Turns out that the 150 or so newsroom staffers leaving the Los Angeles Times are a mix of buyout volunteers (who have to agree not to take another job until mid September) and employees tapped for layoffs. Both get the same deal. Monday was as emotionally brutal a day as Times veterans can remember as supervisors informed the layoff targets in glass offices or telephoned staffers at home. Some were given a week or two to finish up their business and pack up, others were dispatched more immediately. Names have started showing up on some websites without confirmation; I've only heard so far from a handful of the few dozen on my early unofficial list, so I'm holding off publishing to make sure the names are solid. (If you want your name included on the list I eventually publish, drop me an email.) One departing editor I can report is sports veteran Jay Christensen, who got the word today then revealed that he is the blogger behind the college football website The Wizard of Odds:
My anonymity ends today.
Monday at 1:52 p.m., I received a message on my cell phone. The caller I.D. was "blocked," and my instincts told me this was not a good thing. It was after all Black Monday, a day of 150 or more editorial layoffs at the Los Angeles Times where I have worked in Sports for nearly two decades.
The message was from Melissa McCoy of the Times: " I need to talk with you."
The executioner was waiting.
About 30 minutes later, I learned that "my position" had been eliminated.
I've kept this site under wraps from all except a handful of confidants. I've spoken of the site publicly only on Sports Byline, the weekly radio show in which I participate.
But, hey, the Wiz is now a free agent. Anyone have a lead on a good gig?