Thursday, August 1, 2013

Plain Dealer Staff Gathers at Market Garden Following Newsroom Massacre

Posted By on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 10:06 AM

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Yesterday, more than 50 newsroom employees were laid off from The Plain Dealer, cutting the total staff by one-third.

As the day rolled onward and employees posted their fates to social media accounts, talk turned into more of a tally of those left in the newsroom and those looking toward a different future. Among the laid-off: Harlan Spector, John Mangels, Regina Brett and Margaret Bernstein (all voluntarily). About half of the laid-off employees opted out of employment on their own.

Spector offered this illuminating quote after an early evening rally outside the newsroom: “I’ve been doing this a long time...I never thought I’d leave the business. But the way things are going here, I didn’t think I’d get to practice journalism the way I and many others have practiced it.”

The journalists - laid-off and retained - gathered at Market Garden Brewery last night to drown sorrows and toast the unknown future. As of 8 p.m., nearly $4,000 In all, $4,933 was phoned in from across the country to bulk up the bar tab. That includes a donation from Norway.

Also rounding out yesterday's events, employees at Sun News, the corporate sibling of The Plain Dealer, met one-on-one with a human resources representative to learn what the future held. Half the newsroom was laid off, while the remaining employees were told to report to various new jobs at the Northeast Ohio Media Group. As of Thursday morning, the retained employees maintained that they were largely unsure of what specific duties they were picking up.

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