No more downsizing? Gannett is hiring locally at all levels.


As reported by E&P in May of 2023 (“Ghost papers: Journalists find themselves alone or with just a few left in the newsroom”), UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media’s Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics, Penelope Muse Abernathy stated, “Although the exact number is hard to pin down, we estimate, based on news accounts and industry data, at least 1,000 of the 7,200 newspapers still published in this country — and perhaps as many as 1,500 — have lost significantly more than half of their newsroom staff since 2004. As a result, they have become ‘ghost newspapers’ with drastically curtailed reach and journalistic missions.”

However, recently, Gannett (NYSE: GCI), the United States’ largest media company, seems to be changing the trend with hundreds of recent hires announced and numerous openings advertised in many of their markets from coast to coast.

Gannett reports that in the past few months, they have created and filled 24 general manager roles, which includes a stated function to “work closely with their respective executive editors to strengthen local connections with businesses and brands to drive community-based strategies and engagement.”

In the past 11 months, they reported to E&P the hiring of more than 500 content employees, filling reporting roles, editing jobs, video production and more.

E&P has learned of their “Project BluePRINT,” an internal initiative that states a goal of “bringing fresh life and new value to their print products. Some of this growth includes a new front-page design and the addition of sections that focus on retirement planning, local dining and culture. They even claim they are using these new resources to create more "good news" stories that focus on reporting on the local accomplishments of kindness, inspiration and more.

In this episode of “E&P Reports,” we get the inside story on Gannett Media’s major hiring frenzy from their chief content officer, Kristin Roberts, and chief sales officer, Jason Taylor. We learn about what is being called their “turnaround plan,” which has created hundreds of new local news media industry jobs in dozens of their markets across the U.S. Both Taylor and Roberts directly address the negative reporting that has been pointed at this media empire and how they are both bullish on the company’s plans to continue serving their readers and advertisers.


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