Monday, September 22, 2008

The week ahead

We learned last week the target date for newsroom layoffs is Friday, Oct. 17. We also learned reductions in force began in other areas like Quick and Belo Interactive. The situation is developing obviously.

Three lingering questions for the week ahead:

1.) How will Corporate notify employees they are RIFed?
2.) How many positions in the Dallas Morning News newsroom will be cut?
3.) Are the organization charts shown the last day of the buyout period still accurate?

Do you have new information? Do you have a correction? Contact


Anonymous said...

Why were people laid off at BI? The Internet?

Anonymous said...

Let's see if I can help.
1) No one outside of management is going to get any advance notice of the layoff. One will have to show up for work on Friday, Oct. 17 to find out who gets cut. The target will get a phone call from his supervisor asking him or her to meet. he will be taken to small room somewhere in the building, where they will meet with an HR rep. there is a prepared speech. A packet of information will be handed over.
2) We had 24 buyout-takers. They told us they wanted about 40 people to take it. That number is likely to shift upward. Count on at least 20, maybe 25 people to be axed.
3) Has the chart changed? Are you kidding? Of course it has. It changes all the time as managers scramble to protect their people and foist the burden onto someone else.

Let's move on, shall we?

Anonymous said...

I want to know what anyone knows about online. The BI layoffs were surprising.

Anonymous said...

In the sports meeting, we were not allowed to have a copy of the organizational chart. You could only see it one the screen. No printouts were allowed. Seriously. So they don't even have faith in them.

Some BI moves may be streamlining. I think they bought some lifestyles content recently from a company for its sites, so it may be to replace people here who provided it. BI has also had open positions listed, so there's hiring possibilities, too. I'm not close to the situation, but it seems more like transition than abandoning the internet end of things.

But don't believe me. I'm an employee and a stockholder. I'm not a manager, so I'm not allowed to know when my family's lives will change.

Anonymous said...

A suggestion:
Downbeat as it seems, why not remind people to take home things that are of great personal or professional value to them. No one wants to be cleaning out their desk on layoff day or have maintenance do it for them. Each of us have things at work that could be valuable to us later on.

Secondly, there are financial matters that could and should be tended to now. Outstanding loans from 401ks are but one. Another is things like Health Savings Accounts with balances. Anyone who depends on the company to look out for them in these matters is, frankly, nuts.

As lousy as the severance package looks on paper, you will be more than surprised when you see what all is deducted from it if you don't pay attention right now.

Debbie Mattox in Benefits can be helpful - if she is not overwhelmed or under orders from corporate to ignore you. She is at extension 6827. Be persistent.

Anonymous said...

The cuts at Belo Interactive and Quick are what one might call "quiet layoffs." When the announcement of layoffs was made by Jim Moroney a week or two ago, those entities were not mentioned as being subject to reduction. Not to sound overly cynical, but you do these trims because it's easy and you don't get a lot of public attention.

The folks in Quick were on notice that there were going to be substantial reductions in staff because of the impending shift to a weekly publication. They were not told numbers, and they were not told whether they could apply for jobs elsewhere. They were left to twist.

Belo Interactive was subjected to layoffs in some areas the last two years. It has the look of another faltering venture.

Anonymous said...

Another financial matter you should consider is business insurance. If you are going freelance (by your choice or by the choice of others) make sure you have at least priced out needed liability or equipment insurance that you could put in place immediately after a buyout or layoff.

Anonymous said...

Just to underscore, if you have borrowed against your 401k, chances are good that the entire loan will be called due immediately if you are laid off. Secondly, if you have a Health Savings Account (or the like) with a balance, you need to spend the money ASAP or you are likely to lose it all if you are laid off. The money will not transfer.
Third, if you are having money withdrawn from your paycheck for a DMN subscription, be advised that they will try to dock you for the entire annual amount if you are laid off.
In short, review all of your current deductions. If there is a way to bleed you, the company will do it. And without warning.