The Mercury News announced Tuesday with a press release that it will reduce its newsroom staff by 40 positions through layoffs that will take place in the coming weeks. The layoffs will leave the paper with 200 newsroom positions, down from a peak of 400, seven years ago.
The cuts are in response to declining advertising revenues, said Executive Editor Carole Leigh Hutton.
“Revenue is not growing in the Mercury News,” Hutton told the staff at a meeting Tuesday to announce the layoffs. “We have to offset some of that revenue loss with cost cuts.”
I say it’s more complicated. It seems the paper is not much different with 200 fewer reporters on the payroll. Most of the column inches are the same wire stories that every daily runs.
Readers are turning to blogs to get the news that newspapers feel is not fit to print. Instead, more on “global warming galas” attended by Democrat politicians. No coverage of Nancy Pelosi’s wealth and non-union labor.
Nothing on DiFi’s military funding conflicts of interest.
There are many good reasons to stop reading the Merky News.
Since 2000, the newspaper’s revenues have declined 36 percent. This will be the third news-staff reduction in 18 months at the Mercury News, which gave buyouts to 52 staff members in November 2005 and laid off 15 in December 2006.
“We have to look to the future and figure out how we are going to transform ourselves to a new platform,” said Newspaper Guild local President Sylvia Ulloa. “If we’re smart, we’re going to invest in our people, we’re not going to cut them. That’s where the future lies.”
The announcement comes as the San Francisco Chronicle eliminates 100 newsroom jobs, a reduction forced by losses estimated to be running approximately $1 million a week.
The Mercury News is part of a Bay Area-wide group that has more than 800 newsroom employees at 16 newspapers. Watch that number to be cut to 400 in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Gannett, which runs the tightest ship, though it too is taking in water, has dropped it PC plan of hiring three summer interns from Black colleges.
You never read about the dozens of long-time employees let go from their vast newspaper empire, it’s averaging about 10 a month lately; but when when three interns of color are dropped, now that makes news.
Gannett was forced to make “quick and drastic” budget cuts that left three interns without summer jobs at a Montgomery, Ala. newspaper.
“I would not have done this if I had any other choice,” [Wanda] Lloyd, editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, told Richard Prince’s Journal-isms.
According to Prince, the decision came after the Black College Wire interns had already made preparations to go to Alabama, including taking urine tests. Lloyd said that after a recent meeting of Gannett publishers, she was told by her publisher, Scott Brown, that the newspaper would be asked to take a look at possible cuts for the rest of 2007.