Author Topic: More MG News  (Read 37797 times)

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Offline Mizzougrad96

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #225 on: September 16, 2009, 10:09:28 AM »
Seriously, if this is all you have to deal with between now and the end of the year, you're pretty fucking lucky.

Five days? Take it all in the same week, collect unemployment and it's basically the same as having to take 1-2 days unpaid.

It's better than an across-the-board cut where you have to do the same amount of work for less pay or it's better than layoffs.
"I don't mean to sound cold or cruel or vicious, but I am so that's how it comes out." - Bill Hicks

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Offline imjustagirl

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #226 on: September 16, 2009, 10:14:52 AM »
You're an asshole.

1.) It's one day in the third quarter, four in the fourth.

2.) This most likely isn't INSTEAD of layoffs. Do you really think everyone's heaving a sigh of relief that they ONLY have to take furlough days? MG has done nothing to make anyone think this is it.
The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant. -- The Doctor

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Offline JKelly12

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #227 on: September 16, 2009, 10:16:46 AM »
Better than layoffs or a straight pay cut, yes. Don't think I've lost sight of the fact that I've been one of the lucky ones where layoffs are concerned. I'm probably overdue for that axe to fall on me, actually.
Now, having said that, it's still one hell of a hardship. I'm a managing editor at a group of weeklies and can't just knock off for a week. Plus I've already been shuffled among three different properties in less than a year with the company. Add to that the fact that my wife hasn't been able to find a job in the last 11 months since I pulled her out of her old job to move for the second time in two years, and I think I've earned the right to be a little pissed off - mostly at myself for not being able to let go of this damn industry.

Offline JKelly12

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #228 on: September 16, 2009, 10:21:51 AM »
And one more thing, Mizzou - since I'm on salary, they just take the money out of my check without waiting for me to schedule my furlough days. Actually, if I don't take the time off at all, they don't really care. But I'm going to have at least $90 coming out of my paycheck next week, which I wasn't exactly prepared for. Still have to pay the rent on time, though.
Thanks, IJAG, for what you wrote to Mizzou. There's definitely a sense within MG that this is only a warmup for much, much more bad news.

Offline Mizzougrad96

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #229 on: September 16, 2009, 10:27:40 AM »
It's a ridiculous hardship. It sucks. Everybody in the journalism business just keeps getting hit and hit and hit and while the economy is eventually going to recover, things are not going to get better for newspapers.

But when these companies announce furloughs, it's usually in place of layoffs. Could that announcement come soon as well? Of course...

I know a lot of good people who would have killed for their bad news to be a furlough and not have their livelihood taken from them.
"I don't mean to sound cold or cruel or vicious, but I am so that's how it comes out." - Bill Hicks

"I'd like to begin by saying fuck Lance Armstrong. Fuck him and his balls and his bicycles and his steroids and his yellow shirts ... And while you're at it, fuck Tiger

Hustle

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #230 on: September 16, 2009, 10:28:48 AM »
What annoys me is they're advertising for a copy editor in Waynesboro. Rumor has it that paper will be designed in Lynchburg by the end of the year along with Danville, Reidsville, etc. - the ones which are already there.
I don't believe those will be the only ones.

Offline partain

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #231 on: September 16, 2009, 10:54:09 AM »
It's a ridiculous hardship. It sucks. Everybody in the journalism business just keeps getting hit and hit and hit and while the economy is eventually going to recover, things are not going to get better for newspapers.

But when these companies announce furloughs, it's usually in place of layoffs. Could that announcement come soon as well? Of course...

I know a lot of good people who would have killed for their bad news to be a furlough and not have their livelihood taken from them.

But they are taking your livelihood from you -- just one piece at a time instead of all at once. A hundred bucks less a paycheck doesn't sound like much to some folks--but it's a huge difference when you're barely getting by as it is.

Offline Mizzougrad96

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #232 on: September 16, 2009, 10:57:59 AM »
It's a ridiculous hardship. It sucks. Everybody in the journalism business just keeps getting hit and hit and hit and while the economy is eventually going to recover, things are not going to get better for newspapers.

But when these companies announce furloughs, it's usually in place of layoffs. Could that announcement come soon as well? Of course...

I know a lot of good people who would have killed for their bad news to be a furlough and not have their livelihood taken from them.

But they are taking your livelihood from you -- just one piece at a time instead of all at once. A hundred bucks less a paycheck doesn't sound like much to some folks--but it's a huge difference when you're barely getting by as it is.

It is a lot. But it's nothing when compared to losing your job when there are no other jobs available.
"I don't mean to sound cold or cruel or vicious, but I am so that's how it comes out." - Bill Hicks

"I'd like to begin by saying fuck Lance Armstrong. Fuck him and his balls and his bicycles and his steroids and his yellow shirts ... And while you're at it, fuck Tiger

Offline Cosmo

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #233 on: September 16, 2009, 10:59:50 AM »
It's five days on top of the 10 already taken, 'zou. That's six weeks of vacation for me -- three paid, three unpaid. And they wonder why there's nothing int he fucking paper.
In recent days I've begun to compare this job to like being in an abusive marriage. The business keeps going all Chris Brown on me, and I know it's better for my health if I leave ... but I've just got nowhere else to go. -- Some Guy

Offline silvercharm

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #234 on: September 16, 2009, 11:19:33 AM »
It's a ridiculous hardship. It sucks. Everybody in the journalism business just keeps getting hit and hit and hit and while the economy is eventually going to recover, things are not going to get better for newspapers.

But when these companies announce furloughs, it's usually in place of layoffs. Could that announcement come soon as well? Of course...

I know a lot of good people who would have killed for their bad news to be a furlough and not have their livelihood taken from them.
Seriously, he's right. I'd take a week, two weeks, three weeks of furlough over a layoff. I can make up a few weeks of unpaid. What is a bitch is trying to find a new job when you're 50. Try that.

Offline Moderator1

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #235 on: September 16, 2009, 11:22:15 AM »
I'm pretty sure they ordered furloughs earlier in the year and then followed that with the big layoffs - because they at least had the decency to kick back the furlough money to those laid off.
There's nothing that says this is IT.  Nothing.
And I don't believe you can just "take it all at once."  It has to be scheduled with the supervisor. Four over the course of a quarter.
Go out of your way to make good memories. At some point, these memories may be all you have left. May God bless you all.

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Offline Jake_Taylor

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #236 on: September 16, 2009, 11:28:15 AM »
As a MG employee, obviously I'm glad I haven't been let go (yet?), but this is really difficult to deal with. How are households supposed to budget when our salaries keep getting chipped away at. I'd like to get the dent in the side of my car fixed or buy new glasses, but who knows if the company is going to take even more money from me in a month or two. So those things have to wait.

Between furloughs, not getting any raise this year and not getting the overtime I was promised when I took this job, I'm making about 18 percent less than I was supposed to be at this point. It's just about enough to make me say fuck it and take a job, any job, that pays me more than minimum wage and allows me to be home with my wife and dogs in the evenings.

Offline Jake_Taylor

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #237 on: September 16, 2009, 11:30:37 AM »
Oh and this is after they patted us all on the backs and brought in a cake a few weeks ago because our paper met all its revenue goals for the month. I'm making thousands of dollars less than I should be because of shit that is going on at other papers, but hey, I got a slice of cake out of it.

Offline Moderator1

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #238 on: September 16, 2009, 11:56:27 AM »
Did you eat it, too?
Go out of your way to make good memories. At some point, these memories may be all you have left. May God bless you all.

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Offline Jake_Taylor

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #239 on: September 16, 2009, 11:57:48 AM »
Of course, none of us can afford to pass up free food.

Offline Moderator1

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #240 on: September 16, 2009, 12:14:51 PM »
A note sent to me:

What's likely going to happen is that all of the papers will be designed in one or two places. Well, Richmond and Tampa will design themselves, but the rest of the properties (including a couple in Alabama) will be designed either in Hickory or Lynchburg.

So, that's going to screw some people out of jobs, several I'm very close to, if in fact this does go through. I have no reason to believe it won't.

The culprit behind this, from what I'm hearing, is Donna Reed, who was reassigned to some BS title, then fearing she'd be next to go, decided to pitch this new product, thinking it would be "something for her to lead" Because Gannett did it, Media General could do it too. MG is very good about following Gannett's lead.

When she came to a property to present a design award to a news-side employee and bring them cake, she told the ME later in the day that they would head this direction. This was mid-July, I think. The ME was livid, and so were the publishers nearby. The publishers I'm aware of have raised all hell. Some publishers might not care so much, but some do.

Somewhere I also heard that the Winston-Salem paper would be designed in Tampa.

The worst part is that Donna and the other suits have said "This will improve the quality." That pissed off said ME, and others. How in the hell someone in Hickory, N.C. can design a paper in Auburn or Dothan, Ala., is beyond me, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Our ME told the designers last week because someone caught wind of it. I guess that's better than getting a two-week notice a couple of months from now.

This would affect my wife, a copy editor/designer, and several more people I care about. I guess it would affect me, though I'm not a designer by job title (I help out on desk). I guess we're the dumbasses for following our dreams and doing what we wanted to do. She's on a vacation this week with friends, planned months back, and I don't want to tell her about the extra furlough days until she gets back.

Again, this isn't a final decision, but I suppose it's just a matter of time. Since it seems that more people know, it needs to get out there.
Go out of your way to make good memories. At some point, these memories may be all you have left. May God bless you all.

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Offline Drip

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #241 on: September 16, 2009, 12:23:41 PM »
I guess this means to disregard those vacancy jobs at several MG posts, eh?

Offline JKelly12

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #242 on: September 16, 2009, 12:39:56 PM »
I had heard it was going to be Waynesboro and several others being designed in Lynchburg, in addition to the seven papers already being done there. I don't want to identify specific papers and alarm people if they're not actually on the list, but my understanding is it would be pretty much every MG paper in Virginia with the exception of Richmond. Also, I think Kannapolis, Hickory, etc. have been designed in Statesville since about May, but I could be wrong there.
If other people know about this, I don't feel quite so badly about posting the info. It's certainly bad news for a lot of good designers out there, as well as a lot of other folks (like SEs who are doing their own sections). But the bad news is coming in bunches these days, isn't it?

Hustle

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #243 on: September 16, 2009, 12:47:39 PM »
I just wish someone would be up front with us.

Look, I realize it's a matter of time before I lose my job. You're a damn fool if you don't see the writing on the wall.

But I've gone to people at like four different papers to try and get some scrap of info. Morton's offhand comment on the webcast ain't gonna cut it.

Not that I expect to be treated with any dignity, mind you.

Offline Jake_Taylor

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #244 on: September 16, 2009, 12:51:11 PM »
I've heard basically the same things about moving the design operations to Lynchburg. I was also told that the ME and publisher from another paper in Virginia approached Donna Reed with an alternative idea and were chewed out for daring to question her.

lone star scribe

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #245 on: September 16, 2009, 01:01:11 PM »
MG presents Donna Reed, starring in "It's A Wonderful Layoff."

(Apologies to Jimmy Stewart and this bitch's namesake, who was a wonderful actress.)

Offline JKelly12

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #246 on: September 16, 2009, 01:20:01 PM »
Forgive me for backtracking a little. I just wanted to address something originally brought up by Mizzou earlier today.
I don't think any of us being furloughed are insensitive to the plight of those who have been laid off or whose papers have been shut down (Rocky, P-I, etc.) Quite the contrary. I have thought many times that could easily happen to me, and at some point it probably will. As hard as it is to make ends meet now, I couldn't even come close if I was out of work entirely. I get that.
Now, having said that, it still creates sudden and unexpected hardship. I knew there was a possibility of more furlough, but I wasn't expecting more than another day or two. And I certainly wasn't expecting MG to suddenly stick us with yet another unpaid day in the third quarter.
And as we all scramble to pay our bills and stay afloat, we're all aware that more furloughs and more staff cuts could be looming on the horizon. I'm one of the stubborn ones who insists that print newspapers will still exist in some form five or 10 years from now - mostly as small-town weeklies, sure, but at least they'll be out there.
Up until recently I figured I'd find some obscure weekly and go work there as long as I possibly can. Now, for the first time, I'm really starting to consider what else is out there. I'm not going to flip burgers or stock shelves if I can help it, but if I can find something stable outside the newspaper industry, I'll take it and just be miserable for the rest of my working days. Because, like a lot of you, newspapers were all I ever wanted to be involved in.

Offline Yodel

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #247 on: September 16, 2009, 01:24:01 PM »
Jim Zimmerman and Donna Reed from their west coast trip last year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqS38SSeaCc
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Offline Cosmo

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #248 on: September 16, 2009, 01:30:54 PM »
Yeah, I hadn't taken my September day yet, so now I need to take two in the next two weeks, right in the heart of college football season, not to mention the minor league baseball playoffs that won't end. Things just aren't going to get done next week. We're going to lose some of our college football coverage and some of our prep football coverage because of manpower. And that's fine with me. Reap what you sow, MG.
In recent days I've begun to compare this job to like being in an abusive marriage. The business keeps going all Chris Brown on me, and I know it's better for my health if I leave ... but I've just got nowhere else to go. -- Some Guy

Offline Big Circus

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Re: More MG News
« Reply #249 on: September 16, 2009, 01:33:35 PM »
So if you're an MG designer anywhere other than Richmond, Tampa, Lynchburg or Hickory, you're fucked?