The meeting was brief, mostly because I was stunned. I was told the envelope contained the “involuntary separation plan,” information on filing for unemployment, and my final paycheck — two weeks’ pay en lieu of two weeks’ notice, plus settlement of outstanding vacation time. And details of the severance package — which could be worse, but could obviously be a whole lot better for someone cast out into a state with 10 percent unemployment, and a resume of work in a dying industry that dates to age 14. ...The County Star's sports and features editors reportedly received pink slips this week as well, and the entire copy desk and design department got laid off as the Scripps-owned paper prepares to outsource all news desk functions to a "universal copy desk" in Corpus Christi, Texas.
I e-mailed the Lakers to cancel my seat request for Thursday’s game with Boston, one of four assignments that had already been on my schedule. The other three were high school playoff games — exactly the kind of thing that are supposed to be crucial to the “hyperlocal” strategy that is the buzzword of most newspapers, but that would no doubt go uncovered now, because there was one less person to cover them. ...
Newspaper layoffs aren’t really that big a deal any more, in the grand scheme of things. There’s not anyone in the business who hasn’t seen a friend downsized, or a face-of-the-paper veteran summarily dismissed, even though those are the kind of people that give papers their distinguishing features, make them unique in a corporatizing climate of sameness.
Former San Bernardino Sun sports writer Paul Oberjuerge penned a farewell to Lassen here.