I’ve been in broadcasting for 25 years now. I’ve even been through layoffs before. But I’ve never experienced anything like yesterday. As many of you already know, TechTV fired 130 people on Friday – 25% of our work force. A great many companies have had to cut back in the past few months, and millions of folks have lost their jobs, but having it happen so close to home was a brutal shock and totally devastating.
I was stuck in airports all day yesterday, trying to get back from Raleigh NC to the Bay Area. I spent much of that time on the cell phone getting updates as some of my closest friends were getting fired. I felt so helpless.
I guess part of the reason these layoffs hurt so much is that TechTV is much more than a job for most of us. Rightly or wrongly, it has become a second family. Like any family it’s frustrating at times. And painful. And intensely rewarding. But what a bitter blow it must have been to be so suddenly thrown out. Monday morning is going to be so tough for those 130 people. People who, for the most part, looked forward to coming to work, who believed in TechTV’s mission, and who gave their all to make it happen.
I don’t know the names of all the people who were fired. I’m slowly learning who made it and who didn’t. And each name added to the latter list is like a blow to the stomach. I know these layoffs were necessary for the channel to survive until better times. I know it must have been incredibly hard for management to do this. I also know that the people who are gone will go on to do great things – they’re all wildly talented and bright. But it still hurts like hell.
There’s a thread on the message boards devoted to the layoffs: TechTV Shakedown. I hope you all will use it to share your feelings and offer support to the good people who were let go.
There are still over 400 people who work at TechTV. We’ll pull it together and continue to bust our butts to give you a channel we can all be proud of. But for a while at least, we’re grieving the loss of 130 of our friends. Thanks for all your hard work and dedication, guys. I can’t wait to work with you again. And I know we will some day.