Remember that time in February when Bart Blatstein was kind of-sort of-maybe going to purchase several newspapers and run them under the name Philly Hometown Media L.L.C.? Well, according to CBS.com, the Daily News, philly.com, and the Philadelphia Inquirer are still in fairly dire financial straights. However, this time it’s Newspaper CEO Bob Hall who appears to be doing the negotiating (or lack thereof, there’s a lot going on here).
Essentially, these guys are a mess. Revenues for parent company Interstate General Media are already down $16 this year, according to an e-mail Hall sent to his employees. Furthermore, “changes in the structure of the entire company are coming” (brace yourselves) and nine of ten unions have contracts that expire October 8th. The exception is the Newspaper Guild, which represents editorial staff, and whose contract is set to expire next year.
Things get a little wacky now that Hall and union representatives are beginning to operate like a bad comedy duo. Every time Hall tries to confirm that unions will both make concessions during contract negotiations and be “understanding” of the company’s financial situation (present and future), union reps-such as John Lagaie, President of Teamsters Local 628, which respresents newspaper drivers/dispatchers–make it clear that they will be open….to discuss…something. Maybe their contracts, possibly their content. After all, no formal talks between Lagaie’s union (at least) and management have begun, and recent e-mail from union leadership to Newspaper Guild members indicated that the union would “refuse” to discuss concessions in the current contract.
So basically, things are not going well (or going at all?). This is why Philebrity deals strictly in unpaid interns.