Jun 30, 2009

Massive layoffs coming to Gannett

As reported on the Gannett Blog last week, Gannett Company plans to institute massive layoffs at its newspapers, and now comes word that an official announcement will drop in the next few days.

The Wall Street Journal reports that between 1,000 and 2,000 people will lose their jobs. The company's flagship paper, USA Today, will be spared.

Gannett has created a pile of pink slips in recent years. Between 2007 and 2008, the company eliminated 10,000 jobs.

From the New York Times:
Gannett, the publisher of USA Today and 84 other U.S. papers, saw newspaper advertising revenue fall 34.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with the period a year earlier. Analysts say second-quarter numbers will be similarly weak. The company has taken some drastic steps to lower expenses, including cutting home delivery of The Detroit Free Press from daily to three days a week, and stopping print publication of The Tucson Citizen.
(h/t Romenesko)


Anonymous said...

It is always sport to poke fun at Singleton or Zell and other owners/leaders, but, this is getting even uglier.

The carnage in this industry is among the worst of all time. Take a look at the stock prices at Lee, Gannett, Mcclatchy etc. Unreal.

The real problem is that other industries like banking have a chance to ride this out and have a business. I am afraid newspapers do not have the same luxury.

There is not a business model out there that working and until the current one morphs, the bad revenue numbers, layoffs, and despair will keep coming.

The sad part in all of this is the people working in the industry are on pins and needles and have been for a decade. The readers, or, what is left of readers get a weaker product, and the spiral seems to point to more of the same.

Bad news for a democracy.

Gina T. said...

I have faith that the industry is going to survive. I'm just not sure that some of us are going to survive professionally with it.

Journalism will morph and advertising will find its footing.

What I mourn is the loss of so much talent. So many incredible writers at Gannett, at the LA Times, even at MediaNews are no longer employed.

To me, the void feels huge. When the dust settles, will we ever get them back where they belong, as our storytellers?

Anonymous said...

I don't think so because reading takes time and people don't want to spend their time reading. Good writers will be read by fewer and fewer.

As far as advertising, don't hold your breath for it to come back anytime soon. It won't be there in any great numbers in newspapers.

Chrystal K. said...

Wow, this really sucks, especially for someone trying to get into the field of journalism…not to mention the 1,000 people or more that are losing their jobs. :(