01/08/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tina Brown Slams "Feckless Bureaucrats" Ruining Media Companies

The great media companies are laying off employees by the truckload. They ought to start with the feckless bureaucrats who are running the place.

The carnage in media jobs accelerated last week with hundreds getting whacked at CBS, NBC, Time Inc., and my own esteemed publisher Doubleday. One of the runners-up in the Person of the Year award by the industry website was The Laid-Off Journalist. We're in the middle of a volcanic realignment that's overdue; but as Big Media fights for its life, are the right people leaving?

As great newspapers, magazines, TV networks, and publishing houses dismember themselves around us, it would be marginally consoling if the pink slips were going to those who contributed so vigorously to their companies' accelerating demise--the feckless zombies at the head of corporate bureaucracies who cared only about the next quarter's numbers, never troubled to understand the DNA of the companies they took over, and installed swarms of "Business Affairs" drones to oversee and torment the people "under" them. There are floors of these creatures in any behemoth media company, buzzing about each day thwarting new ideas or, worse, having "transformative" ideas of their own when what is usually required is to revive, with a bit of steadfast conviction, the originating creative purpose of the enterprise. It's the same with the auto companies.

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