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Montgomery axes three summer interns before they start

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by DanOregon, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    From the Maynard Institute:

    The Gannett Co. newspaper in Montgomery, Ala., was forced to make quick and drastic budget cuts last week, editor Wanda Lloyd told Journal-isms on Monday, leaving three interns suddenly without summer jobs. Similar cuts could be coming at other Gannett properties.
    The displaced interns were instantly picked up by Schurz Communications, a South Bend, Ind., media company that owns 15 dailies and five weeklies. Charles V. Pittman, the company's senior vice president-newspapers, had just addressed the interns Friday at the Freedom Forum's Diversity Institute in Nashville, and said he could not let "these young people have their internship pulled out from under them."
    The three students will be going to the Herald Times in Bloomington, Ind. Schurz is taking a total of 13 interns, all of them trained in a joint multimedia program of Black College Wire and the Diversity Institute.
    "I would not have done this if I had any other choice," Lloyd, editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, told Journal-isms. She said that after a recent meeting of Gannett publishers, she was told by her publisher, Scott Brown, that the newspaper would be asked to take a look at possible cuts for the rest of 2007. She was on vacation last week attending a high-school reunion.
    "The money for the three interns was not in the budget," Lloyd said. In order to meet new budget targets, she said, she might have had to cut a full-time staff member. "I had to make that decision very quickly," she said. "I just didn't see any other way."

    Sounds pretty bad, but what struck me is that Bloomington has 13 interns! How big is their regular staff? Props to Schurz.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    typical doings of late for MGY, especially under Brown's current regime.
    To him, the saving grace of the paper is going to be a rec page. After you factor in the front, a rec page and agate, there's no space left for the rest, leaving the sports staff to wonder. WTF?
    Yes, in the heart of SEC country, 40 minutes from Auburn and a couple of hours from Tuscaloosa, the publisher at paper for the state's second largest city cuts interns and wants to use a rec page "to save the paper."
    No wonder the sports staff has lost an SE and a prep writer in the last 18 months.
  3. Gee, a Gannett paper acting like soulless demon spawn.
    Who'd've guessed?
  4. lapdog

    lapdog Member

    This is standard practice for A Certain Media Company (I'll let you guess which one ;D ), except they do it with full-time employees, not interns.

    Hire people, convince them to move cross-country, uproot their families, sign leases or mortgages, then cut 'em loose a few weeks later. Not fired for poor performance, just cut loose. Tough titties, kid, I hear Wal-Mart is hiring.
  5. Bob Slydell

    Bob Slydell Active Member

    I think we've got two of them. I'll have to ask.
  6. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    You got two of them, Slydell?

    We only ever had one at a time when I was there. And never any in sports, though we could sometimes trick the intern into typing in some stuff.
  7. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    You stay classy, Gannett.
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, there's something disingenuous about axing three interns and citing that had they not, a full-time staffer would likely have had to been cut. Like that's not going to happen anyway in the near future, if not via layoff than by attrition or whatever else passes for newsroom reduction.

    Putting out three interns who probably weren't going to make king's wages anyway and were probably excited about being there is bad karma.
  9. SportsGuyBCK

    SportsGuyBCK Member

    Whaddya wanna bet that this bunch will have trouble finding college interns from now on?
  10. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Like the current job market doesn't overwhelmingly favor management. They'll still have lots of interns begging for jobs.
  11. Bump_Wills

    Bump_Wills Member

    So now we're burning our seed corn.

    Seriously, if media companies can't find the coin to cultivate the coming generations of journalists -- you know, the ones that might actually find a way out of this morass -- then what's the point?
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    If I were a company that needed talent that you might find on newspaper staffs, from writers to managers to sales people to artists -- I would aggressively recruit the people.

    I know we will always need reports and writers and editors but newspapers corporations can't seem to get out of their own way.

    They try to make money the way they always did and scratch their heads and get rid of people when it comes up short. Where does that path take you?
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