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Gawker Lays Off Staff & Brags About It!

Sorry, but alerting the press about laying off staff is simply weird.

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I’m going to be blunt here. The press coverage of the Gawker layoff memo is facinating in that they believe everything they are told and then proudly write about it! Isn’t it a bit curious that Nick is predicting doom and gloom while his sales are way up from last year and then encourages his writers to write articles on this news?

Nick Denton wrote an "internal" memo to his staff announcing 19 layoffs because of his prediction that the economy is going down the tubes. It’s not only strange that Nick makes this public but the press reports it without any questioning of his premise. Nick states:

"You can guess the reason for these brutal measures: the recession.
Sure, the company is currently profitable and advertising sales are up
by about 30% on their level of a year ago. Our biggest clients are
consumer electronics and entertainment companies that are relatively
well insulated. And, yes, this is not the first time I’ve predicted
doom: in July 2006, when we "battened down the hatches" and closed
down Sploid and Screenhead; and in April this year, when we spun off
Idolator, Gridskipper and Wonkette.

But now the credit crisis is clearly going to affect every sector of
the economy. Advertising buys typically plunge after the Christmas
shopping season, and 2009 is obviously going to be exceptionally
difficult. We have to prepare for the worst, now, rather than when the
worst comes upon us."

Sales are up 30% and Nick is laying off people because of his prediction of an economic downturn! I doubt it. Fom what I understand most of the people fired are actually not employees at all, but are contract workers. The New York Times reports that Gawker has 133 staff positions but fails to tell us if these are actual employees. It’s not really a layoff if the employees are not employees, right?

So this brings up a few questions. Is Nick out of his mind by telling everyone and his brother that they are "laying off" 19 staffers or is this just another (successful) publicity stunt by the super media savvy Nick Denton? After all, he got a lot of press for not much news here. And most interesting to me, is the press being gullable with their reporting on this story? After all, CEO’s usually don’t fire people based on their personal gut feeling that sales are going to go down when the evidence shows sales are up.

Strange to me.

I am the CEO of the iEntry Network which publishes WebProNews and many other B2B content websites and our sales are up 40% from last year and I can tell you that no layoffs are planned.

To those writers fired from Valleywag:

If any of the three writers at Valleywag who were let go want a job writing email me at richord@ientry.com.

Gawker Lays Off Staff & Brags About It!
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  • http://niche-traffic-sale.blogspot.com Niche Traffic Blog

    I think it is just irresponsible to brag about cutting the income of 19 people, full time employees or not, and bragging about it

    The effect these lay offs will have on the individuals’ lives and families have obviously not been considered.

    By all means, anyone is allowed to lay off  staff if the company resources demands it, but bragging about it?

    • http://www.Tribal-Sports-Wear.net Blank T-Shirts & Wholesale Apparel

      I completely agree with you, it is not in good taste at all.

      However, if he is willing to brag about the fact his going to lay of people. Who’s to say that’s the complete truth to begin with. If his staff is comprised of contract workers, perhaps it is more the case that there are 19 contracts expiring and not being renewed. Though lay off is more dramatic, don’t you think?

       

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  • http://www.thewritestuff.be/ Michael

    Listed company’s sometimes see their shres rising when company’s announce lay-offs, which is translated as the company taking bold measures in hard times. But to do so while also announcing 30% profit increases is strange.