Not lay offs but new lives

The Washington Post just lost a passel of talent in its latest round of buyouts. Reducing headcount on newspapers is an economic necessity today. Everybody’s doing it.

Note there’s now a blog called Papercuts tracking journalistic job cuts. So far this year alone in the U.S. alone: 2,170.

But I’d suggest doing it in a few different ways as this continues to progress across the land:

First, offer all the talented people who are leaving a weblog. Tell them you’ll sell ads on the blog and share over 50 percent of the revenue with them. They will own the blog and if they choose to start a company around it, you’ll even invest. For those who continue to write online, the paper continues to get value from the assets and brands it helped build and the writers get promotion and revenue from the paper while readers still get to read their work. Why not?

Second, I’d be redefining every job in the newsroom and giving people still there the opportunity to retrain and apply for new jobs.