Forbes drops the layoff axe for the third time

Will there be anyone left to count the billionaires?

Hopping on October's layoff train, Forbes began its third round of massive cuts by laying off staff at its sales and marketing departments yesterday morning. The company laid off more staff today in its Atlanta and London bureaus as well as in its design and production departments in New York.

Remaining employees are anticipating a rumored editorial massacre by Wednesday afternoon.

Yesterday's cuts went almost unnoticed by editorial employees since the marketing and sales departments live in the Forbes Magazine building, which is located two streets away from the building in Manhattan. However, talk of the hush-hush layoffs circulated through the Blogosphere by noon, and by late afternoon, Steve Forbes sent an internal memo, acknowledging the cuts, and further pouring salt on trembling employees' wounds by implying that due to the company's inability to sell ads, the winning and innovative method of dealing with the recession is to lay off staff.
In his memo, Forbes says:

"Media is profoundly being transformed. The traditional ways we created and disseminated content and generated advertising revenue must rapidly evolve. Innovation is critical. On the editorial side, we will maintain the essential strengths of Forbes while also deepening our relationships with our community. On the advertising side, we are making shifts to fully meet marketers' evolving needs.

The lower-tier employees are being kept in the dark about what to expect should they get laid off. As I reported back in March, the severance pay for the average worker has equaled three paychecks in addition to two weeks' notice pay. Whether this still will be the case is unclear, as since the last round of layoffs, top-level editors underwent pay cuts; all staffers were required to take a five-day, unpaid furlough; and the company ceased to match contributions to its 401(k) plan.

The total number of expected cuts is still unknown and multiple staff members report that rumors have been flying for weeks of tomorrow's editorial-based layoffs.

Forbes could not be immediately reached for comment.

Disclaimer: I am a former employee.

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