Chronicle Employees: Part Of "An Absolute Ton Of Fat"

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Hearst, the privately held company that owns the Houston Chronicle and is busy killing respected dailies in San Francisco and Seattle, has good news for its newspaper employees.

They are part of "an absolute ton of fat" that has been built up over the years.

That's the sympathetic analysis of Steven Swartz, the head of the company's newspaper division, as given at a seminar yesterday at Columbia University and reported in the Connecticut Post.

"The journalism and business sides that newspapers built over the years had an absolute ton of fat and inefficiency that is being gotten out today," Swartz said yesterday

Well, thank God for that. We don't want people keeping jobs or anything.

Obviously, the business model newspapers developed in the pre-Web days did include a lot of inefficiencies. But it's a bit unseemly to be so enthusiastically bragging about axing people, to say the least.

Swartz says some of Hearst's plans include considering shrinking the number of pages in theier papers, limiting delivery to only some days of the week and exploring gizmos like Kindle.

Oh, and cutting the shit out of their staffs. The folks at the Chronicle are still waiting for a heavy ax to fall; the rumor is that word will come after spring-break vacations. Although Hearst hasn't shown any particular degree of worrying about stuff like that in cutting at other places.

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