Long Beach ‘Press-Telegram’ And Sister Paper Combine Most Operations

By: Joe Strupp

The Daily Breeze of Torrance, Calif., and its sister daily, The Long Beach Press-Telegram, essentially combined operations in a move that also cut dozens of jobs.

The MediaNews Group publications “will combine as a single publishing unit, sharing some administrative and editorial functions to cut costs amid an ongoing, severe decline in the newspaper industry,” A Daily Breeze story online stated. “The announcement came the day after the Breeze laid off six newsroom employees and eliminated an additional three unfilled editorial positions. That cut the newsroom staff by more than 10 percent.”

Each newspaper will continue to publish separate editions, although the District Weekly, a local alternative paper, stated the changes to the Press-Telegram “leaves it as little more than a bureau for the?Daily Breeze.”

The Weekly also stated that “Long Beach lost its daily newspaper today” in a story about the changes, which noted that MediaNews Group fired Press-Telegram publisher Dave Kuta, managing editor John Futch and nine newsroom employees, then placed both papers’ operations under the control of Daily Breeze publisher Mark Ficarra.

Reports indicated the changes also would eliminate the Breeze’s weekly publication, More San Pedro, which launched in 2003.

The Press-Telegram’s copy desk, which performs the paper’s final editing and design work, also was eliminated, cutting about 20 jobs, the Daily Breeze reported. “Those duties will be transferred to the Breeze, whose 12-person copy desk will double in size as Press-Telegram staff members are hired for those new positions,” the paper said.

The Daily Breeze and Press-Telegram also will consolidate the functions of their Web sites.

?It?s a fatal shot to our efforts to maintain local control of our coverage,? Joe Segura, a P-T reporter and leader of the paper?s unionized newsroom employees, told the District Weekly.

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