Gannett Move Eliminates 44 Jobs at Michigan Newspapers
The Observer & Eccentric Newspapers announced today it will cease publication of five Eccentric print and Web editions as of Sunday, May 31: The Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Troy and Rochester editions of the Eccentric will end publication in print and on the Web with the Sunday, May 31 edition.
In addition, the Southfield edition and O&E’s Mirror Newspaper will become part of a new, multi-community Sunday newspaper, the South Oakland Eccentric, which will serve Royal Oak, Berkley, Clawson, Huntington Woods, Southfield and Pleasant Ridge.
The closure will result in workforce reductions of approximately 44 people in all departments – advertising, editorial, circulation and production.
“These expense reductions are a direct effect of our challenging economy and changing media landscape,” said Susan Rosiek, executive editor of the Observer & Eccentric/Mirror/Hometown Newspapers. “These decisions, as difficult as they are to execute and to accept, position the newspaper for the future — a future that includes multiple platforms of news and advertising.”
The newspaper company will continue to publish the Observer Newspapers in western Wayne County and Farmington/Farmington Hills and the Hometown Weekly Newspapers in Northville, Novi, Milford and South Lyon. The company also provides news and information on the Web at www.hometownlife.com.
Rosiek met Monday with employees and representatives of employee unions – Graphic Communications Conference/International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 13N District Council 3 and the Newspaper Guild of Detroit, Local 34022 to inform them of these decisions.
The Birmingham Eccentric has been published since 1878. The Eccentric was founded and named after a local men’s club – The Eccentric Club. The first edition of the Birmingham Eccentric in 1878 sold for two cents a copy. The award-winning Birmingham Eccentric has had six owners in its 131 year history. The newspaper has been known for its local news and prep sports coverage. Local names and faces in award-winning photo pages were a staple of the newspaper.
The Eccentric “brand” expanded in the late 1960s when a Troy Eccentric was launched in 1968 followed by the West Bloomfield Eccentric and Southfield Eccentric in 1970. A Rochester Eccentric was started in 1972. The Eccentric Newspapers merged with the Observer Newspapers and the two companies began combined publishing operations in March 1974.
The O&E purchased the Mirror from Oak Communications Inc. in 1998. The Mirror will become part of the new South Oakland Eccentric published on Sunday. The new product will offer local and national advertisers a greater reach with consumers in highly desirable south Oakland County communities.
The O&E and Hometown Weeklies are owned by Gannett Co. Inc.