Daytona Beach News-Journal reduces its workforce by 10 percent

DAYTONA BEACH -- News-Journal Corp.reduced its workforce Monday, with 48 staffers either terminated or bought out or in some cases voluntarily retired.

Among those let go were Executive Editor Don Lindley, Advertising Director Kathleen Coughlin and Personnel Director Doug Davis. Also leaving were newsroom political columnist Pamela Hasterok, who is Lindley's wife, Editorial Page Editor David Wiggins, editorial columnist Pierre Tristam and editorial cartoonist Bruce Beattie. The only editorial board member retained was Krys Fluker.

No names were mentioned by the News-Journal on its Web site Monday in announcing the layoffs, but readers were informed that the new ownership, under Michael Redding of Halifax Media, would officially take over Thursday.

The 48 were part of the 470 employees from a series of layoffs that started in 2004, when the newspaper employed more than 800. Then-owner Tippen Davidson, who has since passed away, spent $13 million in naming rights for the Daytona Beach News-Journal Center on Beach Street, a lively arts center, which resulted in a lawsuit with the newspaper's minority shareholder Cox Enterprises.

A federal judge ruled in favor of Cox that its minority shares, just under 50 percent, was worth $129 million, far more than the $29 million the News-Journal claimed.

The court allowed the newspaper to be sold to Redding's group for $20 million. In the interim, several hundred News-Journal employees lost their jobs and the newspaper's bureaus, including the one on Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach, were closed two years ago.

The News-Journal has been run by a court-approved administrator, James Hopson, who has been receiving $2,000 daily as compensation from the newspaper.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via HeadlineSurfer.com. Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as NSBNews.net and VolusiaNews.net. Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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