- 03/02/2014 (National Institute for Latino)

The current situation at El Diario-La Prensa newspaper in which impreMedia executives led by their COO, Francisco Seghezzo, have forced the ouster of its popular and longtime "Bajo Fuego" Columnist and former Editor-in-Chief Gerson Borrero has reached a crisis stage at the 100-year-old publication (for background, click here). This comes on the heels of their demoting Rossana Rosado to the figurehead position of "Publisher Emeritus" and forcing the resignation of  Executive Editor Erica Gonzalez. This is all seen as the first phase of a process of eliminating longtime local staff, especially union members of the Newspaper Guild. This is being executed by foreign elite corporate operatives ofthe Argentinean owners, S.A. La Nacion, in collusion with US-based local minority owners Goldman Sachs and GE Capital. This is part of a strategy to brutally and arbitrarily eliminate current staff to radically cut expenses in a move to take impreMedia's newspapers and other publications all digital.
While it is clearly the prerogative of new owners to make changes that will improve the profitability of their investment, the problem at El Diario-La Prensa and other impreMedia publications is the disrespectful and underhanded manner in which these changes are being done. As a result, former impreMedia staffers describe it as "a horrible, humiliating place to work." In El Diario, the Argentinean owners have developed a bizarre paternalistic approach of deliberately attracting a small clique of their fellow countrymen with a small group of what are described as overbearing Spaniards to intimidate and replace a largely Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Ecuadorian, Colombian, Venezuelan and other local Latino staff. It is a strategy they are pursuing nationally with their other newspapers, especially their weeklies in Orlando, San Francisco and Houston, as well as their other daily, La Opinion in Los Angeles.
Upon hearing of the major and abrupt personnel changes at El Diario-La  Prensa, which display a pattern of actions that will lead to a newspaper/news site less responsive to the needs of the local Latino population and the further demise of the paper, we were inundated with calls and emails from Latino community leaders and activists wanting to know who to contact at impreMedia to express their concerns about these developments. 
We urge you and your colleagues and organizations to write and call the following top impreMedia executive urging him and his company to reconsider their current strategy to downsize and radically reconfigure El Diario-La Prensa in ways that are destructive to its legacy as "El Campeon de los Hispanos" ("The Champion of Hispanics") and alienating the very readers they purport to be serving.

Write and call: 
Francisco Seghezzo
Chief Operating Officer
1  Metrotech Center, 18th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
212 807 4722
and copy editor@latinopolicy.org

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