Asking Why Your Coworkers Got Fired? Well, You're Fired, Too

CQ editor fired for insubordination after questioning layoffs

By Mike Tunison
|  Wednesday, Sep 30, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM EDT
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You're Fired, Too!

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February 3, 2009

For all you hear about the death of traditional media, many major print publications are still profitable, they just aren't profitable enough for their owners and stockholders. So when employees are offered buyout packages or laid off altogether, the answer isn't always as clear as "the company is losing money".

And such is the case at Congressional Quarterly, which has recently come under new ownership but has been profitable in the recent past. After hearing the news that 44 staffers were being let go, senior editor Brian Nutting sent a memo to brass, which he copied to other newsroom employees, inquiring as to why the dismissals were being made.

For his journalistic inquisitiveness, Nutting was fired Monday for, he was told, "insubordination," The Washington Post reported. Even with 27 years on the job, he was not given severance pay, though Nutting said he was offered an opportunity to apologize and keep his job, which he said he declined, Politico reported.

Congressional Quarterly was sold in July to the Economist Group, which publishes The Economist magazine and Roll Call, another newspaper that covers issues pertinent to Capitol Hill. The new ownership indicated that there would be redundancies with them owning both Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly, but Nutting maintains that many of those who were laid off "could not possibly be redundant."

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