Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Turner Broadcasting Fires 10% of Its Staff

The mantra of do more with less seems to be part of many companies.  It applies mainly to labor.  Call it what you want, downsizing, layoffs, buyouts, job cuts, it ultimately means that workers are fired from their job without cause.  Rather than retrain its workers for new positions, the senior management believes that the costs of these workers outweigh the benefits they may have brought to the organization.  It is not unique to Turner; rather, it is typical.

Still in Turner's case, dollars that may be possibly saved by cuts in work force are going to other pockets.  Its not like the CEO or Presidents of the various divisions are being asked to slim down as well.  Will they be feeling economic hardship like a reduction in salary perhaps.  Could a 10% reduction in their salaries save a couple hundred of those job cuts?  Possibly.  Will Time Warner parent CEO Jeffrey Bewkes or CNN President Jeff Zucker reduce their paycheck?  Doubtful.  And while employee lives are being changed, Turner has negotiated, along with ESPN, to pay a good deal more for an extension of their NBA deal through 2025 and the right to continue to carry its content. Its hard for consumers to pay to watch that content if they are being fired from their jobs.

Ultimately, Turner will start hiring again at some point to replace the positions they lost.  Likely, those new hires will be younger and cheaper; good for them as they start their careers, but not for the older employees who lost theirs.   Turner, like other employers, will lose out on the experience and effectiveness that the senior employees had provided.  And that is a shame.  Unfortunately it is what corporations do. 

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