Archive for November, 2008

The List

Posted in Company news on November 1, 2008 by sizzlingjboy

When I saw the list, I couldn’t help but wish that Rob Gebeloff’s name was on there.

Sure, Gebeloff absconded for points east long before the buyout, so he didn’t even get to enjoy the wait with us and certainly wouldn’t be among the 160 or so names listed as those remaining at The Ledger now that all the recent fun is done.

Why would it be good to still have him around? Because he would have databased all the folks — those who are staying and those who soon will be gone — by age, salary, marital status and whether their children are nearing college age. He would have mined our personal info and then rendered it as digital three dimensional computerized graphics that would have told us lots about how the recent events have changed the workforce in the newsroom and newspaper.

He would have compared median age before and after the buyout, telling us whether that figure went up or down. He would have compared the average pay, how many children they have per capita, household expenses and many other data points I’m not even considering.

Perhaps it could have factored in economic and market trends, provided some quotient for hope or fear that might give insight into why some let go and others still hang on.

What would it tell us? What kind of portrait would it paint of those who left and those who stayed? Maybe we don’t really want to know.

But I can’t help but wonder when I see a list rendered in such spare, unevocative terms. The journalist in me demands context, analysis, some deeper meaning. Is it a roll call of the fortunate or the damned? Should those on it be given congratulations or commiserations?

And why have all those departing been acknowledged only by their absence from this list?

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