On November 11 for the past two years, Al Gore's Current TV has laid off a bunch of staffers. In 2008, 32 people were axed; 80 more were dismissed in 2009. With 11/11 upon us tomorrow, employees are getting nervous.
We received a couple of email tips wondering if layoffs might hit again this year, and if so how bad they'll be. If the trend is any guide, the cuts will keep getting worse. Current's latest strategy shift augurs deeper cuts as well, at some future point if not tomorrow. Under the guidance of former MTV executive Mark Rosenthal, who took over from Current's CEO last year, Current is becoming much more like a traditional network, which buys content from other companies, and less like the freewheeling, user-generated channel Gore initially envisioned. In June, the Hollywood Reporter said the new model "should be evident on air first quarter of 2011" and that "early word is Current will be nowhere near its former staff size. Rather, it will be restructured less like one massive news bureau and more like a traditional cable channel, with formal departments for development and acquisition."
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