As you may have heard, the Cleveland Indians fired  their manager, Manny Acta ,  just before the end of another dismal season.  The dismissal was hardly newsworthy in a town where baseball managers and Browns football coaches come and go  as often as the junk mail in your mailbox.   It’s so Cleveland.  (Please don’t hate me for noting that the Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948; the NFL Browns, never.)

Losing is in the city’s genes, or as former  Democratic county commissioner and unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate Tim Hagan once lamented the night  that his favorite mayoral candidate was defeated, “There’s gotta be something in the water.”

Well, not entirely. The city can boast of a great symphony orchestra, a  widely respected art museum and Cleveland Clinic.

But these notable amenities  have somehow escaped the political landscape  that of more recent vintage has sent powerhouse county commissioner and political boss Jimmy Dimora to 28 years in prison as well as many of his beneficiaries to lesser terms on corruption charges.

And now there are newsroom rumblings at the Plain Dealer that something scarily big is on the horizon in 2013.  A source told me this week the staff has been advised to expect unspecified changes, perhaps in January,  that has left a lot of folks guessing  about the next downsizing of the paper that once so influenced Columbus that front-office boss Tom Vail vainly wanted to move the Capitol to downtown  Cleveland.

But like most papers today, the PD has been forced to correct its course against the whirring headwinds of electronic media.  Over the past six years , daily circulation has fallen 28 pct. to 246,000.  So the rumors that mark the territorial  rights  of newsrooms now raise suspicion that  the Newhouse-owned paper will shift to three-day publication – Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – as some other dailies have already  done.

Or there will be further deep cuts in staff.


Nothing is official.  But there was that staff meeting in which an editor warned of changes in January. It was left to each staffer to do the math and fill in the blanks..