CLEVELAND -- After weeks of silence, Plain Dealer publisher Terry Egger is now speaking about dramatic changes in store for the Plain Dealer, its readers, advertisers and Northeast Ohio.
He is Tom Beres' guest on Sunday Morning's Between the Lines that airs just after 10 a.m. during Channel 3 News Sunday Morning.
Egger denied rampant rumors that a decision's been made tohave the Plain Dealer publish just three days a week.
"There will be changes coming. We're not going out of business. No decision's been made not to publish a newspaper seven days a week," he said.
He explained that recent ongoing negotiations with the Newspaper Guild that represents reporters, photographers and editors made it difficult to discuss looming changes.
58 Guild jobs are being eliminated or switched to the paper's website.
The resolution of a contract enables him to say more. He's held a batch of meetings with community leaders to update them on the paper's future and hear their ideas and concerns.
He admits the paper is still making money.
But Advance, the chain that owns it , has gone to a 3-day-a-week publishing with expanded websites at other papers it owns.
"We are still profitable at this point. If you have a position of strength,you've got to makea strategic investment and innovate. People are moving to digital consumption, not incrementally, but dramatically" he said.
Advance has been more agressive than other newspaper chains in pursuing this strategy. It's thus far declined to pursue charging for stories on its website.
The new labor agreement allows non-union web reporters' stories to appear in the paper.
"We are not union-busting," Egger said, in response to others' contention it is.
He claims the paper's goals remain covering the news, remaining a healthy business, and fulfilling its role as a civic leader.
A Guild campaign to Save the Daily paper is engaging readers and supporters but has not really caught fire with Greater Cleveland's business, political and civic leaers.
If the rumored changes happen, Cleveland would become the nation's largest city with no daily paper.
Egger had planned to step aside in January, after more than six years as publisher.
He now says, he will stay on through whatever changes are coming. Those won't occur before summer, he said.
Egger's entire interview with Tom Beres, Mary Anne Sharkey and Dennis Eckart can be seen Sunday morning on Between the Lines