Ex- Post Staffers Discuss Life After the Fish Wrapper
This week's New Times cover story details the human cost of the massive layoffs that have hit South Florida's three major daily papers in the past couple of years. According to estimates by New Times media critic Bob Norman, roughly 1,000 jobs have been lost at the Palm Beach Post, Sun-Sentinel, and Miami Herald.
One of the most dramatic cuts happened at the Palm Beach Post in August 2008, when about 300 people -- including roughly 130 from the newsroom -- accepted buyout packages to leave the paper. More layoffs followed this September. The Post's newsroom staff is now half the size it was in early 2008. And many people with 20 or 30 years in the news business are living off unemployment checks.
This August, ex-Post staffers held their first reunion. Ken Steinhoff, former telecommunications manager at the paper, caught some of the best moments on this video.
You'll hear ex-reporter Ron Hayes call the Post "The Home Page of Purgatory" and admit that life after the fish wrapper hasn't been easy. "Some days, I'm retired; some days, I'm unemployed," he says.
Greg Brown, former copyeditor, page designer, and business news editor, says he's been making a lot of peanut butter sandwiches. "After putting in 500 resumes, I'm still looking for a job."
And finally, Eliot Kleinberg, a longtime crime reporter who's still working at the Post, explains how brutal it felt to watch more than a hundred close friends and colleagues disappear from the newsroom.
"I have these nightmares that I come in one morning and I'm the only one left at the Palm Beach Post," he says.