Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

New Media Pink Slips Cost Less Than Old Media Pink Slips


Image copyright R. Gino Santa Maria

One of the many differences between old media companies and new media companies: It’s a lot cheaper to fire people at new media companies.

AOL said it will spend between $14 million and $18 million on “cash restructuring charges” — read as “severance and related costs” — on the Patch layoffs it announced today, which will range from approximately 350 to 500 people.

As Bloomberg’s Ed Lee notes, that indicates AOL is not spending a whole lot on severance for Patch employees, who have been running a network of 900 local news sites.

Or at least, it’s not spending a lot compared to the world’s largest publishing company.

When Time Inc. announced it was going to lay off some 500 people earlier this year, parent company Time Warner told investors that it was going to spend a lot more money on its payroll-reduction move: “Approximately $60 million.”

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik