Thursday, April 2, 2009

Times-Dispatch Ditches 59 More Jobs; Rex Bowman's Among Them

The bodies just keep piling up: today it was the Richmond Times-Dispatch, 59 jobs down. The T-D has fallen to 602 employees from 772 a year ago and its stock has hovered at record low levels for some time. The 59 is in addition to 31 that were open and won't be filled.

Virtually every department was affected by today's announced job losses, but there were few specifics on who's gone and who's staying. My pal Rex Bowman, who ran the Western Virginia Bureau in Roanoke and is probably the best newspaper reporter in this region, was among those laid off. He's been nominated for two Pulitzers and has a ton of press association awards, but as Tim Thornton's dismissal from the Roanoke Times shows us, awards don't mean much when compared to the bottom line.

Parent Media General's stock closed today at $2.32, up considerably from $1.25 March 6 and well below $1 last year.

The T-D says it has frozen salaries (actually extended the existing freeze), but is giving full-timers it let go a severance package. Reaction to the T-D story included this: "I don’t know what’s scarier, that a bunch of good reporters got laid off, or the T-D ran what amounts to a press release as a story. How can you depend on a newspaper to report on the world when it doesn’t have the courage to report on itself?" Sounds like a newspaper in our area, huh?

No comments:

Post a Comment