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Archives: April 2009

Links for 4-30-09: EW Publisher Resigns | Ex-Woman’s Day Editor Launches Site For Moms |

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Let’s Hear More About Campbell-Ewald

We’ve heard some tips through the grapevine that an unidentified number of Campbell-Ewald staffers were laid off today, at least six from print production, one tipster tells us.

The ad agency’s official position, from spokesman Mark Benner, is that “we never comment on those kinds of things.” Why? “We don’t think it serves anybody’s needs very well.”

Well, if you just lost your job, your needs certainly aren’t being served by being tight-lipped, either. Know more? Tell us. We don’t bite.

Baltimore Sun Lays Off 1/3 Of Newsroom; One Victim Says ‘They Probably Did Me A Favor’

The Baltimore Sun’s mass layoffs of 61 newsroom staffers (in a newsroom of only 200 to begin with) have cut the paper to levels some say is a “gutting” of the largest newspaper in Maryland.

One staffer, who had put in more than 22 years as an editorial aide, told blogger and former Sun reporter David Ettlin that the company “probably did me a favor. The last couple of years have been really bad.” She was transferred from one bureau to another as each suburban office shut down.

As for the Sun’s strategy? “We are going to become a 24-hour local newsgathering operation that more effectively gathers news and distributes it among our many platforms,” including print, online and mobile, Renee Mutchnik said. “This is our plan for success, not just survival.”

Ettlin rounded up many of the names of those who lost their jobs. Read after the jump. We’re sorry there’s not more we can do.

Read more

Where The Money Is (Maybe): Local Search

News organizations looking for the next way to subsidize their existence would do well to look into local search. The annual growth of local search—like using an online Yellow Pages, or Yelp or Angie’s List—grew 58 percent last year, far outpacing overall US web searches, according to a study from the Yellow Pages Association (YPA).

Core web search in the US increased 21 percent year-over-year, to almost 137 billion searches; local search makes up about 15.7 billion of that total.

75 percent of the search keywords were non-branded (“restaurants,” “plumber,” not “Joe’s Kitchen”), meaning, the YPA says, that businesses should make sure they have an online presence that will pop up in search results while users are looking. What it really means is that online news orgs have to capitalize on these local searches rather than sending people to other sites to do their searching.

Are You A Bad Recruiter Or Does Your Boss Have Unrealistic Expectations?

So, a top recruiter for a big Silicon Valley company, who was at least good enough to survive the past year of carnage in all industries, was recently told by his bosses that he wasn’t “strategic” enough. Who knew? Certainly not this guy: he thought he was doing a good job. Turns out, he’s thought of as a “super doer” (as in, a manager who does his employees’ work because he thinks he can do it better) and only hung onto his job because he had good relationships with everyone.

Kevin Wheeler at blogged about this interesting problem. The recruiter eventually did some of his own research:

“Mark spent a few days talking to various managers and asking what they thought an ideal recruiting function might offer them. What would “strategic” look like to them? And, also, what was wrong with being a good executor?

He was a little surprised to learn how many managers saw recruiting jobs as cushy and overpaid. They felt almost anyone could post a job and whittle down a bunch of candidates to a few that were suitable.”

MANAGEMENT FAIL. This suddenly is not a “recruiter is bad at his job” problem but a “management has no idea what you do” problem. Does this sound like you? Worried you’ll never get promoted? Wheeler’s suggestions for correcting the stereotypes follow:

-Start talking the language of business.
-Begin understanding and explaining the employment market. Use BLS statistics, local employment agency, and more.
-Start focusing on offering sustainable solutions. Do more with fewer.
-Start gathering, interpreting, and using data and metrics to make decisions.
-Learn to sell…A great recruiter will close almost every candidate and will work to overcome objections, build relationships, provide flexibility, gain trust, and work toward compromise.

How does this sound? Is there more to be done to help recruiters “move up the ladder of respect”?

Even Associations Can’t Protect Us; NAA Cuts 39 Jobs

The Newspaper Association Of America has just cut 39 positions, or almost 50% of its staff, and announced it will no longer print physical copies of Presstime.

President and CEO John Sturm (who got creamed by Colbert last month) was direct about it: “Industry economics compelled this round of staff reductions—to ensure we remain an affordable value to our members,” he wrote in a memo.

These guys are supposed to be the ones looking out for us, and now they’re in trouble too? Come on, haven’t we hit bottom yet?

Denver Post Claims 95% Rocky Subscriber Retention

The Denver Post claims that 95% of the Rocky Mountain News subscribers who were given Post subscriptions after the Rocky folded have kept their new subscriptions.

“We are very encouraged that we have been able to retain so many of the former Rocky-only readers,” said Jim Nolan, spokesman for The Post.

This is a huge victory for the Post; the Rocky about six months ago had a total paid circulation of 210,281; even if a quarter of that number comes from single-copy sales, that’s still a nice boost to the Post’s circulation.

Or—and this is our theory—is it just that the two Denver papers are indistinguishable to most people? Yes, you’ll get the political wonks who think that one paper is more biased than the other, but our guess is that most people are happy to pick up whichever paper they see first as long as the crossword and coupons are in there.

Friendly Reminder: Keep That Facebook Page Clean

We all remember the Cisco Fatty, right? Losing a job she hadn’t even started yet because of an inappropriate Tweet sent out about Cisco?

“Sure, sure,” you say. “But my Twitter updates are protected and my Facebook profile is locked down.”

Not so fast. Slacker Manager at HRM Today posted the sad story of a woman who, after three and a half great years at her company, was fired for complaining about her job on Facebook.

I…have my profile privacy blocked so that you would have to be my friend to see it. With that in mind, it was not as if I was providing this “Complaint” to the entire world wide web, and in fact, there would have been very very few people that worked for this company that would have seen this. I also never named the company, any other employee names, etc…

How am I still in the wrong and losing my job over this?

While this totally stinks, Slacker Manager says, there’s not much you can do about it, if you have at-will employment (most do), which means you can be terminated at any time for any reason except discrimination. If anyone at the company saw it and recognized you, even if outsiders to the company didn’t see you complaining, you’ve now marked yourself in your boss’s eyes as a whiner who doesn’t like his/her job. Best not to do it.

“Think of this like you think of unflattering pictures of yourself,” Slacker Manager says. “Keep them to yourself and your spouse, and maybe a few close friends and nobody else.”

And remember, don’t Tweet anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.

Links For 4-29-09: NYT Guild Agrees To 5% Wage Cut | Earnings Reports From PR | More

B-To-B Publisher Penton Cuts Pay, Institutes Furloughs

More bad news: B-to-b publisher Penton Media announced yesterday that it would be reducing the workweek to four days during the summer and cutting pay accordingly, Folio reported.

CEO Sharon Rowlands announced the changes in a memo sent to all staff. She called the preceding quarter “the toughest in my business career” and that some of the company’s trade shows, even some of the strongest, “will show negative growth this year.”

Penton publishes over 100 titles in industries as varied as fitness and aviation.

Rowlands closed her memo thus: “I am determined we will come out of this recession strongly and will go on to do great things.” Hope so, otherwise those 700 or so employees will find worse down the road than just summer Fridays off.