Down to the wire: Layoffs intensify as nearly 200 newsroom staff axed this week

The numbers are in, and this week’s newsroom slashings amount to nearly 200 jobs lost. That’s 40 jobs a day and 1.6 jobs lost every hour since Monday.

The San Diego Union-Tribune eliminated 112 jobs, including the editor of the opinion page, a slew of reporters and Bob Kittle, the controversial editor of the paper’s editorial pages. The August axing comes on the heels of another recent cut that eliminated 192 jobs immediately after the Beverly Hills investment firm Platinum Equity purchased the paper in May. This news probably has Boston Globe employees shivering — Platinum Equity emerged this week as a buying contender for the floundering Beantown paper.

Gannett also announced that they were cutting 70 jobs at the Journal News, a local paper in Westchester, New York. But Gannett apparently likes to administer a nice dose of panic with their pink-slips: all 288 news and advertising employees were told they would have to reapply for new jobs by the end of the week. Said Michael Fisch, the publisher and editor of the paper:

We’ve been working on a restructuring plan for The Journal News for a while. That’s partly the reason for the move today, but the other part of the reason for having employees reapply for newly defined jobs is to recognize that our business has changed.

And finally, the Wisconsin State Journal and the Capital Times announced on Thursday they were eliminating 15 jobs from their newsrooms. They will also consolidate reporting for both papers as they combine their sports, features, photography and multimedia departments in order to cut their losses.

The advantage is this: once all journalists are cut from newsrooms, there won’t be anyone to report these massive layoffs. And at that point, the thinning newspapers won’t have to double anymore as flimsy tissues for drying all those tears.

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