Just when The Daily Advertiser’s employees thought it was safe to poke their heads out of the trenches after surviving several rounds of layoffs in the past four years — heck, it’s been what six months since the last round? — they got hit again Thursday.
This time the cuts really took them by surprise, insiders say. The Daily Advertiser is owned by Virginia-based Gannett Company Inc.
Gannett Blog, which is not associated with the media group and is run by a former USA Today editor, Jim Hopkins, is now estimating this week's job cuts across the company at 154 (excluding USA Today’s 130) — with 48 of 81 newspapers reporting. Hopkins notes that Gannett has about 25,000 U.S. newspaper workers, out of a total 35,000 employees worldwide.
In Lafayette, according to an anonymous post on the blog, six employees were given their pink slips this week. A source at The Daily Advertiser confirms there were cuts but did not give the number of positions. The blog reports one job cut in production, three in circulation, one in advertising and one in the newsroom (assistant features editor). The paper’s website lists Krista Richmond as assistant features editor and L Magazine editor.
Daily Advertiser Publisher Leslie Hurst did not immediately return a call for comment this morning.
Another anonymous blogger posted the following comment to Gannett Blog:
Gannett is paranoid about keeping this round of layoffs on the downlow. We were told (verbally) today not to speak to any reporters/news outlets calling, not to confirm or deny anything if we answered a call and to refer all questions to Robin Pence.
Nothing in writing about anything so far, no lifting-the-troop-morale meeings [sic], nothing. This blog has been indispensible, from the My Boss warning post to the running count.
Employees at my site checked the blog on their phones periodically today, texted and emailed to check the fat [sic] of colleagues at other papers. We fear it isn’t over.
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DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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