While some of us were passed out and puked up on New Years Eve, at least we were wasted. That's something. Pity the employees of the Cincinnati Post, a 126-year-old paper that kicked the bucket on December 31st. Not only were they fired for the New Year but they couldn't even get shitcanned on their last day. The subject of a memo from editor Mike Phillips to the newsroom was Last Day; bleak and shitty are two words that describe the memos content: "[T]empting as it may be . . . please do not bring any alcoholic beverages into the newsroom. Let's go out like the professionals we have been these last, difficult weeks." Um, you mean miserable, worried, sad and full of dread without even the hope of a slug of whisky to dull the pain? Yes, I do believe he does. But it wasn't all bad news for staffers. They each got six copies of the final edition! Full memo after jump.
To: Colleagues From: Mike Subject: Last day
Here's what I know about how things are going to work on December 31, our last day:
There will be a normal production schedule and normal deadlines for the Metro and Kentucky editions on December 31. Final button-push on Kentucky will be at 9:25 a.m.
Since we will not publish a January 1 edition, there will be no night shift on December 31. Department heads will schedule night staffers for a dayside shift, allowing, of course, nine hours between shifts.
The newsroom will be closed to all except current members of The Post staff until at least 9:30 a,m. on Monday December 31. We don't need a lot of tourists hanging around will we are trying to finish the last editions.
I have declined all requests by other media for access to the newsroom in the days leading up to December 31. I have not decided whether we should permit media in the newsroom as we push the button on the last edition. I would welcome your thoughts on that.
John Vissman will arrange for food, beverages and treats for all as we get the last editions out, clean out our desks and say good-bye. But . . . tempting as it may be . . . please do not bring any alcoholic beverages into the newsroom. Let's go out like the professionals we have been these last, difficult weeks.
We have arranged for plenty of extra papers to be delivered to the newsroom that day. There should be enough for a total of six copies per person.
Once we have closed the Kentucky edition, Dave Hites and John Vissman will begin processing your paperwork: We will collect keys and door cards. We will collect any company-owned equipment, cell phones, camera equipment, lap tops etc. and provide a receipt for the equipment. You will need to turn in your final expense reports. Those who still have credit cards will need to turn them in and reconcile the statements we will download for USBank. We will accept your signed separation agreements.
There will be no access to the newsroom after December 31. You will need to take all personal effects with you when you leave on that day. Anything left after you leave will go into the dumpster on January 2.
Your Post e-mail account will not be available after December 31.
I am trying to arrange for you to have access to The Post story archive for at least six months in 2008 to help you prepare resumes and provide writing samples to potential employers. Please stay tuned for details on that.
If you are not normally scheduled for work on Monday, December 31, or will not be in the newsroom for some other reason, please contact your department head about your keys, expense account, credit card, company property, etc.
Dave Hites, Bob White and I will remain on the premises in January and will be available to answer questions or deal with problems at least through the end of the month. Use these numbers to contact us during normal working hours [Ed. Note: I deleted the phone numbers.]
This final reminder. If you intend to sign your "Separation Agreement and General Release," do not sign it before December 31. If you are not normally scheduled to work on Monday, December 31, you may sign it on or after that date and send it or deliver it to Dave Hites. Please do that as soon as you can so we can make certain that your medical and other benefits are in order. Although we intend to be in this office every working day until at least January 11, if you can deliver it in person, please call Dave or me in advance to make certain we are here.