Thursday, February 19, 2009

The sword of Damocles

Yes, I'm breaking out some ancient Greek knowledge on you today.

Now granted, I'm not in any sort of position of power, but that doesn't mean I don't have a sense of foreboding about the constant threat of layoffs at my shop. They're coming, more than likely by the end of the month. Like most peons at newspapers, I'm left in the dark about how many or when. Does wonders for morale, let me tell you.

The worst part is that the Grand Poobahs in charge don't seem to have any ideas other than cuts. No thoughts about finding new revenue streams or what to do online to bring in more money. A good number of the businesses who are pulling their ads aren't coming back. They've gone out of business or have moved their ad dollars elsewhere.

We continue to drive off advertisers and readers by producing less and less content, yet charging them the same amount. I would certainly not subscribe to our paper. There's nothing that interests me in it. Nothing that targets single professionals, very little for the NHL/NASCAR/tennis fan and our coverage of the music scene is pathetic, mostly because the entertainment editor can't see the value in any type of music that isn't what he listens too.

The saddest part is that I have reached a point of not caring anymore. It's just a job with shitty hours and crappy pay. When a business reaches the point that people are hoping to get laid off, it's probably not long for the world.


SmearedEyeliner said...

From our publisher on Thursday. Just shut up and wait, folks.


As you’re aware, we’re looking at a variety of cost-cutting measures. I know everybody is anxious, and we’re moving as fast as we can to get you all answers. Right now, we won’t be announcing a plan before next week.

We have been moving forward with some initiatives that will save us money and help strengthen our position during this difficult time. That includes the section consolidation that (the editor who laughed when she announced pay cuts a year ago) has written about. We’ve also announced that we’ll eliminate the pre-run for the Monday paper, going dark with pre-prints for that slower day.

Also, a reminder that we’re scheduled to go live with our remote printing for the edition of March 2. Thanks again to the core team hard at work to make the web cut-down, printing transition and redesign happen on time.

These projects are all part of our work to restructure our business, save money and be strategic for our future.

I appreciate your patience. I know it’s really hard, but the decisions being made aren’t small and aren’t being taken lightly.

Thank you,
The out-of-touch publisher

Dave said...

Tony told me today he's sweating it out in Bellingham. Says they're making an announcement Friday. On Sunday my mom observed my timing for my departure couldn't have been better, it seems. Wish it hadn't come to that at all, honestly.