Earlier this morning, I received an email via the Ogle Mole Network that claimed "The State's Most Trusted News" was about to go through another series of layoffs.
Here's the email:
another RIF today.
17 souls lost their jobs. 22 total positions eliminated.From a custodian to 4 pressmen, and the NIC was hit the hardest.
Just shows that the almighty Dollar means more to Mr. Anschutz than the Almighty's children.
First of all, NIC is the journalism lingo for newsroom. Second, if you're an intern for The Oklahoman and are handed a broom and mop, I guess we know why.
After receiving the email, I checked with some of my Moles at OPUBCO – Jenni Carlson, Nolan Clay and Richard ViralNovaBuzzfeedHall, just to name a few – who all confirmed that some layoffs were taking place, but they couldn't provide any other details.
So, I sent an email to Oklahoman Editor-In-Chief Kelly Dyer Fry and Publisher / President Chris Reen to see if they would issue a statement or confirm the news. They didn't, but... we aquired through the Ogle Mole Network this email that Chris Reen sent to OPUBCO employees earlier today.
Here are some screenshots:
First of all, our thoughts go out to all the employees who lost their jobs. I was laid off from my corporate gig four years ago this month. Even though it ended up being a blessing in disguise, it still sucked. It's like someone is breaking up with you. You feel rejected. Everyone wants to quit their job on their terms, not during some surprise meeting with your boss and the HR director. Hopefully, the layoff victims land on their feet and find great jobs in PR.
Here are a few notes:
• I'm hearing every news department is going to lose at least one employee. Another mole told me that nine newsroom employees are being shown the door. Although neither has been confirmed, that would be approximately 10% of the news staff. For a news team that's already been stretched thin through other recent RIFs, that's not good. Say what you want about The Oklahoman, and its political mission and biases, we still need newspapers and reporters to break and investigate news.
• So far, the only people that I can confirm have been let go are long-time Oklahoman sports reporter Mike Baldwin, who worked at the paper for over 25 years, and Energy beat writer Jay Marks.
• As is usually the case with layoffs, top management doesn't appear to be affected. Publisher Chris Reen has been part of plenty of layoffs while he's served as an executive with the company. If these moves (which I'm sure are related to declining revenues) are happening on his watch, shouldn't he be held responsible? Why is he immune from layoffs?
Anyway, we'll keep this post updated as we learn more. If you're an OPUBCO employee and haven't had a meeting with HR yet, I guess you can breathe a bit easier. Don't get too comfortable, though. I'd suggest a preppers course in writing clickbait headlines.