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I worked at Worcester Telegram & Gazette part-time (More than 10 years)
Before the sale by the Boston Globe of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette to Halifax Media (an investors' group), the T&G had trimmed away redundancies, but did it with heart and offered some dignity (and benefits) to those who took buyouts, etc. Those who remained had to work harder, learn new jobs, and do more but it was with a team spirit and a sense of family. Pay wasn't great but an understanding supervisor can be priceless.The paper, which has always been profitable, offered some local weeklies, a periodical magazine,and top-of-the-line coverage of breaking news, in a variety of channels.
John Henry's parting gift to buyer Halifax Media was to slash staff. In the T&G newsroom from about 80 workers to about 55, including the only reporter from Central Mass assigned to the statehouse (meaning that there is no one with a local interest watching out for the shenanigans politicians pull). This is the newspaper of record for the second largest city in New England, and such deep cuts reveal a short-sighted approach to ROI and a fundamental misunderstanding of where the value - and the responsibility - is in the news business.
Advice to Management
Learn that the news business functions around bringing daily value, not quarterly profits, to its stakeholders. Recognize that these stakeholders consist of subscribers, Central Mass. residents and local advertisers, as well as your investors. The layoffs were so badly handled that despite non-disclosure agreements tied to severance packages, Halifax is sure to suffer a long-term hit to its public image, which of course damages its overall brand and ultimately decreases profits. The community of Central Mass is a market with a lot of potential for a re-thought news model - which is why so many small online hyper-local websites have sprung up over the past 3-5 years and are thriving. They will only grow, as this newspaper declines.