BusinessWeek Layoffs Make Fools of OptimistsS

The long-expected BusinessWeek layoffs came down yesterday, with 130 staffers let go—a full third of its employees. Is it fair to call that a "surprise?"

When Bloomberg bought BW last month, expectations were grim—one preliminary report said that Bloomberg was planning to lay off the entire staff. Insiders told us at the time that was "nuts," (which it was), and made vague sounds about not being able to tell how many layoffs would be necessary.

Which was at least mildly hopeful! But the signs were pretty clear: BW's editor left immediately, Bloomberg started canning the magazine's celebrity columnists, and began the early stages of the layoffs on Monday. An internal memo at the time promised "a meeting (in person or by telephone) to learn next steps." Staffers got that yesterday. And 130 of them are gone, including many high-level writers, editors, and some of the mag's most visible columnists:

Most of the columnists were let go, including Inside Wall Street writer Gene Marcial, Media Centric columnist Jon Fine, tech columnist Steve Wildstrom, the longtime Business Outlook columnist Jim Cooper and tech writer Steve Baker, a 23-year veteran.

When you work for the media these days and your first instinct is that the future is dark, you're probably right.
[More on BW layoffs here]