Cleveland Plain Dealer takes aim at union by moving print reporters to suburbs

After slashing jobs, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has sidelined its remaining print reporters.

The paper, founded in 1842, hacked 22 editorial jobs last week, reducing the number of reporters in the newsroom to only 14.

Now, survivors say they are being yanked off their beats covering the city proper — a job that has been handed over to the younger, non-union workers on the digital operation.

The reporters on the paper, which boasted a staff of 340 journalists two decades ago, have been reassigned to outlying suburban counties surrounding Cleveland, sources said.

Editor-in-Chief Tim Warsinskey, who had been at before being elevated a week before the cuts were unveiled, has called the cuts part of a “companywide strategy decision.” He also said the print and digital side would not be able to effectively continue as two different entities.

But the Northern Ohio News Guild, the union that represents 18 of the newsroom journalists who were laid off, said Warsinskey is simply trying to push out the union workers.

“In effect, he is admitting that this decision is part of a broader move to eliminate the Plain Dealer and its staff altogether and not an attempt to prove meaningful coverage on areas the company has stopped reporting on in any depth for years.”

The paper’s parent company is Advance Publications, owned by the billionaire Newhouse family that also owns Condé Nast, which has been pushing aggressively into non-media businesses in recent years while cutting back on its newspaper and magazine holdings.

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