Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Not to temper Aaron's enthusiasm because I, too, admire the work Bob and others have accomplished, but things here in my newsroom are a little somber.

For weeks, there's been talk of impending layoffs. Every day we'd get messages like this one from the guild regarding the rampant rumors circulating around the newsroom.
The Guild has been informed by the company that there will be no announcement regarding layoffs today. At this point we do not expect to hear anything until Monday or Tuesday.
I hated those e-mails. And the constant chatter near the printer about how it would all be handled, and when, if ever we would get any details. Today, we finally got word.

Company wide 100 people are being laid off. I still have my job, but 18 of my colleagues don't. No reporters were laid off, but 1 section editor, a copy editor, and pairs of artists, photo editors, visual technicians, photographers and editorial assistants were. In addition, 5 state staff office assistants, including my two favorite people in the world, D and B, were laid off.

This is the second round of layoffs we've had in the last six months. Everyone keeps speculating that another round - which the execs say is always contingent upon the economy - isn't too far behind.

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Posted by T Dot at 4:17 PM | link | Tell us what you think [1]

Finding inspiration

I'm so tired of hearing my peers talk pessimistically about journalism. And especially when I see journalists, much older than we are, continuing to do big things in our uncertain industry.

Inspiration is not hard to find. One of my mentors, Bob Butler, is a laid off journalist. Yes, that's right. He was laid off from a regular staff position at KCBS San Francisco news radio in 2006. But I see Bob as an example of a journalist who keeps it moving — he's not publically wallowing in negativity or depression over the state of the industry.

Not only has he continued contributing for KCBS, he's been a mainstay for the Chauncey Bailey Project. The project was recently written about in the New York Times.

In addition, he's the president of the Bay Area Black Journalist Association and regional director at the national level.

He's keeping busy. And for me, that's inspiring. Raise a glass to people who triumph over adversity and do damn good work in the process.

Bob Butler (right), with Thomas Peele and Mary Fricker.
Photo: New York Times

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Posted by Aaron Morrison at 11:33 AM | link | Tell us what you think [0]

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Unemployed* And Loving It

Last week hit the 2-month mark since I was relieved of my full-time work responsibilities ... and I'm still loving it.

When you factor in the fact that I was on vacation the week before I got the slip, I have really been out of the office for nearly three months.

(*Technically, I'm employed, but as a freelancer. Working from home = awesome.)

When your day consists of Sportscenter, Sportscenter, Arrested Development, lunch, The O.C., nap, and (insert sporting event of the evening here), who wouldn't be happy?

It has been a much needed break away from corporate America and has allowed me to recharge my mind.

The job hunt is narrowed down to just one position, which I'm playing the waiting game to see if they are going to give the green light on a hire.

Besides that, I really can't say I have been searching long and hard.

Not that I expect to find much if I were, but I'm at a position where I would only stay on the East Coast for this job I'm waiting to hear from.

If for some reason that doesn't work out, it's back to Los Angeles for me.

Who wants to join me for a little R&R at the beach?

Posted by Vandy at 9:05 PM | link | Tell us what you think [3]

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