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AJC section changes/staffing cuts - INTERESTING UPDATE 8/26

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Nola4520, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. Nola4520

    Nola4520 Member

  2. BartonK

    BartonK Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    The extra sections that are getting folded in were superfluous ad magnets anyway, and some were printed on a thicker paper for some unknown reason. Can't imagine anyone missing them. Workforce cuts are sad, though.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    The sections will expand, but staffing will be cut... lovely
  4. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    Staff got this:

    To all,

    For several years, we have been talking about the transformational change needed in our company. When we realigned the newsroom over a year ago, our goal was to create a nimble structure that is adaptable to change and best positions us to achieve our dual mission of growing digital and re-inventing print. You have done a great -- often-heroic -- job of making that happen.

    Digital growth is double what it was, with our page view traffic topping 1 billion in 2007. Ajc.com continues to rate among the top newspaper sites in the country. We earned an A- from 24/7 Wall St.com, a site that recently ranked the websites of the Top 25 newspapers. On the print side, we believe we are getting traction with readers. The work on our key 2.0 initiative is inspiring and brilliant, and we have great hope for our new and improved Sunday newspaper. Feedback from more than 3,000 readers at focus groups has been very positive.

    However, John’s announcement earlier today makes it clear that the time has come for more change. The current economic realities, the product changes announced and the requirements for the new Sunday paper necessitate we adjust our newsroom structure.

    Here are the highlights of what to expect:

    · We had 435 full-time staffers in the newsroom after the 2007 reorganization. As we saw the downturn in the economy, we slowed and then stopped hiring. We are now at 408. We will go to 350 full-time staffers.
    · To achieve this staffing target, we will offer a generous Voluntary Separation Program (VSP) to most full time employees with more than five years of Cox pension vesting service.
    · A few individuals in key digital jobs and key leadership positions with more than five years of Cox pension vesting service are excluded from the VSP offer. (If you’re not eligible, you’ve already been notified).
    · Those eligible for the VSP will have two weeks to decide if they are interested in participating. The VSP application deadline is July 31st.
    · The application approval criteria for this year’s VSP program will be different from last year. While we hope to be able to approve all of the VSP applications, we must make sure we are maintaining staffing balance across the departments and within specific job categories. Therefore, if we have too many VSP applications within a job category, it may be necessary to decline some applications. In those cases, people with the least company seniority will be declined.
    · While we hope to approve enough VSP applications to reach a newsroom staff target of 350 full-time employees, we may need to enact an Involuntary Separation Program (ISP) to do so.
    · Involuntary separation program selections will take into consideration departmental needs, and will be based on past performance and the skills to do the work needed.
    In addition to bringing the newsroom staffing level to 350 full-timers, we are also adjusting the newsroom structure to better enable us to support the product changes.
    · First, we will go from four major departments to three. We’ll have one content department, headed by Mike Lupo. It will provide content for digital, daily print and Sunday print.
    · Second, the print department, headed by Bert Roughton, will become smaller, with fewer sections to produce. The staff will generally be divided into those focusing on daily and those focusing on Sunday.
    · All departments (large and small) will see reductions except for the digital department. Robin Henry remains ME/Digital.

    Changes like this are never easy. We are committed to keeping you informed about how these changes impact you and your department, what to expect when, and where we go from here. Also, we will work hard to make this process as fast and fair as possible. We are targeting to have all of these changes completed by the end of August.

    Shortly, you will receive an invitation to a meeting later today where we will discuss the product changes in more detail and provide you with more information on the separation programs. You will also receive an invitation to a meeting tomorrow to discuss how your department will be impacted by these changes.

    Thanks, as always, for your professionalism as we work through these difficult times.


  5. KG

    KG Active Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    They also moved the classifieds to the back of the sports section this week.
  6. beefncheddar

    beefncheddar Guest

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    "Voluntary Separation Program (VSP)"

    This shit never ceases to amaze me.
  7. healingman

    healingman Guest

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    Wait a sec. Lawyers might start using that "VSP" term to sell their divorce services.

    That just sucks. OK, so I'll use the word -- fucking sucks. Period.
  8. MMatt60

    MMatt60 Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    So for months, the AJC touted its plan to have "news and information reporters" and a different team of "enterprise" reporters. Oops. Now they can explain why the new plan is really better.
  9. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    they need to just walk around with a sign on their foreheads saying, "we fucked up."
  10. Rockbottom

    Rockbottom Active Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    From the Rockbottom Pipeline ...

    As many as 60 newsroom cuts, including SEVERAL in sports. Among the folks potentially taking voluntary buyouts? Mr. College Football himself Tony Barnhart.


  11. Mahoney

    Mahoney Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    The word at media days was that Barnhart was very likely to go. Steve Hummer's name also was being mentioned quite a bit.
  12. GuessWho

    GuessWho Active Member

    Re: AJC section changes/staffing cuts

    Good God.
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