Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spartacus over and out

Pageviews are down to a trickle. Jobs that people are sending in are found on obvious job boards like so nobody need to look for them here. Thank you all for your help and attention. I'm sorry it was necessary.

Monday, September 26, 2011

One last reminder about Saturday SPJ event

SPJ-Fort Worth is hosting a Life After Layoff workshop from 9:30-1 this Saturday, Oct. 1, in downtown Dallas. We'll have experts on hand to give you financial advice, job-search tips and ways you can use your skills for many other opportunities. Please register here: All are welcome.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jobs continue to trickle in

Here is one:

The Department of Communication in the College of Arts & Letters at The University of Tampa is seeking candidates for a full-time tenure track position in Broadcast/Convergence Media to teach courses in the Communication and Journalism major(s) at the Assistant Professor level beginning Fall 2012.

The ideal candidate will combine experience in professional studio television, including multi-camera and multi-platform work, with scholarship and production skills in broadcast journalism or entertainment television. Candidates are encouraged to discuss how
their scholarship and production experience relates to media studies courses within an interdisciplinary program rooted in the liberal arts.
Qualifications: Candidates with a Ph.D., experience in studio television production and a strong commitment to liberal arts teaching are invited to apply.  Degree candidates may be considered provided they have degree in hand by August 15, 2012.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

For those of us who remain unRIFed

A blogfriend has just sent me the link to a poem that describes the way some of us are feeling. Called "The Yarn of the Nancy Bell," by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert. He is the Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan. One verse reads:

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold,
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain's gig!"

The poem involves cheerful cannibalism. Gallows humor is still humor. Read the whole thing here.

Here are some jobs

I've moved this post up to the top because the list of jobs in the comments continues to grow. New ones today. 

From a DMN alumna: 

Emily Ramshaw Hartstein wrote:
Feel free to post:

My mom, Mary Leonard, is the AME at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
They're hiring a state capitol reporter in Harrisburg, a breaking
news/local news editor and a sports reporter, and they have permission
to hire veterans (at veteran salaries) for all three of those jobs.
Email her at, or me at

So heartbroken for you guys.

Some others:

The Record (Bergen County, NJ) has the following openings in the newsroom.

Editorial Writer (Woodland Park) The Record’s Opinion Department has an opening for a full-time editorial writer. The candidate should have an ability to write clear, tight editorials with a definite point of view. Our editorial focus is North Jersey, and we comment most frequently about regional issues. Ideally, we are looking to add a moderate/conservative voice to our page. The candidate must be able to work in a collegial atmosphere, write quickly and pitch in where needed in the department. An editorial writer occasionally is asked to edit and proofread columns, letters to the editor and Sunday Opinion pieces. He or she also will participate in editorial boards with a variety of newsmakers, including candidates for public office.  Candidates should have at least three to five years newspaper experience, or equivalent. If interested, send a cover letter, resume and your five best writing samples to Alfred Doblin, Assistant Managing Editor/editorial page. 
Days/Hours: Varied work schedule
Contact:  Alfred Doblin,

Reporter - (Woodland Park) - The Features Department, serving The Record and the Herald News, has an opening for a full-time, entry-level reporter. This reporter will produce engaging stories that explore a variety of topics, but generally concentrate on how North Jersey residents live, shop and entertain themselves. In general, the reporters must initiate, research, report, interview and write news features on their beat and generate trend stories. The skills and experience required for this position include: Ability to write stories, especially feature stories where tone and language are key components. The ability to write critically and in an engaging manner is essential.  Ability to identify stories that have the greatest potential to engage readers in North Jersey.  Ability to work with the Features’ department senior management in formulating strategies to capture readers and the ability to carry that strategy out.  The successful candidate must have at least two years of daily newspaper reporting experience, or equivalent. Hours may vary and may include working occasional weekends as part of a schedule rotation. 
Days/Hours: Varied work schedule
Contact:   Send a cover letter, resume, and your five best clips to Douglas Clancy,

More jobs in the comments.

Monday, September 12, 2011

SPJ Fort Worth hosting a seminar to help the recently axed and anybody else

In my email this afternoon:

Life after the Layoff

Join the SPJ Fort Worth professional chapter for a special downtown  Dallas seminar from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1. Experts will offer advice on finances, job-search strategies, retooling job skills, and other practical considerations. The seminar, free of charge, will be held at the Universities Center at Dallas, 1901 Main St.

 A parking garage is adjacent at Main and Harwood streets, across from the old Municipal Building (once known as the cop shop). Also, parking meters are located around the building. The website for the center is:    For more info or to reserve your spot, email Tracy Everbach at or call 214-995-8464.

We're here to help.

Good people.  They've done this after several of the rounds of cuts at the DMN. You can register at

Anybody need to say anything else here?

Looks like this round is pretty much done. I'll continue to check for comments and emails but not with the same frequency. If the bosses are right, we have about 16 months until the next round unless there is a miraculous turnaround in the economy and the fate of the daily newspaper. Hope springs eternal.

Spartacus out.

{Well, maybe not quite yet. Comment here says two more were axed today. Departments? Some additional positions suggested in the jobs thread this morning, also. I will stay attentive as long as there is traffic}

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Support group for the RIFed

In the morning's email:

To TDMN's 2011 alumni:

After the 2009 layoff, a group of survivors formed a support group of sorts. We met monthly to talk about freelancing work, unemployment issues, health care options, etc. But mainly we gave each other encouragement and the willing ear of someone who really knows how you feel.

Our yahoo group is still open. We use the mailing list primarily to share job leads. And thanks to the diligence of Mary Gladstone, some still meet in person every other month. 

Most of you are likely still in shock and will be for some time. But when you're ready to ask questions about unemployment, freelancing, job leads, health insurance and more, please consider this group as a willing and sympathetic resource. Most of us have walked in your shoes; we want to help.

Please email me if you'd like an invitation to the yahoo group, information about the next possible meeting or just the contact information for someone who's been where you are. All former TDMN employees are welcome.

Best of luck to you all,
Beth Langton
TDMN Class of 2009
bethlangton (at)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What Mong and Rodrigue said today

I have been emailed a summary of what was said at the Local News meeting:

This is a summary of the official line: Last year sucked less that the previous couple of years. Bonuses for everybody! But starting in January, the level of suckitude increased dramatically. May was especially sucky and the summer continued in that fashion. Eventually Corporate instructed the DMN to cut a certain number of dollars, including a specific amount from the newsroom.

Based on the operation experience of the Toronto Star, we decided to merge the Sports production with the News production departments. What was the smallest number we could get away with of copy editors? The rest got chopped. (Most of those copy editors we lost were from Sports.) This means most stories will get far less attention from copy editors than in the past. (Which certainly means more typos and errors in the paper. None of us are perfect.)

From Rodrigue: "The difference between a blog post and a story is going to get smaller."

Then to other parts of the newsroom. What was the smallest number of assignment editors we could get away with? And finally, how many reporters needed to get cut to hit the number? And that's how we got to the cuts.

There is no plan for a pay cut or furloughs.

Digital is back to being the flavor of the month. Breaking news desk moves under digital management and will get more bodies. The mobile app is about to get a much needed upgrade. Blogs are important again.

The Backfield desk will get more bodies and more responsibility.

Rodrigue talked about the challenge of keeping readers. If they believe they are asked to pay more to get less, they will leave angry and in droves. How we maintain the illusion (not his word, of course) that we are not doing exactly that will be the big challenge of the next several months.
Rodrigue did not dispute the body count of 38 on the blog. He was careful to add that he did not confirm it, either.

Anybody else who wants to either dispute this summary or add your own is welcome to comment.

For any who have forgotten the recent past

This was reported five months ago:
Providence Journal parent A.H. Belo awarded its top five executives nearly $1.6 million in cash bonuses last year, the company disclosed Monday in an SEC filing.
A.H. Belo CEO Robert Decherd’s total compensation more than tripled to $1.87 million in 2010, up from $499,180 in 2009, according to calculations based on the SEC filing.
Decherd’s 2010 pay package included a $480,000 salary; a $408,000 cash bonus; $949,998 worth of stock awards; and $29,872 in “other compensation.” The latter category included $8,760 for life insurance, $3,150 in tax gross-ups to make up for the cost of taxes on other benefits, and a $420 cell phone allowance.
Among the other four top executives, Dallas Morning News Publisher James Moroney earned $1.3 million in 2010, up from $478,090 in 2009; Morning News President and General Manager John McKeon earned $1.3 million in his first year on the job; Chief Financial Officer Alison Engel earned $800,001, up from $276,765; and Senior Vice President Daniel Blizzard earned $575,000, up from $211,228.
The largest cash bonus went to McKeon, who received $584,960, most of it as a retention bonus. Moroney got $327,250 in cash, Engel got $150,000 and Blizzard got $100,000. Dallas-based A.H. Belo owns the Projo, The Morning News and The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.

My favorite is Decherd's cellphone allowance. 

A place for the RIF-ed to have their say

Lee Hancock placed her farewell as a comment to another post. I will put it here and set this post up as a place for others to do likewise as comments should they want to.

To all at 508 Young--

It has been quite a 24-year ride (plus one month, two days & four hours -- though who's counting?). I am grateful for the fun it's mostly been. I hope for better, happier days for all who remain.

Off to the next adventure: trying my hand at freelancing & a low-residency MFA program at Bennington College.

Write well. Do good. Tell great stories.


Lee Hancock
C. 903.520.5452 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Numbers and positions affected -- what may be the whole list

Apparently at least some of the RIFed were given a document intended to head off another age discrimination lawsuit.  Or maybe it's some kind of legally required handout to RIFed above a certain age. It is titled, and I am not shitting you, "Exhibit A."

It lists every newsroom position and the age of the person in that position, those fired and those not.  No names. Based on the document I count 38 people RIFed.  In some cases the departments are clear, others not, so I am not going to do that breakdown.

Copy Editor I -- 3
Copy Editor II --5
Copy Editor III -- 5
Deputy Assistant Editor -- 5
Assistant News Editor -- 1
Office manager  -- 1
Senior Editor -- 1
Design Editor -- 1
Photo Tech -- 1
Presentation Editor-- 1
Content Coordinator -- 2
Layout Editor -- 1

Bureau Chief -- 1

Special Writer -- 1
Reporter I -- 4
Reporter III -- 1
Reporter III-Business -- 1
Critic -- 1
Photographer III -- 2

The list does not, far as I can tell, include any jobs at the AME level or above.

Read the whole thing, including the Orwellian intro, here:

To those of you who are leaving: You are welcome to post comments here

If you want to use this blog as a place to say a public good-bye, leave contact information and/or let potential employers know you are available, post here. I recall from the last round that at least one person said they had made contact with a potential next job this way.

It's on, apparently

Tell us what you know in whatever detail you can. No names unless it is your own.

Comments on prior post report one cut each in editorials and sports.

Commenter says one Metro reporter.

Several others listed in the comments here. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

No more rumors

With no way to know if they are real or trolls, I have had enough. I believe that posting rumors is causing more harm than good.  I will continue to post possible jobs in the area if anybody wants to share them. I will continue to allow discussions in the comments that meet my guidelines.

If Tuesday is Cut Day, or if or whenever it happens,  I will post whatever I am sent about numbers and departments. Do not assume that I have some backdoor pipeline to management. I do not. The only reason this blog served us well the last time was that many people shared real information they had.  By the end of that first day, we had collectively assembled the list you see to the right, needing only minor adjustments. Do post comments or send me emails. 

I will also post any messages from those who have lost jobs that they want to share with us. The farewells from last time are archived on a link to the right.

If the layoffs do happen and are anything as large as some of the chatter, there is a special place in Hell for whoever in HR or the legal department or whatever other layer of the corporation decided this was a good way to do this, shared by whichever of the top bosses agreed and issued the orders to stay silent.  We in the newsroom are journalists, from the copy editors to the researchers to the photo editors to the line editors to the photographers to the reporters to anybody I have left out. Journalists have a need to know set deep in our DNA. All of the previous layoffs, the bosses gave us enough advance notice to let us plan and to satisfy some of that inbred curiosity.  To leave us this time with nothing but rumors that have been impossible to validate was a needless cruelty.

Why could you not have been as informative as the last four rounds. Acknowledge publicly that cuts are coming. Say that you expect to have them completed by some approximate date. Or if the rumors are all false, say something about that. There are legal limits to what can be released. We are not stupid. But you certainly could have told us this time what you told us in the past.

There are no good ways to do this that will not cause pain and leave horrible scars. The first round of layoffs years ago where people were escorted out of the building in a few minutes was needlessly painful. So is this. 

Anybody who disagrees with anything here is welcome to comment.

Happy Labor Day.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Looks like the newsroom has survived another full week of paydays

On the other hand, two commenters in the past few minutes have said that Tuesday is the day:

Newsroom cuts are happening Tuesday. The lawyers signed off on everything faster than they were expected to do so. Number should be around 40 cut. If you're offered the opportunity to take on a new role by your manager, you'd be wise not to roll the dice.

I hear the newsroom is getting hit on Tuesday of next week (September 6th).
 If true, I think that somebody else has already noted the bitter irony of firing people the day after Labor Day.  Have a good weekend. If anybody has actual information to share, I will be moderating the comments and checking for emails.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Commenters say there were RIFs at the North Plant

Commenters say several production jobs were cut today.

"Plano/Dallas layout guys. I know of three, heard of more, but couldn't confirm."

About the newsroom, other than the reports about RIF training, I have nothing and more nothing. 

Comment on a post earlier today says managers got layoff training today

Anybody out there got an amen? Or can say it isn't so?

(We now have one comment with possible confirmation. Circumstantial evidence.)