Thursday, December 28, 2006

Look for the Union Label

When I wrote about the sale of the Minneapolis Star-News, I thought it looked odd that Dutch-owned Editor & Publisher mentioned union contracts more than once. A new story today infers that McClatchy sold it off because it was union in "With 'Strib' Gone, McClatchy Sheds Another Union Paper -- Coincidence?"

Seems the Star-News was the next to the last newspapers McClatchy-purchased Knight-Ridder paper, that had union newsrooms. (The contracts will, of course, be honored. It was part of the negotiations.) The one former paper with a Guild newsroom that McClatchy kept was the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader.

Of course, selling such papers might be an issue of (shhhhh) p r o f i t a b i l i t y. As in, union papers are more (shhhh) c o s t l y to produce and union troubles are (shhhhh) a n n o y i n g and (shhhhh) t h u g g i s h. (Just ask the folks who bought the Philadelphia papers from McClatchy.)

But realism (or honesty) has never been a watchword for union organizations.

It is my contention, and I have written about it, that newspaper unions and newspapers dependence upon them is another factor in their liberal-leftwing politics. It is also my contention that in the 1960s the unions helped drive other newspapers out of business with long and costly strikes so that the public was left with only liberal-leftwing papers in major cities. (Think Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.)

And as they are trying to do in Toledo.

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