Monday, April 6, 2009

Cuts at DMN start today

But newsroom is tomorrow. Moroney sent this out this morning:

Previously Announced Reduction in Force

 

DALLAS (DATE, 2009) – As part of cost-cutting measures previously announced by parent company A. H. Belo Corporation, The Dallas Morning News is beginning today a company-wide reduction in force. The majority of the actions will take place today and tomorrow. As A. H. Belo stated in January, this initiative will affect approximately 500 jobs across all of its properties, but numbers for the individual companies were not disclosed.

 

"Our company continues to face unprecedented economic challenges during this prolonged recession, making this staff reduction a very difficult but necessary decision," said Jim Moroney, publisher and CEO of The Dallas Morning News. "As The Dallas Morning News evolves to meet these challenges, we remain committed to serving our readers and community in important and unique ways."

 

33 comments:

  1. Coinciding the migration of company email accounts with imminent layoffs seems a cruel thing to do. Every employee who has trouble not getting their mail today will suffer the belief that they may be axed tomorrow. Way to go.

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  2. Just as the decison to run the ad campaign with the DMN's "investigative reporters," which included editors and reporters who don't do investigative reporting.

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  3. Where is everyone getting that the newsroom will be tomorrow? I don't see that in Moroney's memo ...

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  4. numerous newsroom managers have told their staffs that ours is tomorrow.

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  5. Haven't they ever heard of just ripping the bandaid off?

    The waiting has to be torture.

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  6. I have heard the same thing. It's bittersweet, but I was told to be prepared to work extra hours tomorrow. I'm assuming that means I'm safe, but others in my department are not.

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  7. The waiting is so much worse than just getting it overwith -- and this last DAY of waiting, knowing it's tomorrow, feels like someone is jumping up and down in my stomach.

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  8. I know it shouldn't, but it bothers me that someone's manager would tell them to be prepared to work extra hours. Here the rest of us are sweating bullets... I don't think that's fair. I'm not blaming you, Anonymous, but I do think some serious favoritism in the newsroom has really shown through this round.

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  9. Well, if it's going to happen to me, so be it. I saw the writing on the wall a long time ago. I'm not totally prepared but I'm better off than I was 2 years ago. Just wish they'd get it over with

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  10. I feel like throwing up.

    It was worse finding out it wasn't going to be today after thinking today was the day. It's agonizing.

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  11. Augustus MullinerApril 6, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    From a Class of 2006 buyout alum: I truly feel for all of you caught up in this misery, and I wish everyone the best of luck. As for those of you who escape the ax, remember what Bryan Woolley said when he left: "The living will envy the dead." This will not be the end of it. Get your resume and clips in order, and IMMEDIATELY start formulating Plan B (and C and D) if you haven't already done so. Look at the DMN financials, especially the banks' noose around Belo's neck and the frightening disappearance of operating cash. This paper looks like it's on a one-way journey.

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  12. Any more updates planned? Who got named today?

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  13. I just heard a couple of names in the real estate department. They were said to be totally off guard...they had no idea. i am one of the ones that chose to leave last year. the wait to find out if my package would be accepted drove me crazy...I can only imagine what everyone that is still there must be going through. GOD Bless

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  15. Let us hope for the sake of the newspaper's future that management will stop protecting those 'special' folks who contribute little to the daily product but demand premium care and attention?

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  18. Starting to get mean in here

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  19. I agree that it is starting to get mean. Blow, Peppard and the editorial board deserve to keep their livelihoods as much as anyone else posting here.

    The members of the public who read this because they want to stay informed about our newsroom must be getting a horrible impression of us.

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  20. Insulting comments have been deleted. I mean it: No personal attacks. Attack decisions, fair game. Attack people, I delete it as soon as I can.

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  21. One of our oolleagues who recently underwent a life-altering event offered some sage advice a few weeks back: Let's be kind to each other.
    If we can't find that compassion within ourselves, we are the ones who should be ashamed. Let's not lose our class here. We made need it later on.

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  22. You have no class left. It's been sucked out of you by mismanagement. Your class will be the underclass if you don't help yourselves to get out now.

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  23. Things that are more important than my job:
    * My health
    * My friends
    * My family
    * My spouse
    * My children
    * My life

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  24. A long time ago I used to work at The News. Then one day I didn't. That was in 1998. The fact that I'm here now to write this is proof of nothing other than life goes on unless you define yourself via your employer. I had to learn that lesson with absolutely no advance warning.

    I really hate to say this but nobody in the newspaper industry today can claim to be surprised if their job in journalism goes away. As someone once said, "We make a livng by smearing ink on dead trees." But a number of things took all that away. Classified ads went to eBay and Craig's List, employment listings went to monster and careerbuilder, car ads went to autotrader and stores created their own websites to advertise 24 hours a day without the need for having it hand delivered to people. All during this time newspapers were giving away their product for free on the same internet that took away their ad revenue. Like I have to tell you fine people this.

    The result was a generation of people who have never subscribed to a newspaper and see no advantage to reading one. It also created one of the dumbest generations as it relates to awareness of current events. If it isn't covered by the Daily Show, they don't know it. My son is 19 so I know of what I speak.

    Sad and tragic? Yes. Surprise? Not hardly.

    In the end, news management continued to run into the 21st century with a business model right out of the 19th century and never got it. They thought they could print money forever. You want to see the future? Go to any college campus and count how many students you see reading a newspaper.

    So the only industry that is so terribly important to the proper workings of Democracy that it is specifically protected in the Constitution is now in danger of going the way of the Dodo.

    My only suggestion is stop giving it away for free. Stop it tomorrow. All of it. People put a value on something based on what they pay for it and they pay nothing for news. Please stop that.

    But enough of this. Tomorrow many fine reporters, editors and managers will lose their jobs and be forced to change careers. No newspaper is hiring so look to advertising or corporate communications of a web based company but don't look back. It is a pillar of salt back there and your future may be somewhere else. Eventually it will probably happen to everyone who works for a newspaper but it will happen to some tomorrow. I grieve for them because it is sad and tragic and painful and believe me, I know what it is like.

    But believe me when I say life goes on. There is life after DMN. There has to be.

    Cheney Coker, DMN 1992-1998

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  25. Well said, Cheney. And when the staff compare this event to the stories that run in the paper every day -- terrorist attacks, car accidents, family shootings, etc. -- one has to have perspective that things aren't as bad as it could be.

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  26. I agree with the above poster. If anything this job has taught me alot about the human condition and has put many things into perspective.

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  27. No doubt there will be sad news today.

    If you get a call about 8 or 9 a.m. from someone in newsroom upper management, then you're on the list. You will be asked to come in for a meeting with HR. Management usually tries to conduct most of these layoffs by the early afternoon.

    If you are off, sick or work a night shift, ignore the repeated phone calls and enjoy your day. Call your manager back at 3 and tell 'em you will be in at 5 to get fired.

    When it's done, hold you head up high as you walk out the front door. Then toss your middle finger to the rock of truth, go have several drinks and feel relief that your life will go on.

    It's amazing how the months of stress melt away once you're gone from the DMN. Go do something you love and have fun.

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  28. May I also add my two cents worth. I left last year, took a package..very happy I did. yes there is life after the morning news. No matter what the sun will shine at some point. I worked there for 14 years. In everything there is a season. yes, its true..sometimes it's just time to go. I was ready..I had enough of bad managers. No need to name them. they have went on with their lives and so should I. But a lot of the times the people running the show are so out of touch with with the customers want to advertise or read. I worked in advertising and I had some of the best and some of the worst manangers, directors and supervisors. Most were so caught up in their titles that nothing could get into those big heads. No seriously those heads were so enlarged.. I can't really see them driving a card. The doors would not shut...I quess I'm really saying it's hard and you will get through it.
    Debbie Lewis-Washington

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  29. There is life after the DMN and it is possible to take your skills and transition into other industries. May I recommend a career in sales.

    Reporters are used to building up a rapport with all kinds of people -- regular folks, politicians and celebrities. You know how to ask questions.

    You know how to approach people. You have ethics. You know how to influence. Perhaps you are ready for a career change. We have a couple of openings with my company selling telecom products in a professional setting (not door-to-door btw). If you are interested in something different or want more info feel free to e-mail me at drichards@2020retailstores.com or call (972) 414-6129.

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