The NewsGuild of Greater Philadelphia


August 19, 2015billrossInquirer

In an effort to get some answers to your many questions concerning working on “Pope Weekend,” Guild leaders met Tuesday afternoon with Stan Wischnowski, PMN VP of News Operations, Keith Black, VP of Human Resources, and Inquirer Managing Editors Gabe Escobar and Sandy Clark.


There still remain more questions than answers. In large part, this is because there are so many unanswered questions from the city regarding the logistics of papal activities, including issues regarding security and access routes, the company says.


One of your most frequently asked questions has been whether you will be paid OT if you wind up having to come in early or stay late for a shift due to limited transit options or if you have no options but to sleep at 801 Market on “Pope Weekend.” The company is still pondering that one but their first response, until we asked them to reconsider, is that you will only get paid for the hours you work. 


The Guild maintains OT should be awarded, especially if someone can’t make it home because their shift prevents them from making it to a train before they stop running for the evening.


The Company says it expects between 30 and 80 employees will sleep over. Guild leaders suggested one way to limit the number having to resort to that is to assign reporters and editors who live in “the box” in the city the later shifts on Saturday and Sunday. Company officials were receptive to the idea and said they would give that further thought. We also urged them to take a poll on how many employees who are city dwellers would be willing to have colleagues sleep at their homes or even shower there.


The company is indicating that most copy editors and news editors working that weekend will either do so from the Schuylkill Printing Plant or the Cherry Hill bureau.


We asked if arrangements had been firmed up regarding having food available at the various work locations for those working the weekend. That, too, is unresolved when it comes to 801 Market as nearby restaurants don’t yet know whether they will be able to get employees in and food supplies delivered.


The company is working on a plan to deliver a specially printed wrap to those leaving the city after the pope celebrates Mass Sunday, Sept. 27. That wrap, filled with photos and other coverage of the Mass, will be distributed at train stations Sunday night, wrapped around that Sunday’s Inquirer.


If you have other questions, please forward them to



(it’s the closest we could find to “In solidarity” in Latin)


Howard Gensler

Diane Mastrull

Bill Ross