Sunday, September 14, 2008


With most of the buyout takers saying goodbye a few days ago, the time seems appropriate to reflect on the job losses that have transpired in the last decade at the Dallas Morning News.

Hundreds of losses, Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists gone among them. One might look at this and ask whether we have bottomed out, or whether we have a ways to go.

We take this from a post originally written last month by Mr. Sunbeam, the author of a predecessor blog, and adapt slightly to add in some details.

In 1998, it was a buyout that was offered only to workers of a certain age and experience level. The number of people who accepted was small, perhaps around 20.

In 2001, if memory serves, there was a layoff of about 25 newsroom staffers.

We all recall the layoff of 2004, where 65 newsroom staffers lost their jobs, including at least one Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Two years ago, about 110 staff members opted to leave, including at least four people who were part of winning Pulitzer Prizes. That final round left the staff size at 450.

All in all, more than 200 people have departed via previous buyouts/layoffs, including at least five people who helped win a Pulitzer Prize or were finalists.

Attrition from earlier this year took the newsroom down to 395.

Corporate said it wanted the staff cut to 350. The final count after the buyouts is unclear, but at least one Pulitzer-Prize winner was accepted. Also unclear is the headcount post-layoffs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The numbers are, indeed, fuzzy to all of us on the outside. One this for sure is that this is going to hurt bigtime. Some people who have done nothing but work hard are going to be axed. People of equal or perhaps lesser work ethic - but with friends in high places or a blessed job du jour - will survive. Such is life. None of us wins.
If you're wondering about all the closed door meetings taking place in the newsroom - many involving HR Rep Cindy Macfarlane - there is a lot of squabbling and finger pointing over who loses people.