The Washington Post

Times-Picayune publisher spews standard workforce-reduction garbage

The paper will issue an “enhanced” product on its reduced-pub days, featuring “a richer and deeper news, sports and entertainment report, as well as a full week’s worth of features such as society coverage, puzzles and comics.” There’s even some mention of “plans” to beef up food and dining coverage. A quote from Publisher Ashton Phelps Jr. puts a smiley spin on things: “I have run The Times-Picayune for over 32 years. I believe moving to a stronger digital focus positions the new company to continue to serve the needs of our various communities.”

Highly defensible stuff, in other words. The idea, as the Times-Picayune leaders are articulating it, is to save the journalism, not necessarily the medium. We’ll see how it shakes out.

Yet newspaper reductionism always includes a moment where the spin overreaches, and that invariably comes in the discussion of staff cuts. Here’s a sentence from the memo sent out this morning by Phelps. via Romenesko:

Many current employees of The Times-Picayune and will have the opportunity to grow with the new organizations, but the need to reallocate resources to accelerate the digital growth of NOLA Media Group will necessitate a reduction in the size of the workforce.

Bolded text added to highlight Latin-rooted corporate nonsense. Strikes me that if you reallocate to accelerate, you necessitate more people, not fewer people. The memo rhetoric is just another variation on the we’re-going-to-do-more-with-less cant that fools no one and insults everyone, every time.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing