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MediaNews agrees to no-layoff contract

The Long Beach Press-Telegram’s unionized newsroom and circulation workers agreed Tuesday to a 30-month contract with Media News [link to story]. The contract gives affected employees a pledge of one year without layoffs and pay increases of 2 percent a year.

The union represents 47 employees, including reporters, photographers and columnists, as well as those who prepare the newspaper for delivery.

Meanwhile, union workers at Singleton’s flagship, The Denver Post, and the Denver Newspaper Agency (which handles sales and printing for both the Post and the soon-to-be-departed Rocky Mountain News) have agreed to reopen their contracts at the request of management, which wants to trim spending at the behest of bankers. Singleton, who essentially is in charge of the agency, wants $20 million in givebacks from the union, the Communications Workers of America, according to the Denver Business Journal.

There’s no word on when the Rocky Mountain News will close. Owner E.W. Scripps set a Jan. 16 deadline for offers to buy the paper. If none were submitted, Scripps would close the paper. Since Singleton had a first right of refusal and could reject anyone wanting to enter the JOA, nobody was expected to make an offer for the Rocky.

Scripps spokesman Tim King said Monday it would be several days before any announcement on the News is made.

“There won’t be an announcement for a while as we’ll spend the next several days working with our broker to evaluate where we are and determine next steps,” he said.

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