Morning Media Newsfeed: Sun-Times Staff Laid Off | Spin Fires EIC | New Robin Roberts Gig?

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Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Its Photo Staff (Chicago Tribune)
The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, and plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward, the newspaper said. A total of 28 full-time staffers received the news Thursday morning at a meeting held at the Sun-Times offices in Chicago, according to sources familiar with the situation. Crain’s Chicago Business The Chicago Newspaper Guild, the union that represents the photographers, immediately said it would consider taking action against the company over the cuts. It’s in negotiations on a new contract for the reporters, photographers and other workers it represents. Before the cuts, it had about 150 members at the company. Gawker A photojournalist is a photojournalist, even in times when he maybe shouldn’t be. Which is why when Sun-Times photographer Al Podgorski discovered Thursday morning that his entire department was being wiped out, the first thing he did was reach for his camera to capture the moment. National Press Photographers Association The layoffs included Chicago photojournalism icon and Pulitzer Prize-winner John H. White. Rob Hart, a Sun-Times Media photojournalist at the suburban Pioneer Press and an adjunct faculty member at the Medill School of Journalism, was in the room Thursday morning with the entire staff when they were told of the layoffs. “Being in the room with John White when we got laid off was a highlight of my career,” Hart told News Photographer magazine. MediaJobsDaily Apparently the 10th largest circulating newspaper in the country plans to rely on freelancers and reporters using their smartphones.

Spin Lets Its Editor-in-Chief Go (Poynter / MediaWire)
Spin has parted ways with editor-in-chief Caryn Ganz. Jeff Leeds, the editorial boss of parent company SpinMedia, gave the news to staffers in a meeting Wednesday night in Spin’s New York office. Reached by phone, Ganz confirmed her departure, which she called “surprising,” noting that Spin’s website had just had the second-biggest month traffic-wise in its history. FishbowlNY Here’s what a SpinMedia spokesperson had to say about Ganz’s firing: “Spin has grown steadily as a result of a concerted team effort since SpinMedia purchased it in July 2012. But we felt it required new leadership to help take it to the next level as a digital brand. Personnel shifts are never easy, and we’re deeply respectful of the enormous contribution Caryn made to help us get this far.”

Robin Roberts’ Name Floated for Daytime (B&C)
Robin Roberts has been key to elevating Good Morning America ahead of Today, and keeping it there. But does the a.m. anchor have the star power to make her own daytime show fly? That’s what execs in the station and syndication community have been buzzing about in recent days since word spread quietly that Disney/ABC might consider a Roberts-led syndicated talk show as one of the next possible GMA spinoff projects, according to multiple sources. TVNewser Roberts could head to daytime as an expansion of GMA, though it certainly sounds as though no move is imminent.

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Eric Holder’s ‘Off-The-Record’ Meeting (Politico)
Attorney general Eric Holder expressed concern on Thursday about how the Department of Justice has handled recent media investigations at an off-the-record meeting with leading representatives of the press, according to those who were present. At the session, Holder and deputy attorney general James Cole expressed a willingness to revise the guidelines for such investigations, journalists present at the get-together told Politico. HuffPost Journalists from five news outlets — The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Politico, the New York Daily News and The Wall Street Journal — attended Thursday’s meeting with Holder. CNN and McClatchy said Thursday morning that they had joined The New York Times, The Associated Press and The Huffington Post in declining Holder’s invitation to the meeting. National Journal The dustup over whether journalists should meet privately with Attorney General Eric Holder is a forest-for-the-trees flap. The existential issue still tangling Washington in knots a dozen years after 9/11 is how to balance our primal need to protect U.S. security with our fundamental belief in civil liberties.