Rightsizing. No, Really.

Just fucking kill me now.

Look. I’m gonna explain this one slowly for the publishers and top-level editors who I know are just sitting around the day before a three day weekend reading this blog. When you spout this crap, no one believes you, and what’s more, they think you suck, and often tell you so. And you’re always stunned that nobody’s buying what you’re selling. Always. And … really.

You hired a bunch of people specifically for their advanced, highly developed bullshit detectors and confrontational attitudes. You put them all in a room together, where they could reinforce each other’s paranoid delusions and tribal instincts and cheer one another on, while you paid them to say fuck you to anyone in any position of authority trying to sell them anything that smelled even faintly of insincerity. You gave them awards and bonuses when they said fuck you very loudly and very well. When they caught people in lies, when they tore down the “official” story and presented the unvarnished truth in defiance of what those in power wished, you held them up to one another as the best and the brightest and said this, this kind of work, this is what we want.

And then you sat across from them in a meeting in your pinstriped suit and you told them, from your position of authority, that even though you’d just shitcanned their colleagues (jingling your Infiniti keys in your pocket as you did so), it wasn’t “downsizing,” it was “rightsizing.” When they asked questions, you got angry and defensive. And you have the temerity to besurprised when they treat you like a guy who goes around taking shits in baby strollers?

What did you expect?


10 thoughts on “Rightsizing. No, Really.

  1. so they’re cutting pages, but judging writers on how much they produce?
    that type of dilbertism is kind of awe-inspiring.

  2. I worked for a company that was bought & the HQ moved to another state. As people left – voluntarily or otherwise – we would say they’d been “synergized”. Doesn’t that soundeven better?

  3. Because the newspapers aren’t delivering the kind of results that the corporations expected the corporations response is to cut MORE.
    Don’t like product? We’ll give you less of it!
    This from a focus group survey I took yesterday
    What would you do if the San Francisco Chronicle stopped publishing papers on Monday and Tuesday?
    I would likely continue my subscription
    I would likely switch to a different San Francisco Chronicle subscription package
    I would likely switch to another paper
    I would likely stop receiving home delivery of a newspaper entirely

  4. My newspaper, the Sacramento Bee, is touting their upcoming “right sizing” – smaller pages, and who knows what other cuts. Obviously when you are losing subscribers it has to be because the paper is just too darn big, too wordy, too much content. So, the best course of action is to make it smaller, more compact, brief and quick to read. Then, that improved paper will, of course, require an increase in subscription costs to cover the improvements.
    MBA’s in action!!

  5. As a non-reporter (also non-related to the newspaper business), I am dismayed by how news has been replaced by inane articles.
    Admittedly, I love the comics first. But then I want a newspaper that educates me. Not one that I’m sitting there identifying holes in the reporter’s logic, or the reporter just simply repeating what they’re told. I want a solid report and an accompanying solid analysis.

  6. This Tribune Co. schmuck is obviously an idiot. Hey, moron, you know you can save the company a TON of money by firing er “rightsizing” ALL the reporters and just printing wire service stories! Who needs editors with nothing to edit, you can rightsize them too! Editorial pages can be filled by syndicated columnists! Just turn the Trib papers into USA Today, and watch the dough roll in with so much less overhead!

  7. And you have the temerity to be surprised when they treat you like a guy who goes around taking shits in baby strollers?
    Sometimes I just plain love your word choices. So many people see it a abrasive, but those people are mostly afraid of their shadows, and the stroller-shitters count on it. Rock On.

  8. I think one of Zell’s papers, Newsday, is down to one editor (copying and pasting wire service stories; matching them to pix from the morgue). They have kept all of the comics (so far) but I think there was a 150-word review of “Hancock” the other day that barely listed who was in it and how long it ran. And the food issue is now Thursdays? Maybe because of the holiday? I dunno. I did read that the Tribune’s ad pages were down 15% in the latest quarter. We’re watching this happen in real time. I love(d) reading the newspaper…

  9. Nice and richly-deserved skewering. I couldn’t help reading that article without thinking directly about the last season of The Wire.
    Hard to imagine that The Sun, my local paper, could get any worse. It now takes me about 10 minutes to read everything I want out of it because there is almost nothing there. How in the world do they think that will help them maintain, not to mention grow, their subcriber base?
    Tribune websites are almost completely unusable, so whatever light information they have is ridiculously hard to find. No doubt these same MBA geniuses think that’s a plus, that it will drive people to the paper.
    They really ought to go for the maximum savings and shutter their operations.

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