The worst part was knowing and not not knowing. Today's the day when the layoffs start coming down at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and three papers in Alabama. These papers are going to publish three days a week in print with more of their focus going toward the digital product.
I lived through a day like this back in 2008, when I worked for the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton and Gannett issued its first of massive company-wide layoffs. I remember the anxiety of sitting in my living room, watching Bourne movies, wondering whether I was going to be coming home from my 4-12 shift at 12 or 4:30. Twitter wasn't huge back then, so the only way to keep up on the carnage was through Gannett Blog and SportsJournalists. I remember the relief when I realized I would keep my job, only to see that turn to despair when a good friend a colleague got called to the back office.
It's terrible to get laid off. It's worse when it's public. It's even worse when your job loss becomes a talking point for people like me.
So as the news breaks today of the layoffs, the numbers and the departments, before you make any grand pronouncements about the future or state of our industry, please take a minute. Think about/pray for/send good karma to the people who are going home early today, suddenly without a job.
It may be our industry talking point. But it's their lives.