You can only be lucky enough for the axe not to fall on you so many times, especially in this crazy business we call broadcasting, where staff reductions are an almost regular, almost routine feature. In my 27 years in journalism, 22 of them in broadcasting, I've been lucky enough to have never been laid off... until today.
As part of CHUM restructuring (which, we're told, is a total coincidence to Bell Globemedia buying the company today), I am among about 280 people across Canada who were handed their walking papers today. Some took effect immediately -- such as 47 of my colleagues in Vancouver, one of whom called me from a bar. At A-Channel Ottawa, where I work, a handful were immediate, a few more at the end of August, and the rest -- including me -- as of January 19, 2007. I'll tell you, there was a lot of unabashed hugging and "What the f***?" going on in our newsroom this afternoon. Anyone who says they weren't blindsided by this is either lying or on cheap drugs.
And that's not to criticize management, especially at the local level. Is there ever a right time and/or right way to handle layoffs without looking totally callous? Don't answer that question: it's meant rhetorically.
So I have six months to find another job. In the meantime, I'll weigh all my options, which might even include a different position at A-Channel. My resumé is up to date, and I've never been one to wallow in pity. I would rather pick myself up, dust myself off, and make the best of the situation. Yes, fellow bloglodytes, I'm gonna make lemonade outta this bushel o' lemons!