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Former colleagues gathered at the Laughing Man last night for an unofficial "We Survived"-themed party where journos offered their tales from the crypt after they got booted from the newsroom, accepted a buyout or jumped ship because of the economic downturn.
Spy Talk columnist Jeff Stein said it wasn't all bad when he was laid off at Congressional Quarterly after it was purchased by The Economist: “I took the opportunity to flee the coop, as it were, and took off to France to take a trip I'd long yearned to do -- to the D-Day invasion beaches in Normandy. Fortunately, I had some money in the bank and other income that allowed me to be kind of relaxed while I pursued my next step. So I did a little freelancing, played a lot of golf, went to hockey games, threw some dinner parties to catch up with old friends and bided my time. Finally, the opportunity I'd hoped for solidified at The Washington Post where I've been happily ensconced since last March,” he told Niteside.
The Reliable Source’s Annie Groer took the buyout at The Washington Post. Groer is now a columnist with Politics Daily and is creating opportunities elsewhere. She’s gone around the world and recently tracked her ancestors, an endeavor she was inspired to pursue by "The Unfinished Film," a documentary about the Warsaw Ghetto.
Mike Walter, a popular morning host at WUSA TV, had this to say about leaving the channel: “For me, the writing on the wall was the day after the election ... as euphoria gripped the country with the election of a new President I was gripped with something else. The reason? The day before the election every commercial break was about three minutes in duration. Political ads for this candidate or that or this party or that. In other words, the spigot had been turned off. My contract was ending in February, and I figured just by the looks of things my six years as a five day a week anchor at the station would be coming to an end. For me, the timing was good. I took my severance package and created my own company. A year after I left WUSA, I had garnered eight awards on the film festival circuit, including awards at Sundance and Cannes. So all in all as they say when one closes another one opens. In my case, I just had to create the door,” he told Niteside.
Jodi Schneider, director of recruiting and training at CQ, dabbled in helping others find jobs before landing at American Banker by creating a site called DCWorks.info that posts tips on a daily basis for those that are still looking.