Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’

Orlando Sentinel Cutting Staff

Speaking of the Orlando Sentinel, the past few weeks I’ve heard rumblings of an upcoming round of lay-offs at the newly redesigned paper. It appears this is the week the axe has fallen.

Orlando Sentinel Cutting StaffTwo area blogs were pointed out to me by a reader that I think anyone interested in this round of developments might want to check out. The first is Sentinel Watch, run by a previous employee; the other is The Amazing Shrinking Orlando Sentinel. Both are running lists and keeping tabs on who is being given the axe under the direction new Tribune owner Sam Zell is taking the company (the OS is part of the company). For those not familiar with the name, Zell is a real estate financier who took on an $8.2 billion debt when he bought the company last December. Since then, he’s been in the process of streamlining and selling off parts of the empire in an effort to make it profitable for him.

Strangely enough, even though people are leaving, pr for the OS seem to be denying its happening…even as recently as in an article in yesterday’s industry publication Editor and Publisher.

From that article:

As many as 20 of the paper’s approximately 250-person news staff were informed Wednesday that they would leave the paper, including several who chose to depart with a severance package. Other cuts are expected to be done before the end of July…

Editor Charlotte Hall declined to comment on the situation, referring inquiries to Lisa Jacobsen, a human resources and communications consultant, who told E&P no cutbacks are planned “at this time.” She also stated that the paper does not discuss employment status, adding that there is “a lot of misinformation out there. Nothing is happening, and nothing is planned.”

And unfortunately, it’s not just the OS — all of Zell’s papers are being trimmed of staff. The blog Tell Zell is even keeping a running tab in their blog column.

So what is actually going on over at the OS? Why are they going through the motions of denying everything if it is indeed happening? With the economy the way it is, I’m not entirely surprised at this employee streamlining, but I am surprised some really good writers have been given pink slips.

If any of you have any insider info, feel free to post it in comments. But it certainly doesn’t seem like a good week to write for local newspapers.

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