Layoffs hit Las Vegas Sun newsroom; publisher points finger at agreement with Review-Journal

The Las Vegas Sun laid off nearly a dozen staff members Thursday, blaming its joint operating agreement with the Las Vegas Review-Journal as the reason behind the cuts.

In a statement to employees that was posted on the Sun’s website, Las Vegas Sun Publisher and Editor Brian Greenspun said the newspaper, an eight- to 12-page daily insert delivered with the Review-Journal, derives most of its revenue from the joint operating agreement with R-J owner Stephens Media.

He said Greenspun Media was “too exposed to the fortunes of the Review-Journal, a business we can’t control. That is a central reason for the events of today. This is a tragic event for those who lost their jobs, for this company and for the community.”

Mike Ferguson, president and chief executive officer of Stephens Media, called Greenspun’s comments laughable.

“To attempt to lay the blame for these unfortunate job losses at the steps of the Review-Journal is a sad statement and tells us much about the state of the management of Greenspun Media and a failure to recognize the true history of the relationship between Stephens Media, the Review-Journal and the Sun,” Ferguson said. “We entered into a joint operating agreement in 1990 for the expressed purpose of saving the then-failing Sun. If it were not for this action there would be no Sun today.”

Ferguson said the agreement was amended in 2005 to allow the Sun to publish in the morning and be delivered to the full circulation of the Review-Journal, which was many times that of the stand-alone Sun.

“It’s likely there would not even be additional Greenspun Media Group publications had the Review-Journal not entered into the JOA that has greatly benefited the Greenspun family,” Ferguson said. “There is no question that this economy has had an impact on the revenues of all media in Las Vegas, but to blame the very vehicle that has kept his family in the media business for the last 21 years is a sad action. I would have expected much better from Brian.”

The Sun went through a series of layoffs in 2009 and 2010, eliminating an estimated 60 staffers.

Most of the layoffs Thursday were veteran reporters and editors, including the editor of its Vegas Inc. weekly business publication, its longtime, award-winning editorial cartoonist and the newspaper’s editorial page editor.

A month ago, the Review-Journal also cut staff from each of its departments, including the newsroom, in an ongoing effort to reduce costs and make operations more efficient.

“I am saddened any time Southern Nevadans lose their jobs,” Review-Journal Publisher Bob Brown said. “Mr. Greenspun’s attempt to blame the Review-Journal for problems of his own creation is unfortunate, and while it may help him sleep better, in addition to being inaccurate and misleading, it’s just pure BS.”

Earlier this week, Greenspun assumed the daily management of Greenspun Media Group, which publishes the Sun, Vegas Inc., Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas Magazine and Vegas2Go.

Bryan Allison, who had been chief operating officer of Greenspun Media, returned to his previous employer, Vegas.com, as its chief operating officer.

Greenspun said the media group would change and take on the characteristics of a startup company.

“We must transform the business,” Greenspun said. “So no, it won’t be business as usual going forward.”

Greenspun family patriarch Hank Greenspun began the Las Vegas Sun when he acquired the remnants of a newspaper began by the International Typographical Union. First published in May 1950 as the Las Vegas Free Press, the paper’s name was changed to Las Vegas Sun in July of that year.

Hank Greenspun died in 1989, the year before his family signed the joint operating agreement with the Review-Journal.

In 2009 the Las Vegas Sun was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for public service for its investigation of construction site safety lapses.

Over the years, the Greenspun family moved beyond publishing into other businesses that have been hit hard by the recession and housing bust.

The family opened American Nevada Co. in 1974. Their real estate development arm was responsible for the 8,400-acre Green Valley in Henderson, southern Nevada’s first master-planned community.

Over the years, the Greenspuns became partners in several gaming projects with Station Casinos, including ownership in the Green Valley Ranch Resort and Aliante Station. That investment was lost through Station Casinos’ recently completed bankruptcy reorganization.

The Greenspuns still have a stake in the three Station Casinos properties; Barley’s Casino, the Greens and the Wildfire Lanes.

The Las Vegas Sun was a part owner in Las Vegas 1, a failed cable television channel.

The Greenspuns invested heavily in the Las Vegas Sun’s website and have been criticized for winning awards with it while producing little revenue.

The Las Vegas Sun produced the short-lived 702.tv, a nightly television show on the Las Vegas entertainment scene that was created for Las Vegas 1. The plug was pulled on the show after just a few months.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.
com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Business
UNLV Tech Park innovation building breaks ground
Construction on the first innovation building at the UNLV Tech Park is underway. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Forum Meeting Center
Caesars broke ground Monday on its $375 million Caesars Forum Meeting Center (convention center) just east of the High Roller observation wheel. (Caesars Entertainment)
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like