Friday, 9 January 2009

Globe cuts

The Globe and Mail needs to cut 10% of its 800 employees, but take note of the gentlemanly way management will do it, as announced today.

All 800 employees have been advised they are eligible for buyout packages. If there are not 80 or so takers, there will be layoffs.

These are tough times for print media, but you can be civil in the process of reducing staff to ease the pain of reduced advertising revenue.

Kudos to the Globe for being upfront about the need for cuts and offering all employees buyouts.

We're also pleased to see more than two paragraphs were used by the Globe to describe its own cutbacks story.

Sun Media's 600-employee lobotomy last month, including 49 at the Toronto Sun, was not civil and was summed up in the Toronto Sun's print edition in two paragraphs.

There are people at the Sun lining up for buyouts, but management chose to lay off a lot of talented people who did not want to leave.

Most interesting in the Canadian Press story are quotes from Globe publisher and CEO Phillip Crawley, who believes the recession of 2009 will claim GTA newspapers, which include the Toronto Star, National Post, Toronto Sun and several free newspapers.

The CP story says Crawley is concerned that the lower advertising revenues will force newspapers out of business in Toronto.

"I fear it won't be long before we lose some of those players," he says.

"I fear that when we come out of this recession the media landscape in this country is going to look entirely different - it's being devastated."

A few years ago, gamblers would have been betting on the Post to be the first print casualty in Toronto, but the ever-thinning Sun could be the favourite in 2009.

Big city tabloids in the U.S. and Europe have generally fared better than broadsheets in the downturn, but with ample staff and tabloid fare and flare.


  1. You wrote:

    "There are people at the Sun lining up for buyouts, but management chose to lay off a lot of talented people who did not want to leave."


    Same thing happened in 2001. A number of folks wanted buyouts but were refused. How many people were needlessly laid off?

    At least one person even asked to switch places with someone who was just laid off, but was refused.

  2. I dodged the Dec 16th axe but unfortunately unions protect the weak and the lazy (although this did make some of our decisions on the 6th floor black and white). We would have been able to manage much better without 15 people had we been able to keep some of the stronger more innovative blood that has realized long ago that this business we're in has changed and the Sun of old died even before Quebecor's rampage.