The Morning Call just got a little smaller. Today's slim edition is a far cry from what we saw this time last week. Editorial page editor Glenn Kranzley tries his best to explain changes to his section of the paper, but some readers are upset.
Cut local news. Cut the editorial board's workload in half. Solicit free content from any jerk who can wield a keyboard, and act as though you're doing the community a big favor. Chop out half the comics. Reduce the size of the paper itself. Reduce the "news hole." Fire 25% of the employees (but keep all of top management). Do away with syndicated columnists. Turn global news coverage into a half-page wrap-up.Nineteen Morning Call employees voluntarily left the paper, preferring to be bought off than laid off. The rest had to sit by their phone on Sunday night, waiting to learn whether they still had a job.
Then sit and wonder why readership continues to drop.
Easton-based reporters evaded the axe. Some will now be writing in Allentown, but they're still employed. Others were less lucky.
Pam Varkony mentions a friend who thought he/she had escaped, only to hear that phone ring on Sunday at 7:30 PM.
Bill White mentions going out and whooping it up with several colleagues on Friday night. On Sunday night, the bell tolled for two of them as well.
Can blogs replace them? Above Average Jane, a Philly blogger, has her doubts. "A robust press is necessary in a democracy and hobbyist blogs just can't fill the gaps."