The best story to come out of today’s Gannett layoffs

Bobby Allyn

Bobby Allyn

“I was working on a scoop on [musician] Jack White’s divorce when The Tennessean laid me off,” courts reporter Bobby Allyn tells Romenesko readers. “As soon as I got the court filing, the paper’s secretary called. ‘You’re wanted in HR in 10 minutes.’

“After they canned me, I walked the scoop across the street.”

Here it is in Nashville City Paper, which is putting out its final issue next week.

UPDATE: “As a student of irony it’s notable that I have the #1 story on the Tennessean right now!” adds Allyn. He joined the Tennessean in May of 2011, after working at The Oregonian and interning at the New York Times, Washington City Paper and other news outlets.

Allyn, 25, says his editor “stressed” the layoff wasn’t performance-related, and “she even said she’d write me a recommendation. No severance package at all, by the way. Zilch. It’s the new Gannett norm.”

He adds: “At first, the editor said I can keep my Gannett iPhone for the week and return it when I’m back from vacation” — he’s headed to San Francisco today — “but after the Jack White story broke, HR emailed me to say I have to drop off my phone today before my flight.”

* Gannett lays off journalists at newspapers around the country (jimromenesko.com)


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