‘Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’ Laying Off 10% Of Workers

By: E&P Staff

With ad revenue down 12% so far this year, the publishing company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel said Tuesday it is reducing its workforce by about 10% through buyouts, attrition, and involuntary layoffs.

The cut in the staff of 130 full-time equivalents will be completed by the end of the year. Those taking buyouts or being laid off will receive cash severance and a healthcare benefit, Journal Sentinel Inc. said.

“This is a difficult and painful message, and it’s being delivered at a time when our work has never been better,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Brenner, president and COO of parent company Journal Communications’ publishing group.

Brenner said the newspapers advertisers, especially in the automotive, real estate, help-wanted, and retail categories, “have been battered by a ‘perfect storm’ of deteriorating credit conditions, slowing home sales, contracting company size and higher gas prices.”

An Associated Press account summarizes the recent trend: “Last week, half a dozen newspapers said they would slash payrolls, including deep staff cuts at The Hartford Courant and The Sun in Baltimore ? two Tribune papers ? as well as at The Palm Beach Post and the Daytona Beach-Journal in Florida. The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press plan to reduce head count in their joint operations by 7 percent through buyouts. And The Boston Herald will lay off up to 160 employees as it outsources printing operations.

“Earlier in June, McClatchy Co., publisher of the Sacramento Bee and other papers, said companywide staff cuts of 10 percent are in the works.”

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