Goodbye, Emmis Interactive

This morning, I arrived at work a little earlier than normal… as we were notified about a company-wide meeting at 8:30 AM. On walking out the elevator, we were greeted at the front door and told there were multiple meetings taking place. I could see a few people inside the office, standing at the end of the corridor looking towards the elevator. But I was told to head towards the office Annex area.

On walking in, I saw a series of chairs circled around our old ping-pong table and pretty much knew what was in store: I was being let go.

Of course, on seeing this – one of the first things I did was to pull out my camera, and take a photo. I’ve documented a large part of my time with Emmis Interactive over the years, and so it only seemed natural to record this moment as well.

In some ways, it was a bit like taking photographs at a funeral. It’s not something that feels very good at the time, but long after the event passes… it’s nice to have something to represent the moment. I put the camera away fairly quickly, soon after this.

As people came in and found a seat, the atmosphere was very quiet and somber – as these moments typically are, I guess. We were joined by Pat Walsh (our corporate EVP), Deb, and Traci Thomson (corporate HR).

We were notified that, later in the morning, a statement would go public announcing the sale of Emmis Interactive to Marketron. You can read the official press release here.

As a result of these changes, a small group of EI folks have officially moved over to focus on a Corporate project and the remainder of the employees have been carried on by Marketron. Me, along with the others in the room, were among the group that did not get carried over to Marketron. And as of October 4th, I am no longer an employee of Emmis Interactive.

There is a lot going through my mind as I write this, and the entirety of that last statement is still something I’m processing… as it hasn’t quite fully sunk in yet.

I have been with this company for just shy of ten years. It’s a little sad to me that I didn’t quite make it to October 29th, which would have marked my official 10 year anniversary.

There has been a lot of internal speculation the past few weeks, and some big changes were on the horizon. So this news didn’t come as a complete surprise. Emmis (our parent company and investor) has always been generous to employees whenever layoffs occur, and I feel that our group was treated fairly, and with kindness.

Right now, everything still feels really new, really recent. It’s difficult for me to accurately summarize my thoughts because they’re kind of all over the place. I will miss this company I’ve worked for, for nearly a decade. I will most definitely miss all the fantastic and talented people I’ve had the good fortune of working alongside, all these years.

The culture at Emmis Interactive was a very special thing, and as I came to learn… not something found all that often in workplaces. More than anything else, I’m going to miss the people that made this such an enjoyable place to work, day after day.

Guess What We Got Today?
Lunch Is Served Up
Goodbye, Ping Pong Table… Hello, New Desks
EI Holiday Party 2011: Ski Lodge

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. On the up side… I get to wear my “comfy” pants like, all the time now without a care in the world.

    That is, on the days I choose to wear any pants at all.

    avoision Reply

  2. Oh dear. Tearing up over here. Thanks for the post. I want to throw you a TEN+ YEARS OF AWESOMENESS party on October 29 of this year.

    Allison Reply

  3. Here’s to hoping that you land on your feet and even better things are in store for your future.

    Mellzah Reply

  4. No. It may not be a surprise to you, but it’s a shock to me! How can they let you go, Felix? Don’t they know how awesome you are? Dang. I’m sorry, Felix.

    Well, if you want a little get-away-recovery-time, you’re more than welcome to visit Columbus. (…maybe even find a job here….move back….relocate yours & Liz’s world domination headquarters to Columbus, OH.) Seriously, though. You’re always welcome here.

    Juliet Reply

  5. Sorry to hear that Felix, I am just glad I was able to experience working with all the great people there. Every company needs a Friday challenge.

    Jose Fonseca Reply

  6. you’re gonna find another great job. i cant wait to see what the future holds for you.

    if allison is serious about the 10 year thing, jamie, evie, and i will actually be in on the 29th for a short period. maybe we could attend??

    peabe Reply

    • Dude, Bryan, I’m totally serious about the 29th. I’ll be in touch! Felix, don’t make other plans that day if you can help it. :)

      Allison Reply

      • That’s very kind of you guys. I feel a little weird about “celebrating” at the moment, but maybe that will change after a few weeks have passed.

        Unfortunately, Liz and I are going to be doing a fair amount of travel at the end of October. We’re heading out to SF for a family wedding, and then to NO for a conference (for her).

        avoision Reply

        • Well, I know it’s not a celebratory time whatsoever, but I’ll check in a couple of weeks. Doesn’t have to be tied to the work date at all, just was thinking about a group get-together with a theme of your general awesomeness. We’ll see?

          Allison Reply

  7. So sorry that it all came down this way. My heart is with you, and I am missing you already. I’m so very thankful for our friendship, and I agree with Allison, a TEN+ YEARS OF AWESOMENESS party is in store for you!

    Ben Reply

  8. Dang… sorry to hear Felix!! But you are super-awesome, so I am sure more great experiences are right around the corner… Enjoy those comfy pants (or lack thereof) while you can!! Hugs from Ballmer, hon!

    Chelle Reply

  9. So sorry you were let go. I heard the news through the grapevine. Quite a shock. I’m sure you’ll land on your feet in no time. I’ll keep my ears open for you. You are correct about the EI workplace. It was a lot of fun. I still have a lot of fond memories and even more great friends from my time there.

    Dan Reply

  10. Thanks for the kind words, everyone!

    avoision Reply

  11. You were always a Great help to me. It was a Pleasure working with you and knowing you.
    Wishing you the Best!!!!

    Siraj Reply

  12. Hard to know what to say here, man. We’ve talked a lot in the last couple of months, and I think we over-analyzed just about every possible scenario, but it’s still really tough to see this empty chair sitting behind me. There are no words for all the stuff we’ve accomplished / survived together at the work space, and there will certainly be time for reflections and laughs. For now, just know that the best thing this job gave me are the friendships we forged together. Looking forward to all the future fun. Enjoy the hell out of those comfy pants!

    Chris Reply

  13. I’m sorry, Felix. You guys were a really close family. I’ve never seen or heard of anything like it before or since. Since you have the extra time now, I’d like to offer you a vacation in Venice beach. My art studio has a kitchen and full bath. 6 blocks from the sand. Consider it, OK?

    Kent Reply

  14. Guess I’m seeing this post differently. When I left Emmis I thought I wouldn’t bounce back from depression I felt from leaving this place that felt like home to me. But something amazing happened; I got out of my comfort zone and learned new things, worked at places I hated, worked places I loved, and met all kinds of different folks in the process. Through the years, Emmis has still stayed near and dear to my heart, but the experience of leaving it behind was priceless for my personal growth. I hope the same will happen for you as well. Here’s to the new chapter, Felix! Wishing you the best. :)

    Shannon Reply

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