1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Dear Jacksonville

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    A letter from the publisher sent yesterday, received via The Pipeline:

    Dear Folks,

    I am writing you today with a heavy heart. The economy has worsened and so has our advertising revenue. Our business is being so severely impacted by the dramatic downturn in the economy that we simply can’t afford to employ the same number of people. We are being forced to do some job eliminations across the company.

    Several weeks ago, I wrote to you and explained what was happening to our parent company and many other businesses as a result of the problems in the credit markets. Banks, retailers, restaurants, auto dealers, Realtors, home builders, service businesses, entertainment businesses, etc., are being affected profoundly by what is going on in the economy, and some are going out of business. Just last week, the Christian Science Monitor, a national newspaper published for more than 100 years, stopped publishing a print edition and converted to online-only. All media companies, including television, radio, magazines, yellow pages and outdoor are suffering as much as we are, or more. Unfortunately, the forecast is that we will be in this economic upheaval for another year or more.

    I want you to know that we did not arrive at a decision to eliminate jobs until we had thoroughly examined and analyzed all of our business operations and all of our products to determine ways to reduce costs first. We have cut off circulation copies in far-flung areas, reorganized distribution operations, closed or scaled back offices, reduced the frequency of distribution of some of our products, reduced the quantity of copies printed and reduced the operating budgets of every department at the Times-Union. Many departments are going through a complete reorganization in an effort to respond quickly to a changing market landscape

    It is painful to eliminate jobs but we simply have no choice. We have two major expenses – paper and people – and we have saved about all the newsprint we can. So we have to turn to our only alternative, to reduce our employment in keeping with the volume and demands of our business. We don’t have as many ads or as many pages, and we simply can’t afford the larger workforce that produced the larger product.

    Many of the people who are leaving us have been here a long time and served The Times-Union well. We give them our thanks, gratitude and best wishes as they move on to the next phase of their lives and we will do anything we can to help them. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Those of us who remain must rededicate ourselves to our customers and our community as we work our way through this very uncertain economy. Thank you for all you are doing for our company during these very difficult times.

  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I still have some old friends there, I think. I wonder what some of the names are.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    That is the nicest job of beating around the bush that I have ever read.
  5. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    I have a friend at the paper, and I don't think they find out who it is for about another week. I'll check back.
  6. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    Oh, that's a nice way to do things.
  7. Diabeetus

    Diabeetus Active Member

    From said friend:

    Severance package for ALL buyouts include insurance through the end of the month and a lump sum of one week for every year of work. All layoffs will happen before the end of the day Friday (Nov. 7). No one has told the staff how many there will be.

    Four voluntary buyouts in the newsroom on the design/copy desk (sports was not included in this); Last day is Nov. 14. These were offered in the last week of October.

    Other layoffs in the building ...
    Most of the building security staff. There will only be security between 6 p.m and 7 a.m. now.
    Another IT person, not sure how many are left.
    Several Classifieds staff members were let go, not sure how many.
    Several community publication staffers were also let go.
    One community editor who was on disability will not be returning.
    One open position on Biz will not be filled.
    There were also several online producers from Augusta helping the T-U with its Website who were let go about a week ago.

    The staff was told that the company wants to start 2009 fresh and are trying to make all the necessary "changes" before the new year begins.

    Involutary buyouts on Nov. 5:
    The T-U's ONE Georgia photographer as well as a metro editor (who just happened to have orchestrated ALL of the election coverage).
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    More from The Pipeline:

    Seven throughout the Jax organization got laid off today, including a bureau person and the editorial cartoonist. More coming tomorrow and more on Friday. Know nothing about sports yet.

    An assistant city editor got the can today, and folks cheered him as he cleaned out his desk. I'm told more than a few tears were shed, too.

    Great googly-moogly, not good.
  9. Matt1735

    Matt1735 Active Member

    They let Ed Gamble go?!?!?! That man is/was a legend there.
    Moddy, any names? I ask only because I worked there two different times as a part-timer many moons ago.
  10. silentbob

    silentbob Member

    Actually, I've seen a few of these types of letters in my day, and this is the best I've read. Most contain a lot of corporate buzzwords. Many don't even use the term "layoffs." They're very impersonal. This one wasn't. Doesn't change the message, I'm just sayin' ...
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    The company wants to start fresh... ugh..
  12. Gene Parmesan

    Gene Parmesan Member

    At least Jacksonville waited until after Election Day to fuck its staff. Can't say the same for some, ahem, other Morris newsrooms.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page