Time Inc., reports Bloomberg Business Week, is the worst performer in TimeWarner and so it's no shock the company chopped 500 folks from its payroll. That represents about 6% of its workforce.
This is no ordinary layoff. Those employed in publishing tend to have a tough time with career transitions. They felt their work was, in a very real sense, sacred. To leave it would be analogous in trauma to departing the priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. That's the real tragedy of the Time Inc. reduction in force (RIF).
In fact, early this morning a freelance journalist called me. After being cut loose from his newspaper he has been bouncing around just-in-time assignments. "My home is the newroom," he told me, again, today when I suggested that he leverage his background in law to providing communications services to public relations agencies, lobbying firms, and highly regulated companies such as in energy or meat.
He blew me off. I understand the foot-dragging. In the early 1970s when I couldn't get a college teaching job in the Humanities, I turned my nose up at opportunities which didn't mirror the values of academia. Wasted in that grief process were years when I could have been mastering new skills.