‘Deseret News’ Axes 34 Editorial Jobs, D.C. Correspondent

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The Deseret News has it eliminated 34 editorial jobs, including the paper’s Washington, D.C., correspondent. It also plans to kill an early edition and consolidate sections to cope with declining revenue.

The Mormon church-owned newspaper announced the cuts Tuesday on its Web site.

Deseret News executives said the reduction was achieved through layoffs, attrition and buyouts from a staff of around 200.

The paper offered a severance package of 1 1/2 weeks of pay for each year of service, plus an additional three weeks’ pay, with a cap of a year’s salary.

The layoffs hit writers and editors, artists, designers and others, said Rick Hall, managing editor.

Circulation hasn’t declined as steeply as other major newspapers, he said. The Deseret News sells 73,817 daily copies on average, according to the most recent figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

“Advertising is what’s hurting everybody,” said Hall, who spoke to The Associated Press before convening a second staff meeting, for the night crew, on the cutbacks.

“I’ve had better days, but journalism is changing fundamentally. The whole industry is changing ? how we report and cover news and how we pay for it. We’ve got to be smart enough to do it, and I think we will,” Hall said.

The News said it will place more emphasis on posting timely stories on its Web site.

The newspaper will no longer print a Utah Valley edition and will operate a bureau there on a reduced staff.

Business news will be relocated inside the A section. Other sections, including the Sunday arts and travel sections, will be consolidated.

Revenues have dropped by 32 percent since January, mostly because of fewer classified ads.

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