CLARIFICATION: Although the Willamette Week reported that “[Mr.] Bhatia told staff he alone decided who would be laid off,” Mr. Bhatia himself has expressed his viewpoint that this is not in fact the case, claiming that as editor of the paper and head of the “news operations,” he did not have that authority over editorial page staffers including his wife.
Last week, Portland’s main daily newspaper, The Oregonian, announced that it would end daily delivery and lay off some staffers. How many? Portland alt-weekly Willamette Week reports that The Oregonian laid off almost 100 people, including 49 people in the newsroom.
Among the casualties of The Oregonian’s transition to a digital news company? Mr. Bhatia’s own wife, Liz Dahl, who is (or, rather, was) a commentary editor at the paper. That’s got to make for some awkward dinner conversations.
First, it was The Ann Arbor News that faced the cost-cutting buzzsaw. Then The Birmingham News, New Orleans’s Times-Picayune and Cleveland’s Plain-Dealer. And today, Advance Publications—the media conglomerate that owns a few dozen regional newspapers, the web site Reddit, and the magazine empire Condé Nast—is gutting The Oregonian, the Portland area’s d0minant daily newspaper.
The Oregonian, like the other Advance papers hit before it, will be transformed from a daily newspaper into a website and a scaled-down print paper that will only be delivered four days a week—Sunday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. It will also lay off a bunch of print reporters, all of whom are currently meeting with executives to find out who will get axed. The Oregonian, as such, will cease to exist, replaced by the “Oregon Media Group.”
The new company will run OregonLive.com and The Oregonian starting on October 1.
Yesterday’s investigation by The Oregonian of the Bear Camp Road tragedy two weeks ago is haunting on a couple of levels.
First there’s the family drama. The Oregonian reports that the Kims “drove past signs that said the road was impassable in winter, getting out of the car, Kati Kim later told authorities, Read More
The Oregonian has crushed the S.F. Chronicle on the Bear Camp Road tragedy. I guess it’s their story; geography is huge. Check out the Oregonian’s aerial tour of the roads the Kims went up till their car foundered. And there’s a .pdf map showing how close they were to Black Bar Read More