?Florida Times-Union,? ‘Charlotte Observer’ Make Job Cuts

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By: E&P Staff

The axe has fallen again, this time in Jacksonville, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C.

The Florida Times-Union on Wednesday laid off 26 people, or 6% of its workforce, saying the job cuts were in response to “continuing sluggish advertising revenue that is predicted to extend into 2011.”

Of the 26 layoffs, four staffers are being reassigned to other positions in the company, Publisher Lucy Talley said in an un-bylined article on the newspaper’s Website.

The newsroom was hit with eight layoffs, including the paper’s cartoonist, Ed Gamble, who had been working on a part-time basis.

Those laid off received a week’s pay for each year worked, the newspaper said.

The Times-Union is the biggest of the 13 dailies published by Augusta, Ga.-based Morris Publishing Group, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in March.

The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer announced Wednesday it is eliminating 20 employees through buyouts and layoffs, along with open positions that will be frozen for the time being.

Remaining full-time staffers will have to take weeklong, unpaid furloughs in the fourth quarter.

This is the second round of job eliminations for the Observer this year. In January, the paper cut 25 jobs, 11 of which were newsroom staffers. This time, the newsroom is freezing several open positions but will not face cuts.

Editor Rick Thames told employees the paper’s commitment to its readership remains strong, and that “We’re going to get through this. We’re going to be fine,” the Observer reported.

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