by Max Brantley
A Chattanooga website, nooga.com, reports indications of an anonymous union organizing effort at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, one of the newspapers owned by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette publisher Walter Hussman. (Thanks to jimromenesko.com for the tip.)
The report is based on messages circulated in social media and e-mail, the latter of which was branded by a newspaper executive as "spam" aimed at getting access to newspaper employee Gmail accounts. Time will tell. I can't remember the last time I learned of a successful union organizing effort in a news organization.
The spokesperson for the Workers of the Times Free Press organization said in another email to Nooga.com Friday afternoon that the organizing effort came after the discovery that the TFP has hired a consulting group to make suggestions about “right-sizing the operation."
Coincidentally, consultants are at work evaluating the dual newspaper operation in Northwest Arkansas in which Hussman's regional edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette also carries separately titled papers produced by the remnants of the Stephens Media newspapers in that region. Profits of the combine apparently haven't met expectations.