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.


  1. I don't think you are adding to the tension. This is the only outlet we have to talk about the layoffs as a group. Well, other than standing around talking in the newsroom.

    The tension is getting worse. But not because of this blog.

  2. I KNOW. Nothing's happening today.

  3. Don't the cuts usually happen on a pay week? For those who are biweekly, next week's a pay week.

  4. It isn't a given that it will happen on a Friday. That's conventional wisdom, but I don't think it was a Friday last time.

  5. As someone who has witnessed numerous layoffs at both Metroplex newspapers and was laid off by one of them, you can't really figure out when it is going to happen. Mine was on a Thursday, a non-pay week, at a weird time of the afternoon. My thoughts are with all of my DMN friends, and FWST friends, who are constantly looking over their shoulders as well.

  6. My source, who was right about today, says there's not a final list yet. Could be weeks away?
    It's almost like somebody's testing a master's thesis on the spread of information in a vacuum. . .

  7. Dial down the angst. If people complain you can give 'em their money back. And as for shaming the bosses into giving out more info, you're moving from Rome to la Mancha. Lance, meet windmill. The lawyers and bean counters are in charge and in full CYA mode. (What *did* happen to that age discrimination lawsuit after the first layoffs, anyway...?)

  8. TDMN: The worst-run daily metro paper? I say yes.

  9. DMN worst run metro daily? Based on what? Lots of its peers have suffered through more frequent and larger firings. The financials for AH Belo are actually healthier than many of its peers. Yeah, this all sucks. But does it suck worse than any other daily metro? I've been reading about the LA Times and Baltimore Sun lately. Sucks pretty bad those places... I realize there's a race to the bottom, however...

  10. While you lay there reading the blog, hopefully as uncomfortable as you possibly can be, I want you all to listen to me.

    I want you to digest this because before most of you are sent packing within 2 weeks, I have a lot of things I want to get off my chest.

    I don't hate you, dear newsroom employees. I don't even dislike you. I do like you. I like you a hell of a lot more than I like most people in the company.

    But I hate this idea that you're the best. Because you're not. I'm the best.

    I've been the best since day one when I entered into congress with this organization. And I've been vilified and hated since that day because corporate saw something in me that nobody else wanted to admit: That I am the greatest.

    I've grabbed so many other newspaper brass rings that it's finally dawned on me that they're just that, they're completely imaginary. The only thing that's real is me and the fact that day in and day out, for years, I have proved to everybody that I am the best! Nobody can touch me! I am infallible.

    And yet no matter how many times I prove it, I'm not on your lovely little blog. I'm not on the cover of the Morning News. Or NeighborsGo. Or even Briefing, for goodness sake.

    I'm barely promoted. I don't get to be in PBS documentaries on the industry. I'm not on Jimmy Fallon. Nor did I star in Ted Danson's hit series, "The Cheers."

    But the fact of the matter is, I should be and I should have.

    This isn't sour grapes. But the fact that I'm not makes me sick!

    Oh, and, hey, let me get something straight: Those of you who are cheering me right now for writing this message, you are just as big a part of the problem.

    Because you're the ones who are sipping on those collector DMN coffee cups right now. You're the ones that produce the newspaper that my face isn't on the cover of. You are the ones reading the blog with angst, and not working to salvage my investment.


    Wall Street

  11. That age discrimination suit? DMN won it in a summary judgment in December 2010.

  12. To "August 19, 2011 7:54 PM": I don't think many here will get the C.M. Punk reference.

  13. I'm hearing it's going to be right after Labor Day weekend.

  14. Layoffs are underway. Several have been done and more on the way. Layoffs will continue through Friday, 08/26. We have our boxes ready.