MediaFile

Psssttt, Hey you, at Yahoo – You wanna make 25 grand?

Here’s one good thing about being a Yahoo employee: if you quit and join Yammer, a social networking service for businesses, in the next 60 days you’ll pocket a $25,000 signing bonus.

That’s the offer that was tweeted on Thursday by Yammer CEO David Sacks.

“They’ve got a lot of great engineers there,” Sacks said in an interview with Reuters. “The talent has been misused by senior management which has made a lot of bad decisions.”

Of course, when Sacks (whose credits include producing and financing the 2005 film Thank You For Smoking)  isn’t whispering sweet come-ons to Yahoo employees, he’s holding a gun to their heads. Infuriated by Yahoo’s controversial decision to sue Facebook for patent infringement, he vowed a day earlier that he would never hire another Yahoo employee that doesn’t leave the company in the next 60 days.

Sacks later revised his ultimatum, so that the blacklist applies only to Yahoo senior managers and not rank-and-file employees. But he noted on Thursday that people who continue to work at Yahoo do so at their own peril.

“There will be a growing stigma attached to working at Yahoo as long as it continues to pursue this type of patent troll strategy,” Sacks said.

Fired AOL India employee talks

AOL cut more than 900 jobs around the world today — 20 percent of its staff — and  India took a pretty tough cut from the axe: 400 jobs, according to several sources, and 300 contractors, according to another source. The nice thing for Reuters is that we have a big  bureau in Bangalore, not too far from AOL, and plenty of our people know other people there and were able to get important details about the job cuts.

I coordinated some of the coverage from here since I’m hanging out in the bureau, and was happy when I heard that my colleague Nivedita Bhattacharjee got time to talk with one of the employees who was laid off today. Here is some of what he told her. We agreed to his request for anonymity because he wants to get work again and does not want to disqualify himself from jobs because he spoke to the press.

The entire team had a meeting, and they briefed us about how issues will be handled… we work in AOL. It’s something that we are always prepared (for). We were expecting an announcement soon.

Layoffs hit The Washington Post after BusinessWeek, AP

Several media reporters wrote on Twitter on Thursday that this was one of the worst weeks in journalism, and it’s hard to argue with them. BusinessWeek is canning a third of its staff as Bloomberg gets ready to buy the magazine. The Associated Press is laying off 90 people as part of its effort to cut payroll costs by 10 percent this year.

And now The Washington Post is laying off staff, sources told me on Friday, and a spokeswoman confirmed.

The Post has cut an unknown number of washingtonpost.com workers, the website folks who until now have worked separately at the dot-com headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, across the river from the Post’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. One source told me up to 10 are going. That’s not as big a number as other places you’ve read about lately, but it’s still a painful cut. (Disclosure: I worked for The Washington Post Co. from 1998 to 2005)

from Commentaries:

Times tough for info security guards

Cyber attack protest in South KoreaWith all the cyberscare stories about North Korea making headlines these days, the last place you might expect to see job losses is among information security workers.

However, a survey by UK recruiters Barclay Simpson says the number of IT security professionals looking for work has risen 17 percent so far this year, even as the number of new positions has fallen by 57 percent.

"The market has been swollen by candidates whose contracts have come to an end and permanent staff who have been made redundant and are making themselves available for both permanent and contract work," the report finds

Tribune Co papers hit where it hurts, Baltimore Sun slashed

Tribune Co keeps the layoffs coming at its newspapers as the media company moves through the bankruptcy court process.

The Sun: Over in Baltimore, we heard from a source that 21 editors — including most of the metro editing staff and two top editorial editors — were herded into offices and told they had to exit the building immediately. Editor & Publisher confirms this report and says more cuts might be coming as soon as today. Perhaps there’s a strategy in there, but it’s hard to tell what it is when most big-city dailies have abandoned their ambitious overseas reporting goals, saying their real value to the community is their local reporting franchise. UPDATE: Looks like at least 40 more people are getting laid off as we speak, according to two sources I just spoke to at 3pm eastern.

And another UPDATE: A Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild memo says a whopping 27 percent of the Sun’s staff is getting laid off.

Google layoffs don’t stop hiring efforts

Google may be giving pink slips to some 200 hapless souls, but that’s not stopping the company from hiring in certain places.

The search giant has about 360 job openings listed on its Web site, and a spokesman has confirmed that they are indeed open positions. Only about 30 of the US job openings are for work that appears related to sales and marketing – the kinds of jobs that were impacted by Thursday’s layoffs.

The job openings provide a fascinating window into the inner workings of the vast Google empire, which has a need for everything from a software engineer in Krakow to an account manager in Cairo.

Reshuffle at Yahoo, Microsoft shuffles on layoffs

Rumors of a Yahoo management reshuffling, two newspaper publisher bankruptcies and a bit of PR unsavvy on Microsoft’s part do not make for a quiet weekend. Although not exactly high-octane breaking news, the stuff kept happening in dribs and drabs throughout the weekend, leading me to update my Facebook status thus: “Anupreeta would have liked at least 30 percent more weekend.” But so it goes.

On Friday night, All Things Digital’s Kara Swisher reported that a major Yahoo management reorganization was underway, and could come as early as this week. The Wall Street Journal, which shares an owner — News Corp’s Dow Jones — with All Things D, followed with its own story a day later.

Then, Microsoft — a big employer of foreign workers which took some heat last month from politicians for announcing plans to lay off 5,000 people — dug its heels deeper into the mess. It seems the software giant overpaid some laid-off workers because of an accounting error, and now wants the money back. Yikes. Does Microsoft need to do more damage control than this?

Baltimore Sun feels Tribune cost cuts

Suburban bureau reporters at The Sun in Baltimore, Maryland, are about to learn the true meaning of the word “mobile.” The Tribune Co-owned paper is shutting down the last of its three suburban bureaus and bringing their reporters back to the main newsroom in Baltimore proper, sources told MediaFile on Tuesday.

The paper will outfit them with laptops and Blackberries and will send them back into the field to do their job by car or however else they can get to the story. It is part of wider changes going on at Tribune Co, which is in bankruptcy proceedings because of some $13 billion in debt that it has been unable to deal with because of the increasingly grim advertising sales plaguing newspapers.

Tribune’s chief executive, real estate magnate Sam Zell, was unhappy with the amount of empty space that The Sun has in downtown Baltimore, especially when considering all the space that the paper was renting in the suburbs, one of our sources says. The three bureaus that The Sun will shut down are in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties. The Sun’s bureaus in Carroll and Harford counties already closed in the past year. It’s not clear if the two are related, but the three bureaus shutting down now are traditional turf war zones with The Washington Post, which recently said it will begin cooperating with The Sun on some coverage in the counties.

Writing for your life at The New York Times

Who can blame a print reporter for wanting to get up to speed in the new media world, particularly at The New York Times? With ad revenue down and the future in doubt, it might seem worthwhile for reporters to keep themselves marketable. The union that represents the NYT’s reporters approves, but it suspects that some are making too many concessions. Here are excerpts from the memo:

The financial troubles at The New York Times have many Guild members looking over their shoulders wondering when the next round of layoffs may occur…As a result, many of our members are understandably operating in survival mode and scurrying to find a niche.

In this economic climate, the Guild more than ever encourages members to make themselves as valuable as possible. Embrace the web, which undoubtedly holds the key to our future. …

from MacroScope:

So many ways to say goodbye

It takes a delicate touch to make job cuts sound more palatable. As U.S. companies reduce payrolls by the thousands, the press releases seem to be getting more and more creative.

Check out today's announcement from The Reader's Digest Association, which is eliminating 8 percent of its global workforce and suspending matching contributions to employees' 401(k) retirement accounts. Somehow it stings a bit less when you tell employees that it's all part of a "Recession Plan" right?

"We have announced a comprehensive 'Recession Plan', which is our internal roadmap for dealing with the extraordinary effects of this recession on consumer spending," Mary Berner, president and CEO, said in a statement.