Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce Linux Today editor Schroder sacked

Linux Today editor Schroder sacked

The managing editor of Linux Today, a well-known and popular FOSS news aggregation site, has been sent packing along with a number of he co-workers.

Carla Schroder said in a post on LXer, a community Linux news site, which she has rejoined after her termination, that she was laid off in the week beginning March 13. Her post was titled "Dilbert, Office Space and Layoffs."

"Save your sympathy because while it sucks to be given the boot, it's all good. I can't say a whole lot without incurring the wrath of lawyers, so use your imagination to fill in the gaps. You'll probably be close to the truth," she wrote.

Schroder, a feisty and well-liked editor if one goes by regular readers' comments, said that keeping Linux Today and its sister site Linux Planet going - she was managing editor of both since July 2008 - was "an uphill battle, for various reasons".

(Disclosure: a large number of my articles have been submitted to Linux Today and have been posted there.)

"The best part is both sites (Linux Today and Linux Planet) had real communities of both long-time and new readers," wrote Schroder, a passionate FOSS advocate.

"The Linux Today Talkbacks aren't quite as lively as they used to be, and I never had enough time to participate as much as I wanted. But I loved reading them, all full of smarts, wit, peeve, insights, humor, and great rants."

There was no inkling about her departure but regulars noticed that the site was not updated during the week when the sackings took place. Updates only resumed on March 23.

The next one knew about it was when her replacement, Michael Hall, who has filled the role in the past, posted to the Linux Today website, informing readers about Schroder's termination and linking to her post at LXer.

"Personally, all I can say is that I consider her a good friend, and that I'm sorry she wasn't given a chance to say goodbye here, among the community she's been part of for years," Hall wrote.

Hall's post has raised some doubts about the future of the site. "Besides being concerned about Carla, readers want to know what's going to happen to Linux Today. Right now, I can't say much more than we're still going," he wrote

"We have someone working on the site, and we're trying to figure out how to best use the resources we've got to keep Linux Today running. We don't have any plans to shut the site down, and we're having a lot of internal conversations about the ways we can dust ourselves off and move ahead."

Asked about Schroder's sudden axing, neither Hall nor Daniel Muse, the editor-in-chief of internet.com, were forthcoming. Asked who was the person authorised to speak on behalf of the company - there is no contact address on the website - Hall responded: "I'm the best source for anything on Linux Today at the moment. At this point, I really don't have much to say beyond what I've written. In terms of Carla, specifically, it's the same: I've written as much as I can say."

He referred me to Muse, who responded: "I definitely respect why you need to ask, and I'm sure you understand why I can't comment on this."

Readers who commented on Hall's post made mention of the large number of Microsoft advertisements that have appeared on the website recently. Whether this was an irritant that led to Schroder's exit is open to speculation.

According to Hall, Linux Today is owned by QuinStreet, which took it over along a number of other sites in the internet.com network in late 2009. internet.com used to be part of Web Media Brands.

On February 2 this year, QuinStreet reported a net profit of $US6.2 million for the fiscal second quarter which ended on December 31, 2010. Revenue for the period was $US97.6 million, an increase of 27 per cent compared to the corresponding period of the previous financial year.



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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.