Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Inky Reporters & Editors Picket Publisher

By Ralph Cipriano

Bill Ross aimed his bullhorn at the executive offices of the Inquirer.

"Terry can't hear you up on the third floor," he told the 200 or so staffers who were picketing in front of the building on a 90 degree afternoon.

"Inquiring minds want to know," they chanted, "Why our publisher won't show."

Ross, executive director of the NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia, was targeting Inquirer Publisher Terry Egger over the issue of layoffs at the paper where newsroom staffers haven't had a raise in more than ten years.

"No layoffs," they yelled; "Save local news."
Management gave newsroom staffers a deadline earlier this month to have 30 of them take voluntary take buy-outs or else there would be layoffs. The deadline has now passed and to date, only 25 newsroom staffers have signed up for the voluntary buy-outs.

"They don't need five more bodies," Ross said through his bullhorn. They ought to just settle for 25 voluntary buyouts, Ross said, and "move on."

The NewsGuild has increasingly targeted publisher Egger at the source of their ire; in February, the union declared it had no confidence in Egger's leadership. Two weeks ago, the NewsGuild delivered petitions to Egger's empty office signed by 250 staffers who were protesting the threat of layoffs.

Today, Ross talked through his bullhorn about the perilous times newspapers across the country are facing. He also mentioned the "self-inflicted wounds" at the local paper of record, such as squandering large sums of cash on top officials and consultants at the nonprofit that owns the newspaper.

While his staffers continue to work without raises or pensions.

"We cannot continue to do more with less," Ross said.

"We're in our fight for our lives," Diane Mastrull, president of the NewsGuild, told the crowd that gathered in front of the newspaper's offices at 8th and Market. Joining the NewsGuild members were several representatives of other city unions, including the local AFL-CIO, and the Communication Workers of America.

"The Inquirer can and must do better," the picket signs said; "No layoffs."

"Hey ho," the chanted; "the threat of layoffs has to go."

Egger, who last year was named Editor & Publisher's Editor of the year, did not respond to a request for comment.


  1. The Inky is featuring articles on the Refinery closing, Hahnemann Hospital closing,and five employees being terminated from the American Revolution Museum but nothing on their own plight. No wonder they are not being treated fairly, they need to make their position known to the public.

  2. Any news on who took the buyout? Heard from other sources: John Smallwood, Sam Donnellon and Zach Berman from Sports. Any other news?

  3. The Supreme Court will hear both the Baldwin matter and the mysterious sealed Franklin County GJ matter in Philadelphia on September 10.

    Which also means they are probably not interested in hearing arguments on Frank Fina.

  4. Bykofsky has been kicked to the curb. He promises to join ANTIFA.

    A great day for Truth in Journalism.

  5. It's a sad day for Journalism when Sleazy Saffron is the only squatter at the Inky who had the cajones to stand in front of Byko and bring him to his knees.


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