Thursday, August 29, 2013

Layoffs and other job cuts now total nearly 430

But I suspect the real number is much closer to 500. Why?

Newsroom employees have been very good about reporting figures for their departments during the current round of newspaper layoffs. Other departments, including advertising, don't post as vigilantly, however.

And Corporate, of course, is so embarrassed by the bad publicity around this cost-cutting, it won't reveal any specific figures.

With that in mind, Gannett Blog readers' current estimate for the number of jobs eliminated through layoffs and by dropping open positions is 429 across at least 63 worksites. The U.S. community newspaper division publishes at 81 sites; USA Today isn't among them.

This round of layoffs is the largest since June 2011, when the company eliminated 700 jobs. Gannett's single-biggest mass layoff involved more than 2,300 jobs in December 2008.

The newspaper division employed about 18,000 of Gannett's worldwide workforce of fewer than 31,000 at the start of the year, according to the company's most recent published figures.

Is your site counted?
Please check this read-only spreadsheet, then post your site's latest information in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. I'm not saying this is happening, but did it ever occur to you that one or more readers is just messing with you and the 'reader submitted tally' is way off? It'd be easy, and only take one person to subtly troll. Like this:

    "Spumoni, California here: 5 in advertising, 4 in news. It was a really sad day, and we lost some good people. Heartless!"

    The same person could post from another site hours later. You'd have no way of knowing. But surely another reader from that site would correct it, right? What if there wasn't another reader from that site, or if they were too afraid to comment?

    Not saying it's happening, but I'm just saying — if Gannett (a publicly traded company) flat out lied in a story about a number of layoffs, that's a big deal with real financial repercussions. Thus, it's just as plausible to assume that these numbers could be inflated. Again — maybe not, but I'm always a skeptic when dealing with anonymous sources. As a former journalist, Jim should be too.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. 8:56 Anything's possible. But consider this:

    Four times during past layoffs -- August 2008, December 2008, July 2009 and June 2011 -- Corporate announced the number of jobs to be cut in advance, although not be site.

    On all four occasions, I asked readers to post figures for their own sites. And each time, I was never able to get to the number Corporate had published; we always undercounted.

    Based on that experience, I'm confident that the count here isn't overstating the true number. If anything, as I've said, it's understating.

  4. Side note: There were also layoffs in Reno in April 2009 and August 2010. Handled badly, naturally, and strictly callous. There was utterly no consideration of an individual's contribution, merit, talent, dedication or function. The ones in 2009 were immediate and out of the blue, delivered by phone call. The ones in 2010, they had some warning but it was still a sickening spit in the face. As happenstance survivors, we were too embarrassed to even say goodbye to them. Things haven't changed much.

  5. I doubt that Corporate is embarrassed by any aspect of this cost-cutting. That's just wishful thinking. It's business as usual, things that must be done.

  6. The actual number is expected to be 523-530.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.