Someone in the Palm Beach Post marketing department has a cruel sense of irony. The paper's latest ad campaign -- now popping up in the paper, online, and on billboards around town -- strikes very close to home for Post staffers.
"Anxious About Your Job?" reads the headline, beneath a photo of a worried-looking guy.
Well, yes. More than 300 Post staffers have lost their jobs in the past year or so,
through massive buyouts and layoffs. The most recent job cuts occurred this September,
when about 20 staffers were told to pack up and go home. The newsroom
staff now hovers around 140, about half its size early last year.
In all, about 1,000 jobs have been lost at the Post, Miami Herald, and Sun-Sentinel in the last couple of years, according to estimates by Bob Norman, New Times' media critic.
So it's easy to see why those reporters who remain at the once-venerable Post -- now overworked and scrambling to fill in the gaps left by their former colleagues -- might be a tad nervous about the future.
"We've seen this devastating job loss in the journalism profession," says Stacey Singer, a health reporter at the Post who has started a group to help fellow scribes transition to new jobs. "People have gone through hard times."
But of course, the Post marketing folks probably want people to read the paper to find out about job losses and trends in other industries -- real estate, tourism, car sales."Real news starts here," is the slogan on the ad.
Real news, and a lot of really anxious reporters.