Gannett Layoffs Could Claim Thousands of Jobs

Another round of Gannett layoffs coming

After several large rounds of layoffs in the past couple of years, Gannett layoffs will continue. The nation’s largest newspaper company will eliminate up to 4,500 jobs sometime in the next few days, reports the Wall Street Journal. However, the number of layoffs has been reported by some news sources as between 1,000 and 2,000.

Reports last month showed that Gannet’s profits were down 60 percent, but the exact numbers involved in Gannett’s growing problems are somewhat unclear.

Conflicting sources

There’s a pretty big discrepancy between the numbers news sources are reporting regarding how many jobs will be eliminated in the Gannett layoffs. The New York Times reports:

On Gannett Blog, a former Gannett editor who closely follows the company, Jim Hopkins, quotes an unnamed person in the company as saying that it will announce on July 8 that it is eliminating 4,500 United States newspaper jobs, and cutting salaries in its broadcast division.

However, Gannett employees shouldn’t run to the payday loan store to take out fast cash loans just yet. The NYT article goes on to say that executives have said the number would be significantly smaller than 4,500. The Associated Press reports:

Between 1,000 and 2,000 people will lose their jobs in Gannett’s latest round of cutbacks, according to a story published Tuesday on The Wall Street Journal’s Web site. The Journal quoted an unnamed person familiar with the McLean, Va.-based company’s thinking.

Previous Gannett layoffs

Large media conglomerate Gannett has been struggling for years — since before the recession hit. The New York Times says:

The company’s United States and British newspaper divisions eliminated more than 10,000 jobs in 2007 and 2008, including about 2,000 layoffs last fall, and Gannett executives have said repeatedly that they expect more downsizing, including layoffs. The company, which also owns a chain of television stations and Internet ventures, ended last year with 41,500 employees, including 35,800 in its newspaper divisions.

Some Gannet-owned newspapers have reported recently rejecting union agreements from Gannett that would significantly cut salaries.

The larger problem

Though Gannett is the largest newspaper company in the United States, and thus has had the largest layoffs and money loss, it certainly isn’t the only newspaper struggling. The Associated Press reports:

Most other major newspaper publishers also are reeling from a devastating one-two punch — the longest U.S. recession since World War II coupled with intensifying Internet competition for readers and advertising. To cope, the troubled publishers have trimmed their payrolls, lowered wages and, in the most extreme cases, filed for bankruptcy protection.

Magazines going down, too

USA Today is Gannett's largest newspaper.

USA Today is Gannett's largest newspaper.

Newspapers aren’t the only printed media with problems, either. Yesterday Vibe Magazine, one of the country’s biggest music magazine, announced it will shut down. Vibe Magazine was one of two U.S. magazines that covered hip-hop and R&B. That leaves The Source as the only nationwide magazine left to cover those musical genres.

Rock-centric magazine Blender shut down last year, though it still maintains a presence on the web. Vibe Magazine has not yet reported whether it ill continue its web site.

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