Santa Rosa, Calif. ‘Press Democrat’ Cuts 17 Jobs

By: Joe Strupp

The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa, Calif., plans to lay off 5% of its work force, or 17 full-time positions, “to reduce costs in response to sharp declines in advertising revenue,” the paper revealed in a story Wednesday.

Four newsroom employees are being laid off, including one reporter and three editorial assistants, with other cuts coming in the advertising and production departments, Publisher Bruce Kyse said in the report.

“The economy’s going down the toilet at the moment and our advertising clients are hurting big time,” Kyse told employees, the paper reported.

“Real estate companies, home builders and car dealers, all traditionally strong newspaper advertisers, are suffering and reducing their advertising,” the paper added. “Web site advertising has increased significantly, but not enough to offset declines in other areas.”

After the cuts, the company will employ about 350 people, the paper said, adding that since 2003 the Press Democrat had reduced staff by about 30%.

“Last summer, the newspaper cut about 8% of its work force, mostly through buyouts. The newsroom now has 78 people, down about 30 percent from its high in 2004,” the paper reported, also stating, “the paper will be looking at reducing the number of pages, and perhaps combining sections to save newsprint.”

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