I had my Christmas do last night and it made me feel sad.
As I looked around at the gathering of drunks, reprobates, egomaniacs, addicts, whores and subs that make up my wonderful newsroom, I realised that numbers had thinned from last year considerably.
We had lost almost a third of our newsroom in 2009 and it only really registered when we pooled our cash for our Crimble bash and it came to almost half of 2008.
This year has been hard, real hard. We lost our picture editor, deputy chief sub, reporters, trainees, subs, web monkeys, sports and ents writers. Some went easy and, I have to admit, some were dead wood, others went hard and were treated despicably.
The papers were constricted, in both pagination and editorial space, morale was at an all time low and it was the best we could do was to cling on by our fingertips to bring out papers that weren't total shit.
In terms of how we fared versus our opposition, I don't think we cut fatally hard in either circulation or staffing level. But severe cuts were made and in order to capitalise on this next year we need desperately to reinvest in both areas as quickly as possible.
However, I fear our profit hungry bosses will think differently. Their mantra is margins not manpower, and I truly believe their rapacious nature will mean 2010 is the year of make do and make money and not one of investment and long term growth.
My attitude is one of fight, fight, fight. I think the MD's belief that the internet is the new oil boom is over is to our advantage.
Our company's web growth is tiny in percentage terms to the real money making newspapers. While the net is important it is not, at this time, the cash cow they thought they could rape and pillage.
As the noughties become history I predict a resurgence or at least renewed enthusiasm in print media.
This clearly does not equate to any conceivable cash investment in our departments from our target obsessed wankers who somehow control our lives, however.
But who expects miracles at Christmas?
ps Ok I caught a serious case of Couldn'tbefuckeditis after I came back from holiday. These blogs can be a right pain in the arse.