Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Grim Reaper visits AOL Freelance Bloggers


Yes, that would include me. It's been a fun four-year run on TV Squad, but it's all over now. Today all MOST* of the freelancers were dismissed. I was asked to submit a resume for a full-time writing job with the Arianna Huffington led new AOL incarnation.

But I just can't do that. I have a full-time job already -- one which is stable with a retirement pension I can actually collect anytime I leave now, good benefits and, most of all ... did I mention it's stable? I know from working with AOL for years that there is no job security with them, none at all. The majority of my friends at AOL outside of the freelancers have all been laid off.

So, you see why I can't just jump on the bandwagon for a full-time position which might even pay well, but may not last. Nor can I juggle both jobs, especially when Arianna has this vision of all of the writers and editors reporting 9-5 daily in one of three huge newsrooms. I'm close enough to the NYC headquarters for commuting, but I don't want to! Plus, how can TV reviewers be working those hours and amongst others? Perhaps they'll can all of the show reviews and just go with silly videos; I don't know.

What I do know is that I'll land on my feet in the long run. I'm not going to venture into the fickle.

What does this mean for my blog readers here? It's probably going to get even better! I'm shopping around for a paying home for my Big Brother live feeds reports. Whether that happens or not, I'll still be posting them right here on this very blog starting in July! Plus, I'm planning on posting more television content here once again and getting a Facebook Fan Page set up for the blog. Having the AOL gig made me lazy here. That is going to stop!

I'd like to give my thanks to both Sandy Deane and Kelly Woo (TV Editors at AOL), both of whom were my champions getting me aboard at TV Squad. As far as I know, one is still employed by AOL; the other moved on just prior to their recent layoffs. They're two great women who have always been supportive of my work and I can only hope they both do well in the their current and future endeavors.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to my fellow TV Squad freelancers. I know some make the bulk of their income from the site and it's going to be rough. I'm just grateful I was older and more settled when I came aboard in 2007. I knew not to quit a sure thing for something which might not last. While I'll miss the income, it's my day job which keeps the roof over my head (as well as catering to a cat named Vincent). Hang in there, guys!

If, for some odd reason, an editor at a paying site (I won't write for the Huffington Post for free) is reading this, my contact information is in my sidebar. Not only have I been a writer at TV Squad for four years, but I've written for Blogcritics, too. I was also the TV Editor at Blogcritics prior to going to TV Squad. I come with a following of fantastic folks and I'm willing to write about any television show I enjoy. If I don't like a show, it's only good for one scathing post. I'm great with deadlines and dependable. I speel well and have gots good grammar, too! (Kidding!)

As for you folks, my regular readers ... get ready. This plane is about to take off once again. Stay tuned!

Here are some links regarding this for your reading pleasure and (dis)pleasure:
Oh, well. Thanks AGAIN for all the fish, AOL. This should be the last time, I guess. We have to stop doing this.

Don't forget to stop back for the Survivor: Redemption Island blog party tonight!

* I've been informed that a few remain.

24 comments:

Laurie said...

We know you will land on your feet, in fact, you already have! I do believe this will lead to better stuff for you (and Vincent). You have a style that entertains your readers whether the show was good or not. It's a gift and we readers appreciate it. Hang in there, friend!

Nickelpeed said...

I'm sad for you Jackie, but w hen one door closes another opens. You are such a great writer. I love reading your blogs.

Penny

Delee said...

Glad you still have your day job! HAHA I guess too many sit around and only blog all day while they wait for their govt check to come to work for free!

Never a HuffPo fan and never will be! Glad I have little contact with AOL...

Hope a great gig falls in your lap!!!

Jennasmom said...

Jackie,

So sorry for you and all your freelance friends. But you'll find something even better, I just know!

And I'm waiting for your BB updates! I don't get much online time during the school year, but you & BB are my summer routine since season one! Hope we get some good "characters" this summer!

(((HUGS)))

Isabelle said...

As I mentioned on your Facebook page, I'm sorry to see you go Jackie. I got confirmation about 2 hours ago that I'm one of the very few freelancers who have not be laid off today. I read almost every single review you wrote and enjoyed them all. I especially liked your BB live feeds posts, which I also read on your own blog. For sure, count me in in one of your readers who'll follow you to read your reviews/reports/recaps wherever you post them. Good luck!

meb said...

Jackie, I'll be there wherever you are and I certainly will be here for BB. You've been the mainstay for the group and we wouldn't know what to do without you.. so stay strong... with your talent, something else is going to come along, bigger and better. Got you in my prayers girlfriend!

Jackie said...

Isabelle - You might be the ONLY one, perhaps they need an outpost in Canada! I know Jason became an "editor" with them a bit ago, so he might still be there. As far as I know, everyone else got the email.

Margo said...

I am confidant you will find a new home for your paid writing. Any site should be excited that you are now free to write for others.

Margo

Becky said...

Jackie said...What I do know is that I'll land on my feet in the long run. I'm not going to venture into the fickle.

And you will. Jackie, you are a superb writer, but as Nickelspeed said, when one door closes another opens.

Your coverage of various shows is excellent. And giving us a place to meet for our favorite shows is great. I have met a lot of wonderful people -- and you -- because of the your blog.

Keep up the good news and let us know when you are hired to write for someone else.

See you tonight. Oh, and you are also a smart lady for not giving up your day job.

Becky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joanie said...

Bye Bye TV Squad bookmark!

TerryinCA said...

One thing I know after all these years is TALENT wins out in the end....editors and policies come and go....I know you (and Vincent) will not only survive but thrive...oh yes conquering is good too....
Love always Terry in CA now PA

PDX Granny said...

Aw, Jackie. As much of a bummer as it is for you, and all the others to be losing the AOL gig, it's good to know you won't be going far. Knowing you, it won't be long before you're walking thru one of those other doors that will be opening for you.

Hmmm. I wonder what's behind Door #2?

joy n said...

Jackie, I'm sure you will land on your feet and end up with a better job. Tv Squad has made so many changes and not all for the better IMHO. This is a really dumb one.

As long as we are not losing you, your words and your humor, I'm happy. Wednesdays, Sundays and those summer days of BB are something I really look forward to.

AOL's loss.

Dorv said...

Jackie: your mention of Rainman made me smile :)

Jackie said...

Ah, RAINMAN built forums, only visible behind the walled garden in AOL's days of youth. For many years it was AOL's proprietary programming.

Brent McKee said...

Although I read TV Squad daily or close to daily, it seems to have changed of late and not for the better. This is just the latest change in the site's decline. Given what I know of Arianna's business practices at Huffington Post, I think you're right not to depend on it as a full time gig, although I also know that if you're anything like me you'd love to turn the writing into a full time gig if the circumstances were right. I just don't think that this situation is what you (or I) would be looking for.

Jackie said...

Brent - You hit the nail on the head. Seeing all the layoffs over the years, noting they laid off editors and hired new editors in the same time span ... it's too much of a risk. I'd love to be able to leave my day job to write. But AOL is about the riskiest employer there is out there.

j.hues said...

I survived the mass layoffs as well, but am shocked by some of the departures. As some have commented here, Jackie, no one covers reality shows quite like you do. When I picked up 'Survivor' from Kelly, I looked back to your articles on the show and can only hope I can reach your level of entertainment, knowledge, insight and analysis. I'll be sure and follow you wherever you go, even if I can't quite take that much 'Big Brother' :D

RBennie said...

I'm so sorry that you lost the AOL gig Jackie. You were right to stick with the sure thing. I truly do believe that when one door closes, another one opens. I'm sure a better opportunity will come your way.

Janice said...

Jackie, have no fear all your true followers will go wherever you go!! I found you here and I'll be here as long as you post! Oh and Facebook too!!
We all know you do the best at covering our favorite shows! I found you thru Big Brother but like to read all your blogs!!
Hang in there,
Janice

Sally said...

I've never read much on TV Squad other than your recaps, so I guess there'll be no need to go there at all now.

It would be great if you could find a paying home for your Big Brother live feed reports. Those things are solid gold for fans of the show. Your ability to watch, summarize and report so quickly, while maintaining a full-time job, is really amazing. And your sense of humor and appreciation for the absurd adds so much to your summaries.

By the way, when I saw the "Grim Reaper" headline, for a second I was afraid it was referring to one of the medical situations in your Sunday blog. Hope everyone mentioned there is doing well.

Rochelle said...

I am looking forward to seeing how this little glitch reveals itself to be a springboard for you Jackie. I'll be there, wherever you go!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with whatever the future brings you.
I have been following you since the beginning and can
vouch at how great you are!!!!