Plenty of siblings have burst into tears whenever their brothers or sisters got a smack from mom — they knew they were next. But when staffers at the San Francisco Examiner were informed last week that their parent company, Clarity Media Group, was nixing the Baltimore Examiner, they took it in stride.
“They were pretty open about it — it wasn't the kind of thing they could control the flow of information on,” one Examiner newsroom employee recalls. “The news was all over the Internet by the time we got to work.”
The staffers were shepherded into a newsroom meeting in which higher-ups stressed that, when it comes to Clarity shuttering papers, what happens in Baltimore stays in Baltimore. The 3-year-old Baltimore Examiner was presented as “a failed experiment” whose demise was due to issues in that city — and newsroom. San Francisco Examiner employees were told that the move did not necessarily
portend grim times ahead for them.
The San Francisco employees took the news “fairly well,” one staffer said. “It was a reassuring gesture on management's part to come to us and say that [layoffs and/or closure] is not in the future here.
“There's a pretty strong feeling in this newsroom that the company being owned by a very, very wealthy man does, in some ways, insulate us from the overall economic situation. Nobody expects [Philip] Anschutz to burn money on the Examiner. But, at the same time, it's not like if we had a bad month, we'd all be out of here.”