Gannett cutting 3 percent of newspaper jobs

Dateline: Wed 13 Aug 2008

This just in from Jim Hopkins at Gannett blog:

http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/

"A Gannett publisher in Maryland told employees late this afternoon that GCI is eliminating 1,000 newspaper jobs, or about 3% of the newspaper division's workforce -- and that about 600 employees are being laid off, a Gannett Blog reader says."

"The reader provided a copy of a memo that Daily Times Publisher Rick Jensen appears to have e-mailed employees at the Salisbury, Md., paper at about 4 p.m. today. 'Across Gannett's Community Publishing division, about 1,000 positions will be eliminated -- about 3% of the workforce. Of the 1,000 positions, about 600 employees will be laid off,' the memo says."

Says Hopkins: "The reader provided a copy of a memo that Daily Times Publisher Rick Jensen appears to have e-mailed employees at the Salisbury, Md., paper at about 4 p.m. today. 'Across Gannett's Community Publishing division, about 1,000 positions will be eliminated -- about 3% of the workforce. Of the 1,000 positions, about 600 employees will be laid off,' the memo says."

More from Gannettblog: "I've asked chief Gannett flak Tara Connell for comment. I've e-mailed Jensen, and Daily Times Executive Editor Greg Bassett as well. Moments ago, Bassett e-mailed this reply, saying only: 'Jim Hopkins is in my in box? All the way from Europe? I must be big time! Cheers!'"

More from Hopkins: "The copy of the memo provided to me does not say whether every newspaper would reduce employment by 3% -- or whether the rates might instead vary by business within what's now called the U.S. Community Publishing division. The memo also doesn't give a timetable for these division-wide cuts.

"Several GCI papers have already made recent job cuts, but at a higher rate: 5%. The division has 84 dailies. It does not include USA Today, suggesting that any further reductions at Gannett's flagship would be on top of the 1,000 jobs eliminated. U.S. Community Publishing employs the lion's share of Gannett's 46,100 employees.

"Jensen apparently mentioned the broad cuts in an e-mail meant to tell his own employees that some of them would be losing their jobs as soon as next week, the e-mail provided to me says.

"We're being faced with another difficult round of position reductions because of the continuing decline in economic conditions,'' the e-mail says. "Gannett has set payroll expense reduction targets for us and all other newspapers in the U.S. Community Publishing division, necessitating the reduction in positions. The targets were set based on our financial performance and previous reductions."

Sez Gannetblog: "The e-mail continues: 'Our position reduction plan is now at Corporate for review. We expect to receive final approval by Monday, and affected employees will be notified by next Thursday.'

Gannettblog is asking for confirmation and details. Says Hopkins: "can anyone else confirm" these cuts? If you have received notice from Star publisher Michael Kane, please speak up -- here or at

http://gannettblog.blogspot.com/

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