I came back to work today. Maybe I should have stayed in bed?
Yesterday, Miles O’Brien (a nice guy I know… but barely) was let go at CNN after nearly 20 years. Today NBC-Universal announced 500 layoffs–about 3% of the company. A note from a union rep says Boston TV stations are offering contract renewals with 20-25% salary cuts!
The union that represents our photographers and technicians began contract negotiations today and has already called an emergency meeting for tonight. That can’t be good news. Anything’s possible when your company’s stock, once in the twenties, closed today at $1.31.
All this comes on top of Brian Stelter’s sobering story in Sunday’s Times.
We’re not alone. Our lead story today was layoffs at AT&T. Pratt & Whitney laid off a slew of employees earlier this week.
Certainly the financial meltdown our country… no… the world is suffering is a major cause. But TV in particular and all media in general are being killed by the Internet! Though few Internet media endeavors are making money they are still undercutting old media.
Craigslist and Yelp are a print publisher’s worst nightmare. Journal-Register, which publishes the New Haven Register and a few other Connecticut dailies saw its stock close at 3/5¢. I could buy the entire company with what’s in my 401-K if I were also willing to also take on about $650 million in debt.
Hundreds–maybe thousands of jobs in old media will be lost to companies that employ handfuls.
Any time you watch YouTube or get the forecast somewhere online you’re not watching TV. I get it. It’s tough not to be a Luddite under these circumstances. As the Times article says,
Like I said–maybe I should have stayed in bed.