Keith J. Kelly: New York Times Bloodbath Could Include Reporter Jobs

“Up until now, the company had not indicated that layoffs would happen if targeted numbers weren’t achieved,” Grant Glickson, president of the NewsGuild, told Media Ink.

As part of the NYT’s ongoing restructuring of its editing ranks, 109 copy editors have had their jobs eliminated. There are estimated to be about 50 new jobs available in the restructured editing operation that the Times envisions for its digital- and video-oriented future.

When the downsizing was first revealed in late May, a memo from Baquet and Managing Editor Joe Kahn portrayed the cuts as a “streamlining” of the editing process and indicated that some of the savings would be used to hire up to 100 more journalists.

But in a mid-June meeting with department heads, Baquet admitted that journalists could be targeted in a new round of layoffs once the editing ranks are culled. Read the rest of this entry »

CNN Reporter Posts Video of Her Exit

‘A lot of folks are worried’ about their jobs, CNN reporter Lisa Dejardins says in farewell clip

For Variety reports: Former CNN Capitol Hill reporter Lisa Dejardins posted a video of her final sign off from CNN on Thursday as she prepared to leave the building after being laid off.gpoa-stamp

Dejardins, a reporter for who was not an on-air personality, compares the mass goodbye emails from laid off CNN employees to the personal ones, finding a wide discrepancy in the general tone and niceness between the two, and expresses her disappointment CNN’s decision to get rid of a congressional reporter given the bipartisan struggle in the Capitol.

However, CNN is in the midst of expanding its digital staff in Washington, D.C. as it prepares for the 2016 presidential race. The news giant recently recruited Politico alum Rachel Smolkin as executive editor for politics to spearhead an elaborate digital initiative out of D.C. Dejardins’ departure was part of a restructuring of CNN’s Washington bureau and not part of the buyout offer. Read the rest of this entry »

Progressive Newspaper Village Voice Circling the Drain

Troubles are growing for New York City’s venerable “alternative” weekly newspaper, The Village Voice. With multiple layoffs, ad revenue at an all-time low, and resignations by key staffers over the paper’s management, the 58-year-old publication is coming to what one commenter is calling “the end times.”

In a show of protest, the paper’s top two editors resigned rather than initiate a new wave of layoffs. On May 23, editor Will Bourne and deputy editor Jessica Lustig both quit the paper. Bourne had only been at his post for about 7 months.

The pair said they resigned over plans by the publishers to further reduce the paper’s staff. According to The New York Times, Bourne was told to lay off five of the remaining 20 Village Voice staffers.

We are both leaving because I was summoned to a meeting and asked to get rid of five people, and we are on a short string already. When I was brought in here, I was explicitly told that the bloodletting had come to an end. I have enormous respect for the staff here and the work they have been doing, and I am not going to preside over further layoffs.

The owner of the paper, Voice Media Group, disputed Bourne’s characterization of the changes in staff. The publishers said they were reorganizing but would do so with “minimal staff reductions.”

The company announced that its blogs editor, Pete Kotz, would temporarily take the editor’s chair during this newest round of reorganizing.

This is only the latest bout of layoffs at the Voice. Earlier this month, the paper laid off Michael Musto, one of its most well-known writers. Musto started with the paper in 1984. The paper also eliminated food writer Robert Sietsema and theater critic Michael Feingold. At the same time, the paper’s last food writer, Tejal Rao, resigned in protest.

Alex Ashe reports that the mass turnovers have “disheartened the paper’s remaining staff” and evoked a “dour mood” in the news room.

“By releasing esteemed, long-tenured writers in favor of cheaper alternatives, the Voice has trivialized its content, as well as its writers’ achievements and loyalty,” Ashe wrote. “While its bottom line is undeniably crucial, the paper has sent the wrong message to its staff, who have now witnessed the industry’s ceiling firsthand.”