While a lot of the talk about job losses have centered around jobs within the IT sector itself, us technology journalists aren’t immune to the pain. You could call it collateral damage of sorts, where the problems trickle down into the media.
Companies make less money, which in turn means less in the advertising budget. That in turn means many media outlets (even Technologizer) see less income in terms of advertising dollars spent. What happens when this occurs? Layoffs of course.
This week’s highest profile job cut comes from Conde Nast, who operates several tech news properties. It’s largest is Wired, but it also includes Ars Technica, which it acquired in May for $25 million.
According to Conde Nast spokespeople, the layoffs are coming across all divisions of its web publication arm, including non-tech sites such as Epicurious and Style.com. No details have been given on just how big these cuts will be, as discussions on whats going to go are still ongoing.
News sources indicate as many as 30 percent of the total CondeNet workforce may have been let go, but that is not confirmed by the company. It’s not only freelancers which are seeing the cuts, it looks like its salaried writers and editors as well.
While I am not a big fan of Ars Technica and Wired for several reasons, I can’t help but feel bad for these folks. I am somewhat in the same boat too at this moment, trying to find regular full-time work. I can tell you for as bad as it is in the regular economy, it’s much worse in the media.
Nobody’s hiring, and if they are, you better be prepared to take a substantial paycut. Plus, freelance work is also drying up, as publications leave go their full-time writers and those folks flood the freelance market in an attempt to make ends meet.
It’s tough out there.
Update: News.com reports that 3 of the 28 Wired.com writers have been laid off, although it apparently was not any of the staff writers. PaidContent followed later indicating the entire Ars Technica staff would keep their jobs, and that Conde Nast may be looking for new acquisitions “if the price is right.”