The Dallas Morning News said today that it is cutting about 17 perecent of the editorial staff, in preparation for a major restructuring. The paper currently counts 500 employees in editorial, including interactive.
This phase of offering voluntary buyout packages to all employees, is the “nice” time when the most loyal, productive staff, those about 45 and older, are offered “buyouts” of about 2 weeks per year of service. However, if not enough people take the “package,” Morning News editor-centric managers will resort to laying off staffers to reach the 17 percent mark.
“Our goal is to really synchronize our staff size with the economic realities of the time,” Mong noted, “and to continue to be the leading news and information source” in the area.
A “significant reorganization” of the newsroom will be announced in November, he added.
The Dallas Morning News is a little late to the idea, following the lead of many other metro papers across the country, which have been struggling for circulation and advertising revenue, even though they virtually all have enjoyed monopolies for decades.
Bear Stearns analyst Alexia Quadrani wrote she expects many newspapers to swing the axe because of weak advertising revenue forecasted for the remainder of the year. The research firm estimates that from the beginning of the year through June, the industry shed about 950 jobs, double for the same period a year ago. Where can the staff go? The owners bought their only competitor, the Dallas Times Herald for millions to shut it down and put in a parking lot.
So the family-controlled Belo corporation killed off the Times Mirror competition. Decades later, even a monopoly in a major Sunbelt city can’t make a profit.