« Hurricane Rita: Newspaper recruits bloggers to help cover the storm | Main | Free subscriptions for bloggers used as marketing tool »

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

US: More job cuts in newsrooms

On Friday, the San Jose Mercury News announced plans to cut its new staff 15% by offering buyouts. The paper, which belongs to Knight Ridder, plans to reduce the editorial staff from 380 to 332, cutting 52 full-time positions. In addition, 8 positions outside the newsroom will be cut as well. Non-newsroom staff has been reduced by 30 percent over the last five years. As the paper reported the new cutting comes "to combat an industry-wide slump in revenue."

As the The San Jose Mercury News states, "All editorial employees who are members of the San Jose Newspaper Guild will be offered a buyout package that includes two weeks' pay for each year of service plus extended health care benefits." If there are not enough employees accepting the buyout, the company will lay off employees. Susan Goldberg, Executive Editor of Mercury News, said on Grade the News, "This is a very painful step for everybody here ... Given the difficulties across the entire industry and those specific to the Bay Area, I was somewhat relieved to be able and stand up to say that we were going to offer buyouts rather than layoffs, and I think there was a sense of relief about that across the newsroom." However, Griff Palmer, database editor at San Jose Mercury News, said on Grade the News, "It's going to mean that journalism is going to practiced very differently at this newspaper."

Last week, Knight Ridder has already announced newsroom cuts for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News. The same day, the New York Times Company announced 500 job cuts (see previous posting). Commenting on the recent cuts, Joe Strupp askes on Editor & Publisher, "How can newspapers with fewer, and less experienced, staffers expect to build audience and influence?" He claims that "the massive job reductions are in many ways a quick way to boost current net income" and that "in most of these cases, cuts are the answer not to low profits, but to less-than-acceptable profits". In his opinion "systematically dismantling your newsrooms ... is foolish. If papers want to entice new readers and bring back old ones, they should change the way they report events." (see full article here, see also Jon Friedman's article on Market Watch).

Sources: Grade the News, The San Jose Mercury News, Editor & Publisher

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on September 27, 2005 at 12:49 PM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference US: More job cuts in newsrooms :


The Birmingham (AL) Post-Herald has been shut down. 43 journalists are out of work. And The Tribune Co. is eliminating local news operations at its TV stations in Philadelphia (KPHL) and San Diego (KSWB). 60 journalists will be out of work too. A very sad week for media.

Posted by: Jeff Mignon at Sep 28, 2005 3:00:02 PM