‘Palm Beach Post’ Parent Company to (Finally) Cut 300 Jobs

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By: Joe Strupp

Palm Beach Newspapers Inc., which owns both The Palm Beach Post and the Palm Beach Daily News, plans to cut 300 workers from its 1,350-person payroll, the Post reported today.

In a Web story, the Post quoted Publisher Doug Franklin saying, “A prolonged slump in our advertising revenues, increased competition from the Internet and an overall difficult economic environment have combined to make this type of cost reduction necessary.”

Palm Beach Newspapers Inc., which also owns the Florida Pennysaver and La Palma, “hopes to make the cuts through voluntary buyouts offered to all employees who have worked for the company for more than five years,” the paper added.

The Post story pointed out that its cuts follow similar recent reductions at The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and St. Petersburg Times “as readers and advertisers move to the internet.”

“We are the last major Florida newspaper to implement staff reductions,” Franklin said.

In a memo to employees from Franklin, first posted on the Web site of Broward-Palm Beach New Times, the publisher said that 130 of the lost jobs will be newsroom positions, buyouts will be offered to staffers with at least five years vested in the company pension plan, and the Daily News would not be affected.

“We have said often in recent weeks that we need to become a smaller company,” the memo stated. “This is a time of great change, challenge and uncertainty in our business; and the steps we are about to take are indeed difficult and painful to make. But they are necessary changes if we are to remain a strong and profitable company. A prolonged slump in our advertising revenues, increased competition from the internet, and an overall difficult economic environment have combined to make this type of cost reduction necessary. This is indeed an economic ‘perfect storm.'”

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