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Brattleboro Reformer (VT)....are pro-union folks being fired?

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-04 11:18 PM
Original message
Brattleboro Reformer (VT)....are pro-union folks being fired?
From the Rapid Response team:
"Kate Casa, editor of the Brattleboro (Vermont)
Reformer newspaper, was fired -- given one hour
of notice to clean out her desk, and then she
was escorted from the building. She was not
offered one word of explanation for the firing.

One of her columnists, Judith Gorman, resigned
in protest over the firing.(this happened several weeks ago.)

Because this is probably going to happen more
and more as the corporations that own newspapers
attempt to flex their muscle and influence the
tone (and the level of truth) we get from our
media sources. We must put these media giants
ON NOTICE and insist that they stop trying to
manipulate political thought in the news."

It appears that others who were fired were for unionizing the paper. Note the other papers mentioned and see what changes there might be at those papers.

See the story here:
SNIP..."The Reformer is owned by the Denver-based MediaNews Group, which operates a chain of 40 daily newspapers in nine states. The chain includes the Bennington Banner, the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Mass., and The Transcript in North Adams, Mass.

Two other Brattleboro Reformer editors, James Pentland and William Murphy, were also fired recently - a decision that Casa said also came from Denver with no explanation.Pentland, now a freelance writer in Brattleboro, said he was told he was fired for poor editing judgment after a story was published that came close to identifying, or possibly did identify, the victims in a child molestation case.

"I will say I was supportive of the union and Denver certainly knew it," Pentland said.

Ronald Pickering, a local organizer for the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, said he couldn't say whether the firing of the editors was connected with union efforts at the paper. But he said he believed the company fired at least one other worker for supporting the union...."

SNIP..." Stephen Steidle, chairman of the Brattleboro Select Board, said practically the entire news staff has turned over in recent months.

"There's been a wholesale change at that paper in the last six months," Steidle said. "The publisher changed, the reporters changed, now the editor's changed. It's like starting from scratch." END SNIP...

I will post the contacts in another post. This is scary stuff. Remember the Condi/Barb Bush aide who has no experience yet is becoming the programmer director at NBC? Her name is Anna Perez, and I posted it about it this week. Chilling.

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Michael Costello Donating Member (179 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-04 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. Reformer...
I read that paper, it has good articles from time to time. The law says that it is illegal to fire someone for organizing a union, but of course, Bush is "enforcing" that law. Or not enforcing it more to the point.

Clinton did more but even in his term I was unhappy about how slow it went. In his defense, Congress became Republican in 1994 and voted to lower aid to the Department of Labor. One thing they do is drag it out - you get fired for union organizing and two years later the DoL says "it was a have to reinstate them". Great way to kill an organizing campaign.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-05-04 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. Other newspapers and media owned by this group. /
Here are some of the execs. Anyone know more about them?

2) WRITE a LETTER to the Executives at MEDIA NEWS
about their manipulative strong-arm tactics:

William Dean Singleton Vice Chairman & CEO

Jody Lodovic President 303.563.6360

Charles Kamen Vice President Human Resources 303.563.6396

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TreasonousBastard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Don't waste your time...
really. These guys won't listen, and you'll get your shorts knotted without accomplishing a thing.

There are a few people in Brattleboro raising hell about this now, even trying to buy the paper back. But, you're dealing with suits and their bottom line. They just don't care. A boycott, reduced circulation and reduced ad revenue will get their attention, nothing else. But, I betcha they got all that covered. Mini-Murdochs we're dealing with here.

Union organizers and "leftists" were fired but that, of course, wasn't the explanation given. More like the new broom sweeps clean. Not at all unusual when someone buys a newspaper or magazine. The coverage of a police shooting a while back really pissed off TPTB, and that new broom probably made some friends in the statehouse.

I'm on a mailing list from a hellraiser in Brattleboro, and here's the stock answer he got from Singleton:

Dear xxxx:

Thank you for your interest in The Brattleboro Reformer. We have no interest in selling it.

As I hope you can understand, a business must make personnel decisions it believes are correct. We were not happy with the news direction of The Reformer. We did not think it gave the community the deep and wide coverage it deserved. While some readers, like you, might disagree, we must look out for the needs of all, not just a few friends of the former editor. Given time, I think you will notice vast improvements under the new editor. Let me know what you think in a few months.

Best regards,

Dean Singleton < >
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. Joining with Gannett on some projects. Also Yahoo profile.
Gannett publishes USA Today, the largest-circulation daily newspaper in the United States, and 93 other daily newspapers. MediaNews is the seventh-largest newspaper company and it and its affiliated companies publish 50 newspapers, including The Denver Post.

Company profile from Yahoo:
SNIP..Paper cuts can really hurt, especially when they're made by newspaper predator MediaNews Group. Known for ruthlessly cutting staff at unprofitable newspapers, the company publishes 50 dailies (including "The Denver Post" and "The Salt Lake Tribune") and about 120 non-dailies in a dozen states. It also operates Web sites for most of its daily papers and operates a small number of radio and television stations. The company is a joint venture of vice chairman and CEO Dean Singleton and chairman Richard Scudder, who began buying newspapers together in 1983."
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durutti Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:19 AM
Response to Original message
4. Aren't they always?
And everywhere?
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