More Messages: Tighten That Belt

Another day, another article about newspaper cutbacks. But while a Los Angeles Times piece that ran yesterday under the headline "Changes Feared at Daily News" concerns a publication several states away, it could forbode similar developments in these parts.

The aforementioned offering focuses on the Daily News of Los Angeles, a Times competitor that's strongest in the sprawling suburbs that ring the City of Angels. Confidential sources cited in the report say that Daily News editor Ron Kaye has talked about quitting the paper should budget cuts that may be on the horizon prevent him from putting out a quality product. If that comes to pass, Kaye will be emulating Jeffrey Johnson, who was forced to resign as publisher of the Times after refusing to trim staff as aggressively as his corporate masters wished. As noted in this Chicago Tribune column, Johnson has become something of a hero among newspaper employees in California and beyond -- but his act failed to stop the slashing that's all too common in the print-journalism field these days.

What's this got to do with Denver? The Daily News is owned by Dean Singleton, who also holds the deed to the Denver Post. Earlier this year, the Post presented workers with a buy-out package intended to slice the editorial roster by 25; more details can be found in this edition of the Message. In the end, only thirteen individuals took the deal (to find out who, check out the followup item at the bottom of a subsequent Message). Although Post execs haven't announced that the other dozen positions will be eliminated by forced layoffs, the pressure being put on Kaye won't cause anyone toiling for Singleton's Denver flagship publication to breathe easier. -- Michael Roberts