Monday was a tough day at D Magazine. Our company began a round of layoffs and salary reductions that is just now reaching its conclusion. The painful process forced us to shutter our blogs over the weekend and through most of today.
When I came to work for this company in early 2002, we published one magazine and had about 35 employees. As of last week, we were publishing 20 magazines (D Magazine, D Home, D CEO, D Beauty, D Weddings, and other specialty and custom magazines). Our newspaper division published six community newspapers under the People title (Park Cities People, Preston Hollow People, Oak Cliff People, Lake Highlands People, Lakewood People, and West Plano People). All together, 155 people worked for our organization. After all that growth, we’ve had to retrench.
Our readership numbers remain as strong as ever, but like every other publishing concern in the country, we’ve seen our ad revenue shrink. For detailed analysis of how this has happened, Google the phrase “global economic crisis” or, simply, “retail sales.”
We had to get leaner to thrive in this new business environment. On Friday, we began the process of letting go 14 people on the magazine side and 15 on the newspaper side, for a total of 19 percent of the 155 people who worked here. Those who remain have taken pay cuts. (No one who contributes to this blog was laid off.) We’ve also shuttered three newspapers: Lake Highlands People, Lakewood People, and West Plano People. Our remaining newspapers and all our magazines remain profitable.
As I say, the process began Friday, but it didn’t end until a few minutes ago. On Friday, that created a problem. Because, as most of you know, the FrontBurner Nation is nothing if not well-informed and alert. And eager to share. Our comments section began to spread news that some even in our company didn’t know yet. In deference to our co-workers and friends, we shut down all our blogs.
Thank you for your patience and for all the e-mails (most of them, anyway). We will continue to be as forthcoming and transparent as we possibly can. Toward that end, we’ll leave comments on (for now) for this post. Keep it clean, people.
Correction: In 2002, we were also publishing D Home and custom magazines for Texas Tech and Texas A&M.