GOOD’s editorial team, minus our far-flung editor Nona Willis Aronowitz and our education editor Liz Dwyer, moments after finding out many of us would be fired in the morning
“What is best in life?” This is our colleague Cord Jefferson’s refrain. This brilliant little rhetorical question has a way of stopping everyone in the moment—usually a drunken moment, always a really great moment—to make sure we all recognize and remember it.
So what is, in fact, best in life? We’ve uttered that phrase so many times in the past year. When we take an infographic from concept to reporting to design. When we’re drinking beers and brainstorming in the Thursday edit meeting. When we hear that our coverage of a new startup helped it succeed. When we work late to get an important story out the door. When we collaborate with people we respect to produce work we really love. GOOD’s editorial team (nine full-time staffers, along with an impressive cast of freelancers) has had countless opportunities to echo Cord’s refrain.
Six of us were fired on Friday. After that, two additional editorial staffers opted to take severance packages. Although layoffs have become depressingly common in this cash-poor industry, our story is different. As our former boss, CEO Ben Goldhirsh, wrote in a company-wide email on Monday, “We’re profitable through the first half of the year, and this is probably one of the first times in the company’s history where layoffs were made not because of financial pressure, but for strategic reasons.” The company’s founders hope to reestablish the brand as a “community platform.” We wish them the best of luck.
We won’t lie, though. Getting fired sucks. We’re scared because none of us has much in the way of savings. (On a related note, we’re worried about our health. Burritos and Tecate are cheap. Coconut kale smoothies are not.) We’re slowly accepting the fact that several of us are probably going to have to leave Los Angeles, a city we love, because there aren’t many other journalism jobs here.
But mostly, we’re disappointed that this editorial team won’t get to continue working together. We loved making a daily web magazine and a quarterly print magazine with and for GOOD’s community of readers and writers and designers and illustrators. We think we were pretty good at it. And we know we didn’t get a chance to realize the full potential of our collaboration. We were just getting started!
So we’d like to make at least one more magazine together. Not an issue of GOOD—something different. We’re calling it Tomorrow. It’s going to be about what’s next, what’s on the cusp. We want to get out of our comfort zone and push others to do the same. We want to meet and introduce you to great people. We’ll have more details soon, so check back here later this week.
For now, we want to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who’s emailed and called and tweeted at us with kind words. Extra thanks to people who have hooked us up with professional connections or freelance work, and those who have left bottles of scotch on our front porches or taken us out to dinner. Even though the past week has been tough, there have been countless moments that have made us stop and ask, “What is best in life?” And for that we’re extremely grateful.