Layoffs were rolling out at the AP this week, resulting in the losses of at least 71 employees covered by the New Media Guild.
The mass cuts began Tuesday and more staffers may lose their jobs today, the Guild reports.
A source says the National and Supervisor desks in New York have been “completely decimated.” Some editors were told to leave immediately, while others were given four weeks notice. They were invited to apply for new jobs at the Nerve centre being formed in New York, which plans to staff up a social-media desk.
People aren’t sure how this transition will work — and what their relationship with the Nerve centre will be, the source says.
Staffers were horrified to learn the casualties included a roster of talented journalists across the country. A veteran AP-er chronicled the damage on his Facebook page, reporting such big losses as Michelle Locke in Berkley, Calif, Todd Lewan in New York and Ron Word in Jacksonville, Fla. Also count in Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Frank Bass, who was based in DC.
Gawker has compiled a running list here.
From the Guild:
UPDATE 11/19/09 — The Associated Press notified the News Media Guild that an additional 14 employees received termination notices Wednesday, bringing the total of Guild-covered staffers losing their jobs to 71 this week.
The terminations Wednesday involved nine newspersons, three editorial assistants, one photographer, and one office assistant. The notice appears to state that correspondencies in Dayton, Ohio; Roanoke, Va.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Jacksonville, Fla., are being closed.In addition, the Guild is aware of layoffs among U.S. managers and overseas staff.
Guild members, citing managers, have reported that more people may lose their jobs Thursday. The AP has not informed the union about future staff reductions, despite Guild requests for information. AP has not provided any assurance to the union that the company is “finished” with this current round of staff reductions.
Guild-covered employees are urged to request a union representative be present in any meetings with management and not to sign any documents presented to them.
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