Late last month, the New York Times Co. sold off the 16 small and medium-sized papers in its Regional Newspaper Group to Florida-based Halifax Media, for $143 million. Halifax's first order of business: screwing employees (more so).

If you are an employee of a small regional newspaper whose corporate parent has just sold you off, you are already screwed to a certain extent, existentially. But Mediawire points out that Halifax is now demanding that current employees of all the papers sign new employment agreements that, among other things, say that if they leave the company for any reason, they cannot work in any media business in any city in which Halifax operates for two years after they leave. So the price of just keeping your low-paid job as a lowly employee at a lowly newspaper is to agree to not work in your career field of choice for two entire years—after your current employer fires you! Hey, you can always pack up and leave your hometown if you want. Good luck out there.

The Halifax era sounds like it will go well.