News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

U.S. Newspaper Layoffs in January; Numbers Down, But Trouble Signs Ahead

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Newspapers in the United States reported layoffs and job cuts of 500 people throughout the month of January, News Cycle finds. It’s only one-fifth of the 2,252 layoffs reported in January 2009.

The largest cut came as The Los Angeles Times announced on Jan. 8 that it would shut down its printing operations in Orange County, leaving 80 people out of work.

On the same day, the Booth Newspaper group announced that it will lay off workers at the Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle and Grand Rapids Press in Michigan, but did not report the number of people to be let go. The website Paper Cuts reported 19 job losses from the Chronicle, 65 from the Press, and at least 70 from the Gazette. Paper Cuts also reported that advertising production will be outsourced to a Pennsylvania company. An outbound call center for the three newspapers will be consolidated in Kalamazoo, and copy editing, design and printing for the three papers will be consolidated in Grand Rapids.

Despite the lower layoff numbers to start this year, local TV, radio, newspapers, and national magazines likely will sustain further revenue declines (albeit at decelerating rates), according to Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Editor and Publisher.com writes:

S&P notes that while the last part of 2009 should “bring easier year-over-year financial comparisons … the credit outlook is still grim for these issuers, and we think that even the first quarter of 2010 could still see lower revenues and earnings.”

Online media keeps grabbing advertising share from traditional media. Search related advertising will keep growing while total online ad spend will be likely flat to down. Mobile and online video advertising is anticipated to “sprout vigorously,” according to S&P.

Meanwhile, last week MAGNA released its 2010 ad forecast and concluded that Q1 of this year will represent the last quarter of decline for the U.S. advertising economy this recession. MAGNA revised its advertising outlook for 2010 to flat (down 0.1%) from a decline of 1.3%.

This year, advertising spending direct online is anticipated to grow 12.2%, while local online is forecast to increase 3.7%. National newspapers (excluding online advertising) are expected to loose 11.2% in ad revenue in 2010. Ad spending at local newspapers (also excluding online revenue) should drop 10.7%.

Here are the layoffs in the U.S. newspaper industry, as recored by News Cycle:

Jan. 31: Santa Maria (Calif.) Times, five people.
Jan. 29: Pocono Business Journal, will end its monthly publication with the February issue. Three people will be let go.
Jan. 29: Jackson (Miss.) Sun, 11 people.
Jan. 22: Greenwood Lake and West Milford News in upstate New York, ceases publication; seven people.
Jan. 21: Longview (Texas) News-Journal, 11 people.
Jan. 20: Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald, seven people.
Jan. 20:The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., nine people.
Jan. 19: Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, 16 people.
Jan. 19: Charlotte Observer, 25 people.
Jan. 14: The State of Columbia, S.C., 12 people. The paper let go more than a dozen workers in June 2008 and 38 workers in March 2009.
Jan. 14:The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif., two people.
Jan. 13: The Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, 28 people. Seventeen more unfilled positions were eliminated as well.
Jan. 13:The South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, 10 people.
Jan. 12: The Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, 25 people.
Jan. 12: –The Sunday News of Lancaster, Pa., six people.
Jan. 11: The News & Observer of Raliegh, N.C., 21 people.
Jan. 9: Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, two people, including the executive editor. An additional position of news director was eliminated.
Jan. 8: The Los Angeles Times will shut down its printing operations in Orange County, 80 people.
Jan. 8:The Booth Newspaper group says it will lay off workers at the Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle and Grand Rapids Press in Michigan, but did not report the number of people to be let go. But Paper Cuts reports 19 job losses from the Chronicle, 65 from the Press, and at least 70 from the Gazette. Paper Cuts reports that advertising production will be outsourced to a Pennsylvania company, and tht 100 will be let go from the Gazette. An outbound call center for the three newspapers will be consolidated in Kalamazoo, and copy editing, design and printing for the three papers will be consolidated in Grand Rapids.
Jan. 7: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 27 editorial people, mostly on the copy desk.
Jan. 6: The Flint (Mich.) Journal, six people.
Jan. 6: The Telegraph of Hudson, N.H., three people, according to Paper Cuts.

Here is a month-by-month breakdown of the 15,114 job losses in the newspaper industry in 2009:

December — 752 people.
November — 293 people.
October — 375 people.
September — 347 people.
August — 425 people.
July — 2,505 people.
June — 318 people.
May — 1,084 people.
April — 1,350 people.
March — 3,943 people.
February — 1,492 people.
January — 2,256 people.

Here are the totals for 2010:

January — 451 people.
February — 93 people.

For a map that locates these layoffs and others, see Paper Cuts, a website by Erica Smith, who has been tracking newspaper layoffs since 2007.

All of News Cycle’s monthly reports are categorized under Monthly Layoff Report.

A number of readers have asked by the discrepancy between our numbers and that of Paper Cuts. I counted in 2009’s figures a large Gannett layoff that was announced in December last year, but was not effective until January. In addition, I have not counted the Honolulu figure of 600 as of yet.

Email me to report any job cuts in the newspaper industry..

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Written by newscycle

February 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

One Response

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  1. That always happen. They do that to balance the system for payroll. Colorado newspapers did that several times and had in-house agreements to protect the employers. They did popular steps to secure the inner economy of two companies merging as one, one example is by putting salary accounts into outsourcing payroll services to pave way and save man power capability. Surprisingly, they became more successful than their previous months.

    Belle

    August 13, 2010 at 9:58 am


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