New ‘Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal’ Owner Expecting Job Cuts

By: E&P Staff

David Black, the future owner/publisher of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, expects to cut jobs after his newspaper group acquires the paper from McClatchy Co., the Journal recently reported. The $165 million sale will occur on or around August 1.

Black, the president of Black Press Ltd., made the announcement with Edward R. Moss, the new publisher of the Journal. Both men agreed that while the Journal is still profitable, the levels of profit have been declining in recent years. Advertising revenues have proven to be particularly worrisome after a precipitous drop at the end of 2005.

Though no numbers have been given as to how many jobs will be cut, Black said that the cuts would be building-wide. Black and Moss also noted that the cuts would be made with the intent to maintain integrity. Other adjustments will include heavy focus upon local news coverage, and the usage of advertising relevant to the local marketplace.

The McClatchy Co. acquired the Journal after buying Knight Ridder Inc. in June. Thereafter, McClatchy sold 12 of the Knight Ridder newspapers, including the Journal, while holding on to the other 20. The Journal has an average weekly circulation of 135,000.

Black Press Ltd. owns approximately 100 community papers. The Journal reported that the company adheres to the industry concept of ?clustering,? which refers to companies that buy papers in the same region to build revenue and increase efficiency. Once the Journal is acquired by Black Press Ltd., the paper will operate under Sound Publishing Holdings Inc., the Washington-based subsidiary of Black Press.

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