Palm Beach Post Newsroom: 'Musical Chairs With Livelihoods On The Line'

Today is an important day in the current round of downsizing at the Palm Beach Post. The following is a comment from a recent post about the morphing of the three South Florida large dailes (click here to read the entire comment thread, it's fantastic stuff):

On Friday, they're supposed to name the people in the "new" management positions. So any current managers who aren't on that list have a couple of weeks to apply for any open or new non-management spots.

Except Friday is also when the rank and file is supposed to learn whether they have a spot in the reorganization, and those without a spot would also be applying for the scraps. From what I've been told, sometime in early September, all the spots will have names and if your name isn't there, you're out.

Sounds confusing but it seems like musical chairs, just with adults and their livelihoods on the line. The business gets another flush closer to the drain.

In the end, about six managers and an unknown number of reporters and other newsroomers will lose their jobs (Last month, Publisher Alex Taylor informed the staff that more layoffs were coming, but he didn't put a number or time frame on it). I could rant about the evils of corporate management here, but I think this speaks for itself. Hundreds of journalists and other newspaper staffers have lost their jobs there already. That newsroom right now is a house of pain.

-- Sam Zell may be pushed out of Tribune Co. so that creditors can "sell off the company's newspapers and broadcast stations as they see fit." Please let it be so. I've been screaming at the top of my lungs that these newspapers, including the Sun-Sentinel, need to be sold from under Tribune's gigantic debt. And I have little doubt that Tribune newsrooms across the country would erupt in cheers if Zell's departure were announced.  

-- For some comic relief from that ungodly situation, I turn to SPJer and FAU student newspaper advisor Michael Koretzky. Specifically his blog, SPJihad. Koretzky will be conducting a panel at the upcoming Society of Professional Journalists convention in Indianapolis. Doing the same thing will be Victor Hernandez, the "coverage director" for CNN. Koretzky noticed that Hernandez' description for his session, titled Journalism 3.0, had some, uh, problems. Let Koretzky tell you about them (it jumps):  


So here are some excerpts from Hernandez about Journalism 3.0 ... 

1. "With the introduction of new needs and demands around converging newsrooms, so has the flood of new gizmos and buzz word, but who can keep up!?" Uh, what?

2. "The tenants of traditional journalism remain

alive and well." You mean, there are people living in traditional journalism? What's their rent? Or do you mean tenets?

3. "With the advent of next-generation search engines, are you still using Google when time to embark on your story research-voyages?" Uh, what?

At this point, you might be asking yourself, "What does a CNN 'coverage director' do, anyway?" Well, according to his own bio, he oversees a 50-person assignment desk, 10 U.S. bureaus, and more than 900 "television and newspaper affiliate partnerships."

If that's not scary enough, here's one amazingly long sentence from Hernandez's bio (also on the SPJ site) that would earn any college journalist a solid F...

"Whether it's overseeing the 'big picture' breaking news coverage demands and expectations from company headquarters or commanding troops on the ground from such noteworthy events as the historical 2008 Presidential election, unraveling complexities of the economic collapse or planning and execution of intense coverage from epic disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires -- Victor's core leadership beliefs have always been encased in leading with vision and respect."

As silly as Hernandez looks for writing this crap, SPJ looks sillier for not editing it.


Went to the SPJ site and apparently the organization did some editing. You see there? More change effected by good journalism. 

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman