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Shakeup at the Post

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Doesn't sound too bad on the surface. Let's see what happens when it gets to print.
  2. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    From the memo, that doesn't sound all that bad, aside from the staff attrition, of course.
    We need to be re-thinking the way we operate, and it's kind of cheering to see that perhaps the most engaging major paper in the country wants to stay on the cutting edge, instead of just hacking jobs and trying to do the same with less.
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Tightening of space and staff by attrition are periodic givens, even pre-Internet. It doesn't have a huge traumatic effect on a big staff unless the staff perceives it as a monumental scaling back of the paper's overall ambition to be one of the nation's best papers, at which point ambitious people start to leave en masse and are replaced by people just happy to be there. I doubt that's what we'll see at the WP. It's only been a few years since the paper offered mass buyouts and then quickly responded with some very aggressive hiring, especially in sports.

    A lot depends on how well-managed the place was to begin with. I've been on some lean staffs that were not badly injured by staff cuts because management was accustomed to making every person and every dollar count, so they were on top of things and knew where cuts would be the least destructive. And then I've been on some bloated staffs on which maybe 25 percent of the people did little or no work, but upper management was so out to lunch that they didn't know where the fat was and so they just tried to hit every department equally, which is stupid. I worked one place that cut about 75 newsroom positions by attrition, and you got to see some people have to put in an honest day's work for the first time in years. I know that sounds mean, but I have to say I enjoyed that part of it. The good thing about lean times on lazy papers is that priorities change, and management begins to value a person's productivity over whose ass they kiss.
  4. Jinga_Thomson

    Jinga_Thomson Member

    The Post is one of the nation's best newspapers for journalism. Does this tightening of space foretell fewer enterprise pieces, which I have seen as one of the Post's strengths?

    It's better than slashing jobs, but I still hope it does not come as a result of watering down what has always been a superior product.
  5. DyePack

    DyePack New Member


    I have yet to see any place that used much logic in making cuts or got any better in the course of making them.

    There were always people who weren't carrying their share of the load. After the cuts, they were still there and still not carrying their share of the load. At best, the burnouts took buyouts and got a lot of money to do what they had been doing: Nothing.
  6. steveu

    steveu Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't think so. Maybe Mondays and Tuesdays, which are lighter days anyway, but I would think the Sunday Post would still be open space-wise. It doesn't sound like the space cuts are anything major for the time being. Let's just hope there aren't more.
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