Gannett to lay off 2 percent of work force

Gannett Media will lay off over 350 positions as it shrinks its work force by two percent. Politico obtained a letter from Bob Dickey, president and CEO of Gannett, outlining the plans for the layoffs.

Larger newsrooms like the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s aren’t expected to be affected. Journal Media Group was purchased by Gannett in March.

“Over the next 18 months, we will continue to build our scale and invest in important digital capabilities and experiences – such as critical e-commerce infrastructure and significant upgrades to our digital content platforms,” Dickey said in the letter, published on Politico.

USA Today has also weighed in on the subject saying, “Across the industry, U.S. newspaper advertising revenue, excluding digital, fell 8% in 2015 and is expected to decline another 8% in 2016. Digital advertising revenue for all media rose more than 20% in 2015 and is expected to grow at similar levels in 2016.”

A number of newspapers affected have been reporting layoffs. The Democrat and Chronicle and D&C Digital laid off eight full-time employees while the Asheville Citizen-Times laid off nine –— the majority of which were from the newsroom,

The Burlington Free Press reported the paper cut four positions, three in the newsroom and one in advertising.

The Poughkeepsie Journal lost seven full-time employees, including Executive Editor Stu Shinske.

In Michigan, the Detroit Free Press avoided newsroom layoffs, however some 20 Gannett staffers across other Michigan titles were laid off.

GateHouse acquires two papers

GateHouse Media inked a deal to purchase the Rochester (New York) Business Journal and the Columbia (Missouri) Daily Tribune for a combined price of $8.5 million. New Media has made seven acquisitions this year, totaling $102.8 million.

The CDT had a daily and Sunday circulation of approximately 15,000 and 17,000 respectively.

New Media reported total revenues of $306.8 million for the quarter, a decrease of 1.7 percent year over year. Total print advertising revenue decreased 8 percent from the same quarter in 2015.

Postmedia downsizing by 20 percent

CBC News reported that Postmedia, which employs some 4,000 people, is planning on shrinking its workforce by 20 percent in a restructuring plan.

The restructure, proposed in July, is an attempt to eliminate more than $268 million in debt. The company is also planning to offer buyouts for employees in a preemptive move. CBC News stated that “employees will be eligible for three weeks of pay for each year served with the company, up to a maximum of 78 weeks.”
Postmedia had previously announced in January it would cut 90 jobs.

Times planning UK expansion

The managing editor of The New York Times, Joe Kahn, told the Press Gazette that the paper is planning a U.K. expansion.

The paper plans to add to the 40 journalists it already employs at its London bureau, the Press Gazette reported.

The paper isn’t planning to compete for domestic breaking news, but will provide in-depth international coverage, Kahn told the Press Gazette.

“We’re uniting behind a big push that will make us the first American news organization to think about the total global audience as our core audience,” Kahn said.

Quad Graphics invests in digital

Quad Graphics invested multimillion dollars in its Dallas plant, the company announced in a press release. The investment will add new jobs and technology, the press release said.

Two new digital presses, a Fuji J Press for offset printing and full variable one-to-one data management and a Kodak NexPress for short-run, quick-turn workflows were installed and in operation.

In addition, a Horizon StitchLiner 5500 saddle stitching system and two fully automated Horizon perfect binders as well as a folder, flatcutter and shrinkwrapper were added. Finally, the plan is implementing Quad/Graphics kitting and fulfillment solutions.