PRESS SHRINKS AGAIN
Citing “deteriorating business conditions,” Gannett Co, the owner of the Asbury Park Press, eliminated 120 positions at six New Jersey newspapers yesterday.
Among the affected publications are the Press, the Home News-Tribune in East Brunswick and the Daily Record in Parsippany.
No breakdown of the impact on each newspaper was provided in the five-sentence report of the layoffs posted in the online version of the Press. Reporters employed there told redbankgreen prior to the announcement that 50 jobs were on the line there.
The action signals accelerating woes at Gannett. The company laid off 55 New Jersey employees in May.
“Economic conditions have grown worse, forcing us to cut expenses further,” Press publisher Thomas Donovan said in a statement.
Last week, the Washington Post, citing an internal memo, reported that Gannett was planning to eliminate 1,000 jobs nationwide, or three percent of its workforce.
From the Post:
“We would prefer no more reductions,” Gannett’s memo reads, “but we must keep expenses in line with revenue.” The memo adds that if advertising and circulation continue to drop, further job cuts may be possible.
“These people leaving Gannett contributed to its growth and success,” the memo reads. “We will thank them for their years of service and treat them in a way that acknowledges their valuable contributions.”
Laid-off Gannett employees will receive one week of pay for each year of service, with a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of 52 weeks.
Last month, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, the Star-Ledger of Newark, reported that it was “on life support” and needed union givebacks and the acceptance of buyout offers to 200 employees by Oct. 1. If both those criteria aren’t met, the Sledger will be sold by the parent company, Advance Publications, employees were told.