What's next?

What's next? June 22, 2011

“Giving the customer the absolute finest automobile that General Motors could possibly produce has proven to be the correct approach to the automobile business because this finance-generated effort to skimp and see how much cost can we strip out before people actually protest, I think is something that’s taught in the business schools and it has been extremely damaging to American business — and it doesn’t have to be that way.” — Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of GM

What Lutz describes there as this “effort to skimp and see how much cost can we strip out before people actually protest” used to be the business model of my employer, the nation’s largest newspaper chain.

The past-tense there is for two reasons. First, because this is no longer really the chain’s business model. They’re no longer skimping and stripping out to see how much quality can be reduced “before people actually protest.” Now they’re pretty much just stripping out costs to see how much profit can be drained from the husks of their regional papers before they walk away.

And the other reason for the past-tense is that, as of yesterday, I am no longer an employee of the nation’s largest newspaper chain.

Gannett lays off 700 newspaper division employees

Gannett layoffs are a leading indicator of a permanently shrinking newspaper business

Gannett’s Multimillionaires Regret to Inform 700 Workers of Their Layoffs

Still processing all the scary uncertainty, hope for something better, daunting financial arithmetic, disappointment, relief, hope and fear, fear and hope, etc.

On the positive side, this will mean more time for blogging.

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