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OCR Layoffs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Moderator1, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    From The Pipeline:
    The ax dropped at The Orange County Register again on Thursday as nine associates in the newsroom were laid off. Another six from elsewhere in the building are expected to be let go in the near future.
    Sports was hammered, losing three -- two writers and one copy editor -- Curtis Zupke (Ducks, golf), Chris Tobolski (preps) and Alan Petersen (copy desk).
    The other six were a photog, news copy editor, advertorial writer, two Web editors and another desk editor who already announced his upcoming retirement.
    Layoffs were solely OCR, not Freedom-wide. Apparently there is a rumor that the OCR newsroom was the second largest in the state, behind only the L.A. Times and ahead of bigger papers in San Diego and the Bay Area. So corporate slashed based on that.
  2. MileHigh

    MileHigh Moderator Staff Member

    Shit. Know people in that newsroom. None on this list, but that doesn't make it any easier. And this may be a precursor if Uncle Dean gets his hands on it and starts his famous consolidating. It's never going to end.
  3. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Got to love laying off a guy who has already announced he's retiring soon. Am I wrong, or wouldn't it be cheaper to just wait (and not pay a buyout)?
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't know any specifics about these layoffs, but in most cases lately, the 2011 buyouts have not even been close to those buyouts in 2007 and 2008. These days, if you get a week's pay for every year you've been there, you're lucky.
  5. rmanfredi

    rmanfredi Active Member

    Curtis Zupke started at the Register the same time I was there. He was one of the nicest young guys on the staff, and absolutely someone who had a ton of talent. I hope he lands on his feet - and that's definitely crummy timing to let your NHL team's beat writer go with the playoffs approaching.
  6. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    A going away gift? That's been known to happen. Happy retirement with a little severance package to jump start it. Sometimes that's a way the rank-and-file take care of each other even when they have no control over what goes on above them.
  7. WriteThinking

    WriteThinking Well-Known Member

    No, cutting someone already planning to go is the way someone else's job is saved.

    The retiring guy is an easy pick to be one of the ones laid off, and he should be. It is doing everyone else a favor, actually. Otherwise, someone else will be going.

    The same thing happened at a previous paper I was at. There was a guy who was planning to go, anyway. And if he hadn't, at least two others would have lost their jobs.
  8. J-School Blue

    J-School Blue Member

    It also might be a signal his position won't be filled after he leaves.

    Not that there was a high chance of it being filled anyway.
  9. BrianGriffin

    BrianGriffin Active Member

    Yeah, that's what I mean. If somebody is about to depart already, you call him in and try to set it up as a layoff. They get a severance package out of it and it decreases the chance of the next guy getting cut.

    At my shop, sports was spared of layoffs the last go-around because there had already been some attrition of, if I recall, three people who had left in fairly short order. We just didn't replace them (well, eventually replaced one) and they counted that as the losses. The rest of the newsroom was slashed, but it was explained to them why sports was spared.

    I don't think the severance packages were great but I bet the three guys who left (one retired, one moved to another business -- call him the smart one -- and the other got another journalism job) wish they could have timed it so they would have been been able to take a severance.
  10. gravehunter

    gravehunter Member

    I've heard on good authority that Zupke was cut because he didn't work for the editor who made the decisions on who to cut. The guy in charge keeps the guys under his own wing and lays off the people under other supervisors. That way his people are able to keep producing and make him look better.

    That's BS.
  11. britwrit

    britwrit Well-Known Member

    In New Jersey, if you're laid off instead of technically retiring, you also can get unemployment. That's what happened to my Dad when he finally decided to stop working at 72.
  12. Birdscribe

    Birdscribe Active Member

    Worked with Zupke on golf when he was the golf writer after John Reger left.

    He didn't particularly embrace the sport or the beat, but he worked his ass off to do the best job he could. Plus, he was a class act who always could find a way to help me out with a client.

    He deserved better. Far better.
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