Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Good Friend Loses Her Job

The layoffs and firings just keep striking and many are hitting close. My dear and long-time friend Sue Lindsey, who once saved my life, has been separated from* her job with the Associated Press. She ran the bureau in Roanoke from 2005 to Tuesday and AP apparently will close it.

I haven’t talked to her today, so I don’t know what’s up next for her, but Sue and I are the same age—63—and options for our age group are limited in a job market. She’s one of the most talented writers and editors I’ve ever known and one of the bravest, most compassionate and very best people in my experience.

She has been a journalist, it seems, forever, including 19 years with The Roanoke Times. She was a reporter and editor and wrote a column for the editorial page for a while. Sue has always been private and was never totally comfortable with the high profile of an editorial columnist. She finally gave it up.

AP says it plans to cut 10 percent of its workforce across the globe and blames much of its problems on the fact that newspapers, who pay for its services, are suffering. Revenue is down six percent, it reports.

Sue’s job loss is the third among people I call friend that I’ve learned about in 24 hours. Last night at the VB FRONT Open House, a friend who is in public relations for a local college says she is a victim of budget cuts and my old pal JoLynn Seifert, who worked with us in ad sales at the Business Journal, has been severed by The Roanoker Magazine.

On a better note, our office manager at the Business Journal, Susan Cousins (one of the most competent people I know), went to work today for the Creekmore Law Firm, which is getting a dandy in Susan.

But Sue. I’m really sad about this one. And, no, I’m not going to tell you how she saved my life because she would object. But she did and I’m forever grateful to her.

(*I say "separated from" here because I don't know what technical term AP used, but it's all pretty much the same. She won't be working for AP. A few weeks ago my pal Elizabeth Parsons was told by the Blue Ridge Business Journal that she was "laid off" on a Friday. The following Tuesday her replacement as editor was announced. Not sure how that fits in with "layoff.")

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