San Jose Paper Joins Cut List, Targets 52 Newsroom Jobs: ‘A Painful but Necessary Step’

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The San Jose Mercury News is cutting 60 positions, including 52 newsroom jobs, through buyouts and possible layoffs, the newspaper announced Friday.

Beginning Monday, employees covered by the San Jose Newspaper Guild will be offered buyout packages. If enough staffers don’t take the buyouts, layoffs will be needed, said Mercury News Executive Editor Susan Goldberg.

Employees were notified in a staff meeting Friday afternoon.

“This is a very painful but necessary step that’s reflecting an industry-wide slump in revenue,” Goldberg said.

The 52 jobs represent a 16 percent reduction of the newsroom’s 332 staffers. The remaining eight buyouts will come from the classified, administration and marketing departments.

The Mercury News is owned by Knight Ridder Inc., the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher.

Earlier this week, two other newspapers in the chain, The Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister paper the Philadelphia Daily News, announced they were cutting a combined 100 jobs.

A week earlier, Knight Ridder said third-quarter earnings would fall about 20 percent because of declining ad sales and higher interest expenses and newsprint costs.

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