The Work Experience

Letting people go: quick versus slow. Lessons from the Media Industry

When Eddie McGuire was forced to axe 100 staff from Channel Nine – barely a few months into his new role as CEO – he decided to give it to them straight.Unfortunately, his HR department had other plans.Instead of letting him sit down and talk with each unlucky worker, they made him read a scripted statement to them. He was also advised not to answer their questions. … “It was a disaster . . . the worst thing I did,” McGuire confessed to his Triple M listeners last week. “These HR people come in, they have their set plays – and they never work.”

Letting people go is an unfortunately reality of work life. But how to do it? Clean break? Slow release? This article about the Australian media industry provides some examples of sackings and reactions by audiences and colleagues. Needless to say common decency and truth is encouraged over cold HR strategies.

Read all the gory details at

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