Asbury Park Press Publisher Tom Donovan told employees in a statement now quoted by his paper in a new story: "This is not a decision that is easy to announce at this, or any other, time of year.''
The story confirms earlier reports by my readers: Gannett has eliminated 55 jobs at Asbury Park and at three other papers in its struggling N.J. group. Today's layoffs come three weeks after management offered voluntary buyouts to nearly 170 employees.
Donovan disclosed today that only 83 employees accepted those buyouts -- triggering layoffs that had been warned if Gannett didn't reach its targeted cost savings. The three other papers are the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick; the Courier News in Bridgewater, and The Daily Record at Morristown.
Employees losing jobs can apply for open positions at the papers. "It is my hope that the total number of impacted employees will be reduced as a result," Donovan said.
Related: N.J. employees use Gannett Blog to report buyouts
[Image: this morning's Asbury Park Press, Newseum]