Journo Job Fair Shines, Pulp In Dark

Below is Michael Koretzky's take on the job fair at the Seminole Hard Rock's Jazziz on Saturday. He notes in it that I didn't show. He is right and I apologized profusely. It was a tough week and all I can say is that I've been at all the previous job fairs and didn't miss this one intentionally.

Koretzky deserves an award for what he does; somebody nominate the guy for a MacArthur. In his short screed below, he mentions three bits of news that are worth noting here:

-- The Palm Beach Post's Morning Brew blog, done by Sonja Isger, has been deep-sixed. Here's her terse final post, put up Friday. In the comments, a reader asked why and Isger wrote: "Too few people are reading the blog in order to justify the time the Post pays me to put into it."

Look, this wasn't Isger's fault -- it was a bad concept, or actually it was no concept at all. This was obvious from the beginning.

-- South Florida CEO Magazine is no more. This isn't new, and it's not particularly tragic as the mag did little but puff pieces on bigwigs, but it's another troubling sign of the recession that should be noted.

-- And he confirmed my weekend post on the City Link layoffs of T.M. Shine, Bob Weinberg, and Jana Bielecki. He wrote that CL editor Jake Cline looked a "little beat up" due to the stress of the situation. Another sign of the recession, of course.

Enough. Here's Koretzky:

Saturday's third annual Short-and-Sweet Media Job Fair was very different than the first two.

The event still attracted 50 South Florida media professionals and 200 college kids from as far away as the University of Florida -- mostly because it was held in the jazz club next door to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, everyone got a free jazz CD, and there were drink specials and free appetizers.

In fact, my annual pitch to the students goes something like this: "If you can't get your ass out of bed on a Saturday afternoon for free food and cheap drinks and a free CD to go to a nightclub next door to a casino, how badly do you want to work in the media?"

So the students were the same. But the media were much different...

** The Palm Beach Post and Miami Herald weren't even there. In the past, they sent reps -- if not to actually hire, at least to make a good impression on the hundreds of college students who may one day work for them. Or better yet, may one day read them.

** I did convince The Post's former morning blogger (more on that in a minute) to show up, largely because I promised her a seat at the bar next to the inimitable (and inebriated) Bob

Norman, where she could confront the Daily Pulp about ripping her blog back in November. Alas, he didn't show, either.

** The day before Isger's appearance, her morning blog was axed. She was part of the panel discussion and bluntly admitted she has no idea what happens now. Isger said she and her paper know the Web is the future, but they're struggling like hell with the present.

** SouthFloridaCEO magazine, which always sent editors in the past, perished only three days before the job fair, leaving a sad and empty table.

** City Link editor Jake Cline confirmed his presence a couple of weeks ago. Then two days before the job fair, he had to lay off two staff writers and a copyeditor. But Cline kept his word and talked to students, although he looked a little beat up. As someone who's been on both sides -- I've been fired and I've done the firing, and both suck -- I can imagine how unfun the afternoon was for Cline.

** Thus, when Herald sports columnist Greg Cote said he'd come to the job fair and didn't, many of us wondered if he got canned. I was happy to pick up my Sunday paper and still see his smiling face, but it sure was a sign of the times. In the past, when someone was late to the job fair, the question was, "Think he got stuck in traffic?" This year, it was, "Think he still works there?"

** The most in-demand media pro was WSVN lead anchor Craig Stevens, who was surrounded by kids for three straight hours. But second was David Game from CBS4. Game isn't an anchor or even a reporter -- he's the station's web guru and renowned in the field of melding TV to the Web. Game is a job fair regular, and every year, his crowds have grown. The first year, I'd escort students to his table, and they'd say, "Who's David Game? And where's The Miami Herald?" This year, the big question was, "Where's David Game?" And no one asked about The Herald.


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