Monday, September 12, 2011

Indy | Laid off, reporter tweets his job search

From a Huffington Post story today by Arthur Delaney:

After Robert Annis lost his long-time job at The Indianapolis Star in Gannett's June layoff of 700 newspaper employees nationwide, he started reporting via Twitter on his own search for another job.

So far his efforts have yielded several interviews, but no offers. Last month, using the @Zipp_USA Twitter handle of his prospective employer, a bike accessory company, Annis updated his 1,700 followers on his progress.

After a second interview at the company, which he thought went well, it took a week to get the bad news. "Didn't get the @Zipp_USA job,'' he tweeted Sept. 7.

Annis, 38, didn't expect to be laid off. "I was just in shell shock,'' he told Delaney. "I was one of the most productive reporters they had. I never thought I'd be one of the ones that was let go."

Earlier: In one of Gannett Blog's most-discussed posts, laid-off N.J. sports editor sends message to Gannett in his final column -- and it somehow gets into print.

A cardboard box on an empty desk. A final conversation. Job applications and phone calls going unanswered. Please share your layoff story in three or four paragraphs. Post replies in the comments section, below. Or e-mail via jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.


  1. Thanks for re-posting this Jim. I was laid off the same day as Mr. DiLeo. I have since found another job and am doing fine, thanks for asking.
    Gannett, however, is still hurting. On February 4, 2011, Gannett shares were trading at ~$15 per share. Today, shares closed at $9.42.
    If I'm doing the calculation right, that's a 37% drop in seven months.
    Maybe layoffs are NOT the answer.

  2. Good luck, Robert Annis! You and your other ex-Star colleagues are much better than the Big G ever deserved.

  3. I keep trying to tell other reporters this - productivity means nothing in Gannett's culture, or many other newsrooms for that matter. It's all about somehow becoming one of those "Rising Stars," or golden calves, on untouchables - whatever you want to call them. Those people who seem to be protected by editors and managers despite not producing as much as other people. Somehow in the carnage these people are often the last to go. Productive people are a dime a dozen.

  4. 9:03 - EXACTLY.
    Couldn't have said it any better.
    The a$$ kissers who are not very productive survive, and those of us who did the lion's share of he work were taken out and shot.

    Mismanagement on an epic scale.

  5. Mr. Annis needs to understand that his dismissal has nothing to do with his talent, productivity, loyalty or dedication. Merit has nothing to do with how layoff decisions are made at the Star. Ryerson and his equally dull assistants are not up to the task. Because there are no clearly articulated standards in the newsroom, the assessments of individual performances have become highly politicized. There are no benchmarks to measure individual and collective progress because Ryerson has no idea how to do that. The guy is like a flag flopping in the wind.
    That's why highly productive reporters are ushered out while less talented slackers are treated like they are on the verge of a Pulitzer.
    How do I know this? The overall quality of the Star has plummeted under Ryerson's command. Circulation's down almost 30%. It was headed south before corporate's brutal cuts, by the way.
    Again, Mr. Annis, don't take this personally. If you'd been cut by a really good paper with a top-notch leader, that'd be a different thing. But in this case, seize your opportunity to find work with someone who understands and values talented, productive employees. There are many good editors out there who do know the difference.
    Good luck!

  6. Jim,
    The posters at 9:03 and 12:06 speak the total truth. I recently learned a friend lost her job at the Clarion-Ledger. She was actually on vacation and was laid off by a phone call. Knowing personally the four left in the dept. where my friend worked, every one knows it should not have been her to lose her job. She actually was nominated for a Pulitzer. Everyone I've told is surprised and angry. It is such a shame that, like the previous posters said, true talent and hard worked are overlooked and the lazy, inexperienced and 'untouchables' float to the top. Well, something else floats to the top too.


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