OLD Media Moves

Cincy biz reporters pulled into weekend duty

February 8, 2007

Business reporters at the Cincinnati Enquirer are not happy folks these days. On Wednesday, they received a memo from Julie Engebrecht, the assistant managing editor for metro, stating that they will be put into a weekend rotation to cover breaking news on Saturdays and Sundays.

Cincinnati EnquirerEngebrecht wrote, “The business need for all this is the same reason we’re beefing up our breaking news coverage during the weekend – more going up online all the time.” The rotation will begin March 17.

One business reporter was less than amused by the whole thing.

“So not only are stock market reporters going to be subjected to making rookie police calls and covering newsless festivals, so are the food writer, the classical music critic and the home and garden writer!!!” this reporter wrote.

“It’ll come down to this: When I have to pull a Saturday shift, I assume I’ll ‘get’ to take the following Monday off in order to have some semblance of a weekend. And if anything happens on my beat, which has grown during three years of staff downsizing, it ain’t going to be covered, unless it’s on a press release.”

I’m told that this is an increasingly common event for business reporters, and other reporters for that matter. Business reporters at The (Raleigh) News & Observer also pull a regular weekend shift. I can also remember pulling this shift as a business reporter for Bloomberg News in the late 1990s, though that was to have someone on hand in case breaking business news occurred during the weekend.

What’s interesting is that Cincinnati is a Gannett paper. Talking Biz News readers will remember that it was just last month that two other Gannett papers — the Honolulu Advertiser and the Indianapolis Star — said they were combining their metro and business desks under one editor.

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