Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Who's First Against the Wall?

In these economically troubled times, why can't more layoffs be reported like this, courtesy of Keith J Kelly last week at the New York Post?
Stone cold: The recession isn't bothering Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner, at least in his personal life. He's busy skiing at his multi-million dollar home in Sun Valley, Idaho on his annual prolonged winter ski holiday. But that doesn't mean the minions at Wenner Media are being spared. About 10 people were axed so far this week, including the head of production, Lou Terracciano, hired only six months ago, and more are expected to go today, insiders are saying. Men's Journal is expected to be particularly hard-hit.

And then there's this article in the Telegraph on the financial problems faced by billionaire publisher and businessman Anthony O'Reilly. After outlining "the parlous state of the Independent, the flagship newspaper, which is losing between £12 million and £14 million a year," the normally business-friendly Torygraph dares to point out that:
"The [Independent News & Media] group's five senior directors were paid a total of £7.97 million, including bonuses and pensions last year, with Sir Anthony receiving £2.2 million – a 20 per cent rise on last year. However, the board has approved large-scale redundancies as a cost-cutting measure."
Of course, both these examples have something in common: they're media stories. Publishing companies are suffering acutely in these hard times, and rival publications seem to be taking particular relish in turning on each other like starving dogs. But what of Wall Street?

I long for the day when the business executives whose catastrophic mismanagement got us into the current financial crisis are tarred and feathered and run through the streets like the criminals they are. In the meantime, I'll settle for them being named and shamed. It isn't much, but it would be a start.

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