UPDATE: The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com Began Layoffs Today

This is highly unfortunate assuming it means what it looks like it means. We rip on the beat writers frequently, but Lawrence, who’s covered the Phillies for as long as I’ve been doing this, was (is) one of the best, who uses social media quite well.

The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com plan on laying off 46 newsroom staff, as well as additional managers, effective December 4. The first – that we’re aware of – is a bad one.

We’ll keep this updated if are any other notables are included.

UPDATE: New Flyers beat writer Jeff Neiburg– gone:

This seems to be a great strategy: Lay off the young, potentially more talented and savvy guys because unions! That’ll save the dying business!!!

The cuts overall actually seem to be the right decision (unfortunately), but it looks like they’re going to make the wrong choices.

UPDATE 2: Multiple people tell me the union protected the old-timers, hence why you’re seeing so many young folks let go. [Billy Penn has a list of non-sports people.] Jeff Blumenthal reports 17 or 29 Philly.com staffers were cut:

Gensler said 17 of 29 Philly.com editorial staff were laid off, while 17 of 60 Daily News editorial staff were affected and 12 members of the Inquirer editorial staff — estimated to be between 150 to 200 people — lost their jobs.

Question: How do you focus on being successful online if you cut mostly the young online reporters? What’s more, they’re still going to print a Daily News (which is seriously mind-boggling) despite cutting almost a third of its staff. There is a different style and tone needed for online reporting, social media use, etc. I’m not advocating keeping only young people. There are some very talented senior folks and columnists that need to stay. But cutting the young beat guys and keeping the old clock punchers who have no idea how to navigate the media landscape in 2015 is what will do in the entire company. You can’t focus on a digital future… by firing the digital staff, or, more specifically, the staffers who understand digital. Talk about a shortsighted decision.

Here’s what they should’ve done: Determined the number of people that needed to be laid off (agreed that the company was too bloated in editorial), cut the worst ones, regardless of age, and made sure to get rid of any redundancies (multiple reporters covering same beat). Then, get rid of the Daily News (it’s a waste) and put out one daily publication with the combined best efforts of the remaining staff – the Inquirer – and have it continuously updated online – Philly.com – for one unified experience. Done.

These decisions just hastened the demise of the whole company. And the union will be to blame.

UPDATE 3: More sports related staffers:

I believe there’s another one coming from a more prominent writer.

UPDATE 4: Jake Kaplan has been let go to, according to countless people. He hasn’t announced it on Twitter yet, but it appears Phil Sheridan did it for him:

So, yes, if you’re keeping score at home, they let go of both of their Phillies beat writers– Lawrence and Kaplan.

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81 Responses

  1. I’m just going to assume they keep Marcus Hayes and High Cheese and this will be exactly like ESPN shutting down Grantland but continuing the employment of Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless.

      1. Skip’s good at what he does too, I just resent him for how he does it. Ryan Lawrence getting let go is just unbelievable. But then again, continuing to publish the Daily News is unbelievable in itself. They don’t even really have to eliminate the Daily News as an entity, they could make it a section of the Inquirer. Doubling down on the print side and clearing out the digital side is insanity. The next step isn’t eliminating the DN at this point, it’s the entire company ceasing to exist and Philadelphia ceasing to have a paper of record.

        1. PhillyVoice and/or PhillyMag w/ pick up a couple of these guys that were let go. Couldn’t agree more about Kyle’s obvious analysis about how the Inquirer group should have been restructured.

      2. It goes without saying that they are slitting their own wrists by letting go the young talent with social media savvy. The death knell sounded long ago, However for Kyle to gloat over the death of his competition while he soaks up more of their salaries is disgusting.

  2. Not a fan of Ryan Lawrence at all, but Hayes, Klugh, Bowen, and Carchidi should be gone before him. They all really fucking suck.

  3. I feel bad for any journalism majors today. Super hard to find stable employment. Switch while you can.

    1. Yeah, unless you want to drift from temp job to temp job, don’t major in journalism. Biggest life mistake I’ve ever made, no doubt.

      1. The Union’s make it especially tough to stick around at a major paper. There are different avenue’s to take to carve a niche but if your dream as a journalism major is to work at a old, outdated newspaper with crusty grey haired typewriter punchers, your dreams are going to be crushed.

  4. It’s not a choice. The papers had to do layoffs and their CBA states it’s strictly based on seniority. No talent evaluation or performance review – straight seniority as their union negotiated.

  5. This is pretty much they way any unionized occupation functions. The only thing that matters is years of service, with no regard to actual talent.

  6. Lawrence was good, and I know that Bowen covers the Eagles, but he’s the most thin skinned and self-righteous hack out there – next to Eskin.

    It’s a shame union driven seniority trumped quality, but I guess that’s par

  7. LMAO at these papers signing their own death warrants. Only way they could have survived was to have hungry writers that deliver fresh, interesting content.

    But, Neiburg/Lawrence out, presumably Bowen/Hayes/etc stay… talk about tone deaf

  8. Now you know how I feel! Im still stuck slinging drinks at Pitcher’s Pub with no end in sight. Thought I would start a website to rival Crossing Broad but that failed miserably. Ugh, boss is yelling to clean the bathrooms, gotta run..

  9. Hate to see anyone lose a job. But Ryan Lawrence wears his panties a little to tight. If you comment on one of his tweets the wrong way, he blocks you.
    Maybe the local newspaper where the Riversharks are moving to could use a beat reporter.

  10. So I’m to assume Marcus Hayes was not affected by these layoffs?

    Any idiot can write words and make them sentences and call Chase Utley a honkey.

  11. Can’t wait for the day when ALL the goldbricking professional reporters with their salary and benefit demands have been laid off and all we have left are scrappy basement bloggers like Kyle! It will be a new golden age of journalism.

  12. If you’re presenting biased news to liberals and the welfare crowd, you’re going to lose the hard working people that pays it bills as readers. Why read yellow journalism. Let me guess, the editorial board endorsed the democrat for mayor.

    1. I agree with you 100%. The Inquirer and Daily News lost me as a reader in the last few years because they continued to drive the liberal shit to a new level. None of their writers are even moderates anymore. Pure socialists catering to the dreck of society.

      It’s funny to hear Kyle complain about the unions saving peoples’ jobs that have tenure (and age). Liberals like Kyle are pro-union when it’s convenient until said union doesn’t protect young hipster writers like himself. Hypocritical.

      1. Kyle is not pro-union and pretty moderate, moderate slightly right. Not sure of all this crap accusing him of being a liberal.

        Now Jim on the hand is a straight up socialist fuck up.

      2. I bust on Kyle as much as anyone, but I must come to his defense here. I’m fairly certain he’s more right leaning than not. Just because he’s Mikey Miss’s’s’ss’s lap dog doesn’t mean that he follows that aging hacks perverted political thinking. The rest of your post is spot on though Bob. And I agree that there is no doubt Jim drives around with a “BERNIE 2016” sticker on the back of his smart car.

      3. I know you guys don’t understand capitalism or how the free market works because your sitting here complaining about a democrat-leaning newspaper that is in a market that voted 75% democrat. Other than Chester County, the entire area is left, thus it would be a wise business decision to pander to the majority instead of the minority..

        I guess since 25% of the people around Philadelphia are Cowboys fans the newspaper should have more cowboys coverage than Eagles coverage because that’s the logic here. Quit living in fear of the “big liberal media machine” and understand how/why things work.

        Most major newspapers are in 60-70% left areas, so they try to get most of the customers. Philly/Inquirer is a FOR-PROFIT BUSINESS, not some ” non-profit portrayer of honest, truthful and balanced news” everyone pretends the news/MSNBC/Fox News is.. Fox News doesn’t even think about doing any advertising/promotions in big cities, but hammers hard on the Lebanon and Lancaster PA’s of the world because the majority of that area voted right.

        It’s the exact reason ESPN dumped the good people and pay Screamin A Smith $3 million dollars a year. The “News” is just an extension of the entertainment business.

        1. I disagree. Philadelphia proper and half of MontCo might be left majority (thanks to norristown and the Tribe taking over the eastern Main Line). ChesCo, DelCo, and Bucks are red. You can pull the county voting pct’s pretty easily.

          1. Check your facts…Delco hasn’t gone red in a presidential election since Bush…in 1988! Democrats even hold a registration edge there. The lapdogs in Media might all still be GOP but Delco is not red.

          2. FACT: Delco absorbed a lot of the Philly white-flighters who continued to vote Democrat thinking that they could still elect Frank Rizzo that way.

    2. Yeah that is the reason they are in decline. It isn’tthe fact that newspaper ad revenue has completely cratered, online revenue rates continue to plummet because the advertisers aren’t sure of reaching anyone, and the only newspaper to make the digital model work somewhat is NY Times. Just an idiot who views the world through his conservative-colored classes.

  13. When does Jim get laid off so he can spend more time at home with me

    1. If i wasn’t my daughter’s wedding day I’d punch you right in the mouth you anti-dentite bastard!

  14. What’s the deal with the Phillyvoice website. Some of their articles appear to be written by 6 year olds but other stuff is better than the Inquirer could ever hope to do.

    1. Curious about this too. I actually go there more than Philly.com because Rich Hoffman is much more tolerable than anything at Philly.com and I actually like the non-sports articles on the site too. The comments section gets no love at PhillyVoice, so it’s really tough to know how many people are reading it. I believe it operates with the same ‘content integrated marketing’ model as PhillyMag where some portion of the articles are essentially paid placements by the subject of the article.

  15. The whole economy is just being crushed despite what the numbers say. Poor flyers beat writer probably gets his dream job and 3 months later he’s out.

    1. Has little to do with economy. The Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com have been a shitty business for 10 years.

      1. Economy in terms of it takes a lot fewer people to do what used to be done. My business hires nothing but freelancers.

        1. Yup. Full-time jobs with good benefits are going the way of the dodo. 10% maybe 20% of US households will do well in the future. Rest will struggle to get and survive and people will go to a world where they work until they drop dead or are unable to hold a job.

  16. What about that old fart Frank Fitzpatrick?

    Time for him to write about piece about Johnny Callison, eh?

  17. @Godfatherlocks: If you’re a LOYAL follower to the website, you received the 10* WIZARDS play for FREE!!! It pays to be a follower

  18. They got rid of young writers because they don’t want a tj simers situation on their hands like in la.la times told him to fuck off and he sues la times for millions and gets 7.8 million for discrimination of age. Imagine if Coilin was still around and daily news tried to lay him off. He would burnt that place to the ground ontop the lawsuit reward.

  19. What’s funny is that if this org chart doesn’t save the company (and why would it?), the unions are going to get bigfooted. The bankruptcy court will tear up all contracts when the company is sold off in pieces. Philadelphia is too large a city not to have a dead tree paper – if nothing else people need to line their bird cages – so there will be one, but the company publishing the New Inquirer will just hire the kids again…except they’ll be non-union.

    Pretty stupid, but not the first time a union has negotiated its members out of a job. I don’t think the President is going to give Marcus Hayes a $60 billion bailout, though.

    1. Yup. They’ll probably have to offer some meager benefits (minimum PTO, 401k maybe) but they’ll hire young, cheap workers who are disposable.

      If I am someone who is involved in politics or big business in the city, I loved today. It just gives me that much more room to operate with impugnity as media in this team becomes more and more ineffective. Yeah somebody at ProPublica or another news outlet might bring a little heat but I don’t have to worry about an advertising rag like Philly Magazine or any of the corporate-owned TV stations and their trained chimps who read from teleprompters.

  20. So when was the last time the inq/DN had layoffs? Each day there are people losing jobs. In a dying business and in a day and age of blogs and social media what did they expect. Doesn’t make much sense to keep around the old writers that are set in there ways and writing styles. If they really want to shake things up, layoff some of the old timers that are getting paid more money for some of the younger, hungrier writers that offer different views.

    How about they focus on tuning that garbage website they own into something worth reading.

  21. The main question: with so many good digital writers now on the market, how does Jim Adair stay employed on this site?

  22. How can a company be so blind to what’s going on right in front of their face? They seem to completely disregard changes in technology and the demographics they should be targeting. Why the hell would you dump a young, talented writer like Ryan Lawrence, yet continue to employ that miserable, old, no-talent has-been Les Bowen and miserable, talentless, douchey, racist Marcus Hayes? Fuck unions!

  23. the Wall St Journal is for the 1% everybody else reads online.
    Eventually, even blogs will be passe’

  24. Its time to knock off the Publishers.
    Scarfo sold more newspapers and saved jobs for the unscrubbed “journalists”,
    who couldn’t write an investigative piece with the censorship that ruled.

    The Newspaper Wars are always won by the militants and extremists.
    Islamic Jihad is winning the war against the West and they can’t afford to cover it.

  25. So many good people affected by layoffs. It’s just brutal. My dad put his blood, sweat and tears for decades into the Daily News. So many others have given everything. They don’t deserve to go out this way. Some of you can have snarky comments, but don’t hide behind a screen name. Use your name. Show some courage. Show some class. People’s lives are being affected. Rant over.

  26. Ryan Lawrence is great at twitter. Lousy at breaking stories (sound familiar) but great at twitter. Millennials suck!

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