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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Leading retailers back unions

Competition threatens monopoly

To this day, retailers experience sticker-shock at the prices charged for advertising in monopoly newspapers. (This is what Warren Buffet meant by "an unregulated toll booth.") It's no wonder retailers gave some of their business to the enterprising unionists at the Portland Reporter during the strike that began in 1959. No doubt, Newhouse and The Oregonian kept track of these "disloyals" and ultimately extracted a pound of flesh when the Reporter folded.
New paper is set in Portland, Ore.
Semi-Weekly Tabloid Issued by Strikers Will Become a Daily About Nov. 1
Special to The New York Times, Sep. 18, 1960

PORTLAND, Ore. - A new daily newspaper will be published here beginning about Nov. 1, the officers of the Portland Reporter have announced.

The Reporter, a tabloid published twice a week, was the product of the long strike against the two established Portland dailies, The Oregonian and The Oregon Journal.

At present, four carloads of printing equipment are on sidings in Portland. The preses, linotypes and other machinery were shipped here from Miami where they were used in a strike-paper venture backed by Unitype, Inc., the publishing branch of the International typographers Union.

The machinery will be moved into an old building erected in 1017 as a stable for horses of the Wells Fargo Express Company. Unions outside the newspaper field bought the building, then leased it to the Portland Reporter for 3-1/2 per cent of the purchase and remodeling cost plus taxes.

The I.T.U. printing machinery is being leased to The Reporter for $10 a year, plus taxes and insurance premiums, with the provision that workmen using it must be members of the Portland locals of the I.T.U.

An application was filed a few days ago with the Securities and Exchange Commission for permission to issue 175,000 shares of $10 par value stock.

The public offering would be 125,000 shares, the remainder would be divided among payments to the Portland I.T.U. local for services in installation, lease payments, and a block of 39,000 shares reserved for employee purchase.

The Reporter appeared in mid-February as a weekly published by members of the unions who walked out of The Oregonian and Oregon Journal on Nov. 9, 1959. It was an answer to the continued publication of two papers with non-union labor.

Now employs 250. From the eight-page weekly the tabloid has come to be a twice a week publication ranging from thirty-two to forty-eight pages. It prints advertising from most of the city's leading retail stores. Robert D. Webb, the publisher, now reports a circulation of 130,000.

No firm figures are available on the circulation of The Oregonian and Oregon Journal since the strike's beginning. Union sources have asserted both papers have lost substantially from The Oregonian's 235,000 and the Journal's 190,000 pre-strike circulations.

Part 8 in a series, "Newhouses and labor unions"

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