Thursday, May 22, 2008

Rumor: 230 layoffs coming at 1 Herald Plaza

I can not substantiate this but I have received an email that claims that at the end of the 2nd quarter the Herald intends to lay of 230 employees and that more outsourcing to India is coming.

Neither would be surprising. The financial picture for the Herald and its parent, McClatchy, is not exactly rosy these days. I expect that any future layoffs will be in areas that are associated with the old fishwrap model and that future hires will be for dotcom. Moves that should have been made years ago.

9 comments:

Prambanan Sik said...

Vishnu has heard our fervent prayers for outsourcing the Miami Herald to India. Lord Ganesh will now assure the we receive our 50-cent-an-hour salary from the Herald.

Anonymous said...

actually, prambana sik, some jobs have been outsourced to the Philippines and Columbia (Google it). These layoffs aren't entirely Herald's fault either. I blame the customers as well. For years, even decades, the newspaper allowed its customers to receive the home delivery at ridiculous discounts. Common sense economics shows us that, some how, someone has to pay for the product and service. Since the customers refused to take responsibility for the discounts and promos they were offered, I guess those 230 people being laid-off will be the ones picking up the tab.

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Huh? How can you blame consumers for not wanting to buy something? Perhaps the paper was only worth the "ridiculously low" price it was being offered at. At a higher price, consumers don't want it. The Herald's product is given away for free online. What kind of dupe would continue to pay for it?

The fact is that the Herald's revenue comes not from subscribers but from advertisers. They should give the damned thing away in order to boost circulation and thus what they can command for ads.

Anonymous said...

Actually Mr. Gomez, the paper IS worth more than the "ridiculous low" price, as you put it. How do I know? Because NOW, they (the consumers) are paying for the service at a higher price.

I do not just blame consumers. Herald management were to scared not to meet circulation numbers to realize that the average reader was willing to pay more than the ridiculous discounts. McClatchy management took care of that problem by getting rid of it.

Sure circulation numbers might be down because certain consumers, like you said, don't want the paper at a higher price. But this management, I've seen, are making more of an effort to take advantage of the internet than the last management.

And what king of dupe would pay for the paper? Have you talked anybody that buys it?

Henry Louis Gomez said...

Consumers act in their own self interest to blame them for not wanting to buy a product is ridiculous. There's literally hundreds of alternatives to the Herald online including the New York Times and Washington post. In a connected society fewer and fewer people are going to find the idea of a dirty newspaper attractive. The old management didn't get it and the new management might get it but they are taking their sweet time in making some basic decisions like liberating their archives from behind a pay wall.

Anonymous said...

How reliable is your source on this one?

I find this hard to believe. 11 percent of the workforce? From which floor(s)?

Any updates? End of second quarter is June 30!

Henry Louis Gomez said...

I would NOT categorize it as reliable only because I don't know the person and haven't gotten any corroboration but it's not hard to believe. Desperate times call for desperate measures and right now times are desperate for both the Heralds and their parent.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, the reliability is in the first word of the title...ok that's unfair of me to write it like that.

The rumor is not that far from the truth. The Miami Herald reported in August 2007 that McClatchy was outsourcing its call center to the Philippines (not India). The call center has been phased out. At the time of the announcement there were over 150 employees, that does not include all the other departments that very likely were also downsized (and might or might not end up in India).

Smell o' Newsprint said...

Word from a writer for the Herald (Columnist) today reflected this post, though without numbers. The word was that people are 'freaking out' about the news. The Herald had offered buyouts but it seems not enough people were interested. This is likely the result.