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Archives: June 2009

Links for 6-30-09: Industry Moves | M&A | Spot.Us Expands | More

Mediabistro Course Freelancing 101

Manage a top-notch freelancing career in our online boot camp, Freelancing 101! Starting August 18, freelancing experts will teach you the best practices for a solid freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your own schedule and managing clients.  Register now!

The post Featured Post appeared first on MBToolBox.

There Goes Vibe; Magazine Closes Effective Today

“It is with a heavy heart that I share some tough news, VMG is closing down effective today, June 30 due to lack of additional financial investments,” wrote Vibe Media Group CEO Steve Aaron in a memo to staff, obtained by minonline.

Vibe had a circulation of 818,000 in the second half of last year, but was planning to cut its rate base to 600,000 in July 2009. In February, the mag announced it was raising its cover price, cutting back to 10 issues a year, and instituting furloughs/wage reductions.

Guess it all wasn’t enough.

The New York Times notes that Vibe’s closure leaves just one large-circulation magazine, The Source, focusing on hip-hop and R&B.

Win: A Copy of ‘The Boss’

The Boss _3D_smallV2.jpgWarning: Andrew O’Keeffe‘s The Boss may hit a little too close to home.

After having observed managers in a variety of situations, and after having been a boss himself, Andrew O’Keeffe decided to take what he learned and provide a guide for managers and hope for wage slaves.

The book’s written like The One Minute Manager—like a novel where characters every so often open their mouths and spout out a completely out-of-place discourse on the philosophy of management.

If you can get over that and suspend disbelief, we think you’ll find The Boss an intriguing read. Lauren Johnson, O’Keefe’s fictional Everywoman, trades her bad boss for…five bad bosses. Will she ever get to work with the boss of her dreams? Will she learn to deal with her bad bosses’ bad traits and still get her work done? Pulitzer-winning suspense this ain’t, but anyone who’s ever had a crappy boss should relate.

We’ve got a copy of The Boss to give away, and here’s how you can win:

  • Leave a comment on this entry telling your bad boss story. Keep it civil and clean and don’t name names or we’ll delete your comment and you’ll be disqualified.
  • Vote for your favorite bad boss story (yes, you can vote for yourself) using the “Like” button on the comments page.
  • The commenter with the most votes by noon Monday, July 6 will win the book!

Well? Have at!

One In Ten Companies Will Never Un-Furlough You

You can never go back again: According to the most recent Watson Wyatt “Effect of the Economic Crisis on HR Programs” survey, most employers believe that things will never go back to the way they were pre-recession. 20 percent of HR execs who responded to the survey, conducted in June 2009, believe that the pay cuts their companies instated will never be reversed, and more than half believe that permanent staffing levels will be reduced 3-5 years from now.

And one in ten companies say they don’t plan to ever end their mandatory furlough or shortened workweek program. Ever.

On the brighter side, almost two-thirds (62 percent) of the execs surveyed expect to end their companies’ hiring freezes in the next 12 months; 24 percent of execs—twice as many as in the April survey—believe their company’s hit bottom and is already on the rebound, and 70 percent will reverse their company’s salary freeze in the next year.

Of the companies pondering further layoffs, the HR execs report that the layoffs will impact on average .5 percent of their workforce, down from 5 percent six months ago.

Want To Be A Reporter? Move To Atlanta

supply and demand for reporters
Supply/demand for reporters

WANTED Technologies measures the supply and demand ratios for some common professions. The larger the bubble on the map, the more jobs are posted in that area relative to the number of qualified workers. So it doesn’t look too great for journalists, who, according to this map, will have to move to Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, or New York. Well, no news happens in the middle part of the country anyway. We joke.

Anyway, you can play with the tool yourself…it’s appropriately bleak, unless you work in healthcare, or click the jump to see the job outlook for publicists and graphic designers (which we randomly selected from their list).

Read more

Metro Unemployment Report: Two Steps Forward, Three Steps Back

bls_metro_unemploy_may.png
Dark gray is “unemployment higher than national average,” light gray is “lower than national average.” BLS

Today’s metropolitan unemployment report shows that joblessness is slightly worse than it was last month, with 112 major metro areas in the United States reporting unemployment rates of 10.0 percent or higher for the month of May.

In April, the areas reporting 10.0 percent or higher unemployment numbered 93.

Only 97 areas reported unemployment of below 7.0 percent, down from 333 a year ago.

El Centro, Calif., recorded the highest unemployment rate, 26.8 percent, followed by Yuma, Ariz., at 23.3 percent.

Of areas with a population of 1 million or more, Detroit reported the highest unemployment rate in May, 14.9 percent, followed by Riverside, Calif., at 13.0 percent, and 12.0 percent each for Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, N.C.-S.C., and Providence, R.I. The large areas with the lowest jobless rates were San Antonio, Tex., and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Good Morning: Layoffs!

Twentieth TV, News Corp.’s TV syndication unit, let 10 people go last week in marketing, finance, IT and production.

Lexington, Ky. ABC affiliate WTVQ has cut two part-timers—a production person and a receptionist—reclassified three positions from full-time to part-time, and is not renewing the contracts of three reporters and two news producers.

And Tampa Fox affiliate WTVT laid off six last week, including four from the newsroom. The cuts come soon after WTVT and two competitors formed a Local News Service—a camera pool—but WTVT general manager Bill Schnieder insisted the job reductions were unrelated to the LNS.

And we thought TV advertising was bouncing back. Urgh.

The Recession, Associated Press Style

clowncar.jpg small car carpool gas
flickr: Leap Kye

Before there was Twitter to take the nation’s zeitgeist, we (or at least journalists) had the Associated Press stylebook.

Those who subscribe to the online version can opt to get e-mail alerts whenever the stylebook updates a word or phrase.

In November of last year, for example, the stylebook updated “collateralized debt obligations” with a definition. Shortly after, we got definitions for “derivative,” “home equity line of credit,” and “LIBOR.” Even if you were living under a cave you’d have known something was up in our markets, right?

Now AP’s sending out notices that seem to hit a little closer to home. Yesterday’s update? “Carpool.”

(In case you were curious: it’s one word when it’s a verb, but two when it’s a noun.)

Links For 6-29-09: Goodbye DailyCandy GM | Union Strife At SFChron Plant | More

Crowdsourcing And #Linkedinfail

Whoops! LinkedIn thought it would crowdsource the translation of its site into other languages, so it sent out a survey to LinkedIn members who listed their occupation as “translator.”

“What type of incentive would you expect for translating LinkedIn’s site?” the survey asked.

The multiple-choice responses? Did not include “money.” Nor did the responses include “dinero,” “moolah,” or even “dolla dolla bills.”

linkedin_translation_survey.jpg
thanks to @morrick for the screenshot

The response was pretty intense, as one could expect. The New York Times reports that some Linkedin translators created a group, Translators against Crowdsourcing by Commercial Businesses. It’s on now. There’s even a #LinkedInfail tag now.

The NYT found LinkedIn’s response:

Nico Posner, the LinkedIn product manager who circulated the survey, declined to be interviewed but in a post to [the Linkedin] group wrote that the survey was not asking translators to volunteer per se. He said he was trying to find out whether they would consider “crowd sourcing,” borrowing the term applied to companies like Wikipedia that rely on volunteers’ collective wisdom.

Er.

What, pray tell, is the difference between working for free and crowdsourcing?

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