News Cycle

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Archive for the ‘Newspaper Layoffs’ Category

Buffalo News Guild Employees Consider Offer to Buy Out 23

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Guild-represented employees of the Buffalo News are mulling a buyout offer that would have them exit their jobs by the end of this month, as the newspaper best known for being owned by Warren Buffet seeks to reduce head-count by 23, the Newsper Guild Communications Workers of America said on its website yesterday.

The Buffalo Guild negotiated terms of the package over several weeks, improving pension benefits enough that the union hopes will make layoffs unnecessary. Company management said it wants to cut $5.7 million in expenses because of declining profitability.

Employees have until April 26 to seek a buyout, with management looking to cut nine district managers, eight newsroom employees, three in classifieds, two in accounting and one in inside circulation by April 30. Newsroom employees who take the buyout may be offered part-time non-permanent work, and if at least nine district managers take the buyout, the company may offer them an opportunity to return as permanent part-timers.

Guild representatives, noting that the News was not under a contractual obligation to bargain over the buyout terms, said they appreciated the opportunity to negotiate. “While we would prefer if the company was not seeking to cut jobs, I’ve got to give management credit for listening to the Guild’s suggestions on how to structure an attractive package,” said Jim Heaney, who headed up the union team. “This is the most-attractive buyout offer The News has offered in a long time and substantially better than what management originally had in mind. For employees who have been waiting for a better offer, it has arrived.”

Chief among those improvements: Employees with at least five years of experience are eligible to add 10 years of pension credits toward their age and/or years of service. The maximum years of credited service will increase from 30 to 45 years, and employees who already have more than 30 years of service credits will be able to apply those extra years toward their pension calculations. The $40,000 cap on annual benefits remains.

Meanwhile, if the pension buyout offer does not solicit enough interest, the company will offer a second buyout of cash equal to 18 months of base pay and, where applicable, merit pay. That offer would be extended from April 26 to May 10. Seniority will be the determining factor if applicants outnumber openings.

To help members sort out their options, the Guild has retained a financial consulting and retirement planning firm headed by Richard Schroeder, a former Guild president who manages the union’s investments.


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April 6, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Daytona Beach News-Journal to Lay Off 48 People

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The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal’s new owners have announced that they plan to cut 10 percent of the newspaper’s staff, amounting to 48 people, the newspaper’s website reported today.

The 48 employees were offered a severance package, chief executive manager James Hopson said, according to the report. The newspaper had a workforce of 470. Michael Redding will become publisher on Thursday when Halifax Media takes control of he newspaper.

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March 29, 2010 at 2:26 pm

The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa, Cuts Four Jobs

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Courier Communications Publisher David Burton has announced four people will lose their jobs at the circulation call center of The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa. Two open positions will not be filled. Here is his memo:

Today we are announcing the regionalization of our Circulation Call Center. Effective March 31, 2010 subscribers calling The Courier will be handled by a call center at another Lee newspaper in Munster, Indiana. Local calls from subscribers related to stops, starts, vacations and delivery issues will be routed to Munster. Munster has access to our circulation system and will text message shortage drivers in Waterloo with instructions for deliveries.

We are familiar with regionalization since we are one of six finance centers in Lee. With this change comes the pain that 2 full time, 2 open positions, and 2 part time positions in Circulation have been affected by our regionalization.

David Braton
Courier Communications

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March 26, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Posted in Newspaper Layoffs

MaineToday Media Lays Off At Least 17 People

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MaineToday Media Inc. began laying off employees last Thursday, reports WMTV on its website.

The Portland Newspaper Guild has had 17 union members laid off, though not affecting the newsroom or advertising.

The layoffs did affect the distribution, or press room, in South Portland, and other departments in Portland.

The company has had 23 buyouts company-wide. The buyouts did affect news and advertising.

The company consists of the Press Herald, the Kennebec Journal and the Morning Sentinel. Maine Today Media Inc. will have more than 50 fewer positions by April.

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March 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Newspaper Layoffs Drop in February

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Newspapers laid off fewer employees in February, as only 112 new job reductions were reported nationwide.

The caveat to this is that more than 600 employees of the Honolulu Advertiser have received notices of their possible layoff. They will lose their if David Black, owner of the Star-Bulletin, cannot find a buyer by May. If that happens, the two papers will merge and an undetermined number of layoffs will occur.

Here are February’s layoff reports.

Feb. 26: Skagit Valley Herald of Mount Vernon, Wash., nine people, according to Paper Cuts.
Feb. 24: The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., 14 people.
Feb. 24: Paddock Publications will begin printing the Northwest Herald, the Daily Chronicle, the Kane County Chronicle and the Lake County Journal, The MidWeek and other Shaw Suburban Media newspapers at its production facility in Schaumburg, Ill., near Chicago by mid-April, 31 people will be affected.
Feb. 24: Sun Tribune in the Kansas City area, 10 people.
Feb. 22: Whitehorse (Wash.) Community News, at least one person.
Feb. 18: Wilmington (N.C.) Star News, two people, a managing editor and a photo editor.
Feb. 18: Minneapolis Star Tribune, up to five people are being sought for buyouts.
Feb. 16: Naples (Fla.) Daily News, at least seven people.
Feb. 15: Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, two people.
Feb. 11: E.W. Scripps Co. will consolidate copy-desk operations of the Ventura County (Calif.) Star, the Redding (Calif.) Record Searchlight and the Kitsap (Wash.) Sun into the Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller-Times, 15 people.
Feb. 6: Cincinnati Enquirer, 15 people.
Feb. 5: The Edmond (Okla.) Sun, one person — a business reporter.

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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March 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Shaw Suburban Media to Outsource Printing, Affecting 31 People

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Shaw Suburban Media, a division of Shaw Newspapers, and Paddock Publications announced today that Paddock will begin printing Shaw newspapers at its production facility in Schaumburg, Ill., reports

Thirty-one employees are affected. Some will be interviewed for new positions, others will be laid off.

Paddock, which publishes the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, will begin printing the Northwest Herald, currently published in Crystal Lake, the Daily Chronicle of DeKalb, the Kane County Chronicle, the Lake County Journal, the MidWeek and several other publications at its 160,000-square-foot Paddock Printing Center, beginning in late March. The transition is expected to be complete by mid-April, the publishers said.

“Outsourcing our production to Paddock will enable us to utilize state-of-the-art-printing technology to better serve our readers and advertisers,” said John Rung, Suburban Media’s chief operating officer. “We will have more color capacity and better reproduction. The move will also allow us to focus future capital investment on digital technology.”

Paddock said it’s agreed to interview the 25 full-time and six part-time Shaw production employees affected by the outsourcing for possible employment. Some may be reassigned to new roles within Shaw, while displaced employees will be offered a severance package and out-placement services.

Paddock’s Schaumburg facility, anchored by two manroland presses, opened in late 2002. Shaw’s Crystal Lake production center was built in 1985, and expanded in 1989 and 2003.

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February 25, 2010 at 11:09 pm

Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., Lays Off 14

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The Register-Guard of Eugene, Ore., announced yesterday that it had laid off nine full-time and five part-time employees. Publisher Tony Baker also said that five other open positions will not be filled for now.

The job eliminations occurred in all operating departments. The majority of the affected positions were in circulation and human resources. Affected staff members were notified Wednesday and each received a severance package.

In a letter to employees, Baker said the downsizing was a “painful but necessary decision prompted by weaker than anticipated advertising revenue.”

The Register-Guard’s work force after the layoffs will stand at 286 employees, Chief Operating Officer David Pero said.

“We continue to be the leading provider of local information customers value; there is a profitable market for the business that can dominate that niche,” Baker said in his letter to employees.

“The recession has dealt most local businesses financial setbacks of varying degrees. The R-G, which depends heavily on the fortunes of those same local businesses for our success, has been hit particularly hard through downturns in the retail, automotive, real estate and employment arenas. Each of those sectors will rebound as the economy shows real improvement. And when they do, we must be positioned to take advantage of the opportunities they present.”

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February 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

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