We're open to other ideas if you have them
This past week, infinity crystal-seeking newspaper chain Gannett, which owns Alive, announced company-wide furloughs in an attempt to navigate financial losses tied to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In turn, this particular publication will be largely reduced to a one-person operation half of the time for the next three months, with each of the two total staffers required to take a week away in April, May and June. This is a staggering blow in a resource-rich industry known primarily for its stability and security, but we’ll muddle our way through somehow. Here are eight ways we could potentially navigate our way to sunnier July days.
1. Temporarily become a community message board, a la Reddit
We don’t have to worry about content if you’re generating it for us! So bring on the photographs of deserted Short North streets, recap threads of Gov. Mike DeWine’s daily coronavirus pressers and commenters who insist on calling us *the* Alive like we’re some hoity-toity local university.
2. Pivot to video
There have been half-baked attempts at posting video to the Alive Facebook page in the past (maybe you remember the epic footage of associate editor Joel Oliphint unpacking a “mystery” box mailed to our office?), but perhaps this is the time to jump in with both feet. Now stand by as I upload the footage of me playing Sneaky Snacky Squirrels with one daughter while trying to navigate a bottle into the mouth of the other with my free hand. (Quick aside: How much are the rest of you enjoying this current work-from-home situation?)
3. Fill space like a TV network by embracing reruns
We’ve told a number of groundbreaking stories in recent years, including being among the first publications to profile Columbus’ homegrown Nazi, or our deep dive into the multiple women who accused Actual Brewing founder Fred Lee of sexual assault. Then, of course, there are the years the publication spent researching which establishment offered the coldest beer in the city. (This was before my time, but I’ve been assured that the entire staff was dispatched to bars across Columbus with company-issued thermometers in hand.) Maybe it’s time to begin rotating some of these heavy hitters back onto our homepage.
4. Pivot back from video
What even was that? What the hell were we thinking?
5. LiveJournal the hell out of these next three months
Stick with me as I unpack all of my insecurities and anxieties in long, winding diatribes that include liberal mentions of Larry Bird, being colorblind, breaking my arm doing the Moonwalk and that one time at age 14 when my racist neighbor stopped me as I played basketball in my driveway to tell me I was the wrong color to wear my Penny Hardaway jersey.
6. Give you 25 percent less of that Alive #content we know you crave
As if we’d even consider this option.