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Where (And When) Does It End?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pete Incaviglia, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    Well, our chain reports quarterly earnings and such during the last week of February.

    We had voluntary buyout/retirement packages passed around in November.

    Just this week, we were asked to either:
    1) Begin working three- or four-day work weeks
    2) Take more weeks of unpaid vacation
    3) Take a minimum of three, but no maximum of, unpaid days off 2009.

    All this leads us in the newsroom to believe layoffs will come in March.

    A few of us look around and say "where in God's name can they cut." But, we know they will because this is a bottom-line issue.

    But here's the question: Where does it end?

    Next year at this time, the corporation will miss its enormous profit margin again and will again lay people off.

    At what point do they stop laying off? At what point do the suits realize huge profit margins are unattainable? Because, the thing is, papers are still making money — at least my parent company is. Its stocks were up just last week. I know for a fact the particular paper I work for made money in 2008.

    Still, does my (and some other) newspaper simply close up shop?

    I just can't picture a day when city council, the local college, the courts, ect. aren't covered by someone, somehow.

    Where does it end?
  2. micke77

    micke77 Member

    Pete....I know your pain cuz that's what we went through last week at our small daily, which is one in a chain of about 30. i know our papers has done very well. the boss told us all in a big staff meeting two weeks ago and he's told me that in chit-chat sessions about the state of economy. yet, the week after telling all of us that we didn't have any debt and had bought a million-dollar plus press with cash, two fulltimers are laid off and other major cutbacks were done. and the mood here is "who's next, what's next, who survives?"
    painful, indeed.
    and the uncertainity is the worst part of it.
  3. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member


    Thing is, it's not about not having cash or not making money — it's about not making ENOUGH money.

    That's what pisses me off.
  4. micke77

    micke77 Member

    Pete..the word i'm getting is that our publisher absolutely doesn't want to become supposedly the first paper in our chain NOT to show a profit. it's as much an ego, pride thing has anything. many of us believe he's pushing the panic button somewhat and making some changes that could--while iffy--be chanced later in the year or maybe after the quarter.
    at this point, who in the f.... knows. i just knows it's more depressing than seeing Rosie O'Donnell in a bikini.
  5. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I feel you Pete.

    My paper is the only paper in my entire chain (we're in a pretty good sized one) that made money last year. We are also the only paper in our chain to be meeting budget and ad projections so far this year. Yet, we froze two positions two weeks ago and are going to have to layoff at least one person this coming week.

    I don't understand why my chain would even think about touching its one money-producing product, but then again, I don't understand anything going on in our industry right now.
  6. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    It's not going to end for years, until there are very few newspapers - and very few half-decent jobs - remaining. This is what it's like to be part of a dying industry.
  7. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    But again. I ask another one (ok some) of my questions: Where do people get their news regarding council? Who holds local government accountable? Who becomes the watch dog?

    BLOGGERS!? I highly doubt it. Because, like I said before, these BLOGGERS who have real jobs too — and if they don't, aren't making shitpots of cash from advertising — will quickly stop putting for the effort.
  8. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    They are not going to get it. And they are not going to notice until they get screwed personally. And then they are going to scream, and no one is going to listen. Case closed. No watchdogs. Newspapers aren't doing much of a job at that these days anyway.
  9. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Well, that is what pisses me off, too. If the business is actually losing money --- and some legitimately are --- I can understand a need to cut expenses. Newspapers certainly aren't the only industry in that bind.

    on the other hand, if a company is making money, even if not as much as it wants --- maybe a 10 percent profit instead of a 30 percent profit --- it strikes me as just pure greed. When times were good and money was flowing, how much of it trickled down to the rank and file workers churning out the product? Yet when leaner times come, its the execs and the corporate bottom line that should take the first hit before you start taking food off of people's tables.
  10. Reacher

    Reacher Member

    Also, there are plenty of councils, local colleges and high school getting no coverage now.
  11. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Where will it end? When there is no paper to read while the majority of the citizens stand in the unemployment line.
  12. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I just can't imagine a day when news isn't reported outside a half-hour newscast complete with 40-second snippets.

    And I can't imagine people not wanting information.

    To me, that's the key. They'll want it. They'll read it. They may boycott paid sites or paid stories at first. But eventually, they'll come around.

    My question is how long does this transition take?
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