WOULD YOU LIKE A CIGARETTE WITH YOUR BLINDFOLD? (flickr photo by beatingtheinvincible18)

The economy sucks and everybody has to take a week off without pay.

I’ve paraphrased, but that’s how Fort Worth Star-Telegram Publisher Gary Wortel began a March 22, 2010 inner office memo to staff.

Here’s the actual wording: “Although we’re seeing improvement in several advertising categories, the economic climate remains unstable and revenues continue to be negative year-over-year. Unfortunately, revenues have not grown enough to offset our expenses. Regrettably this necessitates further cost-saving strategies.”


Flash forward almost three years. Wortel sent another memo to staff this week. To paraphrase it — the economy is better but everybody still has to take a week off without pay — and others will be laid off completely.

Here’s the actual wording: “While we are seeing local economic conditions improve, some of our business sectors continue to grow at a slower than anticipated rate. This challenge means we must look at additional cost-cutting measures, including a reduction in our workforce.”

Happy New Year, indeed.