The way Newsweek employees get fired now: Shamelessly and publicly, via mass emails from their boss singing the praises of their incoming replacements while encouraging their co-workers to wish their shit-canned asses "bon chance" on the way out the door.

A tipster forwarded us this email from Newsweek CEO Tom Ascheim announcing the firing of six top managers. It begins:

To note the obvious, we find ourselves in transformational times. This need for renewal is in every article we read about this nation, the global economy and most certainly in the world of journalism. I am extremely proud of the work we have all done to transform the brand, the website, the magazine and even the very space in which we work.

The evolution of all things Newsweek has fundamentally changed the way we express ourselves to the public. It is time now to remake the inside of our organization so that our internal operations are as modern and appropriate for the moment as our public face has become. With this spirit in mind, I announce with mixed emotion a fundamental reorganization of our Finance, Operations, M&D and IT organizations. The mixed part is that in welcoming the new we have to say good-bye to folks that have served Newsweek devotedly. A word now about each.

Ascheim then goes on to sing the praises of Tracia Luh, Jennie Tse Wang and Joe Galarneau, the new people, droning on and on about their work histories and educational backgrounds, and then he gets to the dirty work:

Bringing in new people requires that we say good-bye to some of our most capable veterans: Paul Dworkis, Karen Stark, Len Carella, John Rusak, Valerie Gordon-Wiggan and Colleen Moran, whose last day will be Friday, July 17th. In all cases, these people have served us capably, giving us their sweat, smarts and loyalty. I, along with all of you, owe them our thanks many times over. John and Valerie, our newest additions have done much to bring discipline to our financial processes. Len and Colleen, among many accomplishments, have built us this glorious space that makes me smile every time I walk through the door. Karen, a twenty-five year Newsweek veteran has done some of her best work over the last year as we transitioned to our new beautiful paper stock that makes the magazine literally shimmer. Paul, the hardest working man in the news business has been both a great teacher to me and a stalwart steward of so much of what makes Newsweek run. In order to assure an orderly transition, Paul has graciously agreed to remain available to me to help on the transition for the remainder of the year.

Change is never easy. But without evolution we cannot progress. Please join me in welcoming Tracia, Jennie and Joe. And please also join me in thanking and wishing bon chance to Paul, Karen, Len, John, Valerie and Colleen.


Our tipster informed us that of the six outgoing employees, five were fired outright while one, Paul Dworkis, was given the opportunity to retire. Good luck out there guys.