Sunday, December 04, 2011

Study: Among layoff 'survivors,' 23% plan to quit

That was one of University of Kansas associated journalism professor Scott Reinardy's findings in his study of 2,000 newsroom "layoff survivors," according to blogger Jim Romenesko.

"Many who survived rounds of layoffs trust the decision makers are making the right choices because they were spared," says a news release about the study. "Journalists who embraced new job duties such as web responsibilities, new use of technology and more or new areas of work tended to have the highest morale and showed commitment to their organizations."

But survivors didn't all report high morale or trust, the study found:
  • 23% plan to leave journalism completely. 
  • 44% don't intend to leave
  • 33% said they don’t know
OK, survivors; what are your plans? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. We must accept that the economic model for journalism has collapsed. You'll survive if you can tolerate eroding standards, get by on a $25,000 a year Patch like salary (with little to no benefits) and expect to change jobs every 12-18 months. Only a select few can work at the NYT or the well-oiled non-profit Pro Publica, where editor makes $300K-plus and the entire staff totals about 30 reasonably paid people. Once their funder moves on, they are SOL. Too many startups are being funded and hyped by the Knight Foundation, which throws money at some good and some foolish things (Freedom Forum anyone). Nothing great has panned out. Someday soon a new regime will stop that foolishness. Ink on paper is fast becoming a niche product, and the revenue from online/digital is will never match it. As for me, I'm looking well outside of journalism. News companies that are publicly traded are at the end of their life cycle. I've dedicated my career to a calling and love it, but I'm don't want to be around desperate, abusive "leaders." My once strong editor is powerless and sold their soul to hang on until the ride ends in 3-5 years. Life has more to offer, and you have to pursue it. Good luck to us all.

  2. I have no intention of ending my career at Gannett. The company doesn't care about quality or journalism, the slideshows (now removed thank God) at bnqt tell you all need to know about this company. I hope to be laid off this winter, until then I will work for the company until I'm fed up with the stupidity that is the hallmark of my site.

    I'm hoping to continue in journalism and looking into options like emphasis or kickstarter to crowd source fund projects.

  3. This quote speaks volumes about how some Gannett employees think...

    "Many who survived rounds of layoffs trust the decision makers are making the right choices because they were spared,"

    Am I to assume the ones who were let go must have failed or were failures in some way... Is this the mindset of those who are left? My God. No wonder Gannett has such an iron grip on its employees.

  4. I don't plan to quit anytime soon but I do know that it's going to get really, really nasty. When that out weighs the declining pay, benefits and working conditions, I know where the door is. It is a shame (as pointed out above) that many Gannett workers are only concerned with their own positions and if they survive the cuts... until?

  5. Stockholm Syndrome. I agree with 8:08 that life at the Big G is going to get ever worse. And that most jobs in the "recovering" economy are lower paying. I have close friends who have been laid off. They are suffering and scared about making the rent/mortgage and without insurance because they can't afford COBRA. They are lucky enough to have college educations and were great employees. They just can't find a job quite yet. The middle class as we knew it is in steep decline. I just hope to be able the walk out before I'm kicked to the curb. And have a job somewhere that has a future, a wage that can escalate, some training from time to time, and a chance to advance.

  6. 9:16 pegged it perfectly.

    In my case, laid off, I've since gotten sickening slights by a few of the management types (a minority of 'em, not all since some actually read my reviews) along the lines of "glad you were laid off," etc. Sweet.

    While from the survivors still there, the coworkers, I've gotten messages (equally unsolicited) that, sure, while I could be a pain in the ass on the side of quality, I did make some difference of value to my immediate coworkers, and spanning more than just one department. Along the lines of "I wish you were still here. It's hell."

    Yet, neither the managers still there, nor the folks in the trenches still there, seem to retain a certain whitewash: neither seem to get that no matter which take is assumed, denigration (a manager's badge of honor) or appreciation (essentially the common language of coworkers), all are in a dead-end, doomed to the same fate.

    Stockholm Syndrome.

  7. Hopefully someone comes along and buys the company for a pittance, dumps the entire management comedy act, and restores life to all the "properties," whatever medium they occupy.

  8. I have been looking for a job and plan to get out of Gannett as soon as I can. There's something better out there — and I intend to find it. Just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. Mind you, I've been with the company almost 20 years, but I'm done. Can't take it anymore.

  9. After nearly 40 years in the newsroom, including 20 as a Gannettoid, I am still energized each day. I do not, however, have any delusion that I am special or invulnerable. I know the ax swings perilously closer to each of the survivors every day. Newspapering is a noble business that allows its practitioners to go to bed each night with a clear conscience. Unfortunately, it does not pay well nor hold much promise for future aspirants. I hope whatever comes after us in the larger sense is as responsible as we have been and much better rewarded.

  10. "Many who survived rounds of layoffs trust the decision makers are making the right choices because they were spared," says a news release about the study. AT Gannett? AHA HA hahahahahahahahahahahahaha (gasping for aIR) HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA (call an ambulance) hahahahaha...(hacking up a lung) ha ha ....ha.
    Decision makers and right choices do not go together at Gannett. Why do you think the company is circling the drain? Well compensated, dumb ass bad decision makers.
    Those of us who survive are prisoners of the bad economy and Gannett knows they can treat us as they please short of violating the Geneva convention.

  11. I plan to leave....I'm in waiting mode in the meantime, looking through job listings, applying now and then - but, you know what? I don't like the sound of any of the jobs out there. I just don't. I like being a journalist. And at the back of mind I think I am waiting for the next journalism model to emerge, so I can hop on that train. Am I an idiot to think there will be something? Yes, probably. But I keep thinking that in the era that has spawned so much innovation and so many creative minds, surely someone will come up with a medium that is viable in the digital age. Of course, it won't be gannett. Which is why I keep my resume updated and ready.

  12. I am still employed by Gannett, but am retraining and should be out by the end of Q2 2012. I'm fed up with no raise, increased workloads, and executive bonuses.

  13. Of all sites, the least likely to leave is anyone currently at GCI corporate in Tysons. They get paid among the highest and do as they please - unlimited vacay and sick days, shorter work hours, cushy jobs, and lots of playtime.

  14. I have sympathy for those left at Gannett who absolutelty cannot find another job in media or outside of media.
    What I don't understand are the employees,in a state such as Iowa,where Gannett has cut to the bone,yet the employees stay.
    Iowa is not in a recession,as umemployment is very near normal economical time levels.There are jobs and good jobs as in normal economic times jobs.Yet I know people at my former site who stay and are miserable and stressed near the breakdown point.Do they expect that Gannett is still a work until retirement carreer?
    Do they love being treated like crap and pushed to the limit everyday with no sihn of relief?
    I don't understand the mind set of those who stay for no real good reason.

  15. 23%? Around here that number is more like 80%. There isn't a single person I talk to that wouldn't leave tomorrow if even a comparable offer came along.

  16. I thought that 23 percent was very,very low.
    I believe most of the Gannett employees would leave in moment if they could.
    And the 44 percent that don't intend to leave ????? What pre-Gannett world are they living in.They must all love the self-imposed

  17. I got lucky. I was asked to apply for a writing position in another industry. If I hadn't bailed, I would have been a layoff casualty. With 30 years in journalism, I didn't think I was suitable for anything but newspaper. I was wrong. The skills we acquire as journalists do pay off in other industries. Bottom line - don't wait for a layoff to realize how valuable you really are.

  18. The 44% must be all the managers. :-)

  19. The tone of this question is going to change significantly whenever Patch collapses. When all of those people are dumped into unemployment and there's an even greater dearth of actual paying jobs for journalists, more people will leave the field one way or another.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.