BANG asked to reconsider closing Walnut Creek office

City leaders in Walnut Creek are urging the Bay Area News Group to reconsider its plans to close the Contra Costa Times main office and printing presses in that city. The closure is part of a consolidation plan that will result in 120 layoffs throughout the East Bay (see below). “We were surprised to learn of the closure, and we certainly want to keep the Times here,” said Assistant City Manager Lorie Tinfow, according to a report in the Coco

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App encourages readers to take news photos

Instead of sending a photographer out to shoot a news event, why not ask a reader who happens to be on the scene to take the pictures with their smartphone and email them to the newsroom? That’s the idea behind a new photojournalism application called TapIn. TapIn is the product of a Silicon Valley startup called Tackable whose founders include Luke Stangel, formerly a reporter with the Palo Alto Daily News and KLIV 1590. The San Jose Mercury News offices

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Kevin Keane, Pete Wevurski out at BANG

Big changes at MediaNews Group’s newspapers in the Bay Area. Their newsrooms will be consolidated under one management structure, as described in the memo below from Publisher Mac Tully. As part of the changes, Contra Costa Times editor Kevin Keane and managing editor Pete Wevurski are gone, and Burt Robinson managing editor-print, and will supervise the operation from his office in San Jose. From: Tully, Mac  Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:15 AM  To: &SSC ALL; &EB All; &MN All 

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BANG gets a chief revenue officer

DeBalko Jeff DeBalko, president of Reed Business Information’s Business Media Division, has been named to the newly created position of senior vice president/chief revenue officer of the Bay Area News Group, publisher of the Mercury News and several other dailies. At Reed, the 47-year-old DeBalko oversees about 40 trade publications such as the Hollywood publication Variety. He’s credited with transitioning Reed from a print-centric company to a digital b-to-b publisher. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing management from the California State

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Merc, BANG-EB Guild members OK new contracts

Guild members at the San Jose Mercury News and the Bay Area News Group-East Bay that call for five unpaid furlough days in the next five months in exchange for no layoffs during that time period, according to a statement from the union. The vote at the Merc was 61 to 47. In the East Bay was 33 to 16. According to the Guild, the contracts also call for a freeze on vacation accruals and “new terms for consolidating editorial

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Workers ratify BANG-East Bay contract

Newsroom employees at the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune and other MediaNews Group papers that are part of BANG-EB have ratified a contract that sets a minimum $18.75/hour ($39,000 a year) wage for reporters, copy editors, photographers and Internet content providers. The contract will apply to about 180 employees. The Guild’s Web site said the vote was 57 in favor, 2 opposed, in ballots cast during ratification meetings held in Walnut Creek and in Oakland. The tally did not include

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No pay cuts in East Bay contract

The 44-page proposed contract between the Guild and EB-BANG has been posted online by the union. It says (on page 22) that the company can’t cut wages until October at the earliest, providing some measure of security for the 180 employees covered under the contract. Union members at the Mercury News, which like EB-BANG is a MediaNews operation, are voting Monday on a proposed contract that will reduce wages by 9 percent over the next seven months. The Merc’s pay

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Guild ‘disappointed’ in BANG-EB talks

“[M]anagement bargainers showed little interest in moving the last steps toward a reasonable compromise on critical issues concerning economics and our ability to negotiate any changes in terms,” Guild negotiators said on their Web site after Wednesday’s negotiating session with MediaNews management. “… We are working through a federal mediator to bring the issues to a close very soon. In hopes of bridging these final gaps, the two sides have agreed to meet May 12.”

Guild reports ‘significant progress’ in East Bay

“We have not yet reached our goal of a comprehensive labor agreement, which will be subject to a ratification vote by our membership,” the Guild says in a bulletin to members. “But discussions between the BANG-EB bargaining committee and management resolved a number of critical areas, including severance, management rights, overtime provisions, flexible schedules and subcontracting.” No details were given. The Guild also says talks were scheduled to take place at the Mercury News on Monday (April 20) and Tuesday

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