Friday, August 15, 2008

Gannett cutting 1,000 jobs

Posted by Craig on 8/15/2008
Some sad news was announced yesterday by my former employer. Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper publisher, is cutting 1,000 jobs across its U.S. Community Publishing Division. I worked for the company from Oct. 2006 to April 2008.

The details for the cuts are sketchy, but I did some poking around the Web and it looks like The Tennessean in Nashville and Cincinnati Enquirer will be the hardest hit, each eliminating 50 positions. Here's some of the other losses I was able to find online today:

-Tucson Citizen, Ariz.: 30 jobs
-Des Moines Register, Iowa: 26 jobs
-Indianapolis Star, Ind.: 23 jobs
-Louisville Courier-Journal, Ky.: 15 jobs
-St. Cloud Times, Minn.: 12 jobs
-Democrat and Chronicle, N.Y.: 11 jobs
-Mansfield/Bucyrus/Marion papers, Ohio: 9 jobs
-Appleton Post-Crescent, Wisc.: 8 jobs
-Green Bay Press-Gazette, Wisc.: 8 jobs
-Tallahassee Democrat, Fla.: 8 jobs
-Newark Advocate, Ohio: 6 jobs
-Chillicothe Gazette, Ohio: 3 jobs
-Muncie Star Press, Ind: 2 jobs
-Pensacola News Journal, Fla.: 2 jobs

Apparently, the Detroit Free-Press and USA Today will be unaffected. No word yet on other newspapers at this time, as far as I can find. If a lot more numbers come out later, I may update this post or post a new entry with that information.

This news follows up the Atlanta Journal-Constitution cutting nearly 200 jobs and the Wall Street Journal eliminating 50 positions last month. Besides Gannett, the Tribune Company, McClatchy, and Cox are among the major media players that have also been suffering lately.

What does it all mean? It seems to me that it mostly has to do with pleasing the shareholders, which is sad. That's one of the problems with big business overseeing a bundle of local-oriented publications. And newspapers across the nation are feeling the effects, as are journalists across the country. Ultimately, the news will end up suffering and that's a very scary part about all of this.

The cuts in one sense aren't a surprise though. The 2008 State of the News Media report on Newspapers put it this way: "As for cuts, the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008 are shaping up as a time of you-ain't-seen-nothin'-yet." The report continues, "As one executive, ordered by headquarters to plan a fresh round of newsroom cuts for 2008 told us, 'I'm past bleeding - we're into amputation now."

Things may continue to get worse before they get better. It'll be interesting to keep an eye on this.

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