MediaNews has been widely expected to eliminate a number of jobs at its papers in Northern California in the next few days, and the cuts began yesterday.

Ron Rhea, Vallejo Times-Herald publisher since 1997, and Wolf Rosenberg, publisher of the Chico Enterprise Record for nearly 10 years, left the company on Thursday. Gregg McConnell, the publisher of newspapers in Vacaville and Woodland, will become publisher in Chico, Oroville and Vallejo.

    UPDATE, 5 P.M. FRIDAY: The AP says Steve Rossi, CEO of the California Newspapers Partnership, a subsidiary of MediaNews, would not specify if Rosenberg and Rhea were fired, laid off or chose to leave.

Each paper printed an upbeat story Friday describing the changes. For instance, the Chico paper said McConnell was excited about the opportunity to work in Chico. “It’s a great community and a great newspaper.” Here’s the Vallejo Times-Herald story and the Woodland Daily Democrat piece.

MediaNews is expected to make more cuts in the Bay Area within days. If you have any information about them, please e-mail us at sfpen-pressclub@sbcglobal.net. As always, we won’t publish your name or other identifying information unless you specifically say it’s OK.

SF Press Club News

9 Comments

  1. The cuts this time were of non newsroom people including accounting, circulation and sales. You’d think that with sales declining it would make sense to have more sales people on the streets, knocking on doors of potential accounts. But it’s pretty rare to find reps for MediaNews papers actually on the streets, talking to clients. They prefer to wait for the phone to ring and take orders. I know Dean and his executives talk about being agressive sales people, but that has never filtered down to the rep level.

  2. Why the cuts? If I remember correctly, many newspapers are profitable. It’s just that they’re not making the 20 percent to 30 percent profits anymore.
    As for Dean Singleton, his problem is buying so many newspapers and trying not to default on the loan. So the only way to go is to cut jobs every which way without thought to not only the news content but also the loss of livelihood for many people.

  3. Did you see that the PA Daily News, which would never spend a dime on personnel or anything to improve the paper’s local coverage, is sending Victor Gonzalez to Washington to cover Obama’s inauguration? Talk about an act of desperation.

  4. Has anyone read Singleton’s quote about having one news desk for all his papers and it may be offshore?
    Is this coming from the chairman of Associated Press?
    My job went to India and I was laid off months ago.

  5. They were laid off as a cost saving measure. Wolf and Ron were great guys, but not exactly true operators. its keeping stronger people in the mix and make room for cost savings

  6. Add to your list Michael Gelbman, general manager of the Palo Alto Daily News group, who got the ax a couple of weeks ago.

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