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GANNETT NEWS

Week of cuts, furloughs for Gannett


Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Dec. 7, 2009 • Morning report


After a brief hiatus from news of more cutbacks, Gannett had a busy week with announcements of furloughs, layoffs and more consolidation.

The company announced Tuesday that the staffs of USA Weekend and USA Today would both be cut and then combine. The company announced later that day that non-union employees in its community newspaper division must take a one-week furlough in the first quarter of 2010.

The week wrapped with the late-Thursday news from Michael Fisch, publisher of The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y., that the paper would outsource its printing to Rockaway, N.Y.

Fisch, who confirmed to Gannettoid.com that The Journal News is profitable, said the move will lead to the layoffs of 166 full- and part-time employees.

The layoffs, planned for March when the plant closes, will raise the layoff total at the paper to at least 368 since the final quarter of 2008. The paper laid off 43 during company-wide layoffs in December 2008 and 142 this summer.

The summer layoffs, which include 79 from August when all of the paper's news and advertising department employees were told their jobs were being eliminated and they had two days to reapply for new positions, were part of Gannett's July announcement that it was cutting 1,400 jobs.

USA Today, which recently fell behind The Wall Street Journal to No. 2 in overall U.S. newspaper circulation, announced it was laying off 26 employees. The paper remains first in overall print circulation.

USA Weekend is cutting 11 positions, including seven immediately and four in March.

The busy week precedes a presentation Wednesday by company executives at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. The 37th conference will be held at the The Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.

The company is expected to discuss strategic efforts and the company’s outlook for 2010.


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