‘Star-Ledger’ Publisher Threatens January 2009 Shutdown

In Uncategorized on September 22, 2008 at 4:05 pm

By Joe Strupp

Published: September 16, 2008 1:55 PM ET

NEW YORK Publisher George Arwady of The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J., has told employees that the paper will close on Jan. 5, 2009, if 200 buyouts and several union concessions are not met, or if the paper cannot be sold.

The e-mail, obtained by E&P, sent to workers today is posted below. It comes about a month and a half after the paper announced it would need 200 employees to take buyouts — and the drivers and mailers unions to renegotiate contracts — or the newspaper could be sold. In recent weeks, Arwady has indicated to staffers in other e-mails that the number of newsroom buyout takers has fallen short.

Editor Jim Willse and Arwady have not commented on how many staffers have applied for the buyouts first offered July 31. Calls to them were not returned today. Buyout applications are due Oct. 1.

Several staffers have said the overall 200-person buyout number may have been met, but the unofficial call for about 100 newsroom staffers is not being reached.

“At this time I have no update to give you on our buyouts thus far, except to tell you that the newsroom has a long way to go to reach the goal that Jim announced,” Arwady wrote to a reporter in an e-mail earlier this month.

To: All Star-Ledger Employees
From: George Arwady
Date: September 16, 2008
Re: Update

As I have previously told you, there are three conditions that must be met in order for The Star-Ledger to remain in business under its current ownership. Although we are making progress toward meeting two of our three conditions (the Mailers have a ratification vote scheduled for September 22), we still are far from an agreement with the Drivers’ union.

Accordingly, since it is doubtful that the Drivers will ratify an agreement by October 8, 2008, we will be sending formal notices to all employees this week, as required by both federal and New Jersey law, advising you that the Company will be sold, or, failing that, that it will close operations on January 5, 2009.

It is most unfortunate that we have to send out this notice, but the Drivers have left us with no choice.

George Arwady, Publisher

  1. Another left wing rag on the ropes.

    Who cares?

  2. Only Newsmax & the NY Post are worth reading! Death to the ultra-lib rags!

  3. The loss of any major Newspaper can hurt its employees, its readers and the many advertisers and those that prepare and sell ads.

    Most papers always get a “reputation” for liberal or conservitive… The more the merrier it avoids only bias content. Yes, that’s why “Blogs” do so well on readership. All newspaers should be heard. Or read.

  4. The death of the Star Ledger is not a time for celebration. That leaves the state with only two “major” print media outlets, The Bergen Record and the Asbury Park Press, both of which share reporters, wires and biases. Trenton’s two newspapers are jokes, as is the Morristown Daily Record. Others like the Atlantic City Press should be used to wrap fish or line bird cages only. NJ has no television stations to speak of, and no major radio stations. We have the highest population density in the country and absolutely no media voice. That pretty much sucks for us.

  5. Re: All newspaers should be heard. Or read.

    From your comments I can see that you are a graduate of an Ivy League school (or a Ivy League wanna-be school) who has not yet discerned how to separate the “socialist ideas masquerading as rights” that you were taught in school from true rights in a democracy. You clearly have no concept of capitalism and the rights of individuals.

    ALL newspapers should NOT be heard or read. Only those papers that others desire to read should be read. No one should be forced to read a newspaper against their will.

    Individuals have the right to free expression. If an individual or group of individuals decide to publish a paper that is their right. However, IT IS NOT THEIR RIGHT TO HAVE THEIR IDEAS READ BY OTHERS. It is the RIGHT OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS to decide whether or not to patronize a paper.

    However, it IS THE RIGHT of the publisher to decide whether or not to continue to expend time and resources on a newspaper that is not making a profit or not being read by many (or for any other reason for that matter).

    That said, I agree that “The loss of any major Newspaper can hurt its employees, its readers and the many advertisers and those that prepare and sell ads.”
    While I have sympathy for these individuals, this is not a reason to keep the paper open if the resources are no longer available to do so.

  6. The NY Post is a close relative of the Star. No news just gossip. Their readers don’t want to be burdened with items that require too much thought.

  7. Can they take out The Record too?

    That paper is absolutely horrible.

  8. “The NY Post… No news just gossip. Their readers don’t want to be burdened with items that require too much thought.”

    Oh, and one supposes that the NY Times provokes contemplative thought?

    Gee, I wish I had gone to an Ivy League school too, then maybe I would understand your sense of superiority.

    LOL at your effete sense of intellectualism.

  9. 6:57 suffers from acute Ivy League envy…to bad

  10. Newspapers (and magazines: read Newsweek) with a left wing bent are all on the ropes. This is as it should be. Socialism has been a failure and why should a Socialist minded newspaper be any different. Maybe these editors are educated in Ivy league schools but they are not smart enough to see the writing on the wall. Readers have spelled it out for them. We don’t want your crap anymore.

    Why is the RN still in business anyway? How long do we have to wait for it to die?

  11. 6:57 suffers from acute Ivy League envy…to bad
    – 7:40 AM

    7:20 displays the communication skills afforded by an Ivy League education… too bad.

  12. Yea, all you Ivies are making a great go at running Wall Street and the Government.

    Kudos to you all for being major F*&? Ups.

    Maybe its time for ordinary folk to run things again.

    Folks like Reagen and Thatcher, you know people from the fly-over land.

  13. A union representing 400 mailers at NJ largest newspaper overwhelmingly agreed Monday to a three-year wage freeze and buyouts of a quarter of its members. Story in Record.. at this LINK
    … good job..

  14. The Drivers’ Union is the one holding the Ledger’s fate in its hand. The Mailers’ acceptance of terms was expected. The Drivers aren’t budging, and the news staff is too stupid to know what to do (hence the paper’s quality).

  15. Traditional newspapers are dying. People get their news via TV and Internet these days, and any other free time, such as commuting, is spent napping or listening to an iPod.

    One day, kids will read in museums how people in the olden days read their news in print newspapers.

  16. RE: “One day, kids will read in museums how people in the olden days read their news in print newspapers.”

    Fixed that fer ya…

    “One day, kids will visit virtual museums and experience how people in the olden days used to walk through museum buildings and they will “see”, “touch” and “read” virtual representations of newspapers under glass.”

    Alternately they will be able to “live” as part of the newspaper process from reporting to editing to printing to delivery to reading the paper by visiting a virtual reality learning center.

  17. voice of the people just anoth left wing rag bites the dust

    pj time to expand

  18. Another liberal paper dies. There is a God.

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