The New York Post is reporting that another major paper is in danger of demise. This time, it’s the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest daily.
The paper’s owners, the Newhouse family, according to Keith Kelly, “will issue notices to all employees later this week saying that the paper will be sold or - failing that - closed on Jan. 5.”
Here’s the background, per Kelly:
Back on July 31, the company said it needed to get 200 people to accept voluntary severance packages at the Star-Ledger and another 25 buyouts at the Trenton Times, plus concessions from the pressmen, mailers and drivers.
While it has reached a tentative pact with mailers and pressmen, the company said negotiations with the drivers have stalled.
“Since it is doubtful that the drivers will ratify an agreement by Oct. 8, 2008, we will be sending formal notices to all employees this week… advising [them] that the company will be sold or failing that, that it will close operation on Jan. 5, 2009,” said Star-Ledger Publisher George Arwady.
Talks—and last-ditch efforts to find concessions and compromises with drivers—will continue until October 1, Doug Panattieri, president of the Newspaper and Mailers Delivery Union, told the Post.
Still, the statement Arwady made to the Star-Ledger staff back in July still seems to be true: “Despite the best efforts of all of us, the Star-Ledger is losing its battle to survive.”
Once again: Sigh.Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.