MediaNews lays off toilet paper, pens

Pub date June 30, 2008
WriterG.W. Schulz
SectionPolitics Blog


Denver-based MediaNews Group announced today that it plans to lay off all pens, note pads and toilet paper declaring that the cuts would enable the company to remain profitable while continuing to serve news to its readers.

The company, which owns several major daily newspapers in the Bay Area including the Oakland Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times, also disclosed that its reporters will no longer gather in buildings leased or owned by MediaNews as the company will be shedding all of its commercial office space in order to save yet more money. Instead, they’ll meet in freely accessible public parks where they will use scattered twigs to etch their stories into the dirt relying on cans and rope to call their sources. Bloggers will then summarize the etchings by peering over their shoulders, but attribution won’t be necessary, because, well, you can’t link readers to sodden earth.

MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton asked company employees during a press conference in a Denver city park to refrain from throwing beer cans at him so the company can recycle them for pocket change to pay down his vast army of creditors, which is currently threatening mutiny.

Singleton has also reportedly done away with “beats” at his newspapers and his few remaining reporters will from now on cover “whatever they can gather with crude tools available on the ground,” according to the only reporter capable of actually documenting the conference with a pen and note pad, a bored-looking Entertainment Tonight producer who was apparently passing time in the park before Val Kilmer made a rare, rumored appearance in an opulent Denver restaurant around the corner.

“These are strange times,” Singleton said at the conference. “It may appear on the surface that the American people care about the Zimbabwean elections considering the recent demand for coverage there. But my nose for news tells me its anti-union editorials on the front page of the Denver Post that they really want and need.”