Hey, Pitch readers.
We published a bunch of year-end reflections
this week, with Martin’s column about the Year in Stupidity, my
take on the year in Funk and Gloria, Charles Ferruzza’s recap of
a horrible year in the local restaurant industry. In print, look for Forester
Michael’s cool photos of the year in music.
But that copy went to bed a couple weeks ago, and mostly
I’ve just been thinking about the year ahead. First, we had to get
through an agonizing last week of 08. Here at The Pitch, we’d avoided
much of the bloodletting like that at the Star. We’ve always been lean
— we didn’t have room to mess with stories about how to organize
didn’t have the luxury of wasting beats, and we could never afford
inflated sports writers dragging down our budgets. Also unlike the dailies, our papers have always been free. We know how to make money by giving away
free, high-quality information — and that’s serving us well in Web world.
That’s not to
say we haven’t suffered along with everyone else — except for a
privileged few — in the Bush economy. Honest, hard-working people bankroll The Pitch with their advertisements; in return, we
provide businesses with readers who become customers. But after eight
long years of whatever is the opposite of “compassionate conservatism,”
we’re left with an economy in ruins. And we’ll be honest: It’s torn a
hole in part of The Pitch. Last week, we laid off two of our comrades
in the editorial department. We restructured several other jobs,
cutting hours and, in some cases, benefits. Our bosses announced they
wouldn’t match our 401(k) plans until further notice. We won’t get
raises for the foreseeable future. Top editors and publishers took pay
cuts. This is apparently what we have to do to survive until the economy improves.
It breaks our hearts to lose co-workers, but it hasn’t
broken our spirit. Dozens of people still work at The Pitch as always, either full-time, part-time or freelance — and we’re pissed.
And we’ll drink at local bars. Eat at local restaurants. Watch local theater. Buy
local art. Pay cover charges to see local music. Because we’re just
like everyone else in this town, and these are the things that keep us
strong. — C.J. Janovy