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Union-Tribune Axe Falls Again. Kittle Reportedly Out

As expected, the Union-Tribune dropped some employees today (Wednesday). Supposedly, 20 people lost their jobs on the editorial side of the beleaguered paper. The company refused to discuss specific layoffs. According to internal sources, here are some who were severed today: Bob Kittle, editorial page editor, a darling and tool of the business establishment; Bernie Jones, op-ed editor; Mark Arner; Emmet Pierce; Chuck Scott; Brian Cragin; David Coddon; Jim Okerblom; Jennifer Goodwin; Rick Nocon; Laura Embry; David Poller, and Rick Rogers. The paper laid off 192 in May. At the time, it had 850 employees.

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As expected, the Union-Tribune dropped some employees today (Wednesday). Supposedly, 20 people lost their jobs on the editorial side of the beleaguered paper. The company refused to discuss specific layoffs. According to internal sources, here are some who were severed today: Bob Kittle, editorial page editor, a darling and tool of the business establishment; Bernie Jones, op-ed editor; Mark Arner; Emmet Pierce; Chuck Scott; Brian Cragin; David Coddon; Jim Okerblom; Jennifer Goodwin; Rick Nocon; Laura Embry; David Poller, and Rick Rogers. The paper laid off 192 in May. At the time, it had 850 employees.

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Comments
92

According to internal sources, here are some who were severed today: Bob Kittle, editorial page editor,

=======

The editorial page should be abolished. Newspapers have no business telling the public who they should vote for, or how public monies should be spent.

Aug. 12, 2009

Don, Shocking once again for you to give no credence or sympathy to the other good people in this company that lost their jobs.

The newsroom people are the only ones that matter anyway, right? This column, at least the part about the UT (since I agree with most of your posts on other issues), just asserts the notion of self righteousness in the newsroom. What will we ever do with out the likes of Bob Kittle or Mark Arner?!!

Aug. 12, 2009

Response to post #1: Editorial pages being abolished? It's not going to happen. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 12, 2009

Response to post #2: The only reason I only cited newsroom people was that those were the only ones I knew about. Remember when the new owners sacked the people on the executive committee? I reported that. None was in the news department. You do make a good point. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 12, 2009

Don, Burwell makes a good point and one that we should be aware of. As new companies take over newspapers with the intent to actually make a ... profit, they will realize that the expense of high price editorial opinion staff like bow tie Bob is meaningless.

I would not be suprised if many papers eliminated the opinion of their papers in the not too distant future.

The paper is supposed to report news, not opine on it.

Aug. 12, 2009

Don,

It is not easy to see the newspaper business go down the drain -- just like it is not easy to watch a close friend or family member fight back the claws of death.

It's not easy. Death is tough and terminal. Yet, it's certain. And everything that once lived will eventually come to an end. That is the cycle of life.

In the case of human beings, death often comes without notice, and that makes it even tougher to withstand for us, the ones still living.

In the case of business models, like newspapers, that were started by courageous voices and tough lunatics that risked their lives to provide information and a forum for the people, their passing is a difficult thing to admit, especially for us, the folks that still have the wayward smell of newsprint and ink stuck inside our noses.

There is no doubt, it is tough to admit that the newspaper business is rapidly becoming extinct.

Then, again, the industry did it to itself. The one-man shows of courage and ideology soon became a bedlam of power grabbers and political animals. As the industry progressed, the actors began to invent the news and unashamedly cast their support for the things they liked or wanted. In many ways, the publishers not only owned the presses, but also the minds of those that read their products.

Not long thereafter, in the short history of this industry, the newspaper business became just that, a business. You know, the regular kind, the one with bottom lines and wantings of being part of a big chain and of killing the competition and of being the only game in town.

And as the visionless actors took their places in their ivy towers, settling in their comfort zones, unaware of the changing technology that was beginning to challenge their places in the information business, the final stage in the life of the newspaper industry started to unravel. The new competition swiftly began to take away the low lying clients from newsprint business. You know those poor folks: The ones that had pay ransom to place their help wanted and auto ads in old fashioned classified pages.

True, the industry did it to itself. But, it is tough to see it die.

I just hope that those of us getting used to delivering opinion and the news via websites, blogs, tweets, finger-tiring texting, and other hi-tech means, can still abide by the old principles of telling the truth, so our world may continue thrive and our people may continue to enjoy the freedoms that newspapers once delivered.

Aug. 12, 2009

Newspapers no longer need an editorial section because all the effing stories are already editorialized. At one time, reporters simply reported, and the idea of an editorial section was to keep slant and bias under a section where the paper could commit its opinions to a designated area. Now it's simply written into the columns.

EDITORIAL SECTION in a newspaper is an oxymoron.

Aug. 13, 2009

Even though the U-T Editorial Page, including "Deranged Rant" Kittle and "Ballot Recommendations" have done more harm to San Diego than any other reason except the San Diego Republican Party itself, traditionally Editorials go back to before Ben Franklin and the Revolutionary War.

Editorials should however be non-partisan, especially in this increasingly destructive political era of GOP Neocon Hatemongering that those like Kittle kowtowed to.

If American Democracy fails to survive the most current GOP attacks against America, then the U-T and other Neocon newspapers will be as responsible for that failure as Ben Franklin’s newspapers were in creating American Democracy in the first place.

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #5: One of the great disgraces of recent San Diego journalism history was the smearing of Mike Aguirre, engineered by Kittle. You couldn't tell the editorials from the purported news stories. It's fine for editorial writers and columnists to state their opinions; that's their function. But when you can't distinguish editorials from news stories, you have a problem. The U-T did, particularly in that smear period. Whether Kittle's sacking relates to that sorry episode is unknown. I doubt it. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #6: You make some profound points, but here is one that may surprise you: I don't think it's all over for newspapers or magazines. There is a demographic -- largely older people -- who like to read newspapers. My wife and I drive 20 miles each day to get the NY Times and Wall Street Journal. Admittedly, we're old. But beyond our elderly demographic, there are some groups that want to read the news on paper. This will last for at least a generation. I think some of the newspaper stocks may be undervalued, although they have sprung back recently. But as far as LONG TERM future goes, you are right: the future is electronics. Smart newspapers will figure out how to make money online. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #7: On the other hand, if you look at the various blogs, you see mainly opinion -- often very articulately and thoughtfully expressed. Do you think Huffington Post is free of opinion? Or DailyKos? Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #8: In the early days, U.S. newspapers were basically tools of political parties. They were Republican, Democrat, Whig, you name it. It was only later that newspapers evolved into purportedly balanced publications. Best, Donn Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

While I don't consider myself "old" being in my fifties, I found I was unwilling to read the SDUT regularly but still want to hold and read a newspaper daily. As you and others outlined, editorial comment and opinion deeply penetrated into its "news" reporting by the SDUT crew. My questions is why and how does it get fixed?

Aug. 13, 2009

The WARN notice says 120 employees will be let go in this layoff.

Aug. 13, 2009

In IT, all but 3 Helpdesk people have been let go, and the entire Network Ops team is gone as well.

Aug. 13, 2009

^^^ I think that is suppose to be 112 positions. The SDUT story today says 112. I was emailed a 120 figure from a reliable source. Anyone know how to get the EDD to release WARN notice info?

Aug. 13, 2009

Thank you for noting that the Union-Tribune editorial page, under Bob Kittle, and Bob Kittle himself on KPBS' weekly radio show "Editors' Roundtable," utterly smeared City Attorney Mike Aguirre and succeeded in defeating him for re-election last fall. Had Aguirre been a private citizen, he could have sued Kittle successfully for defamation, but since it was politics, there was virtually no recourse. I remember that Aguirre countered Kittle's lying attacks by regularly holding his own informational press conferences -- and he was ridiculed in the paper for doing that as well. My point is that when the power of a newspaper is brought to bear it can be devastating or a force for good. The Union-Tribune, its editorial page idealogue Bob Kittle, op ed page lackeys like nice-guy Bernie Jones, have done tremendous damage to this community by the way they excoriated political "enemies" for years; shaded, distorted or ignored the truth, and slavishly served only their corporate masters. The harm they've done will live after them. They should feel as sorry for what they've done as we feel -- we who have to live with the civic results.

Aug. 13, 2009

Yes, Mike Aguirre should have, and would have, won re election but for the UT's smear campaign.

Chris Reed also jumped on the band wagon.

The funny thing is Reed is regularly posting on his UT Blog the problems of the SD and CA pension systems, not just in SD but throughout CA., following in the exact same footsteps of Mike. I just don't get why Reed went after Mike the way he did.

Aug. 13, 2009

As one of the 112 people told they are useless, I will tell you one thing

Business may be about money, but they are playing with peoples lives.

Frankly, now, I hope the dam'd place crash & burn.

The employees are and will continue to be hurt. the only winners are platinum and I doubt you would want any of them or thier consultants and efficiency experts as your neighbors.

Aug. 13, 2009

Not a rhetorical question, Don. Why do they keep Karin Winner? I could understand when Helen was alive. I could sort of understand before the sale, although not much. But now? I am not asking you to trash her. I would like to know if there appears to be any reasoning for this.

Aug. 13, 2009

Business may be about money, but they are playing with peoples lives.

By SharpRubberDuck

Business is only partly about money (a big part though).

Business, and their shareholders, have a duty to not only themselves, but the community and public at large.

It is this great country of ours-which we all contribute to- that allows for busniess to prosper, and in return business has to give back to the country.

So I hope some of these hedgefunds/buy out firms can see the bigger picture-if the country goes to hell in a hand basket-so will they.

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #13: Slanted news is deeply inculcated in the U-T culture. It won't be easy to extirpate it. And I am not sure the new management wants to. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to posts #14: I didn't check the WARN notice. That suggests there are 8 more to go in this round. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #15: Here are some others names (spelling not necessarily correct): Tony Hidalgo, Gerry Winkleman, Lou Shoal, Aaron Pett, Yvette de la Garza, Anne Maclachlan, Zachary Woodruff, Sue Williams, Isra Watterson, David Hasemyer, Jay Woods, plus 11 pressmen and 3 production and maintenance personnel. Hasemyer is an excellent reporter – one reason he was considered vulnerable. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #16: WARN notices are on the EDD website. I know how to get to it but I am on vacation and can't post it. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #17: Some writers with an interest in honest journalism are thinking of doing a study of the U-T's smear of Aguirre. To a large extent, it was orchestrated by the mayor's office. A flack named Sainz fed the information to Kittle, who posted it without checking it. (He wouldn't have known how to check it in any case.) Then the news department of the U-T would also jump on the story, and you couldn't tell the editorial from the news copy. The reporters wouldn't check the facts, either. Then when the U-T had to admit it was wrong, the mea culpa was buried in small type in indecipherable prose. It was a disgraceful period. It worked politically. But there is much more to come out on this. And much more hurt. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #19: I have never read Reed much, but I understand he escaped the purge. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #20: You hope they crash and burn. Your wishes may be fulfilled. From all appearances, the new owners are making the paper into a shopper. It may work for awhile, but it probably won't be very profitable. If they can't flip the real estate in this miserable commercial real estate market, they may be sorry. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #20: (The response above should be to 19.) Why Winner survives is a mystery. She is not a heavyweight, but if their intention is to turn the paper into a shopper, she may be well suited for the job. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 13, 2009

several responses to post 19, mine seem to be miss numbered.

nothing in the responses seem to have any relavance to my post #19. To me it is all about the people hurt in the rush for gold in platinums pocket...

Aug. 13, 2009

several responses to post 19, mine seem to be miss numbered.

nothing in the responses seem to have any relavance to my post #19. To me it is all about the people hurt in the rush for gold in platinums pocket...

By SharpRubberDuck

My post (#21) was a response to your post. I think most everyone agrees with your post.

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to post #10. Old people die. Newspapers will therefore die, it is just taking a long time. I don't believe there is a another generation of people who want to read the news on paper, at least not enough to sustain an industry. Besides, why not just format online news in a way that can be printed at home if you want it? What I can't stand about newspapers is the waste of paper made up by the high proportion of advertising over content needed to support the hard copy business model.

In response to others, news reporting has never been unbiased, but at least it has been informed. Fact checking seems to be a thing of the past.

Aug. 13, 2009

Karin Winner has presided over the paper's demise for so long .. it would be a shame to make her stop now.

And how did Diane Bell survive the cut?!

Aug. 13, 2009

Don: Was Pat Merrinan of Human Resources ever given his walking papers? How many people are left on the sports section? The Tribune Food section used to be bigger than the entire paper is today. Rememember the rumor about some union demanding that the editorial board be fired? I guess it finally happened. What will Kittle do now?

Aug. 13, 2009

This just in ... a picture of the UT's Director of HR Ann Radosevich breaking the bad news: http://yfrog.com/5iannsurpj

Aug. 13, 2009

gekko: The U-T has a sports section?

Aug. 13, 2009

Don: I know where the skeletons are buried. I have a lot of good information to contribute to this blog. Just to give you some names from the past: GM's John Curley, Gene Bell, and Glenn Pfeil. Is Production manager Jerry Thomas still around? He once announced at a seminar that "I have no college degree." What kind of an idiot would admit to something like that? But then again, GM Gene Bell didn't have a degree. His announcement as the new GM cleverly disguised this fact. Let me know what you think. I have lots of good info.

Aug. 13, 2009

gekko: The U-T has a sports section?

By refriedgringo

You may have missed it considering it is now the same size as the classified ads section......

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to #36 & #38. Believe it or not the Evening Tribune used to have a great sports section. Writers like Steve Bisheff, Joe Stein, Bud Poliquin, Bud Shaw, Tom Cushman, Nick Canepa (still there - as of Monday anyway), and Bob Ortman. When Barry Lorge wrote for the Union I'm surprised everybody didn't switch to the Tribune or quit their subscriptions to the Union. As of now, I like Canepa, Bill Center, Kevin Acee and Jay Posner. But six pages for a sports section for a major metro paper? When the sports section goes it's time to raise the white flag.

Aug. 13, 2009

Response to #33. I once was at a meeting with Karin Winner and others. How she ever got to be Editor is beyond me. Jerry Warren was there also. But he just sat there and never said a word. Great leadership.

Aug. 13, 2009

I heard that Girard, the towel attendant in the U-T Executive Washroom, was let go after 34 years of loyal service. Kittle will likely wind up VP in Sempra's PR department. He will have little trouble finding a good paying job. The laid-off reporters will likely never work as journalists again, and will have to reinvent themselves in order to find work. It looks like Gerry Braun got out in time and hitched himself to Sander's political career and may become his Otto Bos. Sander's political career could last another ten years, maybe more, taking Braun well into his retirement years.

Aug. 13, 2009

Don, what is it with guys who wear bow ties? I never could take Bob Kittle seriously when I realized he was permanently tattooed, so to speak, with that bow-tie look.

Also, do you know anything about the Rhoades School that he's supposedly involved with? Does it suggest something redeeming about him?

The school's mission -- ". . . to establish in each student a singular love of learning for its own sake" -- seems very out of character for someone with Kittle's track record of journalistic abuse of power and questionable ethics.

I'm not at all suggesting he get a pass on his past irresponsible professional behavior, but perhaps like many people, he has a few redeeming aspects and a contradictory, and therefore more complex personality.

Aug. 14, 2009

I heard that Girard, the towel attendant in the U-T Executive Washroom, was let go after 34 years of loyal service.... It looks like Gerry Braun got out in time and hitched himself to Sander's political career and may become his Otto Bos. Sander's political career could last another ten years, maybe more, taking Braun well into his retirement years.

By Burwell

1) Why would there be a "towel attendant" at a newspaper??? Serious question-it just seems very odd.

$2) Sanders will have no political career after his failure as San Diego Mayor ends. Just call him Susan Golding the 2nd.

And no one is going to pay Gerry Braun even $40K for his job skills in todays economy, much less the gift salary he is currently receiving.

Aug. 14, 2009

This is such a sad time for the employees of what used to be such a outstanding company to be employed by. Does anyone know how the advertising department did as far as layoffs were concerned? They are the ones that should be driving the revenue of the newspaper. The paper now is so thin, you can read it from cover to cover in 15 minutes. It seems the only department that really took a beating was the news department.

Aug. 14, 2009

What a coincidence! The cover subject of this week's Reader looks an awful lot like Karin Winner.

Aug. 14, 2009

I was never able to fathom how parts of the Copley empire could excel even when compared to the best papers in the country (Trib sports, for example) and at the same time sink below mediocrity in so many ways (such as city hall coverage and the parking ticket scandal).

How could Copley News Service implode after earning a Pulitzer is so spectacular a fashion?

Depressing.

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #30: Yes, my numbering got out of whack. You can be certain that people empathize with those who were laid off. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #31: Agreed. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #32: I can remember 20 to 25 years ago when we talked about a newspaper being printed on a home printing press. The subscriber would say what news he/she wanted -- sports, politics, business, etc. -- and set the computer and get the news. But in the future, the paper part of that equation may be eliminated. That will save some trees. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #33: As I have said so many times, Karin Winner surrounds herself with her friends. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #34: Unions that have their money in Platinum Equity wanted the editorial page of the U-T changed. The unions wrote to Platinum, making the demand. I don't know that this had anything to do with Kittle's sacking.

Aug. 14, 2009

More on post #34: I forgot to address a couple of questions. To my knowledge, Marrinan is still there. Food sections have shrunk with grocery advertising. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #35: Hilarious. But the latest round in the guillotine was no surprise to anyone. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #36: Traditionally, the sports section has been quite profitable. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #37: I once spent a lot of time checking on whether Gene Bell went to college. At age 18 he was working full-time, as far as I could determine, at a newspaper. I could not confirm that he ever went to college. I never printed anything about that (at least I can't remember having done so), because I couldn't be sure, and also didn't think it was that important. There are a lot of good executives who did not attend college. Bell was a moderately good executive -- better than some around there. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Second response to post #37: I would like to hear everything you have. My direct email address is [email protected] My phone is 619-546-8529. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #38: I think some of the sportswriters are good. There is too much cheerleading for my blood, but I'm not rah-rah. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #40: You have some incisive observations, and obviously some inside knowledge. As I said in a prior post, I would like to hear from you. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #41: Yeah, but Bos was connected to Pete Wilson. Sanders is no Pete Wilson. Not even close. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #42: Kittle and his wife run a private school. It may be a Montessori school -- I am not sure. There was a lot of talk about his conflict of interest when he was slobbering over Bersin, then school superintendent. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

At the 1992 Democratic Convention (where Clinton was first nominated) a longtime SD Union political editor -- long since relegated to a ceremonial glass cubicle in the newsroom -- insisted on ousting the Copley News Service correspondent from Copley's only seat in Madison Square Garden. The occasion was Clinton's acceptance speech. The editor promptly fell asleep and did not wake up until the balloons fell.

Meanwhile the poor CNS correspondent fumed in the press room downstairs and wrote the story from the TV.

Such was political coverage under Helen Copley.

Enough incidents like that will catch up to any news organization, eventually.

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #61: I don't know whom you are alluding to. A long-time political writer with a ceremonial glass cubicle in the newsroom? I'm not saying you are wrong; I am just saying it doesn't ring a bell with me. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Don,

I don't want to be coy with the names of those who I thought were either incompetent or well past their prime, but there are too many good names at the U-T to be remembered:

Nick Canepa, whose column about his son's T-ball debut was one of the best sports columns I've ever read, anywhere; Rob Hanley, who tried his darndest to run an objective business section despite the toadyism of those above him; the reporters who toiled on the Tailhook scandal despite the obstructionism of some (but certainly not all) of their own bosses; Lynne Walker, the longtime Mexico City bureau chief whose bosses never understood Mexico; or the many web site editors and reporters who struggled with mid-1990s technology to put out a 21st century product during the fires.

The U-T was filled with many good, hard-working and talented people who persevered despite a publisher who was never really more than an owner-operator, and who never learned to spot journalistic talent either inside or outside her organization.

Blaming the senior editors misses the point; the tune comes not from the monkeys, but from the organ grinder.

Aug. 14, 2009

It looks like Kittle's wife, Luanne, runs The Rhoades School. It isn't clear whether the school operates as a profit making business, or as a nonprofit. Kittle may actually own the Rhoades School.

http://www.rhoadesschool.com/180110922133249677/site/default.asp

Aug. 14, 2009

Don, I was very interested to read your comments about the way former City Attorney Mike Aguirre was crucified by the Union-Tribune editorial and news pages. You mention the infamous Fred Sainz, public face for the dull, lazy and frightened Mayor Sanders who got Sanders a second term in office against the odds. I always thought Sainz was brilliant and ruthless. He was contacted by voiceofsandiego.org reporter Rob Davis on the Kittle-firing and was quoted in the ensuing story, saying that the Union-Tribune newspaper validated the notion that he put out that Mike Aguirre was crazy. And that, of course, was the swift-boating of Mike Aguirre --a lie that circulated in the know-nothing community and could never be laid to rest because it was a lie with wings. Kittle is a hatchet-man in a bow tie, now jobless. I liked the notion that SEMPRA will find a home for him: it is the last refuge of scoundrels.

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #56 Don: I will hook up with you either by email or phone. Obviously, most of my inside information I cannot post in public. You will be Woodward and Bernstein and I will be deep throat. I will be the best source you ever had.

Aug. 14, 2009

It looks like Kittle's wife, Luanne, runs The Rhoades School. http://www.rhoadesschool.com/18011092213...

By Burwell

Good find, the school is interesting, and at $14K per year pretty expensive.

Aug. 14, 2009

Does anyone remember the disaster that was the zoned high school sports section? (circa 1984)

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #63: Yes, Rob Hanley was excellent, and losing him was a blow. Lynne Walker did a series that was a finalist for a Pulitzer. It ran in other Copley papers but never ran in the U-T. The editor said there was no local angle. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #64: Yes, Kittle's wife runs the school. I don't know who owns it. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

Response to post #65: As I said, the smearing of Aguirre was orchestrated by Sainz in the mayor's office. He would call Kittle with dirt on Aguirre. Kittle would write it that day for the next day's paper without checking facts. Then the so-called news reporters would pick up the inaccurate story and blast it all over the so-called news sections. Kittle had a right to write opinion but he had no right to pen wholly inaccurate hit pieces. (He did them on Donna Frye, too.) The people on the news side should NOT have joined in this merry assassination game. Thus, the blame belongs at the top: either with Karin Winner or David Copley, or both. They could have stopped the disgraceful activity. They did not. As I said, there will be much more on this. Remember, in smearing Aguirre and Frye, the Copley Press was doing the establishment's bidding. The real estate developers and corporate welfare shills wanted both out of office. And those developers are the ones who destroyed San Diego with the U-T's active assistance. In the process, this activity became one of the smaller factors by which the U-T destroyed itself. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 14, 2009

To #68: The Trib did prep sports right -- they hired five reporters and assigned an editor (Bud Maloney) who knew SD high school sports inside and out. They establishes a telephone hotline with local results that were updated every 15 minutes or so on Friday nights.

They were allocated space liberally in the sports section, and of course they had the luxury of very late deadlines. Although the Trib's circulation in North County was minuscule, they nevertheless staffed games there because so many of the schools played city schools, thanks to San Diego's gerrymandered city limits.

Alas, the Union tried to tie its coverage to its zones. That doesn't work in a rapidly expanding county, because too many of the newer high schools played games in far-flung corners of the county, not fitting neatly into Helen Copley's carefully crafted zones. While older schools have long-established games and local rivalries such as Hoover-Lincoln, newer schools often have ad hoc schedules that include cross-county travel, such as Rancho Bernardo vs. Otay Ranch (to name two schools at random).

The Union had other problems, including inconvenient zone deadlines and a few columnists and senior reporters who couldn't be bothered with prep sports -- a well known sub-genre that still sells a lot of newspapers. Preps flourished at the Trib and withered at The Union.

Aug. 15, 2009

Regarding #69: Of course Mexico isn't a local story (LOL). Remember, Winner did not believe the Los Angeles riots were local enough either, and the next day's paper ran a Page One photo of people leaving the courthouse rather than L.A. in flames.

Aug. 15, 2009

Maybe a few of these recently released U-T'rs will submit their stories to Downsized and Out. Nothing new has been posted there in weeks. Come on, let's hear some good stuff about how badly they handled the whole thing!

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #66: I look forward to hearing from you. I'm here days and evenings, for the most part. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #67: That price tag tops some universities. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #72: The Trib did several things better than the Union did, but as an afternoon paper it was doomed. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #73: Are you talking about Watts in the 1960s? Winner wasn't at the Union then. I believe she came in after I did, and I joined up in 1973. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #74: Good suggestion. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #73: Are you talking about Watts in the 1960s? Winner wasn't at the Union then. I believe she came in after I did, and I joined up in 1973. Best, Don Bauder

============ Did you ever work at the old San Diego Union building that was downtown, across from Horton Plaza?

Aug. 15, 2009

Damn, Don. You're showing your age. He's referring to the Rodney King riots.

Aug. 15, 2009

The story was that on his deathbed, James made Helen promise to never fold the Trib. Probably apocryphal (perhaps you know?), but there was no doubt that the Trib was James's baby. The editors routinely disobeyed hiring freezes and lesser diktats from La Jolla, apparently at times with impunity. Poor Jerry Warren at The Union was too buttoned-up to understand what they were doing, and why it worked.

Sure, afternoon papers were doomed. The Trib lasted longer that I expected, especially in a county with so many long-distance commuters. In the mid-1980s the Trib's newsstand circulation in Vista was far fewer than a dozen papers a day. (It averaged seven a day, I think, in 1987. Not seven bundles; seven papers.)

Aug. 15, 2009

Response to post #80: Yes, I worked in the old building for a few months. I came in the summer. We moved into the new building in fall of 1973. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 16, 2009

Response to post #81: Double damn. Mea culpa. The Rodney King riots were in 1992. But I don't think Winner was in charge then. I think Gerald Warren was still editor at the time. Winner may have been managing editor then, however. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 16, 2009

Response to post #82: I think that story about Jim Copley making Helen promise never to fold the Trib is apocryphal. Helen was intensely loyal to Jim long after he had died. I remember her telling me that it was David who resisted closing the Trib for a long time. That would suggest Helen had made no such commitment to Jim. However, I always wondered if she was fantasizing when she told me that. David seldom played a role in the making of major decisions within the Copley organization, other than the decision to sell. I believe David pressed hard for that, pressured from someone to whom he is quite close. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 16, 2009

I believe David pressed hard for that, pressured from someone to whom he is quite close.

Can this "close" person be identified?

Aug. 16, 2009

Response to post #86: Not now. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 16, 2009

Something overlooked amidst the layoff noise: the UT is not replacing many positions vacated through attrition. The employee base continues to shrink.

Aug. 17, 2009

Response to post #88: I understand total employment is down about 50% from its high. I don't have a definitive figure on that. The company is keeping information close to its vest. Best, Don bauder

Aug. 17, 2009

Well, I still have contact, after all it is only 1.5 weeks since my layoff.

No true replacements of actual working people.

More layoffs are comming soon.

Aug. 24, 2009

Response to post #90: I would hardly be surprised by more layoffs, and fairly soon. Remember, in its message to employees, Platinum basically said there would be more layoffs. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 24, 2009

54.#54.Response to post #36: Traditionally, the sports section has been quite profitable. Best, Don Bauder

Don, WTF are you talking about? The only section that lost more money than Sports was the TV book. Filled with massage parlor ads and tire stores it could never support the bloated Sports department. Your knowledge of the Biz side is abysmally slanted and factually incorrect.

Oct. 6, 2009

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