Globe Democrat: We’re Doing Fine, But Laying Off People Anyway

We got an anonymous tip last night that succinctly read:

Globe Democrat laid off all employees because it ran out of money.

Hmm. Well the site is still up, and according to the St. Louis Beacon, the Globe Democrat has laid off three reporters and is “refocusing” on only certain sections of news. Namely sports and local politics.

The Beacon reported:

Dan Rositano, who resurrected the Globe-Democrat name and began publishing the news website on Dec. 8, said news reporters Brian Flinchpaugh, Steve Birmingham and Lisa Watson lost their jobs on Monday.

“These are extremely talented, wonderful people,” Rositano said. “I feel personally very blessed to know them. This is just a philosophical change in the way we run our media.

But we had to fire them because it turns out starting a “newspaper” when traditional media is at its lower point ever, turned out to not be a great idea. Lets be clear, just because the Globe-Democrat is a website doesn’t make it new media because from all accounts it is still run like an “old media” newspaper. I think they might actually even hand out those dusty old fedoras with a “press” card tucked in the band and we’re fairly certain someone that works there is named Bugsy.

“What we’re doing is taking a look at some of the strengths we have, some of the weaknesses and we’re reorganizing to move toward what the strengths will be.”

In addition to focusing on sports and political news, Rositano said the would be looking at its design and possibly changing the syndicated material it carries as well.

Look this is all fine but we think its pretty clear the actual truth falls in between the story the Globe Democrat fed the Beacon and our tipster. The ancient adage “When there’s smoke, there’s fire.” seems to apply here. You don’t “refocus” if everything is going great. You just don’t. When we’re out being awesome and banging 14 super-models, we don’t stop in the middle of the orgy and kick out 10 of them so we can “refocus” on the other 4. “Refocusing” is what someone would do if they were in a big fat girl orgy…something isn’t working…you 7 leave. Take your nachos with you.

According to Compete, got around 60k+ unique visitors in March, which isn’t horrible but quite a bit lower than other non-Post Dispatch news sources in the area, like the Riverfront Times. Below we have a graph over six months, from October to March of this year (Note that the Globe Democrat didn’t go live until December).

Look at the Globe Democrat site, you don’t see what you would think is any high-yeild ads on there and their comment to the Beacon about “possibly changing the syndicated material it carries” is telling. The STATS partnership is probably eating a small site like alive with either extremely high costs for their AP news articles or taking up valuable ad space with their own self-purchased ads.

To us this doesn’t seem at all like a “re-focusing” but more like a strip-down cost cutting measure to stay afloat, which only makes it harder to keep the lights on.

Good luck Globe Democrat. You let us know if you want to talk about you rebranding to become Punching Kitty’s Sports Section.

Oh one last thing. Maybe update that “staff” page when you get a chance.