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Maybe nobody in the newsroom wanted the job… – Joe Murphy

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Maybe nobody in the newsroom wanted the job…

Update: TBO.com’s Rusty Coats explains what happened: “the timing of this job appearing alongside layoff news is coincidental.” That information makes the meat of this post irrelevant. Which is too bad, because I already posted it. This is my first experience with the “shoot-first” blog practice, and if I keep on top of my stuff, it will be my last.

In the same week that the Tampa Tribune announced 70 job cuts, they post an ad seeking a breaking news producer for their online news team:

Are you an aggressive, competitive news animal? Do you hunger to break news first? As Breaking News Producer, you’ll be a key player on the TBO.com team, bringing users up-to-the-minute information from one of America’s liveliest major metropolitan areas.

I’m not saying that’s wrong, I’m just sayin’ that’s weird. Do they think none of those newsroom folk about to be laid off would want, or be good at, that job?

Posted in Business, News Orgs, Observations.

5 Responses

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  1. That is weird. One possible explanation is the online news producer position required advanced technical skills. Sometimes it’s easier, cheaper and quicker for a news org to hire someone with those skills rather than retraining current employees. I’m not saying it’s cool, but it makes sense. It sort of reminds me of a discussion over at my blog about how it’s important for journalism students to gain those in-demand tech skills. I guess that discussion should be reworded–It’s important for ALL JOURNALISTS to get those skills.

  2. This is actually pretty typical.

    When the management of an organization wants to dramatically restructure their workforce (ie., cut positions, lower pay, eliminate seniority, and break the union if one exists) they fire everybody in the plant and then open the new positions for new hires. Presumably the existing employees would have the inside track, but they have to go through the rehiring process – this little ceremony confirms that this is a “new’ position, and therefore, confers none of the benefits that would otherwise be carried over from the previous position.

    It is, of course, a cynical and manipulative ploy. Such an organization probably also manipulates the news. I would no longer trust and reporting (if I ever did) from that organization.

  3. @Angela: In my experience, breaking news producer positions are heavier on the journalism skills than the techy stuff.

    @Stephen: I’ll try asking Rusty Coats at TBO and get his perspective.

  4. Title says it all. Maybe no one getting laid off actually wanted the job. There are still journalists out there who believe ink-on-paper is their medium, and won’t be lowered to learning about this newfangled Interweb and all its kneejerk reactions and hit pieces with no evidence or sources.

    That’s what online journalism is all about, right? Hmm… Maybe we should be glad TBO is looking for some new blood.

  5. TBO’s former Breaking News producer took a job as on-air talent for the local FOX affiliate several weeks ago, and we filed the paperwork to fill the position. That took several days to get proper sign-off, so the timing of this job appearing alongside layoff news is coincidental. Also, TBO and the Tribune operate on separate budgets, including personnel. TBO also is filling positions on the tech, sales and sales support side. Sorry to spoil any kneejerk conspiracy theories. But then, I also believe Oswald acted alone.

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