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Posts Tagged ‘John Martin’

Turner Offers Voluntary Separation Plan; ‘Will also undertake additional reductions in staffing’

sidebar_contact_us_1Anxious employees at CNN, including those in DC, have been bracing for the worst amid hints of massive layoffs slated for the outlet. Today, Turner sent out an email to staff across all of its brands offering a Voluntary Separation Program to employees 55 and over who have worked for Turner for 10+ years.

Capital New York reported last week that Turner CEO John Martin explained his “Turner 2020″ plan in a memo, saying, “A core team of our colleagues has looked at the purpose, structure and fit of literally every department in the company—more than 700 in all…Division leaders now are reviewing the working groups’ reports on their respective areas of oversight. Over the coming weeks, they will work with me to finalize the organizational changes we will implement.”

CNN president Jeff Zucker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that, “we are going to have to do what we do with less.”

Today’s memo, sent by Turner’s chief human resources officer, confirms measures beyond the voluntary buyouts are to be expected.

See the full memo after the jump. Read more

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TWT Says Sayonara to COO


The Washington Times hasn’t been a hotbed of stability in the last year or five. And on Thursday they said goodbye to their COO, John Martin. Sources tell FishbowlDC he was fired. He packed up and escorted himself out of the building with a box of his belongings. Security was not required to escort him out. Read more

With TWT’s Executive Editor Out, Will John Solomon Finally Make The Masthead?

Back in January, after 25 members of TWT newsroom got laid off, John Solomon was named to the elusive role of Chief Digital Officer with Ian Bishop as his deputy in the position of Digital Editor. Bishop made the masthead. Solomon did not. What made matters even more peculiar, is that when Solomon made media appearances, on WTOP for example, they said he was from Washington Guardian, his other news outlet. No mention of TWT.

Even in May of 2013, TWT gave him a bizarre tagline that made no mention of TWT except to say he was a former executive editor there. Was he or wasn’t he working there? His daily doings always appeared to be mired in mystery, even to those on the inside.

Still, now Solomon is getting another boost. Today Larry Beasley, whose contract as President and CEO has been upped until the end of 2015, is promoting him again. At least it sure looks like a promotion — time will tell if they see fit to put him on the masthead. This time, he’s “Editor and Vice President for Content and Business Development.” What this all means is anyone’s guess, as was Solomon’s previous position at TWT. As hilariously explained by Beasley in a statement, this means Solomon is in charge of editorial and business and advertising, because those parts of a newspaper are always supposed to be smushed together as one. No conflict there.

What’s even weirder is that Beasley appears to have no recollection of Solomon’s brusque departure from TWT four years ago as Executive Editor and speaks about his time there as a fairytale dream (all together now: raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…) Most former employees in high editorial posts say he was pushed out, forced to resign. He always insists otherwise.

Just as you think Beasley’s statement will end there, with four graphs and five bullet points inflating Solomon to be the best journalist who ever roamed the Earth (seriously), Beasley casually mentions that Executive Editor David Jackson is gone. HUH? “As part of the recent moves, we’ve said goodbye to some of colleagues, including our Executive Editor David Jackson,” he wrote three graphs from the bottom of the release, one of which throws in yet another compliment for Solomon. “We appreciate the effort he gave us and wish him well in his next endeavor.”

Bye bye Jackson!

See the release with our boldings… Read more

TWT to Scrap Shuttle Service

Some TWT employees will be looking for new ways to get to work after the company halts its employee shuttle service next month, sources from within TWT told FishbowlDC.

COO John Martin announced the company’s plans to shut down the service in an email to employees on May 28, exactly a month before the shuttle is set to stop running.

This is what the email from Martin said:

Read more

It’s Official: John Solomon Returns to TWT in Digital Role With Ian Bishop as Deputy

This just in…

As we hinted at earlier this morning, TWT has created two new digital positions: Chief Digital Officer and Digital Editor. Those positions will be held by former TWTer and currently a TWT consultant, John Solomon, and Ian Bishop, formerly of the New York Daily News.

As the release states, Solomon was formerly Executive Editor through 2009. But what they don’t say is as important as what they do, such as that he was pushed to resign, and let’s just say it wasn’t so he could spend more time with his family.

Nonetheless, a cheery quote from COO John Martin on his return. “John is a leading media innovator for creating new digital channels to expand the delivery of content and marketing communication. We are fortunate to have him back at The Times to focus on developing new products, new revenue streams, and new partnerships,” said Martin in a release.

In turn, Bishop will be Digital Editor. And in other surprising news, Editor Emeritus Wes Pruden, Editor-in-Chief until 2007, will be returning to oversee a restructuring of the editorial page and Commentary section. He will continue to write his twice-weekly column.

President and CEO Larry Beasley (a.k.a. “Evil Santa”) weighed in on Pruden. “Our readers know Wes for his witty political commentary, but he also has a keen sense of how to lift The Washington Times’ opinion pages to a higher level to provide intellectual leadership on such issues as free enterprise, strong defense, and traditional American values,” said Beasley in the release.

Of course, Beasley never mentions the dirty little secrets behind the real reasons why Pruden was allegedly forced into retirement. They involved allegations of racism and sexism in the organization under his management. For instance, Pruden once wrote in a TWT opinion piece that… Read more

TWT Calls Big Meeting at 2 p.m.

Nothing says we’re not firing you like a piece of pie. In an overly cheery email to staffers, TWT COO John Martin announced that there will be a 2p.m. meeting Monday on the newsroom floor. This meeting comes on the heels of Friday’s death march in which approximately 25 newsroom staffers were called into the auditorium and told that they were being laid off.

There will be cookies and cakes and pies, hurray. “These losers running the show really think desserts will help morale on a sinking ship that just saw a huge number of their colleagues thrown overboard,” a TWT insider told FishbowlDC.

The guess is that the big news will be the resurrection of John Solomon at the publication. When he was executive editor, Solomon liked to call all-staff meetings on the news floor and he’d stand on a desk and bellow out announcements with great histrionics.

Or perhaps the joy and celebratory note is that presumably everyone invited to Monday’s meeting will be keeping their jobs.

See the email from Martin… Read more

TWT’s Welcoming Committee: Toilet Paper

The Washington Times really knows how to welcome visitors to their humble abode off New York Avenue. Known for having snakes in their newsroom as well as showers, Murphy Beds and mirrors in some of the executive offices, the place isn’t the classiest of joints. But toilet paper in the grass?

Before conjuring up dreams of an all-new building, Chief Operating Officer John Martin might want to concentrate more on keeping the current surrounding grounds more picked up, which they’ve been known to do in the past. His hands must be full with current duties to overlook the mess of impending layoffs.

Nonetheless, this is the impressive first impression… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

A porcupine walks into a fancy men’s shop

“Walked into a Brooks Brothers to warm up, was given a glass of wine. How the other half lives!” — WCP‘s Will Sommer, who, in a previous existence was the anonymous D.C. Porcupine.

A real HuffPost headline: “Spend the night in a human colon”

Interesting Question to Ponder: “Am I the only one who, when I receive an email w/ subject line ‘Pick up the phone right now,’ thinks of horror movies?” — NBC News’ Ali Weinberg.

Ana Marie Cox: The self-aware edition

“Knowing that people don’t care about my long list of #firstworldproblems #meta” – The Guardian‘s Ana Marie Cox.

Unexpected holiday surprises: “Looking 4 Xmas gift for step mom – just searched for “Democrat Mug” – up pops John Edwards mug shot (along with alot of donkey mugs)” — Roll Call’s Emily Pierce.

Words to Live By…

“There’s really no excuse for wearing Axe anymore, men.” — Politico‘s Leigh Munsil.

Unnecessary Tweet of the Day

“My lovely wife is making tacos tonight. Trick is to fry the tortillas, not buy the crunchy kind. #BestofBothWorlds.” — NationalReviewOnlines Jonah Goldberg.

 A thought about the woman who plays Olivia Pope… Read more

TWT Beefs Up Security, E-mail, Phone Surveillance Amid Impending Layoffs

The Washington Times has bulked up security at the building and hired new guards. Security in the main lobby last week shifted from one guard to three, with another patrolling the parking lot. The reasoning? Sources tell FishbowlDC it’s the impending layoffs. The company consistently beefs up security before layoffs, a TWT insider insists — one of those little details employees notice when they know bad news is coming.

“The last time they did it, they beefed up,” said a former TWT editor on condition of anonymity. “One thing I noticed before, is security would do a building walk through once a day. When it was the weeks before the layoffs, they were walking around the building multiple times a day. It was another reminder that we were waiting for the axe to fall.”

On Nov. 28, Editor David Jackson sent out a company-wide email saying layoffs were imminent but provided few details. See WaPo Erik Wemple‘s report here. In his letter, Jackson announced that there would be a “reduction” and “reorganization” of staff. He wrote, “Reductions in staffing will be a one-time only process. We do not intend to go through this again.” Hardly words of comfort. Ever since that email went out, the newsroom has been on edge waiting for the gauntlet to fall, the noose to tighten, the Grim Reaper to appear (take your pick of terrible metaphors).

If increased security wasn’t indication enough, sources say TWT management has ramped up its surveillance of employees — checking phone logs, monitoring people’s emails and tracking forwarded emails to try to plug leaks. “Everyone is texting because they are afraid to use email,” an employee told FishbowlDC. “It’s complete panic mode. Everyone is trying to stay out of the system. You don’t know when it’s going happen or who it’s going to happen to.”

The aforementioned former editor above also found his office in slight disarray on numerous occasions. Papers would be moved around. Drawers opened. “Emails that I was sure I had disappeared from my email box,” the former editor said. “Seemed like people were in there looking for something. It’s that kind of a paranoid place. Disagreement was seen as a sign of disloyalty.”

Some journalists have been warned against forwarding emails… Read more

A Little Birdy Tells Us…

UPDATE: WaPo‘s media blogger Erik Wemple broke this story on Monday.

That John Solomon is back at TWT as a consultant. He will work on various projects pertaining to “distribution, audience and monitization initiatives.” He will report to COO John Martin.

Solomon is quite the spinning top. In January he left Newsweek/The Daily Beast after a year and supposedly left to focus on Packard Media Group. before that he ran the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch. And before that he was Executive Editor of TWT.

See the internal memo…

Read more