July 31, 2009

Final Sun Newspapers out in Ohio; staff down to 34

Advance Publications will cut staff to 34 and eliminate 11 of 22 weekly Sun Newspapers in northern Ohio as a previously announced consolidation .that includes shifting some work to its Cleveland Plain Dealer continues.

The last edition of 11 newspapers in the weekly chain appeared on newsstands for the last time July 30. Ideastream, facing its own layoffs, reported readers in Euclid, Bedford, Maple Heights/Garfield, Twinsburg, and Nordonia Heights will no longer get any Sun newspaper.

NewsNet5 reported the remaining newspapers will expand their coverage boundaries to include the other six communities losing their newspapers.

The Cleveland Scene reported "Sun CEO Keith Mathis filed paperwork with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services projecting the elimination of 115 jobs, including 30 reporters, 26 sales reps, three photographers, and dozens of support staff and skill positions."

The Cleveland Plain Dealer will take over accounting, payroll and retail duties and deliver Sun papers to homes, the Scene reported.

Online, the newspapers published a few farewells, including:
"Journalism has come a long way since I first picked up a reporter's notebook. I was the first woman editor of an Air Force newspaper. Right now, I'm looking at a newsroom where the executive editor is a woman, three women are line editors, my assistant editor is a woman and every reporter on my staff, except for the sports writer, is a woman."

She was one of 11 editors; the reorganization calls for four editors and four assistant editors, according to the Cleveland Scene.
  • The Reward was worth the risk for Jarrod Zickefoose, who is moving to a new assignment and ends seven years of column writing that began reluctantly.
  • Mary Jane Skala says Thanks for 20 years of memories. She'll continue writing a column, but first "I'm going to throw my sleeping bag in my car and head West. As I gaze at the stars and raft a river or two, I'll reflect on 20 years of editing these papers, a job I've loved. "
  • Remarkable Ronda (Armstrong) tells us in This chapter is ending, but another beginning. that she will "move forward with the mission of my organization, the Morning Glory Literary Society -- taking the transformational power of writing into prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, drug treatment centers -- any and everywhere people are suffering in order to help them find peace, healing and balance."
The first ever front page of Garfield-Maple Heights Sun is published.
Sun Newspapers will publish under 11 mastheads when the reorganization plan is complete, according to a post on cleveland.com

The Cleveland Scene also reported that enough employees accepted a severance package so no layoffs were necessary.

You can learn more in a post I wrote: Inside Out (mcwflint): 'Nifty content' not enough so Advance Publications closing weekly newspapers in Ohio


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