Journatic sheds staff



UPDATE #2 8-8-12 Crain’s has a story on this. They cite an unnamed source who says 6 full-time people (from an alleged work force of 60) have been laid off.

UPDATE 8-8-12: A Journatic Editorial Director who could not give their name has claimed that all independent contractors have not been let go. It is impossible to substantiate this claim as I assume I would get the same response that Poynter did.  

UPDATE 8-6-12: All independent contractors have been let go as well. An independent contractor was anyone who was not working full-time.

August 5, 2012

Journatic has laid off a number of full-time employees this weekend according to one of the employees let go.**

Exactly how many people have been cut remains uncertain. The reason given was that the workload has decreased significantly and the company is restructuring. It’s unclear if this is due to the Tribune suspension, the end of the GateHouse contract, other clients who have severed ties to the company or all of the above.

The news was delivered by Jeremy Pafford who the former Journatic employee had never met or spoken with previously. His email signature reportedly identifies him as a Production Manager. According to his LinkedIn page, he has been working for Journatic for three months.

After relaying the news, Pafford said that people being let go may be hired back if more clients come on board.

Previously, employees were told that despite the fact that clients were leaving Journatic, everyone’s job was safe.



**The employee declined to give his name before speaking with Journatic human resources.



  1. Anonymous August 6, 2012

    A lot of the “independent contractor” jobs were actually full-time jobs, but those folks were not being granted any benefits nor on the books as employees. Sounds like the IRS caught up to them…

  2. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    Just an FYI to all laid off Journatic staffers: Journatic is disputing ALL unemployment claims. Looks like they either haven’t been paying their required premiums or their premium rate already is through the roof or all of the above. Get your ducks in a row now.

  3. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    Curious to know the validity of the unemployment denial. Any more info on that front?

  4. Anna Tarkov August 8, 2012

    NNVC: Actually Journatic began offering benefits on June 1. It is unclear if they communicated this to everyone who was working full-time though. I am also told that the health benefits were fairly expensive and one employee chose to keep the coverage he was purchasing himself because it was cheaper. So suffice it to say that the benefits weren’t great. As for the IRS, there are no laws that say that employers have to offer independent contractors benefits. If you work for the company, there may be such laws, I’m not certain. But if you work under the designation of an independent contractor, a company is not required to offer you any benefits.

    As for the unemployment denial, I will be looking into this. And updates will be posted here. Thanks for reading!

  5. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    I’ve heard it suggested that Journatic’s hiring practices could be a problem, considering they hire(d) people to work full-time or nearly full-time at a low wage and exercised control over assignments and work hours. Apparently, the government can see this as an attempt by a company to avoid paying employment taxes, among other issues. This article may be of interest.

  6. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    The disputed unemployment claims are bogus. Journatic is banking on the hopes that laid off staffers will not pursue in the lengthy process. They not only stab you in the back, but they also enjoy twisting around the knife. It’s disgusting, and they should be so ashamed of themselves.

  7. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    has let a few staff go for cause in the last few weeks, a print person who imploded then exploded with all the pressure.  Laid off a few more it sounds like recently.

    In Missouri, there was a terrible employee/contractor (he was once an employee but got demoted to a contractor) named Fred or Francis, who was then overbilling his hours.  They are investigating him for fraud.  Happiest day at Journatic was when they ceased contracting with him for services. Guy was such a jerk.

    Health benefits are actually amazing.  Covers a ton of stuff and deductible decent if you aren’t perfectly healthy. here is hoping to journatic lasting long enough to keep them! i thought with anna’s dumb claim on monday they were gone!

  8. Anna Tarkov August 8, 2012

    Butchy boy: What “dumb claim” are you referring to? Also, if you have anything further to add, I would appreciate you doing it in an email to me, not in an anonymous comment. My email is tooter2 (at) gmail (dot) com. In fact, please email me because you seem to have knowledge of this matter and I’d like to ask you some questions. You can stay anonymous, but I need to know who you are.

    UmYeahRight, that goes for you too. If you know something pertinent, please email me instead of posting vague things here. Thanks so much.

  9. Anonymous August 8, 2012


    i am sorry for that. i thought the claim that everybody was let go was dumb only in that it was later corrected.

    i think its in the spirit of my employment that i cease this conversation. i didnt mean to make a mean remark towards you. I am sorry i got involved and i love my job. please accept my apology.

  10. Anna Tarkov August 8, 2012

    I wasn’t seeking an apology, just a clarification. My original report didn’t say that everyone had been let go. Maybe you mean it said that all independent contractors were let go and a Journatic manager contradicted it. Technically, that’s still not an iron-clad confirmation, but I posed it because I’m posting pretty much all info as it comes in.

    If you work for Journatic and you love your job, I would think the company may like to have you speak with me actually. I haven’t yet spoken with an employee who loved their work so it would be interesting to get that perspective. Perhaps you could secure permission from your boss to talk to me.

  11. Anonymous August 8, 2012

    Ongoing litigations.

  12. Anonymous August 8, 2012


    My professional obligations prohibit me from talking about Germatic (oops) or the Tribune.

    But my professional standards require I interject. Take this as a message from a friend.

    You seem to be putting yourself out there as the place to publish rumors from the disgruntled former staff of a company obviously in a transitional phase. Read the news – its clients are suspending it (I should know). That can’t be good for sales.

    Do you have any editorial integrity at all?

    Why would anybody who likes the automatic germs actually talk to you? Instead, you promise voice to anyone, truth or not, apparently.

    I just hope you know being a journalist is a lot more than ‘creating a beat’ by posting the most outrageous unsubstantiated claims you can garner by invitation.

    “I posed it because I’m posting pretty much all info as it comes in.”

    Presumably, you mean “posted”; please add another update. I further expect you to remove this comment. Why? Because it calls out bad journalism from the self-anointed-guardian of community news.

    There are standards, Anna. Please respect them. Check your facts and be wary of being seen as the place to do harm. Readers don’t respect it and neither do those of us who know you.

    Major pubs have large legal budgets to handle non-malicious errors. Seems like the hope amongst the mediagentsia is that the target here may not be around long enough to point fingers.

  13. Anna Tarkov August 9, 2012

    A friend would email me, not post a public comment. Also you allude to knowing me, but don’t post under your real name? What am I supposed to think of that?

    You ask me to check my facts. If there is anything I have reported here or elsewhere that you know to be false, please let me know. I have no desire to spread misinformation.

    I don’t put myself out there as anything other than a journalist trying to report a story. And despite what you say, I am more than happy to talk to people on all sides, so to speak. If Journatic management was willing to talk to me about this transition, strategy, etc., I would be more than happy to listen with an open mind.

    I’m not sure what your last statement means. It sounds vaguely like a threat. Is that how I should understand it?

  14. Anonymous August 9, 2012

    UmYeahRight, please email us at germmmatic AT yahoo DOT com. We’ve like to know your experience in the matter.

    The (Recently) Disposed Six.

  15. Anonymous August 10, 2012

    Let me guess: No writers or no one from page design team in Manila were laid off. SMH. To the Disposed Six: Make sure you have hard copy documentation for everything since the day you started working at Journatic; you definitely will need it.

  16. Anonymous August 10, 2012

    Um Yeah Right:

    What do you mean? Documentation of what exactly? Emails? Paperwork? Not sure what exactly that means.

  17. anyone-else August 10, 2012

    UmYeahRight is correct on both accounts. They are challenging all the unemployment claims and hoping to get away with it (I know of at least three personally), and those laid off better have their paperwork ducks in a row, because Journatic will be making up stories about how they were dismissed “for cause”. Keep all the emails and reports saying you were doing a good job, any proof of them screwing you out of money from your final paycheck, etc. One vicious company.

  18. Anonymous August 11, 2012

    Maybe all the laid off Journatic staffers should pool all their resources, including paperwork, attorneys and get all this settled in one fell swoop. All the state labor departments will be busy bees, and with all the free time that Journatic has now, they can spend their days in hearing rooms with mediators.

  19. Anonymous August 20, 2012

    Get personal recommendations from all your publication contacts. Those come in handy when you need them.

  20. aliger August 21, 2012

    I will visit the site in order to make a blog like yours

  21. Anonymous September 5, 2012

    It’s a very good news that employees told that everyone’s job was safe. I’m very glad for you.

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