As you may know, the Star-Ledger is shedding about 40 percent of its newsroom staff.
Recent reports have said that the newspaper, one of the nation's largest, lost almost its entire editorial board in one day and all but two reporters in its business news department. We even read last week that two journalists who did not apply for buyouts have been reassigned to the mailroom.
So the Star-Ledger won't be needing anyone soon, right?
At least one Star-Ledger editor is quietly making calls, getting ready for some January hiring.
Many of the people who are being bought out are still there. Several veterans are looking forward to goin out together on their last day of work: Dec. 31. It would seem inapporpriate to recruit in the open while people are still leaving, but expect some hiring soon after the buyout has been completed.
This has happened before.
Time and again going back to Newsday's big haircut in the mid-nineties and "publisher's clearinghouses" at the Washington Post, newspapers have followed massive staff reductions with hiring,
Here's why: The departures do not all come in the right places and the newspapers sometimes lose people in placs where they simply cannot "go dark."
Also, in addition to the number of people who sign up for the buyoutsthat take the newspaper to its new staffing level, additional people will simply leave, taking staffing below that new level.
Once again, the counterintuitive move of applying during a buyout seems to hold possibilities.
Expect the newspaper to focus on inexperienced, less expensive people.