(AP) The owners of The Jersey Journal, a 135-year-old daily newspaper, have told employees that the paper may have to close unless unions agree to substantial cuts.
Steven Newhouse, the paper’s editor-in-chief and a member of the family that has owned the daily since the 1950s, said managers began negotiating Wednesday with three unions representing employees over the newspaper’s future.
“It is a crossroads situation” for the paper, Newhouse said Thursday. “We’re hoping to work with the unions to move in the direction of a stable financial footing.”
Newhouse said the unions were seeking an agreement on a plan that would allow the newspaper to continue to publish. He wouldn’t specify what cuts needed to be made.
Officials for the three unions representing editorial employees, drivers, and clerical workers didn’t return phone messages left on Thursday.
The newspaper has lost circulation from its heyday of more than 100,000 in the 1970s, largely because of the growth of the Spanish-speaking population in the newspaper’s coverage area of Hudson County, Newhouse said. The paper’s circulation is currently about 40,000.
The newspaper recently began publishing a free weekly Spanish-language edition that has been popular, Newhouse added.
The newspaper is part of the Newhouse family’s Advance Publications Newspaper Group, which includes The Oregonian in Portland, The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, The Star-Ledger of Newark, The Times of Trenton, and other newspapers.
Parent company Advance Publications Inc. also owns Conde Nast, a major magazine publisher whose titles include The New Yorker, Gourmet, Vanity Fair, and Vogue.