Here's a good news/bad news post.
The bad news:
As some of you may know, I was laid off from The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis back in late March.
This didn't come as that great a surprise. Even though I'd worked there for 27 years, the last 10-15 had been under a sword of Damocles for all of us. Wave after wave of layoffs swept the newsroom, and while my number never came up, a good many people I considered untouchable got touched. It became evident that no one was safe, no matter how entrenched, talented or necessary.
Then we got purchased by Gannett in April of 2016. Gannett had a bad reputation for how it treated its employees, but we hoped for the best. It seemed like they were making a good-faith effort to help us stay employed -- when the copy desk (of which I was Night Editor) was dissolved, some of us were placed (and re-trained) as "digital producers" and web-content managers, and others were given jobs in Nashville at the "Design Studio" (which did what the old copy desk did, only for multiple papers).
Just short of a year, though, all those efforts proved illusory. The Nashville Design Studio was shuttered, so everyone who moved there was out of work. And they dissolved the digital desk, putting me and all the other ex-copy deskers on the street.
And that wasn't all! Before the layoffs, there were only 60 people left in the Newsroom ... and they fired 20 of us. Previously, the editorial production had been moved to Nashville, and the physical production had been moved to Jackson, TN. As I write this, there are roughly 35 people left in the five-story Commercial Appeal building, not counting security. Oh, and that building is for sale.
Alas for Memphis. Alas for journalism.
But here's the good news: It's not alas for me.
As of August 7, I became the Communications and Programming Manager at Riverfront Development Corporation, a public/private partnership that manages the city's Riverfront (which includes innumerable parks) and is working with many partners to make it a world-class public commons.
It's quite a departure in many ways from my old job. I'll be doing things that I've never done before. But I'll also be doing a lot that I'm pretty good at, like social media, writing, editing ... and adding a little good in the world.
Which, you have to admit, is pretty good news.
Congratulations! Enjoy it!
Good for you,Skipper!
Sounds good to me!
There's a Facebook group called "What's Your Plan B?" for former ink-stained wretches like us who find ourselves needing to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and go find the next thing with the skills, talents and experience we've developed -- and possibly for new employers who actually appreciate those skills, talents and experience. That sounds like the kind of success story they'd love to hear!
Congratulations and good luck
I'm just about to leave my employment after 30 years - daunting but exciting.
Sounds good to me!
There's a Facebook group called "What's Your Plan B?" for former ink-stained wretches like us who find ourselves needing to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and go find the next thing with the skills, talents +3/*and experience we've developed -- and possibly for new employers who actually appreciate those skills, talents and experience. That sounds like the kind of success story they'd love to hear!
I'll check that out, CK. I will say that I never doubted for a second that the skills imparted by the newsroom were directly translatable to most jobs. If nothing else, newspaper people are some of the hardest-working people I've ever met -- and are used to working nights, weekends and holidays. They have no expectations of fair treatment at all and work like plowhorses. Plus, most are really smart, computer literate and wherever they go, will be the best spellers in the room. My chief concern was that employers would look at my birthdate on my resume and toss it. That probably did happen, but in at least one case it did not, and that's all I needed.
Congrats and best of luck Cap!