Archive for the Future Employment Category

Saved by the net?

Posted in Future Employment on December 22, 2008 by sizzlingjboy

Only a few short months ago The LA Times was one of the newspapers on the short list of those expected to fail in the next year or so. Today, according to a report on Buzzmachine, it’s web revenue covers the entire editorial payroll.

Russ Stanton, editor of the LA Times, sent [an] email following up on questions I had confirming the much-discussed report below that its web revenue is now sufficient to meet its entire editorial payroll, Jarvis wrote today. “Given where we were five years ago,” he emailed, “I don’t think anyone thought that would ever happen. But that day is here.”

This transition hasn’t been painless. The Times has drastically reduced staff over the last few years. Likewise, meeting editorial payroll isn’t the end of the story (last I checked newspapers still need other departments, like advertising and IT). But it does hold out hope.

Any parts applicable to The Star-Ledger?

• The Times needed bankruptcy for this to work ($12 billion in debt made breaking even impossible for all Tribune papers). Reportedly, Newhouse isn’t carrying much debt, making The Ledger (theoretically) closer to the point where the economics would work.
• They fully committed to online and brought in the talent to help that flourish.

We have added some outstanding web talent over the past two years, including latimes.com editor Meredith Artley, blogging guru Tony Pierce and database specialist Ben Welsh, who is part of a new 10-person team of interactive and data experts supplementing our print report with terrific online material (more on that in a minute), according to Standton. And our printside reporting and editing staffs have embraced the future like never before.

• A training program for staff to help them embrace the future properly.

• Cooperation with the advertising staff to make the online enterprise a paying proposition.

• And finally, as one commenter on the original Buzz item suggests — BOLD LEADERSHIP.

Dave Martin wrote: Interesting post. The issue is larger than you suggest. Dr Gary Hamel proffered a profound thesis that seems applicable here, to wit: “What ultimately constrains the performance of your organization is not its operating model, nor its business model, but its management model.” Tribune and others in the dead tree trade have a leadership problem. Your “do your best link to the rest” and “reverse syndication” concepts are certainly interesting and they do merit consideration, however, both will require bold leadership.

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Some good news for newspapers

Posted in Future Employment on December 17, 2008 by sizzlingjboy

No newspapers will declare bankruptcy in 2009. That’s just one prediction from Martin Langeveld of the News After Newspapers blog.

He has quite a few other predictions for 2009, including that the advertising decline now being experienced by newspapers will slow while their online ad sales perk up, circulation figures will stabilize and that many other papers will successfully follow the Detroit example of reducing the frequency of publication. He even expects that many hyper-local start-ups will expand from online only to print.

One provocative prediction was the partnering of Craigslist and (potentially) Ebay with newspapers as a way to drive readers to newspaper web sites.

Of course it isn’t all rosy. He expects that some major newspaper players will merge (Media News with Hearst is his top candidate) and that at least 25 newspapers will close outright.

All this might merely be of academic interest if the employment fate of thousands wasn’t hanging in the balance.

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Unemployment uncertainty

Posted in Future Employment on October 3, 2008 by sizzlingjboy

On the Feeding Flames page an excellent question has been posed by WorryWort. Here it is:

Maybe someone can do a little research into this. Will those who do sign up (and are accepted by management) for the buyout be eligible for unemployment benefits? Mona has told us that the Ledger will not “fight” any claims. What does that mean? Some have contacted the state unemployment offices and gotten different answers. “Yes you can” “No you can’t” even the states own website does not have clear answers in its FAQ’s section. Just thinking here…over 230 of us may soon be filing claims….. Maybe we could get some solid answers from the head of the Labor Department… or even consider hiring legal representation in mass to represent our interests. If anyone has spoken to their local unemployment office……what did they tell you ?????

I might add that the rules between states may differ. Some of our people are New York residents. How might that affect the process?

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To buyout or not buyout, that is the question

Posted in Future Employment on September 25, 2008 by sizzlingjboy

Some other sage advice from Joe Grimm (of Poynter’s “Ask the Recruiter“). It might have been more pertinent a month or so ago, but I wasn’t blogging about this then.

A highlight of the column:

Journalists who have been forced out of the business often find that other industries are very happy to find people who are curious, who think critically, who gather and digest information quickly and who can organize and present it clearly. Journalism has always been a good skills platform.

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Those who are about to freelance …

Posted in Future Employment on September 25, 2008 by sizzlingjboy

One way or the other there will probably be lots of us out of a job in the not so distant future. Those taking the resume writing class may hope for a new job, but a few may opt to try and carry on as freelancers. In light of that here is some advice from Poynter’s “Ask the Recruiter” (aka the ever hopeful Joe Grimm).

  1. Line up a temporary job. Check with craigslist, Kelly services, anything. The point is to have a check you can depend on so you can control cash flow.
  2. Create a website (if you haven’t already), or a blog that has a bio and links to your writing. Use it as an online resume. You can also do the same with linkedin.com if you wish.
  3. Send a group email to all your contacts before you make the jump. (I recommend about 3 months, if you can do it that far in advance.) Tell them you’ll be freelancing full time and are looking for assignments.
  4. Of course, create a business plan. Check with the Small Business Administration, or the Service Corps of Retired Executives for help. (In fact, do this first!!!)
  5. Line up assignments that will have you working for about two to three months. That way, you won’t have time to sit around the house and worry.
  6. While you’re working on your assignments, send out feelers for others. Always think at least 3 months ahead.

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