The amount of corporate-speak in the memo from Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp regarding layoffs at that company today is truly astounding. I’d be impressed if I didn’t know it meant lots and and lots of journalists were going to be joining the proverbial breadlines as the business spins out from Time Warner and attempts to make its own way in the weary world of today’s media landscape.
Where to even begin? Perhaps with “right-size,” which means “downsize,” of course. But the entire memo is a marvel of meaninglessness: “operational efficiencies,” “reengineer the business,” “redundant positions,” “positioning ourselves for transformation,” “restructuring process,” “streamlining decision-making.”
The sentence that is truly stupefying: “A single Time Inc. portfolio will give us more operational flexibility, speed decision-making and spur the development of new cross-brand products and revenue streams to help stabilize and grow our top-line revenues.”
Every journalist there must surely be thinking, “Boy, I can’t wait to have more operational flexibility so I can help stabilize and grow our top-line revenues!”
Time Inc. should be in the business of calling out this kind of nonsense, stocked as it is with Fortune, Money and the mother ship, Time. Sadly, there’s no one left at the business to write an article about it, let alone analyze the broader trend that the largest magazine publisher in the world laying off 6 percent or so of its workers (on the heels of laying off 6 percent a year ago) is a harbinger of doom for media.
I feel terrible for all those journalists who’ve lost jobs today. Let’s hope Time Inc. truly can save itself by “dissolv[ing] the complex matrixed organization” it created in the heyday of publishing and “free[ing] up investment dollars to deploy in growth areas.” Whatever that means.