A Season in Hellville: The Dolans March in, But Please, No Press!

Mr. Mancini, for his part, said he liked the deal, too. “If the deal is completed, we were bought by the suitor that knows this paper best and most intimately—those are positives.”

Meanwhile, back in reporters’ cubicles in Hellville—the pet name established by some reporters for the paper’s hometown, Melville—the newsroom has been buzzing a bit again.

In the past few weeks, business reporters, who for years have been outliers sitting in an isolated corner, have been brought back into the newsroom proper, taking seats in the graveyard where the gutted national desk and foreign team used to sit. Nearby, there’s an enormous gray dumpster full of books and notebooks and files and papers as people move a bit closer together.

To some, it’s a reminder that this newsroom, which has gone through a series of soul-wrenching job cuts year after year, is constantly in a state of painful transition.

“Everything is different,” said one. “The parking lot is half-empty, the cafeteria is half-empty. It’s unbelievable. I remember when I couldn’t get a space! You get to work after 10 a.m. or so, and the lines at the cafeteria used to be long. Now there’s nothing. There’s no one there.”