In terms of stylish ways to cut costs in the newsroom, layoffs are apparently the new black or pink or whatever the chic color is this season. Over the last 24 hours, Gannett Co., Greenspun Media Group and the Miami Herald all announced across-the-board job thrashings, doing their part to send more than one horse open sleighs dashing through the snow (or sand) as December reared its head.
On Tuesday, Gannett axed 26 newsroom jobs at USA Today and 11 staff positions at USA Weekend magazine — a day before it imposed week-long furloughs for employees at the Des Moines Register, the Iowa City Press-Citizen and other Gannett-owned local papers for the first quarter of 2010. The twin Gannet announcements bracketed a report from Greenspun Media that the media company plans to “reorganize the local operations” by combining staff at the Las Vegas Sun and its Web site and merging staff Las Vegas Weekly, In Business Las Vegas, LasVegasWeekly.com, Vegas Magazine, Las Vegas Magazine and Vegas2G. And if that wasn’t enough to freeze journalism hearts everywhere, the Miami Herald just filed an article on its blog revealing its intention to cut 24 company jobs — 7 in the newsroom — next year.
At least if all these unemployed journalists band together and start a blog, they might get some free stuff from companies seeking endorsements that they can then give as gifts for the holidays. Though the gifts may not come as much of a surprise to their recipients now that the Federal Trade Commission is requiring full disclosure from bloggers of “material connections they share with the seller.” No jobs, no endorsement — at least there’s still Santa Claus, right?