Depressing Thanksgiving Wishes From the Palm Beach Post

The Palm Beach Post has had a rough couple of years, watching its pages shrink, its revenue decline, and its newsroom crippled by the loss of 300 employees to buyouts and layoffs.

Still, the paper's top execs have tried to remain indomitably positive. Just in time for Thanksgiving, Chuck Girardi, who's in charge of revenue development for the Post, sent out an email last week counting the paper's blessings. He noted that the Post has "now seen six consecutive weeks of revenue trend improvement versus prior year-- something we have not experienced all year."

And he tried to be encouraging about the future. "There is a genuine feeling of 'recovery' and optimism in the air," he wrote.

But in the end, his purposely cheerful message still conjured visions of depressed journalists eating Stove Top Stuffing and canned cranberry sauce at their desks.

They're thankful, as Girardi notes, just to be "here," -- employed, despite massive layoffs through South Florida's news industry. But they're not exactly singing Christmas carols in the hallways. Here's an excerpt from Girardi's note:

Most importantly, however, there truly is much to be thankful for on this most appropriate of weeks. First and foremost, we are here. But more, there is a genuine feeling of "recovery" and optimism in the air. People throughout the company are clearly busier these days, adjusting to a suddenly increasing workload, but in a now smaller organization. We're working together as a total company so much more effectively than ever before, and great things are happening as a result. The sales folks are beginning to buzz about the possibility of hitting their revenue targets again, and the content folks are hearing from readers just how much the changes they've made to the newspaper are being noticed and appreciated. 

Here's hoping that this is just the beginning of even better days ahead. We are thankful for each and every one of you for your good work and dedication to Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.

On behalf of Bob Neil and your Operating Group, wishing you and yours all the best this Thanksgiving.

Chuck Gerardi
Tim Burke
Christopher Caneles
Joyce Reingold
Linda Murphy
Carol Barrett

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