Friday, March 11, 2011

Trouble at

There have been some rumblings that all is not well at This was posted on Sports Journalists. Apparently entertainment, sports and other areas of are being effected.

Feel free to contact me at jlsmediaservices(at)gmail(dot)com with further info. Anonymous is fine, but please try to give me some indication of credibility or how you know so I can double check.


Ruth said...

Ed Vielmetti (lead blogger, and the only one who seemed to know much about the web); Lon Horwedel (photographer); and at least a couple of people in Entertainment I believe. Also, right now has nobody covering higher education (the higher education reporter just went to the Free Press), despite the fact that UM and EMU are in its back yard.

Jim of L-Town said...

Thanks Ruth. Ed Vielmetti had been a respectful commenter even on my blog. He did seem the one hire for management that made sense.

I could find no word of the layoffs on or on, which is not surprising.

Jim of L-Town said...

Ed's columns are still up on, the last one posted was Thursday, March 10, so when, and if at this point, there have been layoffs they were likely pretty recent.

Here's a link:

Anonymous said...

Layoffs happened late Thursday, 14 people overall. Those who lost their jobs included members of the "community" team, two from entertainment, blogger Ed Vielmetti, photog Lon Horwedel food and drink writer Jessica Webster, Community Team Director Jen Eyer and reporter James Dickson. I am not aware of who the others are or the rationale behind the cuts. On top of the three key people who left recently for the Freep (Stefanie Murray, Amalie Nash and David Jesse) this does not bode well for the .com.

Anonymous said...

Edward Vielmetti said...

You can independently confirm what happened by looking at

which has a current staff listing. The story on a2politico

links to that staff listing, plus a cached Google version of it, to document the changes.

Michigan Radio has a story:

I'm still writing here

and, of course, figuring out what to do next.

It was a fascinating job inside an interesting organization, and I'm sorry that this is what happened.

Jim of L-Town said...

Dear Ed:

You are a class act and I have enjoyed following you. If it is any comfort Booth does not lay off based on competence or relevance. The fact that you, among all, probably had more chance of making that project work simply confirms that.

If there is a problem at it is the top management which is simply retreads from previous failures. But as I said, that is the way Booth works.

If someone wanted to illustrate the Peter Principle they would need to look no further than Booth/Advance to have a portrait.

The people who should be gone will be there to the bitter end. Those who would have a chance of saving the venture will always be the first to go.

Just a fact.

Best of luck in your pursuit of new ventures.


Edward Vielmetti said...

The anonymous comment at

11 March, 2011 23:45

has several material facts incorrect, which can be independently verified by looking at

As you all know (and I don't have to repeat myself, because I've said it before enough times), unverified anonymous comments are toxic.

A2Politico said...

Tony Dearing is paid to be a spinmeister, of course. However,'s three executives in laying off Ed V. and other content producers acted more like owners who have skin the game, as opposed to people hired to make sure the venture succeeds. It's way too top heavy, and they have way too many ad sales people for the volume of ad sales the company does. In short, in many respects took the stultified "model" of the Ann Arbor News, slashed pay of employees, and called it "digital." Thanks for the link.

Anonymous said...

From Tony Dearing, 3/12/11 via a comment at
(LOL, he said hard Tony Dearing would recognize hard news if it dropped on his funky, chic, expensively trimmed head)

"While personnel issues are an internal matter and we don't discuss them publicly, I can confirm that we reorganized our newsroom this week to put our focus more squarely on local news coverage. As a new organization, we have tried a lot of things. Now that we are well into our second year, the community has told us very resoundingly that what it wants most from us is hard news coverage, particularly in the areas of government, education, police, courts, health, the environment, University of Michigan sports, and business. These areas of coverage account for all but a tiny percentage of our readership and revenue. Meanwhile, we also have put a lot of effort toward other things -- including lifestyle topics like Passions and Pursuits, The Deuce, Homes and some areas of Entertainment coverage -- that our community has shown much less interest in, and we are scaling back in those areas.

We have made tremendous progress since we launched, and we continue to be very happy with the growth we're seeing in audience and revenue. But from the beginning, we said that we would be shaped by what the community wants, and the community wants us to focus more sharply on local news reporting. We have repositioned ourselves to throw our energy and resources into our local news coverage and that is how we will operate moving forward as we continue to grow.

Jim of L-Town said...

Interesting that doesn't discuss it's "internal" doings, but did cover pretty extensively the layoffs at Border's, etc.

What's good for the goose.....

Anonymous said...

just a fyi: Dearing's comments from on the layoffs have been eliminated.

Looks like the old Booth habits die hard.