Media job cuts surge 88 percent

UPI is reporting that U.S. media job cuts went up 88% last year, and the trend is expected to continue. 17,809 media jobs disappeared in 2006, the largest since the collapse of the internet bubble in 2001, according to a report from outplacement consultancy firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. “A sea change in the way people get and read news,” the report said, “not to mention the way they search for jobs, used cars and consumer products, was the primary contributor.”

Media companies, including the New York Times Co. and Time Inc., have already laid off 2,000 employees in 2007, Challenger noted, saying the cuts suggested the downsizing trend would continue.

“These organizations will continue to make adjustments as their focus shifts from print to electronic,” Chief Executive John Challenger said. “Until they can figure out a way to make as much money from their online services as they are losing from the print side, it is going to be an uphill battle.”

This is grim news for anybody working in the media industry, but it’s necessary knowledge for people who would rather hold onto the past than seize opportunities for tomorrow. That job you hold so dear — the one that gives you status in the community and puts food on your family’s table — is not the provider it used to be. Now, you can fight this and anybody who tries to help you, or you can open your friggin’ eyes and accept that your boss is just as afraid as you are, and that the only way out of this hole is together.

I gave up reading the industry discussion boards a couple of years ago, because I couldn’t stand the moaning and complaining from misguided, misinformed, angry and fearful people. I think we’re all trying to do the best we can with what we have, so I’m willing to give anybody the benefit of the doubt. But I will never understand how people can be so deceived as to think the disruptive forces that are attacking mass marketing business models are anything less than historic and cultural. To blame “management” for a fragmenting and shrinking universe is like blaming the captain for a storm at sea.

Coulda, shoulda, woulda. Yeah, right.

Now is the time to grow a spine and face reality. The money in media is moving. What are you doing to avail yourself of the opportunities that the move offers?


  1. thedetroitchannel says

    it really is amazing.

    this many talented folks are let go and they don’t reorganize themselves into an online venture the likes of which could put the kabosh on their previous employers?

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