Last time the Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference was held in Miami in 1995, Miami New Times published a story called “The Incredible Shrinking Herald.” The lengthy piece, by then staff writer (and later Herald columnist) Jim DeFede, detailed closing of bureaus and numerous cutbacks at the paper.
Well guess what! IRE is back in town. Its national conference starts today at the Intercontinental Hotel.
And guess what else. The Herald is cutting back again.
Buyouts detailed last month on Bob Norman’s blog, the Daily Pulp, called for two percent company-wide. But that’s nothing compared to what’s likely to happen here. Rumors have been swirling around the newsroom for the last two or three weeks that McClatchy is considering a 10 to 15 percent cutback in Miami and Broward – which could mean as many as 50 members of the newsroom staff – which is somewhere around 320 – according to sources familiar with the budgets.
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That would put the Herald nearer to the Sacramento Bee, McClatchy’s former flagship, the sources say.
At least one staff member has approached Herald editor Anders Gyllenhaal with the idea – and he responded noncommittally. “He really didn’t know what to say,” the Herald staff member recalls. (A call left for Gyllenhaal last night wasn’t returned. I’ll update this post when I reach him.)
In any case, enjoy the conference, reporters. The damn market is shrinking nationally. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer says there won’t be newspapers and magazines in ten years. Yikes.