Scholastic Corporation today reported a $13 million loss in the last quarter of fiscal 2008, and a 15 percent increase in earnings for the whole year. It was a Harry Potter year, of course, and the release makes clear that excluding Harry, times are tough and will continue to be.
The sentence that jumped out at me in CEO Richard Robinson's statement, quoted in the release, was this: "In fiscal 2009 we also have plans to reduce costs by $25 to $35 million, through reductions in headcount and other spending areas."
Of course, "headcount" is just a technical accounting term, and has nothing to do with real human beings. That is to say, it's nothing personal. You could say, "nosecount," or "body count," and it would mean the same thing. It has to do with cost. In publishing, the biggest cost has a heartbeat.