Friday, July 18, 2008

Three N.Y. papers consolidate online, ad sales

Gannett's cost cutting spread yesterday to central New York, where newspapers eliminated top management and other jobs in a reorganization of online operations and advertising sales. The papers are the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, The Ithaca Journal, and founder Frank Gannett's first title -- the Star-Gazette in Elmira.

The Central New York Group's shifts follow a second round of buyouts this week at The Arizona Republic, and layoffs at The Honolulu Advertiser, amid a steep plunge in Gannett's second-quarter profits.

Binghamton Publisher Sherman Bodner didn't disclose the exact number of jobs cut in the e-mail he sent to staff about 5 p.m. "The economic climate for our industry remains challenging, and we continue to explore changes that provide economic or strategic advantages,'' Bodner said. "We made staffing reductions in our information centers, in our building/facilities departments and in information technology.These were difficult choices, made only after close consideration of other options."

His e-mail says one manager will now be in charge of the three papers' online operations, and the number of online-only staff is being reduced, and based at Binghamton. Also, ad sales at the three papers will now be run by a single sales director, Bodner's note says.

Together, the three papers employ fewer than 800 workers.

Job cuts at your GCI business? Please post a note in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green sidebar, upper right.

[Image: today's Press & Sun Bulletin, Newseum]


  1. I wonder if anything like this might be in the works for the Westchester Journal News and the Poughkeepsie Journal? Has anyone heard anything?

  2. Isn't it only a matter of time before we all just get rid of our classified department and go to Classifieds Plus? At least they guarantee results.

  3. This will be train wreck, just like the other consolidations have been in this area. More time and effort wasted in executing mandates than actually protecting the franchise. The smaller properties will be the losers. They'll get next to nothing from this reorg if past history of reorgs in this area holds true. The smaller papers won't get the time of day from the big paper.

  4. These papers have turned into pregnant pennysavers. I t is so sad to see the guts getting torn out of our papers. Talk of reducing content is already happening because of the info center cuts. There will be almost nothing left to actually read.

  5. Something must be up at the Cherry Hill, NJ Courier-Post! All of a sudden carpeting is being replaced in some areas of the rundown facility and some bathrooms are being remodeled. Certainly this is not being done for the benefit of the's un-Gannett-like. Afterall, the place has been (and still is) a filthy dump for decades. And listen to this: recently one of the paper's empty suit directors was seen outside fixing up the shrubs. Is the place for sale? Is there an "on site" coming soon? Is there finally $ available to make the place a little cleaner due to the elimination of employees of late? Anyone got inside info?

  6. Gannett’s been tearing the guts out of Binghamton for years to keep its profits very, very fat here. Hell, just look at how long it kept putting out waste quality copies to valued readers. And, now that profits are declining, it will be even worse.

  7. Such consolidation of online operations is nothing new.

    Gannett's 10 Wisconsin dailies have one online manager and a small staff of programmers, all based in Appleton. Each of the dailies has staff responsible for developing and posting online content.

  8. Anon 10:27 AM – You’re right, it’s nothing new. But you’re showing that you’re a bit out of touch as it’s still newsworthy, especially on a blog that closely follows Gannett.

    However, going back to your singular thought…maybe the bigger point is this: Why is it taking Gannett so long to make “innovative” moves that other, non-Gannett entities did 10 years ago?

  9. In Ref: Something must be up at the Cherry Hill, NJ Courier-Post!" selling the building?

  10. Bodner says: "We made staffing reductions in our information centers, in our building/facilities departments and in information technology."
    Can you hear the wind whistling through these sites? Ithaca's already a skeleton crew; no fat there to trim. Elmira much the same. Ironic that this trimming of info tech crews comes on the heels of revamping the Web site and giving every warm body that can type an inane blog. Guess a "center of excellence" will have to handle all the future tech crises. What fun. Workers, have your duct tape at the ready...

  11. I was among the laid off in Elmira and we were only 3 staff strong including the online manager. They have immediate local online advertising needs that will now be very difficult / impossible to now meet. Their problem now.


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