Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fading away?

By now, everyone has probably heard about the last round of layoffs at the Clarion-Ledger. 20 were released and unfortunately for them, Gannett changed the terms of the severance package from those provided in previous rounds. Previous severance packages gave the employees one weeks' pay for each year of service and covered COBRA. The current deal is a cookie cutter one-size-fits-all: they all get the same package regardless of time of service: they cover the difference between state unemployment and salary. Health benefits are not covered. There is also a thread about the layoffs on Gannettoid.com.

Unfortunately for the local newspaper, Gannett is running it into the ground with poor business decisions while a weak economy and changing environment deprive it of much-needed revenue. Even if the newspaper were profitable, Gannet will suck every dollar it can out of its balance sheet. There are many good people at the Clarion-Ledger and our hearts go out to those who must now look elsewhere for employment.


Anonymous said...

Bad business decisions aside, the C-L is running itself into the ground with bad editorial decisions, bad writing, and inaccurate or incomplete stories, all killing any hope for credibility. If it wasn't for the grocery coupons we'd drop our subscription. I've lived in a lot of places, knew one Pulitzer Prize-winner fairly well in another town, and this lot is basically pathetic. I get most of my news from the internet.

Kingfish said...

If it were me, I'd fire Grace Simmons and get a new editor in there that actually knew how to edit. Then I'd put the heat on the reporters to step it up and start getting their facts straight and do a better job reporting or else.

Then I would look at having Natalie create a real political blog but make it a pay-only and let her keep half. Same thing with the sports beat writers for JSU, Ole Miss, USM, and MSU. Only problem is, Gannett is so stupid and tight with money they'll tell the reporters to do the blog and provide it for free. If they did charge for it, Gannett would keep it all for themselves. idiots.

Anonymous said...

No surprise Gannett cut the packages back, only surprised that were as generous as they were to begin with. Gannett has a rep for, shall we say, operating as cheaply as possible? That's been part of problem I think for years- in the first place, they didn't freaking pay enough to attract good talent down here to The Showplace of the South, otherwise known as Jackson. Not that there hasn't been local talent, but outside talent has been sorely needed imo.

The CL is on it's way out, sorry but that's the truth. It's rubbish pretty much and has been for a while (uh, years). Pretty soon it will be just a crossword puzzle, dear Abby, lost and found ads and advertising for pawn shops and bail bondsmen.

Schizo said...

WHo exactly was let go in the newsroom this time?

Anonymous said...

The news release last week said 20 (total) including three from the newsroom but gave no names. A friend who works for Gannett in NJ said 60 got laid off there, and he had to take over editing the layoff story from another editor who himself got laid off in this latest purge.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the Baton Rouge "Advocate". What a great newspaper, in a city about the size of Jackson. It is independently owned, not like the Ledger. Doesn't make sense!

Anonymous said...

6:12, I have long wished that Jackson had a newspaper like that.

Something credible and responsible instead of being unrelentingly negative and buttkissy.

Hate it for the folks who were let go, that's a shame.

Anonymous said...

I wish CL could do something about their website. I don't find it user friendly, but that's probably intentional.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that this happened at a time when Gannett just reported a surprising profit.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS.

Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS