Layoffs Begin at The Plain Dealer

The first round of promised layoffs begins tonight, according to an email sent to Plain Dealer staffers this afternoon.

For now, non-newsroom employees are affected (advertising, marketing, finance, IT, etc.). They've been told to wait by the phone for a call from management. The dice have been rolled.

Newsroom employees were told to dread a "later date," though earlier reports have those layoffs coming sometime before Aug. 5. Around one-third of the newsroom will be laid off.

As the Save The Plain Dealer Campaign relays the news, this is being billed as a "realignment of the workforce" and "redesign of our operations." Those losing their jobs tonight were preemptively wished "all the best for their future."

In the words of the union-backed campaign:

The Save The Plain Dealer campaign has said it before, and will keep repeating: These changes, which are devastating to the paper's loyal workforce and will diminish the journalism that readers depend on, ARE NOT NECESSARY. Other newspapers are adopting innovative and far less disruptive strategies that allow them to continue to serve their readers and maintain journalistic excellence while confronting the challenges of the digital era.

The "strategy" that Advance Publications is forcing on The Plain Dealer and its other newspapers is poorly conceived, disastrously executed, and is focused solely on profits, not responsible journalism and sound business practice. History will judge it harshly.