Patch spokeswoman Janine Iamunno says in response to today’s post about the sites:
There are no layoffs planned.
While we don’t discuss budgets, we’re more confident than ever in our business model and in our editors’ ability to serve their communities with the content they care about most. We’re used to intense media scrutiny and speculation, more often inaccurate than not, but we remain focused on our mission, our employees, our users and our advertisers.
Meanwhile, Patch editor-in-chief Brian Farnham sent this email to his staff after reading this morning’s post. My comment: We’ll see in a bit who is giving out “bad information.”
Big sigh from me on this one. Romenesko is reporting bad information he got from someone at Patch who sadly thinks he/she knows what’s “really going on”.
So, let me try to clear this up: we’re not doing cookie-cutter anything. We are, of course, doing programming, which we’ve always done, and which can be defined as repeatable, relevant content for your audience. And all the ideas we’re doing came from editors in the field who had proved they worked, not from HQ! But programming is part of the mix, not all of it.
And we’re still very much committed to the “One Team” approach we just kicked off. We’re creating a structure where the field is given the power and responsibility to really drive their own businesses — from a unified perspective of Sales and Edit. Editors still have to judge what to cover and how for their towns. Those decisions will ALWAYS be constrained by resources, be they money or people. The same way they are at every media company in the universe.
I’m with you Mark on the PIP noise in this piece — no idea what that’s about. (I’m guessing the leaker might be on one actually). This is another thing pretty much every respectable real company in the world does, and it’s a positive — a structured way of saying to an employee, “You need to work on these areas so let’s create a plan to do so.” It’s focus is IMPROVEMENT. Yes, we just went through reviews and some people didn’t do well. That’s a reality. Getting them to improve is in everyone’s interest. And people who don’t improve may not be a good fit here, but that’s up to managers to decide. None of this is exactly radical practice.
I’m really sorry that we all have to deal with people in our own editorial family who think Romenesko is somehow a good person with whom to share their half-baked, uninformed opinions about the business at large.
As with all the other leakers we’ve had to deal with, they’re not helping their colleagues, they’re bad teammates, bad employees, dishonest people and they should be ashamed of themselves.