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Next on the chopping block - Providence Journal

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rhody31, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Numbers aren't out, but buyouts are coming to the state's biggest paper.

    This is the paper I wanted to end my career at. If things keep going this way, it might get shut down before my career is over.
  2. Della9250

    Della9250 Well-Known Member

    The sports section has gone downhill so much from a decade ago its not even funny.
  3. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    i'm sorry, but if you're younger than 45, why would anyone want to be working at a newspaper when they are 50?
  4. slc10

    slc10 Member

    Because I miss what I was doing until I was almost 49 when I was terminated by the publisher in a move that has led me to depression, lack of funds and the possibility of sleeping in my car. That is why this person who is a month from turning 50 would work for a newspaper.
  5. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    yeah, well i'm 45 and changing location. i'm doing everything possible to jump into another profession because, let's face it: journalism is a slow death march.

    will i end up at another newspaper? maybe. do i want to work at another newspaper? fuck no.
  6. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I always wished I had gotten a shot there, but the timing never worked.

    I actually worked as a stringer, briefly, and one of the other part-time was Art Martone.

    Back in the 1970s and 1980s, that was one heck of a staff.

    Paul Kenyon, then John Gillespie, were two of the classic high school sports guys.
  7. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    PK is still there. They moved him to URI basketball/amateur golf until Shalise Manza Young left; now he's on the Pats beat.
    Gillooly is still there doing preps. He's a legend in RI, but a lot of the new coaches (hired last 5-10 years) aren't big fans.
  8. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I find it amazing those two guys are still there. I worked with them in 1978 or so.

  9. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    The amazing thing to me from that article:

    "The paper put up a paywall in February after limiting its HTML site to short news briefs and sold 273 electronic-edition subscriptions as of March."

    That seems like a shockingly low amount to me.
  10. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Bump! According to Ted Nesi, a media guy who reports on the media in Rhode Island, Projo made 23 cuts today - no reporters, but three photogs: http://blogs.wpri.com/2012/11/08/projo-lays-off-23-as-ad-sales-drop-13-ceo-remains-gloomy/

    Weird part to me - Advertising revenue has fallen about 13 percent year to year, even though it's an election year. That's not a great sign, although if you want to be cynical, maybe the Projo pushed especially hard for these cuts now because revenue numbers would come out for that final election push buy of ads later.
  11. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    What I don't understand is how layoffs are going to solve the problem. That link reported the company made $96 million this year and it had 460 employees.

    Even at an average salary of $50K a year (Which I'd bet is a lot higher than the actual average salary), that means that employee salaries cost a total of $23 million. Where/What does the company do with the other $73 million? How can it not operate on $73 million?

    This is another example of business assholes saying "Well, we used to have a 30 percent profit margin and now it's only 28 percent so let's fire people because that'll fix it!"

    My newspaper has tried this layoff approach for years and the coverage has dramatically suffered as a result, leading to an even steeper decline because readers aren't going to pay more/the same for less. So when our recent numbers came out, we were down 10% across the board and no one had an answer as to why because they refused to acknowledge how poor the decision was to lay people off.

    Eventually it catches up with you. At the Projo, this will be no different.
  12. sgreenwell

    sgreenwell Well-Known Member

    Agree completely with all of this. The papers that seem to be doing the best in our state at the ones who have resisted the urge to layoff, and instead, they just accept a bit less of a return each year. Yeah, it's not good, but the alternative - hacking for a short-term gain - seems to gut the paper over the long run.

    The other issue with the short staff - You leave yourself very vulnerable if Something happens. That Something could be anything from an illness to someone getting a better job offer to being stuck with someone shitty just because he's there.
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