Tag Archives: Birmingham News

EXCLUSIVE: Birmingham News cuts salaries through 2010, eliminates most part-time positions

Most part-time positions eliminated; furloughs ended

Media of Birmingham learned through Twitter that the Birmingham News is cutting salaries. Our newsroom sources indicate that salaries will be cut 5 to 8 percent, based on salary level, through 2010.

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Also, the News has offered voluntary buyouts to employees with five or more years experience. The newspaper offered its first ever round of buyouts in 2008 and started mandatory furloughs and a benefits freeze in March.

The News has ended its furloughs.

In addition, the News is cutting most part-time positions in the coming months. No word on how many positions will be affected.

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Lastly, it appears that the News is dropping internships, too, according to a Twitter update from University of Georgia student Daniel Shirey.

The budget cuts come at an odd time: While print and online readership are both up for the Birmingham News, advertising remains down.

Also: Kyle Whitmire at the Birmingham Weekly has more specifics on the salary cuts. The Weekly is also reporting that the Birmingham News will close suburban bureaus by the end of summer.

Update: Publisher Victor Hanson III says, “It is imperative that we maintain a robust, independent voice for news and commentary in Birmingham, as well as an effective vehicle for our advertisers.” (Birmingham News: “Birmingham News announces employee pay cuts”)

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Also, Anniston-based Consolidated Publishing cut salaries 10 percent today for all employees at all of its newspapers, including the Anniston Star, (Talladega) Daily Home and the Jacksonville News. The news comes from a series of tweets by Daily Home reporter Katherine Poythress.

The Star laid off 15 employees in November.

Birmingham News cuts costs with 2-week unpaid leave, benefits freeze

The Birmingham News is cutting costs to battle the tough economy. Full-time non-union employees will take 10-day unpaid leave. Also, the newspaper will freeze benefit accruals in the pension plan starting May 15, though it will double 401(k) company matching.

Publisher Victor Hanson III cited declining advertising as the problem. In 2008, the News reduced staff with voluntary buyouts and early retirements.

Also:

Lipstick magazine folds – exclusive report

Lipstick magazine - Birmingham, Alabama

Lipstick magazine, a specialty publication of the Birmingham News, has folded. Staffers were laid off and had their last day Friday, including editor in chief Tina Hatch.

The monthly women’s magazine began in 2007 and ran for 16 issues. The March issue will be the last one.

Cottage Living, a title at Birmingham-based Southern Progress Corporation, closed in November.

Birmingham News cutting back

Birmingham News

Birmingham News

Also: Newhouse shutting down wire service

Some are calling 2008 the worst year ever for newspapers, citing declines in ad revenues.

Like many newspapers this year, the Birmingham News is trimming its operations by offering buyouts and early retirement to employees:

The Birmingham News Co. is offering voluntary buyouts or early retirement to a limited number of employees, Publisher Victor Hanson III said Friday. The issue is revenue, not readership, Hanson stressed. “Our readership is as high as it has been since 2004, and our online home at al.com is the most-visited local Web site in Alabama,” he said. The number of buyouts will depend on how many employees accept the offer, he said, but it will be limited by department and job category to protect the essential missions of the newspaper to inform and serve the community.

Meanwhile, Newhouse News Service is shutting down after Election Day.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Newhouse News Service, a supplemental wire service founded in 1961, will close on Nov. 7, after the election.

The news service is also the Washington bureau of Advance Publications Inc. of New York, which owns 26 daily newspapers.

“The decision to close followed the direction of our clients, the editors of our papers,” said Linda Fibich, editor and Washington bureau chief. “They felt they could not afford to pay for a central Washington bureau at a time when they were steering all available resources to local coverage back at home.”

The news service has 24 employees. Of those, 11 are reporters who write for specific newspapers and “are being offered opportunities to join the staffs of those newspapers,” Fibich said. “Whether the individual papers maintain a presence in Washington is up to each individual paper.”

Advance Publications owns both the wire service and the Birmingham News. Fortunately, Washington correspondent Mary Orndorff will continue her beat for the News, even as NNS folds.

Clarke Stallworth, longtime Alabama newspaperman, dies at 82

[We feel fortunate to have known Clarke, to have worked with him, and to have been coached by him, and we miss him dearly. Also, be sure to see his Web site, clarkestallworth.com.]

Clarke Jackson Stallworth Jr.

Clarke Stallworth

STALLWORTH, CLARKE JACKSON, JR., age 82, of Birmingham, passed away on June 27, 2008. He was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy serving in the V-12 Program during World War II and in the Pacific on the U.S.S. Walker DDE during the Korean War.

He is survived his wife, Anne Nall Stallworth; daughter, Carole Anne Bennighof; son, Clarke Jackson Stallworth, III; three grandchildren, Alice Anne Bennighof, Henry Bennighof, and Anton Bennighof; sister, Madelynne Thomas of Thomaston, AL; and a host of nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held on July 2, 2008 at 11 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church followed by interment in Elmwood Cemetery. Honorary pallbearers will be Clarke Jackson Stallworth, III, W. Michael Atchison, Howell Raines, Gaines Thomas, Brooks Thomas, and Michael Bennighof. Ridout’s Southside Chapel is directing.

Published in The Birmingham News on 7/1/2008.

Longer tribute, after the jump …

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