Two Midwest Dailies Cut Staff

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch will elminate 31 jobs, mostly out of operations and marketing. No newsroom positions will be cut. The publisher said the P-D is performing pretty well, considering, but that the housing slump had hurt ad revenues. The story didn’t say how many people the paper employs.

The Duluth News Tribune plans to cut between 15 and 30 workers, or anywhere from 6% to 13% of its workforce. The company said the cuts were prompted by an ad revenue slide of more than 10%.

A Hostile Takeover in Long Beach?

It’s still too early to add the Long Beach Press-Telegram to the RIP list, but it looks like the paper is headed in that direction. MediaNews Group, which owns both publications, has said that it plans to consolidate the Press-Telegram with the Torrance Daily Breeze. That process is under way, and it looks like the Daily Breeze is running the show. Its publisher and editor will now effectively run the Long Beach paper, and the “consolidation” is mainly a matter of cutting jobs in Long Beach and requiring people to apply for the same jobs in Torrance. The Press-Telegram now has just 10 reporters covering 19 communities. Did we mention that the Press-Telegram is a unionized paper and the Breeze isn’t?

Black Humor at the Merc

It’s difficult to figure out from this AP story just how many SJ Mercury employees were cut, but we think it was 50. In any case, 20 of them were newsroom employees who got laid off or took buyouts. Employees marked the occasion by dressing in black and gathering for a noon ceremony. This is the fourth round of cuts at the Merc since 2006. HR experts will tell you that cutting by dribs and drabs is not the way to reduce staff. Better to do one deep, painful layoff and get it over with.

Washington Post Goes Buyout Route

Following the paths taken recently by the New York Times and Bay Area Newspaper Group, the Washington Post Co. offered buyouts to employees who are 50 or over and have at least five years of service. Publisher Katharine Weymouth didn’t say how many jobs were to be cut and the buyouts weren’t offered to everybody. She noted that she couldn’t rule out layoffs. The Post story says that more more than 100 of the 785 newsroom employees meet the new criteria.

Feeling the Chill Downeast

The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram will eliminate 27 jobs – requiring 15 layoffs -and cut the size of its news hole. No reporters will be laid off, although some editorial jobs will be cut. The publisher cited a continuing gloomy business climate. The Time Record in nearby Brunswick laid off 10 employees last month.

The state of Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development is investigating layoffs of 10 people at the Times Record in Brunswick. Apparently the new owner financed the purchase of the paper in part with tax-free bonds from the Department, which put the state in the difficult position of financing local layoffs to support an out-of-state publisher.

Also…

The New Haven Register hasn’t announced anything, but you can’t tell a journalist not to share a good story. The paper’s Capitol reporter, Greg Hladky, told someone at the Courant that he was one of five people let go in “cuts” (not necessarily layoffs). The NH Register editor couldn’t be reached for comment and that’s all she wrote.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 7:50 am and is filed under Layoffs, NewMedia, Newspapers. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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