More Budget Cuts, Job Losses to Hit Detroit Dailies

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By: Joe Strupp

Executives at Detroit’s two daily papers, and their JOA-arm Detroit Media Partnership, are bracing for budget reductions that are likely to come next week and could include as many as 100 job losses.

Jon Wolman, editor and publisher of The Detroit News, told E&P, “we are looking at some budget reductions as a consequence of the [industry-wide] ad shortfall. Both papers are talking reductions.”

He cited a recent article in Crain’s Detroit Business that put potential job cuts at 100 to 150, but said he did not know yet if they would reach those levels. “I think it will be next week before we know the real details,” he added. “We are looking at the range of things we can do. Inevitably, there will be some hit to the payroll.”

The cuts would come less than two months after the papers stopped home delivery four days per week, providing subscribers with print copies on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

“We are going to make some final decisions next week,” Wolman added. “A sifting through the options on how to approach this is definitely going on.”

Asked to comment on the reduction talk, Detroit Free Press Editor & Publisher Paul Anger declined to comment. Susie Elwood, who recently replaced David Hunke as CEO of Detroit Media Partnership, was unavailable for comment. Hunke left to become president and publisher of USA Today.

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