Wednesday, August 31, 2016

First Record pink slips reportedly will be issued on Oct. 15

The Record is reporting a proposal to move the USS Ling to Paterson presents cost and engineering challenges, but not that the World War II-era sub is stuck in the mud of the Hackensack River and listing, as this photo from April shows.


Gannett, which has owned The Record for less than two months, will be issuing pink slips to copy editors, page designers and other so-called production workers on Oct. 15, a New York tabloid says.

Those employees were summoned to an Aug. 22 meeting and told production would be moved from Woodland Park to Neptune, where six other Gannett dailies are put out, Keith J. Kelly of the New York Post reported.

Gannett paid the Borg family "an estimated $40 million for the 121-year-old paper and sister titles and websites," says Kelly, the first reporter to disclose the selling price.

The Borgs held onto about 20 acres along River Street in Hackensack, where The Record was headquartered until 2009, and the land may fetch $20 million to $30 million when sold to an apartment developer.

Kelly says Gannett executives told copy editors, designers and other production workers they would have to apply for new jobs -- the same process former Publisher Stephen A. Borg used during a major newsroom downsizing in 2008.

"They will learn on Oct. 15 if they have jobs," Kelly reported on Saturday. "No word on how many will be getting pink slips."

One of those who is expected to go is six-figure Production Editor Liz Houlton, who earned the title of "Queen of Errors" when she ran the features copy desk.

Kelly's story has reporters and other newsroom staffers anxiously wondering when the Gannett ax will fall on them.

The Record lost four veteran copy editors in the 2008 downsizing, as well as the co-supervisor of the copy desk who single-handedly upheld standards of accuracy, grammar and news writing.

See: Borgs take money and run

Today's paper

For the second day in a row, Governor Christie's conservative policies dominate Page 1 -- this time his explanation for why he vetoed, as expected, raising New Jersey's minimum wage to $15 by 2021 (A-1).

And for the second day in a row, State House Bureau reporter Dustin Racioppi turns out another slanted report, calling the proposal "a Democratic effort to join the nascent but politically divisive effort to mandate increased pay for entry and lower-level workers."

(Yes. The clunky, wordy first paragraph actually includes the word "effort" twice.)

Why is Racioppi politicizing the minimum-wage hike rather than reporting Christie's veto is a rebuke to tens of thousands low-wage workers in the state, including Walmart employees who are paid so little they have to apply for food stamps to feed their families?

More politics

And an editorial criticizing Democrats also supports Christie (A-8).

The editorial notes Democrats plan to put a constitutional amendment on the 2017 ballot, but urges them to try to override the veto instead.

But amending the constitution worked in 2013, when the minimum wage was raised to $8.25 an hour and tied to inflation, and will likely work again -- most voters are in favor of a higher minimum wage, and two other states already have enacted it.

Stuck with Christie?

Despite Gannett's purchase of The Record, reporters, columnists and editorial writers continue to side with the GOP bully, despite his more than 500 vetoes and his endorsement of wacko racist Donald J. Trump for president.

Yet months ago, six other New Jersey dailies owned by Gannett, as well as The Star-Ledger, called on him to resign.

The Record is alone is refusing to do so, and hasn't even reported those calls for Christie's resignation. 

USS Ling

"The Ling is looking to move from its location beside the Hackensack River on property slated for redevelopment by the former owner[s] of The Record," according to today's Local front.

But Paterson Press reporter Joe Malinconico forgot to call the Borgs, the former owners, and ask them why they don't help finance the move (L-1).

After all, they are cash rich after reaping $40 million from the sale of The Record, and are expecting another huge windfall from sale of the land along River Street in Hackensack where the sub is stuck in the mud.

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