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Q4 starts with layoffs

The fourth quarter is only about a third of the way through, but there have been a number of layoffs within the newspaper industry. Here’s a look at some of the major cuts from October:

  • Earlier this month, Thomson Reuters announced its intent to eliminate seven Guild-represented editorial positions by the end of the year. Additionally, the wire service will move its Americas editing desk from Washington, D.C., to New York. Reuters will also offer enhanced buyouts to employees who have been with the company for 18 years; 97 are eligible. They previously announced 150 cuts to newsroom jobs over the month. Unfortunately for the staff, the number of potential layoffs has grown since then, with JimRomenesko.com reporting on Tuesday that Reuters plans to lay off 3,000 employees. This comes after CEO Jim Smith announced that they had achieved positive net sales for the first time in two years, but that further effort was needed to cut costs. According to StarTribune.com, the cuts will mainly come from the financial and risk division. The newest layoffs are on top of the 2,500 in February.
  • Also in layoff mode is The Virginian-Pilot, which will reportedly eliminate 32 positions, or 4 percent of its workforce, by the end of the year. Like Reuters, the newsroom is dodging the majority of the cuts with the focus being on the operations and circulation departments. The cuts will allow the company to restructure and “maintain the profitability required for continued innovation and growth.”
  • Sixteen Providence Journal newspaper employees took buyouts this past month, 12 of which were guild members, and another 11 were laid off. Newsroom staff that exited the company included justice reporter Tracy Breton, religion reporter Richard Dujardin, opinion columnist Froma Harrop, lifestyles reporter Lisa Vernon Sparks and breaking news reporter Maria Armental.
  • Only last week, Westword.com reported that the Denver Post was laying off six members of its staff. Five of the employees to be eliminated serve as community managers of YourHub, the paper’s citizen journalism website. The other layoff will be a digital photo editor. Although the layoffs are roughly one-third of YourHub staff, Westword noted that the site will continue to exist, but on a smaller scale.
  • Following the recent sale of Newsweek, the Daily Beast cut approximately 20 employees, bringing the number of staff down to 65, reported CapitalNewYork.com. The newsroom had at one point swelled to roughly 300 with the merger of Newsweek and the Daily Beast.

Kicking off Q4 with this many layoffs isn’t a great way to head into 2014, but it follows a definite trend: layoffs continue to be a part of the newsroom-newspaper culture.

–Katrina M. Mendolera

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