‘Digital transformation’ used as excuse for another round of layoffs at Gannett’s USA Today
File this one under “had to see this one coming”: USA Today today begin another round of layoffs. The job losses, around 60 to 70 according to the Washington Business Journal report, follows Gannett’s announcement that it would spin off its newspaper division.
Most of the job losses will be in the newsroom, according to several reports and confirmed by those tweeting their fate.
Once again those doing the dirty work are blaming the company’s “digital transformation” for the layoffs. Of course, there were no announcements concerning digital initiatives, only layoffs.
The layoffs are not a surprise, and there will be more to come throughout the Gannett chain. Like the spin off conducted by the Tribune Company, the parent company has tilted the board to make sure the new broadcast companies being created have all the desirable assets including digital properties (even when they were created with the newspaper in mind) and have forced the new newspaper companies to sign contracts that make sure the newspapers use and pay for the old assets. Rather than simply selling off the newspapers, the idea is to make sure the newspaper, before they die, help make the broadcast companies more profitable. It is a cynical, corrupt strategy.
The rather gutless nature of media reporting dictates that one simply report the news and let readers comment on the proceedings. It is impolite to point out the corruption and the lives being altered by such behavior. But as far as TNM is concerned, both the new Tribune Media Group and the new Gannett broadcast company can go sink in the sea – there will be no need to wait for commenters to say the truth around here.