With this latest and deepest round of layoffs, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution will have cut the population of its newsroom by more than half since 2006.
The newspaper announced today that 30% of its editorial staff will be dismissed through a combination of voluntary buyouts and layoffs. Another 107 full- and part-time jobs will be eliminated because of a reduction in circulation. The move will trim the size of the news group to about 230, from a high of 500 people just three years ago. Distribution to seven outlying counties will be severed, reducing the AJC‘s reach to 20 metro Atlanta counties.
This is the third round of layoffs at the AJC, which can’t be accused of dribbling away staff. In December, it eliminated 56 full-time and 100 part-time jobs in its circulation unit. Last July, it cut 189 jobs – including 85 in the newsroom – while also spending $30 million on new printing presses. In that move, the paper also discontinued all its regional editions, including the Gwinnett County regional, where its main printing press was located.
The new cutbacks will target people making the most money. Most of the reductions “will be in production and management, allowing us to keep as many news reporters as possible,” AJC Editor Julia Wallace said.
And this isn’t the end. “Today’s announcements are the first in a series of initiatives we’ll announce over the next 90 days to reduce costs,” said Publisher Doug Franklin, who added that the goal is to regain profitability by 2010.
Remaining editorial staff will be reshuffled to plow more resources into the profitable Sunday edition. The strategy hints at possible cuts in frequency, which has been a popular cost-saving move for an increasing number of papers in the last few months.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009 at 1:01 pm and is filed under Business News, BusinessModel, Circulation, Layoffs, NewMedia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.