More Staff Changes at Journal Sentinel
Some being let go, but a big name reportedly hired: Biz Times Editor Steve Jagler set to join the JS.
There are more changes afoot at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. A source tells me that a number of journalists are leaving, either through retirement or taking a buyout. That includes Deputy Business Editor Gary Miller and Assistant Entertainment Editor Tina Maples.
Journal Sentinel sports reporter Tom Silverstein, President of the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild, the union representing the newspaper’s reporters, says all the buyouts or retirements involve members of management, but said he couldn’t say how many there would be. “The one thing I do know is that no bargaining unit people took buyouts and none are going to be laid off. I’ve been told that is final for this latest round. Hopefully, it stays that way for a long time,” he said.
Maples did not respond to my email. Miller did, and said he is retiring one year early, effective July 2. “I’m considered an essential employee — I would need to be replaced, so I don’t qualify for a buyout,” he noted.
Miller’s replacement, I’m told, will be Steve Jagler, Executive Editor of Biz Times Milwaukee. If so, there is a curious symmetry to the personnel change. Miller served as editor of the Milwaukee Business Journal from 1996 to 2001, before taking a job with the Journal Sentinel. Jagler served as the Business Journal’s managing editor under Miller from 1997-2001, and in 2002 was hired as Executive Editor of the Small Business Times, which became Biz Times Milwaukee in 2008.
As I wrote in February, more staff layoffs seem inevitable at the Journal Sentinel, given that the new Journal Media Group it joined on April 1 includes 13 Scripps newspapers, all of whom have been losing money and subscribers for five straight years. Unless a miracle turns that around, the only answer is staff cuts, and the Journal Sentinel likely has the biggest staff of the 14 papers.
The ideal scenario is to cut higher-salaried employees, which might be why members of management are being targeted in this round of cuts.
The precise details are unlikely to ever be revealed by the Journal Sentinel, which has routinely let journalists go without a word about them to readers familiar with their bylines for decades.
When contacted for comment, Journal Sentinel editor George Stanley responded with this: “I’m sorry your email got through. We switched email systems and the spam catcher didn’t move with it. I will address that now.”
Ah. That would explain why George never answers my emails.
He added this jeer: “You’re not a reporter.”
We’ll report more details when we learn them, in the usual fashion, as they leak out from the ever-secretive newspaper.