Miami Herald Employees Turn to Santeria 'Rooster' for Help

Miami Herald employees, worried about retaining their jobs due to severe cutbacks in the newspaper industry, have now looked to a Santeria 'rooster' (photo) for help. The rooster is actually a life sized replica with a note attached that says:

Brought in by a Santeria priest (the real deal from Hialeah) to help save our jobs. Leave an offering.

The rooster and the offerings were placed on a fifth floor counter last Thursday facing an elevator bank in the Herald building in Miami. Among the offerings placed on the counter by the end of that work day were coins, cigars, and a Virgin de Guadalupe candle. Perhaps the Herald employees need to make even more offerings since the McClatchy Company which owns the Miami Herald just announced big layoffs today:

The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) announced today that it plans to reduce its workforce by about 10% as the company accelerates efforts to manage through today's difficult advertising market and position itself for future success in an increasingly competitive environment.

"We have been transitioning steadily and successfully from a traditional newspaper company to an integrated multimedia company for some time," said McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt. "The effects of the current national economic downturn -- particularly in real estate, auto and employment advertising -- make it essential that we move faster now to realign our workforce and make our operations more efficient. I'm sorry this requires the painful announcement we are making today, but we're taking this action to help ensure a healthy future for our company."

The total number of affected McClatchy employees is estimated at 1400. The Herald employees might think about using a real rooster, not a replica. A real rooster might be messier but possibly more effective in conjuring up Santeria power for newspaper workers protection.

UPDATE: You can now see a video of the Santeria rooster in the Herald newsroom.

UPDATE #2: Apparently the gods of Santeria are not pleased when a replica rooster is substituted for the real deal. As a result, the Miami Herald took a hit of 17% reductions as opposed to the average of 10% announced by McClatchy earlier today. This amounts to laying off about 250 full time Herald employees out of a total of 1440.

H/T: Herald Watch.

Miami Herald

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