Another Newspaper Mini-Merger

So the Miami Herald and St. Pete Times have officially combined their Tallahassee bureaus, a move that has been rumored for months.

It follows a whole lot of other strange combinations of the daily newspapers. The consolidation is a way to cut costs and, ultimately, jobs (not that any of the remaining Tallahassee journos are necessarily in any jeopardy of losing theirs).

The good news, if you can call it that, is that Miami Herald executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal told me last week that he doesn't "see" any more job losses at his newspaper. When we started talking about previous buyouts/layoffs, Gyllenhaal said that "the reporter ranks have been the least affected by this."

I asked him how many reporters total have been lost so far at the Herald.

"I think it ends up being in the neighborhood of a half dozen reporters and we have more than 100 reporter on staff," he said.

That half dozen figure didn't sound right. A look at lists compiled here showed it was a ludicrously low number. That might be the number for one round, but there's been a few. Here's a quick list of some of the reporters gone: Phil Long, Martin Merzer, Gary Fineout, Jasmine Kripilani, Oscar Corral, Lisa Arthur, Matthew Pinzur, Erika Beras, Natalie McNeal, Desonta Holder. That's ten right there and it doesn't count columnists and critics, who in my book are also reporters (or should be).

I give Gyllenhaal the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. Maybe it was a mistake. But let's hope he's not "wrong" about the end of the layoffs. There are, after all, rumblings that another round of McClatchy job cuts are just around the corner.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman