2.22.2009

The Layoff

You never want to hear about someone losing a job. Well, I don’t anyway. Over the past year the number of layoffs across the nation, and among my own friends, has been stomach churning and staggering. And then it happened to us. Because you know, you never think it’s going to happen to you. But when you have two people who work for the same company, well, that is a bit of a risk. And that’s the story with Jim and I.

But let me backtrack a minute. It is highly unusual in the broadcasting industry to stay. anywhere for long. It’s just not the nature of the business. Except for news. And Jim did news. He had been a broadcast news journalist working out of that particular building since 1984. He was there to see teeny tiny Q94 turn into the Country Giant. Jim was there through it all. And there’s always news. So when we heard there would be cutbacks, honestly, I never thought Jim would be involved. Who cuts the news? What a surprise. He, however, predicted it. He said the option would be to offer him part-time hours. Which is just what happened right before Christmas. So I guess it wasn’t a total layoff. Just enough to lose benefits and the ability to pay some bills. Now of course, the fun part is I had that major body surgery, for which we had to pay for on our own. Another bill. And I know we’re not alone. Everybody’s in a financial bind.

So we started to regroup and January 23 rolled around. I had come back to work, I was on the new insurance plan, and in under sixty seconds I was basically told due to budget cuts it was my turn to go. Goodbye. Huh. You know, it made me laugh. How ‘bout that? I never saw that one coming. I’m the female talent. We’re usually the last to go. For me, it was ten years on Magic and five years on the Giant. And yet, I think I’m taking it better than most. My job did not define who I am. I defined my job. And I loved it. However, I am more than a morning radio show. I do feel a very strong connection to the many people I’ve spoken to over the years. Thank God for facebook and myspace because at least we can keep in touch. And soon, very soon, you will be able to find me on www.thejaneellen.com.

Everyone wants to know what Jim and I will do next. Anna Grace turns four in May and Jenna turns three in August. Their welfare is of the utmost importance. If I have to be a receptionist again, I’ll do it. I was a really bad receptionist though.

Will we move away? I hope not. Before I came to Tennessee I moved a lot. I don’t like to pack up my stuff and Jim sure doesn’t. He can barely tolerate my stuff unpacked as it is. Moving is a last resort. But if you’ve followed the news, yes, you can still find news, broadcasting jobs are disappearing.

Those who are old enough to remember AM radio know that it was where it was at. Then along came FM. FM is changing and being challenged by XM/Sirius, iPods, the internet, and basically our on-demand society. Your television has changed with a digital channel and the ability to stop it, back it up, and fast forward through the commercials that pay for the shows you watch.

So what will Jane Ellen do next? Think. Reinvent. Survive. Conquer. Same ol’ same ol’ for your average, determined, type A platinum blonde.