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Commentary

Fear Fridays

It may be time to store "Thank God It's Friday," or "TGIF," for the winter. With the economy on life support, Friday could become the preferred day for layoffs.
It may be time to store "Thank God It's Friday," or "TGIF," for the winter. With the economy on life support, Friday could become the preferred day for layoffs.Consider today, Friday, Oct. 17: Heavy laid of 12 people; Pandora laid of 20 people; SearchMe laid of 20% of its employees; and Zillow laid off 25% of its workforce (about 35 people).

On Friday, Oct. 10, Seesmic let go of 7 people.

There will be, and have been, layoffs announced on other days of the week. For those keeping score, TechCrunch has a handy layoff tracker.

But Friday has long been the burial ground for bad news, particular from the government. As NPR observed several years ago, "Often, the White House sets the release of bad news and unflattering documents to late Friday afternoon. The Pentagon and other agencies also use the practice, a legacy of earlier administrations."

The phenomenon is known as the "Friday News Dump." The reason, of course, is that reporters, like other working stiffs, aren't keen to hang around the office late on Friday evenings, particularly when sources are likely to be hard to reach.

The 24/7 news cycle and the rise of citizen journalism have made the Friday News Dump somewhat less effective, but not so much so that the bearers of bad news have lost faith in Fridays.

So until the economy starts to shape up, stick with "OMGIF!"