Thursday, October 20, 2022
What fresh hell?
The other day we wrote about a very dark day at WXIA-TV 11Alive -- and there's reason to fear more storm clouds may be gathering. As previously noted, employees at 11Alive have rolled with some pretty heavy punches -- salary reductions and unpaid furloughs known as "Gannett Vacations" -- in the hopes of avoiding the kind of out-and-out bloodbath that has taken place in other newsrooms. Then, late last week, came word that the axe had fallen on a longtime newsroom manager beloved by just about one and all. (The details are here if you missed the post.) An isolated incident? Take a look at this article in Sunday's edition of the New York Times, headlined, "You're Gone, But You Can Reapply." Two weeks ago, at The Journal News in Westchester -- which, like 11Alive, is owned by Gannett -- the 288 news and advertising employees were told that jobs were being restructured "and that they all would need to reapply for the new positions and that by the time the re-org music stopped, 70 of them would be without jobs." NYT media writer David Carr sums it up quite nicely in his next paragraph: "What fresh hell is this?" How bad was it? One "survivor" is quoted as describing the experience this way, “It was an unreal day around here, with people being called up to the third floor and being told. We’d clap when someone came down and gave a thumbs up, but it became obvious that many of the people being called up later would not be sticking around." Carr goes on to speculate that although the plan was conceived locally, "it could portend things to come at Gannett." Happy Tuesday!
Posted by The Newsman at 5:13 PM