At 4 p.m. today Newsday chief editor John Mancini is meeting with reporters and staffers to discuss job cuts at the paper. This will be his second meeting; the first one was on Friday.
We just got an account of what happened on Friday from a reporter who was present:
- There were about 50 reporters in a conference room with John Mancini; the managing editor Debbie Henly was sitting next to him; Karla Schuster, who reports in the city, was on speaker-phone.
- A reporter asked Mr. Mancini if coverage of the 2008 election was the paper’s "last hurrah" in covering national politics. "He said that if Hillary is in it again then we’ll cover it," said a reporter present. "If she’s not, then he doesn’t know, we’ll have to see. It might be hard to justify that expense."
- Also: "In 2004, there was a question if we should be a national newspaper that also covers Long Island. Now that’s not even a thought anymore. It’s a paper that doesn’t have any national aspirations."
- Mr. Mancini said that the New York edition of Newsday might have a different cover from the Long Island edition of the paper and otherwise the paper would be entirely the same. (For the record, I went to four newsstands near Union Square last Monday at around 3 p.m. looking for a copy of the New York edition of Newsday. It wasn’t available at any of them).
- Reporters and editors present were really tense. So much so when Mr. Mancini brought up a joke about the supsended internship program—saying something to the effect of: ‘The reson we’re suspending it is not that they rejected me in 1982 for an internship’—the room was silent.
- When a staffer asked whether he heard about a rumor that Newsday has started advertising for jobs on Craigslist, Mr. Mancini said, "Not that I know of." A staffer interrupted: "But would you know?"
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