Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A place to fling virtual monkey poop

A couple of days ago, I put down an uncivil comment by explaining that this was not a place to fling monkey poop. Poop tossers, I said, can find their own place on the Internet. Someone did. He calls himself . I guess he is a movie fan. The name of the blog is Flinging Monkey Poop.  He sent me an email. Quoting here:

Here are the rules: Nothing that could get me sued. And make it entertaining. The only judge will be me. All comments will be moderated before posting.  Scatology and vulgarities are allowed in the interest of yuks. Think Jon Stewart without the bleeps.  And while I'm starting it as a place to vent about DMN bosses, anyone can play. Tell your friends!
Have a good time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

More relaxing reading while waiting for the inevitable

From Mother Jones:

On a bright spring day in a wisteria-bedecked courtyard full of earnest, if half-drunk, conference attendees, we were commiserating with a fellow journalist about all the jobs we knew of that were going unfilled, being absorbed or handled "on the side." It was tough for all concerned, but necessary—you know, doing more with less.
"Ah," he said, "the speedup."
Points printed an edited version this past Sunday. (And kudos to the editor with the intestinal fortitude to make that a cover story in the DMN the week or so before the whatever whatevers. May her tribe increase.)  Here is the full version. 

A different management approach to hard times

FRESNO, Calif. - Some people give a bit back to their community. Then there’s Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell, who is giving back $800,000, his compensation for the next three years.

Until his term expires in 2015, Powell will run 325 schools and 35 school districts with 195,000 students, all for less than a starting California teacher earns.
“How much do we need to keep accumulating?’’ asks Powell, 63. “There’s no reason for me to keep stockpiling money.’’
Full story here. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

And an eerie silence covers the land

Unless somebody out there tells me different, looks like the newsroom ends another full week of paychecks. Which I realize is no solace for our ad-side colleagues who lost jobs yesterday. Have a good weekend and be thankful we aren't in the Hurricane Irene bulls-eye. It can always be worse.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Smoke 'em if you've got 'em

As the saying goes. We've got a break in the action. I've not heard even a whisper about whether today's layoffs mean anything about whether more will come tomorrow. The most definitive count I've been given for today is from a comment on the previous post:

The advertising side lost 16 dedicated, creative and enterprising workers today. They deserve support and appreciation, which is more than they ever got from management.

I don't know if anyone from marketing was also let go.  I also do not know what positions were affected, if any were managers.

Layoffs today in advertising and marketing

Multiple sources report layoffs. One commenter here says "8 so far."  I do not know if there have been more since that comment was posted.  (Another now says "17 or 18.")

The purpose of this blog has been to report newsroom events. However, if anybody from other departments who has been RIFed wants to post a farewell here, you are welcome to post a comment or send me an email.

Does this mean newsroom cuts are also set for this week? Which would mean tomorrow. Based on my lousy track record from last week I refuse to speculate, but if anybody out there thinks they know, we'd all appreciate any information..

Monday, August 22, 2011

What the predictions are like

This week? Next week? Next month? Bermuda? Puerto Rico? Minor trim or bloodbath? At this point I trust none of them. I would be very surprised if there was no truth to the basic line that layoffs are coming. The rest of the chatter is all over the map, so to speak. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Should I publish the rumors?

I have no way to independently confirm the tips I am getting. Right now it looks like this is twice that confident predictions about when the layoffs will happen have been wrong. Unless something happens this afternoon.

Is it better that I let us all know what people think they know? Or am I adding tension that doesn't need to be there? If the bosses would give us even a hint of real information, that would solve the problem. I'm getting more traffic here than many of the DMN "community" blogs, so I can tell management that there's very high interest.

Yes, I know you have legal restrictions about what you can say and when. Those restrictions are not absolute. We know that because you told us about the previous cuts before the ax fell. Why can't you either tell us these rumors are all false, or that you are working on restructurings or RIFs or right-sizings in the offing and that you expect they will be finished by some particular date? Or that no date has been set and negotiations about the size and shape are still ongoing? Something? In the absence of good information, your staff will obsess about anything that looks like a clue. Not good for morale or productivity.

On the other hand, if today really is not a "day," that means another week of full paychecks for us all.  Tension or not, I will not complain about that.

As the Scarecrow told Dorothy...

Dorothy: Now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me, this way is a very nice way.
Dorothy: Who said that?
[Toto barks at scarecrow]
Dorothy: Don't be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don't talk.
Scarecrow: [points other way] It's pleasant down that way, too.
Dorothy: That's funny. Wasn't he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: [points both ways] Of course, some people do go both ways.  

We have a commenter with a "good source" who says that today is not the day. But we had a commenter with a "good source" who said it would be. It is still early for most of the newsroom on a normal day. Does anybody have anything more definitive to contribute?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Two different sources today telling me that tomorrow is going to be the day, or "a" day. Also the comment on the prior post. I don't know if they are right. Maybe they're just hearing what's been posted here, passed along secondhand. I don't think that is the case. We'll know soon enough. If it's true, and depending on what happens, morituri te salutant.

Reading entrails

From a blogfriend:

A couple of Metro editors have altered travel plans this week so that they will be in the office on Friday.

Is this an indication of events to come? Since the corporate managers are saying nothing in public, we are reduced to playing detective with whatever clues anybody can find.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

See last post

The current chatter is the old chatter. Nothing new about timing. I wish I had something to tell you. I wish the bosses saw fit to share enough information to let us plan our lives better. Somebody thinks this is a smart way to do this. Somebody thought CueCat was smart.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nothing and nothing and more nothing

If I had it, I'd post it.  If it hasn't happened by now,  rumors of this week must have been wrong. Unless something is happening right now. If anybody knows different, you know how to contact me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

This week?

One blogfriend says this is the week for some of it. Says it's from a good source. Another blogfriend says to watch for the boxes. The day before the previous layoffs, the cardboard boxes appeared.

But if the consistent rumors are right, it won't all be on the same day this time. Boxes may not show up until actually needed.

Nothing new in rumors about the actual targets for cuts.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Some job possibilities in academia

From a former DMN-er:
Wichita State, an urban-serving research university, is seeking a
scholar who can bring expertise in advertising and branding (creative
and/or account management), recent and successful advertising industry
experience, and the ability to teach quantitative research methods.

The salary will be $50,000+ per year.

To discuss the position or arrange a meeting at AEJMC, contact Interim

Director Lou Heldman,

To review the complete job description and to apply for this position,

please go to http//
Ole Miss seeks candidates for several  journalism faculty jobs. Details and applications will be available at The job openings are:

Assistant or Associate Professor in Visual Journalism (tenure-track)

Assistant Professor of Integrated Marketing Communication (tenure-track)

Assistant Professor or Instructor in Multimedia Journalism

Assistant Professor or Instructor/International Programs Coordinator
The Indiana State University Communication Department is in search of an instructor or associate professor to fill a one-year special purpose faculty appointment. The job comes with benefits.

For more details, find the posting here:

Friday, August 5, 2011

Click here
Worth a smile if nothing else.

Cuts have happened today -- I've heard nothing about newsroom so far

Production at North Plant. IT. I have no numbers or other details. If you have information you'd like to share or if you have lost your job and would like to deliver a farewell, email it here. The rumors have been consistent that this set of layoffs would not happen on a single day. If true, nobody can feel safe because they haven't been notified today.

One other rumor to report: Most of the earlier chatter has been about editors and production. I am hearing that editorial is also concerned. House editorials have always been a luxury, a luxury that the bosses wanted. It's a small shop that works hard and has that recent Pulitzer. It has evolved greatly from the reflexive right-wing offerings produced in decades past. Is it now a luxury that the bosses no longer believe they can afford at present levels? There is no content more commonly available today than opinion. Is quality enough?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hot rumors? Just hot heat

I have nothing new. Just what we all know: Any time more than two of us are talking together in the building, chances are excellent that this is one thing that we are talking about. Everybody is worried. Productivity? Not good for it.  Unless the cuts will be an unprecedented bloodbath, many more of us will still be here when they are over. A little additional transparency now would stifle the useless churning over no-facts and make it a little bit easier to put out a paper or generate content or whatever it is we are supposed to be doing. Weather stories. Our readers would not know tomorrow that it was hot today unless we tell them.

A newsroom is filled with pattern-seeking animals. If we aren't given information, we will generate those patterns out of whatever is handy. This is doubleplus ungood.