by Dan Gibson
While we and our alt-weekly brethren take our shots at the mainstream media, I think we generally wish the best for our journalist comrades, just that their corporate overlords would encourage them to do better work actually serving their communities. Considering that, the New Orleans Times-Picayune's massive layoffs today as part of their plan to go to publishing three days a week just plain sucks, as they dismantle a great newspaper by firing seemingly everyone who has ever been noted for their work in a positive way:
By 10:30 a.m., Friends of the Times-Picayune Facebook page had a list of several of those leaving the paper, including James Beard Award-winning restaurant critic Brett Anderson. Also leaving are news reporter Danny Monteverde, Cathy Hughes, Patricia Gonzalez, Barri Bronston and Katy Reckdahl along with Dennis Persica.
“I think they’ve torn apart an institution," Reckdahl said. "It’s not about me really. It’s about who I’m seeing walk out that door crying. It’s the end of news in New Orleans, I think."
According to NOLA.com, 84 of the 235 combined employees of NOLA.com and the Times-Picayune are being told that they'll no longer have a job....
Times-Picayune editor Jim Amoss promised the future wasn't as dire as it seems today, saying, "I think readers and advertisers both need to see what we're going to be able to deliver, both in print and online, when we launch in the fall."
He added, "I think they will all be very pleasantly surprised. It's hard to envision that when you haven't reached the point yet."
Also, Pulitzer Prize nominated graphic design Ryan Smith announced on Twitter that he lost his job.