To Be Bought Out Or Not To Be Bought Out?

Today is the deadline for Morning News employees to decide whether they’ll accept a buyout or stick around and risk getting laid off. I’m told that so far only 15 employees have decided to take the money and run. Good luck to those of you who are still undecided. (The best source for info today will be here.)

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66 responses to “To Be Bought Out Or Not To Be Bought Out?”

  1. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    This thread will probably launch a round of jokes but I know well and would like to say… no few people who make their living at the DMN (and FWST) love their work, love the newspaper business, love journalism, love this city, love their readers… and really have a sense of caring mission. That said, they are also real live human worker bees in a ‘challenging’ market economy. Let’s all give a thumbs up support that the baby doesn’t get thrown out with this latest bath water.

  2. Tom says:

    The misguided decisions of a few continue to have a negative effect on hundreds of employees and thousands of readers. And the few will continue to be handsomely rewarded for their decisions. What a country.

  3. mediawonk says:

    Tom nailed it. TDMN/AH Belo does many good things as a company, but they also do a lot of bad, ill-advised, poorly-thought-out things that have not helped their situation in an already tenuous industry, and – more importantly – have caused many readers to abandon them and/or wish them ill will despite all the good work the paper’s employees continue to do on a daily basis.

  4. Former journalist says:

    Looks like the ST chose the same day to announce another round, too.
    http://www.star-telegram.com/804/story/847066.html

  5. Not An Old Person says:

    No one is reading the paper, except old people.

    And the news is always late, it doesn’t work
    in breaking news like t.v., radio, or online.

    Die, Die, Die My Newspaper. I won’t miss you.

  6. Filth and Fury says:

    You’ve got to know these newspaper
    muckety-mucks have to be on the phone saying, “Let’s layoff at the same time” between DMN and Star-T.

  7. And that's why you're an idiot says:

    Old people and smart people are.

  8. Ex-employee, ex-subscriber says:

    As long as Wall Street is allowed to call the shots at the media companies of this nation, this trend will continue. Groveling at the feet of the moneylenders has done more harm to daily newspapers than soft ad markets and the failure to grasp the impact of the internet. I’d love to see an additional person at each of the upcoming “firing” meetings at the DMN, a Wall Street media analyst who would have to witness firsthand the ends of careers and the havoc wreaked on families of journalists who have spent a lifetime in what is more than a job. Also interesting to note that the those few who continue to make these mis-guided decisions, are completely insulated from the lives their actions are ruining. Mid-level managers shouldn’t be the ones who apologize for having to let someone go….. the consequences should be felt more personally in the boardroom.

  9. Not An Old Person says:

    Tom and his prattling on about how self important news is and the people that work in it. You’d think news and newspeople were the Salvation Army going into a disaster area the way he prattles on.

    Sorry but I don’t worship newspeople.

    Old thinking, Old thoughts, blah-blah-blah.

  10. Bethany says:

    And what is it that you do?

  11. billh says:

    Well said Rawlins.

  12. Ex-employee, ex-subscriber says:

    Bravo, Bethany, bravo!

  13. Tom says:

    @Old Person: I don’t worship newspeople, either. And I’m more than ready to put the printed paper form of journalism in its grave. But many of us grew up loving the news and the news business, only to find out it’s too much like what Ex-employee, ex-subscriber commented about and not enough of a contributor to the public good.

  14. Rawlins Confucius Say says:

    “Those who think themselves modern and wish to bury all that is ‘old’ already have one foot in the grave. The other is in their mouth.”

  15. Bethany says:

    Further more, Not An Old Person, you can’t prattle about something else being self-important (note the hyphen – two words are hyphenated when they are used in tandem to modify another word), because to be self-important, it must be about well, self. So he can’t prattle about how self-important news is. It’s a grammatical and physical impossibility.

    Perhaps you’d have a better grasp of grammar and vocabulary if you um, read more.

  16. Not An Old Person says:

    Old people, especially in “old” media, always
    look back in time. Your left behind as we youth get out news on “our” terms not yours.

  17. VM says:

    Imagine getting your news from someone who uses the word prattle in two consecutive sentences.

  18. Gracie says:

    I don’t understand all the fuss. Aren’t they keeping all the columnists anyway? Every business has to “trim the fat” as they say and it sounds to me like they’re being very smart and surgical about it all, only getting rid of that fatty tummy filler, the people who have no fans anyway. It’s like any workout. Sure it hurts at first, but then you feel awesome. What we’ll get when all this is over will be a leaner, meaner, sassier and more vibrant paper, you just wait and see.

  19. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    To Ex Employee/ex sub… Your fine concluding point is a larger topic than just the news business. I wrote a commentary that aired a few years back called ‘Corporate Amnesia’. I delivered it as sardonic satire because in straight prose it would be too raw….reveal how savage the rules of corporate gamesmanship have become. The top brass being the ones who are most protected, more removed from the lost-in-space agony and gargantuan fear that comes with losing everything you spent an adult life creating. And specific to this thread, unemployed and middle aged in an aging business.

    Meanwhile, props to the editor of the L.A. Times, John Carroll, who quit rather than slice and dice his people in another round of hatchet job elimination.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4763124

  20. Bethany says:

    No, we won’t Gracie – the fat wasn’t cut.

    By and large, what is getting cut is the talented people needed to propel the news organization forward. What is left are columnists that write about doohickeys on traffic lights, and upper management that make six and seven figures, plus bonuses.

  21. Not An Old Person says:

    Bethany, I love your nagging.
    You can’t have a husband or boyfriend.
    You have to have hairy armpits as a woman.

    Is it Bethany or Butch? LOL.

  22. Bethany says:

    I have both. But shhh.

  23. Not An Old Person says:

    Okay, it will be our secret : )
    I used : ) is that okay, Bethany?

    You’re a good sport.

  24. Not An Old Person says:

    Gracie you rock, girl!

    Good point, yeah most “newspeople” need to hit
    the treadmill by the way too. The women aren’t very flattering.

  25. Not An Old Person says:

    Where is that old guy,Tom?

  26. Bethany says:

    Sooo….are you excited school is starting, and did your Mom buy you everything you wanted over the weekend since it was sales tax holiday?

  27. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    Epiphany after reading infantile posts to adult threads: (slapping forehead like in that V8 ad) NOW I ‘get’ why my activist mother marched in favor of abortion on demand.

  28. amandacobra says:

    See everyone? Print media is dying because BLOGS are going to take over…

    See?

    I love me some New! Media! as much as the next person but jeeeeebus…..

  29. Filthy and Fury says:

    I wish I could be an adult like, RAWLINS.
    Not!!!!!!!!!
    Activist mother? Who is this old hippie with old thinking. Wow, you people are old.

  30. amandacobra says:

    Ladies and Gentleman, please welcome to the main stage…..

    huge cowboys fan

    We’ve missed you. Just like we miss our heart pills sometimes.

  31. KILL THE NEWSPAPERS! says:

    How about abortion on demand for newspapers!
    But let’s keep human beings.

  32. Jr. High says:

    “Not An Old Peron” is right.
    DMN is for old people. All my friends are online. Uh, oh, instant messge! Oh, you old people wouldn’t know what that is. LOL.

  33. J.Paul says:

    I may be old (48), but I’ve been getting ink on my less-than-Tom-Leppert-sized fingers since I could read and I still LIKE it.

  34. Flavonoids Frisco says:

    jeez dude. i read my news on line too. even when I have a column in it. i like to text my friends tell em about it.

    tracing an IP address is so easy like ‘sic ’em, comboys’. pass the ritalin. i looked it up & a ‘activist’ is someone who actualy does something. awesome dude.

  35. Ex-employee, ex-subscriber says:

    Well, as a boomer, I can rightfully say that I am so going to enjoy being a burden to the likes of NAOP, Amanda, Filthy and Jr. High…. Maybe if we are lucky we can get the government to take fully half of each of their paychecks to keep us fed, clothed and medicated. And I hope to live to 103 just to be a long-time thorn in their collective sides. BTW, Jr. High…. there appears to be a total of nobody following you on Twitter…. wonder why?

  36. pookie says:

    “Newspapers are old!” “Newspapers are liberal!” “Newspapers are idiotic.” But blogs link to them everyday and radio “news” would have nothing to report were it not for newspapers.

  37. DOWN with DMN says:

    The DMN or any newspaper isn’t worth it to buy, since I get news for free online. Welcome to reality.

  38. amandacobra says:

    @Ex-employee, ex-subscriber

    I’m on your team, trust me. All that Social Security money was never going to end up back in my medicine chest anyways.

  39. Bethany says:

    I can’t believe we devoted 40 posts to a bunch of high schoolers.

  40. bleacherbum says:

    Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I agree with Bethany. Damn girl! You write goooood!

  41. Ex-employee, ex-subscriber says:

    removing Amandacobra from aforeposted commentary.

  42. Ex-employee, ex-subscriber says:

    Bethany is clearly a blog rock star

  43. Jr. High says:

    Bethany,

    Sorry, we aren’t your newspaper audience.
    Welcome to your future. It has to hurt since
    we won’t be buying the newspaper.

  44. mack the knife says:

    Ex-employee, ex-subsciber, Hmmmmm,
    I wonder ex-wife? Ha,ha,ha,ha!

  45. in heat w/o light says:

    hey jr hi women are old too. don’t need women. i see em online. who needs to hold old types when they online. i have an inflatable doll dude!!!!!!! im not old.

  46. Rawlins says:

    You can thank me later.

  47. Someone Else says:

    To return to Ex-employee, Ex-subscriber’s long previous post: I agree that Wall Street is much to blame for a good part of media businesses’ current problems. (Not just newspapers, but magazines, network TV, CD sales and so forth.)

    But Dean Singleton (harrumphing sound of great outrage here) is struggling these days, too, and he owns all his newspapers personally.

    Private ownership isn’t a magic bullet.

    Tough times. Hang in there, DMN and ST employees.

  48. Bethany says:

    Jr. High, yes, it’ll hurt, but not who you think.

  49. LakeWWWooder says:

    Not An Old Person — I’m not chucking my library nor my newspaper. Do you read books? I am a fan of Sergio Kindle but not the Amazon Kindle.

    p.o.s. ltr.

  50. Ex-employee, ex-subscriber says:

    Someone Else:

    A point well taken. But having worked for privately owned newspaper companies… other than Dean Singleton’s . . . I can tell you that the leveraged buyout has been as big a culprit as Wall Street. The whole concept of if I can own one very good local paper with a 30 percent profit margin, why not have 30 of the same leads to purchases in the private sector that folks had no business doing and instances of minnows trying to swallow whales. And the folks that they were borrowing money from to finance these deals didn’t care whether it was publicly or privately held… they just wanted their pound of flesh when it came due.

  51. Newsguy says:

    You people who don’t care about newspapers because you get your news online need to consider who’s gathering the bulk of that online news. Newspapers have historically had by far the biggest news operations. Half the posts on this blog are links to DMN stories. What’s happening at the Morning News is bad for the community — even those who don’t subscribe.

  52. just an intern says:

    Unfortunately, having had a peak inside the news industry and being a newspaper reader (although not at first and only after being forced to discover through regular reading that the newspaper has so much to offer the reader), or even just a newspaper holder, the fat isn’t being trimmed. The corporations are sort of hacking away at the substance of the paper so that it keeps shrinking, in literal size and in coverage. Those still actively participating in the industry — journalists and readers — are the ones who suffer from attempted improvements or fixes. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  53. pookie says:

    Hey Just an intern: good thoughts. But can you explain what you mean by fat. Are you talking about high-ranking editors? Society columnists? Publishers? CEOs? All of the above?

  54. Happy Times says:

    Yes, less journalists the better.
    My life is improving already.

    Don’t read them. Never did.

  55. Beauty Queen says:

    Newspapers are like Al Gore….so lame!

  56. Bethany says:

    Tip for people who may be thinking they can use different names to post, and people will think it’s multiple posters:

    Not making the same mistakes, and not having the same line breaks, helps your efforts to be incognito.

  57. mm says:

    Forgive me, but what’s it like to experience a peak inside the news industry? Is it kinda like that scene from “When Harry Met Sally”?

    Snarkiness aside, good points. Newspapers are losing the writers that made them great in the first place. And that content is being replaced by wire stories. And that’s not cool.

  58. just an intern says:

    I said that poorly. I didn’t mean they were trimming the wrong fat. I meant that laying off people doesn’t equal ‘trimming the fat,’ as was stated by an earlier and very cheery-dispositioned poster. It just means the paper keeps shrinking.

  59. Bethany says:

    How many places are you gonna post that?

  60. pookie says:

    Great video “Bitter Sweet”! Laughing hard on that one.

  61. Filth and Fury says:

    Here is why no one trust newspapers with their biases:

    The National Enquirer’s scoop of MSM (mainstream media) in reporting the story of John Edwards’s extramarital affair has prompted some soul searching among pundits, analysts and journalists about the media’s performance in getting the story.

    The Post’s David S. Broder says he was as “shocked as anyone could be at the news” of the one-time presidential candidate’s affair with campaign staffer Rielle Hunter.

    Andy Alexander, Washington bureau chief for Cox Newspapers, told Editor & Publisher that he wondered whether ongoing cutbacks in some newsrooms affected efforts to find out whether the affair was true. Clark Hoyt, public editor of The New York Times, went so far as to criticize collectively the mainstream media’s efforts to uncover the affair.
    ——————————————–
    I’m going to start reading the National Enquirer, since they do the job the journalists don’t do anymore.

  62. Rawlins Gilliland says:

    A last post as I wait for a plane.

    1) Anyone older can only laugh at someone thinking that being younger gives them an edge. In fact, (drumroll) anyone ‘older’ than you has been your age. (Duh) In which case, (duh) the trick is to remember.

    2) The Internet is hardly cutting edge in any case, and in all our case, and certainly my own, almost all of my 2-3 careers is conducted online. In many cases I have never met an editor who is publishing my work. I have recorded things onlne with headphone on while they are in Washington. For all they know, I look like Wentworth Miller. (Down Bethany). I’d say that’s a bit more ugh.advanced than instant messaging, which any of us certainly could and have done. (Everybody say ‘duh’.)

    3) Personally, I write for the News which I consider, yes, and over 40 crowd in paper form. But I also have written ofetn for Pegasus which is strictly online and heavily weighted to under 40 audience.

    4) A LOT of the people I meet (and realllllly enjoy a lot) through my work are in their 20s, which I personally think is by far is a great generation. I feel like I have more in common with them when we talk (or text…duh…or message…ugh) than many of those in their 40s who seem sorta not as sure who they are. Many people who email me regarding my work are very yound, be it on air or written. I am very proud of that.

    5) When you are born is annecdotal. Who you are is up to you.

    6) Growing up is far more rewarding than being a kid.

    7) All knowledge is power.

    8) A good memory is powerful.

    9) Patience is a powerful weapon when dealing with the uninspired who demand attention.

    10) Good manners is a liberal arts degree all its own.

    Thanks for reading. Rawlins

  63. Living Life Without Obama says:

    A little full of yourself after that post, eh Rawlins? Thanks for the journalistic preaching.
    Cheez, I thought Obama was an ego maniac. Oh, I just saw your post: “Good manners is a liberal arts degree all its own”. What a snob. You and the racist Obama are a sure thing together.

  64. LakeWWWooder says:

    Oh please. You would love Rawlins if you had a beer with him. He is a gentleman. I venture to say that you need some of his good manners to rub off on you.