There’s no word yet about the impact on Red Bank-area coverage. The Press, which in decades past had fully-staffed news bureaus in Red Bank and, later, Middletown, has a single reporter, Larry Higgs, who divides his time covering Red Bank, Fair Haven and state transportation isssues.
The Press, based in Neptune, ran a prepared company announcement about the shrinkage on its website. It said 106 full-time and 19 part-time positions were eliminated. It also included this:
“We had hoped to avoid additional reductions in our workforce,” said Thomas M. Donovan, president and publisher of the Press and vice president of Gannett’s East Newspaper Group. “But, unfortunately, this recession is deep and severe. Advertising revenues have not rebounded and, as we looked at economic forecasts for the second half of 2009, we had to make further reductions.”
Gannett’s first-quarter ad revenue plummeted 34 percent from the comparable 2008 quarter.
On his Gannett-centric blog, former USA Today reporter and editor Jim Hopkins writes that affected employees are getting “virtually no severance.”
In addition to the Press, Gannett’s New Jersey papers are the Home News-Tribune of East Brunswick; the Courier News of Bridgewater; the Daily Record in Parsippany; the Courier Post in Cherry Hill; and the Daily Journal in Vineland.