Layoffs/buyouts/staff cuts

Rainbow Room Reopening

N.Y. publishers mull more layoffs

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. More layoffs may come at New York publishers: “Industry executives are spending the month of October in closed-door meetings as they look for ways to tighten their belts even more.” (WWD) | Related: Time Inc. management “wants the ability to send 160 editorial jobs overseas,” Newspaper Guild of New York President Bill O’Meara says. (Capital) | Meta related: New owner Jay Penske‘s plan for WWD. (Capital) | Related sad trombone: “The joy we get from throwing magazines away seems like a bad sign for their future,” Laura Hazard Owen writes. (Gigaom)
  2. NBC News crew quarantined: They worked with freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo in Liberia and “Officials said the order was issued late Friday after the crew members violated an agreement to voluntarily confine themselves.” No one’s shown any signs of the disease.
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Earns Gannett

Gannett shifts some costs of USA Today layoffs to states

USA Today laid off about 70 people last month. Those who lost their jobs received a week of pay for every year of service, health care through the end of September and the vacation pay they’d already accrued for the year.

But as they turned in their laptops and cellphones, some USA Today journalists were surprised to find out who would pay a chunk of their farewell package: their state unemployment office.

USA Today is owned by Gannett, which doesn’t always pay laid-off workers a traditional severance. Instead, as in the case of the recent layoffs, it may provide a “transitional pay plan.” In one of these plans, Gannett, through a contractor called Total Management Solutions, makes up the difference between a worker’s old paycheck and their unemployment check for a certain amount of time. Read more

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CNN will cut 300 jobs

CNN | USA Today

CNN Worldwide will cut about 300 positions, Brian Stelter reports. Its parent company, Turner Broadcasting, wants to reduce its number of employees by about 10 percent.

About 130 of the CNN cuts are coming from buyouts, Stelter writes. The remainder “will be cut through layoffs.”

Turner is in turn owned by Time Warner. USA Today media columnist Michael Wolff wrote Sunday that Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes wants to raise the company’s stock price, and “the fast way to $100 a share is the kind of deep cost-cutting that this relatively complaisant company has never been known for.” Read more

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Free Press designer ‘cared about every single word, every comma, every period’ on 1A

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Free Press designer dies: 25-year veteran Steve Anderson was 59. Remembers Amy Huschka, assistant editor/social media: “He was so proud of his Twitter account and loved sharing historic images and daily 1A’s with his followers.” From Jason Karas, a designer and colleague: “He cared about every single word, every comma, every period that he placed on a 1A.” (Detroit Free Press) | A collection of memorable front pages designed by Anderson. (Detroit Free Press) | A Storify of Anderson’s tweets that anyone who loves newspaper design should check out. (Storify)
  2. Freelance cameraman contracts Ebola: The unidentified man was working for NBC News on a team in Liberia with medical correspondent Dr.
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NYT has more readers, more ad revenue and — soon — fewer journalists

mediawiremorningGood morning. Happy Sting’s Birthday, everybody. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Some perspective on the planned NYT staff cuts: “When the buyouts/layoffs are done, the New York Times will have nearly twice the number of staffers as the Washington Post’s 650-strong operation, instead of more than twice as many.” (WP) | For vets, the buyout deal is much sweeter than what any layoffs will offer. (Newspaper Guild of N.Y.) | Killer Ken Doctor quote: “Doctor describes the current state of newspapers as ‘continuing grimness, but manageable grimness.’” (Text bolded in case you need a name for a Smiths cover band, or maybe a tattoo idea.) (USA Today) | More Ken Doctor: “The big bright spot is obscured by that big layoff number: a 16 percent increase in Q3 digital revenue, compared to 3.4 percent up in Q2 and 2.2 percent up in Q1.” Also: “The Times has more paying readers today than in 1999.
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White House Fence

White House tried to squash fainting-intern story

mediawiremorningGood morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. White House edits pool reports: The White House press office sometimes demands changes to pool reports before it “forwards them via e-mail to a database of thousands of recipients, including news outlets, federal agencies and congressional offices,” Paul Farhi reports. “This two-step process enables White House staffers to read the pool reports — and potentially object to them — before press aides send them to recipients.” HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery tells Farhi the White House tried to squash her fainting-intern story. (WP)
  2. Pirates release journalist: Somali pirates released freelancer Michael Scott Moore, CNN reports. Michel Todd of Pacific Standard, for which Moore wrote a weekly column, said the magazine “had been encouraged by the FBI and State Department to (not) write about it because this would hurt his cause.” (CNN)
  3. Layoff season is upon us: The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal laid off 17 people yesterday, according to the Memphis Newspaper Guild.
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tampabaytimes-box

Tampa Bay Times cuts staff pay, hints at layoffs

The Tampa Bay Times will cut staff pay 5 percent, Times Publishing Company CEO Paul Tash tells staffers in a letter Thursday.

The company will also cap severance payments to employees who leave voluntarily at eight weeks’ pay, unless they resign by Oct. 1, in which case the maximum severance is 13 weeks’ pay. The letter hints at layoffs: “After these voluntary departures, we will take stock of the company’s ongoing staff patterns and needs,” Tash writes.

He continues:

If you are uncertain about your standing with the Times, this is a good time for a frank conversation with your supervisor. If this long, difficult stretch has tested your commitment to the Times or the newspaper business, this is a good time to consider your options.

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Macworld lays off staff

Jason Snell

Macworld editorial director Jason Snell says he’s leaving the publication and that “many of my colleagues lost their jobs today.”

Snell writes that he decided to leave last December “after several corporate leadership changes, and with budget cuts looming on the horizon.” His new bosses talked him into staying. Read more

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Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 8.39.56 AM

Bloomberg makes exception to policy about employees who left

mediawiremorningGood morning after a day of never-ending media news. Here are at least 10 media stories.

  1. Hizzoner is back: Mike Bloomberg will return to run Bloomberg L.P., Andrew Ross Sorkin reports. Current Bloomberg honcho Daniel L. Doctoroff will depart by the end of the year. “If it was up to me, he would have stayed,” Bloomberg tells Sorkin. (NYT) | “Wait I thought when you leave Bloomberg you can’t ever come back?” (@kleinmatic) | Some context for that jape. (Inc.) | “With great pride and gratitude I’ll be turning the @Bloomberg reins back over to @MikeBloomberg at year’s end.” (@dandoctoroff) | Doctoroff explains why he’s leaving: “I have always viewed myself as Mike’s steward at the company.
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PDLayoff.jpg

How mass layoffs in 2013 changed the lives of former Plain Dealer staffers

On July 31, 2013, after the layoff calls came, some of the current and now-former staff of The Plain Dealer got together for drinks at Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland. Newsrooms around the country called in and bought drinks for those gathered — $4,933 worth of drinks, Eric Sandy reported the next day for Cleveland Scene.

That day, more than 50 people had been laid off from The Plain Dealer.

“We drank for free all night,” John Horton remembered.

“It was bittersweet because we were together, we were supporting each other but we knew that so many of us, myself included, were not going to be going back to the building ever again,” Ellen Kleinerman said.

Plain Dealer staff gather on July 31, 2013, layoff day. (Photograph by Lisa DeJong)

Plain Dealer staff gathered on layoff day: July 31, 2013.

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