The Plain Dealer newsroom was given more reason to worry when PD Publisher Terry Egger recently announced that he will retire January 1, 2013.
Egger addressed some of the concerns — read: admitting changes are coming in the coming few months and trying to assuage the stress in the short term and soliciting staff questions— in a memo sent to staff today. Below, his full comments.
I’d like to discuss our plans for the future of The Plain Dealer.
As you know, Advance markets in Michigan, Alabama, New Orleans and most recently in Harrisburg and Syracuse have launched — or are getting ready to launch — new digitally-focused companies.
While Advance has been developing, and refining, a digitally-focused approach over a number of years, it is the role of the local leadership team to design the best model to safeguard the future of their enterprise and preserve the quality of their journalism. We have to respond to the sweeping changes we see every day in how consumers are getting their news and information — and how advertisers are marketing themselves in this increasingly digital age.
In Cleveland, we face similar challenges. We also have significant opportunities to capitalize on the tremendous strengths of The Plain Dealer, Sun News and cleveland.com.
At this time, we do not have a specific plan, timeline, or structure for Cleveland. But we will — in the near future. That’s why we’re talking now.
This planning process will not be about simply cutting costs. It is a play to win — a bold bet to ensure our leadership in the market, uphold our journalistic standards, and continue our mission to serve the Northeastern Ohio community for years to come.
All local markets are different and we need to plan accordingly. A one-size-fits-all approach will not serve us well. I think you’ll agree that Cleveland is unique.
We know not having a specific plan and timeline adds stress and uncertainty for folks. But we must carefully evaluate the right way to proceed. We hope to have that plan finalized within the next several months — and when we do, we will tell you about it.
What should we all do now? Focus on the work in front of us and do the very best work we can.
I am available to answer questions as best I can and to discuss any issues with any of you at any time.