I don’t remember what seemed longer; the walk to the general manager’s office or the one to the parking lot.
It’s been three years since I made those walks but some of my former co-workers and friends had to make them today.
The New York Times officially gets out of the television broadcast business at midnight Sunday. But before the last full business day was complete on Friday, the ax fell again and again in Memphis and Huntsville.
In Huntsville, a chyron operator/internet producer who’d been with the company for 20+ years, along with a news manager, a veteran director and a production editor-photographer were all shown the door. All good guys and good friends. I spoke to the news manager around noon today about something else and I guess he probably heard an hour or so later.
In Memphis, a senior news manager, a director and a sales person all left the station for the last time. Again, good friends and former co-workers.
My good friend in Huntsville was close to retirement with the Times. Want to know what kind of guy he is? Most of us, upon hearing we’re being let go, would be angry. Him? He asked the general manager if it would be all right if he could go back and finish helping another person with a project they were trying to finish.
This kind of thing happens all the time. Phil Wilson was reminiscing about his walk of 5 years ago just today on his blog.
For Phil it was the worst day of his life. For me…not so bad. And I hope it won’t be too bad for the folks making that long walk Friday afternoon. I do know if one other person had said to me that “whenever God closes a door He opens a window” I would have threatened to push them out of one.
But it’s been a tough day for a lot of good folks.