Pounds: BladenfreudeWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Toledo Blade has developed plans to close its facility located at 541 North Superior Street, Toledo, OH 43660. The entire facility will be closed, and it presently is anticipated that this shutdown will be permanent. Consistent with these plans, employment separations are expected to begin on or about August 1, 2014 or during the 14-day period thereafter. Approximately 131 employees currently are expected to be separated from employment. Bumping rights are not available for affected employees. Some of the affected employees are represented by a labor organization.”
— Letter from Block Communications Inc. to Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins
The May 30 news that The Blade plans to close its Downtown production facility and lay off at least 131 employees led to a slew of people asking Toledo Free Press employees if the daily newspaper’s misfortune was good news for Toledo Free Press or brought us any satisfaction.
The answer to both questions is a resounding no.
Just when Downtown, through investments by ProMedica and the efforts of areas such as the Warehouse District, is starting to grow and thrive, the loss of 131 Blade jobs is a setback for Downtown, the city and our region. That is a lot of people no longer driving, parking, working, eating, spending money and paying taxes Downtown. There is no joy, no schadenfreude in that.
Toledo Free Press’ well-documented problems with Block Communications and its ongoing lawsuit against us do not jaundice us to its workers and employees. We recognize the difference between institutional managerial bullying and the working people on Superior Street.
Some of the public reaction to The Blade’s bad news is of interest to those who believe that one reaps what one sows, but again, there is no gain for Toledo Free Press when a Downtown employer, struggling to survive financially, has to cut so deep into its workforce and eliminate so many jobs.
The continuing failure of daily paid print newspapers to evolve with new information standards has led to some markets having no newspaper watchdog to protect its interests. While we continue to fight against Block Communications in court, we wish to make it clear we do not take any joy or satisfaction in seeing its workforce continue to dwindle; the cost to our city is too high to seek any silver lining.
Thomas F. Pounds is president and publisher of Toledo Free Press. Contact him at email@example.com.
Tags: BCI, Block Communications, Block Communications Inc., D. Michael Collins, lawsuit, layoffs, Mayor D. Michael Collins, schadenfreude, Superior Street, The Blade, Toledo, Toledo Blade, Tom Pounds, Warehouse District