Layoffs aren’t happy affairs, but given the increasingly fickle nature of journalism, entertainment and even media agency positions, comings and goings can be a fact of life.
The Oprah Winfrey Network recently laid off 30 staffers after cancelling Rosie O’Donnell’s low-rated series.
The Los Angeles Times says it will cut more staffers – anywhere between 12 and 20, mostly editorial, positions.
These are two different types of companies: One is newer media, the other is definitely older.
OWN’s decision was that the “economics of starting a cable network didn’t fit OWN’s cost structure.” The history of startup troubles at OWN are well documented, as is the recent history of layoffs at the Los Angeles Times.
The employment world of the communications industries would seem to be in flux. Until recently, one wouldn’t imagine that jobs in cable TV -- a business that continues to see overall growth -- would be in danger. But with newer digital industries afoot, everything is changing
Take mobile. During February, more than 19,000 new U.S. jobs were filed for the likes of mobile developers --- up 82% from February 2011.
The news could be good for older men: Some of those mobile developers can be found working for entertainment companies or news organizations
Bigtime media mergers can put a ding in employment, as when Comcast’s takeover of NBCUniversal forced some departures.
Right now, the U.S. unemployment rate is still over 8%, but the under-employment rate is probably still in the mid-teens. That’s not good.
Say all you want about information industries versus older construction and manufacturing businesses. Information industries seemed to have better growth potential, but there always seems to be some rough road ahead.