I just caught the story on ‘Digger of Lynn Monty’s layoff from the Freeps.
For anyone who isn’t aware, in a particularly ham-handed management move, the Gannett News controlled Burlington Free Press is making most of its veteran editorial staff re-interview for their own jobs.
Sam Hemingway conveniently retired in time to miss out on this new low, but Ms. Monty, a six year veteran, simply refused to interview so they showed her the door.
It leaves me wondering what else the ethically challenged media giant can do to further alienate its increasingly disenchanted readership.
They had already pared down their local talent so far that Ms. Monty reports having to serve as a jack-of-all-trades on Saturdays when, all alone, she manned the newsroom:
For the past two years, she said, she was the only reporter in the newsroom on Saturdays. As such, she simultaneously served as web editor, social media manager and editor that day of the week.
Even that demonstration of loyal service didn’t excuse her from the humiliation of a re-interview!
As almost anyone who publishes in the blogosphere rather than in print media can tell you, it’s gotten more and more difficult to earn a living as a writer of non-entertainment material. It would seem that Gannett takes this development as a license to abuse both its paid staff and its sad readership.
Instead of the locally diverse and relevant paper we alternately wrestled with and took for granted over the decades, today’s Burlington Free Press is a sorry repackaging of U.S.A. Today, a paper most of us won’t even pick-up for free during a plane delay. Local content is very limited and treated as a “feature;” kind of like parsley on a mountain of mashed potatoes.
Ms. Lyn was wise to take her leave now. These interviews can only mean that more local staff “edits” are about to take place. It won’t be long before every day looks like Saturday in the newsroom.
Don’t forget to turn the lights out and shut the door when you leave.
Cue closing scene from of The Last Picture Show.