The newsroom is shrinking at GoMN.
On Tuesday, several staffers at the Twin Cities news/entertainment website learned they had been laid off.
"We are realigning our online news offering and unfortunately this affects some of our great talent," says Sam Elliot Gagliardi, president/COO of Go Media. "We have a very positive view of the future of our businesses and are committed to building and growing our Go brands in the marketplace."
Three Go brands -- GoMN plus radio stations Go 96.3 (alt-rock, Twins games) and Go 95.3 (modern hip-hop) -- fall under the umbrella of Go Media, which is owned by Minneapolis-based Pohlad Companies, Inc.
Gagliardi did not respond to multiple emails asking how many jobs were lost, but Joe Nelson, who was among the cuts, estimates that number to be around 12. A major staff reduction for a company with fewer than 60 employees, he points out.
"I honestly don't know much about why some of us were let go," says Nelson, who acted as GoMN's sports director until Tuesday. "I imagine this has something to do with GoMN tightening its focus in a very competitive digital market. It's too bad, but like I told the people who informed me I was being fired ... they have the toughest job in the world in those moments they have to tell their peers/friends that they're not part of the long game."
GoMN's current online editorial roster is just four members deep.
Poor radio ratings could be contributing to Go's woes. Go 96.3 (KQGO-FM) ranks 20th among local stations, according to the latest numbers from Nielsen Audio. Then again, it's seemingly rough out there for everyone: St. Paul-based American Public Media eliminated 11 newsroom positions in 2015; iHeartMedia, whose stations dominate locally, is hemorrhaging money. News and entertainment websites have suffered in recent years, too. Since 2012, this market has lost the Onion's A.V. Club Twin Cities, the Star Tribune's Vita.mn, and Metro Magazine.
As for Nelson, who already updated his Twitter handle to @JoeFreeAgent, he's taking the long view.
"As you know, in this business, if you survive your entire career without being part of a budgeting bloodbath, you're probably immortal."