reduce crimes but how cops make arrests and do their job. Well reduce crimes committed by cops, I mean assault is assault and its crime people.
          No, they, Liberals wait for some incident caught on someone’s phone or like what happen to Jayson here and other incidents. Having to give the cops the benefit of the doubt doesn’t absolve them of their actions. What happened to Jayson was preventable, there isn’t an honest soul in the department that doesn’t know that is true. This rookie cop got out of his car and ran up the car Jayson was driving. The car had to be stopped when he got out of his patrol car, unless he planned on chasing it down on feet, that car was stopped. Within a few seconds one kid was killed and one shoot by this office. The adrenaline got the better off of him, and what he did was reckless, stupid it. It endangered himself, everybody involved and innocent bystanders because bullets like to keep going until the hit something. In part, it was because of the department itself, they trained him, or lack of. I heard and continue to hear a lot about this and sad to say it’s all about white and black. No one on either side, the department, well they know, and the Liberal groups well, they aren’t looking to solve a problem by demanding cams because they will lose their race bait issue because of the transparency, and our politicians well if it can help them with their base, fix it unless their hands are forced. If it was a black cop, like the black dude who was assaulted in a Starbucks for having a MAGA hat. the liberals wouldn’t use it for their platform. but two black dudes arrested for loitering, at the wishes of the manager of a business, well you can cast your own opinion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pW_FXjbt6wY

          1. PS Do not miss understand, This doesn’t mean I’m not about “NATIONALISM”. If it’s in shrine in America’s Declaration of Independent. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

            LIFE. Health Care. Medicare for all. Oh wait we have that you just have to wait until you reach the age of 65. I think it’s time to eliminate the age requirement. for our national health care system.

            LIBERTY: Freedom, Military, Laws.

            PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Please remember one’s happiness can be another’s misery. So keep that shit in check people.

            Bam I’m out 🙂

          2. misunderstand
            National health care insurance, not health care, per se

            🙂 now I’m out 🙂

          3. Did I? Correct me if I’m wrong, Liberals need to be centrist. More pro American. 🙂 but that’s not who they are or want.

    2. This is why the main stream is somewhat not trusted. Two MAGA hat incidents. White teens assaulted by a non-white because of his MAGA hat. It was all over the news and even spun by some news outlets as white racist kids making racial jokes. Like Trump supporters applauding him when he said to punching a protester in the face at one of his rallies. It has it value for the left. But the second one where a black man was assaulted by a white man for his MAGA hat. You could only found it on Fox News and social media. CNN and other left leaning outlets would cover for weeks a black people having the cops called on them for trivial reason by a white person but if that black person, who is a Trump support, forget about it. I don’t know what’s sadder. The struggle for blacks rights to vote or the outcast they face if they exercise their liberties to vote Republican. It’s like we are fighting for your right to vote but only if you vote the why I want. SMHhttps://www.google.com/search?q=Man+Rips+Teen%27s+%27Make+America+Great+Again%27+Hat+Off+Head,+Throws+Soda+On+Him&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS798US798&source=lnms&tbm=vid&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiLhfiB3bjeAhXIrFMKHVBYD8QQ_AUIFigE&biw=1258&bih=873

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcEGvYL7JFU

    3. PS that incident with the black dude and his MAGA hat happen in Starbucks. Hell, You know that place where you go for coffee, and there was an out cry because two black dudes didn’t want to buy something and were ask to leave but refused. So the cop where called, and the cops were condemned for doing there job because they where white, and the company shut down for “racial training”. Good luck people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypFGaW4eXj0

  4. Matt DeReinzo, et al,
    One activity that I have pursued and enjoyed in the Bridgeport community is to serve as mentor, volunteer, advocate for youth. For School Volunteer Association with public school youth up to eighth grade it generally meant finding 45-60 minutes per week to meet with a youth who was open to such a meeting.
    Some years ago I started bringing in the CTPost to review what a newspaper offered. I never found these young people familiar with what a daily newspaper offered. It was just that basic. Something that was part of my youth and adult life was unknown to many City youth today. What does that bode for critical reading skills, and understanding of factual research as opposed to the fictional or fake news slant of today? And the Post has cut down on space allocated to Letters to Editor in last couple years. This thinning down, a diet of disengagement, is not healthy for a source’s strength. Finally, multiple attempts at reaching “higher ups” in Post publishing hierarchy has been a total waste of time. They must have been too busy expanding geographically while consolidating issue content to the current emaciated look. Time will tell.

  5. Just when the need for journalistic “checks” on Connecticut political activity is at a critical juncture — especially in terms of keeping the urban populace informed of local, regional, and state-level decision-making affecting the sickly, fragile socioeconomic status of our distressed cities — the Hearst organization decides to fully shed its elitist camouflage and further curtail its meager presence and coverage in what should be their Connecticut flagship city (by all objective-minded, modern journalistic logic…)

    Indeed, it is clear that the Hearst organization is an elitist, social-engineering (regressive) organization.

    The message to the larger journalistic community is clear. There is a large, urban, potentially-lucrative market to fill that has been deliberately created by the Hearst organization for reasons that must be considered journalistically suspect and possibly nefarious. This huge journalistic-/market-vacuum can, and should be filled by the eminently capable communications/journalistic expertise that has been left in search of an appropriate niche by the vicissitudes of the news media industry during the past decade of furious Internet expansion and domination of the communications options…

    Hearst is in need of a reality check. Their perceptions of their media dominance and journalistic options are way-off compass. They need to be informed and chastised of their effrontery to the public by being given a real “run for their money” in the Bridgeport region (literally — and literarily) by a potent, right-minded, journalistic competition… I truly hope that all Hearst-publication subscriptions begin a precipitous drop until such time as Hearst makes the decision to return to their dutiful function of service to the common good of society for which a special, protective amendment was created in the US Constitution to direct and protect such service/mission of the US Fourth Estate…

    In the mean-time; shame on the Hearst organization and the misdirection of their journalistic power and insensitivity toward their journalistic responsibility.

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