The Free Press is owned by Gannett Co., which is undergoing major staff cuts, and the News is owned by MediaNews, which has a few problems of its own. The two newspapers operate under a joint agreement.
From the Journal:
The Free Press and News would be the first dailies in a major metropolitan market to curtail home delivery and drastically scale back the print edition. More newspapers are contemplating similar moves as the erosion of advertising and rising costs of print and delivery have brought publishers to their knees. In October, the Christian Science Monitor said it will stop printing a daily newspaper in April and move instead to an online version with a weekly print product.
The changes are likely to result in significant job cuts. Gannett, which owns 85 daily newspapers, recently said it was eliminating 2,000 positions as part of a 10% staff reduction. Two of its papers, USA Today and the Free Press, were not part of those reductions. Because the Detroit papers will continue to publish daily electronic versions, the cuts are expected to come mostly, if not entirely, from outside the newsroom, according to sources.