Dec 6 2011
04:11 pm

We are told that Michael Silence was one of the 33 Knoxville News Sentinel staff let go in the latest round of layoffs.

This is sad news for the Tennessee blogging community. Michael was an early pioneer who helped the News Sentinel establish their online brand and launch dozens of KNS blogs, including the first for any newspaper in Tennessee as far as I know. He also encouraged and helped promote bloggers locally and across the state for years. He is also a hell of a nice guy. Thanks and good luck to Michael.

bizgrrl's picture

Yes, it is sad news. Michael

Yes, it is sad news. Michael will be missed. Hope he pops up somewhere else.

kag's picture

I hope that some smart

I hope that some smart company will just scoop Michael Silence right up. He's a wonderful person and a terrific journalist. What a loss for the News Sentinel and for our community :-(

tennesseevaluesauthority's picture

No Silence Here anymore

This is terribly sad and shocking news. Mike has always been an active cheerleader for me and my writing. When I was out of work, he even invited me to guest blog on his blog (pro bono) which helped draw valuable attention to my writing.

I have known of many people he has reached out to help over the years and he has been a tireless advocate on behalf of journalists adopting digital tools.

I hope to do whatever I can to repay the favor to help him in searching for his next adventure.

Joe P.'s picture

layoffs for Christmas

is a lousy way to treat employees.

and let me add my enormous thanks to Michael too, for being a constant supporter of my blog and many, many more, and for providing a very prominent, wide-read forum for so many writers and readers. back in the spring of this year alone, his one reference to a post i had made brought in thousands of readers from all over America for days and days.

may smarter bosses be in your immediate future, Michael!

reform4's picture

My latest FB tirade regarding good employees.

Some jerk I know was smugly commenting how lazy Gen-Y'ers were. This was my response:

I think the comment was made in relation to what I've observed the younger generation seeing- that there is no connection between hard work and success at their job, or being valued by their company, that their future is out of their control. Two particular cases of people I know:

(1) Guy works at manufacturing plant, starts in shipping, and eventually is the only guy to master the production planning software for the plant, making him essential- so essential in fact, that he's not allowed to take vacation, only sick leave. But he's OK, the plant has a production bonus program, and his team hits the production goals every quarter, netting a nice ($300-$500) bonus every quarter. Two years ago, plant gets bought by another company. "None of our other plants have a production bonus", so they kill theirs. Then, his new manager, wanting to put his stamp on the plant, starts getting rid of everyone the previous manager hired, but can't get rid of this guy since he's the only guy who can do planning. Gets him to cross-train his replacement. Tries to get him to leave by saying not only he can't take vacation, he can't take sick leave anymore. One day he calls and tells them he has the flu, and is throwing up repeatedly. Manager's response: "you have to come in, we'll give you a trash can." Ends up in the ER with dehydration. Finally, the manager lays him off, once his replacement was trained.

Now, if you were that kid, would you say "hard work and loyalty to your company pays off"?

Case (2) is simpler- a young fast food worker who is clearly more effective than his peers, one of the few smart enough to run the register, and always shows up to work and even takes other people's shifts when they fail to show up. Establishment has seasonal decline, so the manager that doesn't like him lets him go (the other manager is kind of incensed, knowing this person is one of the most reliable employees).

That's just two cases in the last few weeks, but I see it among dozens of Gen Y'ers. I don't blame that generation for being lazy, I think I would be too if I saw this kind of sh**t day in and day out. Very few employers value hard-working employees.

djuggler's picture

Michael was my last link to

Michael was my last link to Knoxnews. Now I do not have much reason to go there. I'm very surprised he was on the cut list.

EricLykins's picture

On a lighter note, TN moves

knoxrebel's picture

Does anyone have Michael's

Does anyone have Michael's contact info? If so, could you be so kind to send it my way in a private message? We may have something he might be interestred in considering.


R. Neal's picture

Michael Silence asked the KNS

Michael Silence asked the KNS to post the following message on his blog:

No Silence Here: A programming note

As you may know, I got laid off yesterday along with 32 others. That sucks, but it is the reality of our business. I will miss my colleagues, a great bunch of people who I got to hang around with for 29 years and 11 months.

This blog, started in August 2004, has been a blast, and thanks for constantly opening my eyes to new perspectives. I'm told it will cease to exist. It has been the most rewarding aspect of my time here. I've been honored to sit on the front porch of the 21st Century.

As I've said for many years of those who have left the online world, "They'll be back. They always come back."

Stay well my friends, and no worries

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