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Terrible newspaper firings/layoffs

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Tom Petty, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    Another thread got me thinking about how poorly executed firings and layoffs can be in the newspaper business ... I've heard of some terrible stuff, but will start this one off with one I was associated with:

    Several years back I was asked to take a position where there already was an SE in place ... they were going to fire the guy. The editor initially contacted me, and then I started talking dollars and direction with the publisher. I accepted the position and the publisher said the SE was going to be released at the end of the week on a Friday.

    Well, on that Wednesday, the publisher had a follow-up question for me and he decided to shoot me off an email. It started off something like: "Once SE Jones is gone I would like to see you here on such and such date ..."

    Yeah, I'm only paraphrasing here because I never received the email ... the publisher never sent it to me. He sent it to the wrong SE. He sent it to the cat he was getting ready to fire.

    What a shitty way to learn you're getting whacked.

    Anyone else?
  2. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    No offense, but this is going to be a really depressing thread I'm thinking.
    This thread also got me to thinking ... in the past few years has any good news come out of the newspaper business? Any at all?
    I'm thinking only Warren Buffett. Everything else has been doom and gloom. Everything. To those of you in the newspaper business ... we are part of business that is engulfed in negativity. Almost every aspect of this business is negative. Almost every person in the business I know has either gotten out or is trying to get out. The only happy people are the CEO's still making millions.
  3. Beef03

    Beef03 Active Member

    At my last spot you knew they were getting ready to lay people off whenever they said something along the lines of "Things are really starting to turn around . . . " or "There are a number of things we can do before we cut editorial positions again . . ." The ax was swinging over my head for about three and a half years before I moved on, depressing as shit because you wake up everyday wondering "is today my day?" You almost end up wishing they would just do it to put you out of your misery and force you into a different career.
  4. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    actually, the newspapers that buffet bought were hacked to shit before he picked them up so the profit margins appeared more attractive, from what i understand.
  5. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    But the big thing is Buffett believes in the traditional newspaper model as well as the Internet model and hasn't bought into the crap spewing from the mouths of consultants. He'll laugh all the way to the bank making money off the old newspaper model. At least that's the way it's been presented to me.
  6. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    we'll see. i know folks at some of those papers, and he hasn't rode in on the white horse yet.
  7. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Interesting. It might make a good thread to hear from the Buffett people. I know just one sports writer and he said Buffett believes and is actually a breath of fresh air. Added some bodies to the staff, even.
  8. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty New Member

    admittedly, i'm a few weeks off in communication, so my news could be old news.
  9. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    For a hint of levity:


    Skip to 1:25.
  10. Norrin Radd

    Norrin Radd New Member

    Of those 1990s sitcoms, I always thought Hartman was on Just Shoot Me. Not sure why . . .
  11. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Me neither. He was the glue of NewsRadio.
  12. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    First layoff from newspaper I walk in one Monday and the SE is sitting at my computer. His was a piece of shit so he would often use mine if I wasn't there. No biggie, except when I walked in he would usually move over, this time he didn't. I had just sat down at an empty computer when the ME called me into the office to drop the bomb. When I got out of that meeting, the SE was nowhere to be seen. Not even man enough to wish me luck or say goodbye. Never spoke to the guy again.

    I saw some bad ones in my TV days too. I covered a Packer mini-camp one year and a reporter from another station came up to me and introduced himself to me as our new sports anchor. I got back to the station that night and told our sports anchor I had met his replacement. That was news to him. His contract was up but he had been negotiating to renew it and felt confident they were going to keep him on.

    I was at another station that had mass layoffs (about half the staff). They told one group there would be a staff meeting at 2 p.m. the next day. They told everyone else there was a staff meeting at 3. Those who were told 2 were laid off.
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