Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm Still Here. How About You? Next Year?

Have you re-read What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles? Lately? I go through it and Bolles' great website at least once a year. I tell everyone I talk to about it because in these times it's key to do an ongoing skills inventory to be sure that the abilities which served you so well LAST year are still in demand next year.

Then, comes this press release today from outplacement tracking firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas:
The number of planned job cuts in the U.S. media sector surged 88% last year. .For all of 2006, the media industry announced 17,809 job cuts, up from the 9,453 cuts announced in 2005. The trend is expected to continue this year, according to John Challenger, CEO of the firm: "Already this year we have seen job cuts announced by Time Inc and the New York Times Company. These organizations will continue to make adjustments as their focus shifts from print to electronic." As readers spend more time on the Web, advertisers are not far behind in moving their marketing budgets online. While most companies in the industry are building up their Internet sites and distribution to capture the growth, that has yet to offset weakness at their mainstay print or broadcast businesses. For the first half of this month, there have been more than 2,000 planned job cuts already announced. Since the beginning of 2007, Time Inc. said it would cut 289 jobs and The New York Times announced plans to shed 125 jobs and close foreign bureaus for its Boston Globe newspaper. NBC Universal announced late last year a 750 million cost cutting move in its NBC2.0 overhaul, cutting nearly 700 jobs. "Until they can figure out a way to make as much money from their online services as they are losing from the print side, it is going to be an uphill battle," said Challenger.

You KNOW that the 'growth' part of the radio business is online, podcasts and in HD channels, yet you tell yourself that there's no time to develop compelling content-driven programming for the new media side of our business due to the time demands of your current responsibilities. I feel for you, because I feel the same way at times.

It's time to rethink your priorities! We're in a great business - the audio entertainment business (NOT the radio business!). The platforms you can perform on are multiplying. It's either a problem or an opportunity, depending on how you deal with it.

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