Last week, the entire editorial staff of Out magazine, the most-read gay monthly in the U.S., was laid off. They were told to finish up the week, pack up their desks, walk away with a month's severance, and then wait for a call. Some would be rehired at the magazine, as part of an outsourced operation, but as freelancers -- without benefits and probably with a salary cut.
"Everyone was stunned," said one of the laid-off employees, who would only speak anonymously, since his severance is at stake. It was so sudden, he said, that many of the staffers will have to accept the offer to work at this new company, Grand Editorial, even if they don't want to. A month isn't a whole lot of time to find a new job.