Hard Times at the News
While other departments' staffs and space for stories have shrunk considerably in recent years, the sports section seems unscathed. Jim Carty says that when he left the News in October to attend law school, the paper had an opportunity to cut back on its U-M sports coverage-but instead has continued to send two writers to away football and basketball games. "Michigan football is very important to them," says Carty.
As the buyout deadline approached in December, the News staff fell into three camps-those who are definitely leaving and already planning their lives and careers outside the newspaper business; those who are undecided; and those who want to hang in and hope for the best. "If you do not leave or move, they will transfer you," the copy editor says. "There's a lot of people who are throwing up their hands and saying 'I have to get out of here.' These people don't know what they're doing."
News staffers don't need to look far to imagine the worst that could happen. The planned publication cutbacks in Detroit are bad enough-but the recent bankruptcy filing of the Tribune Company was downright terrifying. In addition to its flagship Chicago Tribune, the company also owns the Los Angeles Times and the Baltimore Sun.