Sunday, February 17, 2013

Valentine's Day at Washington Post: About 54 Laid Off

Fishbowl DC reported on Friday that the Washington Post quietly gave layoff notices to about 54 people in a move that touched every department in the newspaper. Betsy Rothstein wrote:
Internal sources appropriately place the number at 54, though a publicist hasn’t confirmed the exact number. Every department facing cuts was asked to keep the news to their department only, as to not make it look like a mass layoff. We’re told those given pink slips include Beth Jacobs, General Manager of Mobile, and Ken Dodelin, Director of Mobile Products. Sources say the entire Mobile Product Management and IT Project Management staffs have been eliminated. “[CIO and VP Shaliesh] Prakash thinks these are ‘inefficiencies’ – that is the exact word he uses for human beings who are not useful according to him,” said a source who spoke only on condition of anonymity. “Get rid of experienced people to save money, under the garb of streamlining is the new trend inside the Post.” The news comes on the heels of the NYT, which recently offered buyout packages to 30 employees. That target number wasn’t reached; it isn’t clear how many employees were let go.
Here is the memo that was distributed internally as reported by Rothstein:
WaPo memo: As you know, evaluating our structure and reducing costs is an ongoing priority. As part of a broader restructuring across the commercial side, we identified several areas where we believe we can operate differently. As a result, and after careful consideration, we are planning to eliminate some positions, effective April 30, 2013. The employees affected by this position elimination have already been notified, and will have the opportunity to participate in a Separation Incentive Program that will include both separation payments and a company contribution to be used towards health insurance premiums. I will share more and take your questions at our upcoming all-hands tomorrow, Feb 14th, 2013. I fully recognize that situations like this are stressful and thank you for your understanding as we work through this process. – Shailesh Prakash VP Digital Product Development and CIO

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