Gannett announced this afternoon it would be cutting 700 jobs, adding to an ever-growing list of problems for the publisher of 82 daily newspapers. As revenue continues to decline, the company has been forced to cut jobs across the board, downsizing its workforce by 20,000 in the last five years, according to an April column in the New York Times. The company said cuts would be made in its community newspapers division. Said Robin Pence, the company’s vice president for corporate communications, “While we are seeing improved circulation results and audience growth, the economy remains challenged in many sectors, particularly in real estate, job growth and softer auto demand.”
The latest round of cuts follows Gannett’s announcement last fall that it would eliminate 130 jobs from the USA Today staff. USA Today is Gannett’s largest newspaper. In August 2009, the company eliminated 70 jobs at the Journal News in Westchester, N.Y., and told all of the paper’s 288 news and advertising employees that they would have to reapply for their jobs within a week. And at the beginning of this year, Gannett announced it would require all nonunion employees to take one-week furloughs.
And yet, despite firing employees willy-nilly and forcing employees to take a week of unpaid vacation, its top executives still earned hefty cash bonuses at the end of 2010 and could have potentially earned more than $28 million in compensation packages, according to the New York Times column. Alas, maybe this is just the way media companies do it nowadays. But be warned, Gannett, if you choose this route, bankruptcy is expensive.