Monday, June 16, 2008

McClatchy cuts 1400 jobs. N&O axes 70

The following is from with my comments below the star line.

The News & Observer will cut 70 jobs, or about 8 percent of its work force, as part of a reduction in employment announced today by its parent company, McClatchy.

McClatchy, the publisher of 30 daily newspapers, said it will cut about 1,400 jobs nationwide -- or 10 percent of its work force -- as the company contends with declining revenue.

As part of the reductions, 16 full-time and part-time newsroom employees will be affected, John Drescher, the newspaper's executive editor, wrote in e-mail to the newsroom.

The remainder of the cuts will take place in advertising, marketing, circulation, production and technical support.

"This is a painful but necessary step," N&O publisher Orage Quarles III said in e-mail to employees this afternoon. "We're operating in a time of great change and challenge for our operations, for the McClatchy Company and for the newspaper industry overall."

McClatchy, which is based in Sacramento, Calif., has been hurt by an advertising slump, particularly in Florida and California where it gets a third of advertising revenue. The company this morning said advertising revenue in May fell almost 17 percent, compared with May 2007.

The job cuts, which will save the company $70 million annually, are part of a broader plan to reduce expenses. ...

With the latest round of cuts, The N&O's employment will fall to about 805. Those affected will receive severance and outplacement assistance.

"This is a traumatic day," Drescher said in the e-mail message. "We will be saying goodbye to some colleagues, then embarking upon more change than we've ever seen before."

The N&O has already seen significant changes this year. In April, the company offered voluntary buyouts to about 200 employees to save money. Quarles said 33 people took the package, including six in the newsroom.

The N&O also has closed its Greenville office and decided to leave unfilled several positions vacated by employees who retired or left for new jobs.
All newspaper companies have suffered as advertising migrates online. But the economic slowdown has exacerbated the effect. ...

"The effects of the current national economic downturn ... make it essential that we move faster now to realign our work force and make our operations more efficient," Gary Pruitt, McClatchy's chief executive, said in a statement. "I'm sorry this requires the painful announcement we are making today, but we're taking this action to help ensure a healthy future for our company."



The job cuts announced today were expected and reported in News from “inside” the Raleigh N&O (6/13/08) citing information provided by WRAL.

For more about recent job cuts at the N&O, see At Raleigh N&O, Job Cuts Loom. (4/17/08)

For more news about financial trouble within the McClatchy chain, see McClatchy gets more grim market news. (6/15/08)

There’s a lot more I want to say about today’s job cuts and related matters at the N&O.

So please stay tuned.

For now, I’ll just repeat what I've said before:

I’m never glad to hear hard-working, able and honest employees are losing their jobs.

At the N&O, there are some reporters and editors of the type I’ve just mentioned.

There are also hundreds of N&O support staff – phone operators, accountants, security staff, subscription services staff and others – who are also “hard-working, able and honest employees.”

For all of those people, I’m sorry their jobs are at risk.

As for the people at the N&O who brought us those Duke lacrosse framing stories in Spring 2006, which they knew they were biased or even outright false, I can’t summon any regret if they lose their jobs in the news industry.

I feel the same way about the people at the N&O who made the decision not to tell us our former ground commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, said in a prepared speech that most MSM in Iraq was biased against our military and that their reporting had caused the deaths of some of our forces. ( See On Sanchez: The N&O deceived us )

News reporting jobs need to be for people who report news.

Those who deceive us don’t belong at news organizations.

Hat tips: Archer 05, Ed in NY, & AC.


Archer05 said...

There is another side bar to McClatchy’s dimming future.
To McClatchy, outsourcing is the order of the day.
I selected a few lines, but there were many more.
Sacramento Bee outsourcing ad work to India

McClatchy Outsourcing 250 Call Center Jobs

McClatchy Outsourcing Kansas City Star jobs

McClatchy has outsourced customer service

Charlotte Observer will outsource some ad design

Locomotive Breath said...

Meanwhile the N&O has a bleeding heart front page story about an attempt to unionize a Smithfield hog plant. Maybe if the N&O were unionized itself, the workers there would not have lost their jobs.