Times-Picayune journalists to receive new job descriptions Monday

About half of the people in the Times-Picayune newsroom were offered jobs with the new NOLA Media Group on Tuesday, but they still haven't been told exactly what their jobs will be. Editor Jim Amoss told staff in an email Sunday that they will get their job descriptions Monday.

Those employees will have 12 days to decide if they'll take the jobs; Amoss said in meetings Friday that the deadline to accept the offers is the end of the day on June 29, according to sources in the newsroom.

That's also the date that those employees must decide if they'll take the company's severance package if they requested one. They also were told that if they opt for severance, the company could terminate their employment on June 29, unlike laid-off employees, who will work through Sept. 30.

Also Friday, Amoss addressed reporters' fears that some of their pay will be based on page views and other metrics. He told them that any such incentive pay would be in addition to what they have been told their salaries will be.

Reporters have been worried about this since the company announced it was cutting back on print and shifting focus to the Web. Last week's job offers included this language:

In 2013, the components of your total compensation package may be reevaluated but your opportunity to make the same total compensation will not be reduced.

The company has already posted some jobs online. The job requirements for "reporter-all topics" include:

  • "Learn and employ all techniques for effective digital 'beat-blogging' reporting across all platforms"
  • "Post frequent and incrementally posting throughout the day"
  • "Engage in story aggregation and topical link-posting"
  • "Monitor and engage in reader comment streams on nola impact pages"
  • "Elevate comments into new posts when appropriate"
  • "Interact on social media platforms, with story shares, objective commentary, promoting your topic and news organization’s content initiatives"
  • "Effectively employ various means for monitoring audience interest and competitors’ posting on your topic, including setting up Google alerts, Twitter and RSS feeds"

Amoss' Sunday memo to staff:

Colleagues, Many of you have asked me when job openings in the new company would be posted. I wanted to let you know that applications and job descriptions for several positions in news, sports and entertainment are now online. Additional jobs will be posted in the coming days and weeks. To read them, go to www.nola.com/jobs/ and type "Nola Media Group" in the search field. The application may be completed online.

Any employee, whether you received a severance letter or an offer for a job in the new company, is free to apply for one of these positions. Both internal and external candidates will be evaluated for them.

Employees who received offers will receive job descriptions sometime Monday. I apologize for the delay. Jim.

A few staffers responded with newsroom-wide messages pressing him on how much these jobs will pay. His answer:

The salary ranges for the jobs will vary, depending on the nature of the job and the experience and skills people bring to it. Those same factors were key to the salary ranges of the jobs that were offered to staffers this week. I know that doesn't get to the specifics you requested, but it's the best answer I can give for now.

Related: Cutting print is a money-loser for Times-Picayune, but cutting staff makes changes slightly profitable (Poynter) | Paper publishes second front-page message to readers in four days (NOLA.com) | Former Picayune staffer John McQuaid asks, "Can The Times-Picayune's New Business Model Work?" (Forbes) | Time to stop grieving collapse of The Times-Picayune "and start promoting that we’re the first city in America that has the replacement for the daily newspaper" (Gambit)

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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