Gannett Laying Off 600 Staffers; 1,000 Posts Being Eliminated
Thursday, August 14, 2008; 3:07 PM
In the latest round of newspaper job cuts, Gannett ( NYSE: GCI) is laying off 600 employees and eliminating 1,000 positions, writes former Gannett editor Jim Hopkins on his Gannett Blog (via Romenesko). According to a memo attributed toDaily Times'Publisher Rick Jensen that one of Hopkins' readers sent him, the 1,000 staff positions will be taken from Gannett's Community Publishing division, amounting to 3 percent of its workforce. The division has 84 papers and does not include Gannett flagshipUSA Today. A Gannett rep told paidContent that the memo had gone out across the division on Wednesday, saying that all papers need to rein in costs.
One affected paper: The Louisville Courier-Journal, which reported that 15 employees will be let go, while an unspecified number of unfilled posts will remain vacant. The paper also reported on the 1,000 jobs being eliminated. Gannett'sHonolulu Advertiser terminated54 staffers last month following the company's Q2 earnings report, which noted that income from continuing operations declined 19.7 percent. Last November,USATsaid it would slash 45 newsroom posts through a mix of buyouts and layoffs.
WSJ: "A Gannett spokeswoman said the company notified publishers in the newspaper group that they had to reach a specific target to get costs in line with revenues. Through those discussions, Gannett determined it would need to lay off about 600 people. Layoff notices will be completed by the end of the month."
The market likes the move, as shares are up over 7 percent.