Layoffs at Gannett papers

“A new round of layoffs has hit numerous Gannett papers.

Florida Times-Union reporter Andrew Pantazi has a spreadsheet on which he attempts to keep count of the cuts. The spreadsheet shows more than 90 cuts at the time of this writing.

Last week USA Today owner Gannett reported lower revenue and a net loss in the fourth quarter. Revenues at the combined company fell about 10% and print advertising dropped 18.4% compared to the same period a year ago.

GateHouse parent New Media Investment Group completed a $1.2 billion cash-and-stock buy of USA Today parent Gannett, the companies announced Nov. 19. The new company uses the name Gannett.

Relying on comments from Gannett CEO Mike Reed, Poynter’s Rick Edmonds in December estimated that some 4% of Gannett’s 24,000 employees, around 960, may be slated to be cut post-merger. This current round follows earlier cuts, including a large batch in late 2019.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020

LA Times offers buyouts

“The LA Times offered buyouts to employees with at least two years at the paper, CNN reported in February.

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the paper and the San Diego Union-Tribune from Tribune Publishing for $500 million in summer 2018.

A “reliable source” said the LA Times has gone from making $55 million in 2017 to losing $50 million last year, the New York Post reported.”
Source: News and Tech, 2020

Changes at Chicago Tribune

“Change continues at the Chicago Tribune.

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Bruce Dold will leave the Tribune April 30, the paper announced last week. He’s been in those roles since early spring 2016 and counts a Pulitzer Prize among his accomplishments in his more than 40 years at the paper.

Colin McMahon has taken over as editor-in-chief. He was Tribune Publishing’s chief content officer. The paper hasn’t appointed a publisher.

Peter Kendall, one of two managing editors at the paper, is gone as of the end of February. His position won’t be filled, the paper said. Chrissy Taylor will continue to serve as managing editor.

Also among recent changes, former chief financial officer Terry Jimenez took over as CEO after Tim Knight left in February. Knight has been named president and CEO at McCormick Foundation, established in 1955 after Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, died.

The shakeups come on the heels of New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital’s taking a 32% stake in Tribune Publishing last fall. Tribune Publishing then added two Alden representatives to the company’s board, making it eight members. Alden is barred from boosting its stake in the company to more than 33 percent until the end of June.

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is the second-largest shareholder at Tribune Publishing, with a 24 percent stake.

Tribune also publishes the New York Daily News, the Baltimore Sun and other publications.

“The Trib folks are pretty shaken up. They are interpreting this as very bad news,” a Tribune Publishing inside source told The New York Post.

The concern is that “metrics drives decisions on story coverage,” the source said, according to the Post. “We will be using more syndicated copy. There will likely be staff cuts.”

Tribune Publishing also recently announced that Robert York, editor of the Daily News, would be in charge of the Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the Post reported.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020

Alden’s MNG buys Greeley Tribune

“Swift Communications has sold the Greeley Tribune (Colorado) to MediaNews Group, the paper reported

Hedge fund Alden Global Capital owns MNG. Among MNG papers are The Denver Post and the Boulder Daily Camera.

The sale was due to be complete on March 1.

“With this change, the Greeley Tribune, its staff and the community will benefit from the many resources that MNG has in the region, as well as benefiting the long term interests of both companies,” said Bill Waters, chairman and CEO, Swift Communications.

Left out of the sale was The Fence Post Company, an independent Swift Communications company that includes The Fence Post agriculture paper based in Greeley, as well as other agriculture and country living publications based in Colorado, South Dakota and Wisconsin, the Greeley paper said.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020

McClatchy’s New Ventures Lab to move

“McClatchy’s New Ventures Lab aims to move by the end of April, reports the McClatchy-owned Sacramento Bee.

The lab’s leased space is in downtown Sacramento, at 401 I St., in the city-owned Sacramento Valley Station at the Railyards. The move is tied to the company’s Chapter 11 filing done in February.

“We are relocating NVL to McClatchy’s headquarters and The Sacramento Bee building to consolidate our real estate footprint and operate smarter and more efficiently,” Jeanne Segal, McClatchy’s director of communications, told the paper.

A bankruptcy court will hear a motion on ending the New Ventures Lab lease March 25.”

Source: News and Tech, 2020